Monday, April 6, 2009


Is he yours?

I get that question, a lot. It makes me cringe. I know, I know, I should not be so defensive. After all my skin in a totally different shade from my son's. My eyes are shaped differently, my hair even is a different texture.

But I cringe because I know that is not what they are asking me, it is not the question they hope I will answer. They are not confused as to whether Jack is my son or maybe a poor lost child that I happen to have strapped into my basket, while referring to myself as "mommy", and frequently kissing. No, they are quite sure that he is "mine".

What they want me to answer is how did he come to be mine. Tell them the details, was he adopted...ok that's something, but tell me more, why, how? Maybe my husband is Asian? Maybe some other strange scenario?

These strangers in the store have decided that every detail of my life, of everyone's life, is their business. After all ten tabloids tell us the details of every remotely famous person's life, so why not. They are in fact entitled to come up to me, right in front of my precious son, who will soon learn the meaning of those words, "Is he yours?"

"Yes." I always just smile and say yes. They're face is disappointed. One time a lady didn't like my answer of simply yes and further questioned me, finally asking the question she was asking all along, speaking to me as if I was perhaps not smart enough to answer her correctly the first time.

I have no shame in how Jack joined our family. No secret to keep from him. But there will be years of his life, maybe all of it, where being adopted, having white parents, looking different from others at the store will be something that brings him embarrassment, and though I pray not, pain. I know he will always know all that makes him unique, I want the fact that he's adopted to be able to drift to his subconscious, the way I know I have brown hair, am sure of it, but it is rarely the focus of my attention. I don't want him to constantly have to deal with someone questioning the family he belongs to, questioning who he is.

I need a snappy comeback, but haven't thought of one. I need something that will spread throughout our town...that lady, the one with the son born in Korea, she's a real....well you know :). What? He's mine and there's nothing I wouldn't do for him.

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