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Oh hey, election night. Elections mean there's a change in the air, in cities and states all over the country. School Boards, Governors, Aldermen, Mayors and Referenda, it's when we get to quite literally live out our Constitutional responsibilities.  While Election Night comes every year (or every few months lately here in my corner of MA, heretofore nicknamed the trickle-down candidacy district :-)), the big one for Who Gets To Live At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue comes quadrennially. It so happens that tomorrow is a four-year marker here in Casa Brillig. Follow me below the dingledoodle squigglie dKosagnocchi dividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...


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Four years ago tonight, Casa Brillig was awaiting word on a major international court decision. The three of us had no idea when it might come, but we knew it ought to be soon. Four years ago tomorrow, as I shared in this diary, it arrived:

We are thrilled to be able to share with your family that your case has been approved in court! With the approval from the Ethiopian courts, this means that your adoption is full and final in Ethiopia and you are now the legal parents of your child.
And just like that, we became a family of four. We didn't actually meet our son in person until November 28th, but at 2:53pm on November 5th 2009 he became Family. Four years ago was the night before I metaphorically went into labor with my second child :).

Sometimes four years seems like an eternity (see: the span between Election Nights 2004-2008) and other times, it goes by in the blink of an eye. The years your children are children fall into that latter category for me. It seems like yesterday K1 was in middle school and still shorter than me, and K2 was a little boy who didn't understand a word we said and not a strong, smart, athletic third-grader. These four years haven't always been easy, but I wouldn't trade them for the world. OK, there was that one tantrum that perhaps I'd consider trading, but that's it :).

The chaos of the three weeks between receiving the court news and arriving in Ethiopia (we learned on November 12th we had to be there on the 28th) was symbolic of what life after children is, be they adopted or biological. Adopted children, however, arrive with a history that by definition did not include you, no matter how young they were when they joined your family. There are questions they have that you will never be able to answer (medical and geneological histories, for example, as well as "why did my birth parents not want me?"). People ask questions that leave you open-mouthed (my sister, mother of four - one biological and three adopted - was asked while shopping where she'd "gotten those kids." She replied without a moment's hesitation "Aisle 3"). School activities need to be adapted; some gracefully (how big were you when you were born? Well, the day we met you for the first time you were 40" tall, ergo that big), others less so (bringing in a "baby picture" is a nontrivial issue when the first picture you have of your child is of a smiling, beautiful toddler and most of the people in his birth village had never had a picture taken of themselves. Just sayin', teachers...).

November is National Adoption Month. In 2008, the latest data I was able to find easily at the A: Total Adoptions for Selected Years, 2000–2008 Child Welfare Information Gateway, 135812 children were adopted by US families. Of those, 17,416 were international (this number has dropped dramatically with the 2008 ratification of the Hague Convention) and 55,303 were via public agencies, ie via the foster care system.

There are thousands... tens, hundreds of thousands... more children waiting for their forever families both here and abroad. It is not an easy process either emotionally, financially or bureaucratically, and children languish in the foster care system here for far too long in many cases. Parents hoping to adopt an infant must in essence compete with each other because the party of "pro-life" condemns abortion but makes no significant effort to support pregnant women in a decision to carry to term and place the baby with an adoptive family.  It absolutely boggles my mind.

Simply put, Love Makes A Family. And tonight, I'm damned glad for mine. May you feel the same way about your family, however you define Family.

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
From zenbassoon:
In my diary on gun culture, Calvino Partigiani sums up the situation with the perfect pithy comment.
From loggersbrat:
This one by Laurence Lewis was one of many I laughed at regarding Rand Paul, but it does cover the subject brilliantly.
From Mark Mywurtz:
Great rebuttal by Dale to the Republican zombie lie about Democratic racism
From Steveningen:
In Laura Clawson's diary Marriage equaity passes Illinois House, Brubs reminds us why our struggle for full equality matters. Congratulations to Brubs* and all those who will be able to marry the person they love in the great state of Illinois.
From Just Bob:
bronte17's comment should not be lost in the noise. In fact I really wish one of our wordsmiths would do a followup diary on the James Fallows article referenced.
From The Marti:
I have to nominate this pithy, spot on comment by jwinIL14 in Daily Kos Elections Nov. 2013 election night liveblog thread #5 by David Nir (who did an incredible job, btw!). In all the seriousness of the just tickled my funnybone!
From Yours Truly, brillig:
My high school mascot is the Indian, and Meteor Blades' diary D.C. Council votes to rename the Washington (Redacted). Don't make it the 'Red Clouds' reminds me I owe one on why it is still present tense. Steveningen makes a comparison that helps relate one -ism to another.

In Gorette's diary, SoCalSocialist makes this comment on a mindset that absolutely needs to change.

Top Mojo for yesterday, November 4th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary FAQing Top Mojo.
  1) Actually, most of those visitors by raboof — 257
  2) That's all well and good, but... by Trix — 249
  3) Apparently, if she had no home, by Bisbonian — 231
  4) I deal with the rich all the time... by quiet in NC — 228
  5) They will just keep rolling in. by illinifan17 — 173
  6) i once tried to buy a mac by Laurence Lewis — 156
  7) And in some place failure to send your kid to by LilithGardener — 146
  8) Of course they were... by Trix — 129
  9) Good news! by blue aardvark — 104
10) Thanks for staying on this, Jesselyn. by DRo — 104
11) Which is Why Sherrod Brown Has Co-Sponsored a by Gooserock — 95
12) Even his name is plagiarized, by poco — 95
13) Why isn't Jesselyn Radack front-paged at DKos? by bobswern — 90
14) Indeed, now that people know to look... by richardak — 90
15) So sad because... by GreenPA — 90
16) I Have to Wonder If They Have Any Impact by Gooserock — 89
17) The worst/funniest thing is... by Dallasdoc — 87
18) I'm afraid the vast majority of republicans by Smoh — 87
19) I was here for the $76/hr jobs that other by middleagedhousewife — 84
20) That's what happens when you cut and paste by RageKage — 82
21) Noey!! Noey!! NOEY!!!! by watercarrier4diogenes — 81
22) Ghandi and King had huge followings by Dartagnan — 80
23) Another Strike Against Christie... by RoIn — 79
24) What purpose does this serve? I am so sad by merrywidow — 78
25) Horrible that that wee one was abandoned, but by rubyr — 77
26) When asked to comment about the scandal. . . by IndyScott — 77
27) They're still trying to make sure we don't know by Dallasdoc — 77
28) Has the House Intelligence Commitee chaired by by Thomas Twinnings — 76
29) He would have been arrested by Dartagnan — 75
30) Thank the FSM by Lib Dem FoP — 74
31) They're Not Well Developed on the Concept of by Gooserock — 74

Top Pictures for yesterday, November 4th.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!
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