Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Adoption Musings

The journey of being a parent is challenging for anyone, because, well, because kids are challenging little people and there is no handbook.

It seems that the older my kids get the more additional challenges seem to be popping up because they are not biologically our children. Also, one of my best friends, "N", was adopted from Vietnam and some of the issues that she has endured sadden me, but also are a learning lesson for me in what NOT to do. So, while my day-to-day life with my kids does not in any way revolve around adoption, it seems to be creeping into our awareness in little ways daily.

Examples...hoping that I handled it right...

*Meesta, Doodle and I were getting Meesta's hair cut at a chain hair cutting place and then almost immediately after sitting down, the hair cutting person comments on his hair and says that his hair must be just like daddy's...none of us responded. After the haircut, I had the kids go sit down and I gently mentioned that his hair did NOT look like his dad's and that she might want to be careful with comments like that in her line of work (could be a domestic adoption situation where the child doesn't know they are adopted)...she responded defensively.

*This past weekend while at a different church, an older lady said, "oh, are these your adopted children", and while I know that she meant no harm, I could not bring myself to say "yes", instead I smiled and replied "these are our children".

*While at a ballgame for Doodle earlier this summer, I walked over to say something to her and a bratty little teammate of hers hatefully said (as I was beginning to walk away), "who was that?". I should have given Doodle the chance to respond, but this girl truly is a brat, so I turned around and said "I am her mom" and then smiled at Doodle to reassure her. It crushed me (but hopefully she did not think much of it), but that little girl assumed I was not her mom because my skin was a different color. I guess that was something new for me for a kid to question who I was...this girl really is a brat though! (now who is defensive, right?)

These are just a few that immediately pop into my mind. The situation with Meesta did come back later that day. He is a deep thinker and usually processes things for a while. That evening, my friend N was at our house and was in their room helping them get ready for bedtime and Meesta looked at her and said "you have the same hair that I do", she didn't think much of it and said "yep, we are from the same area of the world". I think that was good for him, made it seem okay in a way.

I don't know, just deep thoughts for a Tuesday evening. My biggest hope is that I am doing things right and not messing their little minds up with respect to it all. I love them and consider them my biggest responsibility and challenge. I just pray that I guide them as God wants me to...


P.S. The yard looks great and ALL the flyers on the house out front were gone when I got home...that is good!


Dedicated said...

Hi CC, I'm going to throw something out there....don't get upset, I'm just curious.

I have had other kids question, my kids on who I was - and I think I look just like them. *shrug*

Do you ever wonder if you might be spending too much time focusing on the adoption? I'm mean this nicely and compassionately. Parenting is hard work, as you know and sometimes we may ........ I don't know how to say this and get my point across.

Let me say, on Relevant Radio today, Dr. Ray was talking about how "emotions" - anger, joy etc are inside us and that others can't "make" us feel them.

Example: While standing in the rain at a bus stop. There is such a crowd you can not get under the cover up. Immediately you feel an umbrella poking you in your achiles heel. It hurts. How do you feel? Honestly.......

If your like me - mad, angry. Why would this unknown person be messing with you in an already icky situation

You turn around an notice that it is a little old blind lady and she has lost her bearings and just trying to feel her way into familiarity. How do you feel now?

I know like me, you would be feeling a bit ashamed for feeling that initial anger. Compassion also moves in.

Am I getting through or just blowing typing dust?

In short - forget all them. You have everything you need to know and love - who cares what they say, do or think. Jesus? Nope!

You don't have to explain your family, your heart or your love to anyone - EVER! Smile and ignore, they are not important to you.

cc said...

Hi D,

No, I truly get what you are saying and do blow off about 90% of the incidences that happen to us and truly don't feel like our family is overly focused on the adoption aspect. I don't have anyone in my day-to-day life (other than my friend N) who understands any of these frustrations, so this is my place to vent it. I never discuss it with family or the majority of my friends.

It is good to hear that other kids have questioned who you were in relationship to your kids. Those are the kinds of things that I WANT to know when I post something like this. In my mind, it was this brat (and I mean she really is) trying to put my Doodle in a challenging position. I know I am WAY too overprotective and I need to let them spread their wings and handle these situations as they arise. My job should be to make them secure in who they are so that they can handle these situations.

The "adopted children" comment is just 1 in a series of 100 recently and I think this weekend I was overtired and overstressed and it just was the straw that broke this camel's back.

I do appreciate your thoughts and agree with most of it. I hope that I don't give the impression that we focus on this a great deal in our family, we are really very "normal" but sometimes unique issues come up (as I am sure they do with bio families as well) that I like to vent here.

Keep your thoughts coming, I respect your opinion.


Dedicated said...

Glad to hear it. Don't let the negatives take from what God has given you and you have built upon.

They are your babies, that a loving God knew from day 1 would be sent to you, their mom. Nothing else matters.