a word about the A word

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We had Augie’s final court date this morning.  We appeared by phone from Oregon to Florida, which was strange and funny but no less real than being there in person.  So.  That’s done.  Though any parent will tell you, the making/getting/having is usually the easy part.  I think it’s no more true than in adoption– especially trans-racial adoption, where you know, it becomes so much more than family business the moment we leave the house.  The process doesn’t end with a court date.

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Adoption was always our first choice.  We didn’t always know what it was going to look like, but we knew it was a good fit for our family.  We read books and talked to people who were raising their families this way.  I spent loads of time wading through forums online.  I had a baby.  Hah.  Then it was sort of "now or never", and so we applied and seven months later on a Friday we got a call that a baby was waiting for us, and could we come as soon as possible?  We met him on that Sunday.  On the plane back from Florida I sat next to a woman who had raised her own family and was completely flummoxed by our situation.  I had this scrawny, little bear in my lap and she started in with the questions– fertility, race, economics, and the dreaded but well-meaning idea of luck.  I knew that they were coming and I gotta say, it was kind of awesome they all came out a well educated, wealthy, white Texan within minutes of leaving our hotel with our sweet boy.  I laughed a lot, did a little bit of sweating, and tried to be as generous as I possibly could.  It was good practice. She said that she had never met anyone like us. Now she has.

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The thing that is most important for me to communicate when people push right now (whether their intentions are good or suspect)– right in this time while he’s still little and doesn’t have a clue– is that adoption is not for everyone but it was for us and it is for so many people.  We are not so out of-the-ordinary and desperate times or circumstances didn’t force our hand.  We did not make this decision out of pity or guilt or after watching a particularly touching television special. He was a healthy baby who’s mom made a really brave choice.  Yes, the fees can be quite high.  No, not all of our family is supportive.  We do not want to be like Brad or Angelina (okay, maybe a little) or Madonna.  There are lots of people in the same boat and even if it is their Plan B or C or whatever, it can be the best plan they ever make.   

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In the end, this day made him ours on paper.  Honestly though, he’s ours but he’s not ours– his family in Florida is a very present part of our lives and we hope to share him in whatever capacity we’re able.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Can someone be loved by too many people?  I hope not.  We would need an entirely new plan. 

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last two film photos by hannah.

174 Comments

  1. What a moving post – you have a beautiful family ! Thanks for sharing these very special photos..!
    I’ve only just discovered your blog but I’ll be back 🙂

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  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m so happy I did. My husband and I talk very seriously about adopting an African American baby. Thanks for sharing. I will be back regularly now for updates!

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  3. I’ve been a reader for awhile, but I’m not sure I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to say this post was beautiful. Your family is lovely.
    I have always had it on my heart to adopt. It’s not a posibilty for us right now, but hopefully down the road it will be.

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  4. Oh, your sons are so cute! Rock on for wanting to share your love with another child—some people can barely handle one.

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  5. I know I’m late coming to this post and that you’ve already had lots of comments but… I just want to say what a great post it is. I worked in an adoption agency here in the UK for some years a while ago and would have to say that the most successful adoptions – same or mixed race – were always going to be those where the adoptive parents threw out their rose tinted specs. The notion of sharing our children in what ever way we can is beautiful as was the sentence can someone be loved by too many people? Good luck with your family.

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  6. Wow. My husband and I are also white and hope to adopt an Ethopian boy soon. I’m a bit off put by the celebrity status of adoption now a days – people assume we’re doing this to be like Brad and Angelina or something, even though I have wanted to adopt since I was like, twelve. Anyway…loved reading your blog. Google stumbled on it. Very encouraging. (And whoever took those pictures is a freaking awesome photographer.)

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  7. What a lovely story I’m glad you were so open and talked to the lady on the plane instead of shutting down or getting defensive because that doesnt help anyone understand!
    Found you thru Alicia.Nice to meet you!

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  8. I love reading about your family. Augie is too cute for words – what a beautiful bunch you make!
    “Can someone be loved by too many people?” I don’t think so. Maybe, but that is not generally the problem with the world. A bigger issue is being loved by too few. WTG on being part of the solution.

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  9. Just found your lovely blog, and this post especially hit home…
    I’m the oldest of six adopted children. The oldest three of us (28, 21 and 14) are Caucasian, and the younger three (8, 6 and 3) are African-American. It is always an interesting and exciting journey!
    God bless!

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  10. Congratulations! What a beautiful family!
    I too… am adopted… as were my brother and sister.
    As an adult – I am sometimes surprised by the reaction of other adults who it seems to me ought to know better. That adoption is strange or my parents are saints or something!!!
    As I told my nephew (age 10) who, when I was explaining a couple months ago, that his father and I were adopted… exclaimed, “Really?! I thought you were a normal kid!” …adoption is just another ordinary way to make a family. Family doesn’t happen the same way for everyone.
    Of course now you are an ambassador – like it or not! Especially because your family is interacial – it’s just more obvious. But everyone has their cross to bear.
    Mine came as a teenager when my sister died and her 2.5 year old son was left with me and my parents… and there I was… a 15-year-old toting a baby around along with my elderly mother – and we got ALL KINDS of stares! Fun fun!

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  11. having just adopted out second child, i happened upon this post at just the right moment in my day (after several obnoxious conversations lately)…i try really hard to breathe and then educate but sometimes i just want to kick someones as$*!. 🙂 thank you again for this post…
    xo, jenny

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  12. what a beautiful family! I just stumbled upon your blog… belated congratulations on your newest member of the fam! Your kids are lucky to have such caring people for parents 🙂

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  13. I just came upon your blog via flickr and I can’t wait to read more. This post really resonates with me. My husband and I are in a different situation, as right now adoption may be our only choice to start a family, but I am looking forward to learning more about your family’s journey. Thank you for sharing

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  14. I’m not sure if I’ve commented before, but I’ve been occasionally read your site for a long time. My partner and I have talked about adoption as our plan for some time. And I’ve had so many conflicting ideas about it. But thank you for proving that it can work, that it does work, and that if you’re honest and open you will get what you all need. Thank you for your honesty and your sharing.

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