Monday, August 16, 2010

Ugh! NOT that question....again!

Are they {Shea & Avery} you know, real....I mean, true....ummmm.....

Are they biologically related????

Why oh why, does this matter?????

I mean, really?????

My first response to this question (which I did not vocalized, but was thinking)....

Not everyone who is born in China is {biologically} related!!!

My second  response....(again not vocalized)....

What do you {then} consider me to be to them?  Real???  True????  Pretend????

My third response....(vocalized)....because my darling little girls were watching me with big ole eyes....wondering what I would say.....wondering how I would respond....

I was feeling perturbed!
I was feeling defensive!
I was feeling offended!!

But, how were they feeling?

What is my responsibility to them....?
How can I show them Jesus....AT.ALL.TIMES????
What is my responsibility as a Christian???

I swallowed hard....
Put on a {sweet} smile....

And {nicely} responded with the following:

"Shea and Avery are not biologically related...but, they are sisters none-the-less!!!!!

The person, who I believe, realized the weird miss-said question.....replied with:

"Well....ah,....of course they are."

The girls and I talked about 'this conversation' at home.  They really didn't have a lot to say....for the time being.  Shea said that some people just don't get adoption....(I love this child!)...and just shrugged her shoulders...

Me, well, I don't get!!

It is a weird question! Why is that question relative?? The biology thing really has no effect on Shea & Avery's sisterhood!!! Why do people have to focus on that???

My husband gets my anger concern.  He gently said that the person was just curious....probably doesn't know that would be offensive to ask....maybe doesn't have a lot of experience with adoption.....

True, true....(deep breath)....

'Curious'...hmmm,....maybe the person could have asked the question differently....
Maybe if the question was phrased like this:

"Did you adopt your girls at the same time?"

Then I could have said we adopted Shea when she was 26 months old and that she was born in the west of China and further explained we adopted Avery six months ago and she was born in the south of China.
Then this person {hopefully} would have known that they are not biologically related.

I don't know, maybe I am being over sensitive????
Shea and Avery know that they each have a first mommy....

They know we are a family made through adoption....

*deep sigh.....pondering this all....

Maybe the thing that bothered me the most were the adjectives used in the question:



What about y'all? How would you respond to that kind of question? How have you responded to that kind of a question?

I am just venting....ya know... just "preachin' to the choir"! :)Thanks!


  1. We had this same question one time while the girls and I were waiting in line for a bathroom at a gas station. I don't remember the exact conversation but the girls were listening and we also had a discussion afterwards. It seemed they were ok with our discussion but we may need to revisit it to be sure. I HATE that question more than any other. The only other thing I hate more is when there is a news story and they say ".... is their adopted child". I always get steamed up and say... THEY ARE THEIR CHILD, no other description is necessary. Oh that one gets me really riled up.

  2. Sometimes I just want to make conversation but don't know how to ask the questions I am curious about. I hope you don't let it get you riled up too bad.

    My husband is Chinese but he happens to be really tall and big like a football linebacker. He used to get asked all the time if was related to Yao Ming. LOL We would just laugh at it. Why these people thought just being Chinese made them related was beyond me but it gave us a good laugh in the end.

  3. I am always baffled at how stupid people are! But I have been asked "are they adopted?" Well, duh. One is Chinese and one is African. If they're not adopted are you implying that I am a floozy! "Boy that lady with those kids over there must get around!" I suppose most people just don't think before they speak, but I am often surprised at just how bold a stranger will be.

  4. I think I would've answered the same way. You clearly stated the answer, and made the asker squirm just a bit in the process:)

  5. Chris,

    I just had to this recently. I held in my true emotions at the time, BUT it was HARD!! Here's what happened....

  6. My typical response if they word the question that way is, "They are now." And if the question is asked again, I stick to my guns.
    What frustrates me just as much as strangers asking the question is some of my family feeling the need to explain to people that my niece and nephew are biological siblings and that my three are not. Aargh, my husband and I are trying to figure out how to address that one...

  7. I always answer "Yes, they are sisters but they came home from different parts of China." This gives them the "answer" they are looking for without saying "No, they aren't" in front of the girls. If someone can't figure out that, then they really are being too nosey and don't deserve more conversation.

  8. Hello friend!

    It sounds like you answered using it as a teachable moment!

    From an outsider point of view (who's stuck her foot in her mouth plenty of times)...

    Perhaps the people simply were wondering if they were sisters in China and if you adopted them together at the same time.

    Thanks for educating us ... and helping us remove our feet.... over and over....!

  9. Joan said: The only other thing I hate more is when there is a news story and they say ".... is their adopted child". I always get steamed up and say... THEY ARE THEIR CHILD, no other description is necessary. Oh that one gets me really riled up.

    Dear Joan~~The next time you hear the adjective "adopted" in front of "child," think of the adoptee as having special needs. There are issues that adoptees deal with for THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. All of the love in the world won't take the issues away. All of the desires that you have to make that child "yours" won't make their abandonment issues disappear.

    For some adoptees, "adopted" in front of their favorite pronoun is a term of endearment or a cute little label. For others, it's a fresh, oozing wound that they've only begun to confront and mourn and cope with.

    Personally, I feel now as an adult I am a conglomeration of my birth family, my adoptive family, and every other experience that's happened for me. The being adopted part will always be the most significant.

  10. I get the "are they twins" question EVERY SINGLE TIME we go out. Sometimes MANY times. You know, I've started saying yes. Yes, they are. What you describe is just what I've been thinking for 2 years now, except my little ones just aren't old enough to get it yet. I wonder what I'll say. Cause when you're asked THAT many times, it's obvious it DOES matter to many.
    Hmmmmmmmm... Good thoughts!
    Nancy-of The Crazy 8's

  11. Don't know if you'll even see this comment... I just popped over from Tongginator's site - first time I'm here. Just wanted to say that perhaps the curiosity behind the question (the biologically related part... not the real/true/umm part - that part was just... duh...) was to want to know if you had adopted a pair of sisters from China... you know... that maybe you adopted one, then went back for her sister, or something?

    To the person who is not used to asian features, they might think that Avery and Shea look so much alike that perhaps they were sisters even before their being adopted by you...

    I mean, I guess if I knew of someone who'd adopted two children of the same race, I'd be curious to know if the person had adopted children who had come from the same family... especially if I thought the children looked alike... know what I mean? Just a thought... :)

    btw, I'm a Singaporean Chinese... :) As in, our ancestors came from China at least 2 generations ago... but my family is Singaporean... we just happen to be Chinese by race. And no, Singapore is not a part a China. I do get asked that alot when I make friends with non-Asians... :)