Over the last four weeks, since we've gone public with our adoption plans, I've had the same conversation over and over. Someone finds out we've decided to adopt another child and the grilling ensues. Mind you, these are not friends. Friends are allowed to say whatever and ask whatever and I can answer them in whatever way I choose. And they may say something that I perceive as less than sensitive, but that's part of friendship. If you are a friend and you've said one of these things, I'm not talking to you. At least not in that snarky tone I use. No, these are people at the grocery store or the park or the neighborhood picnic that don't know the me behind the mask I put on around town. They may have just met me. But boy, do they have an opinion. And here's the funny thing: SO DO I. And, as this is my blog, I'm going to share it.
Four children isn't enough for you? No.
Wow, that name is something else. Are you going to keep it? Yes.
Better you than me! I agree.
You must be crazy. Probably
She sure is lucky. (crickets)
You are amazing. Nope.
To expand on the subject:
Why not? To whom much is given, much is required. I have a roof over my head and food on my table and I carry a little extra padding around my middle. I'm pretty sure that means much has been given me. I should probably share some of it. This is but a drop in the bucket. Besides, for this child I have prayed and petitioned my Father. My criteria was steep and very specific. I have been watching for her for more than four years. Why? For crying out loud, do YOU say no when someone gives you the gift you've been asking for?
Four children isn't enough for you?
Have I mentioned that I went into marriage wanting a dozen children? We even joked about a bakers dozen. The fact that I would prefer to never give birth again doesn't negate that I love being surrounded by my children. Less when they are hungry and I'm trying to cook, but I'm working on that. But the real question you should be asking is whether I think that zero parents is enough for my little Iris. And that answer is definitively NO. And make no mistake, she is MY little Iris and you are insulting me when you suggest she is not. I knew it from the moment I first saw her. How would you like for YOUR children to be on the other side of the planet from you, in a "care center," a face in the masses?
Wow. That name. Are you planning to keep it?
Are you suggesting that I should not? Her name is as lovely as she is and when I found out what "Iris" is short for, it gave me goosebumps. It hasn't even been four months since I stood in the city of her name and told my husband we needed another child named after that place. Yes, it is in Ethiopian, but it is still thick with meaning. In a time and place when people name their children Strawberry and Meconium, I would expect a little understanding.
Better you than me!
Yes, thank God, He has blessed me tremendously. Thank you, I will continue to receive those blessings. That you do not desire these blessings confuses me, but I'm glad you aren't coveting mine.
You must be crazy.
Aren't we all? But if it is crazy to obey my Father, count me insane. I think it's crazy to adopt dogs and spend more than college tuition to board them when I travel, but I can respect that someone on this earth is called to do it. Respect my insanity, will you?
She sure is lucky.
I don't know about that. I can be a pretty crummy mother some days. Today for instance. And yesterday and the day before. I'm not perfect. My husband isn't perfect. And I suspect that little Iris would prefer to live with her own parents. God chose ME, little old me, to raise up another daughter. Who's lucky? A little girl whose daddy died? I don't think so.
You are amazing.
Nope. As much as I'd like to believe you, I'm going to have to keep arguing this one. God is amazing and I am His. Any glory you perceive to be mine, comes from Him. And really, none of this statement has a thing to do with whether or not I adopt. God placed a desire in my heart to adopt "lots" of kids. So far I have one. And sadly, I have to confess that I'm a selfish adopter. When we adopted the first time, we wanted a baby. As I couldn't seem to carry a baby to term last millennium, adoption seemed like the fastest route. And frankly that worked out for us. I had more baby than I could handle for a lot of years. Now? I want that baby to have a sibling with similar coloring. I want my daughter to have a sister. I want a child that will fill a gap we have in our family. Will this be the last one? Who knows? I don't feel done. But I might. One thing at a time. But it all comes down to a simple truth: I desire to adopt. I am only fulfilling a deep seated desire. Does this sound like an amazing person to you? I didn't think so. It sounds like just about any red blooded American. We strive to fulfill our desires. That makes us ordinary.