CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!
6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.

10/28/10

OUR CONTROVERSIAL BIG FAMILY

Tuesday was one of those days that were made for fairy tales.  I woke up feeling great, the kids dressed themselves and we all ate breakfast without a quarrel.  Afterward, the 3 youngest and I, hopped into our family van and headed over to our bi-weekly Bible Study.

There was a pumpkin ceremony of sorts where we used the carved Jack-o-lanterns to learn about God's love and focus on Christ rather than the holiday gobble-de-gook.  The lanterns were lit, the lights were turned out and the kids sang This Little Light of Mine in the glimmering candle-light. It was a blissful morning.

After Bible study we arrived home to find Brisan standing in the kitchen.  I walked in and he asked to go to the dentist.  I decided that if a 13 year old boy asks to go to the dentist, there's something wrong, so I made an emergency appointment and we all hopped in the van to head out to the dentist's office.  Kole and Daxx, age 6, and our soon-to-be adopted daughter, age 5, were all in happy moods.  They chatted and laughed while Brise and I discussed the horrors of tooth pain.  

We arrived at the Dentist's office. There was a woman and young teen boy in the waiting area.  My three youngest sat at the kid's table to look at books while Brise sat in the chair nursing his tooth-ache.  As we waited, a man of about 60 years entered the waiting room.  He sat and watched as the kids come over to take turns sitting on my lap.  He made jokes and did the little "magic trick" with his finger as the kids watched in awe while his pointing finger was cut in half.

I didn't pay him much mind because we get this kind of reaction now and then.  However, about 15 minutes into the wait the man turned to the other woman in the room and announced that "having one child is nice and two is a little scary but to have three is just ridiculous; Any more than that, there's something wrong with the person."

Now, he doesn't know me from Adam.  Granted, he's older and my back was turned to him so he may have a problem with hearing that allowed him to speak so rudely in that loud of a voice.  I don't know if he wanted me to hear it or not, but suffice it to say, I heard it and so did my kids!


The woman was sitting there wide eyed trying to grin or maybe she was trying to think of a come-back, but it didn't take long for me to compose myself so that I wouldn't throw loud words in his direction.  I took a breath, turned around and said in a much calmer voice than I had wanted to, "You know, I only gave birth to two children.  Does that make me less of an idiot?  Does it help at all that some are adopted or is it just as bad?"

It was at that point that he smiled and said, "Oh really? I'm adopted too."  He tried to make small talk by asking where we adopted from, how old the kids were when we "got" them and what-not.  I answered to the best of my ability, though I really wanted to explain in depth just how rude and obnoxious I found him to be.

The reason I was so upset is that this is not the first time this kind of rudeness has happened to me.  It happens a LOT!  For example, About 3 weeks ago I was leaning against the wall with Daxx, Kole and Chickadee, waiting for Vinze to get out of class at a local Charter School we were using. (We are not there anymore...another story for another day)   As I waited, a fellow mother looked me point blank in the eye and told me that I am crazy to have more than one kid, as she shook her head in disgust.  This was not a "laughing/joking" remark. This was a, shame on you for being so careless by having sex and creating so many kids, remark.
 
You need to know, dear reader, that these are the very first words she ever uttered to me in her life.  There was no, "hello how are you."  There was no introduction, there was just a flat out ridicule of my life choice to have more than 2.5 kids....made RIGHT in front of my children.

Of course, I told her that this was my kind of life and I enjoy it very much.  I added that I'm a foster-adoptive mom, in the process and her tone changed completely.  "Oh!  Well, that's not crazy at all.  I really admire you for doing that!" came her response.  She wanted to be my buddy and basically have tea while we chat about the issue.

How does adoption make a such a difference in their thinking?  Aren't I still parenting the same number of children? 

Then there was the woman who stopped at our table, as she was walking by in a restaurant where we were dining.  She asked if all these children were ours.  This was when we only had the 5 sons.  I said yes and she walked away, laughing and saying quite loudly, "Ha!  They just keep trying for that girl don't they?!" 

What in the world is up with that?  Why would someone say that in front of my children or to me, for that matter?  Those are the kind of comments that could cause our younger boys to wonder if we wanted them!

I'm an adult and have the right to have a large family, just as they have the right not to. I cannot understand how I can go from being the complete loony, that they feel the NEED to ridicule, to a Saint worthy of dolling out advice in the blink of an eye.  What is their logic?

I've tried to deduce their reasoning by reviewing the comments of these complete and total strangers over the course of the past 7 years, and I think I may have the answer.  Apparently, people who have more than 3 children are perceived to be so stupid that they don't know how to use contraception; or, Heaven forbid, religious zealots who WON'T stop having them.  Either way, there is a sect of people out there who are lying in wait to spit words at "those" people who are the idiot in their midst.

I have to say that if I didn't have the golden "adoption" word to fall back on, I may have had to accost a person by now.  As it is, I am trying to think of a response that will stop these people in their tracks without my having to announce that I didn't get to enjoy sex in order to parent these children.  I really need a good one because I'm slightly concerned that one of these days, a person is going to say the wrong thing at the right time and I may just loose my cool.  I would really hate to yell or say something so crude that my children remember it for the rest of their lives, but I'm starting to think that I would rather they remember that I took up for our family ferociously than to keep having them hear adults ridicule our large family.

It's a thin line and I can feel myself about to cross it.

11 comments:

Tina said...

Wow, Shelly! What horrible experiences. I can honestly say that I never experienced anything like that with our big, crazy family. I usually get the odd look, like I have three heads or something, but that's about it. I get to quadruple whammy them with eight children, step-children, adoption, and soon to be eight grandchildren. With "looking so young" I think they just find themselves speechless. :o)

cydck said...

Wonder how supposedly sane people can convince themselves that this behavior is appropriate. We've gotten those comments, too -- especially the one about trying for the daughter. I wonder what the mother who thought you were crazy to have more than one kid would do if she found herself pregnant after having the 2nd or 3rd kid. Was she telling you that the rest of those kids should be flushed down the drain? Scary!!

Lisa said...

You might enjoy my friend Courtney's blog: http://www.storinguptreasures.com/
She is also a large adoptive homeschooling family & recently posted some videos about the comments she receives about her family.

Sunday Kofffon Taylor said...

Some times people don’t think about what they say or how it will be interpreted. If I were to say- “wow, you must be crazy for having so many children”, what I would mean is: “how the heck do you do it, I am overwhelmed with 3 kids, a husband who works out of town and a part time job. If I had 6 I’d be crazy!”

The MWB said...

Hi Sunday,

I understand where you are coming from on that. I do get the good-natured comments quite often and roll with those pretty easily. It's the flat out ridicule that presses my proverbial buttons.

Andrea said...

Wow! It just goes to show how ignorant people can be sometimes. And to say that in front of your children is horrible! They really should have kept their comments and ignorance to themselves. Thank goodness they are only proving why education and learning to think before you speak is so important. :-)

Logan's Mom said...

Hey Shelley! I can't believe how people act when it comes to big families! When we began fostering, people thought it was great, but too crazy. Then when we brought home our 2nd foster son home and were up to three kids, the only comments I get are how crazy I am for having 3 kids and ESPECIALLY for being pregnant now! It drives me crazy, especially when we are doing what God has called us to do.

Ashley Smith

Dani said...

You simply tell offending people, "Who doesn't want God's blessings?"

The Wilhelms said...

I feel your pain, Shelly...and I only have 4!! Some people are really rude and they girl thing really gets me mad. When I was pregnant with Selah and right after the comments were almost always "You finally got your girl!" I only had 2 boys!! Finally??? And I didn't want a girl! (Which my kids have been quick to tell people even still. ?Trying to fix that so Selah doesn't get a complex!) Everyone assumed that our family was now "complete." It used to make me so mad! And then with Micah so close in age, well, he's just an "oops!" (Nevermind he wasn't planned, he's not an "oops"!) No one in their right mind would intentionally have more than 3- because even that is kind of wrong! We've also heard "well they have their girl in there so they weren't just trying for her!" I don't know how you have managed to not go off yet, but good for you...and maybe you've been able to teach a few people tolerance or at least to think before they speak. UGH. I think you have a beautiful family! The more the merrier!

Anna said...

[sarcasm] If you deliberately chose to bring more than 2 children into the world, then you're contributing to overpopulation AND YOU WANT THE WHOLE WORLD TO GO DOWN IN FLAMES. Whereas, if you adopt/foster parent, then you're just kindheartedly taking care of the kids who some other idiot chose to bring into the world. Obviously, we have to take care of them once they're here, but to bring MORE of them into the world ON PURPOSE is sheer lunacy. [/sarcasm]

Seriously, my sympathies. Those were some incredibly rude remarks you had to deal with.

Christy said...

With 5 boys also, I definitely get tired of hearing "are you going to keep trying for a girl?" I haven't heard any truly rude remarks yet. Mostly, it's people talking just to have something to say or trying to be funny. I'm sure they save their heartfelt comments for after they walk away. Sad for them, really.