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Monday, August 8, 2016

Bedtime

Solana, the happiest baby on Earth has decided that the terrible twos will actually start at the age of 1. She is stubborn, independent, and loud. Really loud. 

She's always had this fake scream that sounds alarming unless you knew it was fake which she uses often when she is displeased. However, her latest thing is to throw full on tantrums. Screaming, crying, hitting. She's quite the frustrated drama queen. When she is really mad she will bite you and then scream "De-De-de-de-de!". Clearly telling you to go take a flying leap. Bedtime has become challenging. My sweet little baby who would go down without so much as a peep, threw a full on tantrum on the stairs when I told everyone to say goodnight to her. An hour and a half ago.

During this rough night I had her rocking in my arms, quieted down but still whimpering from being upset. She was clutching my shirt, my bra, for dear life. As I kissed her tears, mine started to fall.

I whispered to her "I'm not your forever mama. I'm just temporary. One day it will be someone else putting you to sleep.You will have to learn to fall asleep in another home so please let's get through this phase because you have been here 75% of your life and if this is how you react to the familiar, I'm afraid the unfamiliar will be too much for your Papi."

And then my head wandered to the dark place where I wished that maybe she would react this way and he would decided this was too hard and call me up to come get her, forever. And then I felt immediately guilty and selfish and I started to cry harder because how could I wish such obvious misery and pain on my beautiful baby girl Solana. 

Foster Care Adoption in the Media

I was really excited to learn that one of the gymnasts on the USA Woman's Gymnastics Team was adopted from foster care.  So often, we only hear of the negative outcomes for kids in foster care. Being able to give my kids an example of a young girl as an Olympian who had a similar experience to them, makes my heart happy. It was disappointing to come across this story: nbc-announcer-apologizes-for-comments-about-simone-biles-parents

You've probably already heard about this but Simone Biles was adopted from foster care by her maternal grandfather and his wife.  I guess these details are important (to some) because she is biologically related to her (adoptive) father and as written, one is (I guess) supposed to gather, not biologically related to her (adoptive) mother.

I suppose any story about an adoptee will give the details behind the adoption as they do make up the adoption story. And for some adoptees, these may be important details. To others, maybe not so much.

Apparently the NBC announcer, Al Trautwig,  made on air comments referring to her parents as her grandparents and then sent out the following tweet to clarify some Twitter criticism for not referring to them as her parents: "They may be mom and dad, but they are NOT her parents."

Wait, what?

The tweet was deleted and he apologized but its a teachable moment.

The language of adoption is important. Adoption is complicated. Its wrought with emotion and pain.  Insisting that adoptive parents are not parents is an insult to everyone involved. It makes their relationship seem illegitimate. Like it doesn't matter. I've read articles that talk about how her family came together. How their family attended therapy for two years to build trust.

I know this work. I've done it. And I know that it's exhausting fielding questions in the super market. I can't imagine doing it on the world stage.

But it's a teachable moment and I hope this comment will open the conversation in the media up to understanding how adoption, and adoption from foster care work. And then maybe we can educate the world on why more needs to be done for our kids in crisis. Because let's face it, this has garnered a lot of attention, while other kids have died and no one said a peep.