I still struggle with adoption friendly language. Someone told my mother while baby girl was still in the hospital "at least she isn't one of those crack babies- those are the worst!" I felt horrible because people have said ignorant things to me but nothing like that and that is the first someone besides me has been hurt by the ignorance of others. Its hard because those of us in the adoption world know more about substance abuse affects then most people and realize that no "crack babies" are not "the worst" and all babies need love and a nurturing environment no matter their start. It is not an easy check list to complete but I know that both DH and I learned a great deal about disabilities and substance abuse issues that we never would have known had we never ventured down this path.
One of DH's coworkers use the "real parents" dager as did some of the nurses at the hospital. It hurts.
So when my sister visited I was venting a little and she told me "we are not having this argument again." She continued to inform me that if I was always caught up in semantics then I'd never be happy. I just needed to let it go. Its hard for me because she is good about using the right language but she some how feels that my feelings shouldn't be hurt when someone is relieved my baby is not a "crack baby" or that the "real parents" decided to "give up" their baby. It hurts when people tell baby girl how fortunate she was "saved" by us. It hurts that my own sister cannot see that by allowing the "semantics" to continue we are perpetuating the myths that many adoptive babies are "crack babies" whos "real parents" didn't want them. It hurts me and it hurts baby girl. I tried to explain to her that when a woman gives birth to a healthy baby no one would dare say "at least its not one of those Down Syndrom babies!" She was horrified that I'd make such an argument and refused to discuss it anymore. I guess she isn't someone I can talk to.
On a bright note my mother-in-law has floored me as to how excited and excepting she is of baby girl. She shared our story at the retirement home she works at. I asked her (in light of my mothers encounter) if anyone has provided her with negative/rude feedback. She shared with me that she has not experienced it but seemed thankful for the heads up for what might happen. She shared that two of her residents came up after the meeting she shared at to tell her they were adoptive parents. They shared their wisdom much of which was in my adoptive friendly language letter I sent out in November. Their take home message was this is not your adopted grandchild- this is YOUR grandchild. I think it was good for her to get it from someone other then me.