So without further ado, here we go. To give you a frame of reference, this is my family. Here on some tips on what NOT to say, especially when meeting us for the first time.
Cumberland Falls State Park, 2011
Question: Where are they from?
Alternate answer (available only if I think it's relevant): Kentucky, but they were born in India.
The voice in my head: Stop being so dang nosy. If you had Indian children of your own, I bet you'd find a different way to phrase your question.
Question: Are they yours?
Alternate answer (snarky, paired with theatrical scanning of surroundings): Are what mine? Oh my God! Them?! Why do these people keep following me?
The voice in my head: You probably want to know if they're adopted. If you also have a transracial family and/or adopted kids, you might have grounds to ask. Otherwise...
Question: Do they look like their dad?
Alternate answer (highly snarky, accompanied by feigned scrutinizing of children): You know... now that you mention it, they sure don't. Wonder how THAT happened?!
The voice in my head: You want to know personal details about my family and think you've found a clever way to ask. You haven't.
Question: Are they adopted?
(No other answer is necessary.)
The voice in my head: This question is usually fine by me, as long as it's asked kindly and respectfully, and as long as it's not followed by any of these...
Question: Couldn't you have your own?
Answer: They are my own.
Alternate answer: I already do.
The voice in my head: Please tell me you are not actually asking me about my sex life and/or reproductive health. Do you hear me asking you about that?!? I didn't think so.
Question: Did you try magic beans/ IVF/prayer/sacrifices to pagan goddesses?
Alternate answer: Actually, I chose adoption first. I wanted to be a mother and there were kids who needed parents. It was a perfect fit.
The voice in my head: Why are people so stinkin' interested in getting what I would consider TMI? Seriously! That is so NOT okay!
Question: How much did they cost?
Answer: stunned silence
Alternate answer: Ummmm.... You do know that I didn't BUY my children, right? I paid fees to lawyers, agencies, orphanages, immigration services, and more.
The voice in my head: What in the heck is wrong with you? Who asks that? How much did your pregnancy cost? What about the delivery? What? You don't want to answer? Why not?
I could go on, but you get the point. If you wouldn't say it to a married, heterosexual couple with 2.5 kids who look exactly like them, then don't say it to me. Deal?