Monday, August 27, 2012

It occurred to Brad and I that our lives are forever changed

Yep - we finally realized that this adoption IS going to happen - and even more so, that our lives are forever changed :)   Mostly we are certain will be a blessing -- other craziness, not so much.  We don't even have her home yet -- and we've had to "educate" a few folks on adoption. 

It occurred to us that we've also signed on for a lifetime of educating people -- some curious, some just plain ignorant!  Here are a few things I've been told recently..... as you can imagine, little Lion Momma has already arrived:

"I'm not sure if your extra leave time will be approved, since it has been denied for other cases"... me: "where these cases adopted children"... reply:  "no, biological, so that makes it even WORSE for your case""what"???  did I hear that RIGHT?  Seriously folks, wake up to the idea that bio kids are NO different than adopted kids.... laws apply to both (like family medical leave).... she IS our family, always and forever!!  I "learned" this one on the process for it's different for well-cared-for bio kids compared to children in a more institutional setting...response was, "oh, oh, oh.... I'm sure you are right, you do have a point"....hmmmmmm

p.s. - extended leave time ended up working out and getting approved -- just needed to do some of that adoption education -- and work within the "system"

Showing her picture to someone...."Why are you doing this?  Why are you going to India to adopt???"  - this questioning seemed to have connections to skin color....from a person of color, believe it or not  ....not exactly sure....never the less, my Christian hat was on during this one and I was able to graciously explain the call to get our daughter. 

I'm certain that I will get better at answering the nosey questions -- or perhaps I will find a way to ignore them all together.  I will certainly need to find what works best for our little Miss.  Honestly, it saddens me though that at times people can be so uninformed!  I'm feeling a call.... albeit, not sure if it's from God - but honestly, don't we need a national educational campaign on adoption awareness in this country?  I can see a PSA (public service announcement) now - on TV - talking about adoption - the laws, the love, the gift.  For now, I'll graciously educate those that enter our world...invited or not.  Pray my Christian hat is always on yall... because I can be a momma lion at times for my kiddos. 

Funny thing is....when Brad and I talked about this .... he was right on board with seeing these situations the same way as I do.... I love that about him!  He LOVES this adoption as much as I do..... He LOVES Lauren as much as I do..... and He is EXCITED as much as I am to meet her, hold her, feed her, play with with her.  I LOVE my husband for many things, but right now.... I love him for loving her! 

Yep - as he and I talked, we are forever changed.... and it is good!  We are blessed. 


  1. We've found that sometimes the questions about adopting from India mean that someone wonders why we are not adopting a child in the USA who needs a family. This is difficult -- I try really hard not to make my daughter the object of conversation when she's standing right there. I didn't mind as much when she was first home, because she couldn't understand what we were talking about anyway. But now, she is old enough to feel uncomfortable, or like she's "on display," so I don't engage in those conversations very often.

    The family leave question is pretty frustrating -- you shouldn't have to justify taking time off when there's a new child in your family. Argh. Sounds like you did a great job explaining and advocating for Lauren!

  2. We've only been home 8 months and the questions, I'm sure, are just beginning for us. Everywhere we go, there are always questions and comments. Some days I enjoy sharing bits of both of our daughters' stories, while other days the mamma lion comes out and I have a tough time even answering in a kind way.
    There are many things we've encountered since coming home that I never thought about. I've been wanting to blog about them, but am thinking about making a private blog to discuss many of the issues we've encountered.
    All in all, every question, uncomfortable situation, and attachment related issue is worth it! I can't wait to see Lauren in your arms!! very soon!!!!

  3. Oh, Renae...yup...your life is forever about to change. And it is going to be so good...not that it won't be hard....but it will be soooo good. You will experience even more of who God is...and how amazingly He loves us...and you'll have so many experiences that will continue to grow you so much closer to Him. And you'll be filled with His joy and love for Lauren. I just can't wait.

    And I almost know what you mean about falling more in love with Brad. When we had Caleb, I remember thinking there was no way I could love Mike more, because he was such an incredible father. :)

    Much love to you!!! I am so happy for you.

  4. Ah, the skin color questioning. When I announced that I was adopting a baby boy from the Congo, a co-worker (a TEACHER) said to me, "So, he's going to be black as black as black can be?" I looked at her and said, "Nope. He's gonna be white." She had the most confused look on her face. I kept it up for at least 30 seconds and then said, "Of course he will be black. Who cares what color he is, he needs a mama." She just kind of nodded and turned away. As I've come farther on this journey, sometimes, actually more and more, I find that it is more effective to just be silent when they ask stupid questions. It's almost as if it gives them time to let it sink in just how dumb their question sounds. I also found that I could keep my Christian hat on a lot better when I kept my mouth shut :) I have a problem *sometimes* when I let my words fly before my brain and heart catch up! Like you said, you can tell when people are being sincere and aren't trying to just be nosey or judgmental. For those people, I pray that I answer in a way that will keep that tiny flame of curiosity burning so that they will somehow open their lives to adoption.

    Praying for you that you get LOTS of rest and peace before you get on that plane!!!

  5. Renae, I love reading all your posts... reading about the questions that are coming your way. It really helps me prepare for the same when my time comes... Thanks for sharing. God bless you and Brad and Lauren on this wonderful journey to her forever home!

  6. I am enjoying reading some of the questions and situations you ladies are experiencing so that when our time comes I'll have some good resources of answers and ways to handle things. We have faced the question of why we don't want a child from the US-and I have usually answered that, "it isn't that we don't WANT a child from the US-we would take one in a second if one was offered-however, we came upon the opportunity to make R our princess, and the moment we knew about her, we knew God was telling us we were her parents. So whether she was from India, or here, THIS little girl God brought to us to complete our family and make us all whole."

    Some variation of that has seemed a good response to people, without giving details about overseas orphan plights such as slums, orphanages, sex trafficking, vs us birth parents that change their mind or purposefully scam adoptive parents (one of our friends actually did get scammed by a woman and lost all their money, and then the second time around had a birth father appear at the 12th hour to take their son away. Now they have a beautiful daughter from an international adoption)

    And really, even the question of why not a US kid is annoying-kids everywhere need homes, so whether they are from here or somewhere else shouldn't matter-it is your kid and now they are a us citizen.

    AND I am SO excited to read more about your journey as you get to all the fun parts :) Yay for waiting to be almost over!

  7. I would love a Public Service Announcement! It's been tough lately, but I refuse to let them steal my joy.

  8. Along the way, you will develop a filter to help you know when people question you whether their motives are genuine curiosity or true interest vs. something else. Often times I find people stutter over their words and are genuinely trying to be PC...thats when I jump in and offer the right words. It is amazing to me how many still are so new to the world of adoption. You are right in that your world has changed forever, but what a wonderful change it is!


  9. I read that when people approached Judi Kloper and asked why she didn't adopt from the US she simply replied, "why don't you"? I think this is a good one. I am sure you will learn your own good responses to ignorant questions.

  10. We have learned to be VERY sassy with people. I hear: are they ALL yours? I usually respond with "no the other five are at home." or recently much to my oldest daughters enjoyment I say "the three white children are adopted." CLEARLY they all are genetic clones of mine...but it keeps people quiet.

    When people point out the need to tell me there are children in America who need homes, I just respond "there are 165 million children world wide who need homes." some guy acutally looked at me and said "seriously?" so I educated at least one joker.

    When people ask "what is their story? or how did they become orphans?" i just say "it is their story, and theirs to choose."

    I have gotten a lot firmer with my responses with people over the last few months...sometimes I think it is sheer ignorance that people open their mouths, othertimes people are just curious, and sometimes I think people just don't think before they open their mouth.

    I think we get far more stares now that we have an African American child....I don't get it, but I am quickly teaching the older children to make clear, direct, eye contact with the starers and smile. This momma wont back down.

    Now, on to the positive...I LOVE going out and hearing someone say "your family is beautiful," "Your son (looking at the African American) has beautiful eyes," "oh I just love hispanics"....there are people in this world who I think God sends to me in just the right moments so that I can be reminded that not everyone is ignorant. :)

  11. I did not finish my fingers were quicker than my brain!

    I respond "it is their story, and theirs to choose whether or not they tell others." If I am feeling extremely sassy I say "tell me your story." People think you are rude for wanting to know...but at least they start thinking!

    Let me be clear, while I am sassy I do say it with grace and kindness, unless the person wont be quiet...God gave me each of these children to love and protect them, I will NOT have a stranger make them feel second fiddle.