Wednesday, November 17, 2010

National Adoption Day

I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you this important announcement:  November 21 is National Adoption Day. Please enjoy the post below as my tribute to the day. Your regularly scheduled blog continuation of "The New Kid" will be next Wedesday.

I’m in the room very impatiently waiting. Today was a huge day! I glanced at the clock on the night stand - they were late.

Today was special because I was receiving the best present a girl could get. No, it wasn’t money or a car - which both came in at a very close number two. It was even better than both of those.

What do you ask could be better than those? Not much, I’ll be the first to admit. But, wait for it…I’m getting a new sister!

Okay, honestly this enthusiasm is new. Seriously, when Mom and Dad sat me and my dork-fest brother down to tell us, enthusiastic wasn’t the word to describe how we felt.

The dork-meister, a mere three years younger than me, never agreed with anything I said or felt, until now. “No way. I don’t need two of them walking around. Do you know how uncool she already is and now you want to give me another one. Have you people lost it. Listen, if you want I’ll put on a wig and some of that cherry lip stuff and come and cuddle with you twice a month. You can buy me presents - only guy stuff though. That should get this out of your system,” he whined.

“Wow, can you get any weirder,” I said. I rolled my eyes at the thought of him with a wig on. “Mom, Dad, listen to me. You don’t need another kid to validate you. You did a wonderful job with me. It’s not your fault the dorkster’s such an embarrassment. All kids stray. We don’t need another kid in here mixing things up. I’m willing to give up some of my social activity to spend some time with you. And I’m willing to allow you to lavish me with presents. For my unselfishness, I only want one thing…no more siblings please.”

Of course my parents didn’t quite see it the way me and the dork-guru did. They marched us into the family room and turned on the computer. They showed us a video about the kids that are waiting in foster care to be adopted.

It was surreal. We saw this one kid, a girl, who lived in a group home. She could have easily been me. It was shocking. She seemed completely normal. We had similar interest, like sports and make-up. She also said she “loved math” but I think the adoption agency told her to say that because every girl I knew hated math. Aside from this one white lie (and come on people we’ve all been there) she seemed legit.

I guess I sort of thought only weirdoes and delinquents were the only ones needing to be adopted. I didn’t need the stress of some kid coming here, stealing my things, burning down our house and killing my parents and the dork. A little dramatic right. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies.

I was so wrong though! By the end of the video I was convinced. Not totally thrilled about the idea but I was willing to try. I even thought I saw the dork-authority with a tear in his eye.

I was proud of my parents for making a decision like this. There were so many kids on that site that needed a home. I felt awful for them. I couldn’t imagine not having a family or being separated from mine - even the dork-master.

So I promised my parents I would try really hard to make her feel like apart of our family. She was the dorkster’s age, which was cool. I could help her to fit in…be a real big sister. The kid would probably follow me around, like a mini-me or a clone. I didn’t even mind.

A car door slammed and I jumped. I guess she's here, I thought. I took a deep breath and crossed the room. I spun around one final time. I wanted to ensure everything was perfect and in its proper place. Mom had requested for me to decorate her room. It was black and fuchsia leopard print. I was positive she would love it.

I turned the knob and walked out the room. Nervousness gone, a sense of pride lingered. I’m going to do all I can to make this kid feel wanted and part of our family. But first thing…I’ve got to meet her. Gulp!
Every year thousands of kids are placed in foster care. These kids need loving and supportive homes too. However, too often they are left to wait in the system. Can you imagine not having a family? Feeling like you don’t belong anywhere… Well, these children can relate to those feelings.

If your parents open your home to a child, be a good brother or sister. Aspire to make them truly feel like part of the family. It’s difficult emotionally for children (especially older kids) to be placed in foster care or adopted. They have the lingering feelings from their birth parents and/or siblings. This is a big adjustment for them also.

So, don’t open your doors without first opening your heart.

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