I know people mean well, but good intentions are not necessarily an indicator of right actions. We’ve been asked some questions over the years that either leave us smiling or scratching our heads. These questions could be considered misguided or uninformed, perhaps the thoughts of people who don’t know any better, but when strangers ask them in front of the kids they just come across as mean or unkind.
Which ones are yours?
I know this seems like an innocent enough question, but consider it from the point of view of a child. When the kids hear someone ask “which ones are yours?” all they ask themselves is “do I really belong here?” There is no doubt that a person’s sense of self worth is tied to their sense of belonging. So why would anyone make a child feel like they didn’t belong? We always tell people that God added to our family in two ways, adoption and birth. The answer is simple enough, they’re all ours.
You’re done having kids right?
Sometimes we’ll run into a person who questions the size of our family. I can relate to this because I’m not that guy who started out wanting a family as large as the one we have. I always thought that three kids would be plenty. I’m the middle child of three so that’s what I knew and was comfortable with. But there are many wonderful things about having a large family like ours.
Some of my favorite things are:
- They always have someone to play with.
- They learn how to share their things and their parents.
- They learn conflict resolution at a young age. They have to learn to work their differences out without having mom or dad intervene.
- They are helpful around the house especially in the kitchen. They love helping at meal time. As you might imagine meal time needs to run like a well oiled machine at our house. It’s all hands on deck around 6:30 pm and everyone has an assignment.
- The big kids are very helpful and nurturing with the babies.
- Impromptu dance parties are not lame because they are not small.
Aren’t you concerned how this negatively impacts your kids?
This question is one of the easiest to deal with because we can see how this has positively impacted our kids. Their capacity for kindness and compassion truly amazes me. They have learned first hand that life is difficult for some kids. They are active participants in the healing process for our foster kids. It is one of the great blessings of our lives to get to watch them minister to the kids in foster care.
There is a sweetness and bond that they have developed with each other as well. Our one year old was awake at 3:00 am a few nights ago and was almost inconsolable because she wanted her brother and not her mom or dad. The only thing we could hear through her sobbing was his name. Kayla had to show her that he was asleep before she would settle. Our experience is that our kids have learned to love and depend on each other.
Do you really think you can save everyone?
Another question that seems innocent enough on the face of it, but this isn’t about saving anyone. This is about doing what we feel we’re called to and what we feel we’ve been gifted to do. We can’t say no because God has a asked us to say yes.