There are many question we get as adoptive parents. Some we have been prepared for by our agency and some have come as a surprise. I wasn't sure which ones would get to me and which ones I would feel fine with until they were asked.
Usually I love to share- in hopes that maybe another family would consider adopting. After all it is such a miracle and such a joy and such an incredible journey- I wish everyone would do it!! Most of the question don't bother me at all BUT here are two that did...
Is she really really smart?
Excuse me! Wow, what a stereotype that one is... Whether she/they are or aren't really really smart what does it matter? Am I going to love them any less, will they be less successful in their future if they are smart or not. What's wrong with average, above average, slightly below average... I think I just told this person that she did live in an orphanage for 8 yrs. Smart or not, inexperienced is the word of the day. Potential could be used- that word describes the exciting adventure that we are currently on!
How odd it must be - just because someone is from a certain ethnic group or country they would then have some quality/characteristic immediately assumed about them. Some assumptions are not as complimentary as the one our daughter just had- it is very unfortunate and as parents we need to dispel the attitude. It is our job to protect our children and to help those that are mislead. What should I have said?
As a caucasian person in America we don't have to deal with it much (except when we leave America).
The other question that I found inappropriate was...
"Does she have issues?" They went on to tell of another adoptive family whose children are struggling. With this question my heart hurt. It hurt for the adoptive child, the preconceived ideas that others have, the inaccuracies of the information that they felt so freely to share and for the families that may shy away from adopting because of what they "hear" from others. I guess the word "issues" is red flag word for me. It has a negative connotation. Maybe coping mechanisms works better or personal strategies for coping or I'm up for other ideas if you have any!
If only I was quick witted and a fast thinker I would have been able to re guide this individual but I found myself giving a benign vague answer and then ending the conversation.
I share because I am amazed at these two girls, how well they are doing, how much they have already accomplished and with what they are working on. They are such precious gifts from God!
I think I will think twice before sharing our story with others. I may also prepare ahead for those two questions that just didn't feel right.