Dear Donut Store Lady,
I love your donuts. They are as close to perfect as can be. Your fast service, crushed ice, and vintage video game machines are the reason we come back week after week. It’s because of you that we have deemed Friday, “Friday Funday” in our house. We drive to your store, get our donuts, spend three quarters on games and head off to school. You even know our order! We don’t have to even tell you anymore! You just start naming off our donuts! You were the first to notice when I had quit Diet Coke. Although I miss your crunched ice in my extra large Diet Coke, your Iced Tea has suited me just fine.
I’m almost hesitant to share with you about our experience. I’m hoping it was innocent and you never meant to make any of us uncomfortable. I’m hoping that you just had curious questions about our family and never meant to bring up any pain.
When you asked me which of my children were real, I wasn’t caught off guard. In fact, I get it quite often. People frequently have questions about the makeup of our family but aren’t sure how to phrase it. When I clarified to you that you might be asking which one of children are biological, you didn’t hesitate to reiterate that you wanted to know which of my children were MINE. After I explained to you that all of my children are mine, but some of them are biological and some of them are adopted, you began to point at each of my children and tried to guess on your own which were which. This is when I shut down.
You see, adoption is beautiful. In fact we celebrate it in our family. It is no secret to my children that some of them are adopted. We even have the most amazing relationship with our son’s biological family. However, with adoption comes pain. Especially how the adoption of my children came about. It was through heartache, abuse and neglect, that I met some of my children. And while innocent questions that have no underlying meaning can seem harmless, they can actually be quite painful for my children. It is their story. They can choose when they want to share it and how much they want to share. They might be smiling on the outside as you pry and prod, but inside it might be a trigger to something painful for them. Especially for my son. He is at the age where he just wants to belong and fit in. He’s not as quick to shout, “I grew in my mommy’s heart, not her tummy!” like he would when we was four.
While I appreciate that you had the courage to ask about our family dynamic instead of making assumptions, I only ask that you would consider the little ones that stand before you as you ask your questions.
For the record, we still love your donut store. We will continue to frequent it every Friday (and sometimes more). We just hope that your curiosity would be shared in a way that was a little more sensitive to my five little donut lovers (and their mom).