let's keep it real here

We went to the grocery store yesterday.  My mom and I.

I felt the stares this time.  I really really felt them.

Usually when people stare it's just out of surprise.  A white mom and a chocolate baby...what?  It never has and never will be a big deal to us... we expect it and always will.  We understand it really isn't normal to see that when you go out.  I have learned to not get annoyed with it because it's people's way of reacting to this surprise.

But yesterday was different.

I held him while my mom pushed the cart.  We were only getting a couple things.

I grabbed some eggs.  The girl standing there was staring.  Plainly obvious, too.  At least most of them try to be discreet.

Walking back to my mom it felt like everywhere I looked someone's eyes were on me.

I grabbed some orange juice.  There was the same girl staring at me plainly obvious again.

I felt the eyes this time.  It was more judgement or maybe even hate than it was curiosity.  And I didn't like it one bit.

I'm sorry if you think that white people shouldn't adopt chocolate babies.  I really am.  But you're not us.  You don't know.  There is no reason for you to judge us based on our own convictions.  And I'm truly disappointed this is the way the world reacts.

I realized, yesterday, that stares are never okay.  People with disabilities often talk about how horrible it is when they go out and people just stare and stare.  I never understood that.  Even in the past five months with Trey I hadn't experienced it this plainly obvious.  Yesterday changed that for me.

I swim at a pool twice a week where I continue to see an adopted probably 4-year-old holding his mom's hand as they were leaving the pool.  This past week, I watched them go out.  There were two ladies standing there staring and even discreetly pointing it out to the other person.  I was horrified.

To those that do stare: Yes, we feel your eyes.  We feel them.  Nobody wants to go out in public and feel like someone is watching your every move just because of the baby you're holding's skin color.  And I'm sorry you feel you have to stare.  I hope you realize that to us he is part of our family and I wish you would honor that by treating him as so.  I know that if I was holding a baby with the same skin color as me you probably would not stare as you have.  I know you have questions and I know it's so completely strange to you to go to the grocery store and see a white teenager carrying a chocolate baby.  I know what you assume.  I know there are many possibilities going through your mind about how this child ended up in the arms of these white people.  I hope that next time you see something like this you react in a different way.  Not in stares.  Encourage them.  Or just don't stare.  We feel your eyes and the judgement in them.




happyflower  – (September 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM)  

My mom always said not to point or stare and I think it is really rude. I hate even getting stared at, it's not fun. Thanks for posting this!

Kiley Marissa  – (September 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM)  

I totally know what you mean here. You can tell when their watching, it's like just stop. I feel ya sister.

Olivia  – (September 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM)  

Oh goodness, yes. I feel it everywhere, especially when we go out as a family. It hurts...like their eyes are digging holes into you, waiting to see you mess up or admit you were wrong. It hurts. A lot, actually. But, at the same time, it is so worth it because I've been realizing that just by being stared at I can be a witness. (Hopefully, that makes sense.)
And p.s. - Totally in the same boat. If you ever need anyone who gets adoption and is going through the same things, I'm here. <3

Ginger  – (September 28, 2012 at 9:57 AM)  

I feel your pain. People look at Emma and arent sure why but they feel something is different. I just look at them and say "isn't she beautiful" Oh it hurts as a mama down to my core. I am sure as a sister as well. Thank you for your post. your little man is adorable

Wayne Brown  – (September 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM)  

Don't let it break you heart. Look right past those haters. ;) Your family is asdjahsdf awesome and that's just the facts.

Gabrielle Avery  – (September 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM)  

It's sad people are like this. You are much stronger than I would be. I would've stared at her right back. He is a precious gift and those people should be ashamed.
Although I would've stared and smiled at his cuteness! ;)

Michlyn  – (September 30, 2012 at 7:59 AM)  

I totally know what you mean. People judged us even before we brought my sister home. They were like "Why not just adopt the white babies in the U.S."

It is really heartbreaking. I love my lil sis to death and the stares we get are so hard. I wish I could just yell to the world "YES she is MY SISTER whether she's got brown skin and I don't. GET OVER IT!" :)

Your little Trey is so so cute!

To us - crazy, orphan loving, big sisters!

~Michlyn

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