When you see a big family, do you ask, “Are they all yours?”
We have 15 kids – 2 homemade and 13 adopted. We are a mix of different races and backgrounds.
We have heard it all. My answers to some of the questions are in red:
- Are they all yours? Yes
- No, I mean how many belong to you? All of them.
- Which ones are adopted? I forget.
- How many are of which race? I don’t remember, I’ll have to figure it out.
- Is this your Sunday School Class? Sometimes.
- Who did she get her eyes from? (asked about our Asian daughter) Her mom and dad. (Neither of us are Asian)
- Are you going to teach her English when she grows up? (also asked about our 3 mo. old Asian daughter) Too stunned to answer this one.
- Are any of them brothers and sisters? They all are.
- Are any of them related? They all are.
- Do you keep in contact with their families. Yes, we see each other every day.
- Are you going to tell them they are adopted? Um, I think they will probably figure it out by looking in the mirror.
And here is one that many adoptive families hear:
- Which ones are your real children? (Unfortunately, asked in from of my kids, this was very hurtful.) Yes, of course they are all real.
We were very open with our kids – they weren’t the ones who were confused.
We have gotten so many funny comments.
For the most part people have been in awe of our family and quite often are very personable, thanking us for adopting them. Our best responses have come from people of color. They are very appreciative of our family claiming kids of all races as our own. That always came as a surprise to me because we never saw it as a big deal. They are just kids. Who cares about color?
One of our kids asked, “What color was grandpa?” We knew no racial boundaries and saw no color in our home.
If someone was genuinely interested in our family and asked how many were adopted, I told them, “We have two homemade and 13 adopted.”
Our youngest “homemade” daughter wondered when she was going to have her visit to the judge to get adopted too. It wasn’t my adopted kids that felt left out.
When our Asian daughter went to a new school, we asked her if there were any other kids like her in her classroom. She said, “No, they are all just plain white.” We still laugh about that one and it was MANY years ago.
Different is good. Different is fun.
We had one son that always wore long sleeve shirts because he didn’t want to get darker. Another one preferred sleeveless because he wanted to be the blackest man alive.
Every time someone complimented one of my sons as being handsome, I always, always said, “Thanks, he gets his good looks from me.” The fact that we were a “family of many colors” brought interest to our family and I feel sorry for families who are all the same race. It seems awfully boring to me.
We are unique and I love how our family is so diverse (I really don’t like that word, but it describes us well). We are different but the same. I like it that way.