I picked up the passports for both girls today. It feels powerful and freeing. We can travel. Theoretically. Because the pandemic keeps us put. For now. Still.

It was a big day today. A fruitful Friday. But what I want to write about is the interaction I had with Marina, the passport lady.

On Tuesday when we went in to submit the papers for the passport, she helped us, behind the transparent protective glass. I remember her from 4 years ago. She had a warmth, patience, kindness especially to kids. 

I wondered if she’ll think it’s weird that I’m the only one on the birth certificate. As if the father of my kids didn’t want to recognize them. So I didn’t want to go into adoption details with all random people. I usually do. But I appreciated her discreet manner. And knowing kind smile. 

When I picked the passports she was at that counter. She asked me about adoption. How did I not think she would obviously know. She asked me if I know the birth mother. I said I don’t, but I understand the girls resemble her appearance. She is a tall beautiful woman who has had a rough life. The question popped out of my mouth: “do you know her?” She said she knows everything. I had to laugh, behind my mask. The lady clarified. She has access to all types of information. She saw the picture of the bio mom. And then we got to chatting for 20 minutes at the passport office. Nobody was there. She expressed her appreciation/admiration for the adoption process. She said her daughter is my age, so she feels connected to me somehow. I was impressed with her generosity of words and kindness. And one piece of advice touched me. She said all kids try things and get into trouble at some point or another. Never let the thought that my daughters act a certain way is genetic. Love then wholly and completely and keep parenting. She said kids draw their value and courage and love from their mother primarily, up to the age of 7. And then, the father figure, his protection, love, acceptance will inspire them to be brave and take good risks. What a wise beautiful thing to hear. I promised I’ll stop by and gift her a book of mine. I take every human connection as pure gift. These past many years I have been more blessed by my bureaucratic appointments than I could have hoped. We are all human. And we let that shine through.