Two years after adopting my son, I put my romantically challenged self back in the dating world. By my late 30s, I've had my fair share of heartbreak. But how much of my hurt should I show my child?
I used to think disruption was just plain evil. But now I know that sometimes, good is waiting on the other side.
International adoption is rife with hurry-up-and-wait moments. Hurry up and get your paperwork ready. Then wait for it to be accepted by the country you're adopting from. The wait times killed me. So while I was attempting to adopt from Russia, I joined an Internet group of other waiting parents.
When my son was in fifth grade, his principal had my phone number on speed dial. That's never a good sign.
"There he is," I whispered. "There's my son." Thirteen travel-weary kids were coming off a plane from Moscow, and even amidst the chaos, I immediately recognized my boy. I had only seen one picture of him -- a stern and serious photo taken by his orphanage directors -- but still, I knew this 8-year-old boy as well as if I had been looking into his eyes for years.
While my son's special needs come largely from his past, I am determined to see beyond them -- to accept my beautiful son as he is.
There are times when the right thing to say is obvious. When someone asks if their jeans make them look fat, for example, you respond with a decisive, "No!" But there are other times when the right thing to say is elusive. Adoptive families seem to be a magnet for those verbal land mines. I should know: I'm an adoptive mom myself.