Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Shut Mouth & Their Gaping Mouths

With any new experience, there's the temptation to whine, "But that's not the way it was done when [fill in the blank.]"  Every substitute teacher deals with children whining, "But teacher does it differently."

How annoying.

And so I find myself in a new town, clamping my hands tightly over my mouth to avoid complaining about the differences I'm not yet used to.  In time, I know, the quirks of Mobile will be the character that builds our home here.

Probably the hardest thing about living in Mobile so far?
Adoption is not on the radar.  

I'm used to a a city at least somewhat accustomed to adoption, including international and transracial adoption.  I am NOT used to the gaped-mouth, puzzled faces I encounter when holding Amelia's hand in Mobile.  (Especially when Brad is not with me.) No one is mean to us.  They are simply confused by us.  It is tiring to be one of the first transracially adoptive families in a town.

I owe some thank you's to the first transracially adoptive families in our old town.  They made life easy on us last year!

Tiring as it is to be one of the first -- (surely we're not the only, right? surely not.) -- Anyway, as tiring as it is, I'm praying that Amelia's precious face is ministering to people here. Changing hearts.  Opening eyes.

Because there was a time when I once stared gape-mouthed at the white mama of a black daughter.  (Hi, Joy Portis!)  I remember thinking, "Wow... that mom loves her daughter a lot.  Hmm!"

I had no idea I was looking into my future.

These days, I resist the urge to squirm under the confused gazes of Mobilians by remembering one important fact:  Sometimes, underneath those wide eyes and tilted heads, seeds are planted.  Some of the people staring at us are actually staring into their future.  They too will be adoptive parents.

God will move in the hearts of some of these people.
Some will choose to care for orphans.
And many will learn that God adopted us.  Loved us.  Children who, although made in His image, don't often look much like Him.  

And maybe then, they'll see that transracial adoption is a lot more common than they thought.


Jessica Whatley said...

Have faith that seeds are being planted through you just living your life and going about your business! Also- loved getting to see a sneak peak of the house in the picture you posted! Can't wait to see it in person!

RACHEL said...

I just LOVE when you say you'll see my house in person. Come on!

Anonymous said...

we not only "transracially adopted". we adopted an African American child that is severly disabled. I have found a few ignorant people in Mobile, but overall, people have been wonderfully accepting. im so sorry your experience has been so different. your daughters are gorgeous and I hope you grow to love the South, and especially Mobile.

RACHEL said...

I'm from the South and just moved from Montgomery. But Mobile is even more southern than Alabama's capitol somehow! We love Mobile so far and our church has been totally accepting of Amelia.

(But people around town are clearly more surprised by us than people in Montgomery were. I never expected that. I thought the two towns would be similar.)

Are you Rene? If so, someone messaged me about you on Facebook after I posted this. I'd love to meet you!