Inquiring Minds Want to Know About Your Family
Adoption can bring out a different side to myself. A tougher, thick-skinned side I did not know existed until faced with questions regarding the backgrounds of my children.
We are a multi-cultural family. Thankfully, in 2014, I feel we are in good company. Yet sometimes I encounter a nosy question from a complete stranger. This usually happens when we are at a restaurant. Such as this one when I was having lunch with my son: "Is your husband Asian?"
I took a sip of my drink in disbelief as I contemplated how to tackle this. A friend of mine once suggested that when someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, simply reply with : "Why do you want to know?". I asked myself if I should even consider providing this stranger with the information she requested. I also considered what would be the quickest response so I could finish eating my chicken sandwich.
My son was starting to turn his mac & cheese into an art project. I calmly looked at this woman and chose the reply my friend had suggested. Clearly, she was taken aback. "Well, I just wanted to know if he was adopted," she quipped as she turned to leave the restaurant. My little guy waved to her with a blank expression. I could not tell if it was a friendly child's wave or a sarcastic "buh-bye."
A business crowd had gathered around us. Many were logging on to Facebook or Twitter. TMZ was reporting the latest celebrity gossip on the flat-screen tv. My son had just finished the mac & cheese and was moving on to a fruit cup, so I decided to check my smartphone to see if I had any new e-mails.
I put my phone down and sighed. For a second I thought that maybe there is a tiny bit of that stranger in all of us. We are a curious, information-seeking society. We want to know stuff and we want to find out immediately. Then I looked at my son who was watching this woman drive away. I began to feel sad as I wondered why it is so hard for some people to allow others just an ounce of privacy... to have just a bit of polite restraint for our kid's sake.
As much as I am proud of my family, I am also very protective. That is part of being a mom. There is a time and place to talk about our adoption journey..and a time to keep it private. Most importantly, there is a time to simply let a family enjoy their lunch.
Karen Y. Brown