To say Mikias loves Legos would be a wild understatement. Mikias has told us that next to his family, Legos are the best part of his life. I think he only threw in the family comment so he wouldn't hurt our feelings. Jemby is quickly following in Mikias's footsteps and is becoming a passionate Lego fan as well. When we heard that the Lego Kid's Fest was coming to Boston there was no doubt that we would be there. It was Lego heaven. Several times I overheard Mikias saying to himself, "This is the best day of my life!".
Despite the chaos and the crowds, I could hardly wipe the smile off my face. Watching our boys enjoy this day was a blast.
There was a HUGE Lego city being built. There were giant tables of Legos set up around the city so that kids could build something to contribute to the city. Mikias and Jemby worked for a solid hour on their creations. Kurt and I stood behind them watching. There were kids and parents everywhere. It was a tight squeeze around the table. While we were watching the boys build, a woman tapped Kurt on the arm and said in a tone that was unmistakably irritated, "Could I please get in here? That is my son." She was pointing at the boy next to our boys. She proceeded to cut in front of Kurt. She must have thought Kurt and I were standing there with no connection to a child at the table. Kurt maneuvered himself so we could all fit behind our kids and nicely said to the woman, "And these are our sons" while pointing to our boys. She turned her back to Kurt and never looked our way again.
Later the boys went to a cool interactive area where they could build with electronic Legos. There was a spot for parents to sit and watch. Kurt stood, so I sat alone until another dad sat next to me. We commented about never having seen so many boys in one place before.
He said "I assume you have a son here."
"Two actually, one is right there." I pointed to Mikias while looking for Jemby to point him out.
I waited for more. I thought he was going to say something like, 'what a serious builder' or 'what a handsome boy' but he said nothing else.
I said, "Whoa?"
He didn't even look me in the eye, he just said "Adopted obviously."
I ignored him and watched my boys build. He ignored me and his own sons while he texted on his blackberry.
After a while he looked up from his phone and said to me "Where did you get them?" His tone was not the normal friendly curiosity that I am used to.
"Did you go there?"
"Did you get them as babies?"
"How was the adjustment for them?"
"Easy, perfect, in fact they are perfect." All lies. It wasn't easy and they (although perfect for us) are not perfect.
I know that I don't owe him or anyone else the details of our family. He had formed his opinion as soon as I pointed Mikias out. There wasn't anything I could say that would make him understand.
When we first brought Mikias home, similar encounters would shake me. Kurt told me that we would have to develop thicker skin. I told him that I couldn't. Encounter after encounter left me steaming. It has been over four and a half years since I became a mother by adoption. Like so many other things, thicker skin develops slowly over time. It kind of sneaks up on you. That fabulous day with the boys at the Lego Fest was not dampened at all by a couple of negative moments with people who just don't know better. It was a great day. I watched my boys have the time of their lives and realized for the first time that perhaps I have finally developed thicker skin.