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Are Those Your Children? - Page 9

post #161 of 222
I have been asked numerous times if our kids are adopted. My answer, "No, but I am." It's true & it shuts them up.

I get the "They must look like daddy" statement too, although 2 seconds of observation would tell anyone that they are mine. DD1 & DS look like me. DD2 has my hair color & build.

People are funny. It doesn't bother me when they ask innocently. It's the very few who aren't so innocent in their questioning that irk me, but that's only happened about 3 times in 7 1/2 years.
post #162 of 222
To the OP:
Never had anyone ask me that but I do get a lot of "They must look like their father." And they do! It's positively uncanny.
I remember when they were born everyone assured me that they'd "darken up a little" later. But they've just gotten whiter and blonder and more blue-eyed the older they've gotten.
But it still kind of annoys me because I have white cousins that don't look at all like their mothers and nobody asks them the same question. And I get kind of tired of my mother saying, "Is TJ sick? He's always so pale. They both are. They need more sun. Are you sure they aren't anemic?"
post #163 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliepop View Post
I really wish people would think before they speak. I remember years ago, a woman told me that I was "pretty for a black girl." She really thought it was a compliment.
: I've gotten that. I've also heard plenty of "Well, you might be black but you're still very pretty." Or "Thank goodness you have nice hair!" Or the best one (from guys): "I'm not usually attracted to black girls but you're different." How messed up is that?! As if I should be flattered, or something. Once I answered back, "Well, I'm not usually attracted to morons and you're no different." But I usually don't know what to answer to that kind of thing. Have they come out with a book of snappy answers yet? I see a market there...

I think it's going to be funny when our kids start to date. People won't know what to think of it...
post #164 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2tatum View Post
I get bothered by people assuming I must have gotten knocked up by some black guy instead of assuming we are married. I know its easy to think that b/c of where we live, but ugh, that makes me feel bad for some reason. I guess b/c they don't assume that when they see a white mom with a white child...that is automatically assumed to be a two parent family, and we just aren't unfortunately. I feel like screaming, "my husband is a good husband, a good dad, and we love each other and yes, we are happily married and living in the same gosh darn house people!" It is more common in our area for mixed kids to be raised by a single white mother.
I just had to respond to that! My sister (who is married to a Puerto Rican and Black man) gets that all of the time. She often gets asked, "Oh, is the father still around?" : I, with my white DH and my cousin, also with a white DH, NEVER get asked that. In fact, people automatically assume we're married even if I'm not wearing my wedding ring. If I say, "Oh, their father's white." They usually follow up with something like "Oh, that explains it. Where does your husband work?" (as in, he's not a dead-beat and he's employed) My father's black and my parents are still married so I had to hear all about "runaway brothas" my whole life and it always annoyed me. :

But the worst is what my old boss went through in Germany. She and her husband are both Americans (he's German and she's Dutch+Indonesian and very beautiful). People stared at them EVERYWHERE and old German women would start whispering fiercely every time they walked by. They thought it was just general racism until they finally learned enough German to find out what the people where actually saying: "I wonder where he bought HER." Her DH actually had a German colleague come up to him at an office party and discreetly ask him if he knew how he could "Get a pretty Asian wife like that, too." I kid you NOT.

But I'm getting totally OT...
post #165 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade's Mom View Post
We get a lot of looks now. I wonder if I'll get more or less when he is walking and talking and DS calls my "Mommy" and he calls me "Grandma?"
Okay. Last post. I promise!
This weekend I was at the mall with my white mother and my 2 kids. Everywhere we went people complimented her on her beautiful children and looked right through me like I wasn't even there. Of course my mother was tickled pink that people thought she was young enough to have a 2 yo.
post #166 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
But the worst is what my old boss went through in Germany. She and her husband are both Americans (he's German and she's Dutch+Indonesian and very beautiful). People stared at them EVERYWHERE and old German women would start whispering fiercely every time they walked by. They thought it was just general racism until they finally learned enough German to find out what the people where actually saying: "I wonder where he bought HER." Her DH actually had a German colleague come up to him at an office party and discreetly ask him if he knew how he could "Get a pretty Asian wife like that, too." I kid you NOT.

But I'm getting totally OT...
:
post #167 of 222
Yeah, crazy, isn't it? The funny thing is that my boss' boss went through the same thing with his Brazilian wife. He actually met her at a scientific symposium in Europe as they're both Ph.D.s.
post #168 of 222
I only read the OP; so I'm sorry if I'm repeating. I'm white and my kids are white. I get asked if they're my kids every so often. I don't think (most) people mean harm when they ask this question, I think they're just curious. It's conversation, really. One time a woman said that DS1 looked more like DP than me -- but DS1 isn't DP's bio-child. DP, DS1 (who was about 4yo at the time) and myself all thought it was pretty funny. When I was about 17, people used to ask me if my 1yo cousin (who looked so much like me) was mine. It's probably because I was very motherly towards her when she was in my care. The same thing happens to my 21yo sister when she has my kids; even sometimes when I'm THERE with her; and she doesn't look much like them at all (we're all pasty-white with sharper features, and she's got rounded features and is of tan color). What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't necessarily matter what the kids and the adult look like.

For what it's worth, I looked at your picture and I think your kids look like you just fine. They're clearly mixed race, but I would just assume that their dad was white. Perhaps it was more because you said or did something that appeared to an outsider like you were an aunt or family friend, not a mom. (As in, you didn't fit what they figured a mom might say/do).
post #169 of 222
Thread Starter 
Quote:
For what it's worth, I looked at your picture and I think your kids look like you just fine. They're clearly mixed race, but I would just assume that their dad was white. Perhaps it was more because you said or did something that appeared to an outsider like you were an aunt or family friend, not a mom. (As in, you didn't fit what they figured a mom might say/do).
Nah, I can't eat that cookie. Through my demeanor, actions and words, I am clearly my children's mom. I really think it was a case of "one of these things is not like the other" and the cashier felt compelled to ask. *shrug* Could I be wrong? Sure, but I don't think I am.

post #170 of 222
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
: I've gotten that. I've also heard plenty of "Well, you might be black but you're still very pretty." Or "Thank goodness you have nice hair!" Or the best one (from guys): "I'm not usually attracted to black girls but you're different." How messed up is that?! As if I should be flattered, or something. Once I answered back, "Well, I'm not usually attracted to morons and you're no different." But I usually don't know what to answer to that kind of thing. Have they come out with a book of snappy answers yet? I see a market there...

I think it's going to be funny when our kids start to date. People won't know what to think of it...
Yikes! The things people say.
post #171 of 222
No one has ever asked me this question, although I have been asked "Is your husband Chinese"? Also, once when visiting in the USA a little boy (about 5 years old) in a play-ground said "How come your kids don't look like you?"
post #172 of 222
I get those questions ALL THE TIME!! I don't take offense to them at all.. people are just not familiar with multi-racial/biracial children..they are not portrayed in cinema, tv, advertisements, magazines,,etc..I amexotic.. dark long curly hair, dark eyes and light brown skin(halle berry color) for the most part most people don't know what I am.. I think they assume I am a mix of something or black... My husband is norwegian and our first child is olive skin, brown eyes and straight blond hair! He looks white! I get all the time.. questions about if he is mine or if I am the nanny ( we live in LA half the time). Justyesterday I was on a plane with my son who is 2.. he was sitting in between me and another passenger who was white and the stuartist made a comment while talking to him how she was giving him a break bc he had his son with him.. ONly bc they looked more alike altho he was clearly with me if she had paid anyattention to that but she only saw color. I have a 4month old who is lighter than his brother and has blue eyes.. so I know it'll be worse with this one!! My children look just like my family.. my sister is blonde haired blue/green eyed// my bro is green eyed.. my dad and most of his relatives are blue eyes.. I am multi racial.. but since I am the darkest of my family people just assume EVERYONE in my family is dark so I shouldn't have these white looking kids. Actually, I couldn't have black looking children! All my sister and brothers children are all white looking.. and I don't mean biracial.. they look white so when people see me with my boys now I always get a ton of questions. I usually handle it quite well and it doesnt bother me.. but every now and then someone will say someting smart and I will retort with something quite funny! Just go with it...
post #173 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliepop View Post


Nah, I can't eat that cookie. Through my demeanor, actions and words, I am clearly my children's mom. I really think it was a case of "one of these things is not like the other" and the cashier felt compelled to ask. *shrug* Could I be wrong? Sure, but I don't think I am.

:
I'm a very affectionate mom (like most moms are) and I've had several people wonder out loud if I was his nanny. The thing is that DS looks a lot like me. The only difference is that he's a little lighter and with straighter hair.
post #174 of 222
my husband is half korean and half portuguese and I am white. When my dd was only a few weeks old she looked more like her dad and had lots of black hair but I thought she looked a little like me so I was surprised when someone at the grocery store (an asian woman) asked if she were mine! I thought it was more funny than offensive because I wanted her to look a little asian anyway. Now she looks more like me so I'm not sure that people will mistake me for her nanny as she gets older but being in Ca people should know that there are a lot of multiculture families.

I have gotten the , "She must look like her daddy" comment usually from older Asian women.
post #175 of 222
Here's what bugs me. This question is most often a question about personal appearance. It is like asking, "Why are they so dark?" which is just as rude as, "Why are you so short/fat/tall/skinny/ugly/limping/in a chair/bent over/shaky/oblivious/whatever?"

They are ALL rude questions. It does not mean that the person asking it is anti-anything or racist, it's just rude.

Both my daughter and I have the same coloring (lightish skin, dark hair, etc.) but that is pure coincidence, as she looks just like her dad. People always assume she's my daughter or perhaps just don't mention it. Maybe they will sometime, but I doubt as often as people asked my mom about me!
post #176 of 222
Ok, I've read all 9 pages of this thread...I'm so glad I found it! I've got a lot to say so I apologize in advance for its length

My DD is only 3 months but when DH and I are out with her (he's white, i'm black), and people peak in the stroller, then glance back at us, you can see the wheels turning in their head as to the baby's make-up. But so far, we haven't had to answer any questions from strangers, we've only gotten compliments as to how beautiful she is, and there's no arguing that We have, however, received a fair share of questions & statements from my MIL which probably makes up for it--"When is she going to get darker/Her hair going to turn curly", "Are you part Hawaiian cause her eyes look almond shaped", and of course the dreaded "She's so EXOTIC" [public service announcement: limit your use of exotic to objects, not people], but the MIL is a subject for another thread/another time...

I can relate to so much of what has been said. Asking someone "What are you" may not seem like a loaded question to some, but is very offputting to the person on the receiving end. Because I am fairly light-skinned, I've gotten that question most of my life, and honestly, after 30 years of hearing it, I'm over it. Over the "oh but you're pretty for a black girl", "you're so lucky to have good hair", "oh you're so light"--said in a tone of disgust, or even the assumption that because I am on the lighter side, I've somehow had an easier life or that I couldn't possibly be black. And of course, the racial guessing game..."Are you egyptian/is your father or mother white/where are your people from"...Sigh. (I'd rant more, but the "what are you" thread is closed).

To me, "What are you" has always felt like a very abrasive question under the assumption that since I'm not a cultural "norm", I shouldn't mind that not only have I been deemed different in a country that calls itself a melting pot, I should accept that my background be subjected to public dissection.

Don't get me wrong, I love discussing cultural and different ethnic backgrounds, and there should be an open dialogue for this sort of thing if the recipient is open to it, but if you're going to ask someone a question about their personal background, how about approaching it with care and a bit more respect? How about instead of "What are you", asking: "Do you mind If I ask what ethnicity you are?" Ask me that way, and there's a good chance that I'd tell you that my on my father's side my G-dad was west indian and my G-mom was creole...and so on...

The same can be said for addressing a child's background. When I hear "what are they", it sounds more like you're expecting the outcome of some weird science experiment. Asking "are they yours" makes me think more of things than people, like a new car or a shoe collection. It objectifies them, but that's just my humble opinion. Take that with a grain of salt.

Even if you aren't sure the child and the guardian with them are "together", instead of asking "Are those children yours", what's the harm in saying "Aww, [he/she/they] are so beautiful, do you mind if i ask what their background is?" instead of assuming that a) the adult with them isn't their primary caregiver/parent and b) especially if the child is aware of the question being asked, not making them feel uncomfortable about their own family situation? Starting with a compliment, then asking "the question" respectfully will feed your curiosity a lot faster than assuming that since a parent and child look different, they aren't together. Even if the person with them is the babysitter or nanny, there is no harm done--you haven't assigned them as the parent, and if they do know the child's background they may be open to explaining.

In the case of adoption...If you again, start with a compliment, but then ask "may I ask about your family situation?" it sounds waaay too intrusive, and honestly, no one's business to begin with. It may be best just to start and end with a compliment, and then move on about your day. If the adult with them cares to share, they will, if they don't, they won't. Don't press them to satisfy your own curiosity, especially if the children are older and within earshot of the question. They may already feel a bit uncomfortable if their adoptive family looks drastically different than they do. Getting that question may make the child feel worse about being different and maybe a bit paranoid that everyone else notes their difference as well. In that situation, put yourself in the child's shoes and think about how comfortable you'd feel hearing that you possibly don't belong. If the parent does not open up to you, what's the harm in just assuming that they are a loving family who were open enough to take someone else in and love them as their own, and feeling good that there are good people out there that can extend their homes in that way?

That's my two cents
post #177 of 222
No way I could read all of this thread but had to jump in. Just to say that I am white, DH is white, and our children are white. I get the "is she yours?" question all the time with DD2, probably because I am fairly medium-complected, dark-haired and dark-eyed and DD2 is a tiny pink little girl with curly blonde hair and blue eyes. So, you don't even have to be of different races to get this question!
post #178 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfructose View Post
[public service announcement: limit your use of exotic to objects, not people], but the MIL is a subject for another thread/another time...

(I'd rant more, but the "what are you" thread is closed).

To me, "What are you" has always felt like a very abrasive question under the assumption that since I'm not a cultural "norm", I shouldn't mind that not only have I been deemed different in a country that calls itself a melting pot, I should accept that my background be subjected to public dissection.

Asking "are they yours" makes me think more of things than people, like a new car or a shoe collection.

When I hear "what are they", it sounds more like you're expecting the outcome of some weird science experiment.

In the case of adoption...If you again, start with a compliment, but then ask "may I ask about your family situation?" it sounds waaay too intrusive, and honestly, no one's business to begin with. It may be best just to start and end with a compliment, and then move on about your day. If the adult with them cares to share, they will, if they don't, they won't. Don't press them to satisfy your own curiosity, especially if the children are older and within earshot of the question.

That's my two cents
Ooooh, awesome post. Welcome to our forum! I agree with so much (if not everything) of what you wrote!
post #179 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfructose View Post
... and of course the dreaded "She's so EXOTIC" [public service announcement: limit your use of exotic to objects, not people]...
THANK YOU for saying this. My daughter gets this a lot. "Ooooh, she's so exotic!!" Uh, no. Cars, snakes, jewelry, some types of dancers... those things are so-called exotic. My daughter is just beautiful. Is she beautiful because of her mixed ethnicity? Or does her mixed ethnicity simply add to and complement a natural beauty? I tend to go with the second. She'd be beautiful if her facial design was the same but her hair was blond and her skin was pale like mine, too.

Like my youngest. His skin is pale (we went to the park yesterday and he turned pink in the sun - the other children simply turned darker). His hair is a rich red color and his eyes are hazel-green. Everyone says, "What a gorgeous baby!!!" And he's mixed too! Amazing... now their DAD gets the question I usually get: "Is he yours??" HA!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetfructose View Post
The same can be said for addressing a child's background. When I hear "what are they", it sounds more like you're expecting the outcome of some weird science experiment. Asking "are they yours" makes me think more of things than people, like a new car or a shoe collection. It objectifies them, but that's just my humble opinion. Take that with a grain of salt.

Even if you aren't sure the child and the guardian with them are "together", instead of asking "Are those children yours", what's the harm in saying "Aww, [he/she/they] are so beautiful, do you mind if i ask what their background is?" instead of assuming that a) the adult with them isn't their primary caregiver/parent and b) especially if the child is aware of the question being asked, not making them feel uncomfortable about their own family situation? Starting with a compliment, then asking "the question" respectfully will feed your curiosity a lot faster than assuming that since a parent and child look different, they aren't together. Even if the person with them is the babysitter or nanny, there is no harm done--you haven't assigned them as the parent, and if they do know the child's background they may be open to explaining.

In the case of adoption...If you again, start with a compliment, but then ask "may I ask about your family situation?" it sounds waaay too intrusive, and honestly, no one's business to begin with. It may be best just to start and end with a compliment, and then move on about your day. If the adult with them cares to share, they will, if they don't, they won't. Don't press them to satisfy your own curiosity, especially if the children are older and within earshot of the question. They may already feel a bit uncomfortable if their adoptive family looks drastically different than they do. Getting that question may make the child feel worse about being different and maybe a bit paranoid that everyone else notes their difference as well. In that situation, put yourself in the child's shoes and think about how comfortable you'd feel hearing that you possibly don't belong. If the parent does not open up to you, what's the harm in just assuming that they are a loving family who were open enough to take someone else in and love them as their own, and feeling good that there are good people out there that can extend their homes in that way?

That's my two cents
I wanted to highlight the curiosity phrase in there. It's human nature to wonder, but it's not right to be rude because you feel entitled to an explanation (NOT referring to anyone on this board!!). If you see a child in a wheelchair, most people know it's extremely rude and upsetting to make a fuss and say, "My goodness! What happened? Was he born like that? Was there an accident??" But a lot of people don't think twice about inquiring as to a child's ethnic background as if it sets the child apart or as if it's any of the stranger's business.

I've had a few people politely ask if they could inquire about the child's ethnicity, but mostly it's just "Is their daddy... um, you know... Mexican?" For shame, right?

Usually, though, I get folks who say they don't look like they could be mine because I look too young to have three kids. (That's when I tell them I have six and watch their reaction.) Of course, my 6-yo DS is going through a phase where he happily (and loudly) tells whoever is in earshot that he's almost six and his mom just turned 35!
post #180 of 222
This thread is great.

My DH is Iranian, and light skinned for an Iranian. I'm American of mixed heritage (mom is Dutch-Indonesian and Dad is Swiss-German), but much darker than DH - my hair is almost black, while their hair is decidedly medium brown. Our older DD has DH's complexion - they have the exact same skin color, eye color, etc., and look very much alike. Iranians always ask me (in front of DH) why DD is blonde (she's not!), and then go on to argue that she must take after me! Uh, hello?

These are the same people who offer condolences on having a second daughter.

My own brother and sister are much fairer than I am, and I've been asked many times if I'm adopted, and even told that I'm not telling the truth about being my siblings' sister. I also hate being asked "what" I am - what's the point of asking such a useless question, anyway? What real information comes from it? When I answer truthfully, I often get a "duh" stare anyway, as if the person is making a mental note to go home and actually look at a map.
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