Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tomorrow Rearranges All Of Today's Expectations

When I started this blog, I had dreams of parenthood that stretched out as far as the miles that separated us from our daughter in China. A year went by, then two, and on it went as we waited to become parents through international adoption. Tired of the endless wait, we decided to apply for domestic adoption in 2009 but domestic opportunities seemed few and competition for those situations seemed high. Over time, the weariness borne from anxious waiting chipped away at our resolve, leaving in its wake anger and sadness instead of hopeful expectation. In recent months, our conversations had turned from speculation over how long we might have to wait for a referral to whether we even still wanted to be waiting.

And then, in a matter of hours, everything changed. In mid July, we got "the call" at 6:00 p.m. that our son was born, and that we needed to be in another state to pick him up by noon the very next day. We had nothing - no nursery, no plane tickets, not a diaper in sight and most importantly, no clue that morning when we woke up that we would go to bed that night as parents.

We had nothing, yet in under 24 hours, we would have - everything.

Someone asked me the other day - so, was it all worth it? I expected to be able to say without hesitation - yes. But what came to mind instead was the years of hurt, the surgeries, the shots, the tests, the worry, the paperwork, the grind, just everything that this journey has brought. I look at our son and I value him as a only a parent can value a child. But, it saddens me that the joy is tinged with the fact that infertility changed me in ways I am both thankful and resentful to the core for. So, I guess I answer the question of "worth" like this...

All of the persistence, all of the heartache, all of the tears and yes, all of the money, were paid for one thing. Hands down - it's not a baby. All of those things, the greatest debt we've ever known, were paid for something far, far more simple - they were paid for the chance to be normal - to just throw out all the crap that stands in the way and be like anyone else who ever wanted to parent a child. Should that chance have cost that much? That's debatable. What isn't debatable is that "worth" and a child should never be used in the same sentence.

We're now the parents of an amazing little boy. To us, that is simply priceless.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It has been a long time since I posted. There's not been much to post about. Life, outside of adoption, continues. I've tried to tune adoption out, but it's everywhere. I see it when I look at my friends. I see it when I go to the mall. I hear about it from the many newsgroups I belong to. And now, as the U.S. prepares to allow certain Haitian earthquake refugees into the country for the purposes of adoption, it's even more prominent.

Today I stumbled across the blog of a very angry adult Korean adoptee. She is upset at what she calls "adoption vultures" hovering around the rubble of Haiti before the dust has even settled. She's furious that black children are being adopted by white parents. She perceives that white privilege has reared its head in this, the most tragic of situations. I read her blog post with mixed emotions. She's partly right - in usual fashion, the U.S. has stepped in to be a "savior", where perhaps a lighter handed approach might have sufficed. Nonetheless, her post pissed me off, and now, we're both angry. I posted a comment to her blog, which she'll likely never publish. So I'm publishing it here.

"First off, let me be clear. I’m white. I’m not rich, I’m just white. I understand that no matter how much money I have or don’t have, my race makes me privileged. I don’t get to choose that part any more than you get to chose your racial heritage. I am adopting. It’s very possible I’ll be a parent to a child of another race. I don’t think I have a better home than a same-race parent. What I do think is that my home is better than no home at all. I KNOW that I will never understand what it’s like to be a non-white. I KNOW. It’s not my place to judge your anger. As a potential transracial parent, it’s my job to understand your anger. It’s my job to help a child find the resources they will likely need to deal with their anger at being adopted, transracially or not. That said, how you feel is a choice. How you choose to react to a given situation is up to you. How sad to read that you’ve judged me, when you don’t really know what my motivations are. I’m not evil because I’m a white person who wants to be an adoptive parent. I’m not naive. I’m not elitist. I’m not entitled. I do have a heart. And a home. And the means to parent a child who needs both. And I won’t apologize for that."

I'm fired up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I know I haven't blogged in a while, and there's a variety of reasons for that, but this post isn't about me.

Our friends Donna and Joe are in China right now, adopting beautiful baby Lauren. They are having a tough time with attachment, and smiles have been precious but very hard to come by.

As incredible as adoption is, it's also incredibly difficult at times. You can follow their journey at - please head over to their blog and offer them up all the support you can. With love and friendship, all obstacles seem just a little bit easier to conquer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Everything Has Changed

It has been a long time since I've posted. There are lots of reasons for that, but probably the main one is that it's taking so f*ing long to get a referral that I've just kind of turned my back on adoption for a while. It seems easier, somehow (in a toddler's "you can't ignore me if I ignore you first" kind of way).

That said, this whole election thing has brought me out of my shell. Yesterday was a historic day - both for our country, and for our daughters. America voted in our first minority president. Why should our Chinese daughters care? Because as Caucasian parents, we can never understand what it's like to be not white. Like it or not, white privilege is a very real phenomenon. This election heralds change for all of us - both in our views on race as a country, and in the dreams of minority children everywhere. If an African American can become president, then why shouldn't a Chinese American be able to achieve anything she sets her mind to? Finally, the proof is in the pudding.

One other political soapbox to rant on from yesterday and then I'll step down again into my life of adoption denial...

Arkansas is out of it's mind. Yesterday, voters in AR passed Initiated Act 1 -- banning all non-married couples from adoption or foster care. This covers 'em all - co-habitating couples, straight or gay, from parenting adopted or foster kids. Hmm.....Let's pass a law that prevents willing folks from providing desperately needed homes to children just wanting to be loved. Makes a lot of sense to me....NOT.

Then again, pretty much nothing in this whole adoption thing makes sense to me right now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Pride

Yesterday was a big day for China. As the torch lit signifying the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, China turned a corner. The world watched as the stereotypical Chinese regime incorporated an impressive display of solidarity, tradition, and hope for the future into what will likely be one of the most memorable opening ceremonies in the history of the Games.

I watched the opening ceremony with fellow waiting adoptive parents, some toting children already back home from China, and one Chinese National who recently immigrated here to the U.S. All of our faces were touched with pride as we watched, knowing that a tiny bit of China has already burrowed its way into each of our hearts, if not yet our homes.

So, it caught me by surprise to hear that some adoptive parents are "boycotting" the Olympics. Many of them are bitter that so much money, time, and media attention has been spent on something other than processing China's orphaned children through the system and into their waiting arms. I understand their feelings of hopelessness and frustration at a system that promised the hope of parenthood in approximately 18 months and now dangles 48 months as an elusive carrot.

Nonetheless, that kind of ire masks the wave of positive change the Olympics have brought to China, politically, socially and environmentally. I'm certain that the Games will cost me months (if not years) of additional time waiting for our referral. But, I'm also hopeful that the forward momentum initiated by these Olympics will carry through to the future of China and its children - a future that my daughter will eventually be born into.

I'm hopeful that in the spirit of the Olympic Games, those waiting parents can find a way to set their bitterness at China and the CCAA aside. At the end of the day, teaching our internationally adopted children to be proud of where they came from is the responsibility of every parent. If the LED scroll pages turning and the silk costumed dancers twirling and the 2008 tai chi performers swaying in perfect synchronicity didn't move you to feel the tiniest sense of pride that you get to be a part of it all some day - albeit a some day much further in the distance than you thought - then please step to the side now. It is a privilege to adopt one of China's daughters. May we honor it as such.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

OK, I'll say it. I hate pregnant people. Well, not really hate in the true sense of the word. More like an intense sort of envy that I am not proud of. And sometimes pregnancy - and envy - can interfere in otherwise perfectly healthy, happy friendships.

Case in point - I have a friend who's incredibly fertile. She's on her sixth baby, two of which have been born since we started trying to have a child. The funny thing about fertile people is that they never know how to act around folks who can't have children. I absolutely hate it when folks walk on eggshells around me just because pregnancy and my body can't find a way to get along. I don't have leprosy, I'm just infertile. News of your pregnancy won't kill me. Yes, I really am truly happy for you, even as I'm sad for me. I'll cry - just a little bit - on the day your child is born, wishing it could have been me in your place. And then I will happily celebrate your child's birth because I care about you just as much as I always have. Ah - but I'm off track - this post has taken a turn I had not intended -back to the story at hand...

My friend is cavalier about the whole pregnancy thing, which rankles me in a way I can't begin to explain. Over time, our friendship has dissolved under the weight of trust issues, distance, her lack of support of our adoption, and my envy. So, it caught me by surprise tonight when I stopped by her blog and saw that her family was weathering a tough time. After consultations with multiple doctors, her second youngest son has been given a unanimous diagnosis of autism.

Dealing with a special need on top of caring for six young children must be quite a struggle. So, tonight, I ask that you please send positive energy her direction. Hopefully now that their son has a definitive diagnosis, they can start down the road of research and treatment options. C., we pray that your little one finds the light within, again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm one of those people who generally doesn't feel old. Yes, I get creaks and aches and fine lines, but still, I try not to dwell on the fact that I'm getting older each year.

D. travels a lot, so at least one night a week I find myself spending time in my local yarn shop, weaving and talking to other weavers and knitters. I was discussing yarn with the daughter of another regular last night, and the topic turned to knitting children's sweaters. I mentioned that I had lots of suitable yarn, but no kids to dress up in handknit clothing.

With a straight face she turned to me and said, "well, at my age, it seems like everyone is falling pregnant and having kids." I stood there stunned, suddenly feeling older than I've felt in a long while. I still can't shake the image in my head of pregnancies falling down upon 19 year olds like manna from heaven.

Not knowing what to say, I mumbled that we're in the process of adopting. "Really, adoption?", she asked. "I was adopted...well, I grew up with my real mom. But my stepdad adopted me."

Now I feel old, and decidedly like an un-real mom. Yippee.