While we were being admitted to the hospital ward, a nurse came in to ask me questions about Violet’s health history. The first question out of her mouth?
“I assume she’s adopted.”
No. No, she’s not.
The nurse was looking at chart information that included Violet’s extremely Asian last name. If she was adopted, she would probably have an American last name, no? I know I was throwing her off because I was a white woman standing with an Asian-looking baby, but the last name was there. In fact, I’m pretty sure MY name was also on the paperwork. I remember them taking my name at the ER triage. Our last name’s are the same. In fact, I took that very Asian last name to avoid this sort of confusion.
I explained that Violet is my biological daughter.
Um, ok. Thanks for your input. It would be fine if Violet did look 100% Asian, but she really doesn’t. For starters, she has brown hair. This was the first time anyone has ever told me that Violet didn’t look enough like me to pass for my biological daughter, and though this has happened with Rose a few times and once with Lily, I was really surprised. It’s hard to imagine that people think your baby didn’t come out of your body when you are still nursing her.
“Well, this will make the medical questions easier because you’ll know all the answers.”
Now that I can handle. I could see why medically it would be important to know if my daughter was adopted, but we probably should have gone straight to the questions about birth without voicing assumptions about my kid. If she was adopted and I didn’t know the answers, I’d tell you.
Seriously, we have the same Asian last name and I believe I’d already told someone she was still being breastfed. It’s pretty obvious that I married an Asian, took his last name and then had half Asian children.
Now I’m wondering how often people make that assumption while we are in public and are too polite to say anything.