Monday, January 12, 2009

He's a really great kid

Jacob and I were in the car together the other night, driving home from the grocery with half-birthday treats and dinner. We were chit-chatting about life when Jacob brought up his classmate. "Sierra's mom is kind of like her step-mom. She was born in China and her mom went on a plane to get her. Well, first her mom went to China to pick up Marie, then later she went to get Sierra."

"Well, Jake, Sierra's mom isn't her step-mom. She's her adoptive mom. And really, she's just like any other mom. She fixes booboos and tucks Sierra in at night and all that stuff. She's a really good mom." Truly, she is a really good parent. Maria and Sierra are warm, friendly, and bright as buttons. I often see their mother murmuring in their ears and I aspire to her calm manner.

"Why? Why did she adopt Marie and Sierra?"

"Oh. Well, sometimes people can't have babies for some reason. Like Sierra's mommy doesn't have a husband to put a baby in her belly. So those people adopt babies because they want to be mommies and daddies." True to form, I kept blabbering on instead of stopping when I'd given just enough information. "Some people adopt babies from China because there is a law there that..."

Jake interrupted me in a panic, "People in China can't keep their babies??"

"Well, the law in China is that each couple can only have one baby. Some people there believe that girls aren't as good as boys, so the girls sometimes end up in orphanages."

"That's a stupid belief. We are all the same." Jake was angry. I should have known that would offend his sense of justice.

"Yes, I agree. And so do lots of other people. That's why we know Sierra and Marie and also Claire's friend Gretchen. I'm really glad that they were adopted. They are all terrific girls." Then I realized that I had given Jacob information which could really hurt Sierra. "Um, Jake? Don't talk about this with Sierra or anyone else, ok?" I held my breath while Jake mulled it over.

"Why? Oooooooooooooh! Because Sierra might feel like she's not very good."

"Right, buddy. And I don't ever want Sierra to feel like that," I said as we pulled up to the curb at home. Jake ran into the house to show off his treats. I sat in the car for a few minutes, grateful and hopeful.


Monica said...

You are raising two of the most awesome kids, Christy. They both have hearts of gold.

Christy said...

Aw, thanks Monica. You know, my #1 hope for my kids is that they become decent, caring, ethical adults. If that happens, I can be really proud of myself as a parent, I think.

Mary Witzl said...

That's pretty much my number 1 hope too, Christy -- and it's a tall order! Good for you for trying to do this.

People always say "I just want my kids to be happy." Well, I want my kids to be happy, yes, but I want them to be good people just as much -- sometimes even more. I wonder if we shouldn't rate decency and kindness to others at least as high as personal happiness.

Christy said...

" I wonder if we shouldn't rate decency and kindness to others at least as high as personal happiness." Stay tuned! I think there's a long and rambly opinion coming about that...