Pass It On

Practicing with the adorable Eden, who is very good at kissing and eating lentils.

This is an ongoing meditation on the process of adopting a child. I’m mostly through the logistical and ID hoops and mountains of paperwork. Soon I’ll be in the “pool” of eligible adoptive parents.

My social worker visited my home for the first time this week.

“Don’t be yourself,” Lois at work told me, “Dial it back a bit.”

But the social worker is quite nice, finds me amusing, has been doing adoptions for a bazillion years, and has pretty much seen everything.

She ran down her battery of questions, going over the autobiographical information I supplied, checking boxes regarding my fire extinguisher and baby-proof windows. We were fine. We were all buttoned-up, the house impeccable, the dog adorable and a little too attentive.

But there was one thing the SW asked me that made me bust loose.

“What did you get from your parents that you hope to pass on to your child?”

My head and heart and lungs and throat suddenly welled up with the cumulative love and generosity of my mom and dad and all they bestowed upon me. Kindness. Appreciation of art and culture. Compassion. Working to make the world a better place than I found it. Mad, passionate love for the people in my life, who extend my family. Permission to walk the earth in my own way, on my own terms.

At this point, I can only thank one of them, and I don’t nearly do it enough.

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Vanessa McGradyPass It On

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