Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Confidence to Combat

Recently Dr. Phil's show featured "modern families" including a mother with two biological children and who child whom she had adopted from China. The woman's question to Dr. Phil was how she should handle the rude comments and nosy questions that come from strangers including, "How can you love your adopted child as much as your biological children?"

Dr. Phil posted some helpful tips on his website. If you're an adoptive family, you could pass this on to friends and family members.

My husband and I joke that we're going to make a business card to hand to people that says something like:

Yes, we adopted our daughter. Yes, we realize she is black. Yes, she is "our own." Yes, adoption wasn't our second choice. Yes, adoption costs a lot of money, but we were paying for a process, not buying a baby. Yes, we believe this was God's plan for our family. And yes, if you don't like it, it's because you have some race issues that we hope you can deal with...privately.

We could just hand it to people and walk away. :)

Dr. Phil brought up a great point that an online friend of mine, who is an adoptee, once shared: How we react as adoptive parents to the questions and comments of others, while our child is standing there, matters!

I think as my husband and I grow in our confidence (of being a parent and as parents of a baby who doesn't look like us), our answers are stronger, more direct, and less confusing. When we first had our child I would mutter a response that was wordy and rambling. Now I can speak more frankly and without as much reserve. It's empowering.

Another online friend, Andi, said this recently on an online message board (paraprhased): We, no matter who you are, must combat racism no matter what.

Others are watching us, judging us, and probing us. How will we react?

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