This afternoon we became a family.
All the months and months of preparation, waiting, uncertainty, paperwork, and home studies have culminated to this very moment ... and we couldn't be happier.
We just returned home with the newest member of our family: 10-year-old Marie Jaqueline, who we picked up at the airport just a few short hours ago. Everything is still overwhelming for her: she stands by my side, refusing to let go of my arm, big dark eyes taking in everything as she looks about.
We haven't heard her say one word: we are wondering if she even talks.
We adopted Marie from Haiti. She doesn't speak but maybe one or two words in English: she mainly speaks Creole French, according to the adoption counselor who handled our case. Well we haven't heard any French OR English.
Marie is perfectly healthy, but we are surprised at how tall she is. She may only be a ten-year-old child, but she looks more like .... a teenager. She is easily 5'5" tall (and still growing, no doubt!) and incredibly skinny.
Marie looks like she could make her living as a model ... and be good at it.
Marie is absolutely beautiful!
My name is Everett Jennings. I live with my partner, James (Jimmy) Conklin; we live in a brownstone in New York City. We have been together for the past 20 years. We have always wanted children but since we can't have any the normal way (due to the fact that both of us are male), we turned to adoption. A lot of adoption agencies wouldn't deal with our case because we are a gay couple, but then we found one who did; they've been nothing but a huge blessing in our lives.
I don't know what the big deal is. I have no problems with it and neither does Jimmy. We happen to care for and love each other very much. I have always known that I was gay. I don't see why we couldn't have a child to raise! We deserve to be a family just as much as anyone who is "straight"! And it seems that our heartfelt desires were answered.
Anyway, back to my story before I digress any more ...
We may have to learn some basic French, just so we can communicate with our brand new daughter ...
We know we will have to take it easy with our daughter until she gets used to being in America: everything will probably be a neverending series of culture shocks: new language, new people to meet, new sights, different foods, beliefs, unfamiliar weather aatterns than the warm, tropical climate she is used to: we will have to take it one step at a time with Marie.
We are more than willing to accept the challenge and help Marie adjust to her new home; we want to be with her every step of the way!
Well, Jimmy has made chicken tortellini for supper and boy, does it smell heavenly! We are going to eat; then we are going to watch a movie with our child. Our child. Wow, suddenly the realization has hit home!
We are, at long last, a family!! :)