December 3, 2007

City on a hill, part 2 ... but what city do they see?

bhodekids-teetertotterIn an earlier post I wrote that we become a ‘city on the hill' when we adopt trans-racially. Simply put, we look different from most families and we stand out almost anywhere in our culture. But I have encountered another way that people view our family that I never would have guessed in my naiveté. Hopefully, you can learn through my experience and have a good response prepared if you find yourself in the same situation. Laugh with me and walk though this moment in life ... and please, feel free to share your ideas, I haven't found a strong but loving response to this situation yet and would love to have one.

Our kids are intermingled by age; we birthed two, adopted two, birthed one and so on. The conversation that stumped me was when someone assumed with a very negative tone, that I had birthed them all. Let that sink in for a moment. ... It would mean I had at least 4 different fathers for my children and I would be a beacon in an entirely different type of city than I had planned. Am I saying that a few people who meet us see our ‘city on the hill' as similar to Sodom or Gomorrah?

Yes, that was it exactly. It drove me nuts trying to think it through the first time I ran into it. It hit on so many levels: my marriage, my faith, my morals, and my self-control. In my human state I was offended and wanted to ‘clarify' things with that poor neighbor. Thankfully, God didn't allow that and I have learned to pray through these strange moments when windows are opened into another world and I can see what sadness lurks there.

0 comments on “City on a hill, part 2 ... but what city do they see?”

  1. I remember talking once to an adoptive mom, a married woman in her late 30s. She and her husband (both Caucasian) had 3 bio children and 2 adopted from Guatemala. She said that when she would go to the supermarket with all the kids, she regularly got looks that suggested disapproval of a lifestyle that would produce so many children, some with a white father and some with a Hispanic father. I don't know that anyone ever articulated this to her, though, and I certainly don't know what her response would have been.

    I think there's an analogy in Mary, the blessed mother of our Lord. Many of her contemporaries thought that she had born Jesus through an extra-marital affair. We don't know how she handled this, but at the very least she had the assurance that she had found favor with God -- as have all adoptive parents who are in Christ.

  2. Great observation Josh! I never made the connection between Christ's earthly parentage and situations we deal with as adoptive parents. Now I'm thinking further into the reality that Joseph must have had to deal with not just in the begining but further on into his adopted sons life.

  3. Are there studies about this mhoted of ranking? I am a rank skeptic. Because clearly there are families scoring all 1s on the chart who are unsuccessful as families. (Success in a Maslow's hierarchy, a happy-healthy, a selfless and thoughtful people kind of way.) I understand that race carries with it cultural markers and roots are important to us as human beings, but can I admit to frustration with the weight placed on our colors? It is hard for me to fathom, and I am a little ashamed to admit this fear of other people's opinions, wrath, prejudice, judgment is undoubtably a factor in our adoption choices. I wasn't expecting that before we started our research. I just don't know if I'd ever be ready to learn enough, teach enough, defend enough. I'm afraid it would be really hard for me not to become a hard-bitten, shrill person.

  4. I can relate to what you're sainyg, Miriam. I also am sceptical of the ranking. It does point out the losses that kids face. And I think it is good not to forget that. But as Jan said, the reason a lot of these kids are available for adoption internationally is bcause options 1,2,3 are not available to them.Also, even though I absolutely do have my strident moments defending our choices, the joy my kids bring to our life far, far outweighs any negative stuff.Mary

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