Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Culture Shock!

Shortly after I began blogging, I realized that there would be several readers that don't know our family. We've had blog readers from all over the world who have taken interest in our journey to adopt. I expect a certain number of you think that Tracy, writer of this blog, is the beautiful woman in the profile picture when actually Tracy is the lucky guy standing right next to her. If you made the mistake of thinking I'm female, you're not the first. As a teenager I would often get letters from the Miss America pageant. Those of you named Kelly, Stacy, or Terry (etc.) can relate to being thrown into wrong-gendered situations because of misconceptions about your name.

Even with all the "opportunities" afforded me by virtue of my name, I've never had the "privilege" of taking part in an American ritual traditionally only experienced by the female gender - the BABY SHOWER!

Our church and friends planned one for us. I even helped register for gifts at Wal Mart and Target. I thought that was the extent of my involvement. I admit, it was on my calendar, but only for the purpose of reminding myself "Rhonda won't be home that night".

Somehow today I agreed to pop my head into the room and say hi for a few minutes and leave (I think I was tricked). Then just a few minutes before the shower began I received a call stating I should be there because (of all things) several men actually showed up! These were even manly men!

So I did. And I experienced a degree of culture shock that I wasn't expecting for at least another week. I never knew what happened at a shower. For you men who want to know, it goes like this: (1) Eat food (2)Play a game (3)Watch the parents open a pile of gifts. It's kind of like a birthday party for older women I guess. Who knew?

I didn't. I've been on 15+ mission trips and one thing we're always taught is cultural sensitivity --study the culture before you engage it. Well, I didn't have a chance to study beforehand so I had to wing it. I think I did OK.

Rhonda and I shortly after I discovered I was going to be there for the duration. Consequently, my smile's not quite normal here.

One of our good friends made this really cool cake with Neti and Meke's edible picture on the top of it. At the end of the night there were two pieces left - one with each of the girl's heads on it. I don't know if people were being nice by letting us take those pieces home or if they found it weird to eat them.

If you look closely enough you might find a few men in this picture. I'm in the upper left holding a gift up on display.

Once I found out I could open gifts I began relaxing a bit. However, I was told I opened them way too fast. I didn't realize that every shower has a secretary who writes down everything that happens with a pen and notebook. When we were done she commented that ours was the fastest shower she's ever been a part of.

The people of ONC are very generous. Each of our girls gets two identical bikes...one play bike, and one for dress up.

Seriously, though, thanks to all the great people of ONC who continue to demonstrate they are some of the most giving people in the world. We appreciate your generousity and love!


At 11:52 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

So sorry I wasn't able to be there, but know you all were thought about. Sounds like I missed a great time! And Tracy...I'm so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. :-) Welcome to the wonderful world of showers!

At 5:10 AM , Blogger Dave said...

Wow, am so glad I didn't go Trace, as the cultrual shock would have been too much. Smile. I too thought men were banned, but hey, a speedy and orderly present opening sounds just what was needed.

Blessings on ya's!

At 10:32 PM , Blogger The Elliott Family said...

I am laughing! Even as a woman those can be hard to take!

You are truly secure enough with your manhood after that...you could even wear pink, now!

At 8:00 PM , Blogger Scott Williams said...

Wo...Scary dude! Do you need someone to punch ya a couple of times in the arm to make you feel manly again? How 'bout them Bears Huh?1? I'm glad they didn't eat the heads of your kids, that is weird.

At 9:33 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

Oh my word! How wonderful! I wish we would have known about it. I would have loved to join in the fun! Your church family is amazing. Those bikes are incredible!

Can you believe it's time already??? Two more days!!! It's for real now!! Yay!!!!!


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