The best way to see someone’s true colors is to share something super personal and life-changing, because that’s when the rainbow (or the rain) will come out. Upon hearing your news, some people will shine bright, but some won’t.
For example, when my husband and I started telling people about our decision to adopt a child, I was baffled by some of the critical responses I received. I never really knew how to respond because HELLO? We’re adopting a KID here! Are you kidding me that you have NOTHING to say other than “OMG, that’s amazing news! Good for you — and the kid too! Win-Win!”
But nope, not everyone was like that. Some had unsolicited opinions about the region we decided to adopt from. Others couldn’t figure out why we’d even want to adopt when we were perfectly able to have a kid of our “own” naturally.
Whatever it is you’re trying to do — adopt a child, get married, get divorced, come out of the closet, start a business, dump a business, shave your head — there will always be someone who has something to say about it: You’re too old, too young, too skinny, too fat, too ugly, too single, too gay, too busy, too poor, too pink, too purple, too green.
There will be comments, and some of them won’t be nice. That’s just how it goes though. Big announcements and life-changing moves invite controversy. But you can be ready.
Before sharing your adoption news, have all of your ducks in a row. Do your research and know your sh*t, so when questions come up (and they will come up) you will be able to answer them logically and thoughtfully.
Make sure, though, not to confuse genuinely respectful questions with negative feedback. They are different. Questions are to be expected. Anything new is grounds for questions — and if someone has a fair question or an honest concern, don’t get defensive. Don’t dismiss it; consider it. Consider it HARD, because those people are trying to help.
The ones trying to help are your support. They will not only help build the foundation of your cheering section, they will also insulate you from the dream-crushing, Debbie Downer, bad energy beyotches. Because those people are out there too.
They’re just feeling threatened. Sometimes when people feel threatened, they respond in a negative way:
• Some will rain on your adoption news because it challenges their traditional view of how things “should be”. FAHGETABOUT IT. Let that go. That’s just ignorance, lack of education and exposure. They don’t know any better — but someday, because of you, hopefully they will let go of their adoption stereotypes.
• Some will rain on your adoption news because you’re making moves to improve your life, and they’re not doing sh*t with theirs. Sorry, yo. Everyone is in charge of their own happiness; you’re only responsible for your own. The ones who are genuinely rooting for you are the ones to concentrate on. HARD PASS on the anchors who aren’t.
• Some will rain on your adoption news because, quite simply, they suck. Anyone who sits around making negative, unproductive, hurtful comments is only doing so because they’re not happy with their own miserable lives. That’s not about you; that’s about them — so leave it with them. In no way will their bitterness help get you to where you need to be.
If you’re in a good, responsible place when you take your first steps toward adoption, you’ll find that most people will respond in a positive, congratulatory way. As with any life-changing event, there will be questions, and there will be comments. Some will be helpful, and some will be hurtful.
If you’re truly ready for this next, exciting chapter of your life, you need to take on both the positives and the negatives that go along with it. Concentrate on the people who support your adoption plan, ignore the ones who don’t. Before you know it, that seemingly incessant rain of negativity you feel will dry up, and you’ll be better able to see the rainbow in front of you.