To all non-adoptive parents, friends of non-AP, families of non-AP and anyone else who thinks this might be cute: Please, please, please don’t ever say adopted children are bought to another human being, especially around children who have no filter from their ear to their mouth. Want to know why? Because someone did and their +/-5 year old child heard it and that child told MY child that we bought her from another mommy. If you don’t believe in adoption. Fine. If you don’t believe in International adoption. Fine. If you don’t believe white people need to raise a child of another race then that’s on you. She’s a child. Not a commodity.

This is not the first time this has happened and I know it won’t be the last. Let me just try to tell you how freaking hard it is to stare into the most beautiful brown eyes God ever placed in a child’s head and see doubt about our family dynamic. Again. Do you know how hard it is to tell a child, without being utterly rude and disrespectful, that someone surely must have smoked crack or was just plain ignorant when they made that statement? Do you know how hard it is to try and teach your child patience, manners, love, tolerance and understanding for others and then try to reassure them that your teachings are good things and the behavior exhibited by others is what is not right? It’s hard. There is no hiding anything about Olivia’s past or how we became a family. We embrace it. We cherish it. We are privileged that we are adoptive parents. On top of that, we are PROUD of it. We aren’t saints because we adopted. We didn’t do a good deed. And I assure you it is not my ticket into Heaven.

I work hard to instill good values in my child and it shows. She is one of the most polite, well-mannered children and I’m proud to say that’s my teaching. Something else I’m having to teach her, much earlier than I had planned, is that a lot of times people don’t think before they speak and, even if they do, they don’t realize how just out of touch with reality some comments are. I’m learning that 5 is a very delicate age. Olivia is learning to define herself with the things she does. She’s a girly-girl and puts on two coats of lip gloss every morning. She crosses her legs and sits up straight. She thinks being a princess is marvelous half the time and the other half she and her superhero friends spend saving the world. If I tell her once I tell her 100 times how much I love her. She knows she is one of my favorite people in the world and that there is no love greater than our love. Something else also works to define her: the people with whom she interacts – mainly on the playground. It takes me so much time to undo the meanness, the bad words and all the other traits that she has picked up from other kids. A key phrase at Chateau L is, “just because so-and-so does it doesn’t make it right.” And it doesn’t. And I know that not everyone believes the way we do, but the core values we teach are the common sense, across the board, everyone should have them values.

You have a right to your thoughts, opinions and beliefs the same that every other person does, but what you don’t have the right to do is make my child feel she is less than adequate because she doesn’t fit your mold. Every parent wants to protect their child, and I’m no different. My final lesson to Olivia was this: Ignorance isn’t born. It’s learned and some people just don’t get it.

Be mindful of what you teach your children, please, because I’m getting tired of explaining you to my child.

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