Monday, August 1, 2011

My Least Favorite Adoption Conversation to Date

I want to preface this post by saying that we have been surrounded by overwhelming support and understanding.    Even the conversation I'm about to type out was not born out of maliciousness, but rather (for lack of a nicer word) ignorance.  I remember reading about conversations like this in adoption books and blogs, and now I got to experience one for myself.

Today while we were in church, Jayvan needed a diaper change, so I took him to the bathroom. While I was in there, a woman came into the bathroom and the following conversation ensued.

Random Church Lady (RCL): Oh! There is someone in here.  I was coming to check for the cleaning person.
Me:  I'm just finishing up.  I'll be out in a minute.
RCL:  Oh, you have a little baby.  He's so adorable.
Me:  Thank you.  We think he's pretty cute.
RCL:  Can I hold him?
(She came at me with out-stretched arms and I somehow couldn't say no, so I handed my precious baby to a lady I've never met. :shock:)
RCL:  Is he. . . ?
(Somehow I knew what she was asking.)
Me:  He is adopted.
RCL:  Oh, I just knew it.  I could just tell.
(She was quite proud of herself.)
Me:  Yes, we are pretty blessed.
RCL:  Oh, I want my son to get one of these.  I'm going to go show him.
(Get one?  These? That's not really how it works.  At this point she proceeds out of the bathroom with my baby. :shock:  Her son is standing outside the bathroom with gloves on.  Apparently he is the cleaning person.)
RCL:  See son! This is what I want you to get.  It doesn't matter if you're single.  You can still get one of these.
(Seriously, get one?  I still tried to be nice.)
Me:  The adoption process can be hard, but it is so worth it.
RCL: So, where did you get him?
Me:  We traveled to Virginia for his birth.
RCL:  But where did you get him from?
Me:  Virginia.
(She stares at me blankly)
Me:  He was born in Virginia and we traveled there to pick him up.
RCL:  But what nationality is he?
(Now this is where the old snarky Amanda would have said "American!"  However, I knew what she was getting at.)
Me:  He is biracial, half Caucasian and half African American.
RCL:  Oh, I never had one of those. . . :?
(She then proceeds to tell me about all of the foster children she had and all of their "nationalities."  You would think a former foster-mom would be a little more politically correct.)
RCL:  So is he your only child?
Me:  No, my daughter is almost five.
RCL:  Is she adopted too?
Me:  No.
RCL:  Oh, so she is really yours.
(Yep, she said it.)
Me:  She is biologically ours, yes.  Both of our children are ours.  Well, I've got to get back into church. . .
(And I make my escape.)

Eesh.  When I told Matt about the whole thing, he said he definitely would have said, "Full-blooded American" and walked away.  I probably should have gone with that.  I'll be in prayer about how to handle conversations like this in the future.


  1. I am so sorry you had to experience that. While we were flying home with our daughter we had a flight attendant ask how we got a white one as well as say her daughter got so desperate she would've adopted a monkey!!!!! I just stared at her blankley. Sometimes I just don't know how people can be so ignorant.

  2. Wow. That is something. I think you handled it well.


  3. :SHOCKED: Mouth hanging open!!! WOW! You handled it well.

  4. Oh gosh. Lovely. I get the "Oh, so she's yours then" a lot and it makes me crazy. I usually respond just as you did, but man alive. He is so beautiful!