While at a gas station in the south on our way home, my youngest son started dancing around. The attendant teased him about dancing, and he answered her shyly. She then turned to my oldest son and said and I quote, “Wow, he speaks really good English. How long has he been here?”
Yep, kid you not. Some days, even my teen 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 my son, 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! 😉