Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WOW Wednesdays: My Awkward Moment

Posted by Angie at 6:57 AM
Alright, so I'm trying out this new thing called WOW Wednesdays...aka Words of Wisdom Wednesdays.  But instead of sharing my words of wisdom...I am going to be asking for yours!  I am one of those people who always seems to have a million questions.  So instead of randomly sprinkling them into my posts, I am going to try to contain myself (and start practicing that patience thing that seems to be so important for adoptions) and save them for a WOW Wednesday post!

Ok, so to launch this concept, I am going to share a somewhat embarrassing story which has inspired a question that I am dying to know the answer to.  So, last night, I ran into the grocery store to get three things we needed for dinner.  I had just been at the gym so I was in my not-so-attractive winter workout clothes, make-up running from sweat, hair a get the picture.

So, I am at the grocery store and I see this woman with two BEAUTIFUL Asian children.  And the mother was not Asian!  So, I immediately think, SHE ADOPTED those children, and as she strolls down the aisle with her overflowing cart I frantically tried to think of how I was going to introduce myself without coming off like a crazy person.

But as she got closer, another thought raced into my mind...what if her husband is Asian?  Panicking, I aborted the mission, gave a brief smile, and awkwardly walked away.

Of course, as it usually happens at grocery stores, we continued to cross paths on every aisle.  And on every aisle I debated with myself whether or not it was polite to say something and how to say it.  At one particularly drawn out moment, we both were stopped next to each other for what seemed like the longest time analyzing croutons.

And because this oh so fascinating story about my grocery adventures has probably gone on far too long, I will end it by saying, no, I never did say anything to the woman.  And I am still kicking myself.  Kind of.  Or did I make the right decision? Ugh.

So, I ask you, adoptive mamas, have you been approached by random strangers in public places?  Silly question, I imagine that happens quite a bit.  Does it get obnoxious to always answer the same questions?  What is the best way to handle the situation (for both the asker and askee)?  What do you wish people would say?  Or do you wish crazy women with unattractive winter workout clothes, running make-up, and messy hair would just leave you in peace while you shopped for groceries?!

You know...I mean...I need to case I run into this woman at the grocery store again! ;-)

Much love,
Future Mama

P.S. Have you entered our giveaway yet?  Only FOUR days left!


Colleen on January 19, 2011 at 7:10 AM said...

:) You are too cute!
Yes, I have been approached a lot and it honestly doesn't bother me unless the person is downright thoughtless or rude. Thank God that has happened only a couple of times though! One woman asked me in front of our son "So, what's his story then? Did his real parents die or did they just not want him anymore?" :(

But I have found most people to just be curious and generally interested and happy for us. :)

Tonya on January 19, 2011 at 9:41 AM said...

Oh, I get stopped all the time and I do mean ALL OF THE TIME. It takes me double the time to do any errands...but I don't mind at all. I love to talk about my adoption story.

I would just begin by saying something about the child..."your girls are beautiful" etc. Then say you are in the process of adopting and couldn't help but notice how beautiful the kids are. Then the mom will either respond that hers are adopted as well (and where from) or if she doesn't really open up the conversation then you know she doesn't want to talk about it.

Like I said, I don't mind. The only thing that upsets me is when someone asks if they are twins and I tell them no, but they are sisters. Then they want to know full bio sisters. I say yes. At this point I'm fine with the converstaion---but sometimes people have the nerve to make comments about the BM along the lines of "doesn't she know what makes the babies" or "did she ever hear of birth control". That is when I get offended and upset. I have a standard response which ALWAYS makes them stop talking....

I actually have a blog post in draft form that I am working on with this topic.

But general inquiry and admiring of my girls doesn't bother me at all.

Amy on January 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM said...

I get stopped ALL THE TIME too. I get questions like "Are you a church group? and Are you a daycare". LOL Makes me laugh actually. I just say "Nope, just a family". My favorite is when they just say "adorable family" and I say "thank you, God has blessed us through the miracle of adoption."

Unknown on January 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM said...

Well, since I have never adopted, I can only offer that is is always wise to ask questions and it sounds like you have gotten some wise answers!

Our Russian Adopted Princess on January 20, 2011 at 9:16 AM said...

It is funny, with my boys being older, youngest 11, oldes 18, people wonder 1)if my oldest son is the father, and I'm just helping him, or 2)was she an ooops baby. I laugh and tell them that nope, we planed on her all along!

Lisa on January 20, 2011 at 2:01 PM said...

I'm going to add another thought to this: when our daughter was a baby or very young, being stopped and questioned seemed fine; generally I loved sharing about our adoptive journey if someone inquired in a polite way.

It happens frequently and as your children age, you begin to appreciate it less and less...or at least I do. Our family deserves to dash out for a meal or run errands without stray questions or being stalked in the aisles of our grocery store or having the validity of our family questioned. Not that I think you were doing that ~ at all!

I remember being so excited and eager about our plans to adopt and wanting to do the very same thing; its especially wonderful when you see a family that resembles our own or what you hope your family might one day resemble. And honestly if someone approaches me who is adopting or has a family similiar to ours, I am much more understanding and more inclined to share.

But it IS still an intrusion. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked if I'm "their Mother or the babysitter" or are they "real siblings".....or "do they speak English"....LOL....or "how much did it cost?" Thankfully those kinds of questions don't happen often, but sometimes you just don't want to be the poster family for adoption.

Over the years I have found a voice and a kind way to handle those questions, but when my kids are in ear shot of them, it makes my blood boil and my Mama Bear come out!(at least on the inside! LOL)

:) Hope that helped to give another perspective! Our kids are always listening and while I'm never defensive in answering something, I do believe they have a right to privacy and a right to share OR not share their own story.
We have also helped them to prepare for such intrusions and interest as we will not always be with them at school or other social settings.

Angie on January 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM said...

Thank you all! I have really found these inputs helpful, from all perspectives. I really like your tip Tonya to start with something like "Your children are beautiful." Then, I can gauge whether or not they seem interested in chatting...or if they just want to get home and cook dinner! ;-)

H-Mama on January 21, 2011 at 12:51 AM said...

*giggle* I'm sure it's one of those questions most people think, but seldom ask. Great advice here. You sound like you will make a wonderful mother. ;)

Simple Daisy on January 21, 2011 at 7:08 AM said...

Awwww...I think you should have just approached her!! I am sure she would have been open to answering your questions and if not....well at least you tried:)

Dunns on January 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM said...

@Lisa I think you explained perfectly for all us mamas;) It's all in how you approach the parents. If someone is rude... oh, those walls fly up so quick! It's just nature instinct to protect our children from damaging chat.. then you as a parent, you have to clean up other's mess (when older asking questions).
Here's my personal do's and I use these when approaching other adopted
families too.

Your children are beautiful, and you find families want to share their story/journey.

Where are she/he from (after conservation engaged).... yea, some forget there's other countries besides China with Chinese decent. This is very important to me to be asked correctly. This will play a MAJOR role in Ellie's identity when she gets older.

Here's a good rule of thumb, if it's awkward question then it's not a common sense question. Those awkward questions are those rude questions I've gotten plenty of times. And there's such a thing as friendly stares, and your learn the different types of stares:))

Rydley on January 21, 2011 at 5:37 PM said...

This is a good topic! Now that our girls are getting older, I respond more how Lisa does. It's all in the approach, but I admit I'm still wary because you never know what people will say. Even the most well-intentioned people can make troublesome comments. Just last week we had a guy stop us and say, "I have eight daughters so if I lived in China they'd throw me in jail!" Jia heard it and I had to explain it all.

Also, we live in a community where adoption is completely commonplace. Everywhere we look there are families like ours, so we generally don't get people who are just looking to make a nice connection because they likely have resources they know personally rather than strangers. Does that make sense?

Michele on January 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM said...

Ha Ha, I love the comment someone said about being asked if they were a day care. I actually got asked if my house was a day care once (4 boys under the age of 6 and LOTS of friends and playgroups over). Those were the good ol'days.
But I have never been asked if Meghan was adopted, I guess they just figure she was as she is yelling at me in Chinese and I have no idea what she is saying.

April on January 23, 2011 at 1:22 AM said...

I've never had anyone be rude in their questioning- ignorant, maybe, but usually just curious. I'm always happy to respond and share how adoption changed our lives, but the conversation will end if anyone ever gets rude or inappropriate. I can see the other ladies' point about it changing as your child(ren) get older. We aren't there quite yet, as Lilli is just turning 3 next week. We live in a community where most people are very accepting of "different" families as well, so I think that plays a part too. For now, I always answer well-meaning questions, and if they ever do get offensive, I want to be able to show my daughter that I can be kind but still careful and protective in a situation like that.

Angie on January 24, 2011 at 7:02 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Expecting a Blessing Copyright © 2009 Baby Shop is Designed by Ipietoon Sponsored by Emocutez