~Blank stare..confused look~…Say what now?

Ever since we broke a year in this adoption process and we are now just waiting to hear from Peru, I have been quite comfortable about telling people about our journey.  By this I mean, ever since my husband posted our news on facebook without letting me know, I have felt compelled to become more open about the process to answer questions and discuss it with friends and family.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still quite reserved about it and wouldn’t share the information unless asked, but I feel like I make progress everyday.  Having said that, there is still a lot we don’t know about the process.  We are not sure when we will get the call, we don’t know what part of Peru the child/children will be from, and we don’t know what life will be like with them.  We are learning as we go here.  Before this process we had no idea about the correct adoption language, what is appropriate to ask about or what constitutes private matter when it comes to adoption.  One would say, only going through this journey do you really understand why there are certain things that are considered private or inappropriate to inquire about.  We have become sensitive to some comments but others are just funny to us.  Maybe this will change when we have the kids with us, but for now we understand not everyone is aware of the way certain comments sound to adoptive parents or in our case soon to be those.   Now why am I ranting about this today, you ask? Well yesterday I had a somewhat comical yet nonsensical encounter with a very nice lady, who I am sure was trying to be very sweet but unfortunately failed miserably.

I was buying groceries, well more like the obligatory milk and bread that people buy just before a snowstorm that may or may never come. We are in the northeast people, snow is what we do, please get a grip and stop treating familiar weather like the rupture.   Anywhoo, that’s a rant for another day.  I happened upon an old co-worker that had heard about our adoption and wanted to congratulate us. So far the interaction was gold. She then asks where we were getting our child from, Yikes!! ok I can spin that. My answer to her was that we were “adopting” our child from Peru.  I mean really lady, “getting your kid” implies we can just travel overseas pick one and bring it back like you do unwanted illnesses or cheap souvenirs for family….wait ..no I don’t do that….ever. She then begins to ask me where Peru was. Really? Man I thought at least Machu Picchu had put us on the American radar, but ok I explained. I also told her that Peru was also my place of birth. I think I confused her with that, since her next question to me was, “ I thought you spoke Spanish”. Well, yes, and there is a perfectly good explanation for that, Spanish is one of Peru’s official languages.  Believe it or not, nothing in this conversation shocked me (I know sad) until she says, “well the good thing about adopting from Peru is that they will at least look like you”. Uhmmm Say what now?

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Ok I have to say, that caught me by surprise.  First, as I recall, she didn’t even know where the country was located so I am not sure she knows what we are suppose to look like.  Second, if she only knew how ethnically diverse Peru is she wouldn’t believe it.  I could be adopting a Japanese-Peruvian baby (3% of the Peruvian population claims Japanese heritage) and really confuse people.  Truth be told, I am not the best looking Peruvian, I know shocker right, I mean I’m gorgeous :-), but I’m also not looking for a child that looks like me.  When you are adopting, much like when you are pregnant, you don’t care what that child looks like.  All you care about is that he or she..or they find a loving family in yours.

This conversation, made me wonder if there are more people that questioned the reasons we chose Peru.  Are there more people who think we chose Peru for appearances?  Do they think we are just going to pass them off as biological children?Because I did gain a little bit of weight during this adoption process but not enough to fool people into thinking baby bump.  It was more like ‘nervous eating pizza bump’.  Well here is the scoop on why.  Now we know we don’t owe anyone an explanation but we feel ok about sharing this.  Most of you know I am from Peru, this played a small part in our decision but the truth is we considered domestic adoption first.  We did our research and we found the process for domestic adoption a bit lengthy.  The actual paperwork and homestudy wasn’t as tedious or involved but the wait time was a bit vague.  We found that with the army life as it is and the transient life we lead because of it, we might be moving before we are chosen by a birth mother.  When we decided that international adoption was a better fit for us we chose Peru because we knew the child would benefit from us sharing a culture.  Children who are adopted grieve a loss, especially those adopted by families living overseas.  They grieve for the biological family they may or may not know, they grieve for the country they are leaving behind, the language they might not be able to use with a new family, and the culture they might forget.  It was a no-brainer when we decided that our family might be able to alleviate some of the burdens that an orphan might experience in this situation.  So in a nutshell, we were thinking  of the child/children’s well-being.  We knew we were going to be happy to bring a child/children into our home and love them no matter what, so if we can also help them lessen the adjustment, its a win-win.  So now there you have it!  This blog is all about the how, now you also have the why?  Thank you lady from the grocery store for the post topic!

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