The last two weeks I’ve posted blogs (Why Not Just Adopt and Adoption is Not the Same as Having a Child of Your Own) in response to statements made in the comment section of a New York Times essay on the grief experienced by many infertile women on Mother’s Day ( A Non-Mother’s Day ). In both blogs, I took exception to the sentiments expressed, but also to the word choice of some of the comments. The funny thing is that I’m the least likely candidate for being the word police. (And yes, for the record, I do recognize the hypocrisy in that statement after readily assuming that role for the last two weeks.)
As a general rule, I hate the hyper-focus on using just the right words. As Lisa pointed out in the discussion we had on the Creating a Family Facebook group about the blog Why Not Just Adopt, we are all guilty at times of offending someone inadvertently. Sometimes we simply don’t know the correct words to use, and other times we speak or type without thinking of the impact of our words. I know this better than most since I am on the air every week, often talking about sensitive subjects. We have consciously decided to not avoid topics that we think will help someone for fear of offending others or for fear that I’ll put my foot in my mouth. I do my best, but I’ve make mistakes. We all have. Most times people don’t mean to hurt. But words matter, and words often reflect deeply held beliefs or misconceptions.