Today, November 19, is National Adoption Day.
To celebrate all of the different points of view about adoption that we here at The Band know you have, we’re running an adoption carnival.
What better way for us to learn more about YOUR experiences?
Were you adopted? Did you adopt? Are you an adult adoptee? Are you a first mother? Did you have a great experience? A miserable one?
We won’t know until you tell us!
So, The Band, it’s time to Band Back Together for adoption!
I always knew I wanted to be a foster parent. After moving South, I inquired about the process and signed up to get started. Shortly after I was given my license, I saw a little girl featured on the nightly news. She was just over a year old and she looked like an ornery old woman! She had Down syndrome and the fuzz on the top of her head was bright orange. She gave the news anchor an evil look every time she tried to put a bonnet on her head. Then she’d reach up, grab the bonnet and throw it onto the floor. She was having none of it.
She kept scanning the room, refusing to smile or show a single endearing quality.
I fell in love with her. I immediately called the number they gave and began a fun game of call here. No. Call there. No. Call this person.
I finally found the right person. She put me on the list and promised to keep in touch. I called her a few weeks later and was told we were in the top five families being considered. A few weeks after that, we were brought in for a full-disclosure meeting. We were given a complete medical history on the child and were essentially told everything that was known about her.
At the end, we were asked if we wanted to move forward.
Yes! I said. A million times yes!
A few days later, we were asked if we wanted to meet her.
Yes! Oh, yes!
When I walked into the room, I saw the same sullen child. She had two different shoes on her feet and she looked like a bruiser! She refused to look at me. When I tried to engage her, she turned her back on me, literally. Her adoption worker pulled out a sippy cup of juice and some crackers.
I began the very slow process of bribing her to interact with me. Ever so slowly, she came around. By the end of our visit, she had fallen asleep in my lap, head on my shoulder.
That day, driving back home, we went over a bridge. Something in the water caught my eye and I turned to look out the window. Three dolphins swam right below where we were driving, heading in our direction.
A few days later, we got the call. She was ours, if we wanted her.
Yes! Absolutely, yes!
The day she was dropped off, it was just the two of us. I, once again, had to slowly bribe her into interaction. I showed her the room I had ready for her. I pulled out all her new toys and read her a few books. I introduced her to the pets and to her baby sister. I showed her around the house and brought her into the back yard.
Finally, I sat on the couch with her, watching her watch Signing Time. I finally decided she probably didn’t need me in her face and I went into the connecting kitchen to unload the dishwasher. I turned my back on the washer to put something up on one of the higher shelves. When I turned back, she was sitting on top of the open dishwasher door, handing me a spoon.
It took her a few days to let me see her smile, but once I had her won over, she opened up and became an interactive, adorable little imp. Within a few months, her adoption was final. We celebrated by taking her out for french fries.
She is now more happy than sullen, but there is still that tough little girl underneath her excitement and zest for life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
She reminds me of where she came from and just how far she’s come!