Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Adoption Works*

Our nieces and nephews are all very aware of the fact we are planning to adopt a baby, and all of them are very excited about the idea of a new cousin. They are even more excited though, because this baby is not coming "the old fashioned" way. They have had pregnant aunts, and Moms before, so they know how that works, but adoption is a whole new ball game, with a whole new set of expectations, and misconceptions.

Luke, for instance, seems to think that adoption is a sort of baby pizza delivery service -- you tell them exactly what they want and they bring it to your door. He has already told me several times that he would prefer a boy, because he has "way too many girl cousins." He also would like a baby that doesn't cry, and that likes to be outside, preferably to swim. Shaylee is also a proponent of the pizza delivery adoption model, but, of course, she wants the exact opposite of what Luke wants. She wants a girl baby, which will not mind being lugged around and dressed in doll clothes. I mean, she hasn't specifically said the doll clothes thing, but I can see it in her crafty little face. Also, I've seen her try to dress her cat.

Amaya looks at adoption as more of a Home Depot. She thinks that somewhere in the Salt Lake valley there is a large warehouse where all the babies are kept, and we just need to go pick one up. I explained to her that, no, that is not quite how it works, and that we need to wait for a birthmother to pick us, and for a baby to be born. It was then that she suggested we go for an older child, since she had seen commericals for those on TV. I explained that even for an older child we would have to wait, since a lot of paperwork would need to be done. She asked how long the paperwork would take. I told her at least two weeks. "Might as well wait for a baby," she said.

I really don't know how the kids will react when the baby actually gets here. I mean, I know they will be excited, but I also know it will be a big adjustment for them. First of all, their new cousin will most likely be African American, so there will be no cooing over how he/she looks like all of them. Then, there will be the fact that this baby will have another Mom. I know there will be questions about that. After all, they all live with their Moms, why doesn't our baby live with his/hers? I like to think that answering their questions now will help us prepare for when we have to answer the questions of our child later. I am hoping that we can do it with a mix of love, honesty and humor.

It would be cool though if they baby was delivered in 30 minutes or less and came with a side of crazy bread. I love that stuff.

*Not really.


Cate said...

Your baby will live with their mom, unless you are going to pawn it off on mom.

Yellow Trash Diaries said...

If you get an African American baby your family photos will look as interesting as mine did (but I know you will handle it a thousand times better). My half-sister and I used to love to fuck with people when we'd introduce each other (she is blond, blue-eyed and I am of course Korean). We'd be as casual as can be and the people would practically burst a vessel and develop all sorts of facial tics trying to figure it out and stopping themselves from asking.

Sandi said...

In my family, my bio kids think they got the short end of the stick because they only have one mother. When Hadley was little she used to get very upset about it. When she would ask the older kids who her birth mom was and they replied, "Sandi." She would stomp her feet and say, "Sandi is my real mom, who is my birthmom?" So much for 24 hours of labor and a hell of a pregnancy. She wants a birthmom!

When I was running the agency, the kids thought that any pregnant woman was placing their child for adoption. Taking them to Walmart was a joke. On Plenty of occasions they would say, "I know what you are, you are a birthmom cause you have a baby in your tummy." Thank heavens I could explain my way out of that one.

Ty still thinks any black child anywhere needs to be ours. He has asked me to bring babies and toddlers home plenty of times.

I think the important thing with teaching the kids about adoption is to use positive terms. I was very guilty of saying at first, "This babies mommy didn't have enough money to take care of her, so she placed her for adoption." Well, two months later when I am bouncing checks and needing cash, the kids over hear me on the hone saying I don't have any money. They immediately thought I was going to place them for adoption. I learned my lesson fast with that one.

I'm all about the crazy bread coming with the kid. If that were the case, I would have double what I have now. I LOVE CRAZY BREAD!

Ellen said...

no, you're all mixed up. it's not crazy BREAD that comes with the kid... it's crazy HEAD! At least that's all I got.

Also, I have a good friend who adopted the cutest little girl ever. They live in Texas... though they are currently on a cruise! You should visit her blog at www.elizawatkins.com

Let me know if you ever want to talk to them. Eliza's mom is a News Director in Houston (and I worked with her in Portland years ago.) She might have a lot of good insight for you... when you get your baby!

Aunt Juicebox said...

It's a learning experience for all of you, and a great one. Especially for kids. Tolerance is a hard thing to come by, and really should be learned when we are children.

I used to dress up the cat too. =) And my little brother. Heh.

Wren said...

Wow.... you've brought back so many memories from when my folks brought Adam home. I remember wanting a brother SO desperately, and being horribly impatient for him to arrive.

I'll have to talk to my mom and dad, but honestly, I remember precious few (if any!) strange reactions to having an African American brother. I mean, I'm sure there were strange looks, but I can't remember a single time when a friend of mine thought it was odd or anything.

My favorite memory to this day is when my Great-Grandparents on my dad's side met Adam for the first time and declared "he looks more like a Snyder than the Snyders do!"


MomZombie said...

Congratulations on your "paper pregnancy" as it was called when we were a waiting family. I hope your wait is not too long. I found it to be an odd time. There is no physical evidence. I remember going to register at Babies R Us and giving a due date of one month in the future. The woman looked at my belly and then at me like I was crazy. I had to explain the whole "we just got our adoption referral and are leaving in one month" thing to her. She still thought I was nuts.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to talk Tyler into adoption because a) I'm baby hungry and b) I have no uterus, so c) it's time to adopt. He wasn't so sure, but your post has totally convinced him. He wants a boy with olives and sausage.

Julie said...

love it! I'm waiting2adopt on twitter

and my blog is http://afamilyisborn3.blogspot.com/

I think I responded to you on Twitter, that some ADULTS we know think we can just go pick out a baby and wonder why we haven't YET! :P

Love ya Libby!