In recognition of Adoption Awareness Month, I would like to share my own experiences, in hope of contributing to adoption awareness.
My daughters were both adopted from Cambodia, and my husband and I are both Caucasian Australians, which means we often get quizzical looks from strangers. Apparently adopted families are such a rarity that it takes some people a while to work out how my family fits together.
“Are they your children?” people ask.
“Yes,” I smile.
“Do you have your own children?” people query.
“These are my own children,” I gesture to my daughters.
“Are they sisters?” people ask.
“Yes, but they’re not biologically related,” I say.
In a world of globalisation and widespread media coverage of celebrity adoptions, it amazes me that people can be so ignorant. Perhaps it’s just a case of speaking before they think.
“People don’t know you’re my Mummy because we have different skin,” my eldest daughter said to me recently, no doubt a result of hearing too many unsolicited comments from strangers.
“Well, they should know,” I said. “You call me Mummy and we act like a family. It’s not that hard to figure out.”
I don’t know if I answer people’s questions (including my daughter’s) with the best responses; I simply say what comes naturally to me at the moment.
What reaction might you give?