Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Noticing Differences

Conversation 1
Girl: Is he Spanish? He has brown skin.
Me: No. He's from Africa.
Girl: Oh. Is his daddy from Africa?
Me: No. He's adopted.
Girl goes back to playing. A few minutes later
Girl (to Turo): Did you come from your mommy's belly?
Jose (jokingly to girl's mom - who is a good friend of his): You need to explain adoption to your kids.

Conversation 2
Boy: (Looking at me and then at Turo) You're different.
Me: You mean our skin is different?
Boy: (Nods)
Me: That's pretty cool isn't it?
Boy: (Nods and goes back to playing)

I've known that these questions would eventual come as Turo and his peers become more curious about the world, but I still don't feel totally prepared for them. I know Turo is listening so I want to respond in a supportive, thoughtful way that validates his identity, culture and place in our family (and that will help him formulate his own responses when we're not around). I also want to provide answers that help children understand adoption in a positive way but that doesn't get into too many details (which happened early on with one of Turo's friend's five year old sister, and I think I overwhelmed her a bit with my explanation).

If you are an adoptive parent, how do you answer (or wish you had answered) these types of questions?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Giving thanks

The other day at the gym I was cooling down on the treadmill feeling pretty good about my run. I finally stepped up my workout routine and had just run (with a little walking ) for three miles. Then I looked up at CNN. Two flag draped coffins were being lowered from an airplane. These service members would never run again, never hug their families again. It felt strange to have the whir of the exercise machines, people just going along with their days while this solemn moment played out in front of us. So I stopped on the treadmill and just stood there. Wanting to somehow honor this loss. And then I headed off to the showers, my life still moving forward.

In moments like this I am struck with the fragility of life, the unbalance of it all. There is so much heartache. Death, illness, hunger, addiction, pain, loss. Yet my little world is filled with joy, laughter and love. (But even a great deal of that happiness originated from loss) I’m grateful for all I’ve been given. I know that there are times ahead that will be rough and unbearable, so each night I give thanks to the universe for getting one more day of sweetness and light.