Even to this day, our mom likes to tell the story of people’s reactions to seeing her as a young mother with me and my brother when we were babies and young kids. (Because I was adopted and my brother was not, we are essentially so close in age that we qualify as Irish Twins. There is one week in September when we are even the same age!) Apparently strangers would come up to her, showering my brother and me with attention, which scared us because they’d be right up there in our faces, sometimes even touching us. All the while they would be saying to our mother, “Oh, did you adopt?” To which she would always reply, “Yes, but for the life of me I can’t remember which one.” And with that, she’d take off with us, leaving the well-intentioned but over-bearing strangers behind trying to sort out what exactly they just heard.
It’s a cute story, but it did get me thinking…adoptees are used to hearing it all, sometimes personal questions from well-intentioned people and sometimes ignorant reactions from those who just don’t get it. But it never occurred to me until hearing this story again as an adult that adoptive parents have probably heard it all too.
Living in a blended family can certainly draw all sorts of attention, both good and bad. And it’s not just the adoptee who is affected. It’s an experience the entire family goes through at one point or another.