Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I have learned - Day 4

Like many of you who have adopted transracially, we often get a lot of stares. It usually doesn't bother me because I know people are just genuinely curious and interested and, well, I am guilty of being one of those people, too! I admit that I attempt to stare discreetly if I see a family that looks a bit like ours! It's just part of human nature to be curious about others. And, sometimes I wonder if one of those people staring is feeling the call to adoption and wanting to make a connection. But, there are those who cross the boundaries, like the guy in Wal-Mart who stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of an aisle to unabashedly stare at us for several minutes. We have also had our share of crazy comments and questions like "does he speak English" or "who could ever give him up?" or "Oh, you couldn't have kids of your own?" And, everyone is always interested in how pea is "adjusting." I usually don't mind answering people's questions and I can certainly talk for hours about our adoption process because I am so proud of how my family was created. But, there are times when it is a little annoying and tiring.

What I really want people to realize is that we are like any other family. I have learned that there are people who don't see us that way. Sometimes I feel like there is an extra layer of judgment placed upon us. Sometimes I feel like people are looking for something to be wrong with pea just because he was adopted. And, there are some people who feel we have no right to raise a child of color and he is bound to have a major identity crisis as a result. The hardest part is when some of these attitudes come from within the adoption community. Consequently, I have learned that it is so easy to get caught up in that adoption paranoia and self-doubt. Of course I think about how adoption affects our parenting and how our conversations about adoption will evolve as pea develops and asks more questions. Of course I think a lot about how to raise a Latino son in a very racist society. But, this doesn't define everything about our family. In fact, we're actually pretty boring!

Every family has something. Something extraordinary. Special. Unique. And, we are all just trying to do our best to raise happy, healthy, confident, and strong kids. Ultimately, how we became parents is not as important as how we choose to parent our extraordinary, special, and unique children.


Arena Mom said...

Wow, great post! You did a much better job on th is one than I did! And I have no idea what to write about tonight!!
Thanks for doing this! I have loved your more frequent posts and getting to know you better!

Donna said...

Amen! 'nuf said.

Really - that was perfect. So proud of you for your writings this week. I, too have really enjoyed them.

More, more, more!!!

Bobbi said...

You are doing great with the posts this week. I failed first day:>( I loved your previous post about spirtuality. I too, am not open about our spiritual beliefs, but I too believe that Mauricio was placed with us because it was part of a plan much larger than my own.

OH, what I have learned. Mostly I have learned how hurtful and insensitive family can be. Joe's family amazes me every day with what they say. But, it has taught me that I can have love and affection for families that I have never met. Cry tears of saddness and joy with them. And, when we do meet, hug them like family we see every day. How I hope that is us again one day soon!!

Gardenia said...

great post. insightful. and you're so Daily!!!

The gFamily said...

I too have had some comments that I did not appreciate! We are going to have to teach our little ones to stand strong for who God made them to be! Gilli loves to sing and often comes up to me and says, "Jesus love me!" I love that! My prayer is that she can always remember this, even through the weird comments and stares!