“Stop asking me if I have grandchildren!” I long to scream at the blissful grandparents I encounter regularly.
When they invariably go on to tell me what joy their grandkids bring them and fumble with their smart phones until they locate photos of their little darlings to thrust at me, I want to strangle them! Yes, I am at a point when it would be normal to be a grandmother as I have two wonderful grown sons, but why should my life suddenly become normal? Whose life is?
Not only my life, but my work in adoption and assisted reproduction, have taught me that pride and prying about family can be painful.
Those struggling with infertility may smile as they are asked, “When are you going to have children?” But underneath their wistful smile is longing and hurt.
The last comment hopeful parents need to hear as they face the challenges of pursuing adoption is, “Don’t you want to have kids?” Where do they begin to tell the saga of their arduous road to parenthood?
A gay friend recently told me that she had to come up with this conversation-stopping response to the constant inquiries about whether she and her wife thought about having a baby: “You certainly are correct that we’d have to be very intentional about getting pregnant, wouldn’t we?”
Before making an insensitive query about family, think of me sitting on your shoulder shouting, “Stop asking me if I have grandchildren!”