Most everyone that we meet is polite if not completely supportive of our adoption but occasionally we run into someone who is trying to make a statement by asking a question.
Especially for Nancy, it is uncomfortable. During the past 11 months she has endured some major awkward moments courtesy of rude people.
As her mom, I know she is watching for how I will respond: Will my words be gracious? Will my words be kind? Will my words share private family information?
Resembling the rest of this adoption process, these irritating "questions" have been...well, stretching.
Here is a little tongue in cheek look at some of the most frequently asked "questions".
Q: Why are you adopting kids from another country when there are so many American kids in foster care who need families?
Generic A: A child needs a family no matter where he or she was born.
What I have only been brave enough to say a handful of times A: When we were foster parents for 8 years, we assumed some of those children would become permanent members of our family. Painfully, we even started the process of adoption with some of those children. God had different plans for us....little did we know our daughters would be living in Ukr*in*. I didn't know that you were so passionate about foster care. So how are you involved in caring for foster children here in the US?
Q: What happened to their REAL parents?
Generic A: We don't have all that information.
What really should say A: Are you asking what happened to their birth parents and the reason they live in an orphanage? That information doesn't pertain to you at all and honestly isn't any of your business.
Q: Are you really going to try to homeschool them? How are YOU going to teach them English?
Generic A: Yes at least for now. Just like with all of our children we will do our best to figure out what educational style works best for each individual child. Arriving after the public school year has started, not speaking the language, not being at typical grade level in the US for their age, not knowing the measurement system or currency, adjusting to the time difference, adjusting to a new country and family, and getting all of their medical and dental needs met are just a few of the reasons, we are going to be homeschooling at least this semester.
Really?!? A: I understand your undertone so I realize that you do not believe that homeschooling is the best education for my children. Thanks for catching yourself from just flat out saying it aloud and making it completely uncomfortable for both of us. For the record, I taught my other two children to speak English. I taught one of them to read and write it too. I'm willing to give it a try because like with all parenting if this doesn't work out, we will make the appropriate changes.
Q. That is a really nice thing you are doing. Your girls are pretty lucky you want them, right?
Generic A: We are the lucky ones.
Awkward A: I think you were uncertain about what to say so you complimented us. In fact you may really think adoption is an admirable and good thing to do. We agree it is, and love to see others who are taking care of orphans through adoption and others ways as directed to all believers of Christ (James 1:27). Yet we want it to be clear for you and for our future daughters: We aren't adopting N1 & N2 because this is a rescue mission. They are our daughters who complete our family. It just so happens that they were born to another set of parents in another country. We don't usually use the word lucky because we believe this was predestined by God.