So, I’ve talked about all the fun things about being home, and I’m pretty sure all that is getting boring now. I mean, you can only hear me say, “I love…” so many times before it gets old. I was thinking the other day that with our adoption getting finished and everything around that I haven’t really written much about anything else lately. Nothing really thought provoking. And, understandably so. But, I’m getting bored with myself, so I thought I would make more of an effort to tell you about some of the things I’m thinking about these days as they come up rather than just telling you what we do all the time.
One thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is actually something that has come up since we’ve been home. It was something I wondered about before we left Haiti, but knew I couldn’t anticipate until we got here because it could go any which way. I’m talking about people’s response to my daughter.
No, stop for a second. I’m not talking about friends and family and how they respond to her. That’s almost a given I think. They’ve all been anticipating meeting her, have known her in a way for a couple of years now. They understand our family and are excited. What I’m talking about is how the average person looks at our family.
The area we’re in is not exactly the most culturally diverse. I think I’ve mentioned this before. And it’s okay. It was and still is very much a farming area. But, it is growing by leaps and bounds and even since April I’ve noticed that it’s getting more culturally diverse, which is a great thing. There are a lot of First Nations families here, and have been for a very long time, as well as East Indian and Pakistani families. There are not a lot of black people. So few that they actually stand out quite a bit.
When we’ve been out with Olivia it’s been interesting to see how people respond. I will preface this by saying that not once has anyone responded negatively to our family. Not once. In fact, it’s just the opposite. People are interested and break out in big smiles when they see us, and I LOVE that. People of all ages. It makes me realize that things are changing and people are more open to adoption and things like that.
The thing that is interesting to me is how strangers respond to Olivia. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, she’s so beautiful/cute/precious…” And I smile and we say Hi. But, in my head I’m thinking about the fact that these people are walking by other children, white children, and not saying a thing. I know they notice Olivia because, well, she stands out. But it’s interesting to me that they so openly comment about her either to me, or to each other as they pass. And, I think it’s interesting the assumptions they make. I mean, yes, I do think my daughter is beautiful/precious/cute etc, but when they say these things it’s almost like they’re talking about her behaviour too. I was talking to a former student the other day and we were talking about this exact thing and he said, “And I bet everyone thinks she’s amazing.” See, his sister married a black man and he’s noticed how people have responded to his brother in law in an area that doesn’t have a lot of black people.
I want to say that I don’t think any of this is wrong or bad, just interesting. I hope that when people see our family they do think about things. But, I find it interesting that people so openly talk about my daughter when they walk right past hundreds of kids a week and probably never even notice them enough to say anything to their parents.