The seeds for this blog were sown driving to school one day in her fourth grade year. Neither of us knew what to expect once we arrived. I had volunteered to drive for my daughter’s class field trip that day, and “wonderings” filled our conversation.
“I wonder who will get to ride with us” I asked, eyes glued to the winding country road that would deliver us to her school.
“Hmmm, I don’t know,” she responded, “but my friend John said he really wants to meet you.”
Intrigued, I silently wondered some more. Why in the world would a fourth grade boy want to meet me? Was I feeling defensive? Hope, the fifth child in our growing family, was nine months old when we adopted her from India and brought her home to join our four biological children. One of her classmates had recently wondered (out loud!) if I was her grandmother. I wasn’t sure I wanted to meet John.
“I wonder why he wants to meet me.” I said, fishing for a clue that might prepare me for another less than flattering encounter.
“Well, yesterday I told him you were driving for the field trip, and he asked me what you looked like.”
Oh my, I thought, remembering the grandmother comment and hoping this wasn’t going there too. “So what did you tell him?”
“Well, I told him you had short hair and that you were white.”
So far so good. Both true. Not much danger here. “And what did John say?”
In the nano-second that followed I felt, rather than heard, her response. I turned to catch the expression on her face that mimicked John’s non-verbal response… wide eyed, gaping mouth, and stunned-into-silence-shock. Then we erupted into laughter.
“Hope,” I said, “you and I both know it’s not about the color of our skin.”
“I know mom,” she responded, never missing a beat, “it’s about the heart!”
Out of the mouth of babes - the casual comment of a ten-year old little girl, wise beyond her years. Without thinking, analyzing, researching the latest studies – without any regard for political or spiritual correctness, she simply expressed what she knew. She got it! And I did too.
Adoption is seldom easy. But at its core lies this simple truth…it’s always about the heart.