The Shriners Go Legit

The Next Family

By: Jillian Lauren
adoption-order

On Friday morning we went to Tariku’s final adoption hearing at the Children’s Court in Monterey Park (though I’ve learned to be suspect of the word “final” with anything pertaining to adoption). The waiting area on the fourth floor was lined on one side with east-facing windows. The clouds were shades of shifting grey and the pretty, filtered light fell on a conflicted scene where a small percentage of adults carried celebratory balloons and the rest sat with bad posture while kids zoomed back and forth between one family member at one side of the room and another family member at the other. A few kids sat and talked with their attorneys.

Tariku toddled down every hallway, tried to get into every door and hugged every kid there who was even close to his size. I felt proud of him. Not for anything in particular but just for who he is, for his sweet, sweet heart and his adventurous soul. I felt proud of myself and our family for coming this far.

Auntie Jo and Auntie Anne were also in attendance. We all sprung a tear or two when the judge declared T our legal son, with all corresponding rights and privileges.

As we walked out we started to argue about whether T would prefer a brother or a sister. Is it so wrong to want a girl just because I have terrible tutu envy every time I walk by the dance wear shop in South Pas? When I decorated T’s room and shopped for his first clothes I was obsessed with gender neutrality. T’s favorite things- buses, trains and airplanes. Though he also harbors deep affection for gender neutral ceiling fans.

“How do you know we won’t get a boy who wants to wear a tutu?” asked Scott, cheerily. That is why I married my husband.

Afterwards, we went home to celebrate with subs and cookies and water toys. Much joyous splashing ensued.

water-table

JILLIAN LAUREN

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