Monday, September 08, 2008

A lesson in NOT BEING STUPID


Any of you all that know us know that we are an adoptive family...and for those that don't just look at our pic.  It will be obvious.  We are different sizes and shapes and colors.  That's why we call ourselves the "motley crew".  I know, pretty funny.

Here's the deal...a few things that I don't need strangers to say to me, or tell me:

1.  I know that I'm white and my #3 daughter is brown.  I live with her.  Your revelation is not mine.
 
2.  Yes...some of my kids don't look like me. 

3.  My kids have ears and are old enough to understand the stupid things you say.  So don't say "where's she from?"  I might have to kill you if you do.  Consider yourself warned.

4.  Just because an AA kid is adopted, doesn't mean they are from Africa.  Look around...here in the US we have AA people too.

5.  Don't ask me which of my kids are my REAL ones.  Clue...we are all real and so are you...REAL DUMB. (sorry...it hurts my feelings)

6.  Please don't ask us or the kids if they see their real parents.  I am my kids Mom.  My kids will look at you like you are stupid because, well, I am standing right there. (birth mom is the correct term).  If their birth mom was "REAL" that would make me "FAKE".

7.  I don't ask you where you had sex or what process you did to get pregnant with your kids, so please don't ask specifics about mine.  If you want to know more about adoption, ask specifics about adoption, not about why they were adopted or placed for adoption.  That way, I can sit down and talk without my kids and address them. 

8.  Being an adoptive Mom does not make me a hero.  I'm a Mom who wanted kids and chose adoption.  I appreciate (I'm very serious here) that you think that, but it makes my biological kids feel not as important.  

Okay...so that's a few things.  On another note, being an adoptive Mom has opened so many doors for me to talk with people I would have never met.  I love to educate people about adoption, so please don't misunderstand that, but I sometimes feel like a walking billboard.

I love my kids.  All my kids.  And, I want you to ask questions about adoption. Just please, don't ask me a question that you wouldn't want me to ask you or your child.  So, on that note, there are a few great links for etiquette.

Adoption is so awesome...I can't say that enough.  It's the best gift that you will ever receive from God.  It is a true picture of God's love and grace.  If you are considering adoption, you can take a look for information at adoption sites, some private adoption places, and as always, ask me questions.  Just not in front of my kids. (end my rant here)

Adoption is totally God's idea, so remember the words of Paul in Ephesians 1:4-6:

"5God was kind and decided that Christ would choose us to be God's own adopted children. 6God was very kind to us because of the Son he dearly loves, and so we should praise God."

93 comments:

Kel said...

Thats awesome. I was adopted when I was about a year old, but had interaction with my bio-mother for a bit while growing up. There were extenuating circumstances and we lost touch, but now we speak. Even to this day, she is not my mother, my friend, but my mother-my father-my family, are the people who raised and loved me all those years.

Adoption does not make one real or fake..I agree with you 100% and personally do not like to refer to it like that either. I think it takes a special person to do that, and I think your children (all of them) are very blessed to have wonderful, caring parents like you and your hub.

Great Post!!
~K

Jen said...

Sometimes people just don't think before they opened their mouths. THis was a great post. Nice work. I love that tee-shirt. Do you own one?

On The Verge said...

It is sad you even have to post this but, I can only imagine. People can say some of the dumbest and painful things.

You are a wonderful Mom to ALL of your children.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

That shirt cracked me up! I can't believe that people are so insensitive that they would say/ask things like that. I mean I believe it, but it's shocking! I guess I was just raised better than that. Very well-worded rant!

Elizabeth said...

Great post...people do say the dumbest things, don't they. I second the comments of others that you are a wonderful Mom to all of your children.

What A Card said...

Nicely said! People can be so clueless. With twins, I get a lot of inappropriate comments as well from strangers fishing for information about my reproductive health.

Yay to you and your family...I'm glad you've all been able to come together, however you all ended up there!

Karen said...

My favorite is when I shop with my two youngest daughters and some one will say that the Wild Child looks just like me and then gush about how beautiful she is. I of course say thank you. Then they have the audacity to look at the Little Jamaican and say, "She must look like Daddy." I'm a snot, so I say something like, "I don't know..........She might."

Great post. You know I share your battle on this front.

Hairline Fracture said...

I just had this same conversation with an adoptive mom. She has two two-year-olds (God love her). One is her biological child; the other is obviously adopted. When she told me the things people say with her children listening (just like the things you mentioned here), my mouth fell open. I would NEVER ask such personal questions, nor would it occur to me to ask about their "real mom." Hey, in my book the REAL mom is the one who does the mothering. Period. I think the only thing I'd say is how beautiful the children are, as I do to any other parent.

Great post!

Karol said...

Some people just have diareha(sorry can't spell) of the mouth. You have such a beautiful family, I pray the stupidity stays away!!

Kelley said...

Much like your comment on my blog (re: the moron Trumpit commenter), all I can think to say is, "DUH". It is amazing how much ignorance there is in the world.

Thanks for stopping by my little place. I've enjoyed your site and will be back.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

BRAVO!!!!!!!! Great job and fabulous post. I'm telling you, people can be just down-right dumb. I haven't adopted, but we had a decade of fertility issues and it took us that long to get prego. I cannot believe the amount of questions and comments as to why we weren't getting pregnant. I had to just hold my breath and walk away most of the time. PEOPLE!

~melody~

Kimberlie ~ Everyday Mom said...

What a wonderful post and blog...
I think about adopting everyday, my heart keeps telling me to. I just need to get all of my ducks in a row first.

You have a beautiful family.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I have enjoyed your blog and can't wait to read more.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

Hello again! :-)

I say, get the slippers and then make your friends jealous that your floors are so clean! lol I didn't get the slippers last Friday, but I've been thinking about it alllll weekend! lol I have travertine floors on the entire 1500 sq ft downstairs. I'm thinking that in the winter I will have WARM feet and clean floors with the slippers! haha

~melody~

Michelle said...

I can't believe some of the ignorant things people say, or feel comfortable asking! Sheesh!

Thanks for your comment! Can I ask about your daughter's ADHD? Was it hard to get her dx? I read they don't usually like to dx that before age 6, sometimes I wonder if Kayla has ADHD. It's hard to tell if it is that, or part of having Ds, or just her personality LOL

angie said...

Absolutely perfect. Some people are clueless, and some of us need to read how clueless others are to make sure we don't do the same thing. :) You amaze me.

Aubrey said...

Amen!

My most favorite Aunt in the whole world and her husband adopted 11 years ago. 6 years later, they were blessed again with a second child they conceived. There is no difference. None. At. All.

Some people are so ignorant.

Bless you! Your family is amazing!

Shanan said...

Your blog makes me laugh! You are a funny writer and very entertaining. Some people just don't think before they speak. My husband always says, "Think fast, speak slow!"

I love your blog awards! Would you mind to tell me how you send an award to another blogger? That may sound silly, but I just can't figure it out!

Thanks a million!
Shanan Fowler

Amy said...

I loved this post! My nephew is adopted. Our whole family get those questions. I don't understand what people are thinking sometimes with their hurtful questions. Adopting a child is just as much a miracle as giving birth.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Careful Wisher said...

So well said. We are in the process of international adoption and I love the advice. Where did you get the T? Must have one! God Bless, Melissa

Donna said...

You have a beautiful family!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

I really enjoyed this post!
We were all set to adopt in China in 2005 and then I tahnkfully was able to hang on to a pregnancy (after 3 miscarries). WE (hubbie and I) were all set to have a new little girl, just that a new little girl. We didn't care the race or the color, just that we were able to have another child that would be ours. hubbie's parents were HORRIBLE through the process - just horrid and really left us with a dilemna of whether or not to continue the adoption as well as having another baby of our own. We choose not to adopt in China due to the difficulties his parents gave us. Really sad.
All I can say is that some people are really ignorant!

The Nice One said...

My brother was born in a different (central american) country, which is always how I phrase it. People go, "Huh?", and I say, "oh yea, he's adopted" because it's secondary to him just being my brother. While our skin may be a different color, I swear we have the same blood. It just isn't any thicker between us. I am so thankful to my parents for going through the trouble to get me a brother.
My mom was always so irritated when people saw her as a saint for adopting him. "Rescuing" him from that godforsaken place. Truth is, he rescued us from loneliness.

Abby said...

Oh where did you get that tee I need that!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and yes I am definitely what you would call the adoption type ;). I too have a brown daughter as she likes to call herself. I sometimes get those weird comments or the stares. I often think people must think I had an affair and my hubby is just so kind to take my love child in as our own WHATEVER! It does help living in Washington state people around here seem to be a bit more liberal thinkers and accepting of nontraditional families.

I think your family is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and if you ever want to compare notes let me know ;)

Octamom said...

Love, love, love this post--three of my very best friends are adopted--and I know they often have had to field some of the questions and comments you so eloquently post here--

Okay, and the t-shirt pic? Fab!
Blessings!

Kos and Kerry said...

Wow, I have really teared up over here! I could feel your love AND frustration in your writing. I am sorry you even had to feel this way. I know people are curious ( I have 8 kids total...His,mine ours and someone elses!!!...long story) But I only gave birth to 3) But people should be more mature. I love reading your stories and I am praying for a speedier (is that a word???) adoption for #3. She is precious! And thank you for your kind words about Kerry and Kos...I am pulling for them too!!!!!

WheresMyAngels said...

What your not a HERO? Cause you know I am, cause I have kids with down syndrome!! lol Yes, I get the Hero one alot too. I also get the "Are they adopted", but that doesn't bother me, cause if I was someone else I would of thought they were adopted since they look nothing alike.

I love that TShirt.

Thanks for the education.

Penelope said...

I love this post! My mother has had similar experiences. Neither I, nor any of my siblings are adopted, but we are all half-Tongan (dad's genes) and half-Caucasian (mom's genes).

When my mom would take us places when we were younger, people would walk up to her and say things like: "Your children are cute; what country did you adopt them from? Do you have any real children?"

I can understand the fact that we might have looked like we weren't my mother's natural-born children, but even if we were adopted, there are still better ways to phrase a question like that.

Anyhow, thanks for the great post!

* TONYA * said...

Why are some people just so clueless ... and thoughtless. I haven't adopted (so a big kudos to you, you're an amazing mum) and yet I have the most stupid thing said to me.

My 12 year old is half fijian and the other half is 'me' so it's amazing how many people think he's not my child b/c the rest of us are pasty white and then right in front of him will tell me how lucky I am to have twins and now I have all the babies I should need WHAT?!?. The look on their faces when I point out that Jay is my son too is priceless.

Mama's Losin' It said...

GOod for you! A little girl in my home daycare was adopted from China by her white parents and I am stunned at some of the hurtful/thoughtless things people say to them.

I just don't think people think. Big problem.

randalswife said...

Good to know... I hope I'm not insensitive enough to have ever asked any of these questions though. I love seeing how much you love your family!

Leah said...

Thanks for this. I come from a blended family and being young I hated when people asked who's kids belong to who. My (wise)mom would just say "All seven belong to both" We never used "step" in our family. It is a family, that's all why do people try to divide it up?

Anyways, thanks.

(yeah for being the FB)

Dee from Downunder said...

Hi, coming over from SITs, my 2 neices are adopted, and I often forget that they are, they are great kids, who love my girls very much. Good rant.

jori-o said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I'd like to think that I wouldn't be so oblivious and stupid as to ask some of the questions you mentioned, but I'm not gonna lie--I have been known to say things that I regretted. Immediately. So, truly, thanks!

April said...

What an awesome post~very well stated!

Laurel said...

Aw man I hope I am never that person missing the sensitivity chip though I bet I've done it unknowingly. Great post - you go girl! Love the T shirt.

Karen said...

Now if only we could paste this on the sides of buses and get the word out...I am there with you on #3 and #7. My adopted daughter doesn't even look different from me, but when people hear she's adopted they ask "where's she from?" assuming I'll say Russia, I suppose. I need a snappy comeback for when she's older. Now I just say "here!" And it shocks me when people ask "so, why'd you decide to adopt?" Do they really want to hear about my endometriosis? I can't understand why people ask that.

Mandy said...

Well said! My parents adopted my brother when he was born and conceived me that very same month after years of infertility. My parents never hid the adoption from us, but made it VERY clear that we were family. PERIOD.
I know it must be hard to sift through what people say.

BTW...I am LOVING the Christmas Vacation song!!

HeatherY said...

I don't get people sometimes! For some reason people are huge idiots when it comes to other people's personal business especially when it comes to children. We struggled with infertility and dealt with a long of insensitive remarks! Ridiculous.

Happy SITS day! (love the Christmas music)

Creative Junkie said...

I love how you tell it like it is! I amazes me the things that come out of peoples' mouths - what are they thinking?

Kimmie0270 said...

Stupid people annoy me. A very well said post!

Columbia Lily said...

well said.

Cammie said...

AMEN!!!

Melodie said...

People can be really stupid. My two oldest daughters are from my first marriage, and while they share the same biological parents, they look nothing alike. I once had a doctor ask me, in front of my girls, if they had the same father. When I answered, "Yes," he then asked me if I was the mother of both.

Whitney said...

A good post! Ignore the ignorant, it's the best way. I always get confused by the "real children" comment too.

jsprik said...

way to get 'em straightened out!!! i was adopted at the age of ten. me and my twin sister actually. for me, it wasn't a great thing, but i have a lot of admiration for people who sacrifice and open their lives to make someone sles better and DO IT RIGHT!! parenting is the most difficult but also the most rewarding job there is, and you are doing a great job at it!!!

Brandy said...

Way to set 'em straight!

Ronnica said...

I think adoption is a wonderful picture of what God has done for us!

KC Mom said...

Thanks for being so honest. My friend has adopted and she gets many of those questions. Adoption is a wonderful thing and part of our Father's plan, I believe.

Vickie said...

Great post!! I wish we all stop to think before we put our foot in our mouth.

I have had many dumb things said to me, regarding my almost lost of my first child, my secondary infertlity, my miscarriage and my getting pregnant before marriage.

My experiences have taught me to shut my mouth!

Oh2122 said...

I have to disagree.

I think you are a hero.

My late MIL was adopted, all the way back in the 40's when it was rare to be so. She alwasy said she was grateful to her bio mother for providing her with a life she never could have had otherwise, and to her adoptive parents for choosing her.

I'm sorry you have to deal with such idiots. I don't know what has become of us that we feel it's ok to ask perfect strangers things we would be offended to be asked ourselves.

ElleBee said...

This is a great post! I love the picture too. Happy SITS Day!

Casey's trio said...

I so dislike the stupid, thoughtless comments that people make...but even moreso when they say them right in front of the kids. And I love that you call yourselves "the motley crew"

Amy said...

What an awesome post. I know several people that were adopted and it has always been an interesting thing to me. Thanks for sharing that. I can't believe people would actually ask some of those questions, oh yes, I do actually.

Brittany said...

It's hard to believe that people can say such thoughtless things. I love your blog design,Very Cute.

mrsbear said...

I guess it's not that surprising that people would ask such tactless questions. Great way to address the issue.

Melissa Lester said...

Thanks for the advice. I don't think I would have ever asked any of those questions, but we can all use some sensitivity training every now and then.

Rhea said...

I think a lot of people are awkward about what to say or how to ask you questions about adoption. That having been said, it shouldn't be hard to be polite!! Some people!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Rock on!! It's amazing how stupid people can be...You have a beautiful family!!

mrsmouthy said...

I'm mortified at some of the things people have said/asked...and I'm also mortified that I've probably asked someone at least one of those questions before. Thanks for helping me understand what it's like to be on the other end of those questions!

Astrid said...

Great post!
I admit I'm nervous to say the wrong thing...I always seem to put my foot in my mouth even when I have the best intentions!

Eudea-Mamia said...

What people will say without thinking always shocks me - I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I'm going to "try again for a girl" while my two beautiful boys are standing right next to me.

However, I imagine I've said a few doozies during my lifetime as well.

Congrats on being trully saucy!

Em

Blue Castle said...

I can't believe you've had people actually say those things to you! How thoughtless.
Your family is beautiful.

hellosweetworld said...

It's amazing what people will say to anyone.

Katie said...

People don't think! My best friend's daughter has cystic fibrosis and the things people ask appaul me! Such as: "What's it like having a terminal daughter?". Are you serious?! Her response: "Well, what is it like for YOU being terminal? We're all going to die." Ugh...some people!

Rachel Ann said...

Well said!

I am 34 years old and was adopted at 3 days old. My adoption was a closed adoption (which was the norm at that time); consequently, I had no contact with my birth parents.

I grew up knowing I was adopted, but had to hear very deragatory remarks from very stupid people...how I don't look like my family, why am i overweight when all the rest are skinny, the medical issues, etc, etc! All through it though my parents loved on me and made me understand that I am one of their kids no matter if I was adopted or not.

Now I am pursuing my birth parents, and they have in fact been located; however, they have not yet chosen to return the contact. But you know what? I'm ok with it! God placed me in the home I grew up in and if my birth parents want to pursue their end of my search then all the better!

Blessings to you and yours!

Live.Love.Eat said...

That was definitely educational. I mean, some things I knew but that was very useful info. When in doubt I just keep my mouth shut anyway.

A Mommy in Jeans and High Heels said...

God Bless Sweetie!! This was a fantastic post!

Much love from your SITStas!

Marrdy said...

Love that post and love the shirt!

Erin said...

I love that shirt. I think this was a great post and I hope it will open some peoples minds and eyes a bit.

Annikke said...

Stopped over from SITS!

What an awesome post!

Mrs. S said...

This is amazing. I don't know anyone who has adopted, but I can't imagine asking about "real" moms or "real" kids or anything. Of course they are all your children! A family may not always have the same genes but they share the same love - that's what important!

Katie said...

This is a wonderful post! My husband and I are very interested in adoption (when the time is right!) and so I liked this little taste of some of the dumb things I can expect to hear!
I am so sorry for some of the things people have said but so glad that your kids have such a wonderful Mama!

Oooh and I love the "Adoption is the new Pregnant" shirt!

Jen said...

Well said! Our best friends just adopted their son...they are going to be WONDERFUL parents!!! :)

Mimi said...

Very good things to remind us of!

Janna said...

Very good post! I don't people think when they speak often, it would be nice if they did.

Happy SITS day!

wendy said...

I am always amazed at the things strangers say! My children are very close in age (10 1/2 mo). One woman once told me "You need to get cable at YOUR house!" I was, of course, flabbergasted! I am often told "You know there are ways to prevent that, don't you?" One of my favorites was "Woops! Guess you learned after that!"

I'm sorry people are sometimes crappy to you!

Marshmallow Circus said...

Very good post! I'm always amazed at the rude things people with ask us. Most of the time they assume the boys are adopted as they are brown skinned. They look at me in shock when they find out it is actually the light skinned girls being added to our family. ;)

Michele said...

Well said! Great post!

Zen Ventures said...

Some people are just uninformed and overly assuming it is crazy! Jada is so blessed to be a part of your family! SHe's so well-loved! Btw, Congrats on being the FB of SITS!

Susan said...

Very Well said...you have a beautiful family! Enjoy your SITS day!

Michelle said...

I know what you mean about being the billboard. My wee ones both go to a special needs school, and I have a lot of explaining to do on a regular basis. And some of the looks that I get from other moms who just dismiss me because my wee ones don't go to a "real" preschool, so heartbreaking. But this isn't about me, is it? :)

I still say that I'm glad you have so much love to give. Regardless of how your children come to you you had enough love for all those children -- and that says a lot!

mommytoalot said...

OMG what a great post!
I deal with all kinds of stupid questions on a daily basis. Love the comment about "real mom"..
another stupid question people aske me..in regards to my son
"what is wrong with him"?
ughh nothing..i want to say.whats wrong with you..

Becky Fowler said...

I love that your blog raises awareness for adoption. Thank you!

Femina said...

Hi from SITS! My friend was adopted from Indonesia and so is considerably darker than the rest of her family. Her niece is convinced that Aunty is brown just because she's older, and that when she (niece) grows up she'll be brown too. She's never understood the adoption thing, even when it was explained, because to her, family is family. A good attitude.

Elle MD said...

Enjoy your SITSday!

- a SITSta

april kennedy said...

I do love hearing people's adoption stories....is it ok to say or ask, "I would love to hear your adoption story"...just like when people ask about their "birth story"?

Thanks for the tips...I have done the same thing about what not to say when a family has a child with special needs...#1 - Don't tell the parents that God sent that child to them because they are strong and can handle it...sometimes that only makes us feel like failures when we need to cry.

Rhonda said...

Well said!!!

Tabitha Blue said...

What a great post! Thank you. And I LOVE that shirt!! how awesome!

Nicole said...

Love your post! I'm not an adoptive mom...but I'm a super huge advocate of adoption ~ I have many friends that have been blessed with children because of adoption! Just one thing...you ARE a hero...all moms are, duh!!!?! Welcome to the superhero club. :)

Your family is beautiful!

Nicole said...

Love your post! I'm not an adoptive mom...but I'm a super huge advocate of adoption ~ I have many friends that have been blessed with children because of adoption! Just one thing...you ARE a hero...all moms are, duh!!!?! Welcome to the superhero club. :)

Your family is beautiful!

Nicole said...

Oops...sorry 'bout the double post there...I get a little trigger happy on occasion. :)

blueviolet said...

I tried to come by yesterday and I read all three of your posts and then some but I couldn't for the life of me find out how to comment. So today I came back and saw SITS mentioned in the comments so I knew there was a way. I still can't see the post a comment button on my computer for some reason but I did a little trick with my mouse to find where it might be and voila! So I'm here. I wanted to wish you a happy SITS day and tell you that I have experienced many of the same questions, judgments and stares from people as you have. My children are biracial and if I hear "Are they yours?" one more time.... In any case, I felt a bond with you from reading all of those posts and wanted to be sure to come back. So once again, Happy SITS day!

Rachael said...

What a great post. I don't know why people don't think before they speak. It's ridiculous. We considered adopting, and may still one day, we're just not sure since our lives are so unstable right now. Once things settle down, I would love to give a child love who needs it.