Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Things not to ask re: adoption

So, I'm having a difficult-ish day. I'm already feeling kind if irritated so I thought I'd complain (and hopefully make myself laugh some) about some of the inconsiderate and just plain stupid things people have said to us about adoption. Okay, and to ward off anyone from saying it (and you know who you are), I KNOW that people don't usually say these stupid things meaning to be rude or inconsiderate. However, it would never be okay for me to walk up to someone and say, "wow, how'd you get so fat?" or "how much did that boob job cost ya?" or "how often do you and your partner have sex?". Those are socially unacceptable questions, so are the following...

1. "Where'd you get him?" or "Where did he come from?". First of all, you would never ask someone where their biological child came from, so why would anyone presume that this would be an okay question??! Sometimes I feign ignorance about what they mean, hoping to give them an opportunity to recognize their inappropriateness. Sometimes I ask them where their kids came from. Surprisingly, it rarely works. Actually, now that I think about it, it's never worked. It's a little bit funny to see the confused looks on their faces...

2. "How much did he cost?". Now, on occasion this one doesn't irritate me as much, because sometimes people are asking because they're interested in pursuing adoption themselves. If that's the case, I don't mind this one, if it's encased in a larger conversation. Otherwise, though, my kid is not like your neighbor's new car. If you're asking because you "just want to know", you're being nosey and should just stop.

3. "Is he really yours?". Um, yes. He is. I did get asked one time while I was nursing if he was hubby's. While this seems like a valid question (I get that really no one knows you can breastfeed a child to whom you didn't give birth), it still doesn't mean that it's an appropriate question. It goes back to that actually not being any of your business.

4. Last, but certainly not least, "where are his 'real' parents?". Hello? We're right here, you know the people to whom you just posed your question. Yeah, that's us. I realize that what people mean to ask is "where are his biological parents?". But, really, also none of your business. I would feel less irritated about that one if people would at least use the correct terminology.

Regardless, think how my child feels when someone asks him where his "real" parents are, (or any of these other questions, for that matter) how confusing and scary that could be. It's like insinuating that we're not his parents, and if we're not, and he's not really ours, then who is he and where does he belong? What's that like for a kid, for a 4yo who listens to everything and is really sensitive? He's standing right there most of the time when people say stupid things. So, yes, I will have a reaction and respond to people, sometimes in a snarky way (depending on my mood), but it's because it's my job to protect him.

So, the whole post was today's lesson! (And the while it took me to write this did help me feel less grouchy - a little - so that's good!)

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