Why I can't make Mommy friends.... the BIG family version

Last week, as we pulled up at the park in our big van, I saw "the look" on several mom's faces.  The "I hate it when a day care comes to the park" look.  Even though I just have the 4 littles with me these days, many people think that we have a large family.  I can only imagine the comments REALLY large families get.  We have heard them all, except the "don't you know what causes that".....because 4 are adopted. 
Nowadays, I get different comments than I did with the big kids with me.  Some have assumed I am infertile, hence, their reason I adopted these kids.  During the summer one time, with 3 littles, I asked if I was the nanny.
 Today at the park, a lady who let us pet her dog, wasn't sure who/what I was, so she said "You have some precious "friends" to enjoy this day with."
 We've been told that we look like Jon and Kate, I said "I hope not, we all know how that turned out."
On one of the flights home with Wes, (Emmi and Avery were with us), a flight attendant said she thought it was wonderful when wealthy people did good things with their money; referring to our adoptions.  Within seconds (to my husbands dismay) everyone seated around us knew what our income was....which I had stated to prove that we did not adopt because we had money.  Actually, God has blessed us financially in proportion to our adoptions, each time we have only met the qualifications by a few hundred dollars, but then the income increased the next years, so we qualified again.
I usually do not mind the questions, and being able to gently educate others, I know it is part of the adoption territory. I have always been aware that the children are listening to all the discussion about them.  However, I  recently realized how MUCH the kids are listening.  Emmi has started filling in the details for strangers.  If they ask one question, she proceeds to give them a brief family history, ages, special needs, etc.  I wonder if the kids think everyone gets these questions while standing in the check-out line?; which is kind of sad.  It is also teaching them that it is OK to ask personal questions of strangers, hmmmm. 
They question we have received more in the last few months than EVER, is "are they brothers and sisters".......arghhhhhhh!
I know that people are curious as to whether or not they share the same genes, but really.......They are forcing me either tell 1/2 truths in front of my children, or constantly remind my children that there was another woman who gave birth to them, and abandoned them for whatever reason.  I have answered with "yes, through adoption", or "they are now".  
Would it be rude to say "Sorry, we are not giving interviews today", like the famous people do???  What do ya'll do??????


  1. Every time you take the time to explain, gently, you show your children what grace is. Every time you reach for patience when you would rather snap, you educate people-about why you are a mother, about what type of mother you are and, as a result, what type of family you are raising. Every encounter has the potential of leading to greater understanding and tolerance.

  2. You are so right! It is just not always easy=)

  3. Once, I was asked if I was the sitter. That took me quite off guard. I never imagined that option and it shook me up a little. So, we wrap ourselves up in each other a lot, give lots of affection in public, and refer to the blonde haired kid as "sister" where everyone can hear. One trick I have found that causes people to recognize they are sisters right away is matching coats in the winter :)

  4. With 6 children (which is not really a large family, IMO), we get almost every question in the book. And total strangers have been coming up to us asking us rude, although innocently, questions since we had just 3. I try to see it as an opportunity to witness, and usually handle it as such or at least almost ;0), but I must admit, I do get a little irritated at the personal, personal questions.

    And now when people find out we are adopting, I am already getting at every turn, "Well, are THESE all yours?" Hmmmm. . . .like Hai Hai won't be mine?

    I have decided that no, it's not other people's business, and they shouldn't be so nosey, but I know it is a great opportunity to share the Gospel and to share the joys of a big family to those who would otherwise consider it a bad thing.

    Probably 10 years ago, I began to realize, like you, how my children were hearing these people act like I was off my rocker for having these children. It always grieves me when folks make a big deal about it in front of them, so I try to overcompensate by expressing how wonderful they are and what a joy they are.

    Most of the time, the other party then responds really quickly, "Oh, mine are, too!" LOL!

  5. we dont have any adopted children yet..that term is used very loosely. I have many friends who have taught me how to handle ingnorant questions...my favorite is "why is it you ask?" This is a great way to search out if it is someone being nosey or if it is a genuine question because the Lord is moving on someones heart in this area. All too soon (within the next 2 months we will bring our daughter home and I pray then that the Lord will give me grace with each crazy question...Lord knows we already get a ton with just having 5 children....

  6. I say "they are brothers and sisters NOW!" ;o)

    And, look on the bright side...I have gotten so gray and wrinkly, people are always asking me if I am my kids' grandmother. :o(

  7. I had a sweet friend who fostered children (she's in her 70's now). She had a little brochure she printed off to give to those curious bystanders in the grocery store aisle, etc. It was the sweetest explanation of how God had called her family to take in orphans and raise them as their own....and she said she would explain the brochure and then give them one to take home, read, ponder, throw in the trash....do whatever they wanted with it. But you never know how many people took that brochure and it just may have changed their life. I have always thought that was a great idea. I just might come up with a "brochure" myself! :)
    Either way, it is a great opportunity to tell God's story...but I agree that it gets exhausting at times.
    My favorite comment so far occurred at Hobby Lobby last night. I was buying fabric for all of our Halloween costumes. The lady asked me "Do you really have this many children or are you making costumes for the whole neighborhood?"

  8. Move to Maui Janet. No one will ask :-) They will just say "Bless you guys!"

  9. People are just dumb. I always have to remind myself that they don't know they're being rude. While I don't have any adopted, I do have a large family. I am very soft spoken, so it surprises people when I give an answer that points out the rudeness of their question. When I am at the store with all 9 kids people often say to me, "Look at all those kids. You poor thing." to which I reply, "Are you kidding? I'm the richest person here!"

    The one that really makes me upset is when a stranger will go on and on about how pretty one of the girls is. The other 3 girls are just standing there. What is wrong with these people? I will say, "We love best that she's beautiful on the inside, just like her sisters."

    Irritating. Lisa~