National Adoption Day & Adoption Memories

Via Daddy, Pappa & Me—a great blog by a gay couple with an adopted daughter— I was reminded that today is National Adoption Day.

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness about the 129,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. Now in its fifth year, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys and advocates to finalize their adoptions into permanent families and to celebrate adoption.

On Saturday, November 20, 2004, an unprecedented number of courts, judges, attorneys, child welfare agencies and advocates coast-to-coast will finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care and celebrate and honor all families who adopt.

It seemed appropriate to post about it today, because it’s was also two years ago today that we got the call from our adoption agency telling us that Parker’s birthmother had chosen us (out of about 18 other familes whose profiles she selected) to be Parker’s adoptive parents. Two years later, we had such a busy morning today—getting Parker to and from his swimming class this morning—that I’ve only just now had an opportunity to sit down and remember.

I was on my way to work that morning and had only walked a few blocks when my cell phone rang. It was the hubby. The agency called him at work to tell him that we’d been chosen by the birthmother, and that we needed to hit the road right away to pick Parker up from the hospital. We’d only settled on the name “Parker” the evening before. The previous morning, we got the call that we were being considered. I got the message at work, and called the agency back to get the full details. I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day at work, but my coworkers were very understanding since they’d been getting regular updates on our adoption process. That evening, too much in shock and too nervous to deal with cooking dinner, the hubby and I got out of the house and went out to eat. We’d narrowed our choice of names down to about three names for a boy and three for a girl. Over dinner, since we knew we were being considered for a baby boy, we picked “Parker” out of the names we’d been considering.

I don’t remember much about what the hubby said when he called to tell me we were being considered. Instead of walking to the rest of the way to work, I hailed a cab, and on the way I phoned my brother and sister—who had both written letters in support of our adoption, to be added to our adoption file—and let them know the good news. I got to work, staggered into my bosses office and said, in what I’m sure was a somewhat shell-shocked tone, “I’m going to be a Dad. She shouted “Mazel Tov!” That brought the rest of my co-workers, who all knew about the call I got the previous day, running and I found myself in the middle of one of those group hugs where everyone jumps up and down in a circle.

The rest of the morning was a blur. Both the hubby and I had to leave work that morning almost as soon as we arrived. I tied up a few loose ends at my desk. One of my co-workers, who had an adopted daughter herself, offered us a load of baby supplies, including a travel crib that would later turn out to be a life-saver.

Since we hadn’t known just when we would hear from the agency once we finished all of our adoption paperwork, we’d gone ahead planning our lives. One the things we’d planned was a weeklong Thanksgiving vacation in San Francisco. I’d never been, and was looking forward to it. We’d planned a tour of Alcatraz (mostly to satisfy my fascination with crime stories) and a trip to the wine country, including a stay a spa in Calistoga, complete with mud baths. (I would later be heard to joke that I was supposed to be up to my neck in a mudback in Calistoga, and instead I was up to my elbows in diapers.) Now we would have to cancel that.

The hubby and I met at home, and what followed was a frenzy of activity during which we were packing (what do you wear to meet your son for the first time?), cancelling one trip via phone, and schedueling another online. There were plane tickets and reservations to cancel, other reservations to be made and MapQuest directions to print out. We also had to get someone to watch our cat and pick up the mail on a somewhat open-ended basis, since we didn’t know how long we would be gone. When we finally managed to get out of the house, we stopped by my co-worker’s home to pick up the travel crib and other items, made a quick stop by Baby Depot, and finally we were on the road…to parenthood.

I don’t remember much of what we talked about on the way there. I’m sure we wondered what the baby, our son—whom we’d yet to lay eyes on—would be like. I’m sure we wondered a lot of things between the time we left D.C. and pulled into the parking lot of the hotel where we’d spend our last night as a couple without kids, but it’s difficult to recall what we talked about while we travelled that day.

I do remember we were both nervous wrecks by the time we went to bed. I don’t know about the hubby, but it took me a long time—longer than usual—to fall asleep. I’m pretty sure he had some trouble going to sleep. We held each other until we both drifted off to sleep; thinking about the next day, when we would meet our son for the first time.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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