Sunday, August 20, 2006

Kindred spirit or stalker-mommy?

There was a new family at our church this morning, who had an Asian daughter with them. She looked to be about four years old. The mother also had an older child with her, who looked enough like her that I assumed the older child was a biological child. This was enough like our situation that I wanted to chat with her after service, but, the family slipped out right after the recessional hymn and did not stay for coffee hour. (Um...yes, I know this probably sounds like an incredibly dull midwestern morning...but, it's comforting in its familiarity.) It's probably best that I didn't have a chance to say hello, because I wouldn't have had time to say more than that. Everyone was very concerned about my friend B~ and her husband, and how he is doing, so, I was busy telling everyone what was happening with them. (The good news is that the patient is doing very well and is sitting up. The bad news is some drooping on the left side of his face and some slurred speech which they are hoping will improve.) I also was put in charge of circulating a get well card for everyone to sign (there really isn't enough room for 90 people to sign a single card, but, we gave it our all.) The point is, I didn't really have any time to chat with her (the adoptive mom), even if I had wanted to.

I started to think about the fact that I am drawn to other adoptive families like a bear to honey. (Or to salmon. Or picnic baskets. Or something. Like a whatsit-sort-of-thing drawn uncontrollably toward another whatsit-sort-of-thing. You know what I mean.) It occured to me that I have begun to feel this way, when I see an apparently transracially adopted family, in much the same way that I felt drawn to other Westerners when I was living in Japan. I would notice another Westerner, and feel compelled to go over and chat. Many other Westerners felt the same way, and we would end up chatting for lengthy periods of time, and, in one case, becoming fast friends. Often, just the novelty of being able to speak at length with another native English speaker was, for lack of a better word, comforting. A recognition that we were both on the same crazy roller coaster ride, living as a gaigin in Japan, both strangers in a strange land, kindred traveling spirits.

I wonder if I will continue to feel this strange compulsion, to seek out other adoptive moms, after Lana comes home, and I wonder how I will feel about being approached, when I am waiting no longer, by the kinship-seeking waiting moms who will come after me? Will I see them as kindred spirits, or as stalker-mommies?

Moving on with other dull moments in this pedestrian midwesterner's life, the large orange cat needs $300 of dental surgery in the morning. Also, he cannot have any food after 9:oo PM this evening, so, I am sure we are going to spend the night with a large orange angry tom cat stomping around our bed and MEEEEEEOOOOOOOWW-ing pleadingly. So, that'll be great. Tomorrow morning is Gabe's "transfer student orientation" at his new school, so, I'm taking the morning off for that event (although calling a first grader a "tranfer student" seems a stretch to me). Then, I'll be going to work for two hours and leaving again, as we are scheduled to see a Tiger's game in Detroit tomorrow evening with my extended family - my aunt and uncle are headed back to Uganda in 7 days, we can't let them leave the Motor City without seeing the Tigers play. (Or, evidently, without packing them a suitcase full of Jello Pudding, Jello, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and JIF peanut butter. And Spam (!). No, I am not kidding. These are items they still miss, even after 10 years of living in Africa. They live very very far from Nairobi and Kampala, where, evidently, one might be able to find some of these items, but, at a very high price.)



Blogger Nicki said...

We're going to that game tomorrow I think! Actually I'm trying to get out of it but the rest of my crew will be there for sure!

Monday, August 21, 2006 9:40:00 AM  
Blogger Robinson 4 said...

No, that's not stalker. I have the same feelings but I don't seem to see many adoptive families around here....But when I do, I'll be flocking to them. I wanna get a playgroup together but I can't find one so I'll have to start one. Like that's something I have time for right now. :-)

Monday, August 21, 2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I think I get the same way. As soon as I spot someone remotely VN looking, I follow them around (usually with my eyes) and then I see how cute their child(ren) look and I think, will my baby look like that. It just helps me keep connected. I don't think you're being a stalker, just excited and needing someone else to share with.

Monday, August 21, 2006 11:49:00 PM  

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