They're ADOPTED?

my pirate
I love going to the beach with the boys.  For the boys it is non-stop playing, swimming and exploring (and occasionally being yelled at by an overly intense career life guard). For me it is endlessly entertaining watching them. One one of my favorite days this past summer, Jemberu dressed as a pirate and buried his treasure and practiced his swashbuckling moves, completely unaware of onlookers smiling at him.  But my absolute favorite beach memory was a conversation I had with two boys that I have known since they were born, Noah and Landon.

It was a gorgeous beach day and lots of our friends were there.  The boys were happy to be see Noah and Landon. Our families go to church together and the boys have all known each other since our boys came home.  I was talking to some of the moms with us and mentioned something about when we adopted Mikias.  

Noah whipped his head toward our conversation, "Wait, Mikias is adopted?  

Landon piped in, clearly concerned and shocked,  "What about Jemby?  Is he adopted?"  

"Yes, they are both adopted."

With alarm in his voice Landon asked, "Do you have any idea where they are from?"
Mikias and Noah at a Christmas party

"Of course!" I reassured him "They are from Ethiopia."

                                                                                        The looks of confusion and concern remained.

Landon and Jemberu
"Ethiopia is in Africa.  Mikias and Jemby are from Africa."

Their mouth were hanging open, they were truly shocked to learn this about their friends.  

Growing up, I could share the fact of my adoption or not.  The boys (at least when they are with the rest of our family) don't normally have that luxury.  That moment at the beach was a sweet one. Noah and Landon had never thought of Mikias and Jemberu or our family as different.  

The sun shone down on me, I enjoyed the moment.  I watched Noah and Landon run back into the warm Atlantic water to play with their friends.  I smiled while I soaked up the sunshine and the moment.

I watched Noah introduce Mikias to a friend, "This is Mikias, the reason he has such a weird name is that he is adopted from Ethiopia which is in AFRICA!"  he practically shouted

Mikias can be self-conscious about being perceived as different from his friends.  I watched closely to see how he would handle Noah's exuberant introduction.

"Noah, are you going to always introduce me to people that way?" Mikias asked calmly

"Nah. I just think it is so cool!  I had no idea!"

That was it.  Back to swimming, tossing a football and friends enjoying a day at the beach.

A perfect day.