Those Who Understand, and Those Who Don’t

I read a post yesterday from one of my favorite bloggers, Jess at Connor’s Song. While the post was primarily about Jess’s nesting instincts and the new daughter she and her husband are adopting, she shared some of the comments people have made about that adoption.

Those comments, most of them insensitive, really struck a chord with me because I also have gotten more than my fair share of such comments about my adoptions. But interestingly with my latest adoption of Ronnie, I’ve gotten almost no comments, and I’m not exactly sure why. Do people think I have finally lost my mind completely? Have they run out of comments about adopting older children? Or, are they uncomfortable with the fact that Ronnie is African American? (I do live in the South).

I know I have complained in the past like Jess has done in her post about the insensitive comments, and now I am complaining about no comments. But both hurt equally. Even people that I have worked with for 24 years have said nothing, not even asked how Ronnie is adjusting.

So, that led me back to something I posted on my blog last January. Although some of you may remember it, I have decided to share it again today…


You Know Who You Are

I know you don’t understand the choices I make. You can’t imagine why I would want to get up at 4:30am each morning, make multiple breakfasts, get kids dressed, make beds, do one load of laundry, administer LOTS of meds, and get Ashley and Ronnie on the school bus…all before 7am.

You can’t put yourself in my place and feel the joy I do each morning when Ronnie wakes up,smiles that dazzling smile of his, and I know that I have just witnessed a miracle.

You don’t understand why I would second mortgage my house to fight my school district to make sure Ashley gets the education to which she is entitled.

The thought of three to four doctor visits each week makes you shake your head in disbelief.

The roll of your stomach whenever you think about having to change a G-tube, catheterize your teenaged son, or administer an enema convinces you that you could never do it.

I know you get tired of me complaining about places not being accessible, about businesses not having enough handicapped parking places, and the way that people stare whenever my children and I walk by.

You’ve asked me how I keep going each day when I am up 4 or more times each night with Ashley.

I see the confusion on your face when I get so angry whenever you say ‘poor Ashley’.

I know you could almost understand when I adopted Ashley, but I know you thought I was crazy when I adopted Jessica after that, then Corey, and then Ronnie after that.

You were absolutely baffled as to why I felt like a failure when Jessica broke two of my ribs during one of her rages.

I know it frustrates you when I have to refuse a night out because I am too tired and/or I don’t have enough money.

You are my co-workers, my neighbors, the staff at school. You are the people who think you know me, but really you don’t.

You are the people who won’t take the time to try and understand.

But fortunately, there are people who do understand. Mothers and fathers like me. People with disabilities who understand the value of life and applaud the people who have stood up for that value. You know who you are, and you really do understand. And I am so grateful that our paths have crossed.

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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