We loaded that cart.
We had one time out for whining.
This was actually technically our first big shop since our trip, so we really loaded up.
“Are you guys doing anything fun for the fourth,” the lady checking us out asked.
“Well, we just got back in town, so we haven’t made plans yet.”
“Oh, from where?”
“What were you doing in Russia.”
Hmmmm…what to say. Was I in a hurry? Do I want to open myself up to this conversation? Adoption in general solicits a variety of comments, but when you add in our ages, and the ages of our kids plus other factors, get ready!
Mostly people just don’t know. Their hearts haven’t been prepared like yours has. They haven’t held in their arms, seen with their eyes, heard with their ears the children and circumstances you have.
Which means grace. They deserve grace, and love and listening. And for the most part, people truly don’t mean to be judgmental, but have honest questions.
She had just handed Finley his first ever lolly pop, and we had a lot of groceries, so I thought that I’d might as well answer.
“We are adopting two kids from there.”
“WOW. Ok, wow, two kids?”
“Well, we went for one, then while there decided to say yes to one more while there.”
She wanted to hear more, so I told her a bit of what we saw and experienced. She asked ages.
“Our girl is 10.”
“WHOA! TEN!” the fear was on her face. “That’s going to be so hard!!” she told me, breathless.
I think adoptive parents can feel extra protective of their adopted children because of the lives they’ve lived and because you only want them to be accepted for who they are despite it all, so when she said hard, I quickly reminded myself: grace. I just took it as that she hadn’t had time to process the information, and that it often takes people off guard. So I just smiled, and said, to erase any fears while looking her in the eye;
“No, it’s not going to be hard,” smiling, “it’s going to be awesome. She is amazing, all the kids are. It’s not going to be the same as raising a biological child from birth in some ways, but we are ready and prepared to parent her. Honestly, we can’t wait. She is a blessing.”
“Oh,” she breathed out, “yeah, you’re right.” she said, relaxed by my confidence, kindness on her face. “That is the best thing I have heard all day. I am seriously so happy for you and those angels. Do you have pictures?”
Hah, do I!? I showed her pics, and her heart was visibly melting. “Please, you gotta bring them in when you get them home. I want to meet them.”
“Definitely,” I said.
“Wow, you know, my son is a missionary. I don’t really go to church, but my son, his life is truly just centered around the Lord. He goes to the Rock church. He does missions mostly in India, and raises money to purchase prostitutes from the pimps for $1000 and brings them to rehabilitation houses where they teach them a trade and totally transform their lives. Saves their lives.”
“WOW!!!” I told her, now it was MY jaw on the floor. “Your son is incredible! Oh my gosh, that kind of thing is so dear to my heart. I am so happy to hear that.” I told her.
I am so glad I shared our story. That I didn’t get defensive when she said our life, would be “hard” because of Maria.
“Wow,” I told her, “I pray every night for my sons to have boldness in their lives, and compassion in their hearts like your son does.” My new favorite lady.
I promised her I would bring the kids in to meet her once they were home. “Well, the kids will be in swim lessons over here when they get home anyways, so we’ll be around,” I told her.
She asked me what church I go to, and I told her.
I was so excited to hear about her son’s life. It just re-lit a fire in my heart I had been trying to quench since being home for people suffering overseas.
Thank you God for this sweet moment of encouragement.
And thank you for your perfect example of grace.