Cabin fever was starting to set in and Morne and I were dying to get out for a cup of coffee and a meal. We haven’t been on the other side of the four walls surrounding our house for a full week. At the same time we were nervous. With a nappy bag packed with enough bottles, nappies and clothes to last our son a good couple of days, we set off to the mall.
Ever since we started the adoption process we were never fazed or concerned with the opinions of others, negative once mostly, but at the same time very aware that there were individuals with objections. We were in it for us and our baby only. Naturally, we were a bit anxious appearing in public after being sheltered in our home.
We made our way to the nearest restaurant and grabbed a seat. As we settled in, we saw out of the corner of our eye a lady approaching us. My heart sank to my shoes. This was really too early for this BS… She was a white female, late twenty to early thirties, Afrikaans speaking and her husband had joined her at the table behind us.
She came up to us, placed her hands on me and Morne’s shoulders, peeped into the pram and opened her mouth… My heart was racing, my fight mode was starting to kick in and I was about to utter: “It’s on bitch!!” when she said… “I have SO much appreciation and respect for what you have done. It is truly beautiful.” She turned on her heels and returned to her table to join her husband.
Morne and I sat there in awe for a minute. Completely taken aback on what just happened. She fitted the profile of the people that would generally run their mouths about adoption and or gays (in no particular order). How wrong was I? How wrong were my perceptions of the white, Afrikaans speaking population? Please don’t get me wrong… I’m one of them. A white male, Afrikaans speaking with a strong Free State boer (farmer) bloodline.
Morne and I finished our meal while Loïc was taking a nap. We asked for the bill and started preparing for the trip home. The same lady got up from her chair and walked over. “Sorry I could not wrap this. For your little boy.” and handed us a bag. In it was a bib and beanie from Naartjie. I was floored. As we looked over to their table, we mimicked the words "Thanks You" to her husband and he acknowledged us with a smile and a nod of the head. We were complete strangers, but they made us feel like we old friend that bumped into each other at the mall.
We left the mall and returned home with a restored faith in humanity.
To the lady that was so kind to us in Clearwater Mall… If you are reading this… THANK YOU!! Thank you for showing me that I was so wrong all this time. Thank you for the gift, but more so, thank you for your kindness, your respect and for your acceptance.
We have met so many people that have embraced us as a family. Although we are not sheltered from the mean people in this world, we choose to surround ourselves with the ones that have chosen to embrace the beautiful diversity of our country.
Jusqu'à la prochaine fois...