Fifteen years ago today I became a mom. My “labor” lasted 18 months, which happened to be the age of my daughter that Thanksgiving Day when a judge in Kazakhstan said “Yes” to us.
Alison was born in former Soviet Union nation of Kazakhstan. We know nothing of her birth parents, as she was a foundling, left on the doorstep of a private home in city of Almaty. When they discovered her in a basket at their front door, the owners of the house called the police who took the baby to the hospital where doctors determined she was around one month old, had been born prematurely, and was well cared for.
The story I dreamed up was that the young mother was trying to raise the baby on her own, but just couldn’t take care of her. The story is dreamed up is that the birth mother’s (or tummy mommy as we used to refer to her) family shunned her because of the pregnancy and again because Alison is mixed-race: part Kazakh/Asian and part Russian/Caucasian.
Attitudes toward adoption in Kazakhstan, Russia and other Eastern European nations resembled the US in the 1950’s. In-country adoptions are rare. When they do happen, couples feign pregnancy or move to a new city where no one would question the arrival of a new family member.
The truth is that we don’t know the circumstances that led to Alison being left on that doorstep that night. What I do know is that, regardless of how we came to be mother and daughter, we couldn’t be any more so even if I had given birth to her myself.
Today on the show, I had my annual conversation with my friend Robert Lamarche, Director of Social Services at Advocates for Children and Families. We’ve done a segment for National Adoption Month every November since 2007 or so. Today, one of his case workers also joined us to tell about being a birth mother who gave her son up for adoption 15 years ago.
Today, I share with you two more versions of our story. The
shorter less lengthy one is posted at Medium; the longer story is here at RoN (under the About Us tab). Feel free to email me with any questions, or call Robert Lamarche at 305-653-2474.
Today got even better, as Joel Silberman returned after a two-week absence from the show.
The world is still fucked up, but today is a good day! Hopefully we’ll repeat that tomorrow, as GottaLaff returns in hour two. And Congressman Alan Grayson will join in to explain why he endorsed Hillary Clinton and cast a truly puzzling vote on Friday that I’ll have to ask him about as well.
See you then, radio or not!