or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Are Those Your Children?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are Those Your Children? - Page 2

post #21 of 222
Olliepop -
I think you are right on key when you mention that your reaction is the most important to your DD. You might want to reherse a few different answers depending on the situation and the exact phrasing of the question, so that you won't be stumbling for your answer at the time.
Your daughter will be asked if you are her mom when you aren't around as she gets older. She will need to have heard you answer proudly, without apology many times so that she feels as strong about her family.

DP and I are both white women and DS is AA. I've got good answers for "Is he yours?" (though few people ask when he's hanging off my body saying "mommy, mommy, mommy!") - It's "Does he look like his father?" that I don't have a good 1-liner for... we have no daddy in our family and I never met either of his birthparents. I do know some lesbian moms to say something like "I don't know, I only met him one time and it was all such a blur!" We don't have many other POC in our family, or else I could say something like "We have a bunch of those great brown eyes in our family" to deflect.

When I see other pairs of adults/children in the park (for example), I assume that they are parent/child until proven otherwise. I do seem to be a magnet for nannys, though - they come to chat me up to figure out where I fall in relationship to DS.

Good luck!
Cyndi
post #22 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyndimo View Post
It's "Does he look like his father?" that I don't have a good 1-liner for... we have no daddy in our family and I never met either of his birthparents. I do know some lesbian moms to say something like "I don't know, I only met him one time and it was all such a blur!"
up
post #23 of 222
My daughter looks exactly like her dad. Looking at their baby pictures you can't tell them apart. Well, I do not look like my husband and therefore my daughter didn't use to look much like me (that's changed a little now).

So I've been asked a couple of times and usually answered: "I'm not sure she's mine. I'm wondering did my husband cheat on me."

I wasn't really happy when asked if I am the grandmother.
post #24 of 222
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I think you are right on key when you mention that your reaction is the most important to your DD. You might want to reherse a few different answers depending on the situation and the exact phrasing of the question, so that you won't be stumbling for your answer at the time.
Fantastic Idea! Let's brainstorm and let's pretend the children are with us so our response is for them too. We need answers for:

Are those your children?

Are you the nanny?

I guess they look like their dad, huh?

Are they adopted?
post #25 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetasMom View Post
So I've been asked a couple of times and usually answered: "I'm not sure she's mine. I'm wondering did my husband cheat on me."
.
laughup hilarious!
post #26 of 222
Great thread...

Fortunately, I never get asked whether ds is mine, but I do pick up on people's stares whether subtle or not (that is, eyes on me...eyes on ds...eyes on me... eyes on ds... you get the pic, right?) I can see on their faces that they want to ask. Interestingly, my husband (Czech-Irish; Caucasian American) is asked frequently whether ds is his - most think he's adopted. Others have made more unsavory comments like, "Asian people are good people..." Sure, upon first glance a statment like this seems complementary, but it's so fundamentally problematical. For me, I hate when people assume that all Asians look alike or know each other. While waiting to get into the children's museum, if there is an Asian family in line ahead or behind me, the customer service person will nearly always ask US "are you together or separate?" Here's the thing that bothers me the most: when I address this issue with the customer service person and say (in a sensitive and gentle manner) "I would appreciate if you didn't make assumptions based on race..." I always get a defensive response and it makes me feel awful and worried that progress is out of sight. Here's the most fascinating experience, IMO: sometimes other korean speaking koreans assume I don't speak the language and, therefore, make unpleasant remarks, in Korean, about my family being biracial. The thing is, I understand them!!!

Ignorance and intolerance comes in all shapes and sizes.
post #27 of 222
It happens to me all the time. I look very young (I was 20 when I had DD but routinely got asked if I lost my parents...) so people would assume I am the big sister or baby sitter even if she did look like me. The thing is, I am very pale white while my DD is half congolese, but looks like a dark skinned Indian. I have encountered so many people, in so many circumstances, who did not believe she came out of me. They usually stop questioning it when she starts pulling on my shirt and asking for milk. A usual conversation goes a little like this
-Where is she from?
-My uterus
-oh...are you sure, she is Indian right?
-couldn't she be half Indian?
-NO! She is definitely 100% Indian.
-Well, she is not Indian at all.
-yeah, right...

I also had problems when I left her for a few minutes at the IKEA childcare thing while shopping. The woman was worried I might be some crazy kidnapper or something. I can see why she would it take it seriously, so I thought it was hilarious.
post #28 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
I also had problems when I left her for a few minutes at the IKEA childcare thing while shopping. The woman was worried I might be some crazy kidnapper or something. I can see why she would it take it seriously, so I thought it was hilarious.
That's interesting about IKEA...

Well just the other day I was walking around the neighborhood with my DC and got asked this. We were passing a woman and she first said how cute the kids are etc. and then came the "are you the baby-sitter, or are they yours?" question! DD is 2 and understands everything so I wonder what she thought of this woman asking "are they yours?"

When DD was a baby I got "my what a tan she has" and "where did she get those curls?" DH was out with her one time and a woman said to him "I guess she has her mother's complexion", which is funny b/c uh, no she doesn't! She doesn't have mine or Dh, it is her own!

Oh, I just remembered a NICU nurse asked where she got her dark hair from! Some sensitivity please? My DD was born 10 weeks early and you're wondering why her hair is black and mine is blond?

Sorry if I am rambling or off topic but the NICU thing reminded me about the pediatrician. When DD was born he came to NICU to meet us. She was very pale with black, straight hair. Dr. hadn't met DH. Fast forward to our first appointment after coming home from NICU about 2 months later. DD was now darker and her hair was beginning to curl. The dr. looked shocked when we came in. Again, DH wasn't with us and the ped asked "what ethnicity is your husband?" I don't know if I was just being overprotective/paranoid but my first thought was "if you knew she wasn't 100% white does that mean you wouldn't have had her as a patient?" OK, sorry to go OT...
post #29 of 222
I'm white and my boys are biracial. I never get asked the "are they yours" question--we live in a very p.c. area. But I often notice people giving us the surreptitious once-over and doing some silent calculating. I swear I can see the lightbulb go on in a person's head when they figure out that they are "my kids" and that daddy must be Asian.

A few years back I was at the park with ds#1 and I spotted a blonde woman with three kids who were hapa just like my son. I was intrigued just because dh and I know tons of asian woman/white man couples but seldom meet white woman/asian man pairs like us. I attempted a little small talk and said "oh, your son is so good on the monkey bars" or whatever, to which she said, kind of annoyed "uh, I'm the nanny".

You really never know.
post #30 of 222
My husband (not white) is the one who gets this-- I don't think anyone assumes he is their dad. Even my DD's teacher asked "who's that?" when she saw her with my DH. Most of our children are assumed to be white except for one DD who looks ambiguous-- and with her, I am the one who is asked "Where did you adopt her from."

Maybe I shouldn't but I find it funny! I just laugh and say her dad is not white, or, she;s not adopted.

I do worry that my DH, since he is never assumed to be their father, might get stopped and asked questions or somehow be under suspicion when he is out alone with them. I started to get paranoid about this after reading a story of two white gay dads who were stopped by police when traveling with their AA adopted daughter. I guess when there is a man involved, people might be more likely to be suspicious?
post #31 of 222
sometimes i ask just to be social. like, cute kids, are they yours. every kind of person gets questions like that from me.

in that particular instance there were like, ten kids and i knew that the family ran a farm together. i wondered if all of those children were the kids who helped run the farm. several of them appeared to be the same age. i just asked them some questions about the family farm and how they got into it.

of course, that's not a situation that comes up every day but i can think of a few times when i've asked if the adults with a child were his parents. it does come up occasionally.
post #32 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post

I do worry that my DH, since he is never assumed to be their father, might get stopped and asked questions or somehow be under suspicion when he is out alone with them. I started to get paranoid about this after reading a story of two white gay dads who were stopped by police when traveling with their AA adopted daughter. I guess when there is a man involved, people might be more likely to be suspicious?
OK - so, I'm working on a few slightly paranoid solutions to this, and they may be of use to your family... I try to have a few slightly older snapshots of DS and me/my partner. Pictures where it's clear that it was a while ago, but also clear that we are the same people. Like pictures of us in a public Christmas display. So, that if we were stopped, we could prove that we had at least been together since last December. (Super recent pictures or "holiday" pictures at home might not be enough proof that we didn't just nab him off the street yesterday and pose for some pictures.) I have the pictures taken in mind, but I haven't printed them out and I don't carry them with us. My plan is to keep a copy in my purse, car and in DS's backpack/tether when we're someplace super crowded, along with my cell phone number, in case he gets lost, and then refresh them every 6mo to 1 year. HTH!
Cyndi
post #33 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebarkingbird View Post
i saw this as it was the first post just now. my whole family is pudgy and pasty.

i ran into a multicultural family the other day and did not, at first, identify them as a family. they have ten children all adopted and of different races. some of them were speaking different languages. they were all working at the family's booth at the farmers market.

i'm not sure what people could do to avoid these mix ups. what would you like people to do? of course there are rude ways to ask and kind ones but i do not look at every group of children with an adult or a pair of them and identify them as a family unless proven otherwise. i ask because i do know what it's like to have a life people question ALL THE TIME (DS is autistic. it's always does he play an instrument, can he talk, are you miserable) and it can be tiering but i did run into a situation the other week when good information about how to ask politely would have been helpful.

i know it sounds selfish but i don't have time to approach every single meeting with a person without the shorthand of my schema's and doubt i could free myself from the need for shcemas in general but having one for ascertaining who is mom and who is not without being a butt head would be good.

and yeah, i'd buy the shirt.
You know what, the best thing to do is remember that we are all one giant family, and dont let it bother you anymore!!

However, I have also wondered what it will be like for me. I am white white white with fair skin and hair, and pregnant with my husband's baby, who is 100% chinese. I sometimes wonder if when the baby and I are alone, if children will think I adopted! I think it is hard for certain people to imagine biracial relationships! They need to watch more children's cartoons!! (I feel like they are doing a pretty good job these days advertising multi-cultural)
And I would buy all of those T-shirts. Actually, I think Ill show my husand the site tonight.
post #34 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I do worry that my DH, since he is never assumed to be their father, might get stopped and asked questions or somehow be under suspicion when he is out alone with them. I started to get paranoid about this after reading a story of two white gay dads who were stopped by police when traveling with their AA adopted daughter. I guess when there is a man involved, people might be more likely to be suspicious?
People are suspicious of men. hopefully that is changing. But even if the kid was traveling with his/her uncle or aunt. A police officer stopping those two white dads is rediculous. WHATEVER, dont get me started.
post #35 of 222
DD was born with dark hair. I am a very pale Anglo. The nurse told me "Don't get excited about the dark hair. A lot of babies are born like that, her real color will grow in later" with my black-haired tan-skinned DH sitting next to me.
Some people just don't have a "brain/mouth filter". I have probably been guilty atleast once, but I generally don't ask about a child's parentage until I'm friendly with a family. There's just too much potential for hurt feelings, and it's really not strangers business anyway!
post #36 of 222
I'm finding this conversation very interesting--I'm pregnant with my first, and I'm white with a Korean DH. I guess it never occurred to me that people would think I'd adopted! As for the staring you may sometimes get, I have an admission to make, just to show that you can never know why people are staring at you. DH and I have longed for a baby for almost 8 years now, and I'm guilty of staring a little at all babies, but especially at babies or kids who appear to be half white and half Asian. I do try not to be weird about it, but I can't help looking at them and wondering if that little sweetpea might be kinda what OUR baby might look like some day. Well, we don't have long to wait now! And if I continue to stare a little, because children are all just so beautiful and interesting and wonderful in all their diversity, at least people probably won't be as likely to think I'm a psycho when I have a baby on my hip!

p.s. I find it interesting also that people seem to jump to the conclusion of adoption or nannies. When we first met our current neighbors, we saw that they appeared to be white, and one of their two kids was very light skinned AA. After squinting hard at both parents to be "sure" that they couldn't have produced such a son together (it was a close call, as both are somewhat olive-skinned, and dad had curly hair just like the son's), I assumed that the child was probably from a previous marriage. But, it turned out he was adopted! Of course, I never asked or brought it up--mom & dad mentioned it in conversation.
post #37 of 222
I guess I get all the direct nosy folks coming up to me.

I've been asked if my children are mine too many times by now. Last week a woman I've never met said. "Their father is Indian, right?" The week before a woman who I'd never met blurted out, "is their father white?" A month before that it was "Oh, look at these beautiful Puerto Rican babies." Then it was "Oh, I thought you were their nanny." Damn it to hell, why do these people care? Is it going to change their lives or give them more peace of mind to know who I sleep with? Oh, and in Belgium it was "They have nice complexions." Someone did venture to say "not too dark."

People need to get out of their boxes and stop being worried about bs.yeah, I said it.

I like that t-shirt. cute and on point.

BTW my husband is African and European. I'm African-American.

one love,
Ekere
post #38 of 222
I've only had this happened to me twice by white women. Once I was at an event in central oregon and an older women started telling me about how her DD adopted chinese babies but not that I did My kids are half Japanese. The only other time was when I was in the supermartket line and as my Dh came up to me and the kids I hear her say, "oh, that's why'. I didn't really worry about it. On the other hand asian (my kids are half japanese) feel free to ask me or dh all the time if the other is either asian or caucasian. I think that because we are in a multi cultural area we don't seem to notice so much or mind. DH is always asking me what my friends 'are'. I guess as a white girl or as an american or as a human being I just think it's rude to ask people what nationality they are so I don't. If it comes up, cool. If not whatever.
I feel so lucky that there are so many multicultural marriages in my neighborhood.
post #39 of 222
Or the need to point out why they are not racist. Again the other day a white man doing some work at My Mom's felt the need to point out that his daughter has kids with a "black" man-not a man but a black man and he loves those kids. : Peopel think this shows how no nracist teh yare when it points out tehir focus on the race. I didn't bother to day that technically-DS-who he was referring to when stating this-is technically not black or African American.
post #40 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyndimo View Post
OK - so, I'm working on a few slightly paranoid solutions to this, and they may be of use to your family... I try to have a few slightly older snapshots of DS and me/my partner. Pictures where it's clear that it was a while ago, but also clear that we are the same people. Like pictures of us in a public Christmas display. So, that if we were stopped, we could prove that we had at least been together since last December. (Super recent pictures or "holiday" pictures at home might not be enough proof that we didn't just nab him off the street yesterday and pose for some pictures.) I have the pictures taken in mind, but I haven't printed them out and I don't carry them with us. My plan is to keep a copy in my purse, car and in DS's backpack/tether when we're someplace super crowded, along with my cell phone number, in case he gets lost, and then refresh them every 6mo to 1 year. HTH!
Cyndi
What happened with the dads in the story is that they had to produce a birth certificate to show the police (they had been stopped while driving out of state on vacation). I guess they'd had trouble before so always carried a copy of her birth certificate.

The pictures are a good idea!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Multicultural Families
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Are Those Your Children?