Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Know It All

Lately I've lost a bit of patience with the unvarying litany of questions I get when I say I'm adopting. It goes like this: "Do you know who your baby is?" "When will you find out?" "How old will she be?" "Will you go get her?" "When will you go?" My responses have been polite but economical. It's not that I'm normally terse (far from it) but rather that I'm bored of having the same conversation over and over. It's just tiring being a source of wonderment and novelty to everybody I meet.

This past weekend I decided to mix it up a little for my own amusement, and that's where I got myself into trouble. I was at a baby shower and one of the guests was doing the interview when I decided to throw in some new answers. "Do you know who your baby is?" "No, we just have to trust in the Lord." "How old will she be?" "We're hoping for under 30." "How long have you been waiting." "Oh, forever...let's see...it's been close to 25 years now!" She soldiered on, undeterred, and finally slipped in, "We adopted a baby boy from Kazakhstan last year, and I was curious how the process differed." D'oh! And just like that I became an ass.

Today I was opening my locker at the YMCA before teaching my Nia class when a woman next to me said hello and complimented my class last week. I honestly don't remember how we got on the topic of Judaism, but she said, "I know something about that; my husband is Jewish." "Well, we have something in common," I replied, "my husband is not." We started talking about local synagogues that welcome interfaith couples and I found myself suddenly sharing, "I also want to find a place where my daughter will feel comfortable--we're adopting her from China." She congratulated me in a neutral tone and we went back to talking about synagogues. But a few minutes later I ran into her again by the door. "I know what you're talking about," she said, "my two sons are adopted from Mexico." I was floored. I couldn't believe that I'd gotten personal with a stranger and she ended up having something huge in common with me!

After class, I walked into the locker room and this same gal was having a conversation with another gal. The first one (her name is Donna) said to me, "This is Karen. She adopted from China ten years ago." WOW! It felt like a reunion, in some totally bizaare, non-linear way! Suddenly I felt like I had known these women for years. And they work out at the Y, just like me! We are everywhere, apparently!

On my way home, I stopped at Whole Foods to get fixin's for David's birthday blueberry pancake breakfast tomorrow. I really needed to pee so I got in line. Next to me was the most adorable Chinese girl of 7 or 8 with shiny, swingy hair and pink sneakers. She smiled at me. She was holding the hand of a 40-something woman who was very obviously not Chinese. I smiled at them both, probably too enthusiastically. The whole day seemed symbolic of something, but I'm not sure what.

2 comments:

Ellen said...

I love that story Sam! It made me teary. I'm so happy for you and David, and so thankful for your friendship.

The Wades said...

I like the answers you made up because you were tired of answering questions. I think I might start doing that w/ the telling of Max's heart surgery.

How long was the surgery: About four days
How has he been: He walked right off the operating table and into the car
How long is his recovery: Maybe seven or eight years.

Thanks, Sam. You've really made things more interesting around here. :)

PS David's not Jewish? You guys get more interesting all the time. :)