Oh the Things People Will Say

 

When we were in the process of adopting, our agency offered adoptive-parenting classes, during these many classes they warned us that since our family will not necessarily fit the look of a ‘traditional’ family, we may get unwanted odd and often rude comments from strangers. 

We hadn’t even left Guatemala before we received our first comment/question in the airport. It was from an older man from the United States, he was in Guatemala on a missionary project “Did you get a two-for-one deal?” I was so taken by surprise with this comment I really don’t even remember replying.

The Le Chevallier Family in Guatemala

After arriving home, a common question that we received was “Where are they from?” This bothered me and I was always quick to reply “Here” or “Why do you ask?” both in a defensive tone. Slowly I learned that most of these people were harmless, just curious and they just weren’t sure how to bridge a conversation. Some turned out to have friends or family that had adopted or some have been adopted themselves, and they enjoy sharing their story. I now answer in a friendly tone “They were born n Guatemala”. If D&L were within earshot of the question, I let them answer. 

Early on when L&D were just under 2 years old, I was at a park with a friend and her two children (an African American foster son, and an adopted Caucasian daughter).  An older gentleman was there with his grandson and he asks us “Ya’ll run a day care?” our simultaneous reply was “No, they are all ours”. 

Another frequent comment is…”Do you know anything about their Mom?” my reply is usually “Well, I am there Mom, but I do know a little about their birth mothers” If they press for more information, I just let them know that it is not my story to tell, and that story belongs to L&D. 

By far the most common question we get is “Are they brother and sister?”  People  ask this question right in front of L&D all the time, so I let them answer “Lola is Diego your brother? “ and of course the reply is always a big resounding YES!  I realize that what they are really asking is are they biological siblings, which they are not, but they most definitely are brother and sister!

At the Guatemala City Zoo

Still Holding hands!

Just this week I was with L&D and we  were at a yogurt shop and the guy that was waiting on us asked where they are from, then he asked “Do you take care of them?”, I answered in a friendly tone, half laughing “Oh I have to, they are my kids”

I have come to learn that for the most part people are just curious and they speak without really thinking.  I now always approach these questions with a very upbeat tone.  It is also a matter of education, and each question and interaction is an opportunity to teach.   As our Ohana grows, I am sure there will be more questions/comments and with that more opportunities to educate.

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2 thoughts on “Oh the Things People Will Say

  1. Carrie and Georges, You guys are the most adorable Family and good People (Georges you should seriously consider stand-up comedy), You and George glow with Happiness when I see you all together with Lola and Diego! Don’t worry about!! 🙂

    Love: Robert

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