Monday, January 3, 2011
The Circle of Clothes...er....Life
When we lived in Colorado we had this whole circle of clothes thing going on. In other words a hand-me-down legacy. We would get boy clothes passed down from Eva. If the item made it through both of my boys then I would hand them down to Vincent. We got girl clothes from Linda and Judy that would first go to Jade (my oldest daughter), then I would pass them on to Molly (Jade's best friend) and then they would return to me for Ember and then if it made it through all that I would pass the girls clothes on to Eva and thus, completing the Circle of Clothes.
Of course then we went and broke the circle by moving to Morocco. We've been here now for 9 months and my kids have inevitably outgrown some clothes. Then of course there are the things that they never wore. Like Jade will not wear tank tops because she doesn't like to show her armpits. We all have our own weird things right? Then because Ember has a big sister idol worshipping thing going on she won't wear (or eat, or play or enjoy) anything that Jade didn't. So when we combine all the clothes that are outgrown (or unfit for wearing because they expose your armpits, etc.) we have 3 garden size trash bags full of perfectly good clothes in need of a home. And I must complete the circle.
So I ask my friend Olivia who just adopted a beautiful Moroccan boy from an orphanage just last month if she knew of one where I could drop off clothes to donate. And of course she does. The orphanage she adopted from has children of all ages so she offers to go with us. I'm especially excited and a bit anxious for my kids to see the orphanage. See, all four of our kids were adopted from Russian orphanages. Not having orphanages in the states they have never seen one from the outside and being young when we adopted them they don't have memories of their own from the inside.
My kids have always known they're adopted. As the years have gone by the questions that they ask about their adoptions change. Some of my kids are very open in school and with friends about being adopted and others are not. They all know their Russian names and think they are pretty funny. And even though none of my kids are biologically related to each other, their Russian heritage binds them. Well, they are probably more bound by the fact that they fight, wrestle, bicker, argue, poke, spit and call each other names just like any other siblings do. And just like other siblings when someone outside the familial circle is picking on their sister (or brother) they will be the first to remind that outsider that no....that's MY job! And in some sadistic way it's sweet and heart warming as long as no one ends up in the emergency room.
None of the smaller kids are outside on the orphange grounds, as their play time is earlier in the morning. We are greeted by a few of the older special needs kids who also reside there. Even though this isn't the orphanage that I got my kids from the emotion is still overwhelming. My kids are focused on the bags or clothes gleaning just passing glimpses at the orphanage kids. But, the second we get back in the car, the questions start. Why do those kids look different? How do the kids get to the orphanage from wherever they are born? Why did their parents dump them there? Why don't we have orphanages in America? I much prefer these questions to the bigger daily questions I routinely get. Why do we cut down the rain forest when we know it's bad? What is the square root of pi? Why doesn't everyone get along and we can just have world peace? Why doesn't Jade get in trouble? What's for dinner? Or my personal favorite, why do you get to do all the fun stuff? Um. Really?
So after a thorough orphanage interrogation by the kids we head to the Chellah to let our kids play. One Moroccan, one American and four Russians. And for a moment there was world peace while they played. They should have had medals for tag. And there should have been Olympic theme playing in the background. (FYI, the Moroccan was substituted for another player on account of his drinking problem. Yeah, milk.) Then of course when it's time to go the Russian team started infighting. (They tower over the other athletes and I heard they're on steroids anyway. Disqualified.) Which brings me to yeah and why doesn't everyone just get along so we can have world peace anyway?