My children are adopted from China. We draw some stares when we're out and about, mostly because my kids are really cute, but also because it's pretty obvious that my husband and I are... well, not Chinese. I don't always like the attention, but I kind of understand it. Our family looks a little different and people are curious about our story.
Sometimes this curiosity brings negativity. Often, questions and comments about our multiracial family are nosy or ignorant. One comment I've always been oversensitive about is, "They're so lucky."
My husband and I don't see our adoptions as a good deed, and we certainly don't want our children to be placed in the position where they're encouraged to see things this way, either. While I can list 101 reasons they are lucky to have such a cool mom (I'm only kidding a little bit), it makes me sad when we call kids "lucky" because they have a family, food in their bellies and someone to kiss them good night. I don't want my boys to grow up believing they should be grateful that their mother and father love them.
I recently met a Chinese man who congratulated me on giving my kids a home. This made me feel awkward. I didn't want accolades for wanting to be a mom. But what he said next was not awkward: "Your love has changed these children's destiny."
These were powerful words, and true ones. But the other side of this coin is that loving these children has changed my destiny. Are my adopted kids lucky? To be honest, it bothers me when someone makes the "so lucky" comment. But, it's complicated.
From "30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days," a series designed to give a voice to people with widely varying experiences, including birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents, foster parents, waiting adoptive parents and others touched by adoption: