Monday, September 20, 2010

Jane Austen Would Be Shocked

I've been reading a lot of Jane Austen recently. Discretion, propriety, and manners were so important back then. Where there was a lack thereof, everyone present was ashamed.

Yesterday, I took all the kids to the grocery store. Everyone helped and we made short order of my grocery list. When we got to the check-out, the cashier said something along the lines of "You've got your hands full!" I smiled and said: I am really blessed.
She said: "Do you have a daycare?"
That one usually comes before I say how blessed I am. Threw me a little when she asked that.
I just said: Nope. {big smile}
"Which ones are yours?"
Again, a little slow on the uptake.
I replied: All of them. {another big smile}
"Oh, you adopted them all?"
Ok, seriously, the children you're being so nosy about are right here! {This is in my head. I'm dumbfounded by her sequence of questions and am trying to hold my tongue.}
I answered "no" {little smile this time} and then quickly turned to tell whoever was closest to me what a big help they were. I smiled real big at my kids and began talking to them.
I was done with that conversation.

Where is the discretion? Where is the propriety?

If we are at a park and somebody wants to know our family story, great! I'd love to share it! But don't ask which ones were adopted and which ones weren't. See how uncomfortable that makes my adoptees? They felt like an equal part of our family just a few minutes ago. As well they should.


Nealy said...

I would write a letter to the grocery store corporate office and ask them to train their employees what NOT to ask at the check-out line. Check-out does not mean CHECK OUT the personal details of my family history!

Sherrie Duval said...

A good answer to the which ones are adopted question is also...all of them I hope and Me also...We are all adopted into God's family..How about you are you adopted?...You usually just get stares and they move you out quickly after that one :)

~Stephanie said...

We are getting this more and more. *Shakes head*

debhmom3 said...

This made me think of when the "socialization" question comes up about homeschooling. Ha! A homeschooler would never ask those questions in that order because we ARE exposed to many different people groups and we would KNOW those were all your children. Period. The way they came into your family is irrelevant unless I want more information on adoption. Sigh. I'll take our social experiences any day!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I came home from the pharmacy today just shaking my head! We had a very similar experience.

I was standing in line. The woman in front of me turns around and says "oh, look at all the children". I smiled.

Lady- "Are they all yours?"
Me- smiling "yes, they are"
Lady - "they can't be all yours"
Me - a bit confused replies "yes, they are all mine"
Lady-"no, you must have gone somewhere and gotten some of them and brought them here"
Me- "oh, you mean adopted, yes, but they are still all mine" grrr

The bummer is, only one of mine is adopted (so far) and she is obviously a different color than the rest of us. I hate that people constantly feel the need to point out the difference, especially when it is so obvious.

I'm sorry it happened to you and yours, but I must admit, your story reminded me that we are not alone in this journey.


Graceful Threads said...

Ok, I have to humbly admit here that I might of said something that stupid before I wasnt so stupid. ;-)

I seriously was always so curious about large families, Christian, people who lived for others.

Years ago I might of used those same questions out of hunger to know more, ya know?

I do think it could be hurtful to your adoptees to be called out like that. I see that, but maybe teach them to assume the person inquiring is blessed to see such a beautiful family and hungry to know more about God.

Ginger said...

"maybe teach them to assume the person inquiring is blessed to see such a beautiful family and hungry to know more about God."

That's wisdom, GT. I appreciate that! I'm going to remember that for future use.