For those of you who visit our blog to keep track of what the boys are up to, please excuse my next couple of posts.
As our adoption completion draws nearer, I am getting more and more questions about our adoption: Why would you do something like that?, Why Ethiopia?, Why not adopt from here in the States?, Are you infertile?, Are the boys really yours?, Are you trying to be Angelina Jolie?, Won't it be weird having a black child with such blond boys?, How much does that cost?, and the list goes on and on.
We are very fortunate in that the majority of our family and friends have been supportive of our decision to adopt and are waiting excitedly with us. Unkind or rude responses have been the exception to the rule. And, sometimes those unkind responses have simply been out of ignorance or lack of thought as opposed to intentionally offensive. It has been a good growing experience. My normal inclination is to be a fairly private person, so personal questions from strangers or not close acquaintances aren't my favorite thing. But, I am learning to anticipate the questions and then to answer them kindly.
I think that having a ready response is important. It means that I am less likely to be caught off guard and say something I shouldn't or didn't intend to. And, it is important for Rosie and the boys. How Rosie feels about herself, her position in our family, and the fact that she will obviously look very different from the rest of our family will be in large part learned from us in the early years. How the boys learn to respond to those who may someday be unkind will be learned from us, too.
I want my responses to sometimes awkward questions to build Rosie up, to give her confidence in our love, to help her feel secure in her position as our daughter, and to re-enforce the fact that her skin color may be different from ours but that it is beautiful. Most importantly, I want my answers to re-enforce these truths: She is God's creation, created in His image. This gives her a beauty and a worth that is more important and longer-lasting than whatever current trends the world may view as desirable or beautiful. I want her to love her skin color, but more importantly, I want her to value her position as a child of God and to not get caught up on focusing on her self-esteem but rather to focus on God-esteem. So often these days it is easy to get caught in the trap of worrying about how we feel about ourselves and viewing ourselves through our own lenses or others' lenses instead of the using Gods' eyes to see how He sees us, the value He places on us, and recognizing that true beauty in His eyes comes from having a clean heart, pure hands, and a desire to wholly follow Him. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
So, please bear with me as I work my way through these answers. I have always found writing things down helpful if I need to think or process information. This gives me a way to do that, and maybe it will answer questions you might have, too.