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How do I compliment my friend who's adopting?

(12 Posts)
PurplePidjin Thu 20-Mar-14 17:53:20

A local mum I see at groups is adopting her dc who is a similar age to my ds. She's lovely, as is her dc, and the little ones get on well. We're likely to meet at the school gate etc as it's not that big a community, and I'd like to think the kids could be friends.

Trouble is, I'm worried I'm going to put my foot in it and inadvertently upset her. With the other mums I know, we compliment each other on baby weight lost, how's breastfeeding going (if relevant) etc which is obviously not the right topic of conversation in this instance. I've said that her bond with her dc is obviously very strong, and how well her dc is progressing generally. Is there anything I shouldn't say? Or stuff I can mention that will build her confidence? I have very very little experience of the whole thing, and it seems to be a very hard decision to make so I've got a lot of respect for her for choosing that path haven't met her oh!)

Please may I have some advice? Thank you thanks

LastingLight Thu 20-Mar-14 18:23:59

You sound like a lovely, caring friend and whatever you say to her will hopefully be received in the spirit that you meant it.

This thread should give you a good idea of what NOT to ask or say.

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Mar-14 18:29:46

Is she recently placed, and what age approx?

I just wanted to know I was doing OK, especially with my younger one who was 2.5.
Are any of these suitable (without sounding patronising)
- you look really confident doing xyz
- oh you handled that tantrum really well
- DC looks so happy and relaxed with you
- I'm impressed you got DC to come away without a fuss, mine wouldn't!
- DC has really grown he must feel settled

Also maybe give opportunity to sound friendly and open without too probing?
eg Do you find the SW visits a real pain?
Is DC sleeping well?
So give her an opportunity to share or ask questions if she wants to.

Don't say she looks like a 'real mum', or that her DC is 'lucky', or ask why the DC had to be adopted, and you'll be fine. smile

Italiangreyhound Thu 20-Mar-14 18:41:24

This might help....

www.parentdish.co.uk/mum/10-things-adoptive-parents-wish-their-friends-and-family-understood/

These two are about intercountry adoption in USA but some of the points are relevant too....

www.africatoamerica.org/2014/01/24/ten-things-not-to-say-to-adoptive-parents/

and

mom.me/parenting/2180-what-not-to-say-to-an-adoptive-parent/

Kveta Thu 20-Mar-14 19:09:03

This is a really useful post for me! One of my DC's school friends is adopted, and I speak to the friend's mum every day, and am really hoping I don't put my foot in it. It is difficult, because my instinct is to discuss parenting as if we all have the same experiences, and I am very careful not to say 'of course it's different for you' ever, but maybe I should?! I am surprised by how nosy everyone is to her though, it is so bloody rude! I know it's normal to be curious, but I am shocked by how loudly curious some folk are.

Anyway, my plan is just to keep offering cups of tea/play dates, and asking nothing I wouldn't want someone to ask me for now! Hope she isn't offended!

Italiangreyhound Thu 20-Mar-14 19:32:51

I am not yet a parent to a child by adoption but I would say be led by your friend kveta. You may find some experiences are the same and some are different. Enjoy the similarities etc but don't ask for explanations on the differences. If you friend wants to share she will but most likely she won't be able to say why things are a certain way.

Inthebeginning Thu 20-Mar-14 19:36:51

italian the first link is brilliant. I'm going to keep that.

MyFeetAreCold Thu 20-Mar-14 19:54:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustSumBloke Thu 20-Mar-14 22:42:32

The best way to be is normal! I would not mention the baby weight, breastfeeding, child birth stories as although as it just leaves some adopters feeling a little awkward. Try not to over analyse things too much and be as relaxed as possible. She is a mum, you are a mum, just leave it at that and the rest will followsmile

crazeekitty Thu 20-Mar-14 23:07:38

Great advice above. I always smart when people say "oh don't worry, all children do that", even when it.might be true, because their reasons for doing it are different.

You sound a super friend. Just be natural and if you do put your foot in it then apologise. It can happen the other way round, too. I put my foot in it regularly about giving birth and breast feeding and all that stuff and dd asked a mum if her dd was adopted too (she's not) because "Ethel is Brown and her mummy is white and her daddy is white"...she hadn't realised daddy wasn't birth daddy. Oops!

PurplePidjin Thu 20-Mar-14 23:13:38

My ds is 16 months, her dc is a bit younger. I don't want to give away too many details because she may well be on these boards and I'd hate her to think I was discussing her - I'm trying not to, just want a bit of guidance on how best I can act iyswim? Dc has been permanently placed for several months now and the process is very nearly concluded smile

Teen that's the kind of thing I'm doing <phew> and ARGH at people saying "real mum" - she IS the real mum, she clearly adores her dc and vice versa! She's shared the reasons dc was adopted, so I'm leaving any discussion of why she chose that route for her to volunteer iyswim. We have another friend who is open about IVF, I'm open about the fact that ds took us by surprise a couple of years earlier than planned, so it's up to her how much she reveals about her personal circumstances.

I'm just in from work so will read the links properly tomorrow, thank you.

MyFeet that is spectacular! What an advert to put in that particular place grin

Luckily we're a bit past the birth stories and breastfeeding hell part. I do try to treat her like everyone else (am a youth worker so quite good, at least when I'm paying attention) but occasionally my mouth runs away before my brain's had a chance to contribute and there's more chance of causing serious if accidental hurt with her than other parents. If that makes sense?

thanks

PS would it be insensitive to ask if they're planning a sibling? It's something that's starting to come up in general conversation...

PurplePidjin Thu 20-Mar-14 23:15:50

crazee ds is "brown" beige according to 6yo dn (I'm white, dp is black). You wouldn't believe the number of people who complimented his suntan last summer angryshock

Seriously, is it more likely that he's mixed race or that I let him lie around in the midday heat with no clothes or sunblock on?!

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