Tag Archives: african american adoptive parents

Thoughts on Reunion

I’ve often written about Hope being in reunion with some of her biological family. Over the years, the relationship has ebbed and flowed. While it isn’t what I always hoped for Hope, in total, it’s definitely been a good thing for her. I don’t know what I imagined the relationship would look like, or how everyone would deal with their own emotional stuff related to the separation, the loss, the adoption, and the reunion. I just know that everyone involved has tried to figure this thing out.

Years ago, I wrote about finding Hope’s biological mom. I remember when I found her, I felt like the information was burning my hand; I wanted to reach out to her. I wanted to orchestrate the connection. Thanks to my therapist (who is amazing!), I slowed down and really deliberated my reasoning. I wanted Hope’s mom to know that Hope was ok, that I was a good mother, and that I was hopeful that she could have a relationship with her daughter. I never reached out to her, and ultimately that was a wise decision. Hope has expressed minimal interest in reconnecting over the years. I ran the risk of really overstepping in reaching out to her mother; so I stayed in my lane. I just made sure that Hope knew that I would support her at any point in her journey if she wanted to initiate contact.

I’ve kept tabs on her mom; the internet is a scary place. For less than $50 I have her address, phone number, job location, and a lot of other information. I update the information every year just in case Hope changes her mind. I never wanted her to have to go through a big search in the way so many adoptees must endure trying to find family. I keep things in a digital file with a link that’s available to Hope at any time.

I think of all of Hope’s biological family on major holidays. I wonder what their dreams of their family looked like, I wonder what family recipes Hope is missing out on, what family traditions she is missing. Sure, Hope and I have our own traditions–pizza and gifts on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving with family, brunch on Easter–but I know that there are other pieces that are just not here.

Recently, an opportunity for more reunion presented itself. At Hope’s request, I jumped into background check mode: web searches, image searches, cross-references, reaching out to someone, who knows someone, who knows someone. within a few hours, I was pretty sure it was a legit overture. Within 24 hours, it was confirmed. I kept Hope informed the whole time.

And then she made a decision that wasn’t a shock, but it did feel…I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. But that’s my stuff. I’m sure that Hope is navigating a lot of emotions she hasn’t shared about the situation. I’m proud of her for articulating her immediate needs; I know those needs may change in time…or not.

For many adoptees, reunion can be complicated; this one isn’t any different. Emotions can be complicated too. Decision-making is also complicated. And you know what, there isn’t a single right answer.

That’s not quite true. APs just gotta support adoptees.

Eight years ago, I promised I would always support her having connection with her family if that was what she wanted. Certainly, there have been times when holding that promise felt hard for me, but I tried my best to support Hope. These connections are her birthright.

We’re all a bit older now, and a little wiser (I hope). And my decision-making in Hope’s life is decreasing as I try to create space for her young adult flexes. It’s an interesting time for both of us. I’m hopeful for Hope’s future and will continue to walk alongside her as she navigates decisions about reunion. I’ve kind of made peace with my own curious questions about her family; none of it is really my business. It’s Hope’s business.

But on the eve of another holiday, I can’t help but wonder about all Hope’s people out there. I hope they are thriving, that they are happy, healthy, and as whole as one can be when their child is not with them. I pray that one day everyone’s questions will get answered, and that everyone can get to the next level of healing.


This Week in Parenting

Ah yes, the purchase of a car triggers all kind of adulting issues! There is some work that the dealership still needs to do on the car; I made sure it was included in the contract. I’ve left it to Hope to make the appointments to get it done because it’s her car.

Well, you know how adult-adults talk to baby adults? Yeah, that. This dealership has given her all kinds of run arounds all week. Frustrated, she came to me on Thursday to complain (again).

Now, you know how you have to put a bit of bass in your voice to convey meaning and authority? Most 20 year olds don’t have that yet, so, I asked her if she needed “Dr. ABM” to call; she sheepishly said yes.

I dial up the dealership and leave the sales manager a nice, but firm message that this needs to be taken care of immediately and that there will be no more shenanigans from any other departments: Make it happen sir.

It’s such a whole new world for Hope; I forget how much we model things for our children.

Well, the car is getting the last of its work done this week, just as I gently suggested on the phone.

Interestingly, the sales manager didn’t call me back; he called Hope a few minutes later. She laughed afterward because he told her to be sure to tell me that he called me back right away and that things will be handled in short order.

You got that right.

This is just such an interesting time since I am constantly trying to figure out when and how best to help Hope. I want her to feel supported, but I also want her to feel like she can handle an increasing number of things herself. I always feel like I’m practicing one extreme or the other.

I felt like I did ok this go ‘round. I stood back and allowed her to try to handle it; when that didn’t work, I asked her for permission to help.

This parenting thing really does keep evolving.


Some Things on a Friday: 11/5/2021

  1. Another crazy week. I’m just exhausted at the end of each day. It’s Friday night and I was in my jammies by 7pm. Yappy is laying beside me gently snoring. We are definitely in for the night.
  2. So much happened this week. Seriously, there was a lot of living crammed into this week.
  3. Last week, Hope bought her first car. Last Friday she was online searching and found a car that was priced well and seemed to be in good shape. She got the carfax report and asked me to look at it. It looked reasonable. I suggest she send it to my dad to get his opinion. He called and said it looked good. The next morning we went to the dealership and she drove home with the car! I helped her a bit, but she’s on her way.
  4. It’s a Fiat 500, and it’s gray. At least I know that she won’t be riding a bunch of people around. To get in the back, someone would have to really contort themself. She’s very proud of herself and so am I. Payments start in December.
  5. My dad came to visit. I have seen him several times since we all got vaccinated, but this is the first time in over two years that he came to visit. We spent a whole afternoon together. It was perfect.
  6. Hope got 4 tattoos this week.
  7. Yeah, that’s it. You read right–FOUR TATTOOS.
  8. I’m a fan of body art. I have 6 tattoos, and I had a belly ring that I lost to a surgical scar. I got my first tattoo when I was a year or two older than Hope. I didn’t get the others until I was in my 30s. I’ve encouraged Hope to slow down and be really thoughtful and intentional about what she put on her body and why.
  9. Maybe she did, but it doesn’t seem like it. Three of the tats are fairly benign, but that fourth one was the subject of my hour of therapy yesterday. I have HUGE feelings about that tatoo. I do not like thet tat or what it conveys. I do not like the location of the tat.
  10. Because I’m honest; I probably wouldn’t have a meltdown about the tat if Hope was like 30 getting it. Getting it now seems so less meaningful or thought out. I probably still wouldn’t like it but I know I wouldn’t be as upset. It was clear that Hope didn’t want to talk about it with me, and while I don’t like that either, I know and respect that tats are very personal, that’s her body and her choice. So I’m going to mind my business.
  11. I started a philosophy class this week. Heavy dense material. I gotta get back into the rythm, but I kinda love it.
  12. I bought tickets for the Mexican Artist immersive experience for next year. I was able to go to the one for Van Gogh and it was *amazing*. I know have something to look forward to in 2022.
  13. Tempertures have dropped and just when I gotten a hold on my termperature regulation (Thanks Menopause!), now I have to re claibrate again. I think I’m going to swap to the winter beddingthis weekend. I’ve got this amazing shaggy bedspread. It’s cozy and Yappy also loves it!
  14. There was more , but I’m ready for a snack and some tiktok!

Ten Things on Thursday: 10/28/2021

  1. I really start each week thinking about writing more, and then the week gets going and blah. I really don’t want or need to be in the office full time, but some days my screen fatigue is so bad that I am just exhausted at 5. Yappy has been demanding another long walk in the evenings (1-2 miles) and I’m dunzo after that. So, I just manage this one post.
  2. I’m starting think about adoption more intentionally again. I heard myself say during one of my talks recently that I really have icky feelings about the use of the term adoption when referring to pets. It’s like I think, “But that’s a human word! And I bought my dog off of craigslist. I was thinking about it when I was on Twitter and #4weeks was trending. Sen. Joe Manchin (who should just come out as an old school moderate Republican at this point) said he didn’t think people who give birth (and before anyone gets slick about my phrasing, this is a trans-friendly household, so mind yours), really needed 6 weeks of paid leave and maybe 4 was sufficient. Asshat. Anyway, it made me think of my own journey and the tiny wound I still feel about being infertile, and how I always knew I wanted to adopt. I dunno, I’ve been thinking alot.
  3. There’s also an AdoptUsKids billboard near the house that promote adolescent adoption. I’ve been reflecting on my journey, and what I’ve learned about adoption. The reality is that I really, really wish that adoption wasn’t necessary. I wish folks had what they needed, whatever the need, to support them parenting. Even with the sting of infertility, I know that I’m super fortunate to be able to afford adoption without incurring any debt. I wish families were more functional, and thats folks had the capacity to parent.
  4. I wish birth control was free. I also wish conservatives would stop playing…acting like they don’t do the secks till the break of dawn just for the sheer enjoyment and dopamine bender. Stop it. Hell the freakiest folks I’ve ever known were and are GOPers. I digress.
  5. I wish we worked to preserve families. I wish we would treat addiction like the disease it is instead of a arbiter of morality. So many people crave connection, intimacy, acceptance and love without ever getting their needs met; yeah, they turn to drugs, chasing that moment that the high made them feel seen. I’m not sure what the programs should look like, but I know I’m willing to pay the taxes to pay for them. I know if it could reduce the nearly half million kids who are in foster care or support birth mothers who might be in teh middle of crises. Jeesch, we just gotta do better as a society.
  6. I look forward to seeing the new documentary on Colin Kaepernick; I’ve seen a few blurbs about how being adopted into a White family and him coming to a more dramatic racial awakening as a result. They, the blurbs, conclude that that’s really what has made him “militant.” Really? Not the neverending torrent of extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black folks? Ok, but real talk growing up in Whiteness is very much a part of this story. I’m also sure that there are some White APs out there legit shaking with fear that their little brown skinned Brad will end up spouting BLM or worse being ungrateful and hating them. Chile, this is a wholle mess. Anyway I’m eager to see it.
  7. November generally brings back lots of memories of Hope coming to visit for the first time. Two weeks of drama. We laugh about it now. I dropped the turkey outside my front door. Hope sat in the floor looking at her foot during dinner. She met the family who embraced so beautifully. It was two weeks of a lot for both of us. Eight years later, and it’s all jokes and love. I understand our emotions so much more now. I get that she was terrified; I was also terrified because this was the first glimpse of parenting I’d really had and here I was on front street with my family feeling really, really inadequate.
  8. I’ve been thinking about adoption’s image, the whole narrative. It has good guys and bad guys, but which is which sometimes depends on which member of the triad you are. Sometimes your both, sometimes you’re neither. I think about how Hope and I hide in plain sight as a same race adoptive family. We don’t hide though; Hope insists on being transparent about her adoption. I remember one day she told me that she actually had several friends who were also adopted. I’m thinking wow, how did these kids find each other? Hope always shares; I think it draws other adoptees to her.
  9. I remeber being a little sad at the beginning of my journey; I was resigning myself to the fact that Hope probably wouldn’t really be like me, like she would be my daughter and I would be her mom, but she wasn’t going to adopt any of my quirks. Now I laugh when I hear her use a turn of phrase that I use or when she smells the milk before pouring it -even when you KNOW it’s fresh- like I do. It’s a tic I developed as a result of some childhood stuff. I do it with almost all dairy products. Or, as I realized this week, how she’s picked up that I was folding my towls differently. She now folds them like me. I get a little thrill of pride when I notice these small gifts.
  10. I think about finding other words besides complicated to talk about adoption. There is a hard prism to look at adoption through. So for now, complicated will have to do.

Ten Things on Thursday: 10/21/2021

  1. Things are good. I haven’t been overly busy this week. I had lunch with a pal today, a boozy lunch, the best kind. I’m glad for a slow week; last week was a doozy.
  2. I even cooked this week. I’ve struggled to get back into meal planning and cooking on the weekends since I got back from Mexico. I’ve cooked a little something but I’ve not been on my game. Until yesterday I whipped up some smothered pork chops, mac and cheese androasted zucchini. It was delish. I’m going to get back on my game this weekend.
  3. So, I know this is random, but trust me, I’m going somehwere with this. I’ve thought long and hard since my vacation. I’ve thought about where I want to go next since the world is beginning to reopen. I might go to another resort after the holidays; I think that might be a good vacay for Hope. I’ve not taken her to one before; I probably should wait until she’s 21. It seems kind a cruel to take her just a couple of shy of her 21st, doesn’t it? Now there probably was a time when I might’ve been petty enough, but it genuinely seems like an awful and I love Hope more than anything.
  4. But I digress…
  5. I have decided that I may never wear a one piece bathing suit ever again. Which I do have feelings about because I have some super cute suits. But when you’re on vacation, your belly is filled, so is your tumber with a humongous daquiri, and totally vibing, the last thing you want to do is go to the bathroom. And then it dawns on you that you have to get nekkid to relieve yourself. It was exhausting. The stalls were small. I was unstable because that tumbler I mentioned was not the first tumbler of the day. One time my straps got tangled and I lost my balance and my obit flashed before my eyes.
  6. “Middle Aged African American Woman Dies Due to a Broken Neck Caused by a Fall. ABM was found dead alone in a bathroom stall, tangled in the straps of her one piece swim suit. She likely lost her balance due to severe inebriation.” The horror. Then I started thinking about why I wear one pieces–“because it hides things that I believe/know other people find unattractive.” It is literally deadly clothing chosen out of shame to a body that done its best by my. So, if you run into me on the beach in my bikini–I’m fully committing here! None of that tank-ini ish, because, I would be catering to the eyes of others–so, yeah bikini, letting it all hang out: Mind the business that pays you! I’m happy and safe, and if I die in a resort bathroom I’ll at least be half dressed.
  7. In other news, Hope had to get a second root canal today; same tooth as before. Seems the young miss has super long roots, and so they didn’t get it all the first time. She started having pain last week. I’m noting that while she might not be complaining about the dental work, her body does not like it. This is the 3rd appointment and she’s got one more. She crashes after every appointment. She’s been asleep since early afternoon. I made her get off the couch and get in her bed. She never turned her lights on. She just climbed into bed clothes and all.
  8. This weekend, I’m going to start doing some purging in her room. We’re looking at wallpaper and furniture. It’s past time to update her room and de-cluttering is overwhelming for her. I’m excited about this project and learning how Hope’s style has evolved.
  9. I’ve also really been reflecting on what have been silver linings during the pandemic. Hands down it has been getting to know Hope and Yappy with a few more years of maturity and wisdom for all of us. This last year has been so hard for Hope; so much of it had me scared for her. I know there were months where she was at her lowest, just could not get out of bed. And she fought her way back from the edge and is on the brink of thriving again. She is an amazing human. I am humbled that I get to walk with her and guide her. I’m so proud of her. And Yappy? My love for this critter is so pure and soulful. I can decipher all his expressions now, and I watched him step into the gravity of his full stubbornness. I learned that he can truly get board, so now we have multiply play times during the day and I got some puzzles for him. I learned that he hates the weight management food I had to put him on; he pretty much said he only eats it because it’s wet food, which by definition is a step above dry food. He eats both, but definitely has a preference. We have full on conversations with our eyes. I love this little boy beast.
  10. So, yeah, things are good this week.


Ten Things on Thursday: 10/14/2021

  1. I have been wayyyyy too busy this week. I’ve got a work thing on Saturday morning and dang it that messes with my weekend snooze schedule. This past weekend I took a 6 hour nap, got up, fixed dinner, walked Yappy, showered a second time and got back in bed for the evening. Ha!
  2. Hope is doing well. Her arm is healing; she did a really good job with wound care after I did it for the first few days. The dental work is done. She’s got a good schedule going.
  3. I’m still figuring out how I feel about her working retail during the holidays. We won’t be traveling to see our family for Thanksgiving or Christmas because RETAIL. I hate that she very well could end up working on the ACTUAL holidays because CAPITALISM. I hate that things don’t just stay closed so families can do their own thing.
  4. In any case, I’ll be cooking this year and it will be good. I cook a lot more these days, but I still don’t go all the way out. Last year we had lamb chops for Christmas dinner; I think I’ll make that a tradition! Maybe Thanksgiving will be straight up comfort food day. Who really needs veggies any way??? Just kidding southern collards are essential to Thanksgiving. Neither Hope nor I particularly care for turkey, and she wants to consider cornish hens. I could do that. Can you air fry those?
  5. I have not been on a scale in months. Work stress meant that knowing that number could seriously trigger a bulemia relapse and I haven’t experienced a relapse in over a decade. I haven’t much paid attention to my clothes; this WFH situation means a lot of soft clothes. I put on something last night and was stunned by how much my body has changed. Inches are just gone all around my hips and belly. It was a really unexpected win!
  6. Meanwhile, my darling Hope has gained a bit of weight over the last couple of months. I noticed it all along the way, but didn’t say much about it. Her doc was very upset, very! He’s looking at me, “How did you let this happen?” I’m basically like, I cook just about every week. She will eat that and her own special groceries and anything else that’s edible and available. Hope also loathes exercise. I’m lowkey fascinated by her resistance to movement. I don’t workout hard on the weekends, but I’m getting increasingly intentional about my weekday workouts. I do not deny myself anything; I just know I gotta compensate with movement.
  7. Yappy is my steady cuddle buddy. I love this dog. I’m so happy about that; when The Furry One died, I thought I’d never love like that again. The heart does heal, and love comes back.
  8. I’m currently drinking moonshine. It’s so good.
  9. I also just ordered double dipped peanut butter chocolate peanuts from a bulk order place. Chocolate peanuts, the double dippers, take me right to my happy place.
  10. I’m need to go to bed early. Long day downtown tomorrow. It’s legit been months since I’ve been anywhere near my office.

Ten Things on Thursday: 10/7/2021

  1. Well, I got home safe and sound. Gawd Mexico was just what I needed. I am promising myself to take the time off I really need. That time was restorative. I am still overwhelmed, but I’m not exhausted, so I have gas in the tank to keep going.
  2. Hope did well holding down the fort. The house wasn’t quite as tidy as I asked for it to be, but Yappy was alive and the building was still standing. We’re good.
  3. I’m realizing that Hope seems to be in a bit of a developmental growth spurt. It’s cool watching her put concepts and ideas together that echo back to things I have tried to teach her over the years. So very cool watching her have a “click” moment.
  4. The parenting lesson is that the stuff sticks even when you think it didn’t. So, give yourself some grace. You’re planting grass seed.
  5. So Hope had to get a root canal this week. Earlier this week she got the cost estimate–north of $500. She was horrified, and actually was like, maybe I don’t need to do this right now. I told her to have the dental work done and that I’m mom and I got this.
  6. Then I explained how dental insurance is some bullshit.
  7. After the bill was paid and we were chatting, and she commented that if she had to pay for that it would take up almost all of her check. That led to a discussion about minimum wage vs. living wage, working poor, affluence, and decision-making. My inner mom was doing cartwheels. We even revisited why I call certain expensive dinners “that cost 4 Swiss dinners.” When we were in Switzerland a few years ago, I took Hope and Grammy to a bistro for dinner and that bill was outrageous even though we did not eat extravagantly at all.
  8. I am also seeing her learn about herself, create boundaries and just evolve. She’s thinking about leaving Target where she works customer service. She’s realizing how her some of her personality traits and core values maybe make customer service not quite the right fit for her. But then she’s pulling back into the finance questions because it pays well and she’s going back to school soon and will have a car note to boot. She’s gonna realize that one of her next big decisions will be whether she can adapt and conform to the needs of the job or move on to something she’s better suited for.
  9. I will be popping popcorn watching her navigate that question cause it’s coming soon.
  10. Yappy turned 7 last weekend. He is just the sweetest. I love my doggy so much.
May be an image of 1 person and dog

Ten Things on Friday: 9/24/2021

  1. I’m feeling the joy of knowing in a few hours I will be leave for more than a week. I seriously cannot wait to get on that plane, land and head to the beach.
  2. Hope will hold down the fort for about 5 days. I know she can do it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t also say that I fret. I’m guessing that’s just a mom thing.
  3. I’m also fretting about Yappy. He’s so attached to me and this will be the longest I’ve been away from him since the beginning of the pandemic. I know he will be a bit sad as a result, and well, that also makes me sad.
  4. I’m still going to the beach tho.
  5. I actually do not plan to do much big “thinking” on this trip. I’m tired of thinking. Work-think and Home-think have just been exhausting for the last year and a half. I do have some life decisions coming up to ponder, but I have no interest in pondering them next week. My brain needs rest, and I genuinely intend to meet its need.
  6. It feels like so much has changed in the last year, and somehow also that nothing has changed. It’s a really kind of confusing reality. The monotony of life continued, though it looks different now. You watch the news and it’s almost overwhelming how much is going on, but then again, didn’t I think that in the “before” times? Especially when that dude who was in office couldn’t stop tweeting? Anyway, I have some decisions to make about parenting, about my personal and professional futures, about home stuff, extended family stuff. Some things I need to move on, others can wait, and yet somehow everything always seems urgent.
  7. It’s not and I plan to rest. I’m nearly giddy.
  8. Today is the last day that Hope and I will be able to have dinner together before I leave so we planning to get takeout. It’s looking like we’ll be getting Indian food. Naan…..YUMMMM.
  9. I’m thinking about opening a small Etsy store for some crochet items this fall/winter. I’m thinking of selling custom dog/cat sweaters. I’ll be sketching out a few projects over the next few weeks. I enjoy it and Lord knows I’ve given away tons of stuff in the last 2 years. I think I’ll still have giveaway projects, but I think I’d like to hustle a little. We’ll see!
  10. Today I’m setting out all the self-care items I plan to take with me. I’ve got a short list, but I think I’m going to put them all out and make final decisions. I seriously can’t wait to get out of town.

Ten Things on Thursday: 9/16/2021

  1. Hope’s arm is healing nicely. Our family physician prescribed a cream with silver that is speeding the healing. Best part? No more pain.
  2. My daughter hasn’t worked for two weeks and that’s about as long as she can go without starting to get impulsive! So, she got her first tattoo this week. She’s been talking about it for a year. I encouraged her to wait, but I have several so I’m ok with body art. I came home from a post work walk and she announced she had an appointment for the next morning. She’s happy.
  3. I’m low key sad I didn’t get to take her. But you know, good for her on the adult flex.
  4. It’s her astrological sign, a crab. The art she chose isn’t really to my taste, but it wasn’t for me. She showed me beforehand and I had a neutral response. She knew that meant I didn’t like it, but again she stayed true to her own style. That’s my girl.
  5. The car is finally being repaired after Hope’s fender bender. Over $1K in damage. Another adult flex: Hope has already paid for my deductible – the natural consequence of the accident.
  6. I think I have already talked about Hope’s hair recently, but my gawd does she have a glorious head of hair! Today she had it up in the ponytail puffs, and it was adorable. There are many things I effed up in raising Hope, but love of her melanin and her coils and kinks…I got that part right. I’m hopping she lets me blow it out and straighten it soon. I just want to play in her head!
  7. It’s been a really awful week. And then today I realized I’ve had all the symptoms of a hormone flux. The last bad one was in January. Then I was in a rage all the time. This time serious depression. Gosh I wish there was a way to predict these fluctuations. This is awful
  8. There are 11 days until I hop a plane out of the country. I can’t wait to just stop for a few days.
  9. We are starting to have more tangible talks about returning to college next semester. We are going to plan and hope for the best. This Delta variant ain’t no joke! I know a few breakthru cases, and what’s really worrying me is my sister who’s a teacher being forced back into a classroom, her little kids, my parents, hell me! I’ve got 2 autoimmune diseases to worry about. Anyway, it’s feeling increasingly hard to plan for January.
  10. Today I know I turned the corner emotionally. I’m feeling a little better, a little more clear eyed. A little less fragile. It’s been a rough few weeks!

Until next time!


Adoption Musings on a Sunday

I just couldn’t manage a midweek post between work and tending to Hope’s injury. I’ve been to multiple stores and had multiple Amazon deliveries to make sure we have what’s needed. Dressings need to be changed often so even though I bought a lot right at the beginning, she blew through things quickly.

She’s improving a lot, though the pain is still pretty bad. Blisters popped and revealed the very tender, super vulnerable new skin beneath it. No infection and no worsening, so, so far, so good. Burn unit consult this week.

I’ve been thinking so much about adoption lately. I’m pretty certain because 8 years ago in August/September, I saw Hope’s profile for the first time. I remember there was a video of her having been on one of those Wednesday’s kids spots for the local news. I remember sitting at my desk at work, looking at the video feeling such a rush of different emotions. Love at first sight. Terror, as in, WTF are you doing??? Joy as I watched her bounce around. I excitedly sent the video to my mom, where she watched at her office desk. I called her and I remember saying something to the effect of, “This is her, this is the child that is going to be my daughter.” I just knew.

I have wanted to adopt since I was an adolescent. I’m not sure why I was drawn to it so young. I don’t recall knowing anyone who was adopted (that I know of anyway). I also knew I wanted an older child. Again, no idea why. The thing is I thought I would adopt a boy. We didn’t have any boys in my immediate family other than my dad. I thought I wanted the “boy” experience, whatever that was. The December before I met Hope, I did my vision board; I included a picture of a child’s bedroom and a faceless child. The images I selected clearly reflected “girlie” vibes. I remember thinking it was so different than what was supposed to be on the board. I was supposed to be a boy mom. Ha! The universe said, nah, at least not right now.

The fact that my current Beau is also an adoptee, also tends to keep the topic top of mind because he’s slowly telling me his story. From his perspective, it’s a doozy. And that’s real. I can see the hurt, trauma, desire, sadness, and more. My heart breaks. I can also see adoptive parents who probably did the best they could with what they had. That doesn’t excuse whatever was done or wasn’t done, but entering my own 8th young year of parenting I sometimes get feeling like every choice available is problematic for any of a zillion reasons and just trying your best to choose the one that will be the least problematic.

The truth is that parenting is probably one of the most difficult jobs anyone can possibly take on. It’s rough out here in these parenting streets, and no one gets out unscathed. And parenting books suck, and frankly so do a lot of online parenting groups, IMHO.

And adoptive parenting is its own beast. You come in thinking you just want to be a regular-degular, but somehow super duper parent, ie, neurotypical kid, same race, kinda looks like me, no trauma, no drama, super smart, gifted, talented, etc. etc. You quickly realize that even if those existed, you weren’t on that track. Precious little is discussed about some of the special needs and challenges. I think a lot of APs just think I want a child and then things will be…just normal, life will just begin and continue.

It does and it doesn’t, and maybe you low key actually were on that track after all.

My and Hope’s story started with a hospital stay and me working on my dissertation. It was rocky. The tears, especially for me, seemed endless. My relationships were strained; I felt alone; Hope couldn’t cope with much of anything because moving in was just overwhelming. We were a bit of a mess if you go back to that first year of posts.

But we got through it somehow and continue to thrive in spit of it all.

We continue to grow together and figure it out. I’m not the best parent, my flaws are many. But I have done my best to date, and Hope continues to have a safe place to grow, explore, and transition into adulthood. And ultimately providing that emotional place is the core of my job. So, I’m succeeding.

I’m not even sure what my point is with this stream of consciousness rambling post. This season is just triggering a lot of great memories about the genesis of my little family.

Anyhoo, have a marvelous Sunday.


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