Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Big Day

So, it’s been a really big day for our family! I don't want to go into all of the details here but some wonderful things are happening for our extended family right now and it’s all very exciting and its funny when you have something huge going on and it suddenly seems like everything happening is really quite important. It’s the opposite of when something major occurs and it diminishes everything else in its path. This makes everything else seem significant and wonderful. Like the light is shining on our little neck of the woods so to speak. It’s all good.
On this road to adoption I decided to share our news with my boss- she is also a very dear friend of mine, but I had not shared it yet because there was so much going on at work and I wanted to feel like it was closer before talking about it at work. I had told only told two others at work. One, a good friend, whom I asked to write us a letter of recommendation and the other because she was close friends with one of the folks with our homestudy agency and I did not want her to find out through this other person. This coworker adopted from China several years ago and has been an enormous support to me over the years when I was asking all about international adoption and grilling her for her story and hearing about how her daughter is doing. So it was nice to share the news with her.

I am finding there are a few different types of responses. The first being the same kind of response you get when you tell people you are pregnant- this is the genuine "I am so happy for you” response. That is the one where you can really tell the person is genuinely excited and treats this the same as birthing the baby yourself. This is the rarest response. I have found I like it though. I like when people are THAT excited about it. The jump up and hug you response. The "I want to know every little detail" response.

Then there is the more common response. This is the one that most people give, "Oh, that is great. Where are you adopting from?" The "We are so happy for you." But said like they are happy that we just bought new lawn furniture. "Oh that is so great - did you get the teak or the steel lounger?" These folks know they are supposed to be happy- but can't quite wrap themselves around the idea- or can't for the life of them think why on earth we would be doing this. This is the "sit there and smile" response. They are happy in a way but can't help but showing their angst over the whole thing.

Finally, the response we have gotten- probably from most people, the "Oh I knew you guys would do that at some point" response. I have even had one friend approach me and just say, "you are adopting aren't you?" I have had several friends say, "I am not surprised." Just like that. I mean think about it- if you went up to someone who just told you they were pregnant and you just said "I am not surprised" flatly...wouldn't that be a bit odd? I guess maybe not- many times we are not surprised- but...I can guarantee you that 9 times out of 10 that pregnant person will get the "jump up and hug you" response.

Anyway- I kind of know who will give me the different responses and so I am spacing out my "telling". I have one friend that I know will just be beside herself excited and I can't wait to tell her- but I am waiting to get through a few more of the "Smile and sound excited" responses before I tell her.

I guess I know what people may be thinking. Can they afford this? They are already pretty overwhelmed with three kids- why would they add to that? Can they handle this? There is not a lot of room in that house! Will Emily ever come back to work? Well she will have to, to be able to afford all the kids!

I guess my response is that loving someone else transcends all of that and if you can love someone else that will make your life richer and their life richer. And when we think about what we are doing for the crisis of poverty and HIV/AIDS in this world and what we want to do - this feels right. This is what WE want to do. What else are we really here for? We could bring a baby into the family in different ways and we chose this one. With roughly 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, it seemed like the right place to find our child.

So this Big Day in our family- it lead me and my sister to talk about what a Big Year this will really be for all of us. 2006 - it even sounds like a big year.

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