Adoption Hangover

I made a very nice curry the other night; it was one of those dinners where you’re worried all along that it won’t come together, and then, seemingly just as you’re spooning it onto plates, it finds success. I like mine with lime pickle, but Mr. Book finds pickle odious, and eats it straight, with a great deal of rice. Today I am making something easy, because we visited Cricket and his family yesterday, and I woke up feeling hungover and generally ghastly. After the last visit, I felt sick for three weeks, so hopefully this new reaction will be shorter.

So Ruth sent me an email saying that she’d very much like us to come, and that she just wanted us to know that she might seem stressed out, and did we not want to come? In fact, neither of us really did want to come, but that’s sort of complicated–we in some ways never want to go, because it’s hard, and we have to get up so early, and I always feel awful the next day. But we’re not really going because we want to, and we also have had a really great time each time so far; Ruth and Nora are gracious hosts in addition to being people we like, and while Cricket had sort of a rough day, he is a little trooper. We got to their house at about 9:15, and went to get coffee with Nora before meeting Ruth at the church. Being Catholic, I have a hard time remembering not to call things by their Christian-equivilent names, but it really was in a church, not a synogogue. The Rosh HaShanah service lasted three hours, and we were basically on our own for that time–Ruth was singing, and Nora spent almost the entire time outside the sactuary with a fussy Cricket. The service apparently took place during naptime, and he was unable to really sleep for the rest of the day. Despite that, there was never a major meltdown–he was fussy sometimes, but always willing to be jollied out of it.

After the service, we hung out at their house for a few hours; Ruth had cooked lunch, and I had brought dessert. We mostly just sat around and talked, played with the baby a bit–it’s hard for me to convey how pleasant it was–then we went for a walk, and then went out to dinner before Mr. Book and I headed home. We talked a bit about the next visit; they are planning to come here next month.

Nora and Ruth had gone to a picnic put on by the adoption agency, and I asked who had the ugliest baby. For me, this is not an abnormal conversational gambit–I have a couple of ugly baby stories to share, and was hoping to hear about some [sweet, loved] dogfaced infant, but I think my intentions were misunderstood, and Ruth told me that Cricket was hands-down the prettiest baby. Maybe they’re just nicer than I am. I mean, Cricket is a pretty baby, but I don’t really feel any personal investment in that; if he were ugly, I wouldn’t feel responsible for that, either. I did mention to Mr. Book, though, that I wonder what their next adoption will be like. We are positive, healthy, involved birthparents–a married set!–who let them set the level of contact and haven’t been nutty; Cricket is lovely, healthy, and forgive-me-for-mentioning-it-but a blue-eyed, blond, white child who wasn’t exposed to any drugs or anything. That is not the average adoption. I don’t by any means think that all birthmothers are junkies or anything, obviously, but I do wonder whether they’ve blown all their good adoption karma. On the other hand, they are certainly building up more right now.

I’ll leave you with the cutest moment from the visit yesterday. Ruth had told me that afternoon that Cricket had really wanted to bite the dog, and that she had told him “We don’t bite people; we give kisses” and that he had hesitated a long time before licking the dog, which is how he kisses right now, and that it had clearly been hard for him–he longed to bite the dog. [Mr. Book says we should tell him that he gets that from me.] Well, as we were heading back to their home from dinner, Cricket grabbed my finger and pulled it into his mouth. I expected him to bite me, and I was cool with–a down payment on my adoption guilt, maybe. Well, he paused, holding my finger between his teeth, and then licked my finger. I thanked him for the kiss, and then we went through the whole thing again a  few minutes later. What a sweet little boy.