Thursday, April 20, 2006
I've read a lot of threads on various adoption forums about prospective and adoptive parents being subjected to ignorant, rude, and intrusive comments about their family being formed through adoption. I've considered myself lucky in that most comments sent our way have been positive and encouraging, until this week!
I work on a military base. I'm not in the military, I'm just a government contractor. Every morning, I have to check in at the base gate and have a guard with a big gun verify my base ID and let me in. I've gotten to know the guard supervisor a bit and we've conversed on occasion.
Earlier this week, he saw me walking to a building on base and he stopped to say, "Hi." Our conversations in the past had been pleasant enough, so I allowed myself to be detained. What a mistake and a complete waste of my time!
Here's how my conversation went with this man, the one that I once thought was a pretty decent guy:
Military guy: "I saw you and your husband on the news a while back talking about adoption. I didn't realize you adopted your little boy." ((We were asked by the agency we used for our licensing to be one of three couples interviewed for an adoption segment on a local news station and we gladly obliged. Snuggle Bug was shown during this interview.))
Me: "Yes, we did adopt him as a newborn."
Military guy: "So, if you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for him?"
Me: ((annoyed but not particularly surprised at this common misconception) ) "We didn't pay for our son, we paid for the services that were necessary to adopt him."
Military guy: "Yeah, whatever. So, how much did it cost?"
Me: "That's information we choose to keep private."
Military guy: ((astonished look on his face)) "Well, at least you adopted a white American baby. I don't understand people that go and adopt those Chinese babies. I would never do that! At least you got yourself an American baby." ((giving me a look of approval))
Me: ((shocked, angry, and hostile expression on my face)) "The race of our child was irrelevant to us! We chose to adopt domestically simply because we wanted to adopt a newborn and that's not possible if a couple adopts internationally. Otherwise, we'd have no problem adopting from China!"
I abruptly ended the conversation by tersely informing this prejudiced excuse of a man that I had to go, before I gave in to my urge to berate him for the ignorant jackass that he is and end up face down on the concrete with his gun pointed at my head!
I have never been so offended in my life! As I stormed away, I called Oronzo on my cell phone and subjected him to the brunt of my rage and indignation! After I relayed the conversation, Oronzo laughed. I asked why he was laughing and he told me that I could either laugh at his stupidity or get angry, but I wasn't going to be successful in "educating" him.
So, it's finally happened to me as well. I'm thankful that Snuggle Bug isn't old enough yet to understand these types of insensitive and hurtful comments, but I supposed I need to eventually prepare him for what's to come. How does one prepare a child for such ugliness in the world?
Have any of you been subjected to ignorant, rude, and intrusive comments in regards to adoption? How did you deal with these painful conversations?