#AdoptionTalk: Small Hands

I’ve mentioned before that our family is conspicuous.

Whenever we’re out and about, I can almost feel people sizing up our family, doing the math, making guesses about our story….

Nah, my hands aren't full. It only looks that way because I have small hands.

I grew up in a very small town in the Texas Panhandle. Where I come from, you make eye contact with the people you pass, and you smile, whether you know them or not. You strike up conversations with complete strangers in checkout lines… Except I don’t anymore. Because I’m tired of the questions. You probably know the questions I mean – those questions…

What happened to his real parents?

Was he a drug baby?

He’s so cute! How much did he cost?

Is your husband black?

So I don’t make eye contact anymore. I don’t smile at people and I don’t speak to people in checkout lines. I don’t want to be rude, but really? I know that you think you’re just making conversation, but you’re probably the third person this week who has asked if I will tell my biracial son he’s adopted. (Hint: he’s a smart kid, I bet he could figure it out.)

Plus, I’m naturally a very sarcastic person. My natural reaction is normally pretty sharp. But because we are a conspicuous adoptive family, I am a spokesperson. Whether I’m having a good day or a terrible one.

More importantly, my kids are watching. I don’t want them to think that rudeness is ever the correct answer. So I’m working on graceful (but still witty) answers to most of those questions. Even when I’m so tired of hearing the same inane small-talky comments that I could literally scream. (Nah, my hands aren’t full. It only looks that way because I have small hands.)

But some questions don’t deserve a graceful response. I swear to you, I’m loaded for bear the next time someone in the checkout line asks if my husband is black: No. Is yours?

I am a proud foster and adoptive parent. I’m passionate about adoption and foster care, and I’m usually happy to talk about both when someone shows the slightest genuine interest in how our family was formed. But the people that just want the gory details? The ones that don’t really care about my family, but just want to gossip about my children’s birth family? Yeah, I’m not having that conversation.

My stand-by when asked about my children’s past is That’s not my story to tell. Pretty straight-forward, right?

But occasionally, a particularly rude individual continues to press the issue. And I know that my children are watching and learning.

So I stop worrying about being a spokesperson or showing grace.

Instead, I worry about showing my kids that standing up for yourself is more important than being unfailingly polite. (the righteous satisfaction of unloading on someone who thoroughly deserves my sarcasm is really just a pleasant side effect)

#AdoptionTalk Link Up

Adoption Talk Linkup Hosts

This week’s topic: Those Questions


Grab the #AdoptionTalk schedule here, so you’re ready for the whole year!

Next Link Up: June 4th
Next Topic: Anything Goes

A few things to consider:
1) Be respectful of others. Adoption can be a sensitive subject, and opinions may differ from your own. Please be respectful to everyone.
2) Everyone is welcome. Adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, experts, foster care givers, those currently in the process. Anyone with a connection is welcome.
3) Try to read and comment on at least one other post. The point of a link up is to mingle and meet other bloggers. Have fun and check out a few of your fellow blogger’s posts.
4) Feel free to link an old post. We know you may have already blogged about some of the topics on our schedule. If you would like to link something you have already written that is just fine.
5) We would love an adoptee host. If you or anyone you know might be interested PLEASE let us know.

6) Follow Your Hosts. No need to follow everyone on everything, but make sure you follow in enough places that you’ll be reminded to link up.

Erin @ No Bohns About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
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Jill @ Ripped Jeans & Bifocals | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Madeleine @ Our Journey to You Adoption Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

7) Grab a button for your post or blog to help us spread the word so that other adoption bloggers can join in the fun.

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And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!

4 Comments

  1. kathleen guire

    There have been so many times I wish I could come up with some wit and sarcasm on the spot when answering those questions. But, no. I don’t usually. I do use the standard, “that’s their story” answer. I love it. It is true and why do people think because you have adopted that they can ask anything. I run into that a lot with homeschooling too!
    kathleen guire recently posted…Answering “Those” QuestionsMy Profile

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  2. Jill

    Avoiding eye contact, feeling the stares. So much yes. It’s sad that it comes to that, but I totally feel ya on that one.
    Jill recently posted…6 Annoying Adoption QuestionsMy Profile

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  3. Mama Bear

    I totally agree that there is a big difference between genuine interest and just plain nosiness. And also in the fact that showing your kids that standing up for them is more important than being polite. Thanks for sharing!
    Mama Bear recently posted…Adoption Sore Points and Child to Parent ViolenceMy Profile

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  4. Erin

    Love this! I’m also prone to answer with sarcasm. I should probably give others more grace than I do, but sometimes it can really wear you down. It took me a long time to realize I could tell people it wasn’t my story to share, I regret all those times I shared personal details out of feeling an obligation to be polite.
    Erin recently posted…My Favorite Little ThiefMy Profile

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