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.
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.
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.
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.
last two film photos by hannah.