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Monday, October 12, 2009

Comments

I've had a number of interesting comments and inquiries from people over the years. Now, I generally don't get offended by people's remarks. I think they are usually completely innocent and come from genuine curiosity. It would just be nice if people could naturally know that some of these questions should be asked in private, not right in front of our kids...we have made a commitment that we don't talk about the kids' histories with anyone, including family. Their stories are their stories to tell, so the dirty details remain between us and them. And usually, that's what I tell people when they ask about specifics of the kids' pasts.

When walking around with the boys at this age:

"Awww! Are they twins?" (Um, I know they look a lot alike, but....)

"Are they quadruplets??" (Seriously!)

"Why don't you just have your own kids?"

or, in another instance, sympathetically said, "Oh, you couldn't get pregnant?"

"He (referring to J-Man) would be better off in foster care than in a white family" Yup.

"How many more kids are you going to take?!"

"Why doesn't someone just sterilize those kids' mom??" (I can understand this question given birth mom's history, but still--not a great question to ask in front of the kids!)

"He's probably acting that way because of his past."

"Is he/she a drug baby?" or, "Was he a crack baby?" or, "Was his mom on crack?" or, "Did their mom do drugs and alcohol?"

"Why did the kids get taken away?" (which, by the way, I think is a valid question, I just don't really want to share that with people.)

"There can be a lot of problems that manifest themselves when he gets older."

"There's nothing you can do--genetics play too big a role."

I really am ok with inquiring minds. As a matter of fact, before we adopted, I was probably a lot more likely to ask some of these questions to people. I enjoy talking about adoption and our kids. But I don't enjoy people assuming things about our kids just because they've come from foster care.

So, for those of you out there who have adopted, what has been one (or more) of the most outlandish questions you've received?

Everyone else, what do you think?



11 comments:

:)De said...

Oh my goodness it would take hours to list the outlandish questions, but I have to say the 1 that has stuck with me most came from a lady at church who said in front of my children, "I don't know why they keep giving you (emphasis on you) these perfectly good white kids!" I usually have a very quick wit and sometimes too quick of a tongue, but I have to say, it took me a full 5 seconds or so to think of a come-back. Of course, I could not say it because it was not nice. I do love the "Awww! Are they twins?" question cause I would with a straight face say, "Yes they are!" LOL!

Lee said...

I haven't had really outlandish questions. I have had people at my office look at my kids pictures on my desk and tell me that my eldest (adopted from India) looks just like me (I am caucasian) and that my youngest son has my eyes and my daughter has my smile. I know we have similar gestures and mannerisms that we have all picked up from being a family, but none of my kids are biological.

obladi oblada said...

Good grief..."he would be better off in Foster care"...that just kills me. The twins and quad comments made me laugh out loud.

I have heard some of those questions and comments, in particularly "why dont you have your own kids".

Someone asked me once: "Are they normal?"

Rachael said...

I get the "are they twins?" question all the time with Jack and Katya - since they are in the same grade. Then, I get sort of forced to explain that she's adopted from Russia, so she started a little later. (The alternative is for people just to assume she was held back and that she's not smart, since she's a year older.) But sometimes I am tempted to just say, "uh-huh"

But, yours? How funny! I would definitely say "yes!" and try to keep a straight face.

Annie said...

"Aren't you afraid?" From the lady at the Christian bookstore, of all places. I had no clue what she meant as we were "in process" at the moment.
"No; I'm pretty confident the adoption will come through."
"I mean aren't you afraid to have him in your home?"
"What!!!????"
"I mean....genetic illness, things like that."
"Uh....no; actually Sergei has been with us for a couple of weeks in a hosting program, so we know him. He's a happy healthy little boy."
"But some of these genetic things are dormant. He might murder you in your sleep or something some day."

Can you guess I've never gone back there?

At least that was a lot more interesting than the more typical - "Oh, you're a saint." Hardly.

J. said...

oh yeah, we have some good ones, not as good as yours though. I usually get looks or comments about there age and my age and how could I be there Mom... I am 32, they are 8 and 9, but I look like I am in my early 20's,I kinda of enjoy making off hand comments to throw strangers off. It amuses me.

Shanti said...

Funny you all should mention responding that they WERE twins--cuz that's what I did! I did do it with a straight face, and she believed me, but I told her I was kidding in the end. =)
Ummmm, Annie, I can't BELIEVE your conversation with that woman! Holy cow! What the heck are people thinking sometimes??

newsprincess74 said...

Hi Shanti,
Love your blog! Rose told me about you. We are in the midst of the homestudy process. My husband and I are going the foster to adopt route.
We have three bio children. Our youngest (a toddler) has crazy curly blonde hair. Neither my husband or myself has this hair. (It comes from hubby's mother.) Anyway...I amazed at how many people will ask me ...when we are out and about, "Where'd he get those curls?!" They seemed stunned...because his hair doesn't resemble ours. I told my husband...one of these days...I'm going to tell someone I had an affair with an Amish man. Just to see their reaction.(He really does look like he'd blend in the Amish community.) But that would be wrong.. untrue...yet still quite funny.
I do feel that the Lord...has been preparing me through my youngest's crazy curls...for tougher questions to come. Especially if He gives us a child with a different skin tone than ours.
I don't want to come out and say in front of my kid..."He/She is adopted." I'm thinking of just saying..."Oh he/she...gets that from his/her Father." Meaning Father in heaven.
What do you think?

Shanti said...

Hi, newsprincess! Welcome to my blog!
I know what you mean about not wanting to always announce to the world that your child is adopted. People ask me all the time, "Are they ALLLLLL yours???" I used to explain that one was biological, one was adopted, etc., but that was before I realized YES, they ARE all mine (ours!)
So now if someone specifically asks if they're adopted, I'll usually indulge them. Or if the kids aren't around, I'm more willing to talk about it.
I think adoption is a wonderful thing, and we try to encourage our kids to be proud of it, so we all talk about it openly.
I have said before when someone asked about a physical characteristic of one of our kids, "That's the way God made her/him!" So far no one has continued to question once I say that. =)
Anyhoo, congrats on starting the process--are you going through an agency?

newsprincess74 said...

Hi Shanti,
Love the "That's the way God made her/him!" Great thing to say.
Being raised by my mom and non-bio father... I remember what it felt like to not be the natural kid. Not by my new dad, but by his family members at family reunions. His side made a big stink about Dad's bio son, but even at the age of five...I could feel that his family really didn't accept me as his.
I love my Dad, he took over after my natural father died. But I do remember that not so accepted feeling from his extended family. I know I won't be able to shield our adopted child from that feeling...but I sure would like to try. : )
We are going through a faith based foster to adopt service. Probably won't be certified for a couple more months.

Shanti said...

I'm sorry to hear about your feelings as a bit of an outcast on your dad's side. =(
We went through Family Connections Christian Adoptions--have you heard of them? I'm excited for your certification to be done (as I'm sure you are)!

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