One of the things that was surprising to me after adopting three of our children internationally was the number of times that we were stopped by strangers who wanted to ask a question or make a comment about our family- specifically about our differences. To point out the fact that we don’t look alike. To ask questions about our children’s biological parents and their blood relationship to one another. To ask about how much the adoption cost….. yep- I swear.
I was so annoyed- that at one point I created this animated video to share the absurdity of these conversations….
Over the years, I’ve discussed the topic of strangers’ intrusive questions many times with my adoptive mom friends, and most of us can share similar stories about comments made while we’ve been out grocery shopping or running an errand with our adopted children. But for most of us (myself included), we feel that this has happened less often as our kids have grown older. (Or perhaps… we are all so busy that we make less eye contact with strangers these days, which automatically curbs the questioning….)
So I was surprised to see this Yahoo Shine article sharing the experiences of adoptive mom Kim Kelley-Wagner and her daughters, currently ages 7 and 13. Kelley-Wagner who created a Facebook photo series showing her daughters holding white-board signs displaying comments that strangers have made to Kelly and her children in public. (YES- to her CHILDREN!)
Scrolling through Kelley-Wagner’s Facebook album I found myself nodding my head in agreement because I’ve been on the receiving end of many of the same types of comments from strangers. But I was struck by the fact that Kelley-Wagner decided (with her girls permission) to feature images of the girls sharing some of the inappropriate questions and comments. I am caught in-between applauding the three of them for being so brave and for making the statement, and cringing on the girls behalf that now these images are on the internet, and will always be a part of their online identity.
So my question is…. What you think about this? Do you applaud to Kelley-Wagner’s decision to educate the general public on the rudeness and insensitivity of their queries? Or do you think that featuring your teen and tween in a Facebook photo series like this is not the wisest choice a Mom can make to get her point across? (Although I have to admit- it was specifically her choice of using her girls in the images along with the list of intrusive and out-of-line questions and comments that caught my attention, and has had me thinking about it ever since.