Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The difficulty in answering such a simple question

I have worked at Pine Creek Dental for almost 5 years now! Craziness! My patients are like family, I have seen them graduate, get married, have children, and have even had a few patients die........ I love that my job is about people and not just teeth. In the same aspect many patients have seen parts of my life, from the first moments of me becoming a hygienist, to me being pregnant, to having and baby, and  even losing one. People do care, and are always asking about my life and "how things are."

The wonderful people I work with!

These past few months have been strange, strange when I see my regular patients, who ask how Maya is, how Christmas was, and if we are going to have anymore children? Some how, answering this question has become difficult. My Christmas, well it wasn't that great and having more children...... well, we do now! When I say Maya has become a big sister I always encounter a strange and confusing look, like, how did that happen? Are you pregnant? Were you pregnant and I missed it?

I don't talk to every patient about it, that would be exhausting and to time consuming. Really just the ones who ask directly. It is so strange to me because when people have new babies they are always so eager to talk about them and how life has changed. I mean, I want everyone to know how proud and honored we are to have Norah with us, but it entails so much more than just saying, "we have a new baby!" I think sometimes it makes my patients more uncomfortable than me, because they usually say, "congratulations" and then when they realize the circumstance for our adoption they end up saying "sorry......"

I don't really know the proper way to address it, or talk about it and somehow it comes out awkward and usually involves me talking about my sisters death, sigh.... I even have a patient who's son has Kawasaki disease and when I saw her a few weeks ago I was just praying she wouldn't ask me about my sister with Kawasaki disease, because I didn't want to scare her and make her worry about her son. She didn't ask.

This isn't just at work. We have had a few encounters other places as well. For example on Sunday, we went to Villa (the health club we attend) to take the girls swimming. We saw one of Maya's little swimming friends and her parents, we exchanged hellos and then Maya said, "this is my sister, Norah." The couple looked at us oddly and then asked how old Norah was, when I said "One," they gave us an even stranger look. I wasn't about to have a deep conversation in the family locker room, so we said goodbye and went swimming. I am sure that couple left trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  Both girls having blond hair and blue eyes just adds to the confusion.

I wish I knew a good way to bring it up, or make it easy, it just isn't. I want everyone to know that Norah is not a burden for us, but a blessing.  I want people to not feel awkward or sorry that they brought up my sisters death.  I just want everyone to know that I love my daughters!


  1. It could be a frank, "my sister died in December and we wanted Norah to be a part of our family". Most people are pretty sensitive to the emotional aspect of losing a sister at such a young age. May God continue to be with you Jenni, and Brett.

  2. I totally understand a lot of your thoughts and emotions about this because James' disability poses a similar problem for me. I love him and want people to know that I want him in our family, but having him also carries sorrow, and people know that. You will eventually learn a one-liner that sort of explains everything. You could just say, "we just adopted her!" in a positive way, and not explain why, necessarily. At least not to every person. Like the people at the pool. It would have explained it, but not in a way that required a long explanation. But yeah, I get the awkwardness...

  3. Im not sure if advice is what you were asking for...I think you could boldly say "God brought Norah into our lives". And they will probably figure she is adopted. Keep it simple... It could lead to a chance to share Jesus and tell them about your sister if you choose to.I am not saying I think it is "simple" in any sense ...but you will be exhausted if you try to explain to everyone. The Carrisa part of the story will be easier to talk about someday as God brings healing in His time.


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