When I started this blog, one of the ideas in the back of my head was to put all the stories I have told and retold to friends and students over the years to paper (or in the ether, as the case may be) before the dementia sets in and I can’t remember them anymore. There are two very long stories - too long for the limited attention span of blog reading - that have always been the most interesting to people. They are about my two Ethiopian adoptions. I couldn’t even guess how many evenings I have spent talking about those days 15 and 13 years ago to seemingly riveted listeners. Each adoption was incredibly intense, but in different ways. It will take time to put it all into written words.
But before I can even start, I need to work out the logistics of how to blog the stories. First I need a running title and “Adoption” or ”My Adoptions” are simply too boring. I already have a different episodically written story about my job in this blog (My Years of Montessori - MYoM for short). I thought about doing something similar called “My First International Kidnapping”, but the abbreviation doesn’t work: MFIK. I dont think so. And then there is the problem that, technically speaking, only the first of the two adoptions was a kidnapping. The second one was completely by the book.
I started looking through the letters and emails I wrote on the subject in the past, searching for the word or phrase that best encapsulates the entire experience. Eventually, I came upon this paragraph:
Of course I am only picking out the most traumatic events here but the full truth is that all these desperate moments happened simultaneously with the most intense and complete feelings of joy I have ever experienced. It is almost impossible to really explain what an adoption is like to someone who has not gone through it. One second you are a nervous and confused tourist in a strange place and the next you have a blanketed bundle in your arms with intense brown/black eyes peering out of it at you and suddenly you are a stranger’s parent, trying to figure out why this feels like a reunion instead of an introduction.
I have a title now.