Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Woman at the Gym....

...with the adorable little girl.  I'm sorry if I'm staring.  I don't mean to stare at your little girl.  You don't understand how much it is killing me.  You see, I have a son.  He has her eyes.  Her exact eyes.  And I think the reason I notice is because he doesn't have my eyes.  But there are other people who share his birth country, but not his distinct almond eyes.  She shares those eyes.  I know that look.  That pondering. As she comes and stands next to me while I put on makeup - watching every movement, I want to ask you where she is born.  Instead I ask her how old she is...5.  As she looks up at me with that expression that I recognize, I am screaming inside.  Those cheekbones!  They are just like the ones I kiss every night when I get home.  I don't want to be one of those insensitive people you blog about later with their weird questions and awkward stares.  I can't think of anything I could say that wouldn't sound completely insensitive or nosy, but I want to talk about my son with you.  I want to ask you about the adoption.  I want to share stories.  I wish he was here with me right now so you would understand.  It is physically killing me to keep my mouth shut.  I open it to say something.  There's just nothing I can say.  She is so cute.  Of course I think she is cute.  I'm biased.  She has my son's eyes.


thewonderfulhappens said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That's a tough one. I never feel comfortable approaching others like that either. Of course if the boys are with me, it's a different story.

We adoptive parents should come up with something--a secret word, a calling card, a forehead tattoo, something!--to let each other know...I am like you. We can talk, you and me.

Maybe if you see the mom alone sometime, you could say "your daughter reminds me so much of my son--they have the same unique eyes. He is adopted from Korea." And then see what she says.

But I agree....I always worry about being the creepy weirdo....which is odd, because when people initiate conversations with me, I don't think that I am easily offended.

Elizabeth Frick said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think what Elizabeth suggested is good. To offer information about yourself instead of asking questions. I am continually creeped out by people who make assumptions about my children. Just the other day in Target, this woman stared with this knowing smile at my girls and said "they're beautiful" in this strange, almost covetous way. And then she said "which part of China are they from?" And I wanted to slap her. For assuming. I just grimaced and said "they're from Korea." This has happened too many times, and I'm all bitter about it. But maybe I'm overly sensitive?
Do you have a photo of your babies with you at the gym? Maybe you could show her pictures and say, "I'm sorry, but I just feel like our kids look SO much alike." Sometimes starting with an apology can go a long way.

JoJo said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've been here many times myself. I always stop myself, cuz what do I say next? Yeah, just wanted to say we both have kids adopted from Korea...see you tomorrow!
I like the 'secret word' idea though.

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ooohh. I love the secret work idea. And that's the thing. I have this huge fear of assuming this little girl is from Korea, only to find out she very well might not be. I'm not easily offended either, but I don't want to be that weird person that people vent about on their blog. :) And Jo, your comment made me laugh. "Hi, I'm only staring because I have a child from Korea too...what about that abs class?" I think I need a support group where I can just sit and talk about Korea and my children all day. :)

Kristen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Loving the secret word idea.

I've had those moments too, where I want to ask another mother about her children, but I'm afraid of offending them or assuming they are adopted or assuming they share one of my children's birth countries.

Jen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have those same moments too. I often think that I should have brought my child with and then a conversation would have been much easier. I'm often afraid that the child will not turn out to be adopted but I will end up talking to the nanny or biological mother. Sometimes adoption takes over my whole brain and I see adoption where it isn't.