Thinking About Fate

As you may know from reading my bio, Spicy Girl came to us through international adoption from China.

The most difficult aspect of the wait to be matched with a child is, well, the wait. The matching process is cloaked in secrecy and it is done in a single bureaucratic office for every eligible child in the entire country. After we submit our dossier, it is placed in a cue, and it stays in that spot in line until you are matched. It doesn’t matter if you are Jill Schmo or Angelina Jolie – your spot in line is your spot in line. When you are “up to bat” then the creation of your family (i.e. the “matching”) is in the hands of a person who you have never—and will never—meet.

This can make you feel pretty helpless. But for me, I developed a coping mechanism, creating a fantasy world, where the people matching me with my daughter could see me and the hubby through some sort of a crystal ball, allowing them to make the best match.

This past June, we attended a reunion gathering of all the families that traveled with us, in the Fall of 2007, to China to adopt our girls. The last time we were together, the families were still getting used to one another—and, for some of us, getting used to the “mechanics” of parenting (read: diapering and sleep routines). Now, the families are solidified, and it is amazing to see what is nature and what is nurture and what is just “a good match”.

It went beyond how they dressed, what toys they played with and where they lived. It was their spirit and the connection they had with their parents and their siblings. I especially loved to see the look in their eyes when they ran to their parents for comfort or with joyful triumph after experience something new.

But, like with birth children, these children were woven into their families, with a spirit that was unique to each household. Since that weekend, I have never felt more confident that Spicy Girl was a “good match” for us; all of those little unquantifiable traits that make her our kid.

So clearly, the crystal ball works.


About Laura

If you had told Laura that she would become a first time mom at 41, say back in her "spirited 20s", she would have said "That sounds about right.  I've got too much to do until then."  Well, she didn't really, and it wasn't exactly by choice. Seven years of fertility treatments later, it all seemed to make sense.  And with the words, "let's adopt," the adventure really began.  When her daughter ("Spicy Girl" b.2007) was placed in her arms at 11 months old, in a city half-way around the world, the idea of motherhood became the reality of "what the hell am I doing?"  All at once, life at home became a constant sociological experiment of nature vs. nurture.  "Honestly, honey, I didn't teach her how to do a forward roll at 20 months ... I couldn't do one when I was 20 years old.  It must be her hard-wiring." In her daytime away from mom-hood, she works as a higher education administrator where she does her best not to parent 18 to 22 year-olds.

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