Thursday, February 15, 2007

Love Thursday #24

Love is...




Part of my Valentine's Day present. Yum!
Don't worry, I've been sharing - a little!


My two daughters and oldest son are part of a drama troupe and are preparing for a production this Spring. They have rehearsals twice a week. Tuesday night, during practice, as part of an exercise, the director asked the students to name one thing that they wanted and the reason why. When my son's turn came, he answered that he wanted our adoption referral to come so we could bring our babies home from Ethiopia. A discussion then ensued amongst the other students AND the drama director about how crazy it is to have a big family, during which time my son sat in stunned silent disbelief. The director himself said several times how he just didn't understand why people want large families, having to spread their resources thin, blah, blah, blah. My daughter said, "I'd rather have more kids than more stuff." (Yay for her!) But she didn't feel like anyone actually heard her. Then the question moved on to the next person and rehearsal proceeded as usual.

After rehearsal, we talked about it. We attributed the attitudes of the students to (mostly)youthful ignorance. To be honest, I was stunned that the director, the adult in charge, had been at the center of the discussion. Now, I believe that family size is a very personal, private choice for each family. And I undestand that there are some that don't agree with our choice to have a large family and no doubt our choice to adopt from Ethiopia. But his lack of discretion and boldness to speak his mind, IN FRONT OF MY KIDS (who are 9, 11, &14), surprised me. I know he wasn't directing his opinion at my children and there was no malice involved. Frankly, I'm OK that he feels this way. I'm still just shocked that he thought "out loud" in the presence of my children and their friends. And I felt badly that my son had shared his heart and had received such a cold reception. We explained to my son, that Mr. N. just doesn''t understand the joy of having a large family and that as an adult, he should have kept his feelings to himself in this situation.

This isn't the first time that I have been confronted with disapproval for having a big family but it was a first for my children to have their family criticized in such a direct way. While it was hard, it was a good chance to talk about the types of questions, albeit rude and nosy, that we will be faced with when our babies come home from Ethiopia. We need to have a plan and some appropriate answers because we will be faced with tough questions.

Whatever the questions and how we choose to answer them, we've found this to be true:

Ultimately, we've discovered that as our family grows, the love doesn't divide - it multiplies!


Love Thursday & Love Is All Around.

11 comments:

Mom2One said...

Ahhhhh. That's tough when people question how your family is formed or alternatively how much family you have. We've had questions about our adoption -- why we adopted from Vietnam and not the U.S. and recently why Vietnam and why not China (due to its 1-child policy). So far Nate is too young to be asked such questions, but I imagine sometime he might be asked invasive questions about our family and we'll have to prepare him how to answer those questions. It's unfortunate that people think they can question things so personal and close to others' hearts.

Susanne said...

Wow, Anne! The indescrection of some people really is amazing. I'm sorry your kids had to sit through that. I hope it doesn't stop your son from sharing somewhere again. That would be a real shame. You handled it quite beautifully. I probably would have been on the phone having a chat with that director the next day.

It's a great idea to have a plan and some answers. That will make the children confident rather than too scared to say anything.

Your treats look wonderful!

Ninotchka said...

You're absolutely right: IT DOES MULTIPLY.

(This coming from the youngest of 7)

Some people just don't think before they speak. I'm sorry that your kids had to deal with this but you're probably right. It's good preparation, not only for what's to come but for life in general.

Kudos to you ALL!

Bongga Mom said...

I admire your children for their caring, mature responses -- you are a great mom to have them turn out so great, and I'm glad you're going to get the chance to parent more children!

Waspgoddess said...

Reading your story I was completely baffled at the drama teacher's ignorance and insensitivity. That he did not understand the hurt and confusion his words were causing is really quite unforgivable. I too feel sorry that your children had to experience this.

Beautiful, yummy photo :)

meredith said...

There are lots of us out here that think large families are beautiful! Love is indivisible, it will always grow. Happy Love Thursday.

owlhaven said...

Wow, that was stinky...

I think I'd be inclined to write him a brief note, explaining his comments were disparaging to your family whther that was his intent or not. You might describe a reason or two a family might legitimately choose a large family. And for pity sakes, bringing an orphan from Ethiopia to rich America actually redistributes a person to where the resources are very abundant....

Those thoughts are just of the top of my head....maybe you'd want a note to take a different tack, or maybe you'd just want to let it drop. But preparing your son with a good asnwer for the future would definitely also be a good plan.(Though hopefully he won't face it again..)

Mary, mom to many, contemplating more.

Tabitha said...

I agree that people should be respected for having whatever size family that desire (and also their own opinions about the subject). I am surprised that a teacher felt the need to interject his opinion when speaking with students. That's a shame, but I think that it is wonderful that your children have the confidence and nature to express their opinions openly and respectfully. They must have great parents! :)

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry your kids had to experience that. Sometimes people really don't think before they speak. It was unacceptable to say such a thing when your son was talking about wanting the adoption referral so the 2 children from Ethiopia could join your family! How rude!

shaz said...

that was just wrong! I would be so pissed with that teacher, you're a better person, Ann!

your kids are so caring and wonderful, you know... that happens in big families! :)

Crisanne said...

It is quite tough to know when to speak up in defense of your children. Of course, you addressed the most important issues with your kids. Teaching kids to accept others' differing opinions is a difficult one for sure, but a lesson that will come in handy far too many times!