Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ignorance

Many people have asked me about how people react to us being a transracial family. Today I had two funny things happen so I thought I would share them with you so you could see some of the ignorant things people say. I should tell you that many days, although many people will stare, we usually never have anyone say silly things like this.

I met Alison B. for a quick lunch/shopping trip. I stopped in Janie and Jack to look for Christmas shirts for the boys. I was holding Charlotte while Alison and Norah were outside the store waiting on me. I quickly found two sweaters and headed to check out. The sales lady, who was very nice I might add, began commenting on how sweet Charlotte was. She was asking me questions like how old is she, how much does she weigh, etc. I then told her that I wasn't her mom. She then asked me how many kids I had, I answered and then told her our youngest was adopted. Her face immediately lit up and she said, "it's so funny you mentioned adoption. I was just telling my family we need to go to the town orphanage and see if we could help out." I just smiled, paid and left, wishing her good luck in her endeavors. Good luck finding the town orphanage.

Then, it was off to lunch and then playland for Norah. While Norah was running around, I was sitting there holding Charlotte when another sweet lady approached and asked how old she was. I told her and then she asked if she could touch her hair. Sure. Then, she asked me how much she weighed. I said, "um, I'm not her mom, I'm not sure" to which she said, "well, that's obvious that you aren't her mom" I felt like I had been smacked. I wish you could have seen her face when I then asked Alison how much she weighed and loudly said, "and there's her big sister" and pointed to Norah. Hmmm...shouldn't assume I couldn't be her mom.

I make ignorant comments all the time. We've all asked how far along a woman is when she really isn't pregnant. I guess I just try to be more aware of what I say now. That "normal" is no longer 2 kids and a white picket fence. I love being a transracial family. I love that others feel comfortable around us, especially those that also don't have the traditional family.

10 comments:

Maris Bush said...

First of all I LOVE your banner at the top of your blog!!!

I thought our life would look like this until our little guy came out a little more light complected than we anticipated! :) I still get questions because lets face it Steven and I are milky white! I am sure that we will get the same questions and comments in the near future as our family continues to grow. I love reading your blog and your honesty. I hope you guys are doing great!

Alison B said...

You forgot to mention the "My Two Moms" looks and horrible customer service we received. ;)

Angie V. said...

Wow, I went all the way around the world to adopt my girls. I should have just checked out the "town orphanage".

amberlee said...

We were just talking about these fun little nuggets yesterday! I had a lady in Walmart ask me if Cale was my son... yes. "ARE YOU SURE?". Heh. YES. And then she just stood there with this look on her face waiting for an explanation... as if I owed her anything!

We haven't had too many ignorant encounters- but when we do, they are doozies!

kbell said...

Ah yes, the fun comments. I was recently somewhere, just Nathan & I. The lady at the counter was making small talk with me and talking to Nathan. I could tell she was a little uneasy and wanted to say something. I just wasn't in the mood to play games, so I didn't encourage or offer up. Finally she looked at Nathan and said, "You MUST look just like your daddy." Since I know what his birth-daddy looks like, I just said "Yep, sure does." I don't think she got the response she was hoping for.

Nicki said...

Although it's a little different, you may have heard the stories about me and Amanda being the neighborhood lesbians in our old subdivision with our little adopted foreign child....someone actually called us "bush hogs" Ignorance never ceases to amaze me....

Brea said...

Nicki-
Makes you want to be REALLY bad and go key their car huh?

Heather said...

I would have loved to be a fly in the room or another random mom to see your facial expression! Loof forward to seeing you! Are you guys going to go to the Andrew's on New Year's? Miss you and don't you just love Nikki? She is great, miss her and you!!

Kyle & Crystal said...

Its amazing how clueless people can be.... Its entertaining to make people squirm when you respond to their stupid comments though isn't it??

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Katie said...

Ahh people can be so weird. One time someone went on and on about Lauren and how cute she was and then said. "Does she speak English"?? She was like 13mo at the time. We have had a few stupid things happen. One woman at church assumed I was breastfeeding her?? I was like what (I know it is possible) but most people in the non adoption world would not think it.. I wish I could join you ladies and the let the girls play. Have a Merry Christmas.