Beckett Law, LLC
Peace of Mind. Not a Piece of Paper TM Estate Planning Law Center, LLC
NO MATTER WHERE THEY COME FROM
February is the month of love! This year, I’d like to give a shoutout to my fabulous children, all of whom came to me in different ways and bring much joy to my life. Adoption was also somewhat of a given for me — while it’s very common now, it was less so back in the ‘60s when I grew up. My parents adopted my sister (who is part Cherokee Indian and probably wouldn’t be allowed to be adopted now) when I was 6. She was 2, and it was probably the biggest day of my life up until then. I remember my dad telling me, “There are so many kids in the world who need a home that we’ve decided to adopt instead of have another baby.” When I didn’t find “Mr. Right” and wanted to grow my family, adopting was a natural choice. My oldest is biological, and she was about 4 when we started to look for a sister for her. There was a lot of bad press about fetal alcohol syndrome in Russian babies, and there was an impossibly long wait time to adopt babies from China. I researched until I found a Middle Eastern country called Azerbaijan that I found attractive, in part, because since it’s a Muslim country, I was told they didn’t drink. Well, imagine my surprise when I got off the plane in Baku for the first time and everyone I saw had a glass of scotch in hand! The best laid plans … you know the rest.
When I met my daughter, she was 2 1/2 and cute as a button. She lived in an orphanage painted stark white; there were no toys; the children never went outside; and they drank “tea” every afternoon, which was really just hot water. When I went back the second time to bring her home, it was lucky I brought clothing: They stripped her naked because they needed to use the clothing for another child. She was such a good sport — she went in a car for
Attorney Beckett and 4 of her 5 1/2 children
the first time, then a train for the first time, and then a plane for the first time with me, a virtual stranger, not speaking a word of English or having any idea what was going on. She did great. In fact, she did so well that when we got home on Oct. 30, I had the bright idea of taking her trick-or-treating in the neighborhood the very next night. When John Rowland emerged from his coffin at the Governor’s Mansion, I thought she was going to faint! A few years later, I was in Venice on vacation with my older girls when we got a phone call that would change everything. You see, I had registered with a domestic agency as well as the international agency and had never withdrawn my name. We got a call saying that a single mom had just had a baby and had chosen me to raise her son. There was a little catch — we were told Texas law required that we get to the hospital within 24 hours. He was born at 8 p.m. Luckily, we were heading home the next day anyway, so we expedited the whole process and dropped my younger daughter off in Hartford with my parents. (No matter how young or old we are, it’s wonderful that most of us can rely on Mom and Dad to help in a pinch!) My oldest and I hopped
on a plane to Texas and rushed into the hospital at 7:55 p.m. We made it!
All of my children, biological and adopted, bring tremendous joy into my life. My boys developed a really special bond with my father, and they were the light of his life at the end. I wish he’d lived to see them grow up, but I love that they talk of him often and believe with all their hearts that he’s watching over them. Each of my kids definitely has their own look and their own personality, just like your children do. As a former chemistry major, I’m a firm believer in nature over nurture. I think, to some extent, who we are and what we will become is within us from the first moment of life. With that in mind, it’s fun to watch the kids evolve, grow, and develop their uniqueness. I feel blessed to have the love of my children and family this February. I hope you also have a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter, and lots of pink and red ribbons (and candy!) –Suzann Beckett
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Peace of Mind. Not a Piece of Paper TM
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