You know what? Sometimes people really say some stupid things to me. I know they do not mean it, but I have to educate people. Here are some really offending things that you can say:
1) Lately, I have overheard numerous people respond to crimes in the area by saying things like, "I am sure it was a black man." I love when they realize that they just said it in front of me. A total look of "Oh crap" comes over their face.
Here is my response to that...
- First of all, why does it have to be an African American that committed the crime? Do white people not commit crimes? I guess white people are above all of that, huh?
- Second of all, when you say stupid things like that, what do you think that does to a young African American male? It sets them up for failure without even getting a chance. It is bad enough that as a African American man people have been known to cross the street, clutch their purses a little tighter and act nervous. How do you think that makes them feel? How would you feel? Yes, this is personal to me because I am trying to raise a African American male on my own, and I want him to be known for what he does in life without being set up for failure before he even gets a chance.
2) People like to ask questions about me adopting my son on my own, which is fine, but asking the dreaded question of, "Oh, they let you adopt him on your own? I am surprised they let you do that without a husband."
- What is that supposed to mean? Yes, I adopted my son on my own, and yes, I take care of him on my own, and yes, I am the one that gets up with him every single night at 3am when he is having nightmares. That is what mom does and why does it matter if I do not have a husband? There are plenty of single moms out there that do this. Why would they not "let" me adopt him on my own?
3) I also get the people that are curious about foster care. I love that. I am always open to answering questions about fostering, EXCEPT the stupid question of, "How much do you get for him?"
- First of all, ask me a question like that in front of my child again and see what happens.
- Second, he is adopted now, but when he was in foster care...let's just say I made absolutely NOTHING on fostering my son. NOTHING. All of the money went to his care. About half of it alone went to his Pediasure each month. So, if you are thinking of fostering to make money here in Wisconsin, please don't. We do not want people that just do it for the money anyways. We want people that do it because they care.
4) Oh, the lovely "It is so nice what you are doing for that little boy."
- I know you mean well when you say this. I really do know that, but that little boy is my son. I am just doing what a mom does. I love him, feed him, care for him,etc like every other mom. He is not a charity case. He is a normal 5-year-old boy. Feel no pity for him as he plays with his way too many toys, gets way too much candy from some unnamed people that spoil him, the non stop gifts and attention he gets from his grandparents. This child is not a charity case.
5) Last but not least, the one that I usually find the most humorous..."Where did you get him."
- Really? What do you mean, "Where did I get him?" I know they are expecting me to say somewhere in Africa or some island, but not every child that is African American is adopted from some far away land, people!
So, can we please stop and think before we speak? I am just trying to raise a kid like anyone else is. Same goes for all of my other foster and adoptive parent friends out there. We are just families. Though we may look different than the "normal" family, really...whose family is "normal" anyways?