|The Kid was not amused, |
although she did enjoy meeting
Mommy's friends at University of Tampa.
Anyway, midway through lunch, this young man impressed me most when he told Gladys and I how much he admired us for adopting. Usually, when I hear this, I cringe because it's usually followed by a comment about how "those kids" need a good family to bring them up right.
Admittedly, I interpret the phrase "those kids" as "those brown kids" when it's white folk who say that to me, because there is always the wink and nod that is supposed to convey understanding among pale people. That wink and nod usually tell me that the only way kids are raised correctly is by people who are of the appropriate color. And I usually just say thank you and move on rather than seek to understand because I really don't want to understand.
But his story was different. He was adopted at six months old. He was tearing up talking about it, because he felt a great deal of love from his adopted parents. They chose to be his parents and that meant the world to him. They chose to adopt locally, and feeling like he has a great life, feels like it is due to a couple who decided to adopt a baby in their backyard. He feels anyone who walks in those footsteps are honorable and valorous.
I never thought about our decision to adopt The Kid through that lens. We just wanted a daughter or son to raise. We wanted a little family of our own, and adoption provided us our only avenue to become parents. In fact, sometimes I feel our decision is almost selfish because The Kid gives us so much more love, affection, and amusement than we ever expected.
As The Kid and Gladys are sleeping, and I'm wide awake reflecting on the day, I keep coming back to a few themes.
- If a self-described Florida cracker can shock my system about admiring us for adopting, maybe I should hear people out instead of jump to the conclusions my biases tell me are a logical destination.
- I need to accept that many people will never make the decision that Gladys and I did to adopt. While that's okay for many people, it's also just fine for people to be impressed with our decision.
- Running into another adoptee who loves their adopted parents gives me comfort.
- This guy made a great impression by being himself. I think he's a great fit so far, and I look forward to being proven right about that conclusion. He isn't a bullshitter.