Thursday, November 8, 2007

Journey to Destructo Boy - Part II

Last night, our familly celebrated Destructo Boy's coming home anniversary by trying a new Korean restaurant. Ebo and I are not unfamiliar with Korean food, but where we live, these establishments are not easy to come by. I remembered seeing a little hole-in-the wall place in a small shopping center, but I couldn't exactly remember where it was. After a half an hour of driving in a trip that would normally only last 15 minutes, we finally arrived at the restaurant. The whole family enjoyed a night of great food and Korean television.

As Destructo Boy was getting Kimchee and rice all over his face and clothes, I was looking at him and reminiscing our trip home last year. Although we were anxious to have our son with us, we were scared shitless at the thought of having two kids under the age of three. When we started the adoption process, we were expecting to wait two years for a referral and here we were one year later with a new child. Ebo and I struggled with the decision - we wanted this little boy to be ours, but were we really ready? Could we manage?

And let's not forget the taboo adoption topic - cost. Adoption costs money. No matter how many agencies tell you that you are paying for services and not buying a child, it sometimes feels like you are. And then there are the suprise costs. When we agreed to adopt Destructo Boy, we felt we could barely manage the Korean adoption fees which are significantly higher than those from the Philippines. But what we didn't prepare for was the "extras" - fingerprinting, immigration fees (which just had to go up when we started the process), attorney fees for finalization - these are all costs they leave out in the agency pamphlet. Back before we decided to start trying to have children, I was trying to explaing (to a very fertile friend) that we were trying to save up the money before we start anything. She said to me, "Well, kids are always going to cost you money." I snapped back at her, "That's true, but unfortunately ours are going to require a lot of the money up front." But here we are, savings depleted, but we are still thankful for our son.

I like to tell people that it was the fact that I "knew" Destructo Boy was meant to be ours, but it's not that simple. Yes, I would look at his picture online and bask in his cuteness, but I will admit that I was terribly afraid to pass up any opportunity. After we were disappointed by the Philippine program, I didn't want to take any chances. I didn't care if it was bad timing. I didn't care if I hadn't finished graduate school. I didn't want to be in limbo any longer. Ebo felt the same way, but he was a little more logical about it than I was. He kept reminding me about the close age difference been Sassy Girl and Destructo Boy, the added cost of a second child, my unfinished disserataion, and the possible health problems associated with Destructo Boy's prematurity. I really don't remember how we came to a final decision, but then next thing I knew I was booking a flight to Seoul.

Some adoptive parents say that they knew "their" child the instant he/she was placed in their arms. When Destructo Boy's foster mom gave him to me, the only thought I had in my head was "Damn. This boy is heavy." It kind of reminded me of when I first saw Sassy Girl in her isolette in the NICU. There she was, all two and a half pounds of her, looking more like a mechanical doll than an infant. I didn't know how I was supposed to feel, but I knew I didn't feel like a mother. But as I visited her day after day, I would make the choice to be her mother. I made the same choice that first night with Destructo Boy - I held him tight, kissed his chubby little cheeks, and just enjoyed him. He smiled our whole first night together before we flew home. He even smiled when he projectile vomited all over me. That's my boy!

I don't remember much about our flight home, but I do remember how peaceful Destructo Boy looked as he slept on my shoulder. I also remember waiting in line at customs and immigration in Minneapolis. The man asked me "Are you his escort?" as many Korean born adoptees are escorted to their parents by a third party. "No," I said, "I am his mother." His mother. My choice was clearly made. It wouldn't make sense for a long time, but I knew in my heart I was committed.


Carol said...

destructo boy does have a very impressive head. i love how his whole face lights up when he smiles. happy anniversary!!

snoopyjoanne said...

i enjoyed reading about your experience and i'm so happy that destructo boy is happy and healthy! both of your blogs are awesome!

Jenna said...

What a great post. Recently, it's been hard for me to read these, but the honestly with which you write truly strikes me.

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