I went to my fantasy baby shower today. It was awesome, because I made it all up. Something about attending my third office baby shower of the summer got me started. (At each one, I'm invited to give thoughtful "welcome baby" gifts to people I barely know. I'm really not bitter or jealous - I'm totally happy for them. But I can't help but notice that when T. arrived, not one person said "congratulations" or felt it was a gift-giving occasion, and I find that a harsh commentary on the stereotypes that pertain to foster/adoption of older children. So I indulged my imagination a bit.)
My baby's no baby, so here's how my imaginary baby shower went down.
First, the 8 or 10 other people out there who adopt teenagers showed up. We read each others blogs, so you know who you are. There were gay and lesbian parents, straight parents, single parents. There was beer. Real, cold beer. There were a lot of war stories and also some kinda sick jokes.
You know what nobody said? Nobody asked me where his "real" family is. Nobody asked what race he is. Nobody looked at me with sadness because they assume that I can't have a bio baby. Nobody told me I have to put him on a wheat-free diet, or asked me if he gets good grades, or told me that "all parenting is the same no matter where the child comes from." Did I mention the beer?
Hell, since it's my fantasy baby shower, I'm gonna say T's birth relatives came along too. We're all gonna be seeing alot of each other on holidays for awhile so I guess they decided to show up and make friends. They took a pass on raising him, but today at my imaginary baby shower, they decided that they still want to be a supportive presence in his life. They brought banana pudding. He loves their cooking.
T loved his baby shower. He's been part of every decision we've made about becoming family to each other, so it was only right that he attend his own baby shower. He thought it was hilarious, as he often finds amusement in observing my awkward attempts at first-time parenting. He loves to dance, so there was dancing.
There were also really good presents. One foster adoptive mom gave us a gift certificate to Costco. "You won't believe how much juice they drink!" she said. Another gave us a gift certificate for iTunes. "Encourage them to listen to music on headphones," she said. "That's the closest you're going to get to some alone time for awhile." Somebody else offered to come by on a Saturday night to hold down the fort while Tim and I went out for a dinner date. Oh blessed relief.
My folks were there (they'd come in real life, for sure, and they did send a popcorn machine when T. moved in, to their credit). Tim's parents came too (in real life, they are confounded by our choices). Even his brother (who, in real life, recently said to me of our adoption "So what should I call him? Step-nephew?"). But here's the kicker: the neighbors (the same ones who, in real life, called their attorney when we told them T was moving in) showed up. They looked me right in the eye and said "We're sorry, we were racist narrow-minded bigots." Then they had a beer and got down.
As my fantasy baby shower drew to a close, T's socialworker came up to me. "We 're going to get out of your hair now," she said. "Let you do your thing." She slapped me on the back. "Thanks for stepping up!" she said. "And good luck with all this." Then she drove off into the sunset.
Now that was some good daydreaming.
Come on everybody dream along!
1 day ago