You are currently browsing the daily archive for Sunday, December 5, 2010.

Very shortly I need to prepare for the return trip home after living in Albuquerque these past three days.
This adoption journey has been the most incredible, by far – in fact, they have been utterly magical! The people – the foster family and the treatment center folks – are outstanding, loving, caring, and impressive!
Quintin is MY son. These three days together were not about getting to know one another. They simply seemed like: OK, here we all are together as a family, and… we’re off!
And, Jose and Quintin are even more bonded as brothers.
Jose made the trip so much more memorable. And of course, his humor had me howling. I always joked that Jose was more like my younger brother,  Destin, and on this trip, he was his uncle all over! Jose’s witty deliveries, and even some of his mannerisms, were distinctly Uncle Destin!
What is so neat, even almost hilarious is that I have a Hispanic son and a Native Indian son, and neither know much about their own culture, nor do they really seem to invest much interest at this point. Jose cannot speak ANY Spanish, and Mexican food does not sit well with his stomach. Quintin just shrugs his shoulders when I asked him any questions about his heritage.
On this trip, Jose kept me rolling, howling, wiping away tears, and continually enjoying the moments even more.
While in Walmart Thursday night, I asked Jose if he would please go get a basket. He looked over at Quintin, snapped his finger, and said, “Hey! New Guy!”
Saturday morning, as we were getting in the car, he asked Quintin, “Hey, Kitten- you want shot gun, or in the back?” And from then on, Quintin was “Kitten” to Jose. “Hey, Kitten, can you pass the mustard…” or anything – it’s hilarious.
As we were walking through Old Town Albuquerque, Quintin began a slight cough/choke/throat clearing that lasted several seconds. Jose looked at him and asked, “What the hell is this? Some of your Indian talk?”
I nearly fell down laughing in the middle of the street.
At the zoo, there were large letters going into the bird cage – PULL. Quintin started to push. Jose stopped him, and said, “Now, one day, Kitten, when you learn to read English you will see that this means PULLLLL.”
Quintin will smile, nod, and then at the moment when Jose is not expecting anything, Quintin will zing him – hard and fast!
Quintin was talking about arrowheads, and how he would like to one day learn how to shoot a bow and arrow – it was actually the only Indian thing he really said the entire time. I told him we could do that but to remember he must never aim at The White Man. Without a beat, looked at Jose and said, “Well of course I know I am only to shoot moving Mexicans.”
Jose kept walking, and shaking his head.
At the zoo, we were walking across this 12′ swinging bridge to a monkey exhibit. As we prepared to cross, I motioned for Quintin to step in front of me to cross. He got this smart-ass grin and twinkle in his eye, and said, “No way! I saw how the bridge began to sink the first time you crossed it.”
And from the other side came a familiar voice, laughing, “Good one, Kitten!”
My worst fear before meeting Quintin was that he would not have a sense of humor, or would not keep up with Jose and myself in this particular department.
How wrong I was!
OK… it is time to pack, shower, check out of the hotel at 11am; return the car at Noon; go through security shortly thereafter, and wait for the 3:45pm flight home.

The adventure began at 9:00am this morning as we crossed to northwest Albuquerque to hike through Petroglyph National Park – a dead volcano with 6000 year old Native American drawings on the rocks. The two hours of hiking was so enjoyable, and breathtaking. Looking out over the canyon, and seeing mountains in the distance was a terrific.

As we got ready to get into the car, Jose turned to Quintin, and asked, “Hey Kitten, you want to ride shot gun with the Old Man?”

So, all day long Jose called Quintin “New Guy,” or “Kitten” – but mostly, “Kitten.”

We left Petroglyph National Park and drove a mile over to Quintin’s middle school – wow! Impressive!

We drove over to Old Town – the historic section of Albuquerque, settled in 1706.

We went into the old cathedral that was filled with beautiful artwork, and then walked to a great tiny diner that was in the rear of an art/jewelry store. One of the neatest things was that one of the resident artists was a student of famed glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The hot dog I ate was filled with green chili and dill pickle spears – quite tasty!

We moved right on to the zoo which we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent a good deal of time taking photos, and just simply enjoying the sites while spending great quality time together. As the afternoon continued, it was apparent that Jose and Quintin ARE brothers.

We returned to the hotel for about 90 minutes to unwind, and freshen up.

As we drove to Nina & Jun’s, Jose and Quintin talked on the telephone to Mother. I was quite surprised how talkative Quintin was. I think he was more talkative with Mother than he was with me on the telephone for the first time.

And then we arrived at the Campo home!

I got to spend a good deal of time talking with Jun & Nina, and the more time I spent with them, the more and more I loved them. We were brought together for Quintin, and I think our families shall be close for many years.

After dinner, which included the adorable Red Mountain Family Service treatment coordinator, Valerie, the four adults sat at the table for several hours talking. One of those magical moments when hearts are joined together for a common purpose…

We took photos, and then it was time to say the farewells. My new son clung to me in a tight hug, for several minutes, not allowing me to go. He was happy, and smiling, but nonetheless, he was hanging on. He looked up and said, “I know – it is part of the process…” (he catches on quickly).

After dinner, Jun drove me to the top of the western ridge where you can see all of Albuquerque at night. It was indescribable…

I had far more difficulty saying farewell to Jun & Nina, and their 6 yo son, Neal. I know we shall see one another again, but what an incredible experience to come together via Quintin.

So, our Albuquerque adventure has come to an end. Jose and I fly out tomorrow at 3:45pm Sunday afternoon. I will miss Nina, Jun, and all those fabulous people at Red Mountain Family Services!

But I know I shall return… I now have family in New Mexico!

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December 2010
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