Right before Christmas break, I had the opportunity to help with Ana’s 2nd grade Christmas party. It was much more fun than I thought a room of two dozen eight year old children would be!
Though I have interacted with some of the girls in her class before through Brownies, it was the first time I had seen many of the kids up close and personal. And for several of them, it seems, it was the first time they had seen a stepmom up close and personal.
There were several funny interactions that indicated that, but this one was my favorite.
Chatty Boy: Are you Ana’s mom?
Me: No, I’m her stepmom.
Chatty Boy: Huh. I thought you would be brown.
Of course, when you throw international adoption in as a part of a blended family, it can be a little confusing to sort out “colors”! I thought it was adorable.
It wasn’t the first time I got a strange look for being a different ethnicity than the kids. Both their mom and dad had shared stories about people straight up staring at them in public, unsure of what to make of a family with a very white parent, an Ethiopian boy, and a Guatemalan girl.
In the last year, I’m shocked by the reactions–some people just stare (so rude!) and there are others look at us with mean, judgmental type looks (which I don’t understand). And then there are those who look at us and smile. They don’t even know that I’m looking at them, but they look at these two well-behaved little kids and smile. Others comment with kind things: “Look at his big eyes!” “Those kids are so good!” “They seem to get along well!” and then my favorite, “Are they twins?”
Seriously. Someone asked me that.
And the best part is that I’m not even the first person to have been asked that–someone had previously asked Tim that when he had them out together.
They definitely aren’t twins. But it’s awesome to see how these two kids were meant to be siblings.