Thoughts on a Tuesday

30 Nov

My husband took this of B and me the day we went to the zoo. I like how this picture turned out. Please ignore my grey hairs, I’ve been slacking on dying my hair.

I thought I’d take this time, while the babies are sleeping, to write a little bit about how November is Adoption Awareness month. I know it’s the last day of the month…I’m a bit late to the party. I have a lot of mixed feelings about how to talk about adoption – I’m an adoptee and also an adoptive parent, so I think that’s what makes it a bit more complicated. How I felt growing up and when I wanted and didn’t want to talk about my adoption will be different than for my children, not only because we’re different people but also because I was of the same race as my parents, whereas my children are not the same race as my husband and I. When I’m out with the babies alone, I think most people assume they are my biological children, but when my husband and I are out with them alone, it’s pretty obvious that they are adopted – which is when, usually, the many questions start. I hate answering questions, I really do. It doesn’t matter to me if the person is genuinely interested or not, I just really hate it. I think it’s because I have to choose, depending on the person, how much of my babies’ stories I want to share, more often then not I don’t share anything other than, “no, they’re not twins.” So, I’m exaggerating a little bit here as I really don’t mind people talking to me, in general, but I really dislike jerky questions – like asking me how much they cost, or why didn’t I adopt a child from the US, or why didn’t we have our ‘own’ kids, or why didn’t we adopt white kids, or…I hate that shit. It makes me not want to leave the house.

I also feel that it will be up to B & L to share as much (or as little) of their story as they want. It isn’t up to me to tell random strangers, who to be blunt don’t really give a shit, about the details of what was going on in their lives before they came home to us. I also don’t like the idea of using my children to teach others about Congo, doing that makes me extremely uncomfortable. I am fully aware that we were able to adopt from DRC because of the ongoing civil war, but I don’t think it’s up to me (or my children, who at this point don’t get it) to pimp my kids out to get the word out about how bad things are over there – doing that falls into the badvocacy/poverty porn/poverty tourism catagory that makes me uneasy.

This isn’t very well put together, but I wanted to just throw this out there, because sometimes when I read blogs of other adoptive parents, I think that I’m in the minority as it seems that a lot of them are using their children to talk about how horrible ‘x-place’ is…I don’t know, when you’ve only visited you’re child’s home country for a week and aren’t really reading much about the history of said country, yet you’re calling yourself an expert on that country and it’s people- aren’t you really just another whitey constructing your own narrative about Africa? And if all you’re talking about is how crappy things are in your child’s home country, are you expecting the kid to thank you for saving them? I don’t want that for my kids. There’s a lot of really awful things going on in Congo right now, but there’s also a lot of really cool things (like the awesome music and fabrics). I guess really, I just want my kids to know that even though their home country is really messed up, that there are also a lot of good things from there, too.


8 Responses to “Thoughts on a Tuesday”

  1. Llyra November 30, 2010 at 17:54 #

    You know, I had *no* idea that you were adopted. I guess we didn’t talk too deeply in high school. This kind of makes me sad, since you’re such an awesome person, and I wish I’d realized it sooner.

    • Chantal November 30, 2010 at 18:41 #

      Llyra, are you serious? I thought most of my friends knew. I know I dont talk about it mcuh, cuz when does it come up randomly…but wow, I guess I’m more tight-lipped than I realized, which means that my rep as a bigmouth should change. 🙂 Also, I might not have mentioned this, but I’m really happy we’ve gotten back in touch – it’s one of the few times I’ve been excited by the magic of facebook.

      • Llyra December 2, 2010 at 01:55 #

        Completely serious! And yes yes yes, I am also so very glad for facebook.

  2. thezooks February 21, 2011 at 02:32 #

    I came across this link and LMAO. My husband and I will be committing these answers to memory. Sad but true!

    • Chantal February 21, 2011 at 04:03 #

      Someone did ask us one time where we got the babies, and I’m way jerkier than my husband and I said “at the store.” My husband was mortified. 🙂

  3. Molly July 31, 2013 at 20:09 #

    I absolutely adore the pictures of your beautiful children on instagram and I am so glad I remembered to check out your blog and read more about your family. Adoption has been something that gets brought up quite often between me and my husband. I enjoyed reading a bit more about your story and promise not to ask any jerky questions at all!

    • Chantal July 31, 2013 at 20:16 #

      I’m really not that jerky when people talk to me about it – honestly, not a lot of people do. You can ask anything you want!

    • Chantal July 31, 2013 at 20:34 #

      And I’m sorry, I am a jerk – thank you! 🙂

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