June 6th, 2007
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/katietegtmeyer/471513151/

Lately I have encountered a few situations that could have been made infinitely better if only I had practiced some discretion. I too often say too much, offer unasked for information and find myself in a conversation that I never really wanted to be in in the first place.

The most common question that I get asked about adoption is in reference to the cost. ‘Was it really expensive?’ or ‘It costs a lot, right?’ are the two main ones. Instead of going into why adoptions cost money and how the money is spent, I should learn to simply answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If the questioning party is truly interested in adoption, the ball would now be in their court to return with another question.

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When asked about Ella’s history, I respond that we are keeping her story private and it will be hers’ to tell if she chooses to do so. Well…I wish that was how I worded it. That’s the gist of what I say, but it comes out in a string of sentences about why we chose to keep this private and why it’s important to do so, when it would have been clearer to just keep my response short and simple.

Every time a conversation arises and I divulge too much information, I vow to do better next time. I haven’t fully mastered the skill of restraint, but I have to hope that with my awareness and resolve I will become better at it. It would be wonderfully satisfying to walk away from a conversation with a stranger knowing that I was in control and only offered the information I was comfortable with (without feeling the need to fully explain every answer I gave.) I will try to remind myself to counter a question with ‘Why do you ask?’ or a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and gracefully take the focus and pressure off of myself and my family. If any readers have mastered this skill (or are trying, like me) please share any of your tips and hints that will surely help so many of us.

Related Links:
How To Keep Your Child’s Story Private
How Much Did She Cost?

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5 Responses to “Saying Too Much”

  1. emory77 says:

    someone told me one time to act as if I were a celebrity. When someone asks an invasive question, assume it’s for the tabloids and base your answer around that. Be your own publicist for your family…

    I also tend to overthink and overanswer questions. I try to save the world while talking to Aunt Sue, when Aunt Sue really was just asking to make conversation (or being nosey.)

    ;) have a good one!

  2. Kathyf says:

    Hi Rebecca – just wanted to say that even though I may not comment on every entry, I do read faithfully and appreciate your hard work! Hope you are well.

  3. Rebecca says:

    emory, that’s such a good way to think about it! Thanks for sharing :)

    And Kathy!!! Any word yet on a travel date? We absolutely have to get our kids together once you’re home-it’s amazing that they have the same birthday :) Thanks for posting and reading!!!

  4. littlerivermom says:

    My husband and I are adopting two little girls from Vietnam and we have learned so much from so many different sources. It is like starting a completely different life before the girls are even here.
    I have a question. We have bought a few things for them but not much in the clothing department because we don’t want to get something that they will never get to wear; do you have any suggestions on what to and what not to buy before getting our daughters?
    Thanks!!!!!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Littlerivermom-excellent question! I’m going to designate a whole post about this and hope to have it up tomorrow. Thanks for posting!
    Take care,
    Rebecca

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