Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Honest Friend

Sometimes people will say to us, "You're such good people. You must have a really special family." Invariably, these comments make me think of the most recent time I lost my temper, found moldy food in the refrigerator or served my children hotdogs and jello.

Sometimes, when I share news that I find hard (my daughter has parasites) people will say: "Oh, it's no big deal." "You can handle it." "I'm sure you'll get it all taken care of soon." And immediately I think, "Oh, it IS a big deal. I don't want to handle it. In order to even know if I have it taken care of I have to take 3 more stool samples. And just ask the crabby lab lady at the doctor...I do not have what it takes to execute that successfully."

But yesterday, I left a message with a friend. She's adopted two children from Ethiopia as well. It was a two word message: giardea and whip worm.

She called back 10 seconds later. Her response: "What the hell is whip worm?"

Somehow, this made me feel better. It was the acknowledgment that this isn't a Gap commercial. This isn't Fresh Flowers and Meadows. This is Orphans. And orphans are... messy. They are also good for the soul, good for the family and great for keeping pride in check.


  1. Marty!! I love how you write!! I should be making dinner but I'm sitting here laughing at your posts... I know you didn't write them as comedy but they are seriously refreshing. I only have 4 kids and no orphans or parasites (although head lice happened not long ago, does that count?) but I can relate to some of what you're writing about and I really, really appreciate your sharing of messy, grace-filled real life. :)

  2. Just reading this is encouraging. Until you've experienced it I think it's hard to really understand the issues of adoption, be it parasites or attachment issues. Thanks for the post!