Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

We Hope. Things Happen.

Mexican & Korean Madame Alexander Dolls
Mexican & Korean Madame Alexander Dolls

I have always wanted to have a little girl. I really didn’t know what I’d do with little boys.

Not that I considered myself an aficionado of Barbie dolls and bubble gum pink, but I am so thoroughly female in how I view & interact with the world. How would I even raise a little boy, and what would I do with him? I have a vivid memory of this boy in fourth grade who liked to pick at and eat his scabs. Really. And he loved to make me squirm by doing just that. And then there was this other boy in Junior High, the kind of kid who loved to make little preteen girls miserable. He’d torment me (and others) by crawling under desks and creeping us out. I loved my brother (who did none of those things), but we grew up having nothing in common or arguing all the time. (At least that’s how I remember it.) I didn’t have a sister while I was growing up (although I have a 15 year old sister now!) and so having a girl in the family seemed like the perfect companionship. I loved my best friends deeply, and there was no match for the kinds of bonds I held with them and with my mom. It didn’t help that I saw my brother struggle with my parents, so sons seemed to have something antagonizing about them. I had my best buddy boys in high school. But by then, it was already set. I was going to have girls.

Then I married a Korean guy who had only one brother, and well, he knew he was going to have boys. It actually never occurred to him that he might have daughters, and for me- it never occurred to me that I might have sons. I planned on having girls. I bought those dolls above before we even were setting a time to start a family. I got a Mexican one, and a Korean one, Madame Alexander dolls because my mom had gifted me one when I was a girl. I was going to start a collection of things for my daughter. A Korean Barbie (have never found one) and a Mexican Barbie (got it! courtesy of one of my best friends for a recent birthday.) I wanted my daughter to be able to embrace her whole ethnic self.

And then I had my first boy.

And then my second boy.

I completely adore my sweet sons, but I was still so sad each time I found out I was having a boy. The second time, I cried. The sonogram lady told me she had 3 sons, and how much she enjoyed them and how it was The Best Thing, but I was silent and just wanted her to shut it.

I had to grieve and move on.

Of course, I’ve already written about my pregnancy & postpartum issues, pretty much negating another try at pregnancy.

And I always had the hope & desire to adopt.

I can see, now, how we were destined for this. If I’d had a girl and a boy, or two girls, I don’t think we’d have pursued adoption. I would have made myself content with 2, instead of pushing through the heartbreak that is part & parcel to adoption. I know the hardship of my pregnancies, but I don’t think I’d have sought out a new hardship without some good reason. I say heartbreak, because I know it’s true. That as we go through the adoption process, my heart will break when I hear my daughter’s story. We are foster adopting. It’s not a story of a child being surrendered because the parent wants to set out a better life for the child. I will not tell her story here. It will be hers, personal, confidential. When she comes to my home, it will be because she has been removed from her birth home. And I will have to go through the months of waiting for finalization. It is a new kind of hard.

But I am destined to mother her, and she is destined for our family. Our paths will cross, and then join.

I didn’t hope to have my only daughter this way, but this is what will happen. And it will be a story of true love, because my love for her started long before the day I meet her, and I would never have gotten to this place if not for having my two wonderful boys. I am ready for her.

This summer we will finalize our file. (We changed our Korea trip to June, so we can’t be finalized then leave the country. Has to wait till after.)

And when she joins our family, I might have to get another doll. So that we can embrace whatever little twist she adds to our already bi-cultural family!

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