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Dear Dr. Yael,

Wow! Your recent column brings back so many memories. Some not so kind, and many amazing! I too used to get the question asked at many simchot, “How many children do u have ?” Which I always answered, “none.” This was ALWAYS followed with the question, “How many years are you married?” At the time, I was married five years, so then this conversation was followed with the look!

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All who have gone through this know the look. My mom then told me to lie about the years of my marriage and say two years, so that maybe their faces would not give you that look of “Oy, so sad.”

I was blessed to have found my husband at a young age. We never thought we would not have kids the way you are taught in school and in kallah class. My husband and I just loved children. I always babysat when I was single and had the need to hold every baby in sight. My husband loved his nieces and always yearned for children of his own. It was years later when we started going through adoption. This was before it was popular with Hollywood actresses.

Oy, the comments that were said were terrible:

‘Just remember she’s not really you!’

‘Your kids are adopted, so they will end up in a life of crime.’

‘A principle of a frum yeshiva said, ‘They can’t be taught because they are not Jewish’ (not biologically but kosher and Jewish the correct way).

So I get it!

The only thing I never got was the shidduch question (that’s a new stupid one).

But I was wished mazal tov from all of our true friends who came to celebrate in our simchot. Our families also wished us well.

We got even more comments when we went and adopted again!

I want you to know I’m a blessed mommy! (I hope you don’t mind sharing that quote with me.)

At my age (ok ­ in my 50’s ) I’m proud to say I have two beautiful children. One which I got to marry off and got to walk down the aisle with during Covid-time.

All I can say is, Thank you HASHEM!!!!!

Another mommy who feels blessed

 

Dear Mommy Who Feels Blessed:

First of all, mazel tov on marrying off a child! We applaud you for writing this important letter. When one adopts a child, they fulfill their dream of adding a child to their family and raising a child. You can learn about yourself from helping your child to learn as they grow.

Steve Jobs was a well-known person who was adopted. When he was made fun of once for being adopted, he tells people that when he came home crying to his parents, they made him feel very secure by looking at him in a loving manner and telling him that they chose him, and they love him. This built in him a sense of security which enabled him to accomplish a lot in this world.

Encouragement and praise are key issues to successfully raising your child. Unfortunately, “according to a research study conducted at the University of Iowa the average two-year-old hears 432 negative statements per day but only 32 positive statements a day.”

By being more positive with your child in your home, you will create an empowering atmosphere which will help you to raise a confident child.

By adopting children, you gave your children a life of opportunity. In fact, 79% of adoptive homes have achieved higher education which enables them to offer better education to their adopted children. They also have better chances of being brought up in financially stable homes. Although many people say hurtful and inappropriate things, you seem to have risen above these hurtful comments in order to raise a beautiful family. I’m sure this took tremendous strength. I hope that we, as a community, have come further in our ability to be open-minded. I know that there are people who still say hurtful things when families decide to adopt, but the truth is these people are just ignorant because they don’t understand what a beautiful thing these parents are doing for these children. Additionally, it is no one’s business how you choose to raise your family. Kudos to you for rising above and doing what you felt was right for you, your husband, and your family.

I appreciate your letter and hope that your cheerful outlook and appreciation to Hashem will help other people in your situation consider adoption. Hatzlacha in your journey through life.

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.