Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Girls night in.

Grandpa's friend R took P and JJ lobster diving tonight. Since I am just a chick I did not get an invite. How rude! SS and I are having a girls night in and SS is right now on the bed shaking her booty to Nick Jr. After they left Grandpa told me that he would be surprised if they make it back before midnight. Great, had I known that I would have told P that JJ could go but I did not want to be alone with a hyper SS by myself.

We went to the beach today, but P and JJ have the camera, so pictures of our day will have to wait until tomorrow.

We have been doing a lot of talking about our decision to have JJ be SS's godfather and assume custody if something happens to us. We have no illusions about our parenting skills and decision making, we screw up a lot, and then we try to rectify our wrongs. But this is one decision that we got right and did not second guess ourselves. No one has the emotional investment in SS that P, JJ and I have. JJ is not her parent but we know his love for SS equals ours. We also know that no one will follow through with our desires for SS's future. Our bio parents were never considered as guardians because of their age and because we knew we could not rely on them to raise SS in the manner we wished. There is nothing wrong with them, but we have a plethora of instances that have driven that point home. While like them JJ has no experience with a post institutionalized child, and like them often wonders why we do certain things, and like them thinks we are overdoing things, he asks why we do things a certain way and will continue to do it our way if we shall perish before SS reaches adulthood. Let me tell you that this is priceless. We are sure that he was far more offended by the do not touch SS period than the grandparents. He asked the reasoning, made it clear that he did not like it, but honored our wishes. And no, no sneaking in a hug here or there, and no smart ass remarks about how his parents were shutting him out of his sister's life.

We do not think that we are experts on post institutionalized children and we need to develop a thicker skin at the constant questioning about what we do, and the blatant statements about how we have created a monster with our approach to attachment. Whatever...

Like any prospective adoptive parents we were scared about being denied the opportunity to parent a child. Our fears materialized when the director of the home study agency called to tell us that the social worker's recommendation was that we should be denied the opportunity to adopt a child. My heart sank when I heard those words. The director went on to state that she disagreed with the social worker's reasons and would write our home study report. I make it a point of not using names on this blog but our crappy social worker, Sheila, deserves to be named. Her first reason was that JJ allegedly wanted nothing to do with a sister. That the age difference between JJ and a sister would be an embarrassment to our child. She also felt that the age difference between P and I was insurmountable and we would probably break up before we brought a child home. And the kicker was that she felt that a Chinese child would be better off with two White parents, rather than two from different ethnicities. So Sheila, go fornicate yourself! Also, have a nice rest in hell.

The China program requires that the prospective parents designate a guardian for their future child. This is where our approach might make some question our ethics. While we always knew it would be JJ, we were very pragmatic about what we knew China wanted. Parents must be 30 years old before they can apply for adoption. They do not account for the wait, especially now that it is at a minimum of four years. Your dossier is not accepted unless both parents (or a single Mom) are thirty, no exceptions.

When our dossier was ready, JJ was nowhere near thirty, and he was single. At the time China was allowing single women to adopt, but not single men. BTW, we believe that is an unbelievable crock of excrement because some of the best parents we have encountered are single parents. Again, whatever...

But we had no qualms about playing their little games. For example, at the time, single women had to provide a statement that they were not homosexual and would not expose their child to that lifestyle, or something among those lines. We never paid much attention because it did not apply to us. When SS's now godmother heard this she could not believe that being who I am, I would consider adopting from China, even though their homophobic rule did not apply to me. I did not have a problem explaining to Auntie C (different person than Aunt Court) that if required, P and I would gladly provide such a statement. Her surprised expression was priceless. We would not have a problem because once our child was home we had every intention to expose SS to all kinds of love. To us, it does not matter who you love, as long as there is love in your life (totally ripped from Lu Holloman). Just look at us and how mismatched we are, there is no way we would deny SS that same experience. That is why SS watched season six (AKA season suck) of the L word with us (except the sex scenes).

When it was time to choose a guardian for SS, we did not even think of her godmother. She was and remains single. But shall we kick the bucket, we know she will be there for JJ, doing what she can to help. We gave China what he knew would impress them, a nice, solid couple with two kids, so SS would not be alone. T and J were very good friends and looked perfect on paper. T was a CPS social worker, and J was an eligibility worker, but active in the National Guard. We babysat their kids an awful lot, especially after J was deployed for a few years. At a point the kids began to call P daddy. That is when I had to stop using the nickname P only allows his Grandma and I to use. It is too close to the word daddy and we think that is why the kids were comfortable calling him daddy.

We asked T and J if they were willing to be presented to the Chinese government as SS's guardians. They accepted immediately and had already given us a beautiful letter of recommendation, Their letter of rec is still an awesome gift because they both have huge issues with writing. I spent many hours proofreading and helping T write her reports, I knew how horribly she struggled with writing. But I told her she had to write the letter and that I would only help with spelling and grammar (skills I really do not possess). We also made it very clear that JJ would be the actual guardian and that their consent was just a formality. They were both very offended but eventually realized that JJ was the right choice.

By the time SS came home we had relocated, but we did inform T and J about SS arrival. Initially it was through e-mail, then at their work voice mail. At that point I gave up, I will NEVER nag someone to acknowledge my child. But P asked me to try once more, because their kids, T and T, were aware that SS would come home, were eagerly awaiting her arrival, had talked about how they would love on her, we loved them, spent a significant amount of time caring for them (only children other than SS to share a bed with P), and as angry as he was at T and J, he considered T and T SS's siblings. I left a message on their home answering machine and we never heard from them. P was beyond wounded, but I was too busy with SS to give a flying you know what. Looking back I sometimes wish that there was a reason, that we had a falling out, that we did something wrong and that is why they chose to ignore SS. As much as their actions hurt us, it did confirm that our decision was the right thing for our child.

But we are human and we often wonder if our decision was fair to JJ. We never asked him, we made the decision without his input. The only time we wondered if we had erred was when we were blindsided by JJ's girlfriend's animosity towards SS. Now that he is single again, we wonder how it would go when he meets someone else. How do you say, "I am single, have never had a child, but if my parents bite it, I will assume custody of my little sister. They planned for this event to the point that they gave my little sister the same last names as mine. That is big , because my father's family is very conservative about that stuff, and my mother's last name is before his." I know I would probably run in the opposite direction if I heard that.

Today I had a talk with JJ and told him that he could decline to be SS's guardian (sorry P, did not tell you because I knew you would have blown a fuse) and that it would not bother me. JJ looked at me as though I was crazy, high and drunk. He wondered why would I ever say that, I told him that I would not be able to live with myself if he found the one, and our (P's and mine) choice ruined it for him. JJ quickly responded "If that is her reaction, then she is not the one." WOW, could it be that we did something right with this kid?

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