I have four children. Active children. Not the kind of kids that sneak into a place unseen and unheard and two hours later someone comments – wow! I didn’t even know they were here. Those are not my kids.
As a result I am quite used to getting comments about our large family size (read that larger than the average 1.6 kids) and usually they don’t bother me or stand out to me much. “You must have your hands full.” or “My what a large family.” are standard statements I’ve heard many times. This time – this time however a woman made a comment that really stood out to me in that I had no idea how to respond.
The woman was near me as I was preparing to check out and said “Wow! You have a lot of kids.” I smiled, “Only four so far – you never know what God will send you!” (How could I not resist the chance to blow her mind if she thought four was A LOT of kids, right?)
She was still looking over my children and then, gesturing towards Micah, said, “Oh I see – you adopted this one didn’t you.” <insert blank, shocked stare here> Finally stammering out a response, “No – God has just blessed me with a diverse family.” I’m still wondering what else I could have possibly said.
I’m still wondering how I’m supposed to feel about that statement.
Offended? Sad? Annoyed definitely – I mean…I just keep thinking ‘What kind of question is that!?’
One implication is that it’s ok to have a larger-than-average family if you’re adopting. Or that families that adopt children are usually larger than normal? While I’ve seen that in action, I’d hardly say that’s a fact…it’s a rather odd assumption to make in fact.
Or because Micah’s skin tone is a shade darker than my other son, he’s not part of our family? How unfair.
And here’s the thing that bothers me about it the most I think – Let’s say for a second that it were true….Why would I differentiate between adopted and biological children? Does anyone really say “This is my daughter. And this is my adopted daughter.” Don’t they just say “These are my two daughters.” because they are all their children?
In the two cases of adoption within my immediate family it just isn’t something that is talked about all the time because it just isn’t something that matters at the heart of things. Family is family. Love is love.
And so I’m back to the original thought – why would a total stranger think it’s ok to ask about my children in such a personal manner anyway? There’s something about her question that bothers me that I just haven’t put my finger on to be able to articulate yet. Whether she was being rude, curious, or just ignorant I may never know.