Our agency offers classes once a month or so. The most recent class was held this past Saturday and dealt with the issues adoptive parents face in talking about adoption with their children, with family members and with strangers.
The class was interactive and I learned the most amazing thing: that the people in that room, and probably most adoptive parents in general, are some of the most thoughtful, caring people anywhere.
When you think about it, adoptive parents must be, by definition, tolerant and loving people. For those of you that haven't adopted, you may not realize just how rude people can be with regard to adoption. Some people are genuinely curious and caring with their inquiries, while others are just plain nosy. Either way, no matter how offensive the question or comment, you need to remember that your child is within earshot (probably). We talked about how to handle rude questions whether they come from family, friends, or strangers.
For adoptive parents, a simple trip to the grocery store will often turn into an encounter with a Random Rude Person (RRP). As we sat there in class on Saturday and listened to stories from the instructor about her encounters with RRP's, I was touched by the suggestions and responses from the waiting parents (including my husband). As much as we'd all like to lob a snarky remark at every RRP that comes our way, the group instead took the approach that RRP's just don't know any better, and suggested crafting responses to:
1) Educate people about adoption and
2) Teach your child how to deal with people in a compassionate way, no matter how rude they are.
Now, that's Class.