Apparently when you organize and pull off a successful activity in this congregation you are rewarded with flowers and a box of chocolates the next day. At least, I was.
Now, on to weightier matters.
I got an email a bit ago from a friend who will be finalizing the adoption of their second child this summer. They adopted two boys from Korea, one right after the other. In her email she made the comment that it will be so nice to be done after two years of paperwork.
Yes, it would be so nice to be done. I have been feeling this way for a really long time now. I just want to be done. I want my family to be complete. I want to be done waiting. I want to be done wondering. I want to be done with the paperwork (even though we have had a nice looooong break from that). In so many ways, I want to be done with adoption.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I want to be done with adoption. But what exactly does that mean? What exactly am I feeling when I say to myself I want to be done with adoption? The truth is I don’t know exactly. Just some little, niggling feelings.
I do know I want to be done waiting and wondering about our next child. According to my comment’s-only blog, we have been waiting 282 day for our referral. For the most part I think we’ve been handling the wait fairly well. Honestly, we really weren’t hoping for our last child to be home before this summer. We knew Tank Boy needed extra time to mature and, though he is still difficult, he is much better. Aside from that, we do have four kids already, so I’m sure that must make the waiting easier. I really feel for those of you who are waiting for your first child and those who are waiting, not for you first child, but your first child through adoption. I’m sure the fact that we have children, and that we have adopted previously, is making the wait easier. I have children to distract me. I don’t have new-mommy stress. I don’t have new-to-adoption stress. I don’t worry if I’m confusing the two. I also don’t worry about how my family will be accepted or treated as a multi-racial family. I don’t worry about what people will say or think. I’ve been living it now for two years and it’s working out just fine.
I also want to be done with the government and paperwork. No, we haven’t exactly been drowning in it since last August, but more will come. And with the paperwork will come the writing of ginormous checks, the purchasing of expensive airline tickets, etc. Yes, I suppose I want to be finished waving goodbye to huge sums of cash. It is worth it in the case of adoption, and I don’t regret it. I’d just like to have a few years in which we can save money and then, well, keep saving it rather than kissing it goodbye and sending it out into the big, wide world.
I’m ready to be done with adoption “issues.” I just want to be a family. Oh, believe me, I realize I can’t ever be done with adoption “issues” because my sons will have been adopted. It will always be there, it will always be part of our lives. Sometimes it may be a small part, sometimes it may be a large part. Either way, that will be mostly up to our sons. I don’t want to make a big issue out of it. I don’t always want to be reminding them of it (like the mirror won’t be enough of a reminder?). I don’t want to teach or encourage them to use it as any kind of crutch or excuse for every hardship or setback in their lives.
When we were in the process of adopting Tank Boy we had to watch a video in which several very angry, very bitter adult adoptees sat around talking about the fact that they were trans-racial adoptees. And they were mad as hell about it. They were mad at their parents (the adoptive ones), and they were mad at the world. It was kind of scary, and completely opposite from the feelings and attitudes of the adult trans-racial adoptees I know personally. Someone on an unofficial agency chat group (several someones if I recall correctly) made the comment that they were probably so angry because, back when they were adopted, parents weren’t taught to teach them about their birth culture. She concluded that our children will grow up much happier since we all know to teach them about their birth country and birth culture.
With all due respect: puh-lease! Here is what I know about my predominantly Scandinavian heritage: in Sweden one of the daughters wears some kind of wreath on her head Christmas morning and, I think, serves breakfast. Here is what I know about my Appalachian heritage: rum running during prohibition helps pay the bills, and, in some circles anyway, Valina (with a long i) is a perfectly acceptable name for a girl. Yet I am pretty well adjusted and relatively happy.
I realize that being a Scappalachian gives me the advantage of being able to pass unnoticed from one Eurocentric community to the next, and most of our internationally adopted children won’t have that ability. But I really don’t think forcing Tank Boy to eat kimchi is going to make him happier if he does feel out of place. Unless he wants to eat kimchi. I have to let him decide what his issues are, or if he even has any, regarding his trans-racially adopted status. I’m not saying it’s bad to teach children about their birth heritage, I’m just saying it isn’t the be-all end-all of successful parenting.
Sometimes I think I want to be done with blogging. But not really. I think maybe I just need to expand my horizons when it comes to the blogs I read. Obviously I like them for one reason or another, or I wouldn’t read them. However, I think my ratio of adoption blogs to other themed blogs is way off kilter. I try not to make my blog all about adoption, but it is what is going on in my life right now.
I guess, basically, though adoption is part of my life, I don’t want it to define my life. And I want my kid.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt can’t find your sister, either.