October 21, 2010
A few months ago the three of us were in Wally World when we met a couple with a four-year-old boy from China who clearly had had a cleft lip. The mother of the boy asked what Nugget’s special need was, and when I told her that he didn’t have a special need she couldn’t believe it. She slapped her husband on the arm and said, “they got a healthy one!” (not kidding) Then she wanted to know how we did that? The more we spoke with this couple the more irritated I became. I simply passed it off as ‘ignorance’.
Until recently I really haven’t put too much thought into it when someone asked the question. Until we met our social worker on Saturday for the six month interview.
Big Bear and I were being asked the typical questions at the beginning of the interview:
· Where is he from?
· How old is he?
And then it came:
· What is his special need?
It caught me off guard when I was asked this question. On one hand t is understandable that people may think because Nugget is a boy from China he has a special need. I understand that it is more common to have a boy with a special need from China, but it also makes me a little sad for Nugget. Sad that people automatically think that the only reason he is home with us is because he has a special need.
I am sure the questions will continue. Some questions will make me think, they may irritate me, or even stop me in my tracks. When the insensitive/irritating questions come up I have a choice; I can walk away or I can choose to take the opportunity to educate. Hopefully, I will also teach Nugget how to handle such situations in a positive, productive manner.