Friday, March 24, 2017

Adoption Aggravations

If you follow me on facebook you might have already seen this but-

This really happened...

While at a gas station in the south on our way home, Colby started dancing around. The attendant teased him about dancing, and he answered her shyly. She then turned to Salem and said and I quote, "Wow, he speaks really good English. How long has he been here?"


Yep, kid you not. Some days, even Salem is left speechless!

I try to be polite and honest about our adoption, I mean, when we are all together it is pretty obvious he is adopted, but sometimes, there are just no words.

And sometimes, like that day, it is probably a good thing I wasn't there to respond.

I try not to be a smartie pants.  After all, I want to educate people about the blessings of adoption.  But ya'll, sometimes I simply want to roll my eyes and be snarky!

So let's take a minute to have some general education.  After all, not everyone has adopted and is sensitive to the politically correct things to say.  I get it, I once was there.

IS HE ADOPTED?  Be careful with that!  I too want to ask people that because adoption interests me.  But let's face it, unless you know that both parents are standing there and it is blatantly obvious the child is adopted, you run the risk of stepping on toes.  When I am alone with Colby, someone who doesn't know me has no idea if my husband is Latino or not.  In addition, some adoptive families do not have open conversations about adoption and this puts them on the spot.

WHERE DID HE COME FROM?  Like I just picked him up from the local grocery store!  OK, OK, I know what they are asking but really?  He CAME from God.  Better question- where was he born?

HOW MUCH DID IT COST TO GET HIM?  Don't even.  If you want to talk about the cost of adoption because you want to adopt, I will be glad to meet with you.  Otherwise, it is really none of your business.  And for the record, we did not GET him.  He was adopted.

WHERE IS HIS REAL MOM?  Well, first of all, last time I checked, I am not fake.  Second of all, that is a pretty personal question to answer.  Unless our son wants to answer that, it is really not up for discussion.

WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS REAL PARENTS?  OK, for the record, they are his BIRTH or BIOLOGICAL parents.  And then, why would you ask that in front of of child?  If it is a tragic story, why would we want to re-live it in front of our child.  At the very least, it is a pretty personal question.  Unless you are a close friend, I will not question every detail of your life, please do not question my child about every detail of theirs.  Some things adoptive parents just don't know.  Some things, we just don't want to share.

IS HE YOURS?  Yep!  This is kind of like the "Are they all yours?" question.  Ummm, no, I don't know who they are.  They just insist on following me around! haha  YES, HE IS MINE!  I have the papers and the LOVE to prove it!

DOES HE SPEAK SPANISH?  OK, this one I can go with, but...don't assume someone speaks a different language because of the color of their skin.  He was raised in America, he speaks English.  He speaks Spanish only as well as his teacher, that is me.  So, ummm, not so much!

And as far as the "wow, he speaks good English."  Well, he should!  Just like any other 9, almost 10 year old.  Don't assume you know how someone should speak or even act, based on their outward appearance.

And I won't assume YOU are as clueless as you seem.

See, I can be snarky! ;)



  1. Here is another illustration of why you should not assume anything about anyone's family insofar as where their children "came from" -- I have a good friend who was raped as a teenager. The man who attacked her, a friend of her family, was Asian. He's in jail now (she was not the only woman he'd attacked) but during the trauma of the trial, my friend discovered she was pregnant. Abortion was not an option for her. Originally she intended to give the baby up for adoption but after much thought and prayer she decided to keep him. He's an amazing kid and a daily reminder that something good can come from something awful, but that's not the point of this story. A few years after she had him, she met a man and got married and had other children. Her husband is Caucasian like she is, and when the family is all together, it's pretty obvious that her oldest son is from a different place, ethnically, than the rest of her children. She gets asked all the time if he is adopted (along with all the other questions you mentioned). never know the story and should never, ever assume. Thanks for a great post.

    1. A beautiful example of how God can turn heartbreak into joy! Thank you for sharing. May that family be blessed by their courage and faithfulness!

  2. We had a white friend whose husband is black. Of course her daughter is biracial. A man in a restaurant asked (in front of the child) "where did you get her?" . . .umm. . .from God.

    1. That sometimes is just the kindest answer I can muster! ;)

  3. Amen! I get the worst questions . . . but then sometimes I get the best encouragement . . . from the mouths of strangers.

    (I found my way here via Our Homeschool Forum)

    1. So very true! I pray I have encouraged others in my questioning and conversations as well! Glad you found us! Welcome to FFF!

  4. All of my children are biological but because there are four-which seems a huge number to some people apparently-I've gotten the"Are they all yours? " question frequently. 😳 And when the oldest two were really little I had them in the drugstore one day and the clerk said "Wow! They must look just like their father because they look nothing like you. " I thought then that with all the different family situations people have that was a very rude and insensitive remark. People just talk and don't think.

  5. Sometimes people dont think how their questions sound. Its hard then to offer grace. At least they are curious enough to ask and friendly enough to want to engage you in conversation. But it would get tiresome. I can see both sides all too well.


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