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Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Know You've Adopted Internationally When...

Adoptive-Parents China posted its You Know You've Adopted from China When... list a few years back. And I think it's about time we dusted it off and made it a bit more international. So, without further adieu, You Know You've Adopted Internationally When...

you think nothing of a measly six hour flight with the kids.

you can explain to a waiting parent how to do the post-adoption parasite poop patrol with a straight face, and in all seriousness.

the first image you saw of your child was NOT an ultrasound.

you stop and pay attention whenever you hear your child's birth country mentioned on the television or in a public place, even if they're just talking about the weather there.

everyone in your family can correctly pronounce the word dossier.

you roll your eyes and laugh when a friend talks about jet lag after traveling from the east coast to California.

waiting nine months seems easy.

you've either made a lifebook already... or you feel horribly guilty that you haven't yet.

even if your child isn't affected, you know more than you ever thought possible about cleft-palate, club foot, reactive attachment disorder, failure to thrive and sensory processing disorder.

your child has two passports.

you've heard the phrase "fake it til you make it" more times than you can count.

saved on your computer is a detailed packing list that includes articles of childrens' clothing in various sizes, but no childrens' shoes.

you know the correct initials for Immigration Services, and they aren't INS.

you go places you never went before just so your child will be part of the majority, at least some of the time.

waiting parents stalk you in Target or Walmart.

you still get excited for others that have a new referral photo in their hand -- years after you know you've adopted the final member of your family.

whether you love it or loathe it, you know what the term "Gotcha Day" means.

you secretly roll your eyes when friends and neighbors complain about the rising costs of OB care in the United States.

you understand why adoptive parents dread certain school assignments, especially the family tree project.

the word scabies makes you cower in fear.

you've spent many wee morning hours surfing the net, living vicariously through other people's family websites detailing their adoption trips.

your child's book collection includes the title A Mother for Choco.

somewhere in your house, an extra filing cabinet holds all of the paperwork for your homestudy, dossier and immigration process.

you want to run in the other direction when someone starts talking to you about Madonna or Angelina Jolie.

you have witnessed the grief and terror of a very small child on one of the happiest days of your life.



Claudia said...

When the prayer list for a new, tiny, Christian school is being formulated, you put your hand up and ask that people pray for 'diversity'.

(First comment here, so should say hello! Found your blog a few weeks ago through the comments section on that incredible post about the complexities of adoption on a feminist / rape survivor blog that I can't remember the name of. Got the link to *that* through Dawn at This Woman's Work. Anyway, glad I found your blog, so, hello!)

Stefanie said...

You can pack a blanket, photo album, stuffed animal, Gerber Puffs and a disposable camera into a 6" x 6" box, without even trying.

You either love it or you hate it, but you know exactly what "Holding Time" means.

I loved this TM!! I've never read it before... what a funny way to stert my day :)

bbmomof2boys said...

Your child carries around a wash cloth that is thread bare.

You no longer like buzz cuts.

You cringe inside when you are asked for the zillionth time why not adopt from your own country.



Aunt LoLo said...

*hugs* that's all I've got. Knowing you, and Carla, keeps the little girls in China in the forefront of my mind. I don't know if it will ever be a reality for my little crew...but thank you for making me think.

Beach Mama said...

I love these kinds of lists! I'll have to come back later to add to it; haven't had enough coffee to be able to form a thought/words.

Anonymous said...

you know that "older child" means 3 and up

Aus said...

This is some GREAT STUFF -

you have a new understanding of what PTSD really means....

you know that sometimes, at 2 or 3 in the morning, all you can do is hold them when they cry....

when the words "I wish I lived where I was born" can cut you deeper than any knife ever made....

you know what 'born in my heart' really means....

hugs -

aus and co.

LucisMomma said...

...you know that handing your new daughter over for grandma to hold tight is not such a good idea, because DD thinks she is not coming back to you.

love this list. I might repost, if it's ok with you.

Anonymous said...

Eating out in a restauarant is no big deal. You've been doing it with your child since day 1.

Robyn said...

You dread long weekends because there's no hope of news about your new little one.

Laurie said...

You know what congee is and you might have even made it!
Just knowing your child is "on the charts" with weight excites you!
You give knowing looks to other adoptive parents when you're out and about
You've met Jordan and remember how to get to his shop
Your kids' shoes squeak- AND they cost $4.00!
You freak out when you have to spend $30 for those shoes once you get home!
Beautiful brown eyes look into yours every day and you feel more blessed than you ever thought imaginable!

Holly said...

You know the difference between Hague and non-Hague, which countries are which and whether you need to file an I-600A or an I-800A!
You know the difference between and IR3 and an IR4 Visa.
Your four year old sits at his little desk and informs the family that he is working on his dossier..and he prounces it correctly! :)
You know that Reece's Rainbow isn't about candy or light prisms!
(okay maybe that one is only for parents with SN written on their hearts!)
You know when the next shared list is supposed to be released.
You know what the shared list IS.
You have a file of information from 20 or so different agencies and have a top three list...for "next time".
You know what split pants are.
You know what a squatty is.
You've actually eating Peking duck in "Peking".
(sorry, these are all very specific to China!!)

Eastiopians said...

- when your child tells total strangers while laughing, "Mom's got wing-worm again!"

Holly said...

oh and how could I have forgotten:
You may well have more friends online than you do in real life because, well....they GET your heart!

Mamatini said...

Brilliant! I had never read this before. I can relate to the Target stalkers...

I'll add one:

...total strangers have no problem looking at your daughters and asking you, "Are they sisters?"

Wanda said...

These are great!!! The last one gave me chills.

Here's one - Within a week of returning from China, more than one person asks "so, does she speak English yet?" My preferred imaginary response other than the obvious (#$^^!!) - "oh yes, we taught her on the plane ride back home!"


LucisMomma said...

Wanda--we've actually had some folks ask us if our DD is going to teach us Chinese...of course, duh, since she was all of 9.5 months old when we met her. Just makes me want to slap my forehead--and theirs, too.

*Given Much Mom* said...

On the 4th of July, when "God Bless America" plays, you feel... torn.

Carissa said...

this list is the absolute best and made me laugh and cry. I need this today as I think about starting adoption #2 for child #3....

Kayce said...

Love this!!

...when standing in a long line at the supermarket, you no longer care how long it's gonna take, you just wait it out.

Dawn said...

You have to find a good answer to your older child's question of, "Why did you not come for me sooner?" You "always" feel that maybe just maybe you have "room for one more" no matter how OLD you are getting to be!
You have to explain for the Millionth time that you did not buy your child.
You can make the sound required to tell your China baby to pee or poop! Seeing pictures of orphans in orphanages makes you cry and you remember when your child was the one waiting there...

1001tears said...

You know what LOI, PA, LOA, TA, and CA mean. And you rejoice when your "friends" get theirs.

You count days between LOI, PA, LOA, TA, and CA and you know the averages.

You can cry at a picture or for a family who you've never met who finally holds their child.

You buy a plane ticket without a second thought to price so you can GO GET YOUR BABY.

You cannot describe how much you love a child halfway around the world.

Part of your heart will forever be in China.

Chandra said...

Such wonderful & funny thoughts!

When you hear the word 'terror', you automatically think 'night'.

Someone asks, "Is her father Chinese?"...simple answer "Why yes he is."

"How much did she cost?" Not a single penny! (now the adoption, that's a whole 'nother story)

Summer said...

Wonderful list, you had me laughing and crying. So true! I am new to your blog and am totally hooked. Thank you

thecurryseven said...

The bedtime reading on your bedside table includes several books on childhood trauma.

You are on your fourth or fifth bottle of fish sauce because cooking with it makes your son happy.

You smile everytime you see a FedEx truck and you have a photograph of the FedEx man delivering an envelope to your home.

Mommy said...

You've been cornered in TJ Maxx with a nosey middle aged stranger lady asking 100 inappropriate questions about your child.

You've uncharacteristically told a nosey middle aged stranger lady to buzz off.

Sandra & Steve said...

Your list made me laugh & cry, all so true!
Ok, mine don't compare but...

-When you mention your wait for #2 is ONLY going to be 1 year or so - and others think THAT is a LONG time.

-You talk about how big your girl is getting & people look in puzzlement at your petite Asian cutie.

-You've actually been asked by another mother at daycare if its been difficult to teach your 9 month old English, you know, since she came to the US at 6 months speaking Vietnamese. Huh?

-When non AP's applaud you for adopting because it was such a "good" thing you did to "rescue" your child.

We are in a special community aren't we? ;0)

The Byrd's Nest said...

Love this list and the ones added in....I WAS a stalker in Target just praying they would make eye contact with me and THEN I was the one who avoided them...lol!

I never knew what grief truly looked like until we adopted.

Kris said...

i'm just sitting very quietly with that last one you posted TM.

just sitting.

Patty O. said...

That last one just brought back a flood of memories. When my sister adopted her two kids, her son was almost 4. Before he even came, I was so worried about him, because I knew that it would be so much harder for him than for their daughter who was still a baby. Danny was around 2 at the time, and all I could think of was how hard it would be for him if he were taken from the world he knew and the people he cared about (the orphanage workers) and transplanted.

Turns out, T had even more in common with Danny. He also has SPD, which only made things worse.

Anyway, I will never forget poor T's terrified face when we all met them at the airport. Here were all these strangers with signs and balloons and poor T was clinging to his new father. everyone tried to talk to him and he just cowered in fear. I just wanted to grab him and take him somewhere quiet and hold him.

The days and weeks following were so hard for my sister and her husband, but even more so for the kids.

We love them so much and are so happy they are in our family, but I feel really sad for their loss, too.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a list!!! Some funny, some not so funny.....especially that last one. I am trying to prepare myself for that day.........


Jennifer said...

your postal carrier contemplates taking out a restraining order.

.. from someone currently waiting for a dang l7lH every....single...day.

American Mamacita said...

"A Mother for Choco" made me laugh out loud... do we ALL have it?!

Here are my additions:

1. "Your son/daughter doesn't LOOK like you." makes you want to roll up a newspaper and womp the commenter.

2. You've learned at least basic greetings in a foreign language.

3. Getting the "DT__" is a thrilling achievement and has nothing to do with alcohol

4. You're in at least a dozen Yahoo! groups, even though you don't have time to check them anymore.

5. You know birth parents aren't lurking on every corner, waiting to snatch adopted children back.

Judy said...

You understand how a young child can already experience loss.

You don't understand how he can not like the heat because he was born in a hot place.

Judy said...

Oh, and one more: your eight year old knows that he has two mommies and two daddies and has for a long time.

Great post!

Cindy from central NC said...

You know that "White Swan" has nothing to do with describing a big bird.

You cringe when people say "oh, they are so lucky" (we have twins)

You don't think that all Asians "look" the same

You get very used to being observed.

You are conflicted about not being more engaged and involved with FCC or other Asian family groups.

You have more patience and compassion and kindess and gratefulness...and joy, oh the joy.... than you ever dreamed possessing