Video courtesy of the Breslin Family, who decided to say YES.
Have you seen that episode of The Office where Michael Scott comes out of his office and declares bankruptcy? If you haven’t, it is worth looking up. I feel like that is what I am about to do. Declare something but I don’t know how far my declaration will go. But it is worth the noise in hopes it falls on the right ears. Today I want to declare National #NormalizeAdoption Day.
Just this week I was speaking with someone from work. They were asking questions about my family and our adoption/foster care story and then came the common reaction “wow, you guys are amazing.” I never know how to respond to this, mainly because it is so untrue and I am not saying that in some sort of pompous humility. It really is so false. I know other adopted and fostered care centered families have the same interactions. But it got me thinking about the stigma that surrounds adoptive families. And the stigma is not in any way demeaning, it is just inaccurate. And my fear is that it is holding people back on moving forward with THEIR adoption story which should be unfolding but is not due to a misconception.
Outsiders who are interested in adoption have a misguided picture of a couple that adopts or fosters. A picture painted in their mind of surrounding events taking place. A saintly family who had light beam down from heaven and that light cleared a golden path which lead them to adopt or foster. I know the outsider doesn’t really think there is a golden path but I do believe they think there is some “ah ha” moment or an extreme moment of clarity in this family’s life which lead them to adopt/foster. I also believe this outsider says the word “tomorrow” a lot but tomorrow just doesn’t seem to come and they believe that the family must have entered a phase were it was clear they needed to adopt and the “time was right.” I am here to tell you that the golden path, ah ha moment of clarity is nothing more than a sticky floor and a mom with a bunch of dry shampoo in her hair and is busier than ever.
Normal families adopt. They are not saintly. These are families who have typical problems, busy schedules, messy kitchens, who bicker with their spouse, and don’t have enough in their bank account to do all the things they want or need. Sometimes the mom may say a four letter word if she slips and falls and she gets sassy in the checkout line at the grocery store when someone is ringing up 14 items in the 10 item or less line. Yes, that means she is petty enough to count someone else’s groceries. I mean, this is not something I would do…..I am describing a friend of course (insert sarcastic font here). She is no Mother Theresa. She just knows she needs Jesus and that is the only thing keeping her sane and smiling some days.
This family’s schedule is jammed packed, their responsibilities are sky high, and they don’t know how they are going to fit anything else in their life. The difference between a family that adopts or fosters and a family that doesn’t, is that this family says YES.
They say YES to the chaos, yes to the interrupted schedule, yes to inconvenience, and yes to a child.
There is no parting of the red sea, there was no big epiphany or calmness in their schedule. Their finances do not align for this adoption…..they just take the step….and it is scary, and it didn’t make total sense with the timing of everything in their life, but they just said YES. And then put one foot in front of the other.
They are just a normal family who knew they are not promised tomorrow and decided to say Yes today. And they were so happy they did.