Do you ever say something and as soon as the words are out you wish you could just grab them and stuff them back inside? I have that sometimes, typically its not because I am trying to be mean but usually because I just didn't think. I know the words I said might leave a bad taste in someone else's mouth and I feel bad about it. Although sometimes, I may not even know I said something that could be offensive.
In today's society you can't get far in a conversation without eventually offending someone or their beliefs, their "rights". And some of it is so out of control, you can't even think differently than others without being called a hater but that's not the type of "talk" I am referring to. The kind I am thinking of is the naive or ignorant phrases people utter who typically mean no harm but end up causing some type of harm.
I like to think that I don't get offended too easily by people who ask questions about our adoption or Charlie. I know that most people who are asking are doing so because they care. I don't mind questions because I hope it opens a conversation up about adoption and possibly even Jesus. But I must admit I have had this question posed three times and each time it makes me wince a little. I am thankful that Charlie is little and doesn't understand yet. The question goes like this:
"Where did you get him at"
Okay, now I know that when people see our family together obviously he is the only Asian in the bunch so it is a logical question but when its just Charlie and I, it amazes me that people don't stop to think that maybe my spouse is Asian or that I am watching someone else's child for the day. I guess people don't think about it though and they want to know. The reason I wince at the question is because it makes it sound like we went down to Walmart and picked him up on aisle 3. It's a loaded question one that can bring up the past with its hurts, obstacles, pains and joys. Typically it's followed with "do you know anything about his family"
I have kept calm all three times and answered that "Well, he was born in Korea" at which time two of the three people that asked caught on and one even apologized and said "I'm sorry I don't know the correct terminology or adoption lingo" I have gotten better at saying that while we do have some information on his family, that part of Charlie's life is his. If someday he wants to share any details he may but we will let him decide that. Children who are adopted go through things that people who weren't adopted will never understand. Their life existed before they came to their forever family and that part will always play a role in shaping them, its part of them, part of their life story but it is not the only thing that defines them. Being adopted is only one part of what makes Charlie who he is and who he will be but when people only ask about things regarding him being adopted it can be frustrating. I want to tell them, he loves music and the bath. He is happiest outside, he is stubborn and smart. I do not want how he came to us to be the only thing people focus on. I also want to tell them about Greyson because usually he is standing right there and not a lot of people ask about him. Our words have such power to hurt and heal, bring love or hate, cast judgment or understanding that we must be careful with them because these little people, who are listening to what we are saying, will grow up to be big people and what we've said about them gives definition to who/what they will come to believe about themselves and I want it to be good.
The truth about Charlie is that first and foremost he is a Child of God. If he becomes nothing else in life that would be enough, to be loved by God. But it's not the only thing that the Word tells us about who are, here are some examples of what Jesus says we are:
Redeemed, Righteous, Holy, Complete, A New Creature, Healed, Chosen....Adopted
just to name a few.
November is National Adoption month or I have also heard it called Orphan Awareness, a lot of churches have a service dedicated to the cause and to bring about understanding. So I hope this post brings some awareness into how you speak and what you say. I write with myself in mind, I talk a lot and have no doubt hurt people along the way by my words and truthfully I am sure I will do it again but my prayer is that the words that I say will promote love especially to other people because you never know how what you say may affect someone. I want to have words of life that point others especially my boys to Jesus.