Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the Mother of all comments to date.. UPDATED w/ my response below

A young man probably in his early 20's came up to E'beth and I this afternoon and started chatting. He was very curious and inquisitive about "us" and so we talked about how Elizabeth is adopted from China and now she lives in America with Mommy (me) Daddy, and her brother John. The topic of traveling to China for a cultural visit someday eventually came up and this is what he said directly to Elizabeth (age 4):

"You better not ever go back to China because you will break your Mother's heart when she sees how pretty and polite you are now".

I'll post my reply, but would love to hear what YOU would have said before I tell mine. I have comment moderation on, so if your comment doesn't show up right away it's because I haven't had a chance to see it yet. Please leave your thoughts on this one.

Thanks friends for taking the time to respond with your thoughts on this.

Obviously, the comment took me completely by surprise and I only had a few seconds to "think" about my reply. In those few seconds I was staring at a young man that was still in that crossover period of boy to man IMHO. I decided to put his "youth" and lack of polish in other areas I was staring at in my main thought process over those few seconds. I realized that his lack of social graces was something that perhaps I could excuse because 1. his age, and 2, his gender.

Most young men I know are not as savvy in the world of adoption comments made to families as are women aged 30-90. Why should they be? They are busy with so much more at that time of their life... OK, I digress.. so I simply said..

"*I* am her Mommy, the one and only"- as I gave him a stern gaze with wide eyeballs that E'beth couldn't see.

He continued to follow us and would jump from behind things and scare and tease E'beth. I really don't think he meant to scare her but it was. We were in an art supply store and each time I would go to the front to pay for our items, there he would be. I would walk back so that he would leave the store, but he kept following us. I was determined not to leave until I was sure he was gone. It took about 30 minutes.

Very weird.


Lori said... I'm not sure I would have been able to come out of my shock to reply correctly but perhaps I would have said...

"China is full of the most amazing people and families. Had my daughter been adopted by a Chinese family, she would have thrived there as much as she has here."

Or had this young man caught me on one of my grumpy days....I shudder to think what words would have left my lips.

Anonymous said...

I would have told him her mom lives in the US and she is well aware of her beauty and manners! One time a guy at church asked me in front of the girls if I knew anything about their parents. I wanted to say yes, they both work in medicine. I honestly don't know what we are supposed to say. I know most of the questions are asked in innocence but the kids are starting to comprehend so much and I think it is our job is to protect them. We are constantly burdened with the
"are they real sisters? " question. Anxious to know your reply!


Ladybugsmom said...

Oh me...I don't really think he was thinking...let's hope but I would have said you know her Mommy is right here and boy do I know blah blah blah and oh I am sure if her birth mother could see her she might see the same thing I see everyday...what a blessing she is...period end of story.

Shelley said...

Do you want to know what I would have said BEFORE or AFTER I pulled his toes up and out his ears???? I seriously would have had to restrain myself for the sake of my children!!!
I probably would have made some comment about how I AM her mother and how I am very aware of how polite and beautiful she is and I would have very politely (taking every ounce of strength to remain polite)requested that he not make such ignorant comments in front of a 5 and 3 year old child!!!
The part I would like to hear is what my Aly would have said back to the THAT would be interesting!!! LoL
You know...I try very hard to not not act in such a way (and there by show my children how to act) that shows thin skin toward ignorant people. I don't want them to not be thin skinned. I don't want them to "look" for the negative comments and be offended at everything. I hope that they will generally let stuff "roll off of their backs", but I have to say that this man just takes the cake!!!!
Can't wait to hear what you said!!!!