Wednesday, 30 May 2007

What a great uncle!

I became a Great Uncle on Monday evening – literally. That means the missus is a Great Aunt at the age of 33. This is all the result of my 19-year-old (now 20) niece getting herself knocked up by her sickness beneficiary boxing instructor who is older than I am. And you thought it was only in the Czech Republic where it was passé for older men to prey on young women.

New Zealand’s Maori population is projected to increase from 14% to around 20% by 2020, and my niece is doing her bit to contribute to that population growth. The father is one-quarter Maori, so my new blood relative is one-eighth indigenous. His middle name (forgot to say it’s a nephew) is Kaia. Not sure about the translation at the moment, but the father is apparently of Ngati Whatua tribal descent. The Ngati Whatua come from the far north of the North Island and therefore don’t get on too well with the dominant South Island tribe, the Ngai Tahu. Could be some interesting times growing up, especially as Dunedin (in the cold southern South Island) is predominantly pakeha (white).

In regard to the first name, Jackson, my niece is perhaps showing an interest in the art world (Jackson Pollock) or fine wine (Jackson Bay) or then again perhaps she’s taken with the latest fashion of giving children a surname for a first name.

A few months into the pregnancy we had offered to adopt the child as our own, which would have resolved our own childlessness problems and eased the pressure on the grandparents (my brother was looking forward to early retirement in France) and the mother (she’s halfway through a nursing degree). In the end though, she decided she would keep it, which I suppose is only fair enough.

We will now focus all our own resources on adoption. Of course that’s not an easy route either, but there is somewhat more certainty involved than everything else we’ve put ourselves through so far. Adopting within NZ is impossible (very politically incorrect to give up one’s own child no matter what the circumstances), so it’ll have to be inter-country adoption. That means concentrating on one of half-a-dozen countries only, i.e. those with a Hague Convention protocol with us: Chile, Phillipines, China, Thailand, Lithuania and maybe Russia. Lots of very nasty bureaucratic obstacles involved in all this, but best to get the ball rolling asap.

1 comment:

tvc said...

Labas rytas,

better learn a little Lithuanian if you're going to adopt from here. Waiting for a taxi in Vilnius - lovely city, lovely country, definitely worth a visit when you're back, but come in summer, not winter