We are in the waiting room of the children's hospital lab services.
YH is every child's friend here.
He runs gleefully up to each new face that enters, grinning from ear to ear.
"You're here! Hooray!"
The little girl with the visible mustache.
The pale little boy curled up in a chair, head leaning against the wall.
The brothers--carbon copies of one another. Same beak noses, small chins, brown eyes made large by thick glasses.
It's like a party to YH.
The parents watch him with guarded smiles. Their faces are pale too, but from worry.
Worry about whatever brought them to this waiting room.
woman enters carrying her son and a large body pillow. She checks in at
the front desk and begins to arrange her child and his comfort items in
a chair. She does it so matter of factly, in such routine
movements--this is not her first time in this space.
She sits next to her son and opens a bag of crackers. YH's ears perk
up--he can hear a snack being opened from a mile away. He dances his way
over to them and says "Gakka juseo" while rubbing his chest in the
It is a charming performance. The mom asks if he can have a
cracker. I say yes. YH carefully accepts the treat and climbs up next to
his new friend to eat while happily kicking his feet.
The mother asks me "Is he yours?"
"Yes. He joined our family through adoption two weeks ago."
Oh, she says. She takes a breath and says "My husband and I want
to adopt." She is stroking her fragile son's hair as she tells me this.
"We don't know how to go about it. We want a daughter. We can't risk..."
I tell her there are many ways to add to your family through
adoption. I tell her the name of our local homestudy agency. I tell her
she can email me if she wants to talk about options. She looks confused.
I know that look.
That look says "But if we want to adopt, and we have a home and love to share, can't we just *get* a baby? A baby girl?"
I'm sorry. It's not like that.
the lab with tear-stained cheeks, band-aids aplenty, and a list of
referrals as long as my arm. Plastic surgeon. Opthamologist. Geneticist.
And so on.
He is full of surprises, my youngest.
Things we prepared for seem to be a non-issue.
Things we never contemplated are taking priority.
Nothing to do but hug him tighter. Nothing to do but buy an accordion folder for medical bills.
We're in this for the long haul little man.