We joke that must have three heads each. It is the only explanation we have come up with for all stares we get in Japan.
Seriously, all the stares and open gapes in our direction take some getting used to. When all four of us are together, the looks reach epic proportions.
I can't remember if I have ever mentioned this in previous posts, and if I have, I apologize in advance. I just don't have the time or energy to plow through all my old posts and see if I have written about this aspect of life in Japan. It seems to me that four years ago, I might have talked about the experience we had being followed around in a park by a woman who apparently was convinced that we had kidnapped our kids. She summoned an official who watched us interact with each other her and vigorously shook his head at her concerns.
I'm not sure how common adoption is in Japan, but interracial adoption is definitely not the norm. I know our experience is not unheard of. One of the families we knew in Seattle had an adopted girl from China and a boy adopted from Liberia. They moved to Japan for a job assignment and could not get over how much negative attention they received.
Sophia recently asked me why people stared at her so much while we were riding on the train. I hugged her and told her it was because she was such a pretty girl. She literally rolled her eyes and then said, "no, I really want to know why." That led to a whole discussion about different cultures and perceptions about race.
In all fairness, because of our earlier experiences, we knew that this is one aspect of living in Japan that would not be easy. Still, I believe it has opened the door to some important discussions and experiences in our family. Being a minority in another culture is an eye-opening experience. Being an anomaly and sticking out like a sore thumb broadens our worldview and puts the shoe on the other foot. It is humbling.