In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Twice in One Week

After parenting children born in Africa for over six years, I will say that we have had very, very few incidents where people have been negative about our family. This week hasn't been a great week in that area, however, with yesterday's incident far more maddening than my first story.

My first tale was at Wolf Lodge. We had two friends and my sister go and help us. One of my friends was paired with Julia and when I rounded the corner near the water slides, she was standing with Julia and a Life Guard. Julia, being the usual Julia, was screaming and howling about this tiny speck of a boo-boo on her knee. The Life Guard was attempting to put a band-aid on it while Julia thrashed and carried on. I walked up, examined it and reassured Julia that it was going to be fine. The Life Guard (who apparently assumed that my friend who does resemble Julia more than me was Julia's mom) glared at me, moved her entire body to block me and continued to give my friend instructions about Julia's injury. While I am generally quick on my feet (or mouth), I stood there, rather confused at her treatment of me until she walked off. Talking to my friend, we concluded afterwards that she must have assumed that I was a noisy by-stander. I wish I had mentioned to her that I was Julia's mother.

James and Julia

Yesterday's story was far more frustrating. After battling illness all week, JD packed up Ben, Tori and Bella for the Urgent Care close to our house that our family has been to on several occasions. JD walked in, signed them in and began filling out the paperwork because these particular children had never been seen at this particular branch of Urgent Care. The receptionist interrupted JD to ask if he was the children's father; he assured her that he was. She then inquired about insurance and he gave her the information. After a bit, she came back to tell him that they wouldn't be able to treat the children unless he had adoption decrees to prove they were his kids. Now, let's be honest, if he had darker skin or all three children had lighter skin, they would never ask for an adoption decree. Furthermore, Tori has been home over six years and Ben five - who is carrying around adoption decrees at that point? JD politely told her that she did not need to see adoption decrees, but she could look at his insurance to see that the children all had his name and were listed as his dependants. At this point, the receptionist brought out a nurse, who also argued that they couldn't treat the children until they saw adoption decrees. While they stood their ground, JD asked them if they would require this if his face matched the children's better or if they were, say, Asian instead of African? ( I would have loved to ask if they were going to collect birth certificates or adoption decrees for the other children in the waiting room!) Both ladies were rather uncomfortable and fumbled for words while he told them he would have to go elsewhere, because he wasn't carrying adoption decrees and would not be producing them since their request was out of line. Only as he was leaving, did they bring out the actual on-staff doctor who was most unimpressed with their request or treatment of our family. After his profuse apologies, the nurse commented that she guessed they needed some training for these situations. You think?

I remember being aware of people's reactions to me and Tori when she first came home. At this point, I sometimes catch people staring at us in public and my first reaction is "what is their deal?" I guess that's a good thing.  


  1. oh wow! I would have went off the deep end! Sounds like JD handled it rather well.

  2. You know we all have come so far with acceptance but others have not, sad but true! ~hugs~

  3. Unbelievable. As said---all they had to do was look up the insurance info!
    On a funnier note, we were recently reminiscing about all the comments we get. The two craziest were " is she an exchange student?"===at age six....yep. And another incident, after saying she was adopted."do you have to send her back? (to China)"