Children come easily into the lives of some people. That was not the case for Cliff and me. Armed with a wing and a prayer, we ended up on the roller coaster ride of international adoption in the 1990s.
China had their rules. The United States had theirs.
Our job was to send countless notarized documents back and forth across this country and theirs. I walked around with my hands in the air, ready for yet another round of fingerprinting. Cliff said there was no reason to put his checkbook away because every office wanted another fee.
Then everything changed. China said the baby demand required an overhaul. They padlocked their adoption bureau doors. Our paperwork was trapped inside. It would take however long it took.
Like a lot of women in my shoes, I avoided toy stores and children's departments. Tiny sweaters and stuffed bears were painful reminders. They went into the hands of every child except ours.
Magical thinking is hard to explain. There is no rational equation here. Every heart clings to something.
A year later, she did.
Maggie carefully positioned her face to peek into that tiny mirror, adjusting the girl so she could see herself. She's done that every year of her life with us until this one. In that offhand teenager way, she said it didn't matter.
I've been thinking about this. For several years we've played a game when I'd make out a grocery list. I'd ask if she needed anything. She'd offer several items: strawberries, peanut butter, and a boyfriend. "I'll look," I'd say, pretending to add that, too. I finally realized this year she has the thing she's wanted for years--a sweetheart of her own.
I moved the girl for her.
To leave a comment (I always hope you will.), the program will ask you to "Comment as"
and ask you to select a profile. If you aren't signed up with any
of the first 7 account choices, select Anonymous. This will allow you
to Publish. If you don't, your valuable comment will not appear.