"Our Daddy may have only had a third grade education, but he could read the King James Bible, " says Helen Ashe. He taught us three things: 1. There is but one race-- the human race. 2. There is but one Father--the Heavenly Father. 3. Never take the last piece of bread from the table. (Helen Ashe co-founder of the Love Kitchen)"
Thursday, March 29, 2007
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11
Whenever we go anywhere we are the object of questions and stares. I understand this. We are an unusual family both in size and in diversity. To tell you the truth, if I saw us out and about I would be incredibly curious. So, I really try and be understanding of people and their questions. I am also very concious that as a Christian I represent my Lord. It has been a struggle to come up with responses that are kind and yet protect our boys.
We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our boys. We do get a lot of questions. Many times people will ask if I am a daycare provider or a foster mom. However, if anyone is around us for more than a few minutes they will quickly realize, by the constant chirp of Mama, that we are a family.
When we go out and about I am pretty focused on the children. Making sure everyone is happy, behaving, and not losing anyone takes quite a bit of my energy. Throw in trying to shop and I am in a "Zone". I realize people are staring and sometimes they will talk about you literally right behind your back and also loud enough for you to hear. I have become very good at not letting on that I notice or even hear.
Now I love adoption, and if someone is interested in adoption I will share any info I have. Many times though it is simple curiosity or nosiness. I think the era of Phil Donahue, Oprah. Jerry Springer, and now reality TV have left people with the impression that they have a right to know all about you and your private family life.
I don't expect people to know all the politically correct adoption lingo either. Many times people simply don't realize how their questions come across. Where the conflict comes in is they don't realize how their questions can hurt adopted children.
Our children's pasts and their stories are their business. They are young now, but as they grow older they surely don't need everyone from the gorcery clerk to the lady at McDonald's knowing how they became an orphan.
The most common questions we get are..
1. Which Ones are Yours? They are all ours.
I understand that what people really want to know is which ones are adopted children and which ones are biological children? Since the arrival of Sweet Pea we get this a lot. People are constantly asking where she came from ;o). They assume she is adopted too.
2. Are they REAL brothers? Again what they want to know is if they are biologically related. Of course they are real brothers. They play together, laugh together, eat together, sleep together. They wrestle and sometimes fuss with each other. They are brothers in every sense of the word. They simply lack the same blood. They would be apalled if someone thought they weren't brothers. Our oldest Ethiopian son is very proud of his relationships within our family. You can hear it in his tone when he says MY Daddy or MY Mama, MY brother. He proudly talks about HIS baby sister to strangers. He deeply values these relationships he lost early in life.
I would love to hear how other adoptive Moms respond to these questions. I would love to hear if you have older adopted children how they feel about these questions.
Thanks and Blessings!