Teenagers, Dinner Parties and How Adoption Can Mean Many Things

Over the weekend, the younger teen—and a friend—threw a dinner party for 11. The menu was long and complicated and overall, extremely successful. The food was Asian with a little fusion here and there.

Our second guy, the young chef and ninth grader, is a very impressive chef and ninth grader. The teens’ friends are some adjective that wouldn’t be too embarrassing… delightful, let’s say. You can’t argue with delightful.

Undeniably, there are two teenagers in our house. Obvious as that is, it felt like a revelation. Their parents (us) tried to be helpful but not intrusive, present enough but not too present. Their parents stressed about whether they hit approximately the right balance of whatever it entails to be tolerable yet responsible parents to teens. No surprise that their parents discovered yet again that the willingness to buy food and to clean up factor in quite heavily to whatever approximates decent parenting.

The three things I’m feeling grateful for on this Tuesday are those teens—mine, and their friends. When I push aside the exhaustion and the not-knowing-what-to-do stuff, I get to see such interesting and capable and charming people. It’s cool to see them grow. I’m grateful for the break I took last week, even if it melted like so much snow when the sun comes out and the temperature climbs above freezing. To be reminded that I can get some rest, even rarely, was a huge relief. I’m grateful, too, for the many ways this past weekend I felt my friendships buoy me: the preschool sect, the Y’s chaotic bustle, the walk and glimpse of new baby teeth, and on. Sometimes, you think you’re going to sound trite saying so, but friends really make life rich and happy.

This weekend, I got to see the greatest video—and I think it should go viral, about our friends’ prevailing to get a second mom and third parent on their children’s birth certificates. One of the superstar teens mentioned above, Rozi made this video.

All month, Huffington Post Parents has run the Portrait of an Adoption series from November. Thirty adoption stories from all parts of the adoption triad are told. It’s very powerful and I was honored to be part of the series, too.

An essay on Motherlode is so worth your read: it’s about how children adopted from foster care cannot miraculously shed their histories, but carry them forth; love alone isn’t a curative.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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