Yesterday we went to the Pine Wood Derby to watch Levi race his car. There were a lot of little cub scouts running around, and one I didn't know came over and sat down at our table. Levi puffed out his chest and said to the new kid "This is my sister....do you believe me?" For those who don't know, Levi is adopted and I am 23 years older than him. The new kid looked from Levi to me, back to Levi, then to me and quickly came to the decision that most kids his age would make in that situation....we were lying.
Levi got a huge smile on his face and said "I am adopted. Do you know adopted is?" Then a quick side glance to me and out of the corner of his mouth "I bet he doesn't know what adoption is!"
My first instinct was to jump in and help explain everything, but the huge smile on Levi's face stopped me. He has explained this situation many more times than I have, and definitely to more kids than I have. I couldn't tell you about anything else that was going on in the room at that point. This conversation was all that mattered.
Levi - Do you know what adopted means?
New Kid - ........yes
Levi - What is it?
New Kid - Adopted is when you are all alone and then you go live with someone new.
Levi - Kind of, but I was never alone. (this is said with the same excitement you would expect on Christmas morning, mixed with a great sense of authority)
To make the situation even more interesting Levi's cousin (who is his biological brother) was there making the conversation even more confusing for the new kid, although it was super cute to see the two of them explain their unique situation together. They spoke with such confidence and pride as they explained adoption to the new kid.
Levi spoke about his adoption with enthusiasm and a huge smile on his face. For him, adoption is something to brag about. The new kid started the conversation thinking that adoption was a sad situation, but I don't know how anyone could walk away from Levi's explanation thinking that adoption was anything but the greatest experience a kid could have.
Today I am thankful for the huge dose of optimism Levi has about his life and his willingness to share his story with new people. He sees the glass as half full!