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Needless Worry?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My husband and I have a beautiful 5 month old baby girl. She's the spitting image of my husband who is a mix of Portuguese, African, and Native American. I'm about as white as you can be although my mom claims there's some Native American there .

Anyways, I've noticed a lot of times when I take my daughter out people are trying to figure out why my daughter looks the way she does. Once I was at church talking to these ladies and they hadn't met my husband yet. When my husband walked over they kind of had this look of realization on their face and said to each other in Spanish something like "Oh, she looks just like her father" (I don't think they knew I could understand what they are saying). We've had other similar incidences and people are CONSTANTLY saying how much she looks like him (and not like me).

I really don't mind that she looks so different that me, she's absolutely gorgeous!! But I do worry that people will think she's adopted or that I'm her nanny (we live in a neighborhood where nannies are VERY popular) if they haven't met my husband yet. Am I being silly here? Has anybody had any experience with this?
post #2 of 23
Well, my DD is 3 months old, so I'm just starting out with this. I can tell that a lot of people are trying to figure us out, but at least so far no one has assumed she's not my biological daughter. They just assume things about my husband.

Lately I've gotten, "Is your husband...dark?" and "Girl, are you married to a MEXICAN??"

I guess at least they figure she's mine, so that's a start. No one has asked me "where I got her" or anything yet.
post #3 of 23
Do you live in a community where there is not much diversity? Where I am there are many people with different looking babies than themselves.....There are multicolored babies all in the same family with one set of parents too....
post #4 of 23
I can relate to what you are going through. My husband is Korean, and we have an 11 month old. People make so many comments about her. They will say, "oh, her eyes arent slanted at all" or "she does not look asian one bit." I think she is a beautiful mix of the both of us. It really hurts my husband because we are so proud of his culture. The shape of her eyes makes her no less asian! I dont know if people realize it is insensitive to anaylze the genetic makeup of a child based on their looks, are make assumptions about their parents for that matter.
post #5 of 23
over the past 3 years (my dd turned 3 in february) i got a few of those stories:

a doctor asked me whether my dd was adopted (in front of dd!)

a lady said to me "Oh, dont mind that she doesnt look like you. its not your fault"

a few people have asked me so far whether she is "mine" or adopted.

my answer to all those questions: SHE IS MY DAUGHTER!

period. nothing more.

usually that helps and the people shut up (I personally find above questions/statements very rude).
post #6 of 23
@ Physmom - people are unlikely to think you're the nanny because you're white. I had the opposite situation - in a predominantly non-white neighbourhood which was a huge mix of ethnicities and races, people always assumed when I was a nanny that I was the kids' dad, because nobody had ever known a nanny who was a guy and/or who was white. My friend who has fairly pale children and is a few shades darker than her twins and lived in an affluent, white neighbourhood frequently was assumed to be the nanny - when out and about, when trades people came to the house, etc.

@ Whoopsy - while the question from the doctor may have been insensitive and could have been phrased better, doctors, IMHO, should ask whether kids are adopted rather than assuming that they share their parents' genetic histories and that their parents have their whole medical history.

I've noticed that people tend to say the child looks like the parent whose skin and hair matches in colour rather than looking at the shapes of features, etc, but I think in general it's wise to refrain from any sort of "She looks just like. . . " because it seems to provoke so much hurt, albeit mostly unintentional!
post #7 of 23
I'm white with a daughter that is the spitting image of her Vietnamese father. Yes, I have been approached many times by people who thought I adopted her from China (since that is what a lot of white couples are doing these days). To me, I don't think it is rude, I think it is natural that people will be curious. Mixed-race couples are still a relatively new phenomenon in many parts of the world, and it is simply human nature to be curious about new phenomenon. I think the key to dealing with it is your attitude. I consider us ambassadors for the new wave of the future (did you know mixed-race kids are the fastest-growing ethnic group?) and deal with the questions I get with humor and straightforward information.

I also think that the way you deal with questions will have a big impact on how your kids feel about the issue as well. My daughter is about as sensitive as they come, but she is not sensitive about how different she looks from me. I believe a large part of the reason why she is comfortable with her looks is because we have always been very open about how different she looks and joked about it within the family. She's naturally geeky too, so explaining to her about genetics and about how "mutts" tend to be healthier than purebreds helped too .

You're going to get questions, that's just the reality. The trick is to make it a positive experience for your kids rather than a negative one.
post #8 of 23
I wouldn't worry about it at all. People always say strange things and don't think at all before they open their mouths. Be proud of your child and don't worry about everyone else.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post
My husband and I have a beautiful 5 month old baby girl. She's the spitting image of my husband who is a mix of Portuguese, African, and Native American. I'm about as white as you can be although my mom claims there's some Native American there .

Anyways, I've noticed a lot of times when I take my daughter out people are trying to figure out why my daughter looks the way she does. Once I was at church talking to these ladies and they hadn't met my husband yet. When my husband walked over they kind of had this look of realization on their face and said to each other in Spanish something like "Oh, she looks just like her father" (I don't think they knew I could understand what they are saying). We've had other similar incidences and people are CONSTANTLY saying how much she looks like him (and not like me).

I really don't mind that she looks so different that me, she's absolutely gorgeous!! But I do worry that people will think she's adopted or that I'm her nanny (we live in a neighborhood where nannies are VERY popular) if they haven't met my husband yet. Am I being silly here? Has anybody had any experience with this?
Yes. That is the story of my life. No biggie! Welcome, little baby, to the "of indeterminate Asian or Mediterranean descent, with a white mom so everyone thinks you were adopted from a Korean orphanage although you do not look remotely Korean" club.

If you want she can call me when she gets sick of it, to vent.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaylamama View Post
I can relate to what you are going through. My husband is Korean, and we have an 11 month old. People make so many comments about her. They will say, "oh, her eyes arent slanted at all" or "she does not look asian one bit."
That is horrible!
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I consider us ambassadors for the new wave of the future (did you know mixed-race kids are the fastest-growing ethnic group?) and deal with the questions I get with humor and straightforward information.

I also think that the way you deal with questions will have a big impact on how your kids feel about the issue as well.
Totally agree!! Where we live is diverse (and educated) enough that most adults would not say anything but I encountered this for the first time at the playground when a little girl--maybe 5? 6?--asked if I was DS's mom and if he is adopted. Completely caught me off guard but then I just answered matter a factly and asked why she was curious. I'm sure its different with adults who maybe should know better but I think how you react to inevitable questions--regardless of where they come from--is so important for our kids.
post #12 of 23
When I was a child my friends at school thought my mother was my nanny or I was adopted because I didn't look like her. I'm not sure how she felt about it, but I can promise you that while I was annoyed, it didn't do any lasting damage. Better people ask then just stare and make assumptions! I will probably be going through that in my future, seeing as how my DS has two very different biracial parents. I'm Caribbean + white (Dutch ancestry) and DH is Native American + Greek but he's a ginger DS looks Hispanic or Native American most of the time. I just think he's beautiful
post #13 of 23
I'm have browner skin and darker hair than my dd and people are always saying "well she must look just like her daddy" I guess because she looks nothing like me. Nevermind the fact that she DOES look just like me when I was her age, just lighter. Her father has dark hair now but had blonde hair when he was a child. He has pale skin though and she has that, BUT she has never had a tan either. If my skin had never been colored by the sun I would be light too (not pale but lighter). Everyone says she takes after her father, not me. It's kinda annoying.
post #14 of 23
I am white, ex-husband is black. I was out with our son when he was about 3. He was very light then and has big blue eyes. He had a head full of curls at the time. These older white ladies came up to us, commenting on how cute he was. Then one of them said "He must get the curls from his dad." I said "No, his dad actually has no hair". She kind of looked at me confused and then my ex walked up and I thought she would faint, LOL.

When I took DS out at around 4 months, I had this white lady(who had a biracial child of her own) come up to me. She said "Keep him out of the sun, or he will get dark! And don't get used to those blue eyes; they will turn ugly brown soon! And his hair will be all kinky if you don't keep it short!" I got away from her really quick. I felt bad for her poor kid. Why would I marry a black man if I wanted a kid who looked white?

I don't have a problem with people asking about my son's ethnicity, as long as they are respectful. There is a difference in saying "Your son is beautiful. Can I ask what his ethnicity is?" and "WHAT IS HE?" or "He sure is cute to be mixed!"

Marsha
post #15 of 23
I have dark hair and pale skin. My daughter has golden hair. Many many times I have been asked by some mystified looking person, "Where'd the hair come from?" Here eyes are like mine seems like there's some idea out there that a little girl should be a clone of her Mama.

My answer: "She has a Dad."
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post
My husband and I have a beautiful 5 month old baby girl. She's the spitting image of my husband who is a mix of Portuguese, African, and Native American. I'm about as white as you can be although my mom claims there's some Native American there .

Anyways, I've noticed a lot of times when I take my daughter out people are trying to figure out why my daughter looks the way she does. Once I was at church talking to these ladies and they hadn't met my husband yet. When my husband walked over they kind of had this look of realization on their face and said to each other in Spanish something like "Oh, she looks just like her father" (I don't think they knew I could understand what they are saying). We've had other similar incidences and people are CONSTANTLY saying how much she looks like him (and not like me).

I really don't mind that she looks so different that me, she's absolutely gorgeous!! But I do worry that people will think she's adopted or that I'm her nanny (we live in a neighborhood where nannies are VERY popular) if they haven't met my husband yet. Am I being silly here? Has anybody had any experience with this?
I get the same thing only my dd is much more fair than I. It annoys me a wee bit because one does want their kid to get some things from them.

I think it is perfectly natural to feel that way no matter the ethnicity involved.

My son looks like me though. When he came out I was "HA!!"
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post

My son looks like me though. When he came out I was "HA!!"
DD1 looks like her dad. I think I've mentioned that her dad and I are both olive-skinned and dark-haired so people don't notice so much that she looks NOTHING like me beyond color. But I do. When DD2 came out, I was all, "She's MY baby!" She looks just like me.
post #18 of 23
HA!!!!

my dd looks just like me. really!!!

however she has much lighter skin.

and yes i got the looks and the questions - even though i live in a v. diverse area.

now that my grey hairs are all appearing i get the are u the aunt question. apparently grey haired moms are not supposed to have 6 year olds :

to me that was the begining. anyone who has a mouth can say whatever they want. i just shrug it off.

HOWEVER i dont get offended by many of the questions which on paper or typed up online look horrible. most of the time the people are genuinely curious and are really wondering - not intending to be racist or ignorant or whatever. i have never had any negative feeling questions before.
post #19 of 23
My dh and I are both white, but even so our older dd looks just like him and not much like me. My personal theory is that this happens quite a lot with first children for some reason. But our second dd looks very much like me, so I got one that is "mine" too. Who know what the third will look like!

I'd take most of these incidents as an opportunity for gentle education and try not to get upset about it. People do notice and comment on such things without thinking about how it feels to you. I have a fair, red-headed friend who married a Japanese man. Their baby looked completely Japanese, and she got dirty looks from Japanese people when she breastfed him on the train there. Poor thing!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGoGirl View Post
Well, my DD is 3 months old, so I'm just starting out with this. I can tell that a lot of people are trying to figure us out, but at least so far no one has assumed she's not my biological daughter. They just assume things about my husband.

Lately I've gotten, "Is your husband...dark?" and "Girl, are you married to a MEXICAN??"

I guess at least they figure she's mine, so that's a start. No one has asked me "where I got her" or anything yet.
Uggh, not that theres anything wrong with being married to a mexican. I will be soon enough, lol. I've gotten the "is her father black?" thing before, and I always state "almost!". He has the same skin color as my african american cousin, but clearly is not african american. That always confuses them.
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