"My fellow Americans. I'm pleased to announce that I've signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union. We begin bombing in five minutes." -Ronald Reagan,
joking during a mike check before his Saturday radio broadcast.
The above statement by Ronald Reagan was, at the time, an innocent phrase spoken when he was asked by the sound people to say something so that they could do a check of the equipment. However, it had the effect of sending the wrong message to the Soviet premier and a rise in the defense posture of that nation.
Many times throughout the week, I am presented with a well intended colleague or friend who asks questions about our adoption. Sometimes the questions are well thought out and express the questioners desire to know more about "why we did what we did". At other times, the questions make me scratch my head in bewilderment. But, however insensitive or unintended the question, I make use of a snippet in time to "educate" my good natured friend. After all, you don't know if ya don't know, my dad would always say.
There's no reason to get your feathers ruffled and posture for war like the Russians did over Reagan's statement. I don't get mad, upset or strike back at such comments. Rather, I give a subtle hint to deflect the negativity or hurtfulness of the situation. Most folks aren't even aware of what they say and I believe that they should be forgiven and the question answered in true Christian fashion. We look at it as a chance to educate people about adoption. We don't feel like someone has personally attacked us. People will say insensitive and stupid things. I am sure that I have said my share of things that may come across insensitive or wrong, when I truly didn't mean to do so. I believe most people mean no ill will with what they say, they just aren't educated in this area because they have not had any personal experience with it.
That being said...in the spirit of education and just to have a good laugh, here are a few that I've gotten over the past couple of years, my comments in italics:
- I hate it when people adopt somewhere else. You should adopt one of your own, from this country. God bless you, I'm still going to Ukraine.
- Why do those women in 3rd world countries keep having babies if they can't take care of them? They should all be sterilized. God bless you again!
- Adoption is so wrong. I don't believe there should be any adoptions (from the same person that said the first two comments) Dude, weren't you adopted? Oh, and God bless you! He adopted us!
- Who is their real mom? Variation: Who is their natural mother?
- Are they brothers and sisters? (We get this one a lot about Rimma & Zina, too)
- Variation: Are they REAL brother and sisters
- I didn't realize they weren't yours!
- Now that you've adopted, you'll get pregnant and have one of your own. Gee, I hope not!
- How much did they cost? They are still costing, have you seen my grocery bill?
- You really got lucky, they could have had problems! Have you been reading this blog?
- I could never adopt, I want my own children.
- I could never adopt. I could never raise someone else's child.
- I want to adopt, once I have my own real kids.
- Does it bother you that they won't be your own?
- Your children are adopted? They look so normal!
- The dreaded phrase, "Come on, you know what I mean..."
- Aren't they communists? How does the Air Force feel about that?
- That they look just like me, enough to be my "real kids"
- You guys are Saints! Thank you, but we aren't. You, yourself could experience the joy of adoption.
- No matter how many times you say "Ukraine", everyone else says "the Ukraine". Enjoy your trip to the Mexico, the France, the Italy!
~ Felix ~