This Really Bugs Me

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It happened - again.  Someone rudely commented about Joshua's hands.  And it bugs me because few seem to realize that missing a few fingers is no big deal.  And many people also fail to realize that that the poor guy is only  three but yet knows when people talk about his hands AND is very self-conscious about it. Now, we get a lot of really nice people that say how cute  he is, and they are genuinely curious about his adoption and how he's doing now.  But then, we have other people that aren't so nice.  People who are, I think, genuinely curious, but just downright rude about it.  

The other day, a neighbor lady who we haven't seen in years stopped by.  She'd never seen Joshua or Isaac before, so she she was interested in meeting them - but in the process she noticed Joshua's hands and immediately commented on them.  She grabbed his arm and started very indiscreetly examining his hands; then she started asking if the doctors could do anything about it.   She was so rude!  I was holding Joshua the whole time because he's still shy about meeting new people.....and this women was no exception.  He very obviously did not like her and pulled back from her.  The fact that she started stroking his face with her dagger hot red fingernails didn't help the matter.  It was so sad, because when they came back a few hours later, he immediately hid his little hand in his pocket.  People don't realize that he is very aware of when others talk about his hands.

What irritated me even further was the fact that once she was done giving Joshua the once over, she turned to Isaac and asked, "Is there anything wrong with him? Is he normal?"  I was just so taken aback by her crude question that I kind of mumbled something about him having a cleft palate but he's perfect to us. I mentioned that he had surgery for it last summer, to which she replied, "Oh, well, he doesn't look bad at all!"

After some serious thinking about it, now I KNOW what I will say in the future.  If anyone ever asks if anything is "wrong" with either one of my perfect little brothers, I'm simply saying "no".   Because it's downright true.   There is absolutely nothing wrong with either one of them.  They may look slightly different than some of us, but that doesn't change the way they are on the inside - who they are as a person.  

I wish I could have handled this women differently; now that I've given it some thought I wish I could re-do the whole scenario.  A lot of adoptive parents get extremely offended when others ask about their child's "special needs" - as their sister I don't mind a bit, if they are polite and discreet about it.  But it's when others start talking in front of Isaac and Joshua very rudely about their differences, as if they were weird or abnormal, well, that really bugs me.  It frustrates me because I know Joshua especially will have to eventually deal with these kind of people on his own - what I want to do is protect him from all the rude comments he will probably get.  Mom and Dad have some plans for how they are going to teach him to deal with it, but for now I want to try and head off as many "curious" people as I can......I know Joshua is self-conscious about his hands already and I guess it brings out the protective big sis in me!


Abby said...

Ugh, how rude! That's so annoying. It's amazing how people don't think about how impolite and hurtful those kind of remarks can be.

Joanna said...

It would bug me too! I've seen dozens of pictures on your blog but never even noticed. It is kinda like when people ask adoptive parents about their "real" children. What? They are all their real children! I guess people just don't take the time to stop and think about it. Most of them do care. The only thing that might be hard that I can think of is not being able to count to 10 on your fingers. :-) My 6 year sister still depends on them heavily for her math. :-)

Holly said...

I'm sorry this happened.

I dread this for our next one's sake. People know that we waited a LONG time for Kaitlyn but her special need is not easily noticed. People already wonder why our adoption should go faster this time. How do you explain without violating your child's privacy and making them feel self-conscious?

Anonymous said...

My brother had surgery on his hands when he was little, so his hands are scarred and deformed, but you're right! He's no different from the rest of us,and there is nothing wrong with them!

Anonymous said...

One person actually had the nerve to ask us about their birth families and why "no one wanted them" right in fron of our little guy. He was 4 at the time and perfectly understood everything she said. When i ignored her she started listing all the possible reasons for his adoption!

We try to ignore rude questions, smile and change the subject. If they persist - and some are very persistent - we excuse ourselves. I would much rather hurt the feelings of an adult who should know better than my child. Unfortunately it takes experiences like these before we are prepared to defend our loved ones because we don't expect anyone be unkind.

You are a good sister and your family is blessed to have you.

Mrs. Caballero

Stephanie said...

How annoying! Wow... you'd expect adults to act better than that.

I for one think they come in with a close second to my little siblings in cuteness... not like I'm biased or anything. :)


Jenna said...

Oh my, how awful! I cannot imagine how you were feeling as she was talking... I would've been shocked!
My little sister has a scar above her lip from her "special need" {I like to think of it as a Love Mark from God} and sometimes people notice it. We are very open about it with Jessa, since she has asked questions, and I pray that she doesn't have any trouble with people making her feel uncomfortable! All children are made special by our Creator, no matter what! :)

Many Blessings,

Mikaela said...

That is sssoooo mean! I'm am so sorry about that. You're right; he is a perfect, healthy child.

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