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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

People Say the Darndest Things: Family Edition

I need to start this post by apologizing to any relatives who are offended by seeing your darndest thing in this or subsequent posts.

Maru over at Adoption Journey posted about silly things that people say regarding adoption once and it stuck with me. Now I'm finding that the further we get into our adoption journey, the more and more silly things we hear. I hope I have the organizational skills necessary to make note of all of them.

I'm not faulting people for lacking in adoption knowledge. Life is all about learning. But there's some people out there that just say really really stupid things. So when I have an urge to smack my forehead (or someone else's forehead, perhaps), I will abstain and make note to share it here with you, my dear friends. Because I'm sure you've heard it all, too.

A family member (that is biracial) let it slide that his wife was telling people that Lil' W can be "her's" because he's so white and baby #2 can be his (the biracial family member) because he's black.
I don't want to know who she said this to, or how many people she's been saying this to, or what else she's saying behind our back. But we're going to nip it in the bud quickly. Because differentiating between our children based on the color of their skin is holy unacceptable. And if that's the kind of treatment they're going to receive, they won't be visiting those family members anymore.

Another family member was shocked (shocked!) when she learned that our birth mother, D had other children. "Wait, was this baby an accident?!? Why did she keep other children children?" I gave her a dumbfounded look and said that yes, this baby was an accident. But the second part of her question didn't register until we were on our way home. And I had a serious OMG moment. As in, OMG she thinks we're buying a baby from some sort of professional baby maker! I was so embarrassed. If this seemingly sensible, college educated adult thinks this of us, what does everyone else think? Do people really think adoption works like that? What has Lifetime Movie Network done to us as a society!?

We've reached an all time high with the amount of consecutive times someone says "why" when they ask why she's "giving up her baby" (shudder). I usually just give a vague answer like, "because she's not in a place to parent a newborn baby right now." This is always followed by at least one "well, why". Dude. If I wanted to tell you, don't you think I would have just told you? So they ask why and I repeat my vague blanket statement. If they're really dense, they'll ask why again, to which I'll again repeat "because she's JUST NOT in a place to parent right now." By this point, most people give up. But not this time. This family member (the same one who thinks we're buying Meredith Baxter Birney's baby in a dark alley) asked why yet again. And I didn't really know what to say. So I just stared at her and shoved a bunch of cake in my face until she looked away. But in the future, I won't be caught so off guard and I'll explain that one day, baby #2 can share his story with everyone, but that's his story to tell and I don't feel comfortable going there.

I also need to make note of the fact that every time the news reports on a baby found somewhere in our area, I get several texts and facebook mesages to the likes of "I hope you get it!" Guh!

I know this is just the beginning of many many years of intrusive questions. And for the most part, I'm ok with that. Our family is going to look different than most other families and humans are inquisitive by nature. So people are going to ask about it. I'd actually prefer that people ask questions than assume outlandish things like the assumption that we're "buying" a baby. I hope by that point that I handle the questions with more grace and I hope to the sweet-lord-above that they don't ask stupid questions in front of my kids. 'Cause I will make them as uncomfortable as they just made me. I was actually thinking about stock piling intrusive vagina and birth questions to toss as people, should they get too personal with me. What say you? Too passive aggressive?

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