Sunday, November 7, 2010

Questions strangers shouldn't ask me about my family.

So obviously I get a lot of questions about my kids and our family. Most reactions we get are positive. We are pretty lucky in that we get and have so so much support. Even people that ask dumb questions usually mean well. For the most part I don't slap, hit, bite, or curse at random people when they ask a stupid question. I figure most people aren't on the "up and up" with positive adoption language and don't realize how terribly intrusive they are being.

But some people.

Oh...some people.
Some people are just idiots.

Stupid Questions. Random comments. Openly staring. Or even better, openly grimacing at us. Get a grip people, I'm not saving the world or bringing it to an end. I just happened to have children that are another race than me.

To all Random Strangers who want to come up to us because of the way our family looks:

DON'T tell me about your cousin's sister's brother's daughter's dog's first wife's owner's horror adoption story.

DON'T ask me if the fact that my kids are close in age was "planned" with a disgusting look on your face.

DON'T come up to me and tell me that you have a cousin's uncle's best friend's wife that is black. It's not really a story and I have no idea what to I hug you and invite you for Christmas? Or with my family maybe I should drink some wine, start a fight with you, eat, cry, fight some more, drink, eat, drink some more, make up, laugh and make plans for next year.

DON'T treat my kids like they are pets. I know they are cute but do not touch them or ask rude questions about their adoptions in front of them like they can't understand you.

DON'Task if I'm babysitting. I mean really, what babysitter is in the middle of the mall with two kids, pushing a diaper bag, double stroller, two sippy cups, a random Lego, and shopping bags?! All while said kids are screaming at me the biggest clue: "MOMMY!!"

----oh yeah...and don't ever. ever. ask me if I cheated on my husband. Did you?----

DON'T ask me if I specifically ASKED for them "to match". They are not flower arrangements.

DON'T assume I'm an idiot of all things African American because I'm white. I'm all for people giving me suggestions but believe me I didn't go into this with my eyes closed.

DON'T ask if the birthparents did drugs or the if the kids have any "problems". I mean, really!?

DON'T ask if I have any "kids of my own". Duh. I have TWO, they are standing right here!!

DON'T ask if they are brothers. We've already gone over this, yes, they are both mine. That would make them brothers, no?

DON'T tell me that I am stealing your man by having two black children as a white woman. Wipe that smirk off your face and welcome to being just another racist.

DON'T ask why the birthparents "gave them up" (PLACE is the appropriate term) or any other questions including age, height, length of labor, siblings, etc. Oh, or if it was "hard" for her. No, really it wasn't, we did the switch at six flags right below the Superman Tower. Fun times.

DON'T talk smack on the birthparents. For this I will get rude back with you. First of a ll, they are my kid's mothers and fathers. Second of all, they are my family. Thirdly, you have no idea.

DON'T ask about cost of adopting UNLESS and ONLY UNLESS you plan on adopting yourself. Seriously planning, not "IwannabeAngelinaJolie" planning. This will get you questions about your own birthing cost like the cost of the stitches they put in you or your wife's "whoo ha" after you/they tore during labor.

DON'T tell me that we saved them from a bad life, nor assume their birthparents did drugs, are bad people, in a gang, have a mental illness, etc etc. This will cause the backup can of whoop to open. Thier birthparents placed out of love. Period.

DON'T tell me that we are good people only because we adopted black children. We are the lucky ones as we got to become parents.

DON'T ask where they're from, what they are, how many miles they have, etc.

DON'T start talking Ebonics to me or my children just because they are black. You just sound dumb.

DON'T ask me where their parents are now. I'm right in front of you. Should I draw you a map? And even though I do know what you mean, do you really think that is ANY of your business?

DON'T and I mean do not tell me how you could "never do something like that." What am I supposed to say to this. And what exactly does "THAT" mean!?
Last but not least.

DON'T be afraid to ask me questions, just remember we are not a circus display! I'd rather you ask me questions than stare from the other side of the room. Just please be aware of my two very intuitive children. I'm proud about their adoptions & the way we made our family. As long as you are nice about it, then I'll be nice back!


Every Trans racial Adoptive Parent Known to Mankind


  1. My kids are of the same race as my husband and me - but I could have written all the parts of this post that don't apply specifically to trans-racial adoption. But I wouldn't have been half as nice as you are about it! :)

  2. I love your post! I would love to share it on facebook with some of my friends. I think it will give a lot of people a wake up call!

  3. Sure! Share as you will, educate the world so I don't do it with a bad temper! ;)

    Meghann - so true! This can apply to any family made by adoption!

  4. oh Natalie...i'm sorry people are such idiots. We dont even have our kiddos yet and we are already getting awkward questions and comments from people. Cant wait for all this fun (insert sarcasm here).

  5. Wow, Natalie, well said! You did a great job! Now add the handicapped feature and you get a whole new set of idiots! hahahahahaha!!!

  6. Oh my word! I laughed out loud. And seriously, I needed to laugh today. Everyone of these is so true. I can tell you that when asked where I "got" my son, I've told people Ebay and ToysRUs had a cabbage patch sale, but look, mine turned into a real boy! When asked how much he cost, I asked what size panties she was wearing.

    Since you didn't mind it going on facebook, I hope you don't mind that I linked it from my blog.

  7. i just stumbled across your post. love it! thank you.

  8. Hattons - HILARIOUS!!! I'm using that line. No problem about linking it! :) Glad it has given everyone a laugh and hopefully other people a litte education on the way.

    Thank you everyone!

  9. I just followed a link to this and so hear you!
    I was just asked if my children were born and when the "or" part of the question happened and I heard where it was ignorantly going, I quickly answered that yes, they were born- leaving her with a confused look as she looked from me to my husband. uhhuh.

  10. Just read this off of Hatton's blog. THANK YOU! This is wonderful, hysterical and painfully true all at once.

    I, in particular get 'oh, well, I can see your kids get your hair' and 'is your husband really dark?' and 'are they "real" brother and sister' and 'are you going to have another of your "own"'

    Those are the ones that make me really (depending on the day) hysterical or MAD.


  11. As the mom of five adopted kids, three trans-racially, this all rings true unfortunately. I once had a woman in an elevator ask me if my babies (one boy who is black, one girl who is white) were identical twins! I mean seriously!!!

  12. Wow Natalie! I'm amazed at the crazy and invasive questions complete strangers ask you!! I never knew. Every now and then I get a couple questions and odd looks (Are they yours? I mean did you HAVE them?) because with me being white my little amer-asian beauties look more like their Vietnamese daddy. It hurt my feelings a little at first because I was pretty sensitive the the fact they they didn't look like me. I think people are just curious and with reality tv the norm think they have a right to know whatever it is they want to know. They don't. But, as long as we are not getting disgusted looks (we actually have, btw- but, then again, maybe the guy was constipated or something) I don't mind so much anymore.


  13. Constipated....Traci that was hilarious!! I never thought of that! Next time I'll hand the guy some Green Tea and tell him it works wonders. ;) ha!

  14. Great post.

    I dated a guy who told me that he wouldn't be ok with a black child because he just knew he'd get the question of what 'basketball player did your woman screw'... Uh, what??? This after I already have a child from China. Had no idea he felt that way... (supposedly he didn't about my daughter) and so I dumped him. :(

    People are rude and jerks.

    Loved your post.

  15. Thank you so much for putting all of this into words! My children are from South Korea and I have gotten so many of these same questions. I try to remember that most people do not understand a lot about adoption and try to be nice. BUT...One time while in Sam's Club, I had them both in the shopping cart and came around a corner where a man stopped dead in his tracks. I was staring at the kids and asked, "Where did you get them?" I said "Clearance Aisle number 7" and kept walking.
    Thanks for making my day.

  16. I run into a similar situation in that I have children from several marriages (on both sides). There are no half-siblings or step-siblings, just brothers and sisters. How can you have half a child anyway?

  17. This is exactly what we go through!! My husband and I are the proud parents of two beautiful little boys, both black, and we are white. It is always some dumb-ass stranger who asks the stupid questions. People always ask where they are from, and we give them a funky look, and say the city we are in, lol. And the "my cousin adopted from Haiti, or Russia or..." what do you want me to say to that?? "REALLY? I don't care." :) Or, "My friend adopted a girl from China, do you know her? I could introduce you!" Yeah, all us adoptive parents have a club. Oh, and we've been asked who their [birth] parents are, lol. That is one of my favorites. Like even if we said, they would know them??? Sheeesh!!!!

    Thank you, this was great!!