After a brief pause where I had to process what she just said, I responded with a smile, "No, they're mine," and left. Of course, on the walk to the car and the ride home I had to field questions like, "Why did she ask that?" and "Is she racist?" from my kids.
Now, there are a couple ways to spin her question:
- Adoption isn't on her radar when she sees a white mom with black kids.
- The kids look too close in age to all be siblings.
- I look too old to have kids that young.
There was a time, when my older five were little (5,3,2,newborn, newborn) that I considered having "Yes! They're all mine!" tattooed on my forehead, to cut down on the awkward questions and even more awkward staring. I haven't thought about it in many years though...I'd like to think it's because people have stopped staring, but maybe I've just become oblivious to the gawking.
Oh, and there was that time on our way to Alabama last year when a gentleman asked if we were taking the children from the local Baptist Children's Home on an outing.... (*this is where I mentally slap myself on the forehead and suppress a scream*)
Anyway, most of the time, I think graciously about people asking these awkward question, but I thought I'd put this out here as a public service announcement....when you see a family where the kids don't look like the parent, please let adoption at least wander through your thoughts. Or, when you see a mom (or dad) with a boatload of little kids, instead of asking if they do daycare, offer to help them in some way...or just smile....