I thought some of you might enjoy this:
This a foster-parent one, but I thought I'd share:
From a clueless person at our house of worship, RIGHT IN FRONT of my 8-year-old foster son:
"So, which of the kids are really yours, and which are foster kids?"
Fortunately, having gotten some inspiration from other MDC posters, I was able to not strangle her and instead reply "They are all really mine, but a I gave birth to A, B and C and D joined our family from the foster system."
It only makes it worse that she didn't mean to cause offense or hurt D's feelings. Maybe she has Aspberger's?
Said to me, while my 20 month old daughter was on my back: Wow... you look like you could really be mother and daughter!
This was said by an employee of the place where we frequently take our dog for doggy day care, so she knew dd joined our family through adoption b/c I was clearly not pregnant and then one day I had a baby, so I explained how we are an adoptive family. This was not the first ignorant thing she has said (probably well meaning)
Please don't joke about autism, or suggest that people lacking social skills have Asbergers. Thank you.
My own child struggles terribly with spectrum-type symptoms. Having a sense of humor about it is a hell of a lot better than the alternative IMHO. But if you can be overly sensitive on this topic, I can certainly be overly flip.
Pumpkingirl makes a good point that I didn't consciously realize before, though. Given how often this particular lady says something totally off-the-charts socially inappropriate... my "joke" may well reflect reality. Certainly, she is not someone who I think would have benefited from an angry retort. Glad my subconscious helped me out that day!
About 6 months into the placement of my ad, we thought we were going to wind up with our former fd permanently. Ad's adoption wasn't finalized yet and so help me, we had no idea when it would be (it was supposed to have been completed at that point).
My MIL actually asked us: if we took ffd back, what would happen to ad? I asked her what she meant. She said "Would you still keep her, too?" After making sure she didn't mean "will the state allow you to keep her, too" I asked her if she thought I should just hand my ad back to the state. She said "Well, it would be a lot of work..." (as in having ffd, ad and my son--who were at the time 18mo, 6mo and 5yo respectively... and ftr, we had previously had foster placements of 2 under 2 with no problems :/ ).
Give her back...? Really?
The worst is "Where is she from?" (ad is obviously Latina and the rest of us very pale/light). I usually say the name of the town where she was born. They then ask where her parents were from. I usually skip telling them where dh and I are from and instead respond "I guess they're from there, too: you usually go to the nearest hospital when you're in labor!"
Moreover, people are so critical of my son's bio mom but they rarely mention his bio father. As a feminist this really irks me.
With every single one of my foster placements, somebody who is closely involved with the case (worker, GAL, lawyer, biomom) has harped repeatedly on the fact that "there is no dad." Drives me up the wall. EVERYBODY has a dad. The fact that these kids don't have any help or support from their dads is a huge part of how they ended up in foster care!
Yeah..it was horrible..And he has said equally horrible things about 5 year old L also..It will never change for us and I am thinking we are just going to have to distance ourselves because of it..My son is 22 and has horrible issues and this didn't help matters any..He always felt like nobody cared about him..And I don't ever want L to feel that way...:((
While waiting to board a plane with bio dd 4 at the time and adopted dd 5 at the time, the woman next to us kept saying " They can't be sisters". I kept telling her why sure they can " No they can't" and while I wanted to scream "WHY BECAUSE ONE IS HISPANIC" I realized that I may wind up sitting next to her the whole flight I just smiled and said " Sometimes God makes family though adoption." She just put her head down. The ironic part of all of it is my oldest 2 dd dont "look" like they could be sisters either for the same reason yet I birthed both of them LOL
These stories really hurt my heart. As for the asperger's comment - my son too struggles with autistic like behaviors (but is not on the spectrum - we discovered he has a genetic deletion which can cause autistic like behavior) and I always wonder if everyone I encounter has some sort of struggle of their own so I do try to come at all situations from a place of compassion. However, I don't think that "blaming" a condition is the right answer.
That being said... I once had a neighbor say to me "where'd you get him?" I just telling her I didn't understand her question and walked away. I've had people ask if he's adopted (he's Latino and we are not). I usually respond with "why do you ask". If it's a good reason (my cousin is adopting, I'm thinking of adopting, etc.) I'll answer. If they are being nosy - I just walk away. A fellow adoptive mother told me that once, in front of her Guatemalan child, was asked "is her mother a prostitute?" ~thud~. She responded immediately with "No, why? Was yours?".
It amazes me the level of entitlement people have. They think they have a right to ask personal questions. I've found that by responding with "why do you ask" or "what an intimate question to ask a stranger" it usually is a gentle reminder to MYOB.