Thursday, February 4, 2010

The not-so-invisible Woman!

I'm not the kind of gal who likes to be the centre of attention. I'm very happy to let others take centre stage and just enjoy their reflected glory. But I've discovered in the past few years that I tend to attract a bit of attention when I go out with my children.

All adoptive families have numerous stories about things that people have said to them about their children. It's all part of the territory. We cannot chose who we share the information that Button and Belle are adopted with. It's as plain as the nose on your face! Or in our case, as plain as two very cute, non Caucasian noses! But for some reason this seems to give people the idea that they have a right to ask us the most personal and intrusive questions imaginable.

Most people mean well, and I always assume that they are asking me questions because of a genuine interest. Often people will tell me that their sister /friend/neighbour/second cousin twice removed, has adopted or is in the process, and I'm always happy to talk about it in general. But I will not share my kid's personal stories with anyone other than my kids! Their stories are theirs alone, to share with whom they choose, when they decide.

I have had some great comments though! Like the lady who asked me if Button's "other mother" was young. Because, she thought, he looks like he had a young mother! As opposed to the knackered, worn out one he's been lumbered with, I guess! And the very enthusiastic young woman who came running up to me squealing "Oooooooh! He's gorgeous! What is he?" Ummm, a baby?

Only one time have I ever been offended, and that was by a mature lady who pointed accusingly at Belle and said "That's not your baby"! When I said she was, her response was "well her Daddy must be Chinese so!". Her face when I told her that he was, in fact, from Westmeath, was a picture. You've got to take your pleasure where you can in this life!

My children know where they were born, and that we adopted them. They know what their names were before they became Button and Belle, and they know that they grew in another lady's tummy and that she loved them very much. Surely this is enough for other people to know too?


  1. I know a friend who often had complete strangers coming up to her and ask her if her twins were naturally conceived or was it IVF! The lack of respect people can have for anothers boundaries amazes me! Love the Westmeath response:) Jen.

  2. love the "knackered one theyr lumbered with!
    people are unreal, think you are public property... like when I was pregnant its a free for all to comment freely about my weight!!!!

  3. I wouldn't dream of passing any type of comments like that. Some people are just plain rude. X

  4. Love this blog, I agree with Jens observation of the lack of respect people can have for other peoples boundaries, and in my opinion Button and Belle have the nicest mum they could possibly have been lumbered with:)

  5. One thing you can always count on is the lack of tact some people possess. You really do have to don elephant skin when dealing with glib comments :( Having seen it from an adoptive aunty perspective, I think I have a better appreciation of adoption now than I would have had before xxx

  6. oh sorry hun, but those 2 comments were just so funny, i have to laugh

    my cousins get these stupid comments too, the best one was when my cousin was told his adopted chinese daughter was the image of him, lol now that was funny

    god some people are just so ignorant and stupid, its crazy what you have to endure

  7. god people irritate me! "what is he?" wtf did she expect u to say? a bloody child.
    uv great patience, theres only so much u can take. Id feel so rude asking a stranger questions like that. and what makes them think its their right to know.
    With AJ, I never mind people asking me about his Autism if theyve got a genuine interest but if theyre just judging they can f off and mind theyre own business.
    think i have pms tonight, im feeling very worked up lol

  8. Sounds to me like you handled it quite well with your response but it must be tough to deal with people's stupidity and ignorance. I recall what it was like when Griffin would have a huge meltdown in the store and all the comments and nasty looks that we would get...more ignorance and stupidity. You are a lovely mother with precious children who love you dearly and unconditionally and that it all that matters! Forget the idiots!!!!

  9. it always shocks me how people think its o.k to question someone on personal matters like this. i don't remember anyone making cheeky remarks to me before i became a mum but when you have children people seem to think everything about thems up for discussion, no tact at all!! great blog x

  10. You love the attention you Brangelina wannabe lol!!!
    Sometimes I'm sure people ask out of genuine interest, but lots of the time they're just sticking their big pointy noses where they don't belong.
    hey, Westmeath is waaaay more cosmopolitan than monaghan!

  11. I want to know what "what's that one" did after you told her, was she looking through the Argos Catalogue for an order number or somat?

  12. Funny comments, but maddening too for you. My dd (13, cp) goes around in a (very) big buggy and toddlers often say 'look at the baby' and then they look more closely, and you can see the thought going through their heads that actually Smiley is a little too big to be a baby!

  13. Unbelievable! People are unreal! You are great. I would probably end up punching someone. Some of those comments are truly unreal.

    One of my boys is a lot darker than the other, but trust me, both times my husband and I conceived them! And people always ask what they are, like you said they do to you. They ask if they are mixed, etc. That is just something I don't think I would ever ask someone, especially a stranger.

    A friend of mine had a son with a misshapen head and he had to wear a helmet for about a year as a baby. You wouldn't believe the things people said and asked wherever they went.

    I personally think you are a hero!!! What an awesome mommy!!! Don't ever, ever let those people piss you off.

  14. There is an award for you on my blog! Go check it out!!!

  15. Some people Taz, eh? They really are unbelievable! We all must have the skins of Rhinoceros at this that why we all look so worn out and knackered??!!! xx Jazzy