Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some Questions Should NOT Be Asked

On the left side column, you'll notice I've listed some of the most common questions we get regarding our choices to adopt and have a large family. In addition to these, we receive plenty of thoughtful, good questions, positive comments and support, too- but these are the top winners in the negative category. If you're reading this and have been guilty of asking one of these, be comforted in knowing you're probably not the only person who asked. We've heard these so many times, we rarely recall specifically who asks what, so you're not being singled out.

I was just curious... To other adoptive parents: What are some of the questions you've been asked that are either really insensitive or stupid, or really get you ticked? Sometimes, it's not even the nature of the question that gets to us as much as the number of times it's been asked, isn't it? People don't realize that they are probably the 253rd person to ask. How do you respond to offensive (or insensitive/ignorant/embarrassing/repetitive/hurtful) questions? Maybe more importantly, how do you plan to teach your child to respond to those questions (they're going to learn more from our attitudes in handling these things than we may want)? Maybe a discussion of this topic will help our friends and families to know what to say (or not), and how to phrase questions or comments they have in non-hurtful ways. I know the majority of people have good intentions and never mean to be hurtful, but we can all be insensitive and stupid sometimes. I know I certainly am.

Comments, anyone?


Miles' Mama said...

I'm so glad you posted about this. I have hinted at this topic a few times on my blog, and actually have a similar post written but haven't posted it yet (5 biggest misconceptions about our adoption). I am 100% with you on the questions that people ask and also the answers you gave. I truly believe that these kinds of questions come from a place of ignorance--people don't mean to be rude, but it certainly comes across that way, doesn't it?!? I am practicing forgiveness and grace when it comes to this kind of thing. I don't want to be defensive (even though I want to scream at these people sometimes). I want to practice how I handle these types of questions now so I can handle them with intelligence and dignity in front of my children--the last thing I want to teach my kids is that they have to defend our family. If they see mommy and daddy handle those questions this way, they will be able to handle them better themselves when the times comes. At least, that is my hope and prayer. Have you read "Cross-Cultural Adoption: How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends and Community" ? It's a good resource. Thanks for reading my essay/comment! ;)

Jeff said...

I got your blog from a comment you left on my site - This is a great topic and I think I will post about it soon. This is my favorite one that we've heard: My wife was getting her nails done and she brought up adoption from Vietnam to the guy doing it, not knowing exaxtly where in Asia he was from. Anyway, he said, "Why you adopt? That baby only love you 2%, 98% she won't love you." "You only adopt for the money" I guess he was meaning the tax break. My wife just laughed and said, "Trust me, no family that adopts internationally is doing it for money." We were not offended at all by these comments; we actually still get a good laught out of it.