We are all at a cafe, and the waitress looks at Pup and says to me "Doesn't he look just like you!" She didn't know he was adopted so it was totally spontaneous.
I usually don't know how to react to that sort of comment. At the time I just smiled and said "Yes he does." - because there is a likeness, and it was a completely natural comment. It feels good that we look like family. But it isn't always so easy. Some people who know they are not our birth children seem to make comments like that to make us feel 'better' about the boys being adopted. It seems to be a classic response, a sort of denial of the situation 'Oh but they can't be adopted, they look just like you!' or even 'But they look like they are yours.' Well, they are adopted, and they are ours and they would be ours if they were green with purple spots.
We were camping this week, and the family in the next tent to us had a little boy who was of such different appearance to his parents that it was obvious he was adopted or fostered. That must be hard for him, and for them sometimes. But a tiny part of me was a bit jealous , at least people would understand why if he had problems. Maybe I want people to know the boys are adopted? No that's not right: I want people to know that they are 'different' they have issues; that when they are running riot as they often do, and maybe screaming the house down, they are not just being naughty, but they are expressing some deeply felt emotions. That they are damaged kids, kids who struggle dreadfully with boundaries; which can make their behaviour very 'interesting' at times. I want to do what some parents of kids with autism do and buy the T-shirt. But I think they would both hit the roof if I asked them to wear a shirt that said
'I'm not naughty I'm adopted'
'I'm not naughty, my birth mum screwed my head up'
Maybe not :)
We are getting more hardened these days to being thought 'bad' parents for either over disciplining or letting them run riot. Friends and family 'make allowances'. I'm glad they do... mostly. I'm glad we have people who understand. But it seems so unfair all round. However, as Pup and I tell each other at least once a week, life isn't fair. But it is fun. And it would have been fun to tell that waitress that Pup was adopted just to throw her, and see her embarrassed reaction. We didn't, it's Pups business not hers, and anyway she was doing no harm by her throwaway comment. Pup didn't react at all, that sort of thing still goes way over his head, surprisingly.