CHAPTER I ~ Adoption [EXCERPT]
right down the street from where we live. While Gretchen gets settled, Magda can stay with us.

As we walk out on the tarmac to climb the stairs to our plane, Nelson looks in pure amazement at this huge version of a toy he has played with so avidly for days. His first words in English that summer were “car,” “truck,” “bus,” and “plane,” and to his first phrases, “my ball” and “more please,” he soon added another: “Up we go!” His first flight was clearly a formative experience.

The plane was a real puddle jumper, stopping at La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula, as well as Belize, before heading for Miami. We have a last chance to glimpse the Honduran landscape. We’re sorry we didn’t get to see more of it from ground level. The mountains rise suddenly from the plain with its plantations along the coast at La Ceiba, and there is a dramatic landing as you descend steeply over the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean. Lots of scuba divers get on here. Nelson needs some room to wiggle around, and we are lucky to have an extra seat for most of the trip. He is gregarious, making friends with the lady behind him and the man in front with his ready smiles.

We breeze through customs, but have an excruciatingly long wait at immigration—an inefficient operation with just two officials on duty in a far-off, hot corner of the terminal. Most of the people in line have not been told they need photographs, so these have to be taken on the spot, slowing things down even more. Since Nelson already has his pictures, the official only needs to stamp a temporary visa in his Honduran passport after he looks at our packet of papers. It’s official; he’s got alien registration number A38-259-689. We have to walk nearly the length of the terminal back to our gate. I carry Nelson, who has gained several pounds in these

4
four weeks, while Tom struggles with our two rather heavy carry-on bags.

We had called from Miami and were grateful to have a colleague of mine waiting for us at Logan Airport in Boston. Nelson was asleep in my arms by the time we got to the harbor tunnel. Our friend took a picture when we got to our little red house in Wellesley. It is one of my favorites from these days, one of the few with all three of us, and it captures the moment so well.

Tom, with his full dark beard, is wearing his Panama hat at a rakish angle. We’re standing on the narrow front stoop. It must be early evening, because the porch light is on, casting a glow on the family grouping. The light in the entryway is also visible, as Tom has already opened the front door. His hand is still on the knob as he holds it open for me, but he has hesitated just a moment, grinning broadly as he turns to glance back at us. I’m standing a little to one side, holding Nelson tightly, supporting him with my left arm under his strong thighs, and my right around his back. His stubby, muscular legs in the gray sneakers with blue stripes— the ones Anita had given us—hang down like dead weights out of his blue and white shorts. He has on a light blue short-sleeved polo shirt, and his left arm is tucked securely under my right. His wavy chestnut brown hair looks a little disheveled, and he is obviously very tired, but he’s not asleep. He manages to take in our arrival to what will be his new home, but his head is planted firmly on my right shoulder, just hiding my smile that must match Tom’s. You can see it in my eyes.

We had arrived home with Nelson safely in our arms, but with many of our questions unanswered. Others we had not yet formulated or even imagined.


©2012 University of Texas Press. All Rights Reserved. | Website Design : DISCREETCASES