I Didn’t Know You Were Adopted

The Next Family

By: Amy Wise

You probably thought this story was about me after reading the title didn’t you? Guess again. This one would be about Tatiana and the assumptions that are made when strangers see us together.

Tatiana drove to school, pulled into the parking lot. We both got out of the car and said goodbye. I hopped into the driver’s seat, and drove away. Someone who obviously doesn’t know her very well came up to her and said, “I didn’t know you were adopted.” Tatiana replied, “Um, I’m not.” The guy just looked at her like she didn’t know what SHE was talking about, “Oh.”

This isn’t the first time I have written about this, nor I’m sure, will it be the last. However, when “confusion” arises as to who I am, the comment normally is, “I didn’t know your Mom was white,” NOT “I didn’t know you were adopted.” This frustrates me. When you carry someone for 9 months, have 20+ hours of labor, and raise her for 16 years, you want to be able to say, “Yes, this child is mine!”

Now for those of you who know me well, or have been reading my stories for a while, you know that I am an adopted child myself. So why does the comment this boy made to my daughter irritate me? I love my mom with all my heart, so I don’t know why it bugs me to hear someone ask if my child is adopted. Is it all the hard work I put into the pregnancy and labor? With all the grief I gave my mom during my teen years, she actually deserves an award for that work! (Not even the months of pregnancy and hours of labor compare to the grief I caused my mom during those years. We will leave it at that for now.)

You would think I would be used to these “mom” questions by now, but I’m not. My kid is my kid. Period. I’m very proud and protective of my family so when someone tries to change the reality, I get a little “buggy.”

The funny thing is, nobody ever questions Jamie and Tatiana when they are out and about. What’s up with that? She is a mix of the two of us in looks and color, so why don’t they question him? Is it because he is big, and black, and scary, and they don’t dare? Or is it simply because she is brown and so is he, so there is no question? Hmmph…I’m still bugged.

I wonder if that’s why I’m so passionate about writing for The Next Family and for my blog, The Many Shades of Love. I love my family so much and when anything about them is questioned, I tend to go a little “mama bear”.

So just to clarify: No, she’s not adopted. Yes, I am white. Yes, her Dad is black. All clear? Good. I feel better now.

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