Being an adoptive parent you never know when you are going to get sideswiped by a question. They can come from anyone, at any time, and the person doing the asking usually has no idea that their words have quickened my pulse, and made me raise my protective mama hackles. In the past two and a half years I have gotten to the point where I can pretty much predict how certain lines of questioning will go, and have my answers down pat.
And then there are the times I am totally surprised.
The other day Meg and I were in the grocery store when her favorite bagger came up to give her some stickers. He is her favorite bagger because of said stickers, and if he doesn't come find us, Meg makes sure we find him. Meg was putting the stickers on her arms when this kid (he's maybe 17), looked at her, then at me, and asked "Is she adopted?"
"Yes, she is" I answered, very calmly. Well, calmly on the outside. On the inside I was going through my mental rolodex, trying to determine what he would ask next, and how to keep the questions from escalating, especially since they would be asked in front of Meg, who still doesn't quite understand what "adopted" means. Would it be the "where" or the "when" question, or something else totally bizarre? I waited.
"Oh, I figured it was either that or your husband is black. One or the other. Do you want paper or plastic today?"
I almost started laughing with relief; or laughing with glee because this stocky teen had presented me with such a pleasant surprise. I almost reached over and hugged him.
Instead I just hugged Meg, and let her put a sticker on my hand.