I sort of met Lori Holden on Tinder. Well, the Tinder of social media, Facebook. It was love at first click. I saw her face and I thought, We could hang out. She looks nice, smart, a little challenging. I thought, I bet we could arm wrestle and laugh about it. She is beautiful, athletic looking in an I-go-to-yoga-a-bunch-of times-a-week way. I wanted to be friends with her because she reminded me of me.
Had we spoken? Had I read her blog yet? No. This was from a quick look at her Facebook profile picture. It was enough. I wanted to be her friend.
What would have happened if instead of looking at Facebook I’d gone to an as-of-now-just-a-dream-on-Kickstarter site called Adoptly (where “Parenthood is just a swipe away”) and looked at babies instead of at pictures on Facebook of writers I admired?
Instead of cultivating a friendship with Lori Holden, I could be starting the whole adoption process after falling in love with Swipe Right #1, Baby Z. Because I’ll tell you, especially after I’ve had a little caffeine, I am in shopping mode, and I’m pretty sure if I saw a photo of a baby or a child or a seventeen-year-old on Adoptly, and I knew that person was “adoptable” (didn’t have parents anymore) I would feel I had to have her. I would stay up nights thinking of how Baby Z was meant to be my child, my piece of happily ever after.
My heart would cast aside truths such as I don’t want another child and I don’t have time for both a child and my career, and I would decide I needed Baby Z as much or as more as she needed me, and I would perseverate until she or Baby X or Baby Y or maybe the whole flipping alphabet was mine. Why? Because I could. Because I am an American, and if one is good, three has to be better, and who even cares if I can’t really afford children. There is always credit.
Granted, I’d have to go through all the paperwork hoops and social worker visits and everything else we Americans would need to do to prove we would be good mothers and fathers for these Adoptly children who are, essentially, up for sale.
But when I get my Adoptly Baby Z, I’d be able to tell her, truly, truly, she had been chosen. I could have swiped left on her little face but, no, I chose the swipe of yes, and now she was mine. What a change from the story I had about my adoption where my parents told me I was chosen but really what the meant was the adoption agency called one day and said, We have a baby, and my parents said, “We’ll take her. We’ll be there in an hour.” That’s not really chosen. That’s picked up.
So Baby Z will get to feel really special. Her mama swiped right. Her mama chose her.
I wonder if she’ll lie in bed at nights when she is older and think about the people who might have swiped left when they looked at her. She had, after all, been in foster care three months before I swiped her. I wonder if she will look in the mirror and look for the reasons people swiped left. I wonder if she will mentally catalogue her “left swipe” faults.
I wonder if when Baby Z misbehaves, I’ll look at her and secretly wish I had swiped left. There were so many other children I could have chosen. I wonder if I’ll stay up at night and look at my phone, swiping, thinking about what could have been when Baby Z is acting like a…like a…like a child.
Now that I think about it, I don’t want to swipe my children. Swipe means to steal. Adoption is tricky enough.
But my friendship with Lori is the real deal. I knew from the minute I saw her she was special.
Check out what Lori has to say about Adoptly's "better way to adopt.