Friday, September 24, 2010

fortuity and the rise of frankie valentine

The strangest thing happens to me all the time. I'll meet someone, say a friend of a friend, and the first words out of their mouth are "Oh you're the girl that adopted two babies! Aren't they, like, under a year apart?" And I say, "Yes, yes that's me. And yes they are."

So now let me tell you why this strikes me as strange because you are probably sitting there thinking, well you are the girl who adopted two babies in under a year. What gives?

It's strange because I don't define myself that way at all. I can go for days, nay, weeks and not think about my children being adopted. People don't stare at us in public because we aren't the same color. They stare because we are a circus to behold.  I'm rarely reminded in my daily life that I didn't birth my babies.  

And that is why I find it very curious that other people hold onto that fact. It doesn't offend me in the least.  I don't expect other people to know the true nature of adoption until they have experienced it firsthand.  It's a spiritual concept that must be learned.  I just wish that if people are going to talk about me, and tell my story, could they also throw in that I make jewelry and do illustrations? Maybe pass out a business card or two?

I love that my babies are adopted. Truly.  What fortune our family has had! To most of the world, adoption might seem like a second choice option, but for those of us who have found our kids through atypical ways, we marvel at our good fortune to have been given a wondrous gift. The journey to adopt a child is a real life adventure tale, with magic and monsters and all sorts of battles.  To triumph at the end of the sojourn is the most amazing, relieving, incredible experience. Everyone should know such happiness.

On October 12th we will finalize Henry's adoption.  It seems like such a trivial thing. It only takes ten minutes before a judge.  It's hardly a blip on our family's lifeline. But it means that we can write the last page of our adventure tale and start a new story.

Speaking of stories, here's a true one: On the way to the hospital to see Henry for the very first time we had to pull over so I could throw up.

It was a mixture of medicine-induced nausea and panic over the thought that I might look at this tiny little boy and know that he wasn't mine.  We all know that isn't what happened. Seeing Henry for the first time was like looking at my own hands. He was mine in every way. Happy ending.

Everyday he changes and becomes more of a little person.  He has a scratchy little voice and a rather square head. He's the happiest baby I've known.

Here's another true story: When she was little, my mother-in-law lived next door  to a boy named Frankie Valentine.  She told me about Frankie and how years later, while walking through her living room, she caught sight of Frankie on T.V. He was all grown up, but it was him alright. He was a police officer.

Ever since I heard that story I can't look at Henry and not call him Frankie Valentine.

It's the perfect name for him. Half Baby Face mobster, half Eddie Munster.  All sweetheart.


Deb said...

I love what you have written in this post... I am adopted myself and I have not for one minute considered that I was a "second best" option for my parents (and, thankfully, they have never thought that either!).
Adoption is an amazing gift. I thank God daily for the amazing parents and family He blessed me with and I would not have it any other way.

It used to bother me that others didn't understand adoption like I did and for years I didn't tell anyone because as a young girl I didn't have the words to explain myself. Now I am older I am comfortable with the fact that not everyone NEEDS to get it.

Anyway... I am rambling... just wanted to say thanks. It is nice to know that there ARE others out there who do get it and are living the blessing, just like me. :)

Kari said...

True, indeed. I forget all the time.

Kate Lewis Illustration said...

Beautiful post! I am in the process of adopting and it is a wonderful (and sometimes challenging) journey to be on. I love you blog and have been following for some time. Your family is beautiful.


Michelle Springer said...

Hmmm...Maybe it is because they think you are insane in the membrane for having two infants in a year's time, and oh by the way, you have another little tot at home too! That is what I think about when it comes to you...I think my god, I can barely cope with one toddler let alone three small children. It would be my one way ticket to the mental ward ;) The adoption piece never crosses my mind. In my opinion, all the hard work starts AFTER the kid is born...It was all fairies and butterflies up until that point. And hello, how many times have I raved and gushed over that butterfly necklace of yours....Many! I would never be so silly to define you "as the gal who adopted two kids in one year." You are so much more then that!


Anonymous said...

I love this post, because I too don't think of Aly as adopted. She is just mine!!

Shane, Meg, CJ, RJ, and AL said...

Love. This. Post. Everything about it. Whenever I read your blog and find myself identifying with every word like today (except for the fact that our babies have different features and genders), I wish I could write as well as you. You express your thoughts so well. Thanks for sharing! I am excited and happy for your upcoming finalization.

From the Kitchen said...

Uh, you forgot to mention adorable! I think it makes no difference how a family comes together. It's all in how the family, well, comes together.


Vanessa, Florida, USA said...

Oh, April!!! What a beautiful story and what a beautiful baby you have!!! You are truly blessed :) My hubby and I have been wanting a baby for a long time!!!

Terri Fisher said...

I'm still waiting for our adoption story to come to a happy are right about the monsters along the way! But I know the outcome will be as delightful as yours, and I can't wait...congratulations, again!

Unknown said...

Nothing can make me cry faster or harder than talking about adoption. It has always been something that has been so sensitive to me. Now, all these years later and meeting my birth family, I have never experienced anything like it... hands down the most spiritual experience I have ever been through. It has literally been HELL... but I have never loved and appreciated Gods plan for families so much! Adoption IS one of Gods greatest ideas and babies are just randomly placed... they go to exactly who they were supossed to be with! I love you and cant wait to meet your little Frankie Valentine.

I wish I could blog about this on my blog...

Jasmine Bailey-Barfuss said...

Lovely read this Saturday morning.
You are a talented and amazing woman, everytime I open your website it is like lollies to my eyes xox

Cindy at LottieBird said...

As an adoptee, I was always surprised to have my adoption mentioned by adults in casual conversation. I came to realize that those who brought it up were those who had their own adoption story and cared about this aspect of me.

And I totally relate to your being a circus act in public. I remember that feeling when my twin boys were small. People always asked me, "how do you get it all done?" Well, I didn't.

Now that circus seems like someone else's life. My boys turn 16 next week. It's a different kind of circus now. One involving driving...

Kelly L. said...

Yes, Yes, and Yes! My boys are 5 1/2 months apart - I love to tell people that and wait for the quizzical facial expressions! I enjoyed having 2 babies more than anything. It was just one of those things that was 'to be'. Definitely a real life adventure.

I just copied and pasted the paragraph that starts with "I love that my babies are adopted...". I will print this out and read it often. I've never had my exact feelings so eloquently expressed. Thank you.

All 3 of our adoptions had both 'magic' and 'monsters' as well, and yes, the triumph at the 10 minute visit with the judge is made all the sweeter because of it. But our adventures were purposeful and happy ones and we wouldn't change a thing!

Again, thank you.
PS I just came to your blog for the 1st time tonight via Mindy Gledhill's blog. You both are enchanting!

Sarah Harris said...

Another Mindy Gledhill pop-over. I loved reading this. Warms my heart. We hope to adopt in the future as well. The fact that we want more than two children gets us funny looks, and unsolicited advice comes quickly when we tell others of our decision to adopt. Glad the blogosphere has lots of people who have gone before us!