A few days ago I was picking up the boys from school. I walked up to the Monkey's group where he was sitting and playing with one of his little friends, who also happens to be adopted from Russia. A close friend of mine who works at the school said in passing, "Oh look, the two little Russian boys are playing together." I guess another one of the parents heard her comment and looked at me and asked, "Did they know each other in Russia?" I looked at her, trying to determine if she was actually serious and realized she was. I didn't mean to be rude but the first comment out of my mouth was "Do you know how big Russia is?!?!" And then I quickly reigned myself in and told her that they did not know each other while they were in Russia but we are friends with the family and the boys had met prior to coming to school.
When I am asked questions about either of the boys' adoptions, I usually try to gauge where the interest is coming from. If the individual is truly interested then I'll share a bit of our story; if they are thinking about adoption I'll usually give some details. But if the person is just trying to be nosy, I tend to be curt and walk away from the situation. As the Chipmunk is getting older, he is getting a little weary of the constant comments that we receive when we go out (remember, we live in a small town where everyone knows everything so most people know our boys were adopted from Russia). I don't want them to feel like they need to share the personal details of their lives with anyone unless they want to do so.
As for the comment made about the "Russian boys" playing together, I know she did not mean to label them like she did; she just found it unusual (and it is very rare in our small town that in a class of 14 students, two of them are from Russia). But I do not want my boys labeled as the "Russian kids" for the rest of their school careers. Fortunately the person making the comment is a very close friend who I will have no problems talking to about my issues with her statement. I feel quite sure that she will understand and will pass my thoughts on to the other teachers in the building.