Sunday, October 01, 2006

In Brief, on Strangers

Strange women always assume that I am an adoptive mother. Stranger men always assume I am a babymomma.

One strange white woman asked dh today who his daughter belonged to (and she made some remark about "a communal child," having seen Miss I with both Grammy and Daddy). She did not ask the white parents with daughters from China, just feet away, who their daughters belonged to.

A restaurant employee looked horrified when he believed Miss I. was alone. He looked scandalized to discover her mother, less than a foot behind, white.

But then . . .

When we visited GG at the nursing home, a man we'd never met before, visiting another resident, said "You have very beautiful children," and in one very ordinary sentence offered a gift that should be a right -- very ordinary treatment.


Michelle said...

I'm glad to hear you had that comment from the man at the nursing home to balance out the earlier comment...what a great observation on his part too!

AMH said...

Just wanted to say, I can relate completely and have been struggling with this myself. I knew when we took on trans-racial adoption that we'd be subject to stares, comments, attention, etc. And I am usually happy to "educate" people. But lately we just want to go out and be a family and not deal with attention, negative or positive.

I'm glad you got such a nice comment at the nursing home. All people should say things like that! Or they should say nothing at all.

Nerine said...

My mum is caucasian, and my dad is Chinese- and we kids stood out, sometimes we still do. Growing up, I remember lots of people complimenting my mum on how well beautiful/well behaved/nice her children were. I probably remember these episodes so much, bc she was always so pleased.

As an adult, I learned from my mum that she experienced some unpleasantries- women who argued with her that she couldn't possibly be her daughter's natural mother, he baby must be adopted; women who told her she should be ashamed; people who wouldn't wait on her in stores, etc. All rather horrible, ignorant and shocking. But they were relatively few in comparison to the compliments, and, as my mother intended, I don't remember any of them.

Overwhelmed! said...

"in one very ordinary sentence offered a gift that should be a right -- very ordinary treatment."

What a perfect thought. I think this is what most all adoptive parents desire...very ordinary treatment.

Thank goodness for the man who gave you this gift.