Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stereotypes?

I have to say, in the time I have been blogging, I have not had anyone leave me a comment that bothered me. I have always had an open blog because I have felt it is MY blog to say as I want. But today, someone did. Under this post they said this

"Hi, I understand you didn't mean any harm when you called your hamster smart and then illuded that it was because it was a Chinese Dwarf Hamster, but as adoptive parents of children from China, we need to be extra careful about avoiding hurtful sterotypes such as "Asians are smart." Even though it is not seen as a negative stereotype, we need to try to avoid them altogether and teach our kids not to assume things about people because of their race. Just something to think about... " It was anonymous.

First of all, if you need to correct me on my blog, please sign your name. Honestly.

Second of all, if you do not know me to know that was a JOKE, then don't correct me on my blog.

Third, please don't be so sensitive. Especially if you are going to read my blog. It is annoying.

I will admit, I am NOT a sensitive person. And I believe the more sensitive people, have sensitive children. How can they not? If you are offended by EVERYTHING, your children will pick up on that and in turn be sensitive to everything in life.

That said, I DO agree we have to be careful with our children and their feelings. Be it adopted or not. BUT the ONLY reason I said that is because It IS such a STEREOTYPE! And because the STUPID hamster has run free in the basement for FOUR months! SMART, however you want to look at it!

I asked my dear ASIAN friend who is an adult if I she found my comment(joke about the hamster) rude or offensive and she said "No, we asians ARE smart, it is a gift from God!" I about rolled on the floor laughing at that.

It is a hard thing to be an adoptive parent. There are so many rules I never considered when God said adopt. He did not mention that we had to be careful of EVERYTHING we say. Don't breathe the chinese stereotypes, you will ruin your child. Don't dare call her a china doll or allow others, it means bad things in china. If someone asks how much it costs to adopt, tell them it is none of their business. If someone asks who her "real mother" is, turn your nose up and walk away. The list goes on and on.

I am just not like that. People need to be educated on adoption, and if someone says something to me, I look at it as an opportunity to share how the Lord has blesssed us with Sage! They might just be nosy, but in turn they might get a sermon on salvation!

Our goal is and has always been to raise our children to find their heritage in Christ. It does not matter if they are white or brown or have blue eyes or black hair. Inside we are all the same and that is what matters. Some of us get stereotypes because we are flexible, some of us might get stereotypes because we are blonde, and some of us get stereotypes because we have big noses! (this is what our chinese guide told all of us in china, don't you know ALL americans have big noses!) Yes, it is annoying to be classified because of stereotypes. Growing up a christian, I AM a stereotype. Annoying or not, it is life and I am not offended by all the comments. I pray that this is the way I can raise my children, ALL of them. Not to constantly be on the offensive, but to be confident in their heritage of Jesus Christ and to be able to LAUGH! Enjoy life! Smile and live the blessings that we all have been given. I pray that they are always comfortable in the skin GOD has given them.

But hey, if you want to leave a comment, did you notice I got PRE APPROVAL!! Everyone is welcome to congratulate me on that!

9 comments:

Robin said...

Amen Sister!!! I have to tell you that I adopted 12 years ago today.... our GOTCHA DAY! It wasn't until 2005 that I discovered the online adoption community while waiting for another CHINA DOLL! For 10 year I had never experienced the sterotypes you are referring too until I joined these yahoo groups. I was blown away to say the least at how "defensive" everyone was towards people that make comments out of curiosity. Don't call it "Gotcha Day"...don't call her a "China Doll"..."can you believe they asked me if she is my daughter"...etc. We have always called it "Gotcha Day" and my daughter is proud of this day. When someone asks me if she is adopted in front of her...I proudly say "yes, she is and its a wonderful thing"! I agree with you...if the parents are going to be sensitive the children will pick up on it as well. I don't think anyone needs to post to your blog and tell you what you should or shouldn't say. For goodness sakes...our children ARE Chinese and they look different than us. We love them just the same. Once your heart falls for one of these beautiful asian children you no longer see them as being asian...you see them as the love of your life.

Anonymous said...

Well said my friend! Honestly I got a smile on my face when I read your hamster story and I have a feeling whoever was hurt by the remark doesn't know you personally because as a friend of yours I knew imeditaley it was meant with humor. You don't need to sensor yourself on your own blog . Years ago I was schooled on the term "China Doll" I still don't get why its is offensive to others because it isn't to me. Do I use it in the adoption community? The answer is Nobut I will tell you my parents call my girls China Dolls and it is meant as a endearment. When i was a little girl my Grandma would say things like "they are as pretty as a China Doll" She was referring to anyone she veiwed as pretty and it wasn't pureley a physical comment my Grandma always seen inner beauty . So when I hear someone get radical about the "China Doll" refrence I always am reminded its a interpretation matter. Please I hope this doesn't open up the debate again I have heard it all like Shannon said senesitive people tend to raise sensitive kids. Right now my girls aren't easily offended and I hope it stays that way.

Kathy

Stephanie said...

Wee sadi! And a BIG FAT CONGRATS to you on your PA! :)
Steph

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your PA! Woo Hoo!!

Also, all of you ladies look great with your new haircuts!!

Our Family said...

Hey Girlfriend! Had you said anything stupid, racist or ignorant you know I would have been the first one to call you out! You rock on and don't you at all worry that calling your hamster smart is drawing attention to your children's Chinese heritage in a bad way...honestly!

By the way I am never anonymous and will always stand behind what I say,like it or not. I will also stand by Miss/Anonymous and say that she has every right to say what she thinks, that is why we live in America...uh oh am I going to get in trouble for that?

Tracy

the gove family said...

Ooooh...I do not think that all of Sage's spicy-ness comes just from Hunan :)

You are one fired-up momma--and I 100% agree with you!!!

Lighten up--anonymous...our kiddos have enough obstacles to overcome in this fallen world without having to check absolutely everything we write/say through the PC monitor. Go read the newspaper if you want that :)

Anonymous said...

Shannon,

I left the comment about being careful about using stereotypes. I wanted to apologize if my comment hurt/upset you in ANY way. I did not mean it to at all. I am a Christian too, and I also firmly believe that our identity should be found in Christ. And you're right, I was being sensitive. It's the way God made me, and He also made you to be the way you are. We are different on our opinions, but that's okay!! I think I am extra sensitive to these stereotypes because I am around adult adoptees a lot and I hear the hurt they grew up with about being different. As I went back and re-read your post, I do realize that you were joking. I am sorry for calling you out on that. I hope you will forgive me. :) By the way - a HUGE congrats on your PA. Mavery is just gorgeous, along with your other kiddos. After reading the story about the leap of faith you took to begin her adoption I am in tears. What an amazing story!! My DH was very against adopting when God first layed it on my heart, so our adoptiong journies are similar. God performed a miracle and now my daughter is almost home. Oh, and the reason I didn't sign my name last time is because I completly forgot. Sorry about that...

Kim

Shannon said...

Hey Kim! I am glad you shared and weren't just lurking around waiting to sabatoge my blog! Haha! Please know it was not just your comment that sent me on a "spicy tirade"! Ever since we joined "adoption world" it has bothered me. I posted a sample of my adoption announcment in the making with Sage on my yahoo board and people jumped all over something I said on it. I was just shocked! I for one have never been a good rule follower(my mother will chime in w/ an amen here!) Unless of course it is something the Lord has convicted me on. Even then I sometimes have to work HARD to submit! And I DO agree with you, we want to be advocates for our children, and protect them. BUT we have to also be real. No hard feelings and I wish you the best on your journey to your sweet daughter! I promise none of my friends are wishing bad thoughts on you or anything! Hang around me long enough, you won't be sensitive! haha! Many Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Well Shannon sounds like you have made a new friend once again! As an adoptive mother myself I read all the books about not pointing out the differences in our kids. But you know? My son KNOWS he looks different. He is my brown boy! Even at times my coffee bean (and he knows I love coffee!). BUT before that sounds terrible he also know his WHITE sisters are terribly jealous of his year round tan, his long black eyelashes and big brown eyes. I agree I don't fit the mold with the main stream "ideas" about life, adoption or anything else for that matter! Embrace it. God loves variety! Our kids know they are different. We can always point out they still have two eyes, two ears, a mouth etc LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE..but its the differences in people that make them beautiful. That's what I try to teach all my kids (and sometimes myself!) Kim I applaud you for coming back and leaving another comment. Shows allot of character, more so than just disappearing!! When we who know Shannon read that about the hamster we remember the time she went off on the TV host about stereotyping Asian children. Sent her a nice little e-mail about it. Paula Zahn I think it was. So we have all been there...just decided its not worth the waste of time to stay there.

Julie