Sunday, April 11, 2010

She wasn't the paperazzi

The other day I took my kids to the Children's museum for a field trip.

You know...gotta socialize these homeschoolers, and all. {snicker snicker}

I was actually noticing to myself the diversity in the CM goers and was happy to see many children of many different races and ethnicity. Chinese girls pouring water on Guatemalan boys... African-American boys knocking over clay structures delicately made by pretty Indian girls. Oh the loveliness! :)

I sat at the top of the carpeted risers in front of the stage and watched my and other children put on a "show". Is it really a show if there's no rhyme or reason to the production? It was cute trying to watch the older kids give directions to toddlers who just ran off stage.

Anyway, a few rows in front of me were two white moms (sisters, I think). One of them had a couple blond boys, and the other had a white daughter and an absolutely adorable brown-skinned baby. She was super cute and I knew without a doubt this baby was Ethiopian. I knew this because I read a blog of someone on the East coast who adopted an Ethiopian princess and this baby looked exactly like her.

After a few minutes, my kids and I leave the stage area and head towards the Kids Kitchen where they can push a cart and load up fake groceries and be checked out by other kids. While standing there thinking about a facebook status, the mom of the Ethiopian baby came up to me and I for sure thought she was going to strike up a discussion about bi-racial know, since we both had one. It's the inevitable conversation starter now that I've entered into the world of adoption. I love it.

But no! Her pick-up line was this:

Her: Hi, there, I recognize your girls. I read your blog!

Me: (face reddening, stutter forming) feel a little famous right now.

I feel famous? That is my response? Sheesh.
Oh well. I don't do well under pressure. The pressure of responding politely and correctly, apparently.

Her: Yes, I was watching them on stage and I knew they looked familiar and it just dawned on me where I've seen them before. I didn't know you lived in the Portland area. I, myself, don't live around here. I'm visiting.

Me: (I think to myself, I know, your sister, right? I've already figured it out.) Oh, do you comment on my blog? Maybe I've read yours.

...we chit chat for a while and I attempt to wow her with my other-country-identification powers and ask her:

Me: Now, she's from Ethiopia, right?

Her: No. She's from the states. Her father is African-American and her mother is Haitian.

WHAT? I didn't even recognize a Haitian face! I soooo got it wrong. That probably wasn't even her sister. My people watching/facial feature/assessing skilz are weak.

We chit-chat some more and oddly, I did more talking that she did. I normally find it easy and comfortable to allow people to do most of the talking while I do the listening, but for some reason, I was all gabby gabby with this mom. But that's okay. She has my blog site and as soon as she comments (or emails) I'll get an opportunity to know more about her. Right Cathy? :)

There's a neat set of circumstances that led up to even going to the children's museum that day. It was a last minute decision, we had chores to do before hand but had to exit the house at a specific time, we said a prayer that the cultural pass would be available so I didn't have to pay the high admittance fee, the front row parking spots at both library and CM that we got... it was quite amazing the events that led up to getting there. Ordained?

So after Cathy left, I had the perfect FB status update and walked away pleased with having met another Haitian adoptive mom and blog buddy. Did I just say blog buddy?

Looking forward to getting to know you better. You know who you are.


DotBlogger said...

Oh, and something totally cool that I forgot to mention: She used to LIVE in Haiti. She did a long-term mission or aid of some kind where she lived in Jeremie, Haiti for a few years. Guess what...that's where my girls were born. So very cool.

The Lynn-Skov Family said...

Hi Julie. Thanks for your note and your blog entry! It was so much fun to meet you. I live in Eugene and was up visiting our cousin and her boys.

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Haiti from 1996 - 1999, and lived in a village outside of Jeremie for most of my time there. I've been back to Haiti a few times over the past ten years, and hope to visit with our daughters when they are a little bit older.

Donovan and Julie said...

Oh, this is funny. I got excited when I saw that you knew someone on the east coast who adopted from Ethiopia. Then I realized it was me. :)

I had someone ask me once if Noemi was from Guatemala.'re one up on that woman, no worries!

The Lynn-Skov Family said...

The funny thing is that I've read Donovan and Julie's blog and every time I look at Noemi I think about how much Jasmine (my 8 month old) looks like her! Glad to know I'm not the only one. I guess African roots hold strong.

ajnrileysmommy said...

:) this made me smile!!
great story

christa jean said...

Ordained indeed!
Sing with me now! "It's a small world after all... "

Angie said...

What a fun story! You're famous! :)