Monday, June 30, 2008

Adoption/Birthday Celebratio

So, we did it this past Saturday, and it was incredibly wonderful. We sent out an invitation that said that we were celebrating both her birthday AND adoption. We sent it to both our family, including VeeGee's great grandparents, and friends because dh decided he didn't want to do any sort of different invite for his family. Before we sent the invites out, we let his grandparents know what the party was going to be about, that it was going to be a celebration of both. I think they are really beginning to be peaceful about the situation.

On her birthday, she got a card from her birthmother. I was SO relieved. It was actually addressed to VeeGee with our last name and was so so sweet. I am beyond thrilled about this, and am really hoping that we can keep up correspondence with her.
(Off Topic: I have been showing VeeGee pictures of her birthmother a lot lately as we've been redecorating her room with lots of family photos. She's had the strangest negative reaction, refusing to look at the photos and screaming "No!" while swatting it away. I'm concerned about this, an want to find ways to positively incorporate her birthmom's image into her life - advice would be welcome.)
Anyway, there were over a hundred people here!!!!!! Insane!!!! As a former chef, I NEVER run out of food at parties, but I almost did. Holy cow.

So, to the best part: I wanted to do something ceremonial, but not something toooo cheesy (just kinda cheesy). What I did, was get a spool of red silk rope and passed it around to the entire group (everyone was connected). I spoke about the "red thread" poem and expanded the image to include a sort of metaphorical umbilical cord. As we were all holding the same line of thread, we thanked all of our family and friends for holding us up through this journey and invited them to continue to be a part of the adopting of VeeGee into our lives and our community, symbolizing our connectedness to each other. We then passed around scissors and invited everyone to cut off a length of thread to make a bracelet, anklet, necklace or bookmark to keep as a reminder of our community. It was pretty neat, and I really think it meant a lot to a lot of the people in attendance. Without being too in your face.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Birth Certificate

I can't really describe the sick feeling that I had when I opened up VeeGee's new birth certificate. Her birth father had never been there, but with this new one, her birth mother was, literally, erased. It felt so strange. On one hand, I was so relieved that the whole process really was over and that VeeGee really was, officially, my daughter. And at the same time, the bigger part of me, in fact, just felt so sad.

We could very very easily lie to VeeGee (by omission) and never tell her about how she came to us. She looks just like K (since she's his niece by birth) and there would truly never be much of a reason for her to suspect that she was adopted.

And that's a problem. VeeGee deserves to have her story, her truth.

And that birth certificate is a false document. It says that I drove across my state to give birth to her - in a place I've never lived. So what might that mean for so many well-meaning women who adopt and just want to step in and BE their kid's mom, for whom that birth certificate is sort of prize? It might mean that there needs to be an outside mechanism, a legal safeguard of adopted children's stories, that will help us emotional moms do the right thing. That's why, at least one reason why, reform is so necessary.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I had to share a sweet little moment from our day yesterday.

VeeGee is extremely averse to having her teeth brushed. We only do it every three days or so because it's such an awful ordeal. So yesterday evening was the time to do it. I had her in position and "did the deed" with the usual wailing and kicking, red-faced fury, etc., etc. After it was over, VeeGee crawled up on my chest and laid there while I rubbed her back. I sat there thinking how incredibly resilient kids, and especially these kids who go through SO much shit on a daily basis just to live, are. I felt then, as I often do, overwhelmed by her generosity of spirit and her tenaciousness.

So a bit later we were out watering our flowers on the patio when I got my foot caught under a planter and hurt it (can't really describe the way it got hurt, just that it hurt like a something-or-other). I was saying, "Oh my foot hurts, ow ow ow, etc." and VeeGee came over and got down on her hands and knees and kissed my foot - two or three times. I immediately began to weep. It was such and incredibly tender and sweet act for her - so natural and yet so extraordinary.

It may be a small thing, a silly thing, but WOW, it really sent me .