So the other night my dear sweet friend and former baby sitter Claire had arranged to come and take our boys out of their misery by taking them to the pumpkin patch. Sadly this is something we have always done for our boys, every year we have a sweet family photo of our perfect little family surrounded by lots of big pumpkins...well, not this year. :( With all the changes in our newest child's life we did not feel it was a good idea to expose her to the masses of people (some who would be dressed up in some crazy costumes...what is this world coming to y'all) and force her to sit through one of my famous prop-up the camera family photo shoots (the boys hate these moments too...all 3 of them).
So, Claire once again came to our rescue.
BTW, for those of you who are wondering (and you are probably not but I'm going to tell you anyway), this gift of time with our kids is right up there with someone bringing us a meal...maybe better. Not that we don't love our 2 bio kids (cause we ADORE them), but because we still do not have both feet on the ground, and we are still flying by the seat of our pants around here. So to take our two older ones out for a night of fun and let them be kids away from all the crying, and parents who are just too tired to be fun....Well, it just can't get better than that when you are in our situation.
All that to say that Charlie and I went out on our first date night...yep, all 3 of us. We thought long and hard about a place that would be family friendly, really loud just in case she started screaming, and still maybe feel nice enough to be considered a date night. Cheesecake Factory was our answer. All went really well as far as dinner out with our new daughter, however we were caught off guard by something we had not really thought much about in a while, nor had Charlie and I talked about since we got Hannah. The fact that we are now considered the "Conspicuous" family.
At dinner, Charlie and I both noticed all the stares from people...not in an ugly way, but nonetheless stares. I'm not talking from children who don't have responsible parents to teach their children, "Sweetie, it's bad manners to stare." No, these are full grown adults (some of you parents out there need to practice what you preach if you are in fact teaching your kids). My first (crazy) thought is, "Why do they not think that she MIGHT be ours?"...then I realize, cause were not Asian...I said crazy. Really, is this
In China the stares were very different. They came from a very uneducated mind. They could not understand why in the world the American people would want to come to China to get their children (or that we are raising them ALL WRONG). Still very hard. Matter of fact, I learned to just stare back (it was the only survival tactic that I could think of while not in my right mind, but it worked every time). Every once in awhile I would find myself in a hard game of "stare-off", some of those people are really good at it...but don't mess with this mama and her new baby cub...I'll win every time!
So on our date night at The Cheesecake Factory, they sat us next to a full table of Asian people...are you kidding me??? Charlie and I looked at each other and I whispered, "this ought to be interesting." We had not even sat down yet when we looked over and saw this:
They only thought I was taking a picture of our precious daughter, but really it was just them I was taking the picture of. For those of you who are wondering, it DID last the whole dinner.
Matter of fact, they eventually wound up at our table with their hands all over our new sweet daughter, even tried to pick her up out of her highchair...that I'm sure confused the heck out of her. I'm sure she was thinking, "Am I going back to China now?" Really, they were almost as excited as we were on gotcha day. I asked Charlie after they FINALLY left, "Why in the world did you not grab the camera off the table and take a picture of that???" They had NO problems taking our pictures...NO JOKE! Thankfully, they were the nice kind of people who understand adoption and were very sweet about everything, but again poor Hannah. :( I'm sure things will get less invasive as time goes, when she's older and people don't feel as comfortable talking to an older girl. I do understand the fact that she is SO STINKIN CUTE, and that's ok. These kind of stares I'm talking about are VERY different though!
Don't get me wrong, we took the whole 10 hour "Hague" training where they fully prepared us for this, and yes we were asked how we felt about becoming an interracial family in our Home Study, but it still broke our hearts to see firsthand (now having her) just how hard the road ahead is going to be for this little cutie-batootie. Now can you see why adoptive children have a hard time moving forward emotionally? Just because a child is running, playing, making good grades, and has a lot of friends doesn't always mean that the child has moved forward without any scars. The scars are always with these children, some way deeper than others. Sadly, after our dinner we realized that a lot of them come from people right here in America.
So, no it was not the planned date night we thought we would have, but none the less blog worthy.