A long time ago, I blogged about why we didn’t change the boys’ names (except to give them our last name, of course). BOY am I glad we didn’t.
After some run-around with U.S.C.I.S. (and some procrastination on my part), I have FINALLY acquired the boys’ official adoption paperwork, as submitted when we entered this country nearly five years ago.
And we thought we had photocopies of all the important stuff.
Pushing past an initial brush-off from our nation’s immigration department, I filed again this past September, loading them up with all the past history of my attempts to acquire our sons’s original adoption paperwork.
And this time, it worked. And not only do we have pictures of them and of their other mama that we never had before, we now have the names of their maternal grandparents!
The boys were ecstatic! ”We have 3 grandmoms and 3 granddads!” (They have “known” for years that they have four sets… but the 3rd one just became more real because they have names!]
But the best news? One of them shares his first name and middle initial with their grandfather. We know why he has his name!
It’s something birth parents take for granted – the rationale behind a child’s name. And we were just able to give that to him this week. He’s seven.
We’re so far behind. But how grateful are we that we were given the good sense to keep their names?
Their names are their story. And we just got a little piece more of it this week.
The boys are huge fans of the You Wouldn’t Want to… book series.
For those of you who have some how MISSED these gems, they include such greats as You Wouldn’t Want to Be a World War II Pilot: Air Battles You Might Not Survive (currently on our shelf), You Wouldn’t Want to Be an 18th Century Convict: A Trip to Australia You’d Rather Not Take (No offense to my Australian readers – ie. Von.), and You Wouldn’t Want to Be Mary Queen of Scots: A Ruler Who Really Lost Her Head.
Check your local library. They’re awesome. Especially for boys.
But anyway. Fred and I – but especially I, ’cause I’m prone to such things as extensive geneological researching, and also spend nearly all my time with said children — have been very conscious of the fact that giving them a thorough connection to their own roots is very important.
And that that means doing some extra research. Because their roots are not our roots (though they’re welcome to partake in all our Euro-straight-to-U.S.-American fun-and-games, of course!)
So we’ve read about Guatemala, TRAVELED back to Guatemala, read about the Maya, CLIMBED their pyramids, studied Spanish… I’m still looking for a socially acceptable way of asking some of the Latino men I know just what it is that they’re wearing that smells so good, so I can buy it to put on the boys (who frequently smell like sweat and “tootle”)… but I digress… Read the rest of this entry
January 22 - Hace cuatro años, hoy, nos encontramos los dos niños que se habían convertido en nuestros hijos. Four years ago today we met the two small men who had become our sons. A surreal day. For me and for Fred it was exciting and joyful, one of those days we will remember even when we’re old and senile and so much else has long since slipped our minds. The day we met the little guys we’d been praying for, planning for, and waiting to meet as we received update pictures.
There they were. Our boys. And what adorable and sweet little people they were. Read the rest of this entry
The subject of Fate, Destiny, God’s will, or the catch-all “meant to be” comes up a with some regularity in adoption circles. And I’ve noticed it cropping up again with the new year in some of the blogs I follow. There was one in particular that’s had me thinking all week. What DO I believe is “God’s will” (since I’m a Christian, and that’s my frame of reference) in all our adoption details?
What part of it is the compilation of human wills? Read the rest of this entry
It’s still early Fall, but we can tell this is the school year to start the in-depth conversations with the boys about discussing their race with others.
They know about race, have been able to rattle off from the age of three that they’re Latino; that their ancestors and Fred’s and mine came from different places on the globe (even before they really understood what “ancestors” were); and that that’s why our skin and hair and eyes are different colors. As we’ve studied different countries of the world, they’ve learned that people in different regions look different, eat different foods, have different customs, but also have many global similarities.
But how to “explain themselves?” No, we haven’t covered that yet. Read the rest of this entry
In 1 day our sons will be back in their birth country for the first time since they left with us in January of 2007.
photo credit: shunya.net
We’ll be there for a week, and it’s proven to be no small thing for me to narrow down what we try to see. Read the rest of this entry
I hit a very predictable adoption “echo” with one of the boys this week, the first day of our homeschool co-op, a weekly half-day class I attend with them. They have a teacher and a class of 8 students; we parents sit in the back. This is our third year, but in the van on the way over, the questions started.
“And what if you need to go to the bathroom?”
“Well then I’ll go and come right back.”
“And what if one of us gets hurt while you’re not there? Maybe we could call 911?” (no, my kids don’t have cell phones of their own)
… And so on, all the way there. Even though it’s the same school, the same building as last year, many of the same families, and we’ve done this routine before. Read the rest of this entry
A while back I mentioned a particularly pushy check-out clerk who felt free to probe about exactly why my kids don’t look like me. I hit another one of those cringe-comments at church this weekend. From a great person, one who’s known me since I was a little girl, one who meant to be encouraging me, no doubt.
“I think it’s so great that you adopted them.” ["THEM," meanwhile, are standing right next to me.]
And as I’m thinking “Oh, no! Shh!” she continues about how great it is that Fred and I have brought the boys here and are “giving them such a great chance in life that they didn’t have before. And that you really love them like your own.”
And while my brain was firing red flags every which way, my mouth just wouldn’t work.
However, I plan to be ready with a reply next time because… Read the rest of this entry
July 29th is the twins’ birth mom’s birthday. I don’t know her, never got to meet her, only have two pictures of her – one with each twin at their DNA tests during the adoption process. But I do know her birthdate, the town in which she was born, and the reasons she gave for placing the twins with us. I’m happy to answer the boys’ questions any time, of course, but it occurred to me last year that if I set up a time to celebrate her, it communicates to them that they are free to ask and wonder and want to see her again.
And so in our household, we celebrate P’s birthday.
Read the rest of this entry
photo credit: 7 News whdh.com
Adoption has everyone’s attention this week, it seems, with the stories circulating that Russia has suspended adoptions by U.S. citizens. Or that, no, they haven’t. All because one mom reached her limit and made the choice to send her son away alone on a plane, with a note, to return him to his birth country (unclear if it’s actually his country of citizenship any longer, since his adoption was completed and he may be a U.S. citizen now).
All the usual reactions are out there: outrage, blame, accusations of mental unhealth (child and mother & grandmother), hints at abuse, suspicion… Read the rest of this entry