Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baby M.

After I found out about Z's death, I went into research mode. Many things happened, and the long and the short of it is that our family now has connections with our kids first family that we never thought we would. This is a good thing, and of course it is a complicated thing.

Some of those relationships I won't talk about here, at least not right now. But I do want to talk about one. It's the one I dreaded, actually, because I thought that if this relationship ever presented itself we would be faced with a big, hard choice. I was dreading that, dreading the moment we got the phone call that Z had another baby, and was looking to place her child again.

Except we never got that call. Someone else did.

Baby Boy M.
There is a lot about the placement of Baby Boy M that is out of focus for me, things that only the adoption agency really knows the truth about, and I don't have access to that truth. My feelings about the agency's decision to place him with a family that had been waiting a long time, and gone through two failed matches, instead of calling us...well the feelings are complicated. Z did not express a preference, apparently, so the choice was theirs to make. It is not really a choice I agree with. But it's complicated. Complicated because I really don't know if we would have said yes to another baby. Complicated, because for Andrew and I two kids feels right, it is the number we know how to raise, it is the right fit. And complicated because two kids feels right for us, but our girls growing up so far away from their little brother, well that feels wrong. The first time I saw baby M's picture I could barely catch my breath - a picture of a child who looks so much like my child, that my first instinct was nonono, he belongs here, with his sisters! But it wasn't my choice to make, and that is not how adoption works.

The agency refused to put us in contact with Baby M's parents for the first few months we knew about him. I think they knew that I wasn't happy, and they were waiting for his adoption to be finalized. But then they relented, and did, and his mom friended me on facebook and on every rational level and many emotional levels things are great. His parents want him to know his sisters, and we want him to know his sisters, and they have a big family that adores this little boy, and we have the family we always wanted. He is safe, cherished, and so very loved. They don't live close, so the kids knowing each other won't be super easy, but we are all going to try.

J with me, at about the same age.
This is the thing about adoption that is so hard to explain, and even hard for me to come close to, most days. That adoption can be beautiful and hard at the same time. I know my girls are in the best place, that they belong with us. I love being their mom, and am so grateful to be the one who gets to parent them. M's parents know and feel this for M, too. And yet - I grieve that these children won't grow up together. If all was as it ought be Z would be alive, her children with her, and they would grow up just as loved, fed, cared for, and cherished together as they are now apart. I am grateful for what is, for obvious reasons. And I ache for what ought to be.

I can hold both these things together. It hurts, and it is the best way in the world that we actually have, in the world that actually exists. I called baby M's mom, Stacy, several days after we connected on facebook, and we talked for over an hour. She is a good person who also seems to have her eyes wide open going into adoption. Stacy and her husband are experienced parents, and they obviously delight in M and care about connecting him to his sisters and finding real ways to connect him to people who share his race and culture. (And she gave me permission to blog about this, even!) I am grateful for her, for the love and care we share for our children.

Someday, hopefully not too far away, I'll see these three children together, even if it's just visits now and then.  And M will have his sisters as resources as he grows into his identity as a black transracial adoptee, and that's something real and hopeful for all three of them.  M will grow up, and look more and more like his own little person, a dear sweet boy who is my children's brother and someone else's son. I can picture this hopeful future, and so can M's mama, and I think we are carefully, kindly, gently moving together in that direction.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing and beautifully expressed. Amazing how much they look alike.