For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Test... I think I failed ?!

Do you ever feel like you are an exhibit at the zoo? I know many of my friends that share this journey of adoption, especially those with "larger" families get where I am coming from...
I feel like I am constantly being "tested" ... The test..."Do you consider "all" of these kiddos to be your children?" ... The proctors of the test...people in general...
The story... Well, the girls are participating in a wedding of a dear friend (the "bestest" babysitter in the whole world, the "bestest" drum teacher... you get the idea). We love this wonderful young woman, and she is like family. ...on with the story, last night was rehersal and then the rehersal dinner (all of the family was invited), and thus, we were on exhibition. I know people are curious, about large families...about adoption, but really sometimes the questions can be ...well disturbing!
The Question... Are any of them brothers and sisters? ... with our 10 year old daughter sitting there, hanging onto every word that is spoken...!!!
The Answer... well, this is where I failed... I was so taken aback. The question was asked by a person in ministry... part of the grooms family... we are their guests...
My answer, which followed a very tense pause (I was struggling to get a "nice","polite" answer formulated and to not take the persons head off...)... "Well, my adopted children are from different provinces in China and they aren't biologically related." Then that question was followed by "And these are your sons? (refering to our bio boys)
... But, you see, I failed! I saw it almost instantly in my 10 year old daughters eyes. She needed me to be her champion! She needed to hear me correct this insensitive question! This child already struggles with identity and belonging. She was looking to me to claim that they are all my children! You see... I have never felt any other way... they are ALL OURS! God granted us the gift of all these children whether they were born to us biologically or born to us in our hearts! ... but I failed ( I say I because, the question was directed at me, and I was doing the talking)... She needs to know that she is MINE (OURS)!... She needs to FEEL that she is mine(ours)! She needs to hear me say it...over and over again! She needs to know that I claim her in front of the whole world. She needs to comprehend that we are her forever family! She needs to BELONG!
 I still feel like weeping this morning. It makes my heart and my mind sad that we (people in Christ) still struggle to comprehend... to Know... that we are all family. That God loves us all... that we are all brothers and sisters. Why does biology make us family?? Why do people think that they must make "adoption" into a "bad" thing... like it is a last resort or that those children are inferior? ... Oh, Now I am getting "angry"... and on a "Soap Box".... So, How do you handle those insensitive questions? ...especially those asked in front of your children ...You know, it is a lot harder, when the children are old enough to understand!?


Chris said...

Hi Kim,
You are a great mom, don't forget that! I know you are very caring about each of your children and their needs-physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you think that there is some fallout from this adoption conversation, maybe you should talk about it with the family to come up with a 'canned answer' for awkward questions. Discuss with them that people are curious and sometimes ask awkward questions and that makes the answer awkward also and you may not convey how special each child is and how wonderful it is that God put your family together in such a special way. Tell them that you feel that you didn't give the answer that reflects your heart and you want to do better with these questions. Frankly, I think you can just give people a general answer like: 'God has put each child into our family in a special way, but because people have inadvertantly asked questions that have hurt our children, we have decided to not talk about these issues.' Try to use this as a time for your family to work together on this subject and maybe they will bring about bonding instead of confusion.
Just some suggestions, Chris

GaelN said...

Kim your post made me teary this morning. I'm so thankful that you have such a tender heart. Your family is very blessed to have each other.

Howard and Kim said...

You didn't fail, and I'm sure you have a plan in your mind for the next time. Sadly, there will be a next time... I had a similar situation happen to me, and yes, I felt as if I had failed too. It did cause me to stop and think about what I wish I had said/done differently. I now feel much more prepared when those awkward questions come. Hmmm, since I'm prepared, there will probably be other questions that will blindside me as well. Kim, you are an excellent mom. The fact that you are breaking this apart and feeling as if you didn't handle it well only reinforces what I already know. You're heart is bigger than Texas, and your children are blessed!!!