I can't stop thinking about this, about how much I want these kids in my life. I feel about these kids in much the same way I expect Joan of Arc felt about God, minus the expectation that our kids could deliver military victories for France. Two minutes, five at the most, I can go without thinking about them. It's been two months now since we decided to start looking into it, and the feeling hasn't faded - if anything, it's more intense. I look at their adoptuskids profiles about half a dozen times a day; it calms me, like I'm with them.
I know that it's terrible to go shopping for the kids - but maybe part of the reason that these kids are commoditized isn't because they're actually commodities, it's because commercial language has overtaken English. At work, we don't seek agreement or consensus, we look for "buy-in," we don't discuss, we "allow philosophies to compete in the marketplace of ideas," our Department of State doesn't conduct diplomacy, it "protects the America brand," and so on. The language is poisoning our ability to describe the search for a compatible juvenile family member by calling it "shopping." I suppose the small mercy in the term is that it at least implies that the kid has value.
But I do still feel like it's shopping, and now more than ever because the agency we went to yesterday let us take this binder home that's full of glossy printoffs of all the kids in Virginia, with notes on whether they're already on hold for some other family (no confidential info, no worries), and now it's not just browsing on the net, like facebook or surfing for interesting blogs. No, now I've got a catalog.
And of course I set right out to look for Annie & Oliver. We do have an Annie and an Oliver in mind (not their real names, of course), 13 and 14 years old, respectively. I knew from her current adoptuskids listing that Annie has a sister who has already been adopted, but it wasn't until I had thumbed way back in the book that I found a pair of sibs, one named Annie, who was the same age as my Annie, who had some of the same description as my Annie, who had the same ID as my Annie. There's a paper clip marking the page, and a note to put both the girls "on hold" almost exactly two years ago. And there's her sister, let's call her Molly, three years older than Annie, and the star of the description.
Molly is all foreground in the picture, Annie is behind her, peeking around over a shoulder. Molly is "focused on her schoolwork," wants to go to Europe one day, and is adamant that her family support her "desire to get a good education." Annie keeps up her grades, likes to roller skate and go to the movies and would like a dog. And whoever started the process with them two years ago kept Molly and sent my Annie back.
It could be that I've developed a crush on somebody who would be very, very bad for me - it's not like that hasn't happened before. I'm hoping that Annie had just spent her life overshadowed by Molly and when it came to a new set of parents, being second was just too much for her to bear. It could be that being an only child, the important child, chosen for herself and not as part of a package deal with the exceptional Molly would make a difference in Annie's ability to really feel special and safe and wanted.
Won't know until I talk to the agent on Monday, and probably not even then.
Merry Christmas, Annie.
Merry Christmas, Oliver.
Christmas doesn't mean much when the manger's empty. I don't suppose it's much fun without Mary and Joseph either.
Even if you don't know it kiddos, there's a couple of somebodies out there who will spend all day tomorrow going through the motions, and thinking about next Christmas, when Christmas will be set right again, because you'll be with them.