This is going to be my last blog as the Adoption Blogger for Families.com. I’m looking forward to spending the summer with my kids, possibly working at their school, and taking on new writing projects. I may well guest blog occasionally for this or other Families blogs. It seems the Adoption Blog will continue, so I hope this blog, along with Families’ forums, can be a source of information and community for adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents.
Yesterday I could think of a million things to say in my last few blogs and wondered how I would fit it all in. Today I can’t seem to think of a thing, so I asked my kids what I should say. Regina, now 7 (she was three when I started at Families; imagine!) said,
“Write about me!”
I asked Meg, now age 10.
“Tell about how you got us,” she said simply. “And tell about the chocolate ice cream on the plane.”
Funny what stories they remember.
My son (age 12, born to me) needed a couple of prompting questions. I asked if he got questions about his sisters being adopted or looking different. He said no. A few years ago I asked if he got adoption questions at school, and he said, “no, they just ask if she’s really in first grade” (because of her small size).
I asked if he remembered his sisters’ arrivals. He replied, “I think I was angry about having to stay at Grandma and Papa’s for a week, but later I was glad I got to stay there for a week. And I pretended to talk to you on the radio.”
The truth is, we could have taken him with us, but he wanted to stay with Grandma and Papa (rather than sit 15 hours each way in an airplane seat, imagine that). And he wouldn’t stop playing to talk to us on the phone when we called.
Funny what stories we remember.
The rather dramatic saga of how I wanted a sister for Meg,the surprise phone call from the agency saying Meg’s half-sister had been born and was being placed for adoption, and how the baby was misdiagnosed as likely to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the agony of waiting for more medical information, and our happy ending is told in a ten-part series beginning with The One Thing I Said I’d Never Do, Parts One and Two and continuing through Path to a Prognosis,Perilous Path to a Prognosis, Misdiagnosis!-or, How Much Harm Can a Bad Snapshot Really Do? , Two Months of Hell, and A Near Thing before concluding with Letting Go of Control and A Pearl of Great Price.
I wrote a reflection on Regina’s earliest hours in one of my first and favorite blogs, In the Chill of Midwinter; and of Meg’s in a poem, On the Cusp of the New Millennium.
But I guess those don’t tell about the chocolate ice cream on the plane.
My husband went alone to get Regina because Meg wasn’t ready to be left with my parents for long. He asked the foster mother if she’d started teething or anything. She said no. He took custody of Regina right before leaving for the airport. On the plane Regina was screaming—not scared, but husband said, but angry: a pattern that continues when she’s hurt—how dare this happen to her? My husband saw two new teeth broken sharply through the gums. Our eight-month-old was cutting her first two teeth on a 15-hour airplane ride right after being handed by her foster mother to some man who’d visited her only once before! My husband asked the flight attendant for some ice cream; something cold to let her suck. The new flight attendant said the ice cream came only with the first class meals. The chief flight attendant took in the situation at a glance and proclaimed, “Ice cream for everyone!”—my daughter and all those who had to listen to her.
Meg said to tell you that story because it will tell you to be prepared for teething, and also show that you need diapers, wipes, and baby clothes. ( I think most of you already know that, so I’ll add a tip of my own here: have a change of clothes for each adult in your carry-on bags also. I’ve had a diaper blow out all over my lap and my friend’s kid threw up on her.)
Hmm, somehow that doesn’t seem like the uplifting ending I’d envisioned. Please see two of my other favorite blogs Easter Children and Easter Again: A Reminder of our Miracles. It’s been fun to go back and review blogs from earlier years; maybe you’ll enjoy them too.
It’s been an honor to serve at this family-friendly company and connect with readers who are involved in all types of adoption. God Bless. –Pam