Serves me right for thinking that thus far, people hadn't really commented on the fact that I'm white and my kids are tan. Always a hot topic in Foster Care and Adoption are the things that people say to families that look different. I imagine this applies to families that are made up of two moms or little people or those with physical disabilities as well. But people really have no idea how to mind their own business.
Often the questions or comments come from a place of genuine curiosity or admiration. People are impressed with a family of four children since large families aren't as common. And my kids are beautiful and have adorable personalities. And because they have had multiple caregivers and attachment issues, they are also very outgoing towards strangers. So people can't help themselves.
While at the wholesale club tonight we had our first encounter with a stranger exclaiming, "Are all four your kids?" in front of the kids. Now the Quartet doesn't seem to mind telling people they are in foster care. I've heard them explain in very simple terms that their Mom needs help and they live with us, their foster parents, until she gets better. But it isn't something we publicize or share with strangers.
I watched as Sarah turned to look at me after the well meaning woman asked the question. I smiled and said, "Yep. They are all mine!" The woman replied that they were all so beautiful! Such cute kids.
She's right, they are. They have jet black hair. Sparkling brown eyes. Dimples and smiles that are infectious. It's meant as a compliment. I take it as one. I ignore the idea that she can't believe I could birth such cute kids. Or that I could have four. And I ignore the obvious, that our skin does not match. I simply said thank you and moved on. Because really, who wouldn't be in awe of the Mom in the club store with four children in tow? Sometimes, I amaze myself.
Sunday I had a different experience. The person was being nosey. And I try to forgive that because I am nosey by nature also and I'm sure the comment wasn't meant for me to hear. It reminded me that at times others can be rude about the make up of our family and I hate having those reminders.
I ran a 5K on Sunday in honor of my Grandmother. As I rounded the corner towards the finish line the kids were standing there waiting for me. I waved and they came running towards me to grab my hand and run with me to the finish.
It was an awesome moment for me as a Mom. They were excited that I was coming and I was proud to be the example of setting a goal and completing it. As we ran past the spectators cheering the runners in their final leg, I heard a woman say to the person next to her, "Is that their Mom? Can't be can she?".
I wanted to go back and say, "As a matter of fact, yes I can. Maybe you mean, biological Mom? But I can assure you I am their Mom in the truest sense of the word. I may have only been their Mom for four months but I show up for them every day and do all the things a Mom is supposed to do."
For a second or two that comment stole my thunder. But then Sarah squeezed my hand and said, "Come on Mom! You can finish!". She held my hand all the way to the finish line.
I'm sad for families that can't be as unique as mine. We have some pretty spectacular moments...