But, I never knew that this was supposed to offend me. I can't count the amount of times that I've heard that I'm an angel. Quite frankly, I enjoyed being called an angel. ;) I have always said, though, that we are lucky to have each other whenever someone would tell the kids how lucky they are. Because that's what I think. We ARE lucky to have each other. In this world full of random coincidences and confusing, complicated universe plans...we found each other. How lucky is that??
So, here's my take. I do think my kids are lucky to have us. I do want them to be grateful to have been adopted and have a family. And, I do think it's ok for random people who mean well to point that out. But, not because we are such wonderful, perfect people. We're not awful, but we sure aren't perfect. Not because they should be perfect. How could I live up to that if they were? But, because everybody should be grateful for what they have. And, everybody should be aware of what blessings are in their life. Because like one of my favorite books as a child reminded me, it can always be worse.
They should be aware that every child will not be adopted so they should be grateful to have a family. Because every child won't.
Do I want Kaleb to understand that while he's upset that he contributed $26 to his $150 replacement phone after he broke his...again; his oldest biological brother is working his butt off on the other side of town, just trying to make ends meet, save for a car so he doesn't have to walk an hour to work every day, and do it on his own with no support (except us, but that's for another blog)? Yes.
Do I want all four of them to understand that while they are making up excuses not to wash their dishes, they are fortunate to even have food to eat. And, that there are kids who aged out of the system living on the streets or kids in foster homes who don't get to eat what they want when they want? Yes.
They should be grateful for that. But, they're not always.
But, here's the thing. We should be grateful, too We should be aware that every adult will not be a parent so we should be grateful to have children. Because every adult won't.
When my kids are driving me crazy or I am frustrated with how demanding this whole mom gig is, I try to remember that. Sometimes, Brian and I will just sit and talk about how it was before (you know, when we had more money and freedom, haha) and how much we wanted this. We remember the moments that we met them and the relief when we knew that they were 100% ours. It's important to remember these things and feel grateful for how fortunate we are.
So, yes, they should be grateful. Yes, they should count their lucky stars that they don't have to doubt that they will be loved forever. Yes, they should try to be the best little humans that they can be, but then feel secure in the knowledge that they will be loved no matter how many times they mess up.
Because we all should. We should all be grateful for whatever we have. A loving family, a great job, or the elusive jeans that actually fit. We should all be grateful and we should all try to do our best.
So, no, if you tell us we are lucky, I won't get upset. If you say that I'm an angel, I won't be offended. Because, again, who doesn't like hearing good things about themselves, haha? And, the reality is that we did do a good thing that not everyone would (but, more people should) and I am proud of that. But, we weren't trying to do some great selfless act. We just set out to build a family. And, my kids should be proud of how we came to be that family and they're part in that. And, they should know that we are all so very lucky.
I can't guarantee how others will react, though, so if you're not looking to be an angry topic in some other adoptive mom's facebook post then you might want to stick with safe comments like "your children are beautiful" or "congratulations on being a family." ;)
They have a point. Every child really does deserves a loving family. They really are entitled to that and should have the luxury of taking that for granted. But, sadly, that is not the reality. No matter how much I wish it was.
So, I'm going to keep trying to raise happy, healthy, and, yes, grateful kids. Because we sure are grateful for them. :)