Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paranoid much?

Dear over-sensitive adoptive families,

It's not always about YOU.

It's not always racism.

It's not always anti-adoption-mongering.

It's not always hate.

Sometimes... it's just not.

I'd like to issue a public plea for all of us to just...
take a DEEEEEP breath and
remember that
but not everyone has malicious thoughts
when they look at you in public.

Sometimes when I get a funny look at the store
or at the park
or at the doctor...
I remember that (no matter their color)
I'm traveling with my own field-trip sized gaggle of children.
And I'm wearing these...
which are just awesome.

Sometimes, they stare because...
come on.
Have you SEEN my kids??
They are GORGEOUS.

Sometimes they stare because
they are still hoping and praying to someday
add to their family through adoption.

Sometimes my entourage is blocking most of the meat department.

I know there are a LOT of adoptive families out there
who get their  panties in a wad  
feathers ruffled
every time someone looks at them with something less than this:
Let's all just take a giant step back...
and remember that
when we look all
we tend to bring on the looks that
make us flip out and cry "racist".

be prepared for uneducated questions...
know that you are (whether you like it or not)
a walking billboard for adoption education and awareness...
and try to give a few more people some grace.

And don't forget to breathe.
(Oxygen = good)


  1. Amen. I try to be an adoption advocate at ALL times and NEVER mind if someone asks me a question...I think I can count on one hand the number of times in the past 2 years when I actually got offended or had to choose my reply wisely. People shouldn't adopt if they are going to be offended every time someone asks them a question. Come on, we stick out! Maybe I'm used to it since I was HOMESCHOOLED from k-12 and got asked questions every day of my life (i.e. "what about prom?")

  2. Amen!

    Let me preface this by saying that I've never been part of a conspicuous family, so, this should be taken with a grain of salt.

    That said, I'm amazed at the number of times I see people on adoption blogs cheering someone on for tearing into a person that asked a fairly innocent question or made a not-intentionally stupid comment.

    I'm all for letting someone have it when they are clearly asking for it, but, I think that our skins should be a bit thicker than they are. If we assume innocence on the part of the other person we can actually engage in a meaningful and honest interaction with them that will likely be more beneficial to both parties.

    Sure, it might not make as good of a blog post to say, "So this guy at the grocery store looked at me with my rainbow of kids and said, "Which one's yours" and then I had I talked to him and it turned out that he thought I was stuck babysitting a bunch of kids. When I explained to him that the rainbow of kids was all mine we had a great conversation about his adopted cousin. Boy I sure taught him a lesson!"

    1. Ooops....hit submit too soon.

      I was just going to say that the conversation might not make as compelling of a blog post but it sure seems like it makes for a better conversation than assuming he meant "Which one is your real kid" and getting offended.

  3. Love this!!! SO true!!! I (as a "waiting adoptive mom") find myself staring and smiling at families that have (obviously) adopted only because I want to go up and hug them but I just smile instead. And, then, I freak out because I wonder if they think I'm staring and am being rude. So, then, I quickly look away. And, then, I think, "what if they think I couldn't bare to look and had to turn away?!" HA! This is just so true...we all just need to take a deep breath sometimes. thanks for the wonderful post, as always!!

  4. Thank you so much for this!! I have not adopted and am not even in the process of adopting. I am getting involved in orphan care in other ways, and have been much inspired by many of the blogs I read. We can thank Capt M for all this :) But sometimes I am left wondering if I've said something that someone has taken not how I meant it. Or I don't respond for fear of it being taken out of context. Even now, I am taking 10 minutes to type this comment so as not to offend anyone. Can't we all just get along??? Grace, please offer us supporters, dinner makers, blog readers, concerned friends or even just intrigued strangers some grace.

    The picture of the lady with a chainsaw is perfect!

  5. Yes yes yes! I honestly have received very few negative, biting comments or ugly stares. And part may be that I try always to smile, hold my head up and show my humongous PRIDE in my precious transracial homeschooling family of 5 children. I guess when my family was smaller and I only had biological babies I liked it when people stared because I just assumed they thought my babies were beautiful. I make the same assumption now! When I do get an "ugly stare" I just give them a huge smile back and try to show that I'm open to questions but I am a mama lion all at the same time :-) I've had all kinds of innocent questions and some I've heard other adoptive parents say were offensive. But they weren't to me. I just answer, smile and tell them about my blessings. I know that I won't dodge ugly stares and questions forever, but I fully believe that the way we respond and carry ourselves goes a lonnnnnnggggg way in dealing with this. Before we enter any store, etc, I remind my children that they are representing large, homeschooling, adoptive families and most of all, children of God. I encourage them to always be good ambassadors. Thanks Chrissy.

  6. Love this:)) Background, Im English, son is 3 yr old Korean born sweetie and we live in Norway. Just today, a boy around 4 yrs old at my sons daycare started talking to me in Norwegain. Is Tae English? Does he speak English? Answering in Norwegian, Yes he speaks English and Norwegian (confusing to go into nationality). Are you English? Do you speak Norwegian? Yes I am, and Yes I do! What I loved is that in figuring out my sons place in Bhage, he really didnt see race only the languages he heard him speak. He didn't question that I was his mother and that since Im English, presumed my son Tae would be English. Life is simple sometimes. Today was not a teaching moment that he is was born in Korea, so is really a Korean, Norwegian Englishman. I'll leave that for his therapist;)

  7. This made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ironic my most recent post is about people asking repeatedly if my daughter and I are related (although I never attributed to racism or anything else in particular) I have to say that I don't always see racism and I typically try to differentiate between nosy and ignorant (and/or racist) or just not sure what the right words are. I don't usually get upset about real mom (unless they press the issue) or are they all yours. But when you kid starts to notice what people are saying and your kid starts to point out that people make them feel different or funny or out of place (or worse) then yeah- sometimes you need to put what they need before the educating role. I think that when it is upsetting to your child, that changes the game. Not that it means everything is racism or ignorance but it isn't as easy as "be nice and educate them"- there is a line based on what is being asked, how it is being asked and what the child (or you) feels about what is being asked

  9. He he he.....I choose to think that my children are so breathtaking you can't help but stare :) It's true!!!!

  10. Love it Chrissy! :) Yep, oxygen is good.

  11. Amen!! You don't know me, but I know your sister. We are a family with 6 children, 2 of which are adopted from Africa. I often struggle with the uproar over questions and stares. Come on, people. Let's use every opportunity we can to share these amazing stories of how God created our families. I always do it in a positive way that will make my 2 feel comfortable and when it is over, I say to them, "How cool was that? We got to share the story of how God brought you to our family once again!!"

  12. TOTALLY! I SO agree! It is not helpful for us to be easily offended at every question and glance! (sometimes a funny reply is helpful in lightening the mood even IF the commenter was being inappropriate or rude - usually they are not, though!). Most people are just curious.

  13. Giggling inappropriatly over mantra...for adoptive parents. Even as I run herd over my herd who are not sleeping but must sleep...because otherwise someone will get killed here this afternoon due to the fact they are overtired. Loved the camping story---I'm road tripping with our 11 in two weeks - 3500 miles, three hotel rooms a night, seven nights on the road, ten at grandmas house. It's going to be awsome chaos!

  14. As an adoptive mom - THANKS for this!!!


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