I have read A LOT of blogs, articles, yahoo group posting, etc as we have gone through the adoption process. There are some adoptive parents who, at times, seem hyper defensive about their family dynamics and their child. Even though I'm an adoptive parent myself, when I am around other adoptive parents I sometimes worry that I will say the wrong thing. Last year I was at a new playgroup meet-up for adoptive families. All of the kids there that day were either Asian or African-American. I asked one dad where his sons were from. He said "Florida". Crap... I just did it. Just like I should say that Cadence is from Virginia, because that is where she is "from" now (according to some adoptive parents). So I rephrased and said "Oh, well where were they born?" And he said "Florida." Then I realized that this was group was for families of both international as well as domestic adoption! No offense taken or given, but these are the situations and conversations that stress me out because I have this fear of inadvertently offending someone.
On the flip side, I don't feel that I am easily offended. I think that I approach life fairly optimistically, at times maybe it's naivete. Recently I realized that I just naturally take things at face value. If someone seems kind, I assume that they are. If someone asks a question about Cadence, a question that might offend some, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are sincere and not malicious. Occasionally I might rephrase my answer to enlighten them on the more PC terms, but generally I assume it's innocent curiosity and let it roll off my back.
However, once I have been hurt by someone or know that they have intentionally done something that disregards others' feeling, my radar is high... maybe a little to high. I try to move past it, but hurt feelings can be hard for me to put aside. When I read this beautifully written post the other day it spoke to my soul. It described the feeling that I would hope to attain, for better or worse. Letting one's guard down, living in an unoffendable state, one is sure to be hurt eventually. Regardless, I think it's a better place to be than on the other end of the spectrum. So while I cannot control those around me who might be "waiting to be offended", I can control myself and my responses to others.
Post note: perusing the internet for a good picture or quote I came upon this great article regarding the Unoffended Heart. Take a look if it interests you!