“He’s not really yours, is he?”

Stacey Golden
Portland, OR

I am Euro-American and my husband is African American. When we decided to adopt children, we adopted children that had bio-parents that were the same race as us, thinking, at the time, that then our children would feel more comfortable in a family that would have been like their bio-family. That was until we found our last son. He was a beautiful, sweet, wonderful little two and a half year old child…who did not look like he had a bit of “white” in him. The first time we were in the grocery store and he called me Mommy, the women behind me in the check-out stand said, with a sneer,”He’s not really yours, is he?” It really caught me off guard and I almost said, “Oh, well he’s adopted.” But before I got it out, anger took over and I thought, who is this woman, who does not even know me, think she is. I looked back at her, as innocently as I could, and told her, “Why yes, of course he’s mine.” She said that what she meant was that he must surely have been adopted. I looked back, feigning a puzzled look, shook my head no, and assured her he was indeed my son. She began to raise her voice and stammered that he couldn’t possibly be mine. She kept on arguing, and I kept looking at her quizzically, as she tried to figure out how “this could have possibly happened.” As I look back, I’m sure I could have been more understanding and said something that could have promoted racial harmony or something, but all I could feel was anger that out of all the things she could have commented on, that is what she said.

 

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