At any given time, I have multiple running notes on future Five on Friday list ideas. These notes contain anywhere from one to four possible entries for the list. Sometimes they come to fruition immediately, sometimes they linger awhile, sometimes they never make it and get cut.
One recent idea was adoption humor, some of the funny incidents that have come up over the years due to the fact that we are a mixed-race family thanks to growing our family through adoption.
I usually feel more inclined to share the poignant or bittersweet sides of adoption, never wanting to emphasis the funny parts in fear of downplaying the inherent loss that comes along with adoption. (Uh, but then again, I have been known to do things like this.)
Anyway that idea was just sort of lingering on the list when it was brought to my attention that the video of the story I told for The Moth, although a couple of years old now, had many new comments I hadn't seen before (a very nice realization).
That combined with the fact that I had no other ideas for this week's list ready (not to mention that I had horrible insomnia last night and really just no creative energy to come up with something off the cuff) meant it was time.
So for my last list of 2021, here are some adoption humor hits from over the years. Forgive me if any of them are repeat stories for you, but they still make me laugh:
1. Picture it: a local playground, 2006. I have three children at the time: my two oldest (white, biological) children and one brown foster baby. My daughter, age six at the time, has made a new friend and is having a great time with him. At one point, they run over to me to get a snack and the little boy eyes me and the baby up.
Is that your Mom?
Is that your brother?
(. . . a moment passes while he contemplates . . . )
Your baby brother is . . . veeeeeeeeeeeeery . . . . tan.
2. I had a period of time when I'd be picking up the kids' prescription vitamins and when asked for their birthdates (including YEARS--don't you think that's a little too much to ask???), I'd falter and look like an idiot.
So this one time I decided to practice on my way up. When she asked for their five birthdates, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! I had them all ready. I joked with her about having five kids and how sometimes I get the dates mixed up. She had a good sense of humor and tried to play along, pretending to be me ad libbed something like, "What? My kids' birthdays? Sure, I know when they were born, I mean I was there, right?"
This put me over the edge. "But I wasn't!!" I took the vitamins and walked away, completely cracking myself up and leaving her bewildered.
3. On the phone while making an appointment recently:
Your daughter's name is so beautiful.
How did you come up with it?
I didn't name her.
4. As a white woman raising Black kids, I do worry sometimes that we're not raising them "Black enough." But then I decided to put breadcrumbs on the homemade macaroni and cheese on a whim and our 15-year-old Black son accused me of trying to serve him "white people food."
Touché, son, and you'd better watch it or I'll whip up some green bean casserole next.
5. Finally, a conversation between my Black daughter (five years old at the time) and my white son (who was thirteen) that has to be my most favorite mixed-race family moment ever, hands-down:
Did you know my stuffed animals can talk?
Only when people leave the room.
Only when white people leave the room.