Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everyday conversations in the life if a transracial adoptive mommy- Take Two

Kaden is in the shopping cart and I proceed to the check out counter with my two items.

Placing my items on the counter I am completely unaware of the conversation I am about to encounter.

Clerk: "So, you babysitting?"

Me: "Nope"- looking down, fumbling in my purse on purpose hoping that she will quickly finish so we can leave.

Clerk: "I was going to say, boy does he have his daddy's jeans- and then some."

Dude behind me in line gasps.

Me: '"I was going to say THAT is probably none of your business."
(Seriously, that just popped out of my mouth, typically I am NOT that bold)

Clerk: (Oblivious to the fact that I now have steam coming out of my ears) "So, how old is he- one?"

Me: (Clearly not a happy camper)"No, he is almost three."

Clerk: "Oh I have a nephew who is 22 months... but he's white."

This time me and the dude behind me gasp.

I take my change and walk away.

Clerk: "Have a nice day!"

So yep, I went home and called the store manager and made him aware of the conversation that took place between me and his employee. He apologized over and over and said it was plain stupidity on her part- plus none of her business. I told him that was exactly what I was thinking.

You know, most of the time, I LOVE teaching people about adoption. I love sharing how God has blessed us through these precious children. I could talk for hours on end about how our lives have changed for the better all because of the miracle of adoption. Yet there are other times- like when I am in a check out line for all of 30 seconds with two items, that I just get plain worn out from the stupidity. I knew that there wasn't time to educate her on adoption (and I am sure the poor people in line behind me didn't have all day either). But for my childrens sake, and for the the sake of the next transracially adopted child that comes through her line- I sure hope her manager did.

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Donna said...

So sad that this is part of the reality of transracial adoption.

I agree with you on educating if possible, but that is not always an option, nor would it always be heard.

Now that my son is older, I will say something a little sooner than later to save him the pain of hearing someones unkind words.

Praying for wisdom for all of us walking this path--and what a blessed path it is!

James 1:27 Family said...

I'm right there with you, girl! Every single stinkin' day. I wouldn't mind if it wasn't RIGHT in front of my children.

Every once in awhile I get a nice comment too. While we were in the airport on Sunday, a woman quietly said to me, "I don't mean to intrude but did you adopt?" I said, "Yes." She said, "I just wanted to commend you and say that I think what you are doing is awesome." Well, that sure was different than normal!

I firmly believe that these comments are spurred on from Satan. He does not want children to be in forever families who love Jesus! My husband says, "If you aren't being criticized, you're probably not working for God."

Have you read, "Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?" by Donna Jackson Nakazawa? It has a really great discussion about answering ignorant comments.

Love you to pieces!

Unknown said...

Oh my! It never ends!

So sorry for you and your precious children!

I understand sadly more than I care to and look forward to the day where color doesn't matter and love rules the land!

Love you!

Shonni said...

Poor thing (you)...it is tiring sometimes, huh?
Keep it up though, we are showing the world what the Kingdom of Heaven really looks like!!

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

Oh Dear!!!! You would think we were living 30-50 years ago according to those remarks. Thank God we aren't and Thank God that our family can exist- most of the time without too much ignorance.

Kari said...

Amy, I just wanted you to know that you were nominated by a bloggy friend today at my blog. I'm throwing a fun contest called Brave Hearted Chicks and I think you will be blessed reading the comment about you & your amazing family. Now I'm blessed to stop by your blog!! I'm a new fan!
Amazing from top to bottom!!!!!!!
We just started our 2nd adoption back to Ethiopia.
Please come by and say hi:)))

Stacy said...

So sorry that happens. One day I will have my children from Ethiopia and hope to handle days like those as well as you.
You are truly an inspiration to me and I love reading about your family.
Thank you for your sweet heart.

Amy said...

Amy - one morning in a large chain store I was putting our son Brandon (biracial)in a cart and an older 'gentlemen' walked up to me and and said - "Don't they have Walmarts where he comes from?" All I could think of to say was, "he's with me" and quickly walked away. As I shopped I got angrier by the moment and prayed I wouldn't see him in the store, I think I would have run him over.

People flabbergast me often with their bad intentions. But then there are those that are genuinely excited and interested in our family too.

Hang in there.

Amy said...

Amy - one morning in a large chain store I was putting our son Brandon (biracial)in a cart and an older 'gentlemen' walked up to me and and said - "Don't they have Walmarts where he comes from?" All I could think of to say was, "he's with me" and quickly walked away. As I shopped I got angrier by the moment and prayed I wouldn't see him in the store, I think I would have run him over.

People flabbergast me often with their bad intentions. But then there are those that are genuinely excited and interested in our family too.

Hang in there.

Tracy said...

I would say "ignorance is bliss" but I'm pretty sure that someone with that mass amount of brain cells will be highly successful with a prosperous future. Or not.... I know I can't relate yet, maybe I should start thinking of smart come-backs now to prepare me for 2 years from now? Thanks for the heads up and hope you are now feeling better.

Unknown said...

Amy, so sorry you have had to deal with this. Fortunately, I haven't had too many rude comments, just lots of stares over the years. It took me awhile to get used to, but now I just love it because I know people can SEE what God has done in our lives.

I just have to share a comment from a little innocent girl one day. She kept looking at me and then at my daughter and finally asked, "Are you her mom?" "Yes" and she said, "You look different.", I said "oh, really," and she said, "Yeah, You have different eyes!" I had a huge smile, to know that the only difference a precious child saw was our eyes! Praise Jesus!

natali said...

wow. that clerk was so mean to kaden and you. It is SO sad that people are still like that, but trust me I know they are. Someone in my family the other day made THE most racist comment I think I have EVER heard. EVER. Something to the extent that white and black people should have different beauty pagents. I couldn't believe my ears and was so mad I just walked off. Sometimes you just have to walk off though, before you explode. Maybe taking your change and walking away was better than trying to explain things to the clerk. In those situations, prayer is the only thing that is going to change their heart.

Holly said...

you know, I am figuring out more and more that this is just our life. I just wrote out a long heartfelt post about race in adoption after a coversation between Josiah and an Asian woman at swim practice tonight.
Got me to thinking more...

Amanda Johnigan said...

I got turned onto your blog from Joy Portis (I think)! Love it so much. I was wondering what the process you went through for the adoption through the foster system and was Kaden the one you adopted. The reason I am asking is because I am caucasion and married to an African American man. We are a bi-racial family and I want to adopt a bi-racial or African-American child. The problem is is that IIIIIIIIII want to adopt. I am hoping that my husband will be touched in some way! But he is NOT there yet. I just feel like we have SO MUCH to offer especially him being an African American male and being INVOLVED as a father/husband. Please pray for us and that one day he will feel the same calling as myself. I would love to hear about your foster adoption. Unfortunately, money is an obstacle! Amanda Johnigan

April said...

Amy, I love to read your posts. I can't imagine how you manage to not come across the counter on people when they are so completely ignorant! I would hope that I at some point in my life, will have the same restraint! You are such a blessing to so many. I know that God is so proud of you and your family for just being obedient to HIS will! My husband and I are about to begin the process of adopting from the foster care system. Please pray for us and we search out the child or children we know God has already picked out for our family!

Sha Zam- said...

I had an inappropriate response. All I could think about was the poor guy behind you and I couldn't stop laughing. (Sorry- it's one of those days...)

dreamingBIGdreams said...

oh no, is this what i have to look forward to?

Dardi said...

Well, you can look at the one bright spot...at least she acknowledged the possibility of a white woman being married to a black man!

On another positive note, if people keep saying ignorant stuff, you can write a book & use it for a fundraiser to benefit adoption!

Carissa said...

that's so terrible! i guess they just don't see the beauty in God's creativity and the beauty in transracial families!

Kristen Howerton said...

Grr. Hate that!!

Renee said...

Oh dear, the grocery store seems to be the Bermuda Triangle of rude questions and comments. You handled yourself so well.

Live to love and laugh said...

Iknow what you mean girl. I feel sorry for people who cannot see beyond color or race.
They will never get to know how great our kids are.!

Laurel said...

So sorry for the ignorance of this clerk ... but glad that you had a compassionate soul behind you in line.

Thanks again for the FUN day on Sunday!


Andrea Hill said...

Bad checker! You have had quiet the run ins with the ladies at the check-out these days.

Stori said...

Amy, Thanks for sharing so much with all of us. It really is helping me feel more prepared for what our future might hold. We have bought tickets and I will be holding our two little ones on Oct 27th!

acceptance with joy said...

I'm stunned... and the commentor's story about her son and the "walmart" remark!!! Brought tears to my eyes. How can people be so unkind.

Karin said...

Sometimes the ugliness of this world rears its head to remind us that satan is the prince of it. So sorry you had to endure that. We hear more comments about our kids' special needs (and mostly from kids, rather than adults). They hurt our kids--but I am convinced that Jesus wants us to forgive each horrible comment and not let it burden us with pain and anger.

Anonymous said...

So sorry that you have to deal with this! Some people just don't have a clue!

Wendy said...

When I was questioned like this about how my son must look like his daddy, I answered by saying, 'I don't know. I never saw his father.' Then I walked out while their mouths were still hanging open. Of course, then I giggled hysterically at how funny I am! Stupid people deserve stupid answers.

wvamom said...

You know, we hardly ever get racial comments--and we live in an area which a pretty much homogeneous (white) population. Much more often my husband gets asked if he is our little boys' grandfather! Oh and sometimes our 20 year old daughter is asked if the 5 year old is her son. That makes her laugh (though I think it would make us all cry if he really had been her son! What a hard row to hoe that would have been for her!)

One of the reasons we chose to adopt twice from Guatemala, instead of once, though, was so our sons would each have someone who looked like them, since we don't have a large hispanic (and certainly not a Mayan) population.

Sorry you are having to endure such ignorance.

Janet said...

Yep--some days--just leave us alone. Our China girls (4 and 5)are 18 mo apart, are different sizes and shapes, have long and short hair, dark and light skin....if we're not getting adoption or racial comments, we're getting asked if they are twins...although they look nothing alike. My bio kids are also 18mo apart (16 and 17). One time a cashier asked if "they" were twins, but did not specify which kids. Of course I knew who she was talking about, but I turned to the big kids and said "no, she's 17 and he's 16, but they are both in 12th grade (we homeschool). We walked off leaving a very confused looking cashier.

Chaukie said...

Just today I blogged about an incredibly similar experience. It reminded a friend of mine of this post you had written a bit ago, so she shared it with me.

I too love to educate people on adoption, but sometimes I just plain don't feel like it and know the other person just is not going to get IT.