Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Conspicuous Family

In the distant, murky future, when this adoption rollercoaster is complete, we will be a very conspicuous family.  This weekend we took part in a webinar that outlined strategies for handling some of the difficulties in having an obvious transracial adoption as part of our family.  The class gave specific examples of the most common questions and comments, including:
*Why was he given up for adoption?
*What happened to his real parents?
*Are you his real mom/dad?
*Does it feel good to have saved this child?
*How much did he cost?

and, our personal favorite (drum roll, please):

*Couldn't you get a white baby?


Now, we are certainly learning to steel ourselves for curious looks and innocent-ish comments, but some of these questions seem pretty unreal.  I truly can't imagine anyone asking the last question, but it was included in the webinar for a reason.  The class gave strong strategies for dealing with each question, using humor, information or conversation-ending comments, and when to use each.  The old Miss Manners question "Why do you ask?" was their fallback response in the event of surprising or extra-rude questions.  It was definitely food for thought, and something we will be discussing for years to come.  We have been told by adoptive parents that havng time to practice our answers before our child is completely aware of the situation is invaluable, which is comforting. 

Tuesday we take a class on attachment, which is also a crucial area for any adoptive parents.  Looking forward to that one, too!

And, of course, all the cleaning...

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