Adoption Challenges Throughout the Holidays
Last weekend, my family was visiting our cool Hollywood friends for casual festivities, having a few cocktails with a few creative couples when one dynamic duo (and I mean that seriously) launched into a heart-warming holiday tale about their Echo Park neighbors who finally adopted — after a brutal three-year wait — a lovely Ethiopian toddler who is perfect and quiet in every way.
They will celebrate a son, newly named Ben. Beautiful Ben. Can’t help but dream of his pretty face, long eye lashes. I feel scared for myself at how easy the images burn my eyelids. Did they travel across a desert for him? Were his family nomads in Ethiopia?
I lose track of the conversation and five minutes later, I blurt out loudly:
“Is there something wrong with him? Can he speak? Why is the little boy so quiet?” I ask, the ever-present adoptive mother questions. Too loudly, almost rudely.
My husband raises an eyebrow, like, “I cannot believe you just said that.” Thankfully the adopted kid and his ecstatic parents have not arrived yet but my husband gives me the death stare, and our mutual friend wonders out loud, ” Why does there have to be soothing wrong with a happy adopted 2-year-old?”
Without thinking, I launch into my tired adoption diatribe about reactive-attachment disorder, “so many kids nearing three years old have reactive-attachment syndrome and blah blah blah blah.”
“…and if he’s only two then there’s a bigger chance he was…blah, blah”
Party pooper. I’m sick of myself — are you? Everyone is shuffling around the cheese plate looking suddenly uncomfortable. Uh, yeah.
I stop in mid blah and nibble a few appetizers. Have another cocktail I may not need. Adoption envy ensues. I am quiet and helpful in the kitchen for the next 15 minutes and the new adoptive loving gorgeous perfect family never shows anyway because the little slow, quiet little Ethiopian son (kissing!) has a horrid cold.
Are you in the process of adoption? Are you filled with hope and longing when you meet other parents waiting too?
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