As I have followed other adoption bloggers over the last several months, I have often laughed to myself at the things people say to adoptive parents. These sweet moms have had people say all sorts of outrageous things to them about adopting and their perceptions of it. The adoption community as a whole seems to be very good about shaking things off and chalking a lot of comments up to lack of understanding, though I am sure that every now and then someone really crosses the line and gets their head bitten off by the mother of an adopted child. So, naturally, I had been wondering if this would happen to me, how I would handle it, what I would say. Our friends and family are unusually adoption-savvy and extremely supportive, so I haven’t really encountered anything too impressive. Until today. It finally happened.
Adam and I spent today running around taking care of some last minute Christmas shopping and errands. Our last stop was Wal-Mart, a place that sends chills down my spine when I think about it. We ran in to get some things, a quick trip. Now, Adam is really, really good about talking to cashiers when we are checking out of stores. He just strikes up a conversation, and it usually ends with the cashier laughing and shaking her head at him. Today was no different. As our cashier started ringing us up, he started chatting with her, and somehow they landed on the topic of our marriage. She asked us how long we have been married, and I told her that it would be six years this June. She then asked us what we were waiting on to have kids. We laughed, and I told her that we were actually in the process of adopting, to which she replied:
“I was gonna adopt, but then I saw that movie about the orphan. You know, the one where she kills everybody. And I don’t want to end up with a murderer, so I decided not to adopt.”
Hmmmm. Well. Ok then.
Over the last six years of teaching teenagers, I have developed a pretty good poker face; I call it my teacher mask. I tried very hard to employ it at that moment and just keep my face blank while I thought of something exceptionally wise and profound to say. Unfortunately, I ended up making an awkward laugh/burst of air noise accompanied by an, “Oh.” Very eloquent. I’m sure she was moved.
My point being, I simply was not prepared. I’m not mad or upset or anything, but I was completely caught off-guard. A murderer?? Seems like a bit of a reach to me. I know that there will be a whole lot I have to learn about my sweet baby when we finally bring him/her home. And I hate the fact that there will be actual, literal months of my baby’s life that I will know virtually nothing about.
But I know Someone who does know. Someone who already knows. And I know Him. So I’m not worried. Do I wish I could change it and know my little bird from day one. Oh, yes. Absolutely. But that is me not wanting to miss a second of this sweet one’s life, me wanting to be there to meet every need, me wanting to be there to protect. And that is not part of God’s plan for our family. He is going to do that while we are apart. And when the time is right, we are going to come together in a way that does not look natural, and God is going to use that to create something beautiful. A picture of the Gospel, of what He did when He sent His only Son to earth to conquer death so that we would not have to suffer. There is nothing natural about the Gospel. But it is beautiful. It is the most beautiful thing in the world. And I cannot, cannot, cannot believe that God has called us to this. We are not worthy. But fortunately for us, that is the way He wants it.
So thank you, Wal-Mart cashier. Thank you for reminding me of Who I am entrusting my little one to before he/she is ever entrusted to me. He is the Author of my life and of my sweet baby's life. And unlike me, He does not make mistakes. So I know I can trust in Him to do what is best for this precious child, even if it something that seems completely counterintuitive to me, even if it hurts. I know that He is good. Always.
And on a much lesser note, thank you for opening the door to a new blog category, aptly named "Say what?". Click on the category link on the left of this page to follow along with (and hopefully laugh at) some of the crazy, silly and sometimes serious things people say to us wacky adoption folks.
"Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—He remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations." Psalm 146:1-10