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May 22, 2009



Wow. A lot of people really don't think before they speak and your post is a primo example of this. It's quite shocking especially as it's (she checks her calender) 2009.


Is it really possible that mothers of mixed-race kids get asked on a regular basis whether their kids are from Ethiopia?

Well, not Ethiopia, but yes. I get asked all the time when I adopted my (biological) daughter, and even how I got such a wrong baby out of China but those who know a little about international adoptions ...

All I can say is you have far more patience than I do. Last week on the subway a woman came over to admire my baby (fine), stayed for a while (getting annoying but fine) and finally came out with "She's so unusual looking!" and then proceeded to spend a good 5 minutes reiterating that comment in different forms and fishing for my child's racial identity. Beats me what she expected, but I did not in fact reply "Ah yes, I had a lovely evening with an martian and, well, we weren't using any trip of birth control so ..." But I may next time.


wow - I thought I got irritating comments. You win by far.


Perhaps the cashier meant godmother? (I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt here...) :-)


people are so irritating. unbelievable. you show tremendous grace in the face of such ignorance. I don't see how people feel the right to ask any such questions, except for their own curiosity, which you are not there to satisfy. ugh.


Wow. Though I hope there's a day you get to say what you're really thinking.

I also hope we can start forging some new rules of etiquette: never ask questions about a baby in a woman's arms unless you are close friends and willing to actually listen to whatever info she feels comfortable imparting.

Also, just curious: Is there a question you wishes people asked? Something in your experience you wish the wider world acknowledged?


"We don't think about this as raising somebody else's child. Squeaker is our child just as much as if I'd given birth to him."

The problem with that sort of comeback is that it expands the myth that adoption is "as if" one gave birth to a child, which can get rather misleading.

I know what the original intention is, and some people will absolutely insist that adoption IS - in fact - just like giving birth, as IF they have indeed been yours since infancy (sans the womb).

But I believe it's misleading and can be miscontrued accordingly....


Wow, i had no idea that people would actually ask these types of things. I guess I should not be surprised but I am. I think your thoughts are waay better than your spoken answers. But you are good, i may have spoken my thoughts. When i was growing up had a friend who had a mixed race baby, she was white, daddy was black, and she got alot of shit. That was back in the day and I like to hope we have come a long way. I bet in some places we haven't. Great post!


The answer to your musings about whether white mothers of mixed race children are asked if the kids are theirs is YES. A former neighbor of mine was married to an Afro-Caribbean man. Whenever she was out with her kids alone people assumed they were either adopted or no hers. Another friend of mine from grad school is married to a man of Chinese heritage. On a campus with a lot of Korean and Chinese foreign students, she was once asked, "What are you doing with a Chinese baby?". In my vicarious experience, seeing something "unexpected" such as a mixed race family seems to turn off people's politeness filters.


Oh, it is such a good thing that you are keeping track of the inane things that people say to you. You will be able to publish this someday, I assure you. I would be the first in line to read a book about the stupid things people say about this or that. But the second chapter has to be about their reactions when you say what you think..I'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall then. Gosh, I hope this doesn't sound like I'm trivializing what you hear about Squeaker on a daily basis as entertainment. I am apalled at what you've encountered, though I guess I am not surprised. And I am proud that some of the small-town country folk seem to be more accepting/less curious than the big city folks. But then, that's my little bias coming to the surface!


Ohhhh, I am so with you on this one. It blows my mind the questions people ask us. The Ethiopia question is classic, as is "How long have you had him?" or the alternate "When did you get him?" I could go on and on . . .

Here is a link to my post about a comment I recently got. It was a new one to me!



Hehe. Aww... He IS fabulous!


Saw you made it into Adoptive Families magazine with this post! Yay!

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