Like many of you who have adopted transracially, we often get a lot of stares. It usually doesn't bother me because I know people are just genuinely curious and interested and, well, I am guilty of being one of those people, too! I admit that I attempt to stare discreetly if I see a family that looks a bit like ours! It's just part of human nature to be curious about others. And, sometimes I wonder if one of those people staring is feeling the call to adoption and wanting to make a connection. But, there are those who cross the boundaries, like the guy in Wal-Mart who stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of an aisle to unabashedly stare at us for several minutes. We have also had our share of crazy comments and questions like "does he speak English" or "who could ever give him up?" or "Oh, you couldn't have kids of your own?" And, everyone is always interested in how pea is "adjusting." I usually don't mind answering people's questions and I can certainly talk for hours about our adoption process because I am so proud of how my family was created. But, there are times when it is a little annoying and tiring.
What I really want people to realize is that we are like any other family. I have learned that there are people who don't see us that way. Sometimes I feel like there is an extra layer of judgment placed upon us. Sometimes I feel like people are looking for something to be wrong with pea just because he was adopted. And, there are some people who feel we have no right to raise a child of color and he is bound to have a major identity crisis as a result. The hardest part is when some of these attitudes come from within the adoption community. Consequently, I have learned that it is so easy to get caught up in that adoption paranoia and self-doubt. Of course I think about how adoption affects our parenting and how our conversations about adoption will evolve as pea develops and asks more questions. Of course I think a lot about how to raise a Latino son in a very racist society. But, this doesn't define everything about our family. In fact, we're actually pretty boring!
Every family has something. Something extraordinary. Special. Unique. And, we are all just trying to do our best to raise happy, healthy, confident, and strong kids. Ultimately, how we became parents is not as important as how we choose to parent our extraordinary, special, and unique children.