She comes down the stairs and I hear her slippers shuffling across the wood floor in the hall and kitchen. I am writing at the table in the dining room. I’m writing about being an adoptee. It is heart-hard writing so I appreciate her interruption. She looks tired, our beautiful “daughter” from Hong Kong. She looks like she has been sleeping. Hair disheveled and brown eyes puffy. “Have you been sleeping?” I ask her. Her quiet yes makes me look a bit more closely. “What is wrong?” I ask her. She can’t talk and she can’t look at me. She can’t find her words and so I wait. “I had a bad day in PE class,” she whispers. I’m tuned in now and wondering what could have happened to cause her so much pain. “A boy thought I should have a nick name and thought it should be Chink,” she explains. I feel sadness bubbling up. Frustration brewing. Confusion as to why does this continue when there has been so much conversation, education, and focus on eliminating derogatory words, racist language, and mean spirited comments. I tell her I am so sorry. I tell her that sometimes hurting people hurt others. I let her know that it must have been awful. I tell her I will contact her principal at school. She continues to tell me that a friend helped her tell the counselor. A friend had offered comfort and encouragement and a friend had listened. I thank God in that moment for the reminder of how critical doing something, anything, can be when one is hurting.
We get dinner on the table and family members talk about their day. Steve asks her, “how was your day?” Tears flow again. Words won’t come and this time she just can’t tell the story. She leaves the table and runs to the refuge of her bedroom. Steve looks at me. He hates her pain too. Kylee jumps in with her strong sense of justice, take em down, don’t mess with my “sister” recommendations. Michael who always is ready to stand along side the different, the underdog, and the threatened tells his dad what happened. She returns to the table and Steve lets her know it is not her fault. He lets her know he is sorry. He lets his other daughter know that more anger is not what is needed. He tells his family that this boy is probably hurting too and I am always a bit amazed that we say the same things to our kids. She opens up some more and more tears come. Reassurances are given in abundance. Hope is shared. Hugs handed out. Prayers spoken to an all powerful God who’s always got it. In fact, He’ll remind of us that the very next day. Stay tuned….part II later.
Joy, Peace, and Blessings.