Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stare and see that this is...*US.*

Sorry there hasn't been much blogging going on around here, I've been kind of busy these last few days, but let me just tell you, the busy-ness of this week will hold no comparison to next week.

*warning. This is where this post is going to become very long, painfully straightforward and intensely frank. I am passionate and wholly unapologetic about it. Brace yourself*

Next week I am the "mother of 6."

*you throw your hands up and shriek 'WHAT!?' Chillax, people. Let me s'plain.

Next week, for 6 days, I will be the "mother" of 6 kids-who happen to actually be my younger siblings- because my mother (and my father) are leaving the country. My parents will be in Ethiopia for 6 days. Monday to Sunday. And I will be here, with--and in charge of-- everyone else.

*go ahead, shriek again. Why would they take a 20 hour plane flight across the world and leave me with their children for a week? What could I have done to possibly deserve that?

Simple answer: Because this is my sister.

*and now you are confused. "She sure don't look like your sister...? What is she doing in Ethiopia...?"

This is my sister, Simenesh Rebekkah.

She is waiting for us in Ethiopia. She has lived there her whole life, and has spent the last 5 years in an orphanage, praying for a Christian family to adopt her. And we (or my parents) have to go get her, because she is ours. She belongs in our family. She didn't know it, we didn't know it, but God did and that is enough to make some people in a tiny state in the USA crazy enough to leave their kids for a week, fly across the globe, and a whoooolllle lot of other complicated stuff, to bring her to where she belongs. With us.

Honestly, this confuses a lot of people.
If you haven't noticed already, I have a big family, and the kids don't look like each other. We are a bunch of good looking people, but we happen to just not look...alike. No, it is not faulty genetics, multiple marriages, or any sort of freak accident. God has called my parents, my family, to adoption. Simenesh is the 7th. 8 kids, all but me have been adopted (Including Simenesh, 3 internationally, and 4 through US Foster Care system).

Honestly, a lot of people are still confused, even if I explain. Actually, I often tend to just leave people wondering in their confusion. I don't like to offer an explanation sometimes. I don't feel obligated to. Because people are rude, narrow minded, hurtful, and just refuse to get it no matter what I explain to them.

I have introduced my sister, "This is my sister, so and so..." , and actually have gotten the response, "Are you sure? No she isn't!" Yes. I am sure. Yes, she is.

Or I'll be holding my littlest sister, also from Ethiopia, and people will go "Whose kid is she?" My sister.

Or "I have __*insert ever growing number* __ adopted siblings." "So you technically are still an only child.?" ARE YOU DEAF!???!?

*I'm sorry, people annoy me. I TRY and be gracious in my responses and put a false smile on my face, but... my quick, kind of sarcastic tongue is something God is still working on in me. I apologize.

There are a few who genuinely are impressed, and want to hear more about my wonderful, kid adopting family, but most are so shallow that they cannot even wrap their minds around something as...insignificant... as a shade of skin. Yup. Our skin is different. Who cares?! It is like...they want me to apologize for saying I am related to someone with skin that is a couple (or a lot) shades darker than mine or the fact one of our features don't match up. Like I might actually introduce one of my siblings by saying "Oh, this is my ADOPTED sister ___, I'm sorry her skin is more brown than mine, please don't hold it against us." or "This is my ADOPTED brother/sister, sorry their eyes are blue/hair is blonde/curly/straight/dark etc, etc and mine is not." and that would be...more acceptable.

THAT, MY DEAR CHILDREN, IS CALLED *RACISM,* AND IT IS IN FACT FROWNED UPON IN MOST SOCIETIES! (okay, yes, I stole that from Willy Wonka, took out cannibalism and inserted my own word. But is is fitting.)

Here are the facts: I am (Isa)Bella. I am Italian/Hungarian (and some other stuff), my skin is medium tan and have never really had sunburn. My hair is thick and dark brown. My eyes are deep green. I am 5'3" and just over 100 pounds. But I don't care. Paint me purple and shave my head; all that stuff is meaningless.

More facts: My 7 siblings are adopted. They, more or less, look nothing like me. And I could care less what they look like, because I LIKE THEM THAT WAY. If you think they are somehow less than my FAMILY because of skin tone, or because of DNA, or...something... then you are pretty much a racist. You should work on that, really. 'Tis an issue.

And just by the way, my family with our shades of brown, and totally "unmatching" everything, is more functional, more FAMILY, than most "normal", DNA, same nose, same haired, families that I know.

*okay, before I keep on venting, let me pull this back in.

Fact: I love Simenesh. She is gorgeous. She is funny (we have been blessed by receiving a letter, in English, from her, and she has a great sense of humor). She has an Afro (I am passionate about Afros. I just adore them and wish by some miracle I had one, despite how ridiculous that would be.). Her smile is phenomenal. She speaks 2 languages fluently and is learning English at a rapid rate. She is from Ethiopia, looks nothing like me, and has never met me before, but she is MY SISTER. And she is coming home on Sunday the 25th, and that will make my week of... torturous child watching... bearable. That will make being the "mother of six" worth it.

Because, for the first time in her life, she is coming HOME.

And as is my philosophy for most of my life; "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, SHUT YOUR EYES AND IT ALL GOES AWAY."

But I like it. I like it all a lot a lot.

11 comments:

Queen Lucy said...

Absolutely beautifully written. Stunning. I can't wait for Simenesh to come home!

Queen Lucy

ElleBee said...

Beautiful post! I've been following your mom's blog for a while now and absolutely love (in a non-stalker, bloggy admirer sort of way) your family. You are all beautiful kids (although your brothers would probably argue the use of that word!) and have wonderful parents! Good luck with your week as "mom"!

out of the frame said...

great blog post! enjoy your week :)

Chloe Grace said...

I CAN"T WAIT TO SEE HER! is she going to be coming to Kid's club?

Sarah Louise Upjohn said...

This is awesome. I never really realized that people from adoptive families would have to deal with those kinds of issues. I like that you can write about something that you're passionate and angry (maybe just a bit) about without getting offensive or sarcastic. Teach me to do that sometime?

I think your family is amazing and the world would probably be a better place if there were more couples that felt called to adoption.

Also, those are excellent photos and you're all unreasonably good looking, but that's just a side note. Also also, like everyone else, I'm so excited to meet Simenesh, only 11 more days!

I'll be praying for you next week while you play Mommy! love ya! :-)

ChYmEc!nDy** said...

You have a very kind hearted parents. I am your new follower. I love your blog.

Jen said...

How amazing!!! I think this is so cool! My husband and I are unable to have children so when it comes time we plan to foster to adopt I only plan on having 2-4 and I would love siblings since I do know at times they don't always adopt them out together! I think it's an amazing thing!

Renata said...

Hi Bella
Your mum sent me to read this post & it surely has touched my heart. You are absolutely right - Simenesh is your sister - God planned it that way. It's strange, but for some reason when your mum first emailed me her pic I thought " she looks exactly like she belongs in Kimmie's family".
My family & I are & will continue praying for you over the next weeks.
God bless
Renata :)

Anonymous said...

Passionate and succinct.
You should print business cards with the URL to this posting so when you meet ignorant people you don't have to s'plain. Just hand them a business card and say: "let me sum up" and walk away.
:)
beth

Karen said...

Found you from the post you posted on your mom's blog...I pray my kids have the same attitudes about their siblings as they grow up! Our (adopted) sons are big for their age and I tend to let people assume that my husband's this huge guy (He's 5'11' and thin). :-)

Melody said...

And I loved your post too!!!! :-) I read your mom's blog from time to time and saw the link to yours. You are so lucky to be in such a family. I hope to create my own adoptive family for children someday too!!!

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