Confession: I kind of forget my baby’s black. I mean, I’m not ignorant of the fact (especially when trying to detangle his hair), but I sort of forget that it’s a thing.

The first time I took him out we went to the hot springs for Yaya’s swim lesson. When we walked into the building, I felt like I was in a scene from a sit-com or something. Everyone turned their heads and looked at us. Not in a mean way — totally friendly and smiley and gushing. But I sort of had this moment of, “Oh! Okay. This is what it’s going to be like.” It just took me off guard.

I know it probably won’t always be that way. I know some of it is because he is a baby and — even though there’s tons of adoptive families here — it’s not as though the town I live in is swarming with African/African-American babies. I think that as he grows the attention will wane. He was SUPER tiny those first weeks home and I’m sure people were just in awe of his size. Heck, I sure was.

It’s not that I necessarily mind people asking questions or lavishing compliments on him. Sometimes I love answering questions and gushing about him, and sometimes I just want to be alone and enjoy a Starbucks without people plopping themselves down next to me while they wait for their coffee and asking invasive questions. So, it’s largely a “me” thing and these poor unsuspecting strangers might have no idea what mood they are going to catch me in. Sometimes it’s just a little tricky to have some privacy or a moment to ourselves when we’re hanging out, and I don’t want Baby Boy to always feel like he’s the poster child for adoption once he becomes more aware of the attention.

And sometimes, it does catch me off guard a little bit when people are so forward with a question or with just — themselves. One time I was in the hot springs with him one morning watching Yaya swim, and all of a sudden this hand reached over from the pool behind me and started caressing him. No joke. Sometimes people will — in their barrage of questions — ask something like whether or not the government made sure he didn’t have any diseases before they let him come to America (umm…maybe I should ask if you’ve been screened for any diseases before you start touching my baby?). And it’s not uncommon to flat out get asked, “So what’s his story?”  And while there’s parts that we do share, there’s much that just our parents and a few adoptive friends know — so it just kind of makes things awkward because no matter how much I rehearse our, “We’re not sharing that” response, I usually end up sputtering and stammering awkwardly and drawing things out longer than I really need too in an effort to try and be nice.

But truly, for the most part, people are awesome and respectful and sweet. It just takes some getting used to for me and has taken some thought and discussion on our part for how to respectfully answer questions in a way that educates people and protects our family’s privacy. It was something we talked about at length during the process, but now that it’s here and it’s real and it’s more invasive than I anticipated, it’s a little more difficult to navigate. But we do our best and pray that God gives us wisdom and guidance as we enjoy the abundant blessings of being an adoptive family.

On another note, today baby boy is ten months old — and has been home one month!  He is doing so well — I’ll post updates in more detail another time, but he is sleeping well at night besides some night terrors, doing better with nutrition, and gaining weight and muscle tone like mad. We’ve started increasing the length of his physical therapy visits since he is tolerating them so well, and he is just as sweet and lovely as can be. Thank you, Jesus!


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