I was a little nervous to let the girls explore the library afterward, but they have such a fun kid area with toys, bean bags and puzzles, we had to take a chance. Trying to keep two toddlers doing the same activity and within sight and reach is quite the challenge. The best analogy I've heard is "It's much like herding cats." The first few minutes looked a bit like that as Zoe bolted down the aisles of books pulling them out while Arella was making a break for the giant stuffed bear in the opposite directoin, and I was left
Finally, after carrying the wiggle worm around for a while, Zoe began to realize that Arella knew where the child treasures were hidden. So off they went from opossum to giant bear, to a big wooden wire toy where sharing with other kids was attempted by Arella but Zoe bravely fought off two boys, then came bean bag diving and a smaller wooden wire toy, which led to vrooming (give me a break, it's in my vocabulary now) toy cars and emergency vehicles that finally veered us to the puzzle tables.
Arella will peacefully sit at the puzzle table and attempt to figure out what to do, and it appeared Zoe was interested in looking at the puzzles, so I finally sat between them next to the table. There happened to be another mom seated there watching her son go from puzzle to puzzle. He seemed a bit leery about two girls intruding on his territory. The mom was really giving us the once over. At first I thought I was getting some serious stink eye from her, but as we started talking I realized she was just curious.
I think I just assumed that I must have looked as frazzled and nervous as I felt, so I again assumed that people are looking at me and judging me like some dumb rookie mom. Which I totally am, and I'm completely okay with, I just don't need people reminding me all the time. Of course no one ever does, I just have quite the self-centered imagination that everyone is staring at me. Oh come on, admit it. You know you feel that way sometimes, too!
Anyway, she keeps looking back and forth from Arella to Zoe studying them very hard. She keeps glancing at me then back at them. I'm completely starting to wonder what kind of question she's going to ask. We had a couple of weird moments in China, but you expect it there and it's not home so it didn't feel very intimidating. This lady's prying eyes were making me anxious.
Finally she opens her mouth. She made some slight small talk noting my girls are very close in age and young, I must be busy. As if that's not obvious. Then, not sure how to ask it, she gets out, "Your husband must be... well, she (pointing to Zoe) is so dark and she (pointing to Arella) is like you." I smiled but only managed to get out, "Zoe is from China" before my girls decided it was time to run back over to the toy cars. There was a flash of understanding I caught in her eyes but so many more questions, but I had to bolt after the girls.
I wanted to be able to sit and talk and tell her of the wonders of adoption, but I guess I was only supposed to give her that tiny little glimpse. As she studied our family, I hope what she saw was not my insecurity but the joy my little girls had running around together and playing on every single inch of that kids' area. That speaks louder and clearer than anything I could say.
Just so you can see a little bit of their joy in action, I'm going to post a super short but fun giggly video of the girls. I was putting my hair in a ponytail yesterday when all of a sudden I hear this burst of giggles on the other side of the room. They could barely contain themselves they were laughing so hard! By the time I got my hair up and the video recording it had died down a bit, but I think they will still make you giggle a little bit too...