Sunday, March 20, 2011

Think, THEN Speak, or Don't Speak at All

People ask us a lot of questions about our daughter and about our adoption experience. Some I am happy to answer, but some are more private (especially as they relate to her personal story), and some, well...some are really idiotic and lame and downright hurtful. So I'd like to clear the air, to answer a few so that no one else has to ask. I'll just point out the three worst offenders. I'm warning you now that the last one might make you want to vomit a little, so be ready. (And yes, someone really did ask that last one. I am not exaggerating; I am repeating it verbatim.)

1. How long did you try before resorting to adoption? Try what? Learning billiards? Well, awhile, but I'm not that coordinated in general, and my hand-eye coordination and depth perception are particularly horrid, so I finally gave up and decided to pursue another hobby: adoption paperwork! Now I have a question for you: how many assumptions did you have to make about our family building decisions and level of fertility before you asked that?

2. Do you think you'll have any of your own kids? We already do! I'm sorry you're a little slow and didn't seem to notice, but I understand we all have our limitations. This girl? This one called Zinashi that shares our last name and sleeps in our bed every night? She's our kid. Our very own!

3. Why did her real family get rid of her? I'm sorry, did you just say that? Out loud? In front of my daughter? Now I'm wondering why your real family got rid of your real brain. Did it hurt much when it happened? And can you step aside so I don't accidentally kick you really, really hard?

Our daughter was planned from the beginning. Our daughter was our own from the moment we laid eyes on her. Our daughter was and is loved fiercely by both her Ethiopian and American families. People, please. PLEASE. Think before you speak.


  1. Oh. My. God. You should've asked the last person when they got their lobotomy.

    I once had someone ask if my daughter's father was Mexican. When I said no, she insisted that my daughter looked very Mexican. I replied I was of Italian heritage but she again insisted that she definitely looked Mexican. Not sure why it mattered so much; I didn't care to find out.

  2. Wow, those are terrible, thoughtless questions. I am so sorry! I am de-lurking to say I discovered your blog and then had to read the whole thing from start to finish one very long evening, it was that good.

  3. Um...a lot of people you'll find hanging out in the blogoshpere are incredible caring and truly wonderful people. But then there are those that are just, well, thoughtless I suppose. Much like the make up of the real world. Unfortunately here though, it's much easier for those people to just blurt out whatever. I'm so sorry you had to hear their ignorant words.

  4. I found your blog last week and am loving reading your thoughts. I can so relate to the crazy, inappropriate questions people ask, and they dare to ask them when my daughter is standing right there!

  5. My [white, lesbian] friends adopted their African-American daughter. Once I was out with mom and daughter, and a stranger said, "She must take after her daddy." My friend didn't miss a beat and replied, "Most people say she looks like me, how funny."

  6. My mom and my uncle were adopted. She is nearly 60 and still occasionally gets asked ridiculous questions.


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