Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things That Honestly Don't Bother Me

In light of how often I write about things that bother me, I figured it was worthwhile to write about things that don't.

When people ask about Michael and I as a bi-racial couple

Asking promotes understanding - which over time and experience can lead to acceptance, tolerance, and even appreciation. People as about how our families reacted to our relationship and marriage. They ask about discrimination. I'm happy to talk about it as I strongly believe openness is the first step in healing. I do, however, remind people that I am but one person and I am not the spokeswoman for biracial marriage.

When people stare at our family when we are out and about
Honestly, I'm very proud. I've got a drop-dead sexy espresso-skinned husband and two beautiful cream-skinned daughters. Who wouldn't look at us? Oh, and I have great big boobs. I'm sure they are really just astonished and can't help themselves.

When people ask Michael and I if one or both of our obviously white daughters is ours
I love to talk about adoption. I love the opportunity to tell people just how many waiting children there are in our county. I love to share our story with whoever is willing to listen. I wish more people would ask and sit for a spell - and then go tell someone else.

When people ask if we adopted because we couldn't have biological children
We absolutely did. I was devastated to learn I was infertile. I was terribly depressed (and medicated). I grieved hard, prayed hard, and cried a whole lot. We tried treating my PCOS. Michael took measures to boost hormone levels and sperm count and quality. But there comes a day when you simply know it's not worth it. A good internet buddy whom I've never met IRL (hi Cindy) shared with me her feelings about fertility treatments and what they could do to me/us/our marriage. She encouraged me to seek marriage counseling. We did. We went, we saw, we persevered. We kicked butt. We quit trying to conceive and asked God for a child. He gave us two. That's a pretty sweet deal. Now I love sharing the story.

When people ask if we considered IVF or even a surrogate
In this case, I like the opportunity to educate people about costs, risks, and low success rates of all kinds of fertility treatments. I am also keen on telling people of the risks associated with pregnancy after 35. The media downplays the risks. They are tremendous to both mother and baby (let alone the marriage). We never considered surrogacy. A child having our DNA was not important to us. The lengths that some will go to in order to produce offspring is astonishing to me. I'll admit that I just don't "get it". Of course, I also have seen the children who come into care who will need to be adopted. It's hard to know that and be so hell-bent on procreating.

When people ask why we opted for adopting through foster care as opposed to a private domestic or international adoption
Cost, baby! Few people know the costs of adoption. I'm glad to tell them all about it! I'm also very happy to tell them that Cookie's adoption cost us a whopping $86. That's correct. Eighty-six dollars. We kept the bill from the attorney. The state got billed their $1,000 and we got billed for the remainder. Shame on me for emailing her so much. It could have been free had she not billed out those 15 minute emails!
Of course, in addition to cost are the children. In our county, there are approximately 700 kids in foster care at any given time. Only about half will ever be able to be reunited. Our state has an enormous meth and cocaine problem, so if people are willing to deal with babies born drug addicted, they are very likely to be able to adopt.
Our state is a national model for the family court system. We are so fortunate for the changes made here by progressive judges in the 90s.

When people ask how our case is going, or if we know anything else
I feel the support. Sometimes you do get tired of saying, "No, we don't know anything", but I've learned to say it with a smile. In fact, now we say, "Nope, just enjoying our family." The vast majority of people who asked are trying to show support and truly want us to be finished with all this as quickly as possible.

And for those of you who are curious - next court date is Nov. 26th. It's for the judge and social worker to determine if we are ready to schedule TPR dates. We are hoping all of the DNA tests are back by that date.


GLouise said...

Thanks! I am glad you posted this.

Cindy said...

I think about you guys every day and don't ask because I know you'll post when you know something. Much love to your absolutely beautiful family!

jessie s said...

Great post! You have a great attitude.

A whopping $86?!?!?! Rockin!

Julie said...

Ya'll are great! I am so happy for your family- God has trully blessed you beyond measure. Yea God! and Yea you for trusting Him and allowing Him to work things out in your lives. It is tough to go through what you have been through and come out in the positive. Keep your eyes on Him! :)

TeamWinks said...

Good luck on the 26th!

Amanda said...

I love this post. I *so* hope to be in this place someday.

I think I need to move to your state.