"Nothing, until you asked me that" is what I wanted to reply.
I have been scouring the internet for adoption blogs and helpful websites, so I know that I am not the first to be asked this hurtful question, nor will I be the last. I know that adoptive families everywhere are asked this question everyday, and deal with it with grace. I have read their answers, and I have read how to explain to people who simply do not understand. So I was surprised that this question stung as much as it did. I was even more surprised that I fumbled for an answer. That I mumbled something unintelligible, and excused myself quickly.
I wish I could go back and change my mumble. I wish I could stop thinking of the right thing to say hours later as I'm laying in bed.
I think what hurt the most is that the question implies that there is something wrong with adoption. There is something wrong with Jonathan and me for choosing this path.
Let me be clear on this from the start: Jonathan and I want to adopt. Did we have plans and ideas for bio-children (I still think of robots when I read/write this word)? Not exactly. I did, Jonathan wasn't so sure. But one thing was clear from the very beginning of our relationship: We have always wanted to adopt. When I was eleven years old I read Anne of Green Gables and decided right alongside Matthew and Marilla that adoption was for me. I can remember talking to my very first boyfriend in high school about wanting to adopt some day. I can remember having the "what we want in our futures" talk with Jonathan and feeling so excited that adoption was something that he wanted in life as well. We chose this. We want this. This is not a Plan B.
Think about what you're asking a woman when you ask her what's wrong with her? Why isn't she having her "own" child? I am having my own child. When I bring that baby (or infant, or child) home, I will love her, advocate for her, discipline her, praise her, nurture her, hug and kiss her, take her to the zoo/park/school/etc, and a thousand other things that every mother does for her child. I will be just as proud as my child graduates kindergarten, middle school, high school and college. Jon will walk our daughter down the aisle, if we get a girl, on her wedding day or teach him how to treat a lady on his first date if we have a son. I strongly believe (as cheesy as it is) that love makes a family, not biology.
I am grateful that the shame of adoption isn't as prevalent as it once was. I am thankful that there are such things as open adoptions. And I am happy to answer any questions to anybody about why Jonathan and I are choosing this path. But if you are going to ask me questions, please keep in mind that you are asking me about my child. That negative connotations and thoughts and feelings are hurtful. Please remember that Jonathan and I are so excited about this. That we are going to love the crap out of our little one. And that although it may not be a path that you would choose, it is one that we are proud of. Please ask me questions if you have them. I could go on and on about this process to anybody who will listen, believe me!
So in response to you, oh well meaning friend of mine, nothing. Nothing is wrong with me. Other than the fact that my baby isn't home yet, and I'm anxious to meet her ... or him. But hopefully her, since Jonathan and I cannot agree on a boy name :)