“foster care”

I Should Be Happy. Should I Be Happy?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | Adopting Devils | 3 Comments

One of the perils of visiting my folks is that the radio station they favor plays a lot of Carpenters. That has obvious issues, of course, but one of the biggest is that even the very happiest Carpenter song, what with the whole sad story of Karen Carpenter, the nostalgia factor, my lost youth–makes me feel sad. And since it’s not a specific kind of sadness, I just apply it to whatever I’ve got going on that I could possibly be sad about.

And right now I am sad about Rebecca.

When I think about what lies ahead for her, I grieve for her. I can’t believe I’m going to be part of it. I look at Wyatt, and I imagine someone telling him that something wonderful is going to happen to him–that he should be happy, that he should be excited. I imagine them using word he doesn’t fully understand, and I imagine him trusting the person, and feeling that excitement.

And then I imagine him being taken away.

It’s hard to even write that without crying. In fact, I have to turn it around now–to apply it to Rebecca, to say yes, but she’s always been told this would happen, she can’t feel about her foster family the way Wyatt feels about us, that because she’s being prepared, that because in the end it’s “for the best”, it somehow isn’t the same thing.

But I suspect that it is. And even knowing the obvious–that she cannot stay with her foster family, that her future will be better here, that she will grow to love us–I am not happy. I want her. I am thrilled to have her, along with nervous and all the rest–but I cannot truly want this for her. What I want for her, she can’t have.

Wyatt wants a cookie. Rebecca is sleeping right now. I know she loves cookies, too.

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Big Stuff Afoot!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 | Adopting Devils, Travel to China! | 5 Comments

Wow.

So, none of what I planned to get done this afternoon got done, although, oddly, I cleaned part of the vegetable garden. Because, what with packing for Texas, finishing Rebecca’s dvd and package, finishing a pitch for my conference next week, doing a new post for the NHPR site I just started writing for, finishing the article for Parenting I wanted to have done before we left Friday…well, clearly what I really needed to do was work in the garden. Because we have LOA. (What the hell is that? See the previous post, please!)

But I digress (an excellent alternative title for this blog, btw).

Now we can plan. Now we can count. Here’s my secret plan: We’re in Seattle for Aliza’s wedding until May 27. I want to fly from there. It’s easier. It shaves 4 hours off our trip. It combines the craziness, and why not do that? It’s really reasonable, date-wise. Our agency won’t want to go for it. It’s going to make them nervous–too much planning too far ahead. I plan to spring it on them later. Rob I’m going to spring it on later tonight. He took all my mad sudden planning today very well (possibly because he was on his way out to play a last round of paddle tennis before the weather gets too warm to play, and don’t ask me to explain how that can be, because I can’t.) I do think it’s a good idea.

But–on to the most important subject tonight: Rebecca’s name. Now, Rebecca. A very good name, in fact. Solid. American. I like it. We’ll keep it. But we didn’t give it to her. And we do like naming. So we have some strong contenders for a middle or first name, and then we’ll see how it shakes out. I never, ever tell names beforehand, because the minute you do, someone says “Oh, I had a dog called that!” or “That was the name of the kid in third grade that everyone picked on!”.

But I’m going to do it now anyway. Here are the leading contenders:

  • Rebecca Rose, called “Rory”
  • Rebecca Claire
  • Audrey Rebecca
  • Rebecca Jade
  • Rebecca Elizabeth
  • Margaret Rebecca
  • Rebecca Skye (I suspect Rob’s just humoring me by leaving this one on)
  • Lucy Rebecca (much as I like this one, I think it’s out. Too many Lucy’s around already, plus it sounds like Lily. Ok, out.
  • We’re also adding a character to her Chinese name, but since I can’t type the characters and you can’t read them (neither can I) I will just leave them out, because that one has to both sound good and have the right meaning. I’ll get back to you.

    Really, I have to go do something else. Seriously.

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    Rebecca!

    Monday, April 6th, 2009 | Adopting Devils | 3 Comments

    Rebecca!

    Rebecca!,
    originally uploaded by kjda.

    Here she is! And in yet another amazing coincidence–Lily owns that sweater. It’s an Oshkosh B’Gosh by way of Target, but it’s unmistakeable.

    We got an update tonight, and the word is that yes–I did, via googling and link following and Yahoo Groups, find our little needle in the big ‘Net haystack.

    I’m thinking I should have bought a lottery ticket, too!

    More importantly, she’s on track in every way, and we know it. We’ve spent the evening working on a book of pictures that I’ll be getting out in the morning–the family, the house, her bed–illustrated by Sam, Lily and Wyatt in various fantastical ways.

    I think maybe Wyatt thinks it is time we talked about something else. I can understand that…and we have a lot to absorb, too. I think I’ll sleep well tonight!
    KJ Dell’Antonia
    sent from my iPhone

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    Impossible! Improbable! Ridiculous! (but true?)

    Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Adopting Devils | 2 Comments

    china-sun

    You Wan lives in a foster home in China–and I found her. As in, I found the foster home, online. I found pictures of her. I found out more about her than I ever thought I’d know at all, let alone before we went to China to get her. Chalk it up to the magic of Google.

    Wan’s file has been in China since 2007, when someone, somewhere, declared her ready for adoption. The latest information we had dated back to 2006–hooray, we know she was quite a normal, healthy size for a one-year-old! Since she’s three now, I think we can be forgiven for being a bit…curious. And when I’m curious, I google.

    I googled her province. I googled adoption groups from her province. I googled “update” “Adoption” “china” “How long”. You name it, I googled it. I didn’t get a whole lot of work done…but I found a small Yahoo group, of lovely people who’d traveled to Wan’s city and brought home kids of their own. All agreed that yes, they’d had updates–and yes, we needed one!

    One had a blog, and that blog led to another blog, and so on (they’re like eating Tings, aren’t they?). And one of the blogs had a teeny tiny little link to a teeny tiny little foster home in this teeny tiny (ok, not so much) province. And there was this picture. Of a girl, clutching a crayon. Same tugged up nostril as Wan. Same look of fierce determination. Same….je ne sais quoi.

    I know. I thought it too. I had to be kidding, that I would find this needle in a haystack when, realistically, the vast majority of the needles aren’t even in the haystack (because if you think the average Chinese foster home has a website, well…suffice it to say, nope. And even if they did, they’d be in Chinese, right? Right.)

    I didn’t even bookmark it. Which meant that a week later, when I really, really just wanted to see that picture again, I had to roll through most of the google/yahoo/blog process all over again. But there it was. And above it, there was a link. “About the kids.”

    Reader, I clicked it.

    And there was the determined girl. I clicked again. Birthday–match. Date of arrival in foster care–match. Same scar, same lip, same nose, same province, same city…

    At some point, it became less likely that there would be two children with all of those things in common than that I would find the child we’d been matched with on the website of an American-run foster home in China. I’m no statistician, but I’m pretty sure the numbers are on our side.

    Here’s the thing: we can’t check. Adoption regulations forbid direct contact between orphanages or foster care and prospective adoptive parents. I called our agency, absolutely. She’s checking. She’s checking.

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