I am sitting in the pitch dark in a hotel room in Moline, Illinois. I have the girls and Dw is next door with the boys. Elizabeth has been sleeping with me and my goodness, was she ever akickin' last night! I finally got up and decided to visit some bloggy friends and type out some thoughts.
I realized that this trip is really the first time we have traveled as a family since we brought the babies home from Uganda. And it's kind of funny. I remember as a young woman when we first brought Tyler home. People would stare. Big.time. I couldn't figure it out (at first). I used to think, "What in the world are they staring at?" Seriously. It probably took me six months to finally think, "Oh! They are probably wondering what this caucasion woman with a caucasion daughter is doing with a Korean son?" Adoption was not all that common in 1986!
But I had longed and longed for an Asian child from the time I was about 10 years old, so Tyler's arrival was just a fulfillment of an almost lifelong longing....so to me, he was mine through and through. I swear to me, he looks like me. I just can't see the difference. I still stare at him sometimes and think, "Come on! He really doesn't look like me?? Are you kidding me???" Cause to this day, to me, he seriously does.
So on this trip, when people have stared, my initial thought is: "Oh they are not used to seeing a good-sized family?!!" To me, all of my kids look like me, so what else would they be staring at? You know what I mean??
But in St. Louis on our way East we were leaving a gas station where we had made a potty stop too. I was loading little ones into the car and a woman came dashing out of the gas station. She came up to me running (literally) and calling, "Hey! Are these all your foster kids?" I smiled and said, "No! They are all mine!" I went on to say, "We like to think that our family looks a little bit like God's heart because the God of the Universe is Colorblind!" She was grinning from ear to ear and wanted to know what church we attend?? I told her that we were just passing through, but that my husband pastors a church in Colorado.
Then yesterday we were having lunch at a Cracker Barrel south of Chicago. While there eating I was completely unaware of people sitting at tables around us. Dw had left to pay the bill and taken some kids with him. A man was leaving and stopped and said to me, "Ma'am, I just have to tell you that I have totally enjoyed watching your family. They are all so beautiful." I thanked him and told him that we liked to think that our family looks like God's heart because our God is colorblind. He asked me what church we go to. He went on to say, "I just said to my co-worker who I was having lunch with...I wonder what church they go to, cause if the church is accepting of them, I think its a church I would like to be part of."
Both the lady at the gas station and the man in the Cracker Barrel who commented were African-American. I loved telling them that my God is colorblind. When we were pastoring in the Southeast we found it completely revolting to see the reality of prejudice.
I went on talking for a moment to the man in the Cracker Barrel. I apologized to him for the people in his lifetime who had been prejudiced against him. He was very gracious and kind-hearted. He said that seeing our family had made his day. Meeting these two precious people, in two different cities were part of the highlights of our trip.
On the flipside, there were a couple comments on the trip as well, made by people we know. They have angered me. They bring out the mama bear in me -and trust me - she ain't pretty - she ain't even sort of pretty!!
I am biting my tongue (for the moment) and praying about what to do. And yeah, if I bite too long I will most certainly be able to put a tongue ring through.