Did you know that November is Adoption Awareness month? Adoption surrounds us in our culture and often we don't even realize it. This is one reason why being educated and aware of adoption and adoption issues is beneficial to everyone...regardless of your personal connection to adoption. Here is an example I experienced a couple of weeks ago while at work...
I was working my seasonal job and was helping a guest find a certain item she wanted to purchase. In the midst of this, her family came around her. Her husband was carrying a young toddler boy on his shoulders. He was one of those super adorable little kids. I just couldn't NOT say something. So I looked at the dad and told him, "he is SO cute!" The dad's response was, "he's adopted." My first thought was to share how I, too, am an adoptive parent. Thankfully I didn't since in that split second, the dad began to laugh. The mom quickly stepped up to defend that the little boy was her son born to her and not adopted. The dad thought it was a funny joke to say their son was adopted. I was so glad that I had not opened up! I have to say that if I were not representing a company as an employee at that moment, I probably would've confronted this man. I decided to let it go in the moment.
This interaction got me to thinking though. Why is it that our culture often sees adoption as a joke? Think about it. How many movies talk about adoption as a joke? How many times have your heard someone who is joking about not fitting into a family as possibly adopted (when they are indeed biologically connected)? Adoption is a private issue that most people choose not to broadcast at all times. This means that you and I can be interacting with others personally connected to adoption without knowing it. I am not saying you have to tiptoe around the topic, but be educated and respectful. You never know how it is affecting the listener.
I am so thankful that my son was not there at work with me that night. I think he would've proudly admitted to being adopted (which is great!). He would not, however, have understood why that man would be joking about the beautiful way his family was made.
Those are my two cents, for what it's worth!