This week we took our kids to the most fabulous pumpkin patch. We loved almost every minute of it – even when a chicken bit me.
Our final stop was at the barn where there were baby bunnies (so frickin’ cute), baby ducks, etc… There were two boys taking care of the bunnies and I assumed they were brothers. One was brown, the other was pink. I had Little Dude on my back in the Ergo and PJ by my side.
After chatting with the kids for awhile, I noticed the brown one (Kid 1) had an accent. So, silly me, I started a conversation.
Me AKA Stupid Adult: “I like your accent. Were you born someplace else?”
Kid 1: “Haiti”
Stupid Adult: “Wow. How long have you lived here?”
Kid 1: “Four Years”
Kid 2, clearly trying to rescue his brother from Stupid Adult: “He was born in Haiti, but we adopted him. He is my brother.”
Stupid Adult, turning around so they can see Little Dude on my back: “This is my son, Little Dude. She is his sister, PJ. We adopted Little Dude from Ethiopia.”
Kid 2, obviously not feeling the connection that I am trying to establish: “I don’t even know where that is.”
Stupid Adult: “Ethiopia is very far away. Much further than Haiti, it is in Africa.”
Kid 1: “I hate Africa.”
Stupid, and now Shocked Adult: “You hate Africa? Have you been there?”
Kid 1: “No”
Stupid and Shocked: “Why do you hate it?”
Kid 1: “Because there are bad people there. And bad things happen there.”
Stupid and Shocked: “Oh, but there are a lot of great people there too. How do you know bad things happen there?”
Kid 1: “From the movies and stuff.”
Stupid and Shocked: “Oh, well maybe someday you will also learn about the good things that happen there. Where did you say the baby pigs are?”
After visiting the baby pigs we walked back past the brothers. These were really friendly, outgoing kids and since I never learn my lesson I thought I would chat with them again.
Stupid and Partially Recovered: “It was nice to meet you. Thanks for showing us the animals. You all must work very hard to take care of this farm.”
Kid 1: “You would hate to join this family. It is really hard work.”
Stupid, Shocked-Again, But Still Trying: “Well sometimes that’s what family means – lots of chores and hard work.”
I walked away before he could notice my minor freak out as an adoptive parent who dreads the day her son says to a stranger, “You would hate to be part of my family.”
It only took me a minute to catch my breath and get out of my own crazy adoptive parent mindset. This kid is 10-yrs-old. What he said was not a reflection of his racial pride or adoptive family dynamics. I am quite sure his brother is working just as hard as he is and probably just as pissed about it. I grew up in a family that also worshiped work and when I was 10 I would have told you that it was unfair and I wanted to live someplace else.
I am confident as the kid grows up he will appreciate the work ethic his parents instilled in him. And, I truly hope he learns about the fabulous parts of Africa and his unique heritage. Most of all I really wonder what the hell they are watching during family movie night?