@YellowHatJSWGC: Adopting a Name

The past five weeks of @YellowHat has been dedicated to the "categories unnamed" that our societies, both in the US and abroad, assign to children awaiting adoption.

Categories that, by preventing these children's proper consideration as children -- vulnerable individuals to be cared for instead of categories to be processed and dealt with -- extend the wait of those children and the families waiting to welcome them.

Those articles offered no answer, no solution other than to identify those unnamed categories so that they may be dropped in favor of calling these children by name.

In that spirit, and to bring this series to a more personal and positive close, here is a poem composed while my wife and I waited to welcome our son, identified only by a name, a single photo and a few sheets of paper. To us it was a funny name -- not one we would have guessed or chosen -- but by the little we could go by it seemed to capture, and, indeed, in time did prove to capture our (then six year old) son at his core. Even after we were matched, it was a further almost eight months before we traveled to be with him -- without permission, circumstance and the wheels of two governments turning slowly, but we refused to let our little boy be without family for the holidays, in the end spending Christmas that year at the most fitting place in the world: an orphanage.

So again, here is the poem we composed near the outset of that wait -- Adopting a Name -- which has proven nothing if not prophetic of the boy who would become our son.

Adopting a Name

"Marvin," said like a sigh
a sob
of relief as it settles
over us, onto us, into
our soul.
Formalities: Marvin!
Come here!

Your family can't wait
but waits anyway as
it turns out
it can
and has
a long time.
without knowing your name
only that you are
what makes us
(Mom and Dad, Marvin)
Marvin made real
by a picture, only one
only one Marvin
having been told that we're out there
that this picture's for us
(smile for the camera, Marvin)
we who are waiting to be found
waiting for Marvin to find them
to adopt them
tagged by a picture:
"You're it!" he seems to smile at us
Marvin adopted
by parents unnamed.


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