Adoption 5: BABY CARE
Although she looks more like a little froggy in this photo, Emma reminded me of those honey bears and "Emma Bear" quickly became her nickname. We use it to this day, as in, "Where's Bear? The Bear is hungry. No Bear!"
Every baby needs a name, and the adoption folks said that giving an adopted baby a new name is an important part of the "claiming" process. We were back and forth on this one non-stop for a day. My wife didn't like "Ashley Monet _______." It was too White. "Anaya" sounded pretty and was on the first photos until I remembered it was the last name of an well known local activist. Then "Emma" popped up. We'd always liked it and it was a family name and it was simple....although I have to admit when strangers ask her name I've occassionally said, "Shaneequa" (like in that Martin Lawrence tv show) just to watch their faces contort. I thought we should keep "Ashley" as her middle name to give some recognition to her birth, and there it was, "Emma Ashley Ingersoll-Weng"
...or at least it sort of was because for weeks I'd have to refer to her to in the presence of her Birthmom and the social workers as Ashley. Part of our role as foster parents was to support the reunification of Ashley/Emma with her BirthMom and we were told that - although it was common practice - renaming before adoption finalization could be part of an argument for an appeal.
The rest of caring for Emma - except for the exhaustion of getting up every two hours - was easy. Diapers and formula bottles are simple compared to the demands of running a non-profit organization which I had done until several months prior to getting Emma. I'd sit dozing or watching tv, even then, putting her in position so she'd think I was staring at her. Within a few months she and I were eating breakfast 5 days a week at the Chula Vista Country Waffles on H and 3rd Streets. The senior citizen breakfast crowd and the waitresses and 4 cups of coffee keeping me from feeling isolated and completely exhausted.
If you're in town stop by and tell them Sam and Emma and Gabriel say hello. Then order the ham and eggs...