Let me go ahead and say right out of the gate that I am going to be as discreet as possible about the situation that has really burrowed it's way under my skin. Because the bottom line is not about this incident, as much as it is that there is a BIG ole lesson to take away from it.
So the Reader's Digest version is this: Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my friends when a lady, who I barely know, walked up who fosters and adopts children. We chatted pleasantly for a few minutes about hair (because that's what womenfolk do) when my friend said to the woman that she didn't know how she did it with 15 kids. At that point, I asked her how many children were hers biologically (none of the kids were around).
Let's just pause for a moment so that I can say that I honestly didn't realize that this was an offensive question. I just didn't. Sort of like an American going to Australia and giving one of the locals a thumbs up (don't do that by the way). It's rude, but most of us wouldn't realize that unless we had researched Australian culture. Similarly, I have had no dealings with adoption, so it never-ever crossed my mind that it might be unmannerly.
Now I can see how someone might feel that it undermines their family, as it's explained here, but that's not something that the Average Joe just immediately "gets". I am definitely one who can accept gentle instruction, and I will be more careful from now on because I have been made aware. Please read the link if you are, like I was, going "what's the big deal".
How-ev-er. What I CAN'T handle is when someone freaks out and absolutely goes on the attack when it's completely obvious that the person asking isn't doing so to be mean, or should I say "stupid". Yes she did. Indeed, I was admiring her ministry.Perhaps you will think poorly of me because I was so insanely mad when she went off like she did, that I wanted to take her head off, but maybe that can be remedied with the fact that I got up and walked away despite every instinct in me. My poor friend was so stunned that she quickly changed the subject with the woman.
So the lesson here is this, and I have thought long and hard about it for 24 hours now: Most of us have something that we feel misunderstood about. And there are probably alot of us that get sick and tired of having to go over it again and again with different people. It stinks, and I know that because feeling misunderstood can fall into just about anyplace that we feel insecure, and I can assure you that I have a second home in Insecureville, people (we won't even get into how pride plays into that).
BUT the answer is not to go slap off on people just because you are sick of dealing with it. I don't think that there's a number large enough to tell how many times I've had someone ask if my older two boys are twins because they look so much alike AND they are about the same size despite an almost 2 year age difference. Does it sting? YES. Do I go berserk? Heck no. I answer them kindly and if they decide to go on and comment about my son's small stature, I usually just come back with how he rocks gymnastics and that he couldn't do it if he were gargantuan. Most people aren't trying to be rude. And even if they are, what good is being hateful in return going to do?
I can also tell you this, when I came home and had a conversation with my friend Caroline about what had occurred, she remembered reading a blog post (linked above) about this very thing, so she forwarded it to me. It wasn't until reading THAT, that I was able to understand. It made sense to me after it was put kindly. I couldn't even begin to sympathize with her because I was so blinded by her hateful words.
The Bible tells us that, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1) and I am here to tell you that I experienced this full tilt yesterday.
Now, I will step down again and hopefully let this trusty old box gather up a thick layer of dust. I hope I haven't made any of you mad and, lawsie mercy, if this is your first time here, Puh-lease know that I am usually not usually aggressive and preachy. Because if you do walk away thinking that about me, I will feel misunderstood and I might just snap your head off when I find out about it. Just kidding. ;)
Alrighty, I'm outta here. Have a good day, and for those of you that voted for jello....well....my favorite is raspberry.