Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the lab.

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.

A 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 "please" sign.

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..."

She stops.

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.

*****                *****

We leave the lab with tear-stained cheeks, band-aids aplenty, and a list of referrals as long as my arm. Plastic surgeon. Opthamologist. Geneticist. Developmental pediatrician.

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.


  1. I don't really have a way to explain it, but this hit deep within my heart. Thank you.

  2. Most people have no idea the actual PROCESS of adoption. It's not for the faint of heart, is it? Of course, I am slowly learning that parenting is not for the faint of heart no matter how it happens.

    Sorry about the need for the accordion folder...I hope everything is OK. I'm glad you have access to good medical care.

  3. MTL--it's so true! Unless you're *in* the adoption community I don't think you ever fully understand the process. It's kind of like being jumped into a gang--"Here, this group of professionals is going to circle around you and rob you of your delusions. Congrats now you're in the know!" Thanks for the kind words about YH's health. We'll get through. Doens't change who he is on the inside.