Monthly Archives: October 2016

Could this work?

December will mark exactly 3 years since we started trying to grow our family.  That’s 3 years of anticipation, 3 years of anxious excitement, 3 years of disappointment, 3 years of grief.  There have been plenty of positive times, times when I really thought this was going to happen for us.  But each time it didn’t.  We just past the 1 year mark since we started working towards adoption.  We are still just a family of two.

We are currently talking to prospective birthmom #3 (M), and things have been progressing smoothly. But I’ve had a hard time mustering the excitement I would have felt in this same situation a few years ago.  Repetitive failure has taught me that chances are that this will end the same as everything else has.

This past weekend we hopped a plane to visit M and get to know her face to face.  We hit it off, spending plenty of time developing a solid relationship.  I was impressed by her strength, blown away by her confidence, and in awe of her poise.  We talked over lunch about the weather, open adoption, her family, our family, her plans for the birth, and our mutual love for fresh tomatoes.

On day 2 she took us to the hospital where she plans to deliver.  As we walked the halls and listened to the nurse talk about what she can expect I started to imagine her in a gown, laying on a gurney, bringing a child into the world.  It wasn’t until we were on route home that it hit me.  I can imagine D and I right there with her.  All the plans we’ve discussed, the scenarios I’ve run over in my head that feel like a lost dream, suddenly I can see them actually happening. For the first time in a long time, I can picture our baby coming into our lives!

The entire ride home I pictured that, in just a few months, I could be traveling this exact path with a baby in my arms.  From the pre-boarding announcement, to the gate check area full of strollers, to the cry of a baby in the back of the plane.  Then our plane touched down. As we rode the familiar streets towards home I could feel reality envelop my excitement.  We were once again walking through our front door with empty arms.  But as I walked down the hall towards my bed that night I paused for an extra moment at the door to the little grey room and felt something I haven’t felt in a while — HOPE!


Seeing Color

Everyone knows that adoption means your kid won’t necessarily look like you.  Even without shared genetics some children do resemble their parents, at least enough for the ignorant bystander to mistake them for biological relatives.  But in many families formed through adoption this is not the case.  Everyone knows it’s part of the adoption experience. But the degree of visual distinction between an adoptive parent and child can vary drastically, most obviously when there is a difference in race.

It’s easy to think that “love is colorblind”, but in the end the rest of the world is not.  The decision to create a family that stands out and has to deal with the harsh realities of stereotypes and racism is not one to be taken lightly.  When we first started this process we thought about this quite a bit.  After a lot of discussions, and even a mandatory class at the agency, we decided to be open to any placement, regardless of the babies racial background.  Now we find ourselves needing to reaffirm that decision as we face the possibilities before us.

The expectant mom we’ve been speaking with, is of a different racial background than we are, and the biological father of her unborn child is from a third. Now I find myself examining my life through a different lens, with words like bias and privileged running around in my head.  I am forced to address stereotypes that I never knew existed.  You see, modern american society has conditioned me, as a white woman, to view racism as history rather than current events.  But if I am to be a mother with a child of a minority race, I cannot see the world that way.  Regardless of whether love can be color blind, an interracial family cannot be.

So we make plans to celebrate her biological heritage and embrace the culture of her biological parents. We watch youtube videos to learn how to care for her different hair and skin.  And we will walk the world more alert to the attitudes that her darker skin, as well as the contrast within our family, will bring from others.  And, should something change and we discover that this is not our baby, being pushed to think of these things will make us better parents to our future child of any race.