Tuesday, August 14, 2007

She's Priceless

Oh my GAWD I forgot to tell you what happened to us this weekend in regards to MORE stupid comments from stupid people regarding our daughter who is far smarter than any of these people at the tender age of 10 months old.

We were all at a restaurant having a nice Sunday lunch. The kids at the next table kept saying, "Two babies! Look! They have two babies!"

The mom looked over and her eyes got wide as she looked from Avalon to Juna.

What did she say next?

"How much did she cost?"

Here's the thing. I'm just recently back from China. I'm still in that glowing honeymoon phase where I think I can help educate people about China and about adoption. I somehow think that maybe if I'm polite and positive to these people, I might actually help to educate them. Maybe I can be the person to open their minds a little bit. Maybe they will go on to tell someone of their encounter with us and share what they have learned.

And then the sugar plum fairies danced and fuzzy bunnies hopped around and lollipops fell from the clouds.

When am I going to wake up and realize that some people are called idiots for a reason. They were born an idiot, raised an idiot, and will die... an idiot.

So I'm doing my positive rehashing of our story and the lady interrupts me and asks, "Yeah, so how much maternity leave did you swing with this deal?"

I told her I stay at home and she looked dead bored with THAT answer. She turned back to her family and we all finished our meals.

In the end as we walked out of the restaurant, I did hear her say, "What a nice thing those people did."

I plan on keeping my cool with everyone we meet. I plan on being positive and helping to open some minds out there. I feel like I somehow represent the China adoption community now in my very small way and I want to be the best representative I can be.

So I'll be nice, but then I'll come here and make fun of them in my blog.

I can only be so nice for so long.


Arlene said...

wow... just... wow.

So I was at K's friend's birthday party and the family has a daughter who was adopted from china. The mother randomly started talking to me about china, I told her about your blog and how wonderful I could read about your experience. I ask her if she stayed at the white swan and she said "red counch!" I was like YES! I know all about that!! She has a picture of her daughter on that couch.

*beams* Im china smarted, thanks to your blog.

Arlene said...

Wow I really should spell check and proof read my comments huh?

crtarpy said...

Too sad. When we were home from China, a ninety-year old woman came up to us and asked, "Where'd you get it"..... I tried to ignore the "IT" comment and remember she is from a different generation...

So I answer "We just recently adopted her from China." Then she asked, "How much did she cost?" Like you, I was in the honeymoon phase, blissfully thinking you can educate the masses...

So I say "Oh..you do not pay for the child. You pay for the lawyer fees, paperwork, travel expenses. It can range from 15,000 to 35,000, depending on the country, lawyers, etc).

Then I immediately start kicking myself for telling her a ballpark figure. Then she says the kicker...

"Wow. I hope she stays healthy for ya" And walks away!!

Mouth open, I mutter something about hoping both my children stay healthy. Wow. Some people. I am just thankful Emeili is too young to understand. I got to think of a response for when she is younger!

Gotta love it. Casey

crtarpy said...

Oops. I meant for when she is older! Yikes. Gotta go to bed! Casey

Sara said...

I'm absolutely floored. It's hard to believe that there are people that over-the-top rude and so ignorant. My advice would be to stop trying to educate people. Really. That's not your job - you have enough going on just living your life with your lovely family. Don't worry about what people may think. Those people in the 21st century with more than half a brain know that adoption is pretty commonplace these days. If someone has idle curiosity, they should look it up on the internet. I'm sure you were a whole lot nicer than I would have been. Juna is so adorable - I'm surprised people aren't just commenting on your cute kid! I have to say, though, when Grace was a baby a lady came up to me in the grocery store and asked whether Grace was adopted because she apparently looked Asian. Seriously.

Three, on the verge of four said...

I have to say, in 2+ months, we haven't had any rude comments yet. And I'm with you that I do feel like the poster child for international adoption right now, and I am happy to attempt to educate people and hopefully ride them of some of the more negative stereotypes re: adoption.

Having said all that, I DO NOT want to be the poster child for IA when my daughter is older and within earshot. I just don't think she'll constantly want to be the center of attention. So many families who have already been through this say they wish they could just go to the mall without the extra stares and smiles, etc., and I'm sure someday we'll report that as well. For now, a friendly return smile will have to do.

My planned response for this question is to just smile sweetly and say something like "aren't all children priceless treasures?" or maybe "yes, the adoption process and paperwork and travel have associated costs, but ALL children are simply priceless". I just hope I can muster it up when the time comes without biting someone's head off.

Before we went to China, I was shopping for nanny's gifts at Bath and Body Works. The woman who was assisting me in my search for specific items, asked if they were for a gift. I explained what they were for, and that launched a whole series of "Oh, I know all about that...my sister's neighbor's cousin's daughter just did that and got twins from China. So expensive, though...$35k EACH...can you imagine? And their agency got them there and back only 30 days after their paperwork was done - three months from start to finish..." I bought my stuff and high-tailed it out of there. I thought about responding, but she just didn't seem like the type of woman who would respond well to my attempt to educate, so I thought why bother? However, by not responding, do I help to perpetuate people's misunderstanding about adoptions from China?

Sara said...

Maybe I see this a little differently because I'm a racially mixed child and got used to a lot of stares when I was a kid out with my parents. People would see me with my mother and ask her if she was babysitting. But then, I also had to deal with parents telling their kids to say stuff to me about my heritage when I was in kindergarten... Aaah, England in the seventies and eighties was so uneducated in many respects. Anyway, I knew from an early age that they had the problem, not us. Also, since I had G, we get stopped at least a few times per outing by people who want to stare at her, ask questions, etc. It was weird and aggravating to start off, but we're just used to it now. It's the way it is. These days, so many families have unique situations - I'd think people would get tired of opening their big mouths and asking dumb questions. ;)