Friday, July 8, 2011

It happened AGAIN - do I cry, scream or educate?

I just do not understand.
I do not get the way people can 
be so careless.
Someone please explain to me!

We were at the Child Development Center today
and the woman working behind the counter
saw me walk in with Kate,
did a double take and
asked the question I hear so much that
I am now immune.

"Is she yours?"

I responded politely that
*she*, the child with ears and the ability to hear
was indeed mine.
Then I said sweetly, what would make you question that?
Is it that she so obviously looks different than me?
Is it that she is Asian and I am not?
She has black hair and brown eyes
and I
have brown hair and green eyes?
Skin tone?
Tell me, why couldn't she be mine?

Really, I just nodded and smiled.

The she asked me if my girl was a
"Downy Baby".
Um, what?
What is that?
I replied that I wasn't really sure what that was,
but I knew where she was headed
and I was seething.
I turned away.
Tried not to cry

She was getting uncomfortable with
the pregnant pause
and proceeded to explain that her
brother's baby was a "Downy Baby";
a child with Down's Syndrome.
And then imparted on me that he was 
only mildly afflicted, seemingly,
like my child.
And was so clever and funny and

I was reeling....
who says "Downy Baby"?
Am I wrong to be upset at that "term of endearment"?
I have a few friends with children that have Down's
and I have never heard that.
It felt so derogatory.
Repulsive, truth be told.

And when I left
I was beyond angry.
ask such questions in a place that school age kids
and anyone else with ears can hear.
How dare you pry into my life in such a personal way.
How dare you insinuate that MY daughter is
less than all mine because her blood is not the same
and because she has a first Mama that let me step in
when she no longer could.
I am well aware.
And Kate will be, too, someday.
Today is not that day,
and YOU do not get to choose for us.

Make such an ugly remark based on appearance.
Why is that even remotely appropriate to you?
I get that you were likely trying to see some
kind of common denominator that you thought we shared.
what if I wasn't ready to be in that place?
Or, if we never suspected that there might be an issue and you
just opened a HUGE can of worms.
What if Kate did have Down's and we were learning to adjust?
Does that somehow make it OK for you to announce it?
And really, what if she did?
Why is that important to YOU?

My girl is perfectly made.
She is just as she should be.
And I get defensive about her
because she is MY
And I love her just the way she is.


  1. Hugs to you! My sister is from the Philippines and we got this sort of thing all the time. It got to the point where my mom would say to people, "If you don't know by now the many ways children join families or where babies come from, you need to educate yourself. I don't have the time to do it".
    You handled it with grace and love and the reaction you have shown here proves more than any DNA test could!

  2. Oh Kelly - I'm so sorry that you had to deal with this. It is amazing to me what people feel is appropriate to say to others. My youngest, Aoife doesn't match my other kids - brown eyes instead of blue - and even with that tiny difference I've had several people ask (very loudly in public) if she has a different father than the other 2. I wish I could have been as gracious as you were! hugs to you and your adorable babies!

  3. Wow! I can't believe this. I had not been on FB in a few weeks and so I just saw this. There are lots of ignorant people out there and you handled that much better then I would of. With daycare I have had people ask if those kids were mine or not and though they weren't I always took offense to it. Simply because I always did think what if they were adopted? What is it to them? Anyway i'm sorry you did have to deal with this. And I would definately say something to the CDC. Because the people that work there of all people should be a little more careful of how they treat and respond to families of all types. They are to be setting the example for the kids around them. And should make families feel welcomed and comfortable to leave their children there. And if with their questions they make you feel like your child doesn't belong to you, then I don't see how as a parent you wouldn't leave there wondering what they say and think of your family to include your child. I'm sure I will have questions just the same and I hope I can handle it as well as you. Hugs to you.