Friday, April 6, 2012

Ask Rachel: What I Really Want to Say

J.H. asked:

What crazy things do people ask you about your girls? And what do you feel like saying, but don't?
In no particular order...

"Are the girls real sisters?"
What I want to say, "No, they are fake sisters."
What I usually say, "Yes."
Why?  They are in the same family.  That makes them sisters.  

"Why didn't their birth parents want them?"
What I want to say, %$&%#$^$#^!"
What I usually say, "Their birth parents love them very much."
Why?  Because it's true.  My girls birth parents DO love them.  The reasons my girls were placed for adoption is none of anyone's business.  Period.

"I could never give my child away."
What I want to say, "My girls birth parents made a decision they felt was best."
What I usually say...nothing.  How does one respond to such nonsense?    There are so many things wrong with that statement...and it can only lead to drama.
Why?  Some people don't deserve a response.

"Are they mixed or full?"
What I want to say, "My kids aren't dogs.  They aren't breeds."
What I usually say, "My girls are African American."
Why?  It's the truth. 

"Are their birth parents young?"
What I want to say, "None of your business."
What I usually say, "Most birth parents are in their twenties."
Why?  It gives an answer without revealing personal information.

"I always wanted to adopt, but I wanted to have my own kids first."
What I want to say, "So you think adopted kids are second-class to biological kids."
What I usually say, "My kids are my own."
Why?  Because it's true!

I think what is most annoying is that my family can be anywhere---in a restroom, at a restaurant, in an airport, at a festival---you name it---and we are approached by strangers and asked intimate, personal questions----IN FRONT OF MY THREE YEAR OLD who repeats everything and understands much more than people might think.   The disrespect, the lack of boundaries, tact, and class, and the outright nosiness is intrusive and incredibly frustrating at times. 

I try to always respond:
---With more grace than how the question was asked.
---With respect for my child, her birth parents, and our family.
---In order to educate the asker (be it an adoption fact or a little manners lesson....)



  1. Oh my! This is one of my most favorite posts!!! I shared it with a bunch of my adoption friends!!!!!

  2. excellent post thanks for sharing...

  3. Those are good.

    We have 2 AA boys and I've been really noticing how much we are looked at by people recently. Most of the time it doesn't bother me but I go through phases of just being sick of it. I know people are just trying to figure us out (as I do when I see white families with AA kids...I think, "Oh man, how fun! I wish I could say something!" :) but somedays I just want to be another family that are "unseen" in public.

    OR>>maybe people are looking at us because they think one of us in a movie star! Yes...I feel like we are famously being watched.

  4. My personal fave is 'how much did he cost?' I want to say, 'none of your business!' what I actually say is, 'he is priceless!'

  5. I am one of those 3% of Adopted Parents who adopted and then got pregnant. When my kids were young--they are 15 months apart and are now 15 and 16, I would be asked if they were both adopted and I would explain that I had gotten pregnant after my daughter's adoption. I would get, "That happens a lot." I would then interrupt and tell them that it is not very common--at the time it was only 3% of adoptive parents. We just don't hear about those that don't get pregnant after adoption.

    I have posted a link to your blog on mine, I have just started.


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