we just can't decide..
Throughout our adoption journey, we've generally found support, tolerance and even admiration from those around us and those we have come across.
Regardless of age and background recipients of the news that we, a male couple, have two children have at worst been polite and at best enthusiastic.
Occasionally, whilst positive, the response has still taken us by surprise.
My Dad lives in a sheltered housing development in the town close to where we live.
His default position in relation to his neighbours is one of being anti social. Largely female, the other residents congregate often in their communal room. The have morning coffee and afternoon tea, they organise birthday treats, film shows and sherry parties. They celebrate annual and national events with their own genteel get togethers.
Grandad rarely attends.
We, on the other hand, try and join in. The ladies like to see the children. Those who do have family locally tend to be the grandparents of now much older children, so to have our three year old daughter and seven year old son visit their communal room is a treat.
The children get a treat too. The centre of much elderly, cooing attention, they are assured their pick of the biscuits or cakes the ladies have to accompany whichever event they are attending.
So while I am undertaking my daily visit to see my Dad if the residents are congregated in their communal room the children will often spend some time there.
We are incredibly lucky with our adopted children. Whilst not birth siblings they look remarkably similar. As someone remarked soon after our adoption of our daughter, that's the work of a good adoption social worker.
They are both blonde. They both sport tans easily obtained in the Summer. We are very proud that they are also kind, attentive and polite in the presence of others. They are particularly well behaved around the elderly.
So, their visits to the elderly ladies in the communal room are enjoyed by all, with both sides of the equation obtaining pleasure from the visit.
As we visited Grandad a little while ago one of his elderly neighbours stopped us.
After initial greetings and pleasantries about the weather she said, "we've been talking about your little family,"
"Oh? I hope the children have been behaving," I said, casting an eye at our little darlings as they chased around the development's communal lawn.
"Oh yes, they are an absolute credit to you," Grandad's neighbour said. "They're such good looking children too."
"Thank you," I said.
"Yes, we were all saying that the other afternoon.
Do you know?
We just couldn't decide.
Which one of you they looked like more."
J and I shared a quizzical glance. "Um, I'll try and explain.." he said.
"Don't you dare!" I replied.
"Lovely, quite lovely," Grandad's neighbour said as she walked away.
Reactions to our children occasionally surprise us. But none more so than the lovely conversation that happened in that sheltered housing common room, totally devoid of any biological basis whatsoever.