Monday, March 26, 2012

Did you adopt her?

So Saturday, I took Audrey to the Nacogdoches Spring Fling.  It was a girls only trip.  I was going to support my girls from LLL of Nac and to go to the Farmer's Market which I had never been to. 

There were lots of activities for Miss Audrey and we had fun walking around and catching up with the girls.  While we were at one table a little girl came over to us and asked, very politely, "Did you adopt her?"  I had never been asked that before and I a bit stunned to be honest.  What do you say to that question?  I mean I had never really thought much about it that anyone would think that she wasn't my kid.  She looks a lot like DH but she looks like me too. 

I think the most interesting part was the woman who was across from us and her reaction.  She perked up and turned to me and said, kinda with a giggle, "Kids will say anything that comes to mind."  And then she kind of leaned in to hear the answer and I guess my reaction. 

I guess from the outside looking in, it might be fun.  What is this adult going to say?  I could go all nuclear on her.  I could be cool and ignore it.  I could have a great answer.  My answer was none of these things.  I simply looked at her and said, "Honey, she's mine.  Her daddy is dark but I had her."  Plain and simple.  Easy and truthful.  She was a child and she had a question and I was the only person who could answer. 

How would you react?  I just went into teacher/librarian mode and answered the question.  What else could I do?  I'm glad that I got the question.  I had never thought about it.   An adult would not be so nice.  An adult would ask with judgment.  So would my reaction to an adult be different?  My guess is yes.  How could I stay calm and chill when someone is making a value call on my child?  I'm use to questions/judgments on my marriage.  Can't be in an interracial relationship for over 16 years and not have a ready response to, "Why you marry one of our men?" but that is a different blog post all together.  But when it comes to my child, that is a whole different territory.

I have no clue how to start the race dialogue with Audrey.  I know she notices.  Black men are daddy.  I've heard her point to pictures and say it.  I do correct her.  No that's not daddy.  What do I say?  No honey, random black dude.  I've not heard her say it when she sees a picture of Hispanic women but then I would be with her and she could easily compare.  I know she knows there is a difference.  How do I vocalize it?  How do I explain it to her?

I remember when my niece asked about it.  DH and I been together 16 years and our oldest niece is 15 so she's always known me and I've always been with her uncle.  I'm her aunt.  She was in school like st grade I think.  Her teacher must have said something because as relied to us by my sister-in-law, our niece and came home and say, "[Uncle] and Martha aren't the same color are they?"  She didn't know because we never told her.  But Audrey is different.  Audrey is biracial/bi-cultural.  Bi-coloredness is part of her identity.  I think I'll be visiting some bi-cultural mom blogs and see how they are handling it.  I feel so unprepared for the race talk.