Famous Last Words

Our Adoption Journey to Haiti

Hitchhikers July 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 5:12 pm

People who have been through adoption call it a journey. Others call it the ride of a lifetime.  They all have this look in their eye. Sometimes I cannot tell whether it is a Mr. T “I pity the fool” look or a Willy Wonka “you have no idea what joy lies around the corner” face. It’s probably the same look I give pregnant women who say things like, “I am sure my baby will be a great sleeper” or “we are not going to let this baby impact our social lives.” Sure.

Nonetheless we’re on the adoption ride. Our decision to adopt was made easier by the fact that we have a strong network of people who we knew would help us through the highs and lows. We’ve got loving families; great friends; a church community; and supportive employers. So blessed.

What we did not anticipate on this ride was the amount of “hitchhikers” we’d pick up along the way. Hitchhikers are the “strangers” who have joined our ride for whatever selfless motivation. Whether they are just a sucker for vulnerable children or passionate about social justice – we’re humbled and honored to have them along.

One of the first hitchhikers we picked up was Yessica from Bank of America. I’ll be honest – ever since our economy crumbled, I just don’t have a good vibe about big banks. But, as part of our dossier preparation, Patrick and I had to get notarized letters from our bank stating that we are in good financial standing. This was not easily done. I went to multiple Bank of America branches to find someone who would notarize this letter. Nobody could help…until Yessica.  Yessica was not going to let me leave her bank branch until she had a solution for me. She spent a great deal of time with me. She hassled “corporate” until she got permission to give us what we needed. Right on Yessica.

This summer we picked up a gang of hitchhikers who happened to be our neighbors. Admittedly, when they first moved in to the rental house next door, I was not enthused about the prospect of our new neighbors: several men who drive big trucks (that would inevitably hit my kids) and run their roofing business out of their garage. But they were friendly enough and we’ve exchanged pleasantries in passing over the last year. Until our garage sale…all of a sudden they became the biggest supporters of our adoption and gave their time, energy, money, and home to our garage sale this summer. Who knew?

Our most recent hitchhiker we picked up this morning-this person remains anonymous to us. He/she in a stealth operation either late last night or very early this morning left an incredibly generous gift in a mysterious envelope on the windshield of our car at our home. The enveloped contained a very simple note that concluded with “love and God bless”. How amazing is that?

We love the strangers we’ve picked up along the way. They’re now part of our story. Part of our child’s story. With all of the ugliness in the world, we are encouraged by our hitchhiker’s’ small, simple acts of kindness.

 

Family Perspective July 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 1:19 pm

Last week in Duck, NC, 33 people from across the country came together for our family reunion.  We came from San Francisco, Nashville, Chicago, and Northern Virginia. We played hard and celebrated big. Here we are:

family

For our immediate family, the beach is a refuge from the business of our daily lives. It’s a place to reconnect, re-energize, and appreciate each other. It’s also a place to gain perspective.

 

I always find it interesting how our outlook is shaped by past or current events in our lives. What we see and what we seek really revolves around our current situation. A simple example: If you are looking to buy a specific new car, all of a sudden you see that car everywhere.

 

As you know, adoption was not on our radar until very recently. I didn’t think about it – I didn’t look for it. Now that we are in the adoption process, I see it everywhere. I see it in stories in the Bible – in Moses and Esther.

 

And I saw it so clearly this week at our family reunion. I had never noticed that the story of adoption is woven throughout our family. I have first and second cousins that were adopted. I have cousins who have adopted children domestically and internationally.

 

I was actually thrilled that my family’s adoptive stories have not been an area of focus. Family is family – no matter how they are put together. Adoption happens after a loss takes place – there is no doubt about that. And I don’t wish loss on anyone.  But seeing how God has put together our family – I just cannot imagine it any other way.

 

This week re-energized our excitement to see who He has in store for us. And at our next family reunion, we hope to be a family of five.

 

Boys and Girls July 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — rgraham100 @ 3:42 pm

Patrick and I love being the parents of boys. From our perspective, boys are pretty simple. They don’t wear accessories and are content with only owning one pair of shoes at a time. At any given moment, they are in character as a super stealth ninja or Captain America or a puppy dog. You can pretty much always cheer them up with a fart joke or a popsicle. But the best thing about boys is that they barely have any hair (yet). We do not have to consider bows, pigtails, or braids. I have had the same hair cut for 30 years (with the exception of my perm and mushroom bangs phase). I don’t do hair.

We’re currently conflicted. When adopting from Haiti, you are given the choice to select the gender of your child.  One might think that this is our opportunity to have a girl. Why wouldn’t we choose to specify that we want a girl?

We hear great things about the father-daughter relationship and I want that for Patrick. I would also like a built-in shopping partner for the rest of my life.

But girls scare us a little. I’m not sure why. I’m a girl. And we have two nieces and two goddaughters that we adore. Here are our nieces:

noeltaylor

Patrick is “slightly” protective of our boys. He has helicopter-parent tendencies (i.e. hovering over them at the playground to ensure they do not fall). If he is that protective with our boys, would his anxiety double with a little girl? He worries about protecting a girl from all of the things that hurt little girls.

This is my assessment – adoption is an unknown for us. We’re bringing home a child who doesn’t know us, speak our language, or look anything like us. What food will he/she eat? What scares him/her? Will he/she love us?

So when you mix together the adoption anxiety and the girl uncertainty, therein lies our dilemma. Patrick wants to request a boy and just remove the girl uncertainty altogether. I want to “be surprised” the way we are when we have biological children. We remain undecided about what to do….

So in the meantime, we’re praying our way through the anxiety and uncertainty and fear. We’re trusting God that this is our path and He already knows everything about our Haitian child.

 

 
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