I need to vent. Again.
I know that not a lot of people understand adoption. And I realize that I’m extra sensitive since I’ve adopted and come from a family with adopted children. But, here’s the conversation I had with the cashier at the grocery store.
Her: Where did your daughter get her nose, from you or your husband?
Me: Well, she’s adopted. So, I don’t know. But, I like to think that she looks like me.
Her: It is a cute little nose. Is your son yours?
Me: Yes, he’s mine, but adopted, too.
Her: Oh, well they look just like brother and sister.
Me: They are brother and sister, just not biologically…
I smiled and remained calm, but come on lady! Ugh! She needed to stop.
I was so proud of myself for telling her right away that they are brother and sister. Typically when people say stupid and rude stuff like this I’m too dumbfounded to come up with a proper response. And I really hope that she wanted to stick her foot in her mouth.
I know that she meant no harm. But, I also know that if I don’t vent, if I don’t let people know the correct vocabulary, my kids will have to deal with this forever (they probably will anyhow, but maybe I can change one or two people for them).
Adopted children are still *my* children. And they’re still real. If you want to distinguish between adopted, foster, or biological. Those are the words you use.
“Do you have any biological children?” Totally cool!
“Do you have any of your own kids?” Totally rude.
“Are they brother and sister?” Rude if you’re implying that genetics make a family.
“They look alike, are they biological siblings?” The right way to say it…
I know it seems petty and odd, but it’s important to me. So, if you care about someone who loves a child who’s not biologically theirs, then maybe it’s a good lesson. Unless we talk about it and confront the way that society approaches alternative family building, it won’t get any better.
These are changes that have happened in other realms. We used to say handicapped, now we’ve learned to say developmentally delayed. And it make sense.
I’m just asking you to be a little more P.C. for me 🙂