Are Those Kids Yours? is a book that adoptive parents were required to read before completing our homestudy. I think it should be a required reading for the FAMILIES, FRIENDS and COWORKERS of adoptive families. : )
Now a days, adoptive families have to read about attachment disorder, post institutional delays ect, ect.
Anyway, I have had my share of comments from bizzare to just unable to not be nosey! When my son arrived home, I became a stay at home mom, and we ran alot of errands. I went to the post office one day with my son Ravi, then 1 year old. As the line moved, the little boy in front of us, no older than 3, watched Ravi and I over and over. Finally, as his mother was about to be waited on, he must have realized, this was his only chance, and he grabbed it.
"Lady, is that your little boy?" Yes, I said. "Why doesn't he look like you?"
I sat there thoughtfully for a while, looking around, realizing that he didn't look like his mother. I bent over and said, "yes, I'm his mama". Then I looked around (exaggerated) and looked at his mom. "Is this your mother", I asked him. "Yes", he said. I told him that he didn't look alot like his mother, but I could tell that she was his mother because they were standing close together like mothers and children do. She smiled and said, "Her little boy must look like his daddy".
No one had to know if my son was adopted, or if he just looked like his daddy. I had decided before he came home to use each of these awkward moments as a "teaching moment".
Later, when my daughter came home, I had another moment (and plenty since!). On this particular day, I had finally decided to take my son to a homeschooling activity that he had missed since my daughter had come home. I remember all the kids being curious about my daughter, but they didn't understand that she was adopted. They thought she was mine biologically. All the children went to run in the park, and I sat down to nurse Lakshmi. Suddenly, all of the children started running to me, to watch me breastfeed my daughter, who looked nothing like me. They had lots of questions, none about me actually breastfeeding an adopted baby (altho the moms did! LOL) but more about how she could be my baby if she was dark skinned and I was light skinned.
I try to use these teaching moments to help other people cope. But my kids are now all older, and they don't care for the teaching moments at all.
Now, I gauge the situation. If the question is nosey, I tell the person, "You are asking some very interesting questions, but I'm affraid I can't answer you, because my kids don't like me sharing private details". I treat all of those nosey people like I treat the children who ask.
For those who might be trying to find out if we have something in common, I will say, "Yes, they are adopted, are you planning to", and if they are, the conversation grows, and if they aren't I just say, "thanks for asking", and I turn away.
Because my ex-husband is Indian, people are often very confused about just what my kids are...bi-racial or adopted. But I feel it isn't really their business.