Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Unfortunate Encounter...

We have been lucky so far... at least until last Tuesday. We have had many well meaning people talk to us about our daughters and we have been pretty open about it. The girls seem somewhat unfazed by the conversations so far.

As of last Tuesday I have changed my policy. I am keeping my mouth shut, our family is no one else's business. I must have felt we owed people a reason why two older parents have adopted 2 beautiful asian children.

We are on the plane flying home. Sarah is with me and Jim and Anna are in front of us. I am sitting next to an older lady. She wasn't the smiley type so my gut told me to keep some space. We did that until the end of the flight when I felt obligated to chat. I am so proud of our daughters I often want to talk to others about them! They amaze me!

The woman said she was from Wisconsin. Sarah had no clue where that was so I felt obligated to tell her that Sarah has only been home 14 months- what a mistake that was. It opened the door for questions and comments.

The first one was where are they from? Are they sisters- which I quickly answered yes, in hopes she would stop.

After that she started talking about Haiti, it was inappropriate and not complimentary. I was getting uncomfortable thinking "oh no, what is next?"

Then she asked if they (our daughters) were some kind of euro asian mix, where the Dad is a caucasian military man and the woman is asian. She kept repeating to herself "Now what country did that happen in?"I thought I was going to fall over dead, I could not believe what she was saying. I started praying she would stop talking. I quickly answered NO and stopped the conversation.

I have officially learned my lesson- no more extra sharing, no more leniency on what others can say- we will keep to ourselves and smile! (The girls did not get it- thank goodness.)


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

So sorry this happened. People can be sooo hurtful! Something I will never understand!

Adeye said...

Oh my goodness, I am sooooo sorry you had to listen to that! Ugh, friend. Some people have no brain at all.

Janet and Kevin said...

Oh, that is no fun to be in those types of situations. People are also beginning to ask us if Philip and Eli are brothers. It's a strange question considering how vast China is and that they do not even resemble each other. Not. at. all.

A couple of people in China would comment on their cleft lips as being the same so they must be brothers!! Oh brother!!

I usually have a feeling if it is someone who means well but didn't word it correctly and offer a kind explanation. But if it is someone who is just plain rude, I don't offer anything at all!

Sorry for the rudeness of that lady. Maybe she got home and realized what she had done and won't do it again! One can only hope.

janet, kevin, ted, philip, and eli

Sue said...

I have been in your isn't fun...I haven't gotten more then once that Katie isn't full blooded Chinese because she is "to white"...Katie has overheard that before and have asked what it means. Some people just don't know when to keep their mouths sorry you had to go thru that...Hugs

TanyaLea said...

oh my word!...are you kidding me?!?! I swear, some people were born completely VOID of any COOTH or common respect. GRRRRRRR!!

I think I learned my own lesson through your unfortunate experience. I think you handled it well, though.

Have a blessed weekend!
~ Tanya

Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

Oh good grief! Thankfully, I haven't had that happen...yet. But often people will go on and on about how cute Lucy is, while Macy is standing right there. It makes me want to cry. I usually respond with, yes, THEY are very cute girls.

You are so wise to nip this in the bud before the girls are old enough to catch on.

Oh, I did have a lady ask if the girls are sisters. She was VERY
nice and I knew her intentions were good so I tried not to take offense and just said, "not biological but yes, they are very much sisters." Although now that I think about it...I should have just said YES, and left it at that.

Mandi said...

Okay, I know this is NOT funny but "Euro Asian?" REALLY???? I must admit I did chuckle a bit at that. I don't know if I would have handled the situation as well as you did.

Whenever we get comments like that I have to continually remind myself that not everyone is educated in the eyes of adoption.

We have already been asked several times if Mylee and Drew are "real" brothers and sisters and I am sure once we get Drew home we will hear it so much more.

Unknown said...

So sorry for this experience. Praise God for the innocence of children that keeps them for understanding everything. Just remember that those that are making the comments are most likely the ones that are missing out on the joy that God allows us to experience. Sounds like you handled it well!

Difference2This1 said...

Wow...I knew what Reagan's teacher told me her parents did was pretty "cutting edge" for their day, but that woman's comments just confirmed it. This teacher grew up with a younger brother from Korea...once of those "euro asian mix" kids that woman so unkindly stereotyped. Her parents adopted him during the Korean airlift where babies of mixed race were brought here to avoid the torture they were expected to receive there due to their mixed race. When she told me this, I immeidately thought how incredible her parents were to brave the racial issues that had to have been huge during that time. What incredibly brave people they were to stand up to people like the woman on your plane by willingly adopting and LOVING that "kind of euro asian mix" child. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that woman- but God bless those who took the road before us in adopting children of Asian background after the Korean and Vietnam wars...they had to have paved the way for so many of us.