In part 1 of the final episode of Tracy's adoption journey, she discovers that what she was looking for might have been right in her backyard all along.
September 27 (continued from last week)
The "Latino Fiesta" is contained in an area about the size of a little league baseball field with a DJ under a tent in the center. There are cheerful volunteers everywhere, carnival games set up around the perimeter, a gigantic prize table, and the longest buffet setup I've ever seen. I see foster kids everywhere (ages probably 3-13) and there are more pouring in. Each is accompanied by what appears to be a social worker. A Polaroid captures their little faces and they are given one to keep. Later I learn the other will be displayed for us as the fiesta winds down.
John and I take a collective deep breath and check in as newly certified foster parents. All of us are looking to adopt. We're told we can easily identify whether or not a child is part of a sibling group by their name tags: A green sparkly tag in the shape of a star means there's more in their family, and the number underneath their name tells us how many. A yellow sparkly tag means he or she is an only child. Then we're given a sheet of paper to turn in before we leave. It's numbered 1-10, and we're asked to mark down any children we'd like to learn more about. We can find their pictures on a board by the entrance. Eeeeek! That feels weird, uncouth, and at the same time, necessary.
I immediately scope the field like a vulture in search of fresh meat -- tacky, I know, but my kid could be out there! I swoop in on what appears to be the only yellow-starred young girl on the field. This is our child -- my brain squeaks. I've left John in the dust and am fully engaged in a DJ-driven, modernized game of team musical chairs. Volunteers buzz around matching up kids with adults, but I already snagged my own. Her glittery star says "Angela." She's about 5 years old. I tell her that if she sticks with me, we'll win. We do. Immediately after, a couple comes up to say hi to her, and I hand Angela off as though we were only momentary partners in a square dance.
What happens? Check back this afternoon for the final step in this journey.
|Tracy Mazuer is a TV producer/writer and creator of TheReluctantGenius.com "for professionals who need professional help." She and her husband John have been married for 23 years and live in Playa del Rey with their 2 dogs, Hankie and Lizzie.|
Part 1 Adoption Journey ... with a Shocking Twist Part 2 Adoption Journey: Bait and Switch Part 3 Adoption Journey: Train Ride of a Lifetime
- Part 4 Adoption Journey: All About Making Money
Part 5 Adoption Journey: Secret Orphanage Visits
- Part 6 Adoption Journey: Heading Home Alone
- Part 7 Adoption Journey: Back to Ukraine?!?
- Part 8 Adoption Journey: No Hope of a 2-Year-Old
- Part 9 Adoption Journey: A Glimmer of Hope