When Ash became a McGregor (1 year ago yesterday) he was 24 1/2 inches tall. Today, 1 year later at the age of 2, he measures in at 34 1/2 inches. 12 months, 10 inches, 4 countries, 5 US States, and a passport to a life not yet even hardly begun. All of this growth has not gone without recognition of a life lost, a family separated, and a country of beautiful, strong, brilliant people. Ash is a McGregor, but he is Ethiopian first and forever and we love nothing more than the privilege the country of Ethiopia and his first family gave us to parent him and love him and raise him to be HIM.
The past week has brought on much discussion following EJ Graff's Slate article "The Orphan Trade: A look at the families affected by corrupt international adoptions", where adoptive parents are for the most part reduced to heartless baby-buying thiefs who create a "demand" in countries where supply can be "created". Let me first and foremost state that I agree with her on the primary point of the article - adoption corruption is a severe issue that must be addressed and responded to with urgency and immediacy, as is the case currently in Ethiopia where cases of abandonment have been put on hold due to questionable circumstances of one agency's referral practices.
Still there are children, many many children, who are waiting. Other possibilities have been exhausted for them, and although it would be ideal to find a way to continue their lives in their homeland this just isn't possible for every orphan out there. Julie's post on Anti-Racist Parent, Dr. Jane Aronson's post on Orphan Doctor, the NY Times via an article discussing celebrity adoptions and the real world here are all pieces that add insight to vision in this discussion sparked by Graff's article. My posting about this can't be a formal "this is where I stand on the issue" blurb because talk about a saucy slice of nothing reply that would be - I'm already in it, been there done that, there is no formal stance to take for us because WE ALREADY ARE A FORMAL STANCE. We met his mother, we know his background, and we believe she made the bravest most selfless decision possible for a mother and we intend to live up to her love every moment of every day.
We can't wait for 34 inches to turn into 44 inches and eventually blossom into a man who loves himself as much as he revels in his daily passions of life. Today that means Ash and Daddy running around the yard on his balance bike (both with helmets, of course) but tomorrow - TOMORROW - that's what we're really psyched for.