Sunday, June 10, 2012

Total Stranger Wonderful!

So, I've heard all these crazy stories about these insane people whose mouths move faster than their brains and who say ridiculous things to adoptive parents, I've even met these people a time or two myself. No kidding, they recently struck again at another mom in one of our Families with Chinese Children groups, a cashier actually asked her, "Can't you have any kids of your own?"  And, "Why didn't you get a white baby?"  <Yeah, mouth totally fallen open.>

In fact, this group of people strike so often that K-Man and I had to take an online class on how to deal with them as part of our requirements for the adoption.

This group is, not too affectionately, called ... "Total Strangers" (not to leave out, "Unthinking Friends and Family," but this post is not about them.)

(Actually, I had a lady just this past Friday morning ask me, in a pretty condescending tone,"seeing as how there are kids in need here, why didn't you get a kid from here?"  I think that I'm ready for it ... but I never really am.  It almost always feels like these people are making judgement calls about my decisions - they are, hence the condescending tone -  without really bothering to find out my reasons. The real problem is that there is not a one sentence, easy, answer to these questions and to have someone ask like they are enlightening me or pointing out an error in my judgement -  really?  I have LABORED over this decision, give me some credit  ... or just keep your mouth shut. In fact, Ms Condescension, one of my sisters grew up in the US foster care system, I am well aware of "the kids in need, here." I seriously don't mind answering your real, honest QUESTIONS but we can both live without your negativity. <sigh> No, I didn't say this to her, instead I shared way too much info with a person who really doesn't deserve to know that much about me and my family.  I just feel so side-swiped when it happens that MY mouth runs away while my brain struggles to catch up. And, on a totally negative note - it seems like the ones who have the biggest opinions have never adopted from anywhere. Really? That's sorta like a NASCAR fan telling a race car driver, "I think that you're making all those left-hand turns completely wrong, here's how I'd do it."  Watching just ain't the same thing as driving, just so ya know.)

However, there is another variation of the Total Stranger category - TSWonderful!  Often, I don't think that these people get the recognition that they deserve. These Total Strangers (Wonderful!) shower you with warm fuzzies in those moments when you weren't looking for it but really needed it.

This happened to me Thursday. We were at Tuesday Morning (the one on County Line Rd, it's the BEST) and I'd been literally chasing the boys all over the store, hemming them in to that one aisle where they were allowed to check out the toys, reminding them to pick up their messes, listening to the MANY reasons why I should purchase, for them, whatever toy that they'd picked out at the moment and checking on them repeatedly to be sure that they were still in their allotted spots. All the while trying to find luggage to take with us on the China trip.

Do I like it?
Is it big enough to carry all our crap without being so big that I can't manage it and three kids and a hubby that has a tendency to wander? (I'm only half-joking :) )
Is it cheap enough that I can afford it without being so cheap that it's gonna fall apart in the baggage hold somewhere over the Pacific Ocean?
Is this really a good deal -  did I look this one up on the Internet ... or not?
Is it a cool color but not one that I'm gonna grow to hate later? ( Yes, this IS TOO an important question. It is. <giggle>)

I had FINALLY made my decision and moved the kid-circus up to the front of the store to buy all the stuff. It was a typical outing with my VERY ACTIVE 6 and nearly 5 year old sons - seriously, another Total Stranger (of the "Stating the Obvious" category) had said to Middle Child, earlier in the store, "You have a lot of energy, don't you?"

I can't concentrate on much of anything when the kids are around, other than:

Come here! 
Don't touch that. Seriously, you're gonna break it!
Come here!
Get up out of the floor, stopping rolling over your brother, don't kick him!
Come here!
Sit right here! No, right here! Against the counter. Do NOT move! 

You've either got little kids or were one, at some point in your life. You know the drill.

(Shew. I'm tired just thinking about it.)

Anyway, in the middle of all this, the cashier checks out my luggage and asks Middle Child, "Are you going on a trip? Where are you going on your trip?"  I looked at him and waited to hear what he would say.  He looked up at her and said, in the sweetest voice, "China."  Her eyes almost bugged out of her head and then she looked at me, "Wow, I was expecting him to say 'Grandma's or Disney' but not 'China!' "

(Yes, this WOULD BE a whole lot easier ... 

... but, somehow, I don't think 
that Homeland Security would go for it.)
So, this led to the explanations -we're adopting a little girl from China and yes,the boys are going with us and yes, it's going to be a big trip- Middle Child, you're in a store, do NOT do cartwheels (he was really doing this, he only tries it when we're in stores - we have a BIG yard but nope, cartwheels, only inside public places) and sit BACK DOWN against the counter! -and yep, I'm sure it'll be fine. I felt like I should have been saying to her, "I know! I know! I've already got two that are barely under control and I'm going in for a third. I know."

<Big breath.>  Everybody out to the truck!

In the parking lot, this older Total Stranger lady approached me very tentatively. It was obvious that she was almost overcome with emotion and didn't want to bother me.  "Excuse me, but did I hear you say that you're adopting a little girl from China?  I think that's just wonderful. Oh, just really wonderful." She was BEAMING at me in a "the world IS a good place," kinda way.

I said "yes," I showed her our pictures, she asked about Q-Boo's  name, we discussed it some more, we said good-bye.  I went back to heaving the kids and the luggage into my vehicle.  She came back, "Excuse me? But, did you say you were gonna name her 'Lyric?' Oh, that's just wonderful ... like, this is a high-note in your life and so her name is 'Lyric.' That's just wonderful."

Yes ma'am, it really is. And, thank you, Ms TSW. I think, you're pretty wonderful.

Well, this takes care of me.
Now, what about K-Man and the kids?
Lyric may need a steamer trunk, just so you know. :)

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