Saturday, February 13, 2010

It happened today

I was wondering how long it would take. How long it would take for us to get "the question." Well almost 2 months after we got home, someone asked it. We were at a local park today. Grace's first park playground experience. The air was filled with her laughing and squealing. The big kids had a great time helping her navigate the big metal structure and all of the slides. She even got to swing for a bit which she loved.

Then this little girl started to follow us. She started talking to Kaylee. She asked "is that your mom?" Kaylee said yes. Then she asked "is that your little sister?" Kaylee said yes. Then she asked the question that I knew was coming... "why does she have brown skin and you have white skin?" Kaylee said "because we adopted her from Rwanda." The little girl was somewhat satisfied with Kay's answer. We then moved on to another area of the playground as Kay was wanting to do the bars. The little girl followed us. She asked me "where did you get her from?" I told her Africa. She asked "did you have to go t0 Africa to get her?" I said "yes, we went to Africa and it was really fun." She then asked "where are her real parents?" I said "we are her real parents." The little girl looked at me puzzled. She then asked again "where are her real parents?" I repeated "we are her real parents." I guess the little girl was fine with my answer this time because her next question was "was there an earthquake were she came from?" I said "no, she is not from the country that had the earthquake." Grace then wanted to go swing so we were off.

I knew that this question would come. I knew that someone would wonder why we looked different from Grace and be brave enough to ask it. This brave soul came in the form of a 9 year old little girl.

After we got in the car, I talked to the kids about what had happened. I told them that this would not be the last time that someone would ask them this question. We talked about how we can respond to these types of questions. It was a lesson for the kids as well as for me. Preparing ourselves for a life of questions that deal with skin color. To us it does not matter, what color skin that we have. We wouldn't trade Grace's skin color for anything. It is who she is. She is brown and we are a light peachy color. God made her this way. God made us this way. God made US a family.


manapier124 said...

Sounds like you handled it beautifully and so did Kay. I love you guys so much and I am so glad that you are a larger family now. I look forward to seeing you all soon and getting to know Grace even better in the future.
Take care and love each other always! Ms. Margaret

The Beaver Bunch said...

I have found that when kids ask questions about our brown and peach family that they are genuine questions. Usually, the questioner is concerned about Olivia's "real" parents and why she's not with them.

I get that. I guess most grown ups want to know the same thing, they just don't know how to ask it so innocently.

Just wait though. It will get harder before it gets easier (or at least that's my experience). The hardest part is when the questions aren't really questions but more of judgmental statements only said to cast shadows.

But the questions from kids, I'll take those any day of the week. And twice on Sunday.

I love your brown and peach family. Simply love it.

Alison McLennan said...

Great job handling what could have been an awkward experience! LOVE your header of the kids. What a beautiful family!

Jami said...

I think you handled the situation BEAUTIFULLY!! Growing up, I was always asked about my "real parents" and I responed the same way.. I live with my "REAL PARENTS" these are my "REAL PARENTS"... Yes, I have "BIOLOGICAL parents"and they are just that, biological. EVERY adopted child has to go through this even when their skin color is the same as their parents. I am sure there will be many questions that your children will be asked and you are giving them great tools to answer the hard stuff !! Being adopted is not easy at times, especially when you feel happy, loved and secure and others pose things in a way that make you feel different or question your family and how you fit into it, it is hard, but the support and love of family and friends will be a blessing !!!

Loraena said...

I am so happy to have found your blog! My husband and I are working on our dossier and hope to travel to Rwanda this summer or fall!