You can’t always get what you want….but can you get what you need?

Last week I attended an open house and a friend of mine, a fellow adoptee who is expecting her first child, and I were talking with a group of women about becoming new parents. A well-meaning woman told my friend, "Don't worry…every child is born to the parents they need. Children pick their parents."

I know she meant to be reassuring, but as my friend and I looked at each other silently, I felt ouch!

What does that say about all the children who are born to parents who are forced to abandon or relinquish them? That we picked those parents because we wanted needed to be abandoned or relinquished?

What does that say about all the children who are born to parents who
abuse and neglect them? Did that child choose those parents? Because
they needed to be abused or neglected?

That statement also negates adoptive parenting.

I really wish people wouldn't use destiny and fate as ways to describe families.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

11 thoughts

  1. Ah yes, another favorite was after I had miscarried, each time, someone would inevitably say that it was God’s way or nature’s way of “weeding out the imperfect”. Say what??? It was always said as if I had a huge favor bestowed…

  2. I used to be one of those parents, until I adopted an older child whose parents had both died tragically. Fate was inappropriate as an explanation and I had to stick with the facts. Lesson learned.

  3. I just hate those kinds of statements.
    One of my daughters came to me as an infant and still is too young to understand that she was adopted. The other came to me a few months ago at 7 years of age. She remembers being relinquished and left at the orphanage. She is working hard to process all that she has been through over the last two years. Neither she nor her birth family deserves the tremendous loss they have suffered.

  4. Oh, Be Jeez, this kind of crap has been around forever in the special needs world (there is a “famous” poem that circulates round and round like a cockroach that denies evolution) AND can put a person over the edge. People just need to stop this destiny nonsense and realize shit.happens… sometimes… more often than not.
    Can I get an amen? Okay, whatever,swim with that cockroach.

  5. Had a similar encounter with someone who believes in karma a while ago. Encounter was online, so I had to pull my own hair out, instead of hers.

  6. This perspective seems to me to be based in the view that anything in life that happens is part of “god’s will.” If it’s a terrible, horrible tragedy, then it’s still god’s will – but it’s part of a “mystery” that is too great for people to understand. People with this (to me, pendantic) veiwpoint often also feel that if something good happens to them, it was because god was “looking out for them” in particular. But the flip side of this suggests that if something bad happens to someone, god was not looking out for them, and that some people are deserving but others are not.

  7. Interesting to me. I have an adoptee friend who believes that very thing. SHE chose to be adopted before she was even born. It was her doing. (She has her Masters in Spiritual Psychology and somehow that influenced her thinking.)

  8. I was told by a very “spiritual” person that “my daughter chose to be abandoned, and chose us as her parents…. She wanted to be with us!!!’… My daughter came to our family when she was 2 months old….

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