Life with “Mini D” was a different chapter.

It took a while before he came to us. I had to make sure Oscar approved (after all, this was his family too) … plus bunk beds had to be bought… yadda yadda.

He almost arrived on the one-year anniversary of Oscar, but that would be too much like having a birthday on Christmas. Each deserved their special day, so he arrived at one year and one week.

Mini D was special. His eyes lit up the room, and his smile melted your heart. Everyone who saw him instantly fell in love.

He also had special needs. He was mute, barely speaking a few words and never above a whisper. He played a game continuously, with two figurines would fight, he would mumble something, and one would fly away.

One time I swear he said, as clear as day, “leave the boy alone!” before continuing like nothing had happened.

Who knows what he had seen in his short life.

There were countless numbers of speech therapy sessions, weekly visits with his sister… and daycare… and court appearances.

There were the endless antics of a three-year-old, with struggles to brush teeth and clean up explosive poopy pants.

And there was the ever-present reality that he looked different from me.

My friends who adopted an African American child brought up the point, “when you adopt a black child, you become a black family.” They stressed the importance of hair and skin care and told me to be ready for the day when he’d need “The Talk” … not about the birds and the bees, but how to stay alive as a Person of Color.

It was daunting, but I welcomed the responsibility. While uncertain at the moment, they assured me that I had a little time and that the most important thing to do right now was just to love him.

And I did.

And so did my mom.

One of my mother’s biggest dreams was to become a grandmother. I just always expected that my brother would do that, but his wife unfortunately passed away before they could have children. My mother just lived a life of quiet disappointment.

So, to say she was overjoyed with Oscar was an understatement. She loved telling stories of her “grandson” at the Assisted Living complex.

She wasn’t prepared for Mini D.

She was “old fashioned” and had strong opinions about everything in Life.

We already had some amazing, adopted children in our family, including from South America, so I wasn’t THAT concerned… but I was concerned. You get the idea.

But those eyes, and that smile, melted her heart at first sight.

She ADORED that child. One of my favorite photos (which I can’t show) has him beaming while she embraces him from behind. The epitome of joy and love.

I wanted that moment, and those types of moments, to go on forever.

Even when we know they can’t.



The biggest gift I want to give my son is a trip to England in April 2023 when I’m showing my art in a gallery in London. Please help make this dream come true. Every little bit helps.

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