Saturday, November 12, 2011

Comments and Questions

Some of the comments and questions I get on a daily basis...

Are they twins?

Are they sisters?

Are you married to a Chinese man?

How old are they?

Oh, she is very tiny!

Are they from China?

You can't save them all.

I would love to adopt, but it costs way too much.

I would love to adopt... but...

We have always thought about adopting.

You should have her face looked at by a doctor.

What is wrong with her face?

How long did it take to get them?

They are so cute!

Are you adopting another one?

I think two kids is enough, one for each parent.

Are you putting them in violin?

It is so sad about girls in China.

What a wonderful thing you are doing.

They are so lucky.

How many kids do you have? Six! No wonder you are so skinny!

How many kids do you have? Six! How do you stay so skinny?!

You are crazy.

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Most of the comments are positive, but there are always a few that hit hard. I hate the standard "adoption comebacks" because for the most part I think that people are just curious and somewhat ignorant on how adoption works. I am fine with educating them. I hate the standard answers like "oh, we are the lucky ones!" because I think it goes both ways -- they are lucky, millions of orphans are still waiting for families. Or, "no they aren't biologically related, but now they are sisters." Really, does it matter?

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I was being asked questions at the girls preschool yesterday and the teacher laughed (she is in the adoption process and had pulled me aside last week to talk to me about China) and said maybe I should just give a talk.

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Sometimes, I wish I could give the first answers that come to my mind, but they can sometimes be harsh. Such as, the woman yesterday, who told me they had looked into adoption, but it was too expensive. I wanted to say "yet you drive a brand new van, wear the brand name clothes and just built a new house" but I held my tongue.

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To the ones who think we are crazy, I think they are crazy for having only two. How boring! My house is loud and crazy and messy and I work non-stop to keep up with it all... but it is so amazing! I often look around our table at dinner and think WOW... how did I get here? How amazing is my life?!

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Besides the comments and questions, there are the stares. You should see peoples faces when our entire family walks onto an airplane! Or anywhere for that matter! I love it! But sometimes we also get rude stares and whispers, especially concerning Lilah...

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And then we get the hugs and the hand squeezes and the smiles from complete strangers and we realize once again that some people are on our side.

12 comments:

Melissa said...

Completely blessed and absolutely GORGEOUS family! Glad you can bite your tongue and keep on loving your family. Your babies really are beautiful. My MIL told us we are crazy, I kinda like crazy(:

Marie said...

Well written! I can totally relate to all the questions! I really do think all us crazy adoptive moms need to come up with some good one liners! BUT, others may not see the humor! lol! I am beginning to embrace "crazy"...I can't seem to avoid it!

the meaklims said...

And how DO you stay skinny! ;)

I rarely get questions, I feel bad about this, but when I see someone looking at us I generally direct our attention somewhere else or start talking about something so they have less chance of chatting to us. I really don't care to talk about my daughter's story to strangers, or in front of her.

She gets a lot of 'cute' comments though and I kinda feel bad for her, she doesn't seem to mind though! She just says thank you! Ha! I was never good at taking compliments of any kind, I'm glad my girl is.

Your girls are gorgeous Paige.

Jill

Shawna said...

Crazy is good, and loud just means that it is full of life!!

Jerusha said...

"Just two" would be boring to me too! I think you're good crazy. :)

The Drinkwaters said...

Well written Paige!

I really, really dislike the "Are they REAL sisters?" question. We respond with "Yes", but that just leads to more follow up questions, regardless of the look I give, such as "Really, are they biological?" (is it really anyone's business), or "Do they have the same mothers and father?" (duh, we're right in front of you!)

Like you, I sometimes wish I would say what first comes to my head, but I try really hard to bite my tongue instead.

Danae said...

I sooo hear you!
We get the stares too but I find that we get more stares when Dan is with me and the kids....I guess when I'm alone they think I have an Asian husband at home:-)

Denise said...

I hate trying to come up with the "proper" comments. I also just don't make eye contact with people in general, so that probably stops a lot of people from asking us... which is probably bad because maybe we could promote adoption more if I did.

I especially hate the "we couldn't afford it" comment. AND the "I don't know how you do it" - meaning what? Love another human being who isn't related to me by blood? Guess what? My husband isn't related to me by blood - I chose to love him, just like I choose to love my kids - ALL of them.

I also like the point you made about the "lucky" comment.

Patrick and Christina said...

Love the post! Gorgeous girls, gorgeous pictures! (Lovin' the frog...we have one too! )

Because we are inter-racial we are not questioned when we are out together as as family...but I hate the questions from the chinese community when I am by myself. They ask the most personal questions and LOUDLY stated which simply drives me crazy. Lately, I have just been saying... to the "SHE LOOKS CHINESE?"...oh, that's because her father is chinese!" A bit of half-truth and whole truth at once, it may seem like a copout but their questioning stops right there. I need some ideas on appropriate answers about the adoption without being rude.

I am most concerned with how SHE will deal with this part of her life in the future. Really, how many of us have to explain why we look the way we do, or field questions about our birthstory? Wouldn't that make for good conversation with those inquistive folks!;)

Love Denise's perspective on loving your family members...who needs bloodlines anyway. I too need to look at how to promote adoption more.

Jednet said...

When asked if my kids are twins, I usually just say yes. After getting the 3rd degree at the dentist's office (from the dentist), I asked my kids what they thought about how I responded. They both told me (individually) that they don't like it when I say they are twins and that like me to tell their story. They are 6 years old, so I know I'll need to keep checking in with them, but for now I try avoidance first and then quick explanations if the questioner is are presistent.
Dawn

Canada to China and back! said...

Oh the comments! Gotta love/hate them!lol!

I too love the crazy life of a larger than "normal" family:)

Most of all I am loving that we are back to a routine and I can check in on my favorite blogs!

Hugs,
Kim

Monica said...

Paige, this is such a good post. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, and on the topics I can't, I can only imagine.

Your children are so blessed to be part of a big family, in my opinion! I love coming from a big family - the blessings are too many to count.

For many reasons, I wish and pray that people in the world would have more open minds.