Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Adoption Tale - No, My Daughter is Not From Ethiopia

I am re- running this post because I recently saw Alec Mapa on the View last week. You probably recognize him from his Ugly Betty role as the gossip reporter.

Two funny hilarious points he made. He talked about his husband and 5-year-old foster /adopted son. “My husband’s white, I’m Asian, and my son is black. We look like the last two minutes of It’s a Small World" and where is your son is from, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, no, he's from Compton."

And I agree. Maybe it's Angelina and Brad adopting children from Cambodia, Vietnam Ethiopia, or Madonna's adopting from Malawi or the vast number of little Chinese girls and their white parents dotting (who am I kidding, it's more like over running) the upper east side that people are somewhat taken aback that I adopted from that international hot spot, Philadelphia.

When I tell people that I adopted my daughter, they invariably ask "where did you adopt her from?"
I, of course, say," Philadelphia." Then comes the rather quizzical momentary stare and you can see it there eyes, "that can't be" and they always respond " really" or "oh", like this is unheard of phenemonon. Adopting domestically. Who does that?

I guess they think that I am going to say say Haiti or Ethipia, I am not sure what they think.
And for the record, it's isn't just white people but black folks who get that look, too.

I just don't know what to make of this reaction. As the non-confrontational person that I am, I just move the conversation along.
Any thoughts???

Here is the only snippet from the show, unfortunately, they did not include the bit about his husband and son but it's pretty darn funny.


Mommy Ruth said...

nice blog, good topic, visiting u today, followed u too..visit me at http://ruthrush.blogspot.com..thanks!

CD said...

I don't really fully understand this, either, but we get the same thing. We're white and our daughter is biracial. Many people around here seem to ask partially because they can't easily fit her into an ethnic or racial category just by looking at her. We live where nearly 50% of the population is hispanic and some people assume she is hispanic so we also get surprised responses when people find out she is black and caucasion. We do just as you do... name the town where she was born. Also, just as you said, we get looks of surprise. People then ask us how old she was when we got her and we say "four hours... we got stuck in a traffic jam driving to the hospital". That brings on even more strange looks... not just domestic adoption but a BABY.... one you knew was coming.... gasp! I've also noticed that people seem to have a hierarchy of how they view adoption. We know many adoptive families... people we've known since before any of us adopted... and it seems like people view international adoption most highly, then adoption from foster care, then domestic infant adoption. I think it has to do with people's desire to hear an interesting story and to subscribe some sort of "rescue" mentality to adoption. I can't tell you how it bothers me when people view the primary goal of adoption as somehow "saving" a child, because to us it's not that at all.... it's just the way our family was created, and no matter the child's situation I don't like to think that parents who adopt are heroes... we are just parents. I don't like the light it places the kids or the families in, as in making the child seem like a victim who needed rescuing by somehow superior or selfless people rather than just a child who became a part of a family. It never used to bother me much, but now that she is getting a little older and trying to wrap her mind around the whole adoption thing, the race thing, etc. it is starting to bother me that she may feel singled out. OK, rant over. I so seldom see this addressed that I just had to respond!

Raven and Yawa said...

We also get the same questions: where did you adopt your daughter from? We always say "San Diego" because that's where she was born. Hey a "true" San Diegan, not a transplant like me! Boy, when people see us out that do a double take. Here we have a long-haired white Dad, a dark haired 100% Italian Mom, and a small African-American girl. CD is right. I don't feel like a hero, I feel like a parent...yay!! :) There are so many children in our very own cities that need a loving home, that's why we adopted domestically. And we are going to do it again!

Post a Comment