Two weeks! And now I'm going to be posting without pictures. I've been busy planning Easter and trying to keep the boys outside. (I'm going to WIN this year.) And I got food poisoning. That took up some time. Anyway...
Everybody has their stuff, right? Sometimes it's hard to know what to say to people who have different Stuff than you have. I get that. I'm going to share a couple of stories just in case you're sitting around wondering how to talk to that nice-enough woman who has never been pregnant, but has three children.
First, I was in the library last week. I've started letting the boys go in there not strapped in a stroller. It's hilarious. Colin runs full speed to a shelf and grabs as many books as he can hold, then runs them back to the book drop slot. Emil stands on the stool by the drinking fountain and takes a quick shower. Since we were actually trying to get some books last week and the boys were starting to close doors on people, I went back out to the car and got the stroller and put them in it. Whew! (I had to catch them first.) Bridget and I were finally standing in line to get our books when a woman I haven't seen for about six years came over and said hello. I couldn't remember her name - we didn't know each other very well six years ago. The boys were making a lot of noise and I told her about having to keep them strapped down at the library - hahaha. She asked how many kids I have and I said three. Then she said,
"Are they yours?"
I know what she was asking. It's happened many many times before. She wasn't trying to be rude - in fact, she was trying to be interested and nice. I thought about it for the rest of the day (lucky I got food poisoning later that night so that I could have something else to think about). Why didn't she just ask me if they're adopted? Why can't I make someone uncomfortable for a second and just answer "yes" instead of being uncomfortable myself and explaining that they're adopted? (I'm going to start saying yes.) I worried as I thought what Bridget got from that exchange. After I told this woman that the boys are adopted, she gestured to Bridget and said, "Well, I knew she was." Yeesh.
The second incident was just now. Someone came up to me at the grocery store and asked if I remembered her. I told her I was sorry, but I didn't. I also haven't seen her in about six years. She told me her name and that we used to be in the same ward at church. She said she was so excited to see me with two little boys.
"How did you get them?"
See? That is better. That is a question I can answer. They're adopted! I'm proud of it! I'm happy for me! If my high school English teacher taught me anything, she taught me to ask clear questions. And answer what is asked.
It's true that infertility is a can of worms (a big one) for every person that has to deal with it. For me, it's 99.9% better because I get to be a mom even though I can't get pregnant. That's not true for all women, so if you're in doubt and you're curious about that infertile woman walking around with some little kids, stay curious. Find something else to talk about and maybe it will come up naturally. There are worse things than staying curious. Just ask Alice in Wonderland.
I should add that I don't need to hear anything bad (or good, really) about the first woman. I know for a fact she meant well. I'm a perfectly secure person, no need to skewer her. In the last several weeks and in many conversations it's dawned on me a little that I (and people in my situation) might be tricky to talk to. Who knew? It's very hard to offend me (take that, Anonymous Commenters!) I hope that people feel free to ask me questions - especially if they are trying to understand someone else in their life or if they're going through infertility or possibly adopting themselves. I'm not thinking about it all the time, that's why I'm not talking about it all the time.
That's all. Sorry no pictures. :)