I teach 10th grade. They have a thin veneer of civilization. I've been telling my classes lately about our adoption, and their responses have been so...interesting. They say the stuff that adults are thinking but don't say. Like...
- How much did they cost?
- Why did you adopt from there and not from here?
- Are you going to be one of those moms who won't let them eat sugar? (I explained that I will be all weird about screen time and my husband will be all weird about sugar, and we will balance each other out on both those issues)
- DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH???? (This is freaking out my English only kids, although I don't think a single bilingual kid has asked this.)
- Why did you guys decide to adopt? (Or the even nosier one) Why didn't you have your own kids?
- Won't it be really weird when you first meet them, and you don't know them, but you're all "Hi, I'm your mom?" (this question apalled my more tactful kids, but I appreciated it because--honestly, he's right.)
- What if you don't like them? Can you give them back?
I start these conversations with a slideshow of those few photos we have. Invariably, kids see the photos of Linden and ask, "Is that you when you were little?" I know many adoptive parents look nothing like their kids, but I have to admit that something in me sings when people mistake my little girl for me.
*Their names are not Oak and Linden. Trees are a big part of Baltic folklore. Oaks are associated with men, and lindens are associated with women.