This past weekend we had our first adoption fundraiser garage sale. What a good success it was! So many people donated. My sweet girl ran her very first lemonade stand and sold cookies with it. She was exhausted. She promptly told me she was never doing a lemonade stand again. She had raised around $50 and I told her since she had worked so hard all day she could keep the money. She instead brought the money over to her mamaw and said “here I want my baby brother to come home.” Talk about hearts melting!
I really enjoyed myself this weekend, so many people were kind about our adoption. They asked wonderful questions and for the most part made positive comments. There was something that I noticed though, well actually it’s something I have always known, but it was brought back to the forefront of my mind this past weekend. Many people do not ask questions to listen and learn the actual intent or heart behind something. Most people ask questions as an opening for themselves to insert their own, usually unwanted, opinion.
Here’s the thing, I absolutely LOVE answering questions about our adoption and our precious boy. There’s not much more that brings me joy than talking about our children. However there are a few questions that I think are absolutely absurd and shouldn’t be asked. It just reinforces my opinion that many people lack empathy.
Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.
So many today lack empathy. It is evident by the many “internet trolls” that exist. When people lack empathy they believe they are warranted to ask stupid questions and make dumb statements about things that do not concern them. On the internet and in person. It’s pretty ridiculous to be honest.
So back to the questions I have been asked about our adoption. There are a few that I think are silly. There is one specific one so far that grinds me to my core though. It’s been asked to me a few times and I am sure it will be asked in the future. It comes in many forms. The most common is the way I was asked this past weekend.
A nice enough older gentleman came to our garage sale. I actually recognized him by is very particular questions he asks. He has attended my last few garage sales. He bought something from me then he noticed it was an adoption fundraiser garage sale. “oh” was his reply. “well, can I ask you a personal question?” he jumped right in. Sure! I responded. I love questions about our adoption. “Couldn’t you find a baby to adopt from the US?” I am not sure why it left me flustered. This wasn’t the first time we have been asked this. Sometimes they say “Did you try US adoption first?” “Why international, when there are so many children in the US that need homes?” But the way this man asked it, is the most common. It always leaves me flabbergasted. I really need to come up with an automatic response like “They wont’ let me adopt in the US because I’m a hardened criminal.” or “how many children have you adopted from the US?” yes, that one ( which my friend came up with) may be a little bit less extreme :). Anyway, after I pulled my jaw off the floor I said “our hearts are for the little boy in Vietnam.” To which he replied, “oh” and launched into a ten minute, one-sided, conversation about how his son and daughter in law wanted to adopt but it was so expensive etc. He barely stopped when he asked questions like “why is it so expensive?” etc. so I could respond. Which brings me back to my thought, a lot of people don’t ask questions to hear the answers and learn. They ask questions to insert their opinions. I had my answers ready,
there are legal fees involved, travel, paperwork, etc.
US adoptions, unless through foster care, are just as much.
how much does your car cost?
but he didn’t stop to listen to them. I just politely shook my head and said yea I know, so expensive. Then he was on his way.
The reason this question and encounter really grated my nerves was because right now our little boy is sitting in an orphanage. He is being taken care of but his needs can be met better here in America. Yes, there are children that need homes in America. but does that negate the beautiful and special souls who need homes that weren’t born in the US? People do not decide where they were born. Just because a child was born in the US does not make them more important or more relevant than those that need homes from overseas.
So to answer the man’s question; no, we did not find a child we wanted to adopt from the US. We found a child we want to adopt from the small country of Vietnam and we cannot wait until he is a part of our family. Because his life, is just as important as the lives of the children in America. His live is just as important as yours and as mine and as my daughters. We are privileged in America. That doesn’t mean our lives are more important. So instead of asking silly questions, maybe you can help the children in the US that need homes while we work on bringing our son home.
Until next time,