Family Lessons in Phenotypes

Sitting in McDonalds and my boys start talking to a friendly Asian boy. Alex tells a story of a bird flying into our window, then the boy says “One time when I was in Vietnam we were on a bike and ran over a chicken.”

A few more stories and the boy asks if Nathan is his brother. Alex says “Yes that’s my brother and that’s my sister” pointing to Rose. The boy gets this confused look and I know what’s coming. The boy, who looked about 9 years old, said “how come you are different colors?”

Transracial Siblings

I paused and quickly decided to let Alex answer the question, which he didn’t hear at first. So I prompted Alex, “he asked why you are different colors”. So Alex immediately smiles and says “Because she’s adopted!”

I smiled as the boy said “Oh! My mom had me first and then my little sister, but my older sister is my dad’s daughter.”


So then Alex explains that if you get Park Place in McDonalds monopoly you win $1,000,000. The boy immediately retorts “I’m already rich!”

I may have laughed out loud.

Alex talks about if he won he would buy a house and the boy mentions “we just moved here”. Alex then says “from China?” and I am immediately embarressed and say “honey no, he said Vietnam”. The boy is like “What does China have to do with anything? I’m not Chinese. And when I went to Vietnam I was just visiting my grandma.”

I told Alex “China and Vietnam are two different countries, when we get home I will show you on the big map in the playroom.” The boy said “Vietnam is a really long plane ride.”

Then they moved on to talking about grandmas and great-grandmas.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>