"Where are their real parents?"
I never cease to be amazed by this question. I understand people have a "National Enquirer" curiosity about things but please. As if asking this question itself isn't enough of an invasion of privacy it has been asked in front of my children. I learned early on to forego the right to be offended and instead attempt to educate the offender. I say attempt since it has become obvious through the years that there are those who refuse to be educated. Their loss. My simple answer has become, "You're talking to them!" For those foolish enough to push the question further after that response, I have found a direct, "…and you need to know because...?" usually changes the direction of the conversation. We are not ashamed of our children's birth families however we believe this information is for them to share with whomever they choose if and when they choose.
"Those girls are so lucky you adopted them."
Really? Why? Not one single soul has ever approached us to let us know how lucky our boys are that we birthed them. Believe me, that was no easy task! We adopted the girls for the same reasons we birthed the boys. We are selfish. That's right, selfish. We wanted children to love and care for. We wanted a chance to raise children and maybe make the world a better place because of it. Ok, maybe we also wanted lots of kids so when we are old there will be people around to love and care for us. Like I said, adopted or birthed, it was all selfishness on our part.
"Aren't you afraid there could be something wrong with them?"
The truth is, we were never afraid there might be something wrong with them. We knew there would be. Just like we knew there would be things wrong with our birth children and just like we know there are things wrong with us. No matter how much you know about your genealogy you will never know it all. Life will surprise you. Sometimes with illness. Sometimes with character flaws. Sometimes with biology. Sometimes with environment. But sometimes life will thrill you with what lies beneath the surface. It will amaze you with a child that has a hidden talent you could have never imagined. It will leave you in awe of a child's character trait you could only hope to find in yourself. Who has time to fear when you are watching with wonder as your children become more than you could have dreamed for them?
"I could never adopt. They wouldn't be my blood."
Guess what? Your spouse isn't your blood. Many times neither is your best friend. Sorry to burst your blood bubble but there it is. The truth is, you CHOOSE to love and who to love. Love is not always a feeling or blood-based. Ultimately, love is a choice.
"Don't you worry they will go looking for their birth family?"
No more than I worry I might go looking for mine. I am not adopted but I have a curiosity about who my relatives were and are. I know a lot of them but not all of them. There are times I have sought out the unknown and then there are times I have been content with what I have. As an adult, this is one of the joys and prerogatives of my life. Why would it not be the same for all my children? Just as my family has helped in the search for answers to our families questions, I would count it my privilege to help my children to find their answers if they so choose.
Ok, so I know I am a smart alec. I come by it naturally I suppose so blame it on my birth parents. Anyway, one of my reasons for sharing our adoption stories this past week was with the hope that maybe, just maybe, someone reading this blog would have an “AHA” moment. Every person is different and called to follow their own path. But what if even one person reading this last week suddenly saw their path open up? A path that would change their life forever. A path that would lead them straight to the heart of a child through foster parenting or adoption or being a mentor or... What if…?
Now, onto week six of The List.
6. Mow your neighbor’s grass.