Our son Michael has had a rough life. He weighed a little over three pounds when he was born. We were never told why, but it’s not a big leap to assume that he was premature. His parents either didn’t know how to take care of their children, or were too high to care. Social workers found him wandering the streets with a little brother when they were pre-schoolers. Michael was only three years old at the time. His brother was 10 months younger. They ended up in foster care.
Over my many years of parenting, I have grown to really dislike gift-giving holidays. And, every holiday, I forget how deep my resentment goes until the holiday is upon me. I enjoy shopping for the perfect gifts for each of my kids. I enjoy the thought they put into the gifts they pick for other family members. That part is fun and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. What I don’t like is dealing with the gift-giving reality from well-meaning agencies as well as some of their biological or prior adoptive families.
I’m old fashioned about a lot of things. For example, I still send Christmas cards – lots of them – about 140 each year. I sign them by hand and address them by hand. Sometimes the kids help me stuff the envelopes. And, if I’m lucky, they make it to my friends’ homes before Christmas.
When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me a strong concept of how my actions reflected on my family. We were expected to be the perfect children, never doing anything that might cause others to look at our family as less than perfect. We were expected to dress appropriately for every situation. Manners were essential to everyday life, including knowing how to hold a conversation in a social setting. We were taught that there are consequences when we embarrass the family and we felt the pressure of having to be the perfect children.
For many in the LGBTQ community, adoption is a part of how families are built. Some of us adopt through private agencies, while others start with the Department of Social Services providing foster care first, followed by adoption. We have had the privilege of adopting in a number of different ways. We have paid the high agency fees and adopted that way. We have suffered through the trauma and drama of adopting children in state custody. We have adopted kids from our local area and we have adopted kids from other states. We have even adopted family members. And, because we have adopted so many times, we are experienced in many of the issues that may arise.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
We are an award winning independent free news publication published every-other Friday, distributed free in Maryland surrounding Baltimore, parts of Southern PA, and Rehoboth Beach, DE. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org