Some of you have commented and messaged me about where the information about Cam’s fundraiser went. He and Brady had come to me with the sweetest request to go to China with me to bring Gigi home. They offered to split the cost of the extra ticket because we had only budgeted for myself, one child and Gigi. They collected pledges for doing yard work for people who can’t do it themselves (Seniors and people with physical differences that make yard work a challenge).
The day after we posted the fundraiser online, I heard Cam excitedly telling an acquaintance’s mom about his plan and his upcoming journey back to China. Then, I heard her say, “Here’s my question, why are your mom and dad bringing another kid home if they can’t afford to get them here?”
I think I died a little inside as I watched his face crumple. Ever the polite boy, he just shrugged, and walked away. He is not one to ever want me to fight his battles. If you’ve met me in real life, you’d know that I am sharp tongued in a way I usually regret. It took everything I had not to use that sharp tongue to rip this woman to shreds. I respect my son enough to know that if he needs me to step in, he’ll tell me. We’ve had this conversation in regards to his race, his adoption and our family make up. He will tell me if he needs me. If he doesn’t tell me, he wants to fight his own battles. If he comes to me though, it’s on like Donkey Kong, y’all.
He said nothing about it until late in the day when he came to me and said “Can you take all the fundraiser stuff for China off the internet?” I asked why, and then copped to the fact I had heard the whole fiasco with this woman. I wanted to have a conversation with him about judgment, how he will always experience it, and how, sometimes, people are ignorant. Instead, he said “I just don’t want people to think they’re helping us pay for Gigi. She’s a person. We’re not buying her.” Done. I respect him more than words can say for educating me on how this feels to him. He wants people to know he earned the money in every way he is able. He will honor every single pledge. He’ll mow lawns all summer, but he is determined to do it himself.
Juliana came to me later that day in tears with a catalog and pencil in her hand. She had spent all day planning a fundraiser for Cam and Brady. This girl. She wants so desperately to help. Because she struggles with the weight of so much trauma and loss, she rarely gets to. She usually needs quite a bit of help herself.
Her experience is not Cam’s. She lived in an orphanage. She has memories of not having a family. “We’re not doing a fundraiser because some stupid lady says we shouldn’t have Gigi because her adoption is expensive?” I explained Cam’s point of view to her as she sobbed. “Well, that’s not what I think. I think people are dumb sometimes, and I don’t care. I found a necklace that reminds me of our family from this catalog your friend sent me. I want to sell it. I want to help the boys go get Gigi and bring her here!” I took one look at the necklace’s message and decided to let her.
We’ve got Gigi’s adoption expenses covered. We’re not in the business of buying people. My kids want to lift each other up though. Juliana wants desperately to be part of the process that brought her to a family, in this small way. This is healing for her too.
My friend, Rachelle, has offered to help Juliana achieve this goal. If you would like to purchase Juliana’s necklace as a reminder of the true meaning of kindness, please go to Rachelle’s page…
There are SO many other amazing pieces available too. If you choose to purchase, please choose Juliana’s name at checkout. Please make sure you see Juliana’s name at checkout so she can track all the amazing people who are helping her rise too!
Every adoptee’s experience is different. Please consider helping Juliana honor hers. Here’s to lifting everyone and not tearing anyone down.
–FullPlateMom, who could use that reminder herself.