Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm not complaining, but.....

OK- please don't judge me or think that I'm not over the top in love with my daughter and sooooo happy that she's Ethiopian. But... I'm writing this to see if anyone has any advice. Since bringing Grace home, we have really only received positive comments about her, our now "multi-racial" family, etc..... And yes, as Grace's mom, I can say that I think she is absolutely beautiful! But, lately I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of comments that I receive every time I am out in public with the kids. Again, they're all very sweet and nice...... but I can't go anywhere without people stopping to tell me how cute Grace is, that she looks like a Cabbage Patch doll, "can I touch her hair", "oh my, I thought you had a doll in your grocery cart", "I'm sorry for staring, but I just can't stop looking at your daughter, she's just so beautiful.", etc.... Even little kids are starting to point her out to their moms at the park. This is all very sweet, and I don't want to sound insensitive, etc... but I'm starting to notice that it's affecting Jacob. He's almost 5 and has much more of an introverted personality. He's not catching the eyes of perfect strangers, and he's definitely not getting the comments that Grace is getting. He doesn't really even look at or talk to people he doesn't know-- he's just a shy little guy. But, he actually told me the other day that he doesn't like it when everybody talks to Grace and no one says anything to him!! This broke my heart. He's such a sweet boy and he adores his sister so much. So, I just don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions?

So again, the last thing I want is for anyone to think I'm complaining, but..... I have two darling kids and one is starting to feel pretty left out!

13 comments:

C & R said...

I can't even imagine what you are going through, and it didn't sound like you were complaining but that you are a mother who is so happy people are postive about your daughter but at the same time are leaving out her brother! I don't know much but me bestfriend has 2 daughters they are Both so cute but one is more out going so out in public she gets more attention from strangers etc.and she is the baby, so my friend will say to this stranger something that pulls attention to her other daughter with out it seeming "fixed"to the child and more times than not they stranger agrees and unknowningly goes along with the mother. Like she has such a pretty smile, and the mother will say yes she does her big sister taught her how to smile so big and pretty thats why both of my girls have pretty smiles!!! Something like that, hope this helps and I didn't over step my place! Christin

Hauswife said...

Yep. We're right there, too. The older three don't get any notice. I think honestly that it's normal, but that doesn't make it any more fun. I've encouraged my kids to jump in on the conversation and introduce themselves instead of hanging back and feeling left out. Maybe that will help???

By the way, I have a MAJOR bone to pick with you, young lady, that you're not coming to BU08! BIG trouble, Suz! What the hay? We'll miss seeing you...

Kerri said...

Maybe when someone says how cute she is, you could say something like, "Thanks. I think both of my kids are really cute" or something along those lines. That might help reassure your son even if the commenters don't say anything.
Kerri, Medina, and Ruby

The Gresham Clan said...

Hey - Did you guys have fun today? So bummed I missed!

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about - it happens all of the time with us. It was actually helpful for me to read the other comments people left for you. I'm a little lost on how to deal with this as well... Thanks for your honesty Suzi - you're awesome!

Kristin

Our Princess said...

I'm with Kristin. I saw your post & immediately wanted to read the comments, so I could get a heads up on ideas for when we are in a similar situation. Thanks for sharing.

Michael and Michelle said...

I don't have advice but....

I just want to tell Jacob that he is one of the cutest boys I have ever seen!!! He has gorgeous eyes and a very sweet spirit (I've watched your videos on your blog). I love his really really really blond hair!!!! Mostly Jacob seems like an amazing BIG brother! I would love to meet him someday (maybe camping next summer). I would love it if he could be a friend to my children.
Jacob, Have a fun day!!!

Michelle

Jillienne said...

You just wrote exactly the things that I have been thinking lately! We having the same thing happen, everywhere we go! We even get the same comments, babydoll, cabbage patch kid, etc. The extra "attention" is starting to be a little overwhelming.
My other four haven't really had an issue yet but I am sure that it is coming.....

Good Luck to you,
Jillienne

Emy said...

My friend had the same thing happen to her, and her two bio boys. Babies just draw attention, especially the really beautiful ones. :) When someone would comment on her baby, she would always add something like, "Thanks, his big brother is a real cutie too." or, "He's got the best big brother helper." When she started doing that, the other people would always have positive things to add about her older child.
Hopefully I'll be using those tactics one day too.

K. Pirkle said...

I have 3 bio girls and we are trying to adopt another girl. Anyway, that is so common with more than one kid. When I would cuddle the baby, I would be sure and tell the older one(s) "this is how I held you when you were this size, this is how I sang to you, fed you, etc." When people paid lots of attention to the baby, I might have said "when you were a baby, people talked about how pretty you were too and for some reason, people are just obsessed with babies." That way they see that they got that attention too, and it is not that they aren't pretty, handsome, etc. it is just that people just obsess with babies. It seemed to help them know they also had a stage in their life, just like the baby is having right now, where everyone wanted to ooh and ahhh. Hope that helps.

Becky said...

I read your blog often, but have never posted, but I wanted to today because I have experienced the same thing. This occurs when I am out with my nephew and my daugther. My nephew is 6 and spends most of his time with me and my mom (and therefore my daughter also). He wouldn't always express how he felt when he was being left out of the compliments, but you could see it on his face. I have to agree with what everyone else has posted in that I use the same tactics of drawing attention to him. Such as, "I am fortunate to have two beautiful children with me" etc, etc. The other thing I would say is to divert the attention from the physical beauty, "yes, and both kids are just as beautiful on the inside". The other comment I hear alot is how lucky my daughter is to have been adopted. My response is always, "No, I"m the lucky one to be blessed to be her mother". We also talk alot about my nephew when he was my daughter's age so that he would get reassurance in that way and he loves to hear about how he acted and things he said when he was younger. I worry about what it is going to be like when my daughter can understand some of the comments such as how lucky she is, I"m dreading that time and trying to think of responses to say before she reaches that age!

Easties and Co. said...

My best friend Nikki has been such a huge source of knowledge & support for me, and I asked her about your situation. She has an 8 yr old boy and a 3 yr old daughter. Everyone continues to comment about her cute little girl with tight blonde curls. Nikki afterwards will remind Eli very positively of how people used to stop her all the time too when he was little and tell her how gorgeous he was. She will tell him specific stories of how one time someone even knocked on their car window to tell her how beautiful her son is. He likes to hear these stories of when he was little, and then knows that the comments are given to his younger sister because she is little just like he used to be. Of course she also reminds him of how handsome he is now(and I do too every chance I get). So, it also helps to let your friends know so they don't forget to compliment the oldest too. Great topic and very, very important. Thanks for sharing!

Jodi said...

I have teh same issues and we have only been home around two weeks. I never thought I'd be one of those adoptive parents to shrug off comments/questions, but I am starting to see that perhaps that is best. SOmetimes I dont' even make eye contact. I will be watching for an updated post if you receive good advice that works.
THere is always the "Touch your own hair" shirt or other funny saying tees.

Ted and Lori said...

This is such an interesting topic. Our Abe gets tons of attention too, everywhere we go, and I hadn't even thought of this potentially being a problem one day. Will it turn him into a little narcissist who expects to be coddled all his life? Hm, how do we keep his feet firmly planted on the ground when strangers in supermarkets are blowing him kisses? Really interesting stuff here. I've appreciated others' comments.

 

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