Monday, September 21, 2009

Everyday conversations in the life if a transracial adoptive mommy


Sitting in the waiting room I can feel the stares-the looks, the questions- almost written all over their face. For some reason they really don’t even try to pretend they are not staring- for some reason they seem to think it’s okay.


Thankfully, I hear the nurse call my name, I quickly take Kadens hand and we head down the long, hollow sounding hallway. Entering our 'private suite' as I like to think of it, I climb as gracefully as you can up onto the examining table. Right away I spy the cold, sterile stir ups sticking out of the ends of table and I silently send up a prayer thanking God I am not here for that today. The paper crinkles beneath me as I try my best to position myself on the table.


Kaden heads for the empty chair in the corner of the room and begins to dumb the contents of the backpack I brought for him to entertain himself while I talk with the doctor. As I remind him not to eat his fruit chews off the floor, the nurse knocks on the door, and swiftly enters the room-as the words ‘come in’ are barely leaving my lips.


Now if you are a transracial adoptive mommy go ahead and play along with me- bet you and can pretty much fill in the blanks of how the conversation goes...


Nurse- “Oh wow, you are babysitting today and you don’t feel good?


Me- “No, I’m not babysitting- he is my son

.

Nurse- (as she quickly stumbles for words)- “Oh, ummm, he’s a cutie.


Me-Yes he sure is”.


Nurse – (still looking lost…begins in silence to take my blood pressure).


Me-(knowing in my head that I do not owe her any more explanation but not feeling like dealing with the awkwardness I reluctantly explain) “We are an adoptive family.”


Nurse- (who’s face appears as if the light bulb has finally turned on) asks in an almost sad voice “Oh is he your only one?


Me- (trying to hold in the cough that has begun to work itself up my dry, sore throat) answers: "No, he’s one of seven".


Nurse –(oblivious to the fact that I am about to cough up a lung) exclaims “SEVEN! Oh wow, better you than me- I can’t even handle the TWO I have!”


Me- I’m sorry.”


Nurse- (even more oblivious to the fact that I just secretly slammed her) looks at Kaden (who thankfully is so absorbed into this army men that he doesn’t even look her way) and says “You are one LUCKY little boy you know that?”


Me-(quickly answering before Kaden realizes she is talking to him) “No ma’am, WE are the blessed ones- to have God allow us to parent this precious child”.


The nurse quickly plasters a plastic smile on her pale pink lips and proceeds to wraps up her blood pressure kit and quickly heads out the door, leaving the smell of stale perfume and unwashed behind her.

As I hear the door click shut I look over to Kaden and smile at him. He looks up at me, unaware of the conversation that just went on around him. He smiles back, then and promptly picks up the fruit chew off the floor and stuffs it in his mouth.


“May the God of peace… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21


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31 comments:

Pam said...

ROTFL!!!! Don't you LOVE this? I'm afraid I wouldn't have been as nice as you when they asked if I was babysitting him. :) Oh the ignorance of people is astounding. Truly. Thanks for the smile. May God grant us all the wisdom and peace to handle these situations with grace!

Leah and Maya said...

I get this too, of course I always only have one child with me because she's all we've got. I never take offence to people looking, maybe some are beign rude but most are truley interested and have an adoption story of their own, be it a friend neighbor etc, I find it a great way to connect and at least its positive. Maybe the nurse was being rude maybe just trying to make conversation, the only thing out of the whole converstaion that bugged me was, he's one lucky little boy, that I do hear and I know they are trying to be nice and thats true I guess they are lucky to be a part of such a loving family, but I always reply I/we are the lucky ones.

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Sorry you are sick!

Sorry you had to endure that conversation even more.

I go through it more than I can count too!

Oh Lord, open peoples hearts and eyes to see the blessing of children and LEARN how to parent them to HONOR you and BRING GLORY to your name!

May we be ashamed for not loving the children we have and saying it to total strangers that we are not hitting Your mark for us!

May we parent for excellence - and bring glory to YOUR MOST HOLY NAME!

Love you - praying over you!
Jill

Andrea said...

lol, yep I could totally relate. ;o)

Dardi said...

Ignorance may be bliss, but it ain't pretty.....

I, too, get the large family comments, but I think my "favorite" was "she doesn't LOOK like a foster child!?" Ummm, thanks???

Hope that cough leaves soon!

Kathleen said...

Been there done that...It is hard to "put on a smile" when people say hurtful things about our families. They miss the joy of how we have been brought together through God's gift of adoption...

My personal favorite question that is often asked by strangers when we are out as a family is "are your girls sisters, you know real sisters?" It always happens right in front of them as if they can't hear the question. My answer is always the same. "Yes, they are real sisters because we are a real family"

Bless you!!

Donna said...

Wonderful handling of one of the more interesting parts of being a transracial family.

I am finding it more difficult to smooth over with a 9 year old who is attentive to all the stares and comments. I try to keep his feelings at the forfront and let my irritation fade into the background.

My favorite comment from him, was when a boy said "Hey your black!" after noticing his mother was white. Caleb's response--"Yep, and your white!!" And off they went to play football!!

Delighting in Him

Holly said...

You can't change stupid, but you can change IGNORANCE...one conversation at a time!
Prayers for healing,
Holly

JG said...

Geez. Some people. But speaking for myself, not all the stares are out of shock or disapproval. Some of us are fighting a bit of envy in those stares. Anyway, you gave me the subject for my blog today. :)

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

I know!! I haven't experienced life with my adoptive children yet.. YET.. :)
but, I am SO tired of the comments I already get!! URG!! Just this past weekend... My own brother says that he feels sorry for my "real" girls.. cause they won't be able to do as much "stuff" since we feel we have to take some kids in... URG!!
I walked away and said nicely.. in my BEST Jesus-like voice... I am so sorry that YOU feel that way... but, I KNOW my children... ALL of them are going to be fine, and NO ONE needs to 'feel' sorry for anyone... please feel sorry for the other children who are 'waiting' and will never have a 'forever' family!!! BURNS ME UP!!!!!! I pray for people... Lord please help more people to "get" you!!! :)

natali said...

wow. some people can be so ignorant :(

That Fresh Feeling said...

I am reading Adoptive for Life right now and it talks about this very subject. But the author is now looking at it as a way to open peoples minds and hearts and not as something negative. Very eye opening to me:-)

Coleman's A to Z said...

I love to admire transracial adoptive families and smile. I know there is a beautiful story of love that brought them together. Thanks for being Jesus' hands and feet. What a blessings you have in each of your children. Sorry for the uneducated comments made especially in front of your children. Grrrrr...
I have biological twins and the questions about my fertility and family planning methods seem to be fair game. Weird!

By the way getting ready for a rice and beans night here at my house.

Live to love and laugh said...

Sorry you aren't feeling well.
We have had the remarks too. People just don't understand that we as parents WANT these children to love. We are the ones who are lucky and blessed beyond belief.

Flamingo Mama said...

i love it! i especially loved the "i'm sorry" secret slam comment! i will use that one sometime soon:)

Jman's momma said...

You know what - no matter what the nurse's motives were or the ones who were staring - I think you were very gracious. Especially given that you were obviously not even in the greatest mood since you were sick.

I am so picturing that gorgeous little boy picking put fruit snacks off that nasty floor and grinning big as he enjoys every squish!!!

:)

aMp

whenpigsfly said...

After living through being part of an interracial couple in North Carolina in the mid 70s, I got pretty thick skinned. The day a store clerk in Walmart "assumed" that my (not vanilla like me) just-home-from-Cambodian-son was somebody else's chidl but SURELY my problem as he looked at items in the "bribe the child" rack next to the check out. She snarled a bit and asked if "that kid" was bothering me. I smiled very sweetly and told her that I had asked MY SON to pick out a sweet treat for being so patient with me and behaving so well in an American store for his VERY FIRST TIME. She got very red faced very quickly and I didn't hear another word from her as she rang up my $250 worth of items for our 9 kids at home family and our feeding the pets purchases !!!
And why do people assume in other situations that these are my Foster Children (not that there is anything wrong with that whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but why is the assumption not made that those beautiful young people are my CHILDREN BY CHOICE!??
I'm very glad that Noah didn't understand enough English to catch the racism and the ugliness from that store clerk. I'm glad he caught that Mommy loved him and was appreciative that he was doing the right thing. I'm so very blessed by God that he and our other 5 SE Asian children are part of our family. LUCKY? We are all blessed beyond measure and there is no luck involved. Can't wait till our 3 Liberian children come home so we can be blessed by their presence too

whenpigsfly said...

After living through being part of an interracial couple in North Carolina in the mid 70s, I got pretty thick skinned. The day a store clerk in Walmart "assumed" that my (not vanilla like me) just-home-from-Cambodian-son was somebody else's chidl but SURELY my problem as he looked at items in the "bribe the child" rack next to the check out. She snarled a bit and asked if "that kid" was bothering me. I smiled very sweetly and told her that I had asked MY SON to pick out a sweet treat for being so patient with me and behaving so well in an American store for his VERY FIRST TIME. She got very red faced very quickly and I didn't hear another word from her as she rang up my $250 worth of items for our 9 kids at home family and our feeding the pets purchases !!!
And why do people assume in other situations that these are my Foster Children (not that there is anything wrong with that whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but why is the assumption not made that those beautiful young people are my CHILDREN BY CHOICE!??
I'm very glad that Noah didn't understand enough English to catch the racism and the ugliness from that store clerk. I'm glad he caught that Mommy loved him and was appreciative that he was doing the right thing. I'm so very blessed by God that he and our other 5 SE Asian children are part of our family. LUCKY? We are all blessed beyond measure and there is no luck involved. Can't wait till our 3 Liberian children come home so we can be blessed by their presence too

Sara said...

yep, been there and heard the same thing...they always assume you HAD to adopt, not realizing it was a wonderful choice we made. I actually feel sad for others who don't get to know this joy!

Shonni said...

I am so sorry that you are sick!!!!
and so sorry for the rest...

Anonymous said...

My dear friend was once asked by a store clerk how many children she had. When she replied that she had 11, the store clerk, with some of the children standing right there said, "Oh! If I had 11 children I'd kill myself!"

My friend is too kind and gracious...I might have suggested that I would have later regreted saying.

Jenny said...

All you need is another one....Oh please take that in the "positive" way is was said! Ha!!!

One Big Fat Sugar Mama said...

Hope you get rest and restored health soon. Thanks for your comment on my blog site today. I love you too.

Karin said...

So sorry you're sick. :( That nurse is probably kicking herself for what she said and wishing she had handled it better. Maybe next time you go, she'll ask for adoption information! (For a friend, of course, since she doesn't like her kids.) hee

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Not fun to be sick....but I totally can empathize with the conversation.....yep the story of our life. If only they really knew! If only they would seek God and find what a HUGE BLESSING IT IS!!! WOW their lives would be changed forever and 2- would not be enough!

Andrea H. said...

People can be pretty ignorant in the non-adoption world or the non large family worlds. I think my biggest frustration is ALWAYS when people say "he hit the jackpot, he is so lucky or blessed". Ughh that just cringes my soul. I do always answer just the way you did and actually get in arguments with people over my answer. The ignorance of people..

Laurel said...

I love your response, "I'm sorry." I get that type of comment ALL the time, and I never know what to say. Thanks for the new comeback.

Hope you are feeling better SOON, because WE are headed YOUR WAY. Yippee!!!

Laurel

Bethany said...

I hope you feel better soon!

That's such a funny conversation though!!

angie said...

I can SO relate and it gets a little exhausting.

Michelle Riggs said...

Oh my goodness I can relate. I hope you are feeling better. We can't wait to see you guys.

FullPlateMom said...

I am a RN in a peds Clinic like the one you took Kaden to. I would NEVER have asked you those questions. I would have referred to you as "mom" and allowed you to laugh at me if you really were the babysitter.

But, then again, I am white mom to seven black children (all adopted) as well. So, we RNs who understand are out there. I'm so sorry you had this experience.

--Becky