Awkward Questions

November is Adoption Awareness month and in our family where two of our three kids are adopted, I have a plethora of stories to tell about our adoption journey. Some of our stories will break your heart and some will make you pee yourself laughing so hard. Today, no bodily fluids will need to be spilled.

My girls, both under 2, are only 8 months apart and very close in size. When our middle daughter first arrived, I had a quick lesson in the unabashed nosiness of strangers every time we went out in public (and since we are normal people, that was fairly often).

Now, I have birthed a child, and have experienced the stranger line-crossing that comes with growing another human. With the arrival of our second daughter, when our baby was only 6 months old, I was not ready for the questioning that came with it.

The lines of questioning would often cross the line to intrusive, the equivalent of having a stranger lift your shirt and put their finger in your belly button and continue talking with you you as if nothing weird was going on.

Let me set the scene of awkwardness:

–> They’re so cute. Are they twins?
–> No? What’s they age difference?
–> 8 months? How’s that possible?
–> Adoption? Oh. Which one’s not yours?
–> Oh, I mean I know they are technically yours. Where did you adopt her from?
–> Mmmm, foster care. You are so nice. Why’d she have to go there?
–> Yes, yes, I know it’s personal, but really, what happened? What did her real parents do?
–> Ok, sorry, I know it’s personal. Good thing you got her. Imagine if those parents had other kids?
–> Oh, her brother lives with you too?

End scene.

It often never got that far as I would have usually found a way to run away, but on many occasions that was the rabbit hole that me and this stranger were travelling down together, despite the kicking of kneecaps I was doing in my mind to make it stop.

So after the previous conversations unfolded a couple of times, I switched tactics; honesty is not always the best policy and I have started flat out lying. Here’s how the conversations go now:

–> They’re so cute. Are they twins?
–> No? What’s they age difference?
–> 9 months? Oh.

Then I get to watch as they mentally judge me and my assumed lack of knowledge of both birth control and how babies are made.

I’ll happily take the silent judgement over the alternative.

It’s not that we won’t share our family’s story, but there is a time and a place, people! I’ve just learned that adults, like kids, can be curious and questions can come out of mouths before the Appropriate Filter can be applied.

In the grand scheme of things though, dealing with this is only a small sacrifice to have this crazy family we have built.

About Avoiding The Train Wreck

I like cheese. I am a odd duck, learning to parent my 3 kids while trying to ensure our world doesn't come to a crashing halt at any time. The chaos of our everyday in this home is like trying to prevent a colossal train wreck every single day. I provide pithy commentary on these daily adventures and I do not take myself too seriously. Pssst...neither should you. This is a place to continue my first (abandoned) attempts at blogging found here. I may also bring in a few previous posts from FB. And I like wine too.
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4 Responses to Awkward Questions

  1. Ha ha ha ha! My hubs works with a woman who had two kids in the same calendar year, ten months apart. That was a treat, especially when the questions that had finally died down started up again when they started school the same year.

    I did not know that Nik and Bella were siblings before they became Olivia’s siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shannon, (I know I may be biased as a parent), but I am now convinced you need to be writing a column in paper… Your writing is brilliant!


  3. Karen Leveque says:

    Wait! I know – a solution! Whenever entering a public space simply walk around with a placard attached to the girls’ stroller with the above scene clearly written. Perhaps even with some arrows pointing to the appropriate child? And ta-da intrusive questioning reduced! (Warning eye squinting spectators may be increased.)
    After all with 3 kids who doesn’t need another item to remember?

    Liked by 1 person

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