Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things that make you go hmmm...

So we were picking up my in-laws from the airport a few weeks ago and on the way home, we stopped at Panera for a quick dinner.  We ordered our food and found a table.  Very soon after that, we noticed the cutest little African-American boy, probably just about a year old, who was sitting nearby with his Daddy and Mommy.  We noticed him because he had the CUTEST laugh - he was entertaining the whole restaurant with his giggles!  My 'adoption' radar also perked because his Mommy and Daddy were white.  You could tell he was bonded with this couple as he was yelling out "Mommy!" to his Mom across the restaurant at the drink station.  He was a little uncomfortable with her across the room and not right next to him.

I got up a little bit later to refill my drink and while I was gone, Ava had a short conversation with my mother-in-law that she relayed to me later.  Ava made a comment about how that little boy didn't "match" his parents and maybe they were watching a friends' baby.  

Huh?  What?

This comment bothered me for a few reasons.  

First of all, DUH, why isn't her first reaction to think that the boy was adopted?  I mean obviously she's living out the miracle of adoption in her life...but, perhaps in her then 7-year-old brain, adoptions only happen in China.  And since the boy was not Chinese...

But secondly, I'm wondering why she made that comment since Jason and I don't "match" Amelia?  I know she sees Amelia as looking different than us because when she draws pictures of our family, she draws Amelia with a little bit darker skin than us.  (Yes, my Chinese daughter has almost olive skin - not the pale pale skin we typically think of.  You should see how quickly and beautifully her skin tans in the summer!  And no burning!)

In the end, I've decided not to freak out about what Ava said as I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how deeply she loves and treasures her sister.  It continues to amaze me.  Just this last Sunday, at our church's Thanksgathering we participated in at another member's home, when asked what she was most thankful for, Ava responded, "my sister!"

I could worry and fret and extrapolate all kinds of sinister meanings and conclusions about how Ava sees adoption and other ethnicities.  But instead, I've decided to chalk it up to an off-hand comment she made and discuss different kinds of adoptions with her in the near future.  Because really, in the end, while Ava's eyes and mind see that Amelia looks 'different' than Jason or I, I think her heart doesn't see any differences at all - she just sees her sister.

Until next time...

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