The Tao of adoption

I like to consider myself a Daoist, which is what all lazy people like to consider themselves. People can rationalize anything, like having sex with a Nazi tattoo model or gambling away a 16-year-old’s college fund or claiming your infant is emaciated because he’s a picky eater.

An adherence to Daoism turns a lazy person’s character flaw into a virtue, so you can see the appeal. But behind every Daoist without a trust fund but a roof over their head is a partner with ambition.

Without exception, every positive life change I have experienced since moving out of my mother’s basement has been a result of poking and prodding by my wife. This includes the fact that I refer to her as my wife – rather than an ex-girlfriend who got tired of “hanging out” and “just being.”

Since “just getting knocked up” wasn’t in the cards for us, we needed a different method of getting a kid in our lives.

Adopting is a decidedly deliberate process and Daoists don’t do deliberate.

It took a year to go from, “let’s do this adoption thing,” to having T. in our home. In that time we had to sign up for and attend 24-hours of training and are-you-serious-about-this-adoption-thing-because-it-is-emotionally-draining-and-intense classes, write a self-assessment, schedule a third-party assessment, schedule a visit from the fire marshal, fix everything the fire marshal told us to fix and get finger-printed. That got a license that put us in the potential parent pool.

If your instinct is to go with the flow, your instinct would be to float on down to the nearest bar and decide children are lame.

Once you have that license, to get a kid, all you have to do is…what? Somehow, that is not a unit in the training classes. I guess they can’t cut an hour out of the scaring the crap out of you.

So what does a Daoist do? Sit and wait for the phone to ring. We would have waited a long time.  My wife decided to buy two-dozen doughnuts holes to bribe entice a DHHS worker for some face time.

That worker who got the doughnuts was at T.’s adoption ceremony.

This dynamic between my wife and I has continued throughout the time T. has been with us and I won’t bore you with the details. Women are from venus; men are little babies. Its all been covered by every hackneyed sitcom since Lucy flipped the script.

And even the most casual television watcher knows the dynamic can lead to frustration and bad feelings. The Daoist sits back and sees things taking care of themselves – what’s to sweat?

“What’s to sweat?” the ambitious partner responds, bleary-eyed from nights spent wide awake worrying and planning, then launches into the litany of things that don’t happen by themselves – appointments to keep, clothes to buy and teachers to hound.

It works, but it would work a lot better if I was less Dao and more do.

2 thoughts on “The Tao of adoption

  1. Just using the philosophy as a vehicle to explain a different point. Didn’t mean to offend actual Taoist, just the armchair ones, like me.

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