And now for the next installment of my adoption talk series, everyone’s favorite--bizarre questions and comments...
Does she speak English?
Um, she’s almost 6 and has been with us since she was 9 months old... (Thankfully, it’s been awhile since we’ve gotten this one.)
Does she know she is adopted?
It seems like I may have covered this in another post awhile back, but yes, she knows. There is the obvious fact that she has the only Asian face in our family at the moment, of course, but also we speak openly about adoption in our home.
How much did it/she cost?
Thankfully, we haven’t gotten the “she” version of this, but I know people who have. We have, however, had total strangers ask us about our adoption expenses. Unless someone is interested in adoption as a potential adoptive parent, this would fall into the “none of your business” category. I like the example that I’ve never had anyone walk up and ask me about our expenses for the births of our biological children, so why would someone find it reasonable to ask a total stranger something that is so personal?
“They kill baby girls over there, you know!”
Yes, we really got this one about a month after coming home with MJ, standing at the check-out counter in a local restaurant. I was floored, and was just standing there thinking, “I sure am glad my child is only 10 months old and can’t understand what she was talking about.” My husband had the presence of mind to educate a little bit about the reality of the situation.
“They don’t like girls over there.”
Thankfully, we’ve never had this one said in front of MJ, but we have definitely heard it on more than one occasion.
“Oh, you adopted and then you got pregnant! That ALWAYS happens!”
Um, no, it doesn’t. Statistically speaking, the same number of couples with unexplained infertility will eventually get pregnant, whether they adopt or not. This was our situation. Others who adopt may not be dealing with the same situation as we were--they may have adopted first by choice, for example.
“They are sisters?”
“They don’t look anything alike.”
“That one [pointing at K] looks just like you. The other one must look like the daddy.]
This one happened at Wally World the other day. I had my 2 girls in the cart and asked MJ to hand me K’s tights so I could pay for them. The above conversation was her reply. I suppose it could be an honest mistake, but K doesn’t look the slightest bit Asian. (and for the record, she looks more like her daddy than like me)
The way I’ve explained this in my talks is this--Our daughter was left to be found at one day old in December. She was taken to an orphanage and then placed into foster care. Then she was taken from her foster mother and handed to these 2 people who looked, smelled, and sounded different than anyone/anything she was used to. Then she was taken to another country to live. If you look at it from her perspective, I don’t think “lucky” or even “blessed” are words I would use. We do feel very blessed to have MJ in our lives, and do believe that she is blessed to have a forever family that loves her and cares for her. However, she needs to come to this conclusion on her own. She doesn’t need people to keep telling her this.