Saturday, August 2, 2014


Ok, something is beginning to nudge the back of our brains a little.  This is one of those things that they "prepare" you for in allllll your adoption classes, and logically it makes sense, but you never really "get it" until it happens.

I quote:

"Your children are so beautiful!"

Hmm, why, yes, they are, thank you!  We are very blessed!


What if they were white like us?  What if they weren't black?  What if they were not "cute"?  What if they had a "disability"?  What if they had a "deformity"?  What if our kiddos looked like every other white, middle class kiddo out there?  What if we didn't stand out?  Would the kids still be so beautiful!?  Would you tell me?

I know, I know, we signed up to be a conspicuous family.  We know we stand out.  We know we will be noticed wherever we go as a family, forever.  It's ok.  Really.

I know, your righteous indignation will spout out that every child is beautiful, regardless of color, family origin, health status, abilities, etc.  I agree.  But if virtually anyone would say that almost without thinking, why are we getting so many comments?

Ok, here are some things my children do well:

(Charity, skip this part because I'm using "we" again)
  • We don't make a mess at meal times (usually)
  • We are kind to each other
  • We are observant of what is around us
  • We give hugs and kisses to Mama, Daddy, and our brother/sister
  • We are not possessive about our toys
  • We obey Mama and Daddy
  • We follow rules
  • We go to bed with minimal fuss
  • We enjoy playing with new people
  • We are healthy
  • We are learning quickly
  • We are helpful
  • We explore new things
  • We are happy and ready to giggle

Why single the kiddos out for being "beautiful"?  Of course, our family and friends have to call our kiddos "beautiful".  If they didn't, we'd hunt them down and force the confession out of them.  But what about everyone else?

I don't really have an answer.  Or maybe I do.  I don't know.  I probably don't need one.  It's just one of those things that is nagging on the back of our brains.  Maybe the problem is that the focus is on the kiddos' outward trappings, rather than who they are.  They are not their skin color.  They are not even their unique family situation.  They are people.  Ordinary people that have had extraordinary experiences coming into their family.  They are more than "beautiful".

I wish people said:

"They treat each other so kindly!"
"Your kiddos radiate joy"
"Your kiddos are such clean eaters!"
"How blessed you are to parent them!"
"What fun they must bring you"
"How obedient!"
or even...
"What a beautiful family!"

I wish people saw past the fact that we stand out.  But, then, I guess if they saw past that, we wouldn't stand out anymore, which would be what it should be.  I wish people saw past the attractiveness of different skin colors, past the "oh-wow-you-must-be-saints" of adoption, past the "I wonder what their story is?", past the white-parent-black-kids-eating-organic-hippy-tie-dye-and-tattoos, and saw us as just....  just people. Just a family.  Just parents and kiddos.  Beautiful because we're a loving family.  Not beautiful-er than anyone else.

Just food for thought.  I'm done now.


  1. Thanks for the personal warning. ;-) What you are processing is good and deep, and you shouldn't stop. However, people told my mom that Karissa and I were beautiful all the time, and it was very clear that we were biologically related to them. It's a good thing; it's just one less reason for your kids to be self-conscious or insecure. Not that being beautiful doesn't come with its own set of problems, or generate its own brand of shallowness. I'm just saying, it's not all negative.

  2. I've been thinking about beauty a little too... with my first little girl getting bigger every day. What am I going to teach her about beauty? What kind of emphasis am I going to put on outward appearance? I've had an interesting experience recently that I'll keep short: my little, SUPER cute, (aka very beautiful) little girl, suddenly developed the worst case of terrible twos I've ever seen. B-a-d-a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e-a-n-d-m-o-r-e! All of a sudden, her little cute pigtails looked like horns to me. I couldn't believe it. She didn't look cute anymore. I'm being very open and honest with the hope that you understand what I'm really saying here. Yes, she is still cute - BUT, there is something about what is on the inside that CAN change the outside. OHSOMUCH. So I guess what I'm saying is that, sometimes I think people might say "he/she looks so cute/beautiful" - but they in fact are TRYING to say "I see something on the inside that just shines through your children" - but maybe, especially if they haven't had much time to get to know them, don't know quite what it is that's making them shine. They good behavior, their thoughtfulness to their sibling, or some mix of several things. Anyway, MY motivation right now for my particular little beauty is to begin the very first steps of teaching her the quality of a "quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God's eyes." - cause I just witnessed her losing it to selfish temptations, and I mourn the loss of beauty that went hand in hand. Maybe the English language needs more words for different kinds of beauty - inward, outward, heartstuff, mindstuff, relationalstuff... haha.. ok I'm done now. Thanks for your thoughts. Food for thought for sure. And your kids are beautiful... I'm looking forward to when you're settled down more and we can meet all together. <3

  3. oops didn't realize that was so long.

    1. Ha ha, I do hear what you're saying, and I had to smile at the pigtails-to-horns image ;) And maybe you're right, that the fuss that people make is because their beautiful insides are showing through. I hope that's the case for your kiddos as well as mine. :)
      But, many times it seems like the gushy fuss is because we are "different" than a normal all-white family. It's obvious that something is funky about our family situation. I think I was thinking about how people see us as "more special" or feel that they have to have more animated comments about our family than other monochromatic families around us. I understand that parents do get comments about their kids, especially if they are all cute and cuddly and well behaved. I think, though, that we get far more than our fair share. I wish that people didn't see us as "different" or feel as thought we need special treatment or extra-gushy compliments because of our brown kiddos. I wish people saw us the same as they see other families: just parents and kiddos. Maybe I'm not being clear, but anyway.... yeah. lol