Posted by: mommytoo | November 18, 2008

*cough*cough*

i called out sick today!  i didn’t have a very good reason, there was kind of a child care conflict but we probably could have figured something out.  i just really wanted to spend the whole day with my boy!  d is working all afternoon into the evening, and i think we will have a fun day together.  some errands for me and playing for nate.

i probably mentioned that our adoption day is december 12.  we decided to invite a few people, both to the courthouse and to lunch afterwards.  our immediate families are coming from out of town – d’s parents, my mom and sister – my dad is in the peace c*rps in africa – and a few of our closest local friends.  we’ve really gone back and forth, around and around, on how we are conceiving of this adoption.  at first, i talked about adopting nate pretty happily, feeling like i wanted to own my unique relationship to him.  d carried him in her uterus and gave birth, which is an incredible thing to do, and i was mostly a supporting role, albeit a major one.  i tried to bond from the outside in any way i could.  since he joined us on the outside (almost 8 months ago!), he and i have created a relationship all our own.  the older he gets, the more i see how our bond is different from what he has with d, but just as wonderful.  i often say that we play to our strengths, which i think is what most parents try to do.

so i’ve been looking forward to the adoption as something that will celebrate our family, and give a nod to the fact that YES! we are a bit different from most families.  we never hide from that fact, actually we’re pretty proud of it.

d has had a different opinion.  she cringes when i talk about being an adoptive mom.  i’ve gradually been understanding her feelings about it.  i may be an adoptive mom, but nate is not an adopted baby.  he hasn’t gone through what an adopted child does — he’s not been given up, spent any time without a real family.  he was lucky enough to be longed for, planned for, dreamed of, and born into a family that has been devoted to him since birth (and before).  and my wife gave birth to him, after i put my maternal urges on hold for the whole of my 20s!  if you’re there for the conception, every day and every night of the pregnancy, if you’re there to see your greatest love bring your greatest love into the world, how does that make you (me!) an adoptive mom?  it’s perplexing.  it’s definitely homophobic and heterosexist that we have to create legal documents and go to court and spend all that money, in order to get our family recognized in any way.  but without the adoption, i wonder how and when i would feel like i get my moment to claim my mother-ness.  i already feel like his mother, and i have since he was born.  but d had this rite of passage, she has a bond with so many other mothers, and maybe if i never wanted to give birth, i would feel different.  i wonder if it’s harder because i am trying to wait patiently for “my turn” to have that rite of passage, and so i want something sort of ceremonial to mark what i have gone through with nate.

d is deeply offended that i have to adopt nate, because we feel vehemently know in our hearts that he is already my son, and always has been.  so when the letter came giving us our court date, we just weren’t sure how to handle it.  just the three of us and the lawyer?  our parents?  a whole shebang?  how do you spell shabang anyway?  we finally decided to make it our own day, our own celebration.  we had a big wedding in 2005, even though it wasn’t legal.  and even though we were already committed and living together and shared a bank account, i consider that day to be when our marriage started.  it’s all just whatever we make it.  december 12 is the big day, just 10 days before hanukkah, so our gift to each other is a party.  nothing major, but something to mark the occasion and have everyone ooh and ahh over nate.  i’m looking forward to having everything official, and i’m excited to tell nate about it some day — how we came together to celebrate our family.

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Responses

  1. Congratulations, and yes, I get that it is confusing to know how to handle it. I didn’t feel much of the resentment that other folks feel around the adoption, but I get why people do.

    I also get wanting a right of passage. I’m not sure if I ever got one. Though honestly, our kid’s birth was so long & hard, maybe it ended up feeling like one, even though I wasn’t doing the birthing.


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