Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"They" are right, "we" are wrong

I really wish American adoption agencies would drop this line of " 'They' (Ethiopian families) don't understand the 'real' meaning of adoption." Instead agencies should be educating 'us' (American adoptive families) about the real meaning of adoption, or alloparenting, as it has been practiced for tens of thousands of years. It means deciding that someone other than the birth parents will care for a child, with the decision often made by the extended family, while the child retains connections to the original family, and with the expectation that the child will one day return to help the family. Agencies need to make sure that adoptive families not only understand this but agree to and prove that they can abide by the expectations of the child's community, including ongoing contact and return visits, and if adoptive families can't / don't want to sign on for that, then, sorry, they can't adopt. I know that excludes people who can't afford this responsibility, but adopting someone else's child is a privilege, not a right and no one is entitled to it. 

*Updated to say that of course I know agencies won't do this because they are a business and will take money from anyone who can pass a homestudy, so it's up to us, as adoptive families to educate ourselves.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Anatomy of a nickname

D. loves words. He loves to talk...

Me (calling into the other room): Do you want to some ice cream?
D: It's like you shrank yourself down to a tiny size, crawled under the door, climbed onto my head, drilled a hole, climbed inside and looked at my brain, climbed back out, patched the hole, crawled under the door again, made yourself big, and went back in the kitchen.
Me: So, yes?

...he loves his "robust vocabulary words"...

Me: Who did that?
D: A. is the culprit.

...and he loves giving nicknames. His dad has been Dahee, Hooda, and Hoo, and for a long time his brother was Hoylo and then Swift (strangely, I've never been anything but Mommy).

D's most recent nickname for his brother, Nee, is really fascinating because it shows how words evolve.

Step 1:  D. learns about Bernie Sanders. A's nickname becomes Feel-the-Bern.
Step 2:  Feel-the-Bern is shortened to Burn.
Step 3:  Burn (noun) becomes Burneean (adjective) in the phrase him and his Burneean ways
Step 4:  Burneean becomes a noun.
Step 5:  Burneean is shortened to Neean and then to Nee. 
All in the space of a few weeks. I love my son's linguistic gifts!

*Update: A few weeks later, A's nickname is Nee-ah mon.