No Contact

August 15th, 2013

memoriesMy son is four, almost five now.  When he was younger we would talk to him about adoption.  He did not ask much about his birthparents.  We would show him a picture of his birth family and tell him his birth story.  It was not until we started the process with adopting our daughter that he started getting more curious.  He was able to meet our daughter's birth mom and play with her other daughter.  Of course this brought up many questions about his birth mom.  The first year we would send pictures and letters to our son's birth mom.  We never heard back from her.  After about a year we lost all contact with her.  Trying to explain this to my son… [more]

From “Gooooal!” to “Bravo!”

November 21st, 2012

soccerRasmussen's are soccer players.  Whether you were born into our family or adopted in, that's what we do…or so I thought.  We have six kids, 3 bio, 3 adopted.  Our adopted kids are sandwiched in the middle with an older brother (13) and younger twin sisters (4).  We have two boys adopted from Ukraine (age 10, not bio brothers) and a daughter (9) adopted as a newborn (a domestic open adoption). Did you know that everyone does not like the same things?!?  Yes, I knew that was probable, bio or adopted, kids are all different.  I assumed a child with my DNA would be more likely drawn to the same activities that I was programmed to enjoy, and to some extent that is… [more]

New Baby, New Routine

February 20th, 2010

New Baby, New RoutineI have an admission to make: I am a former (definitely former--definitely mostly former) control freak. Granted, it's gotten a lot better since Bear made his debut in May of 2006; having kids kind of takes the edge off in that way. And in many ways, I have learned to let the little things go. I'm a lot more relaxed, a lot less bothered by things beyond my control. However, while I am flexible, I still appreciate routine. I'm not rigidly adhered to our schedule, but I do like predictability. Prior to the addition of Bella to our family, we had a pretty simple but predictable routine.  Toddlerhood was making way for the preschool circuit, and we were at the… [more]

It’s a GIRL!

February 16th, 2010

Sweet Baby Bella - February 2010I am slightly sleep deprived. Wait, let me back up. I have a new baby--a beautiful little girl--and I'm slightly sleep deprived. Sometimes life takes some unexpected turns. And sometimes the outcome of said unexpected turns is amazingly beautiful. As some of the more regular readers might recall, we were in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Long story short, before we even started on compiling our dossier, we had a change of heart and decided to pursue an adoption through the foster care system. In the middle of December, we met with our new social worker (did I mention we needed a completely new home study even though we just had a favorable one approved in July? More on… [more]

Big Brother, Little Sister

February 1st, 2010
Categories: Resiliency, Safety, Siblings

Big Brother, Little SisterMy children are daredevils. No, really. Okay, so they're not fearless, but they definitely like to try things out.  "Things" sometimes mean doing something that causes my heart to stop beating for just a second, though. But for the most part, they just tend to dive into any adventure. This pleases me greatly. Here's where my concern lies: Bear is almost four, and he has great balance, speed, and agility. Beauty, however, is almost three and has the speed down-pat, but lacks both balance and agility. This is chiefly due to the fact that she is a toe walker at all times. She is currently enrolled in an occupational therapy program that seems to help out a little bit, but she naturally… [more]

Re-establishing Daily Routine

January 29th, 2010

518984_a_little_girl_saying_good_night_1The holidays have come and gone. If you're anything like me, I'm still not back to my normal routine. I feel that I'm almost there, but not quite. It's hard to wrap my head around a whole new year, and the fact that my vacation is over. Reality is calling, and I'm trying not to answer. Chances are you and your children may be experiencing the same thing. The holidays were a busy time of year. It was filled with get-togethers, obscenely early shopping trips, delicious sugary treats, and time off of work and school. It was a time of year to be enjoyed and cherished. But once it's over, it's time to get back to your daily routine. While it may be… [more]

Siblings Shunning Sharing

January 16th, 2010
Categories: Siblings

Sharing SiblingsBefore I had children, I would see kids throwing tantrums in the grocery store. "My children will never act like that," I'd say to myself. Before I had children, I'd hear my friends complain about picky eaters. "I know my (future) kids will eat anything and everything," I'd assume.  When I'd see two children bickering over the same toy, I'd think to myself, "My kids will always want to share." Did I actually think these thoughts? Guilty, guilty, guilty. I truly believed "my kids would never...". And then I had kids. While I could regale you with tales of Beauty's blow-out tantrums while shopping or Bear's decision to only eat macaroni and cheese for a whole week, my thoughts are centered today on… [more]

Adoption vs. Pregnancy

November 20th, 2009

Adoption vs. Pregnancy: Two Ways to Build Your FamilyI am very open about adoption's role in building my family. My husband and I married while I was pregnant, and he adopted Bear a few months after his birth. Beauty is adopted from Guatemala. Suffice to say, adoption is a big, beautiful part of my life. I've noticed that many people assume that both my children are adopted (which they are, by my husband). It doesn't bother me, but when the conversation of pregnancy versus adoption arises, many times I get hit with the infamous question: which is harder, pregnancy or adoption? Oh, boy. In short, you really can't compare the two; it's apples to oranges. While pregnancy has an approximate start-to-finish time; adoption usually… [more]

When Adding a Child Adds Stress to Your Marriage

November 15th, 2009

When Adding a Child Adds Stress to Your MarriageWhen Bear was born, my husband and I had one uniting focus: meeting  Bear's needs and keeping him happy while we were doing so. Our marriage grew stronger as we really learned the meaning of "team effort".  Sure, there were trying moments, but overall, we did everything as a joint endeavor. I don't mind boasting that my husband, who worked two jobs, never missed a single nighttime feeding when he was home. We were just like that; we easily fell into a seamless pattern. Our transition with Beauty's arrival, however, wasn't quite as smooth. Let me preface the rest by saying that it was in no way, shape, or form the fault of Beauty. She… [more]

The Early Days: Beautiful but NOT Always Pretty

October 21st, 2009

Family: No Greater LoveWhen Beauty arrived home, we were in the midst of a blustery, snowy Chicago winter. It was freezing outside, but my heart was filled with a warmth beyond words. My daughter, a little girl I loved so strongly before she ever even took her first breath nine months prior, was here, in my arms. Our family of three had transitioned to a beautiful family of four and my heart was positively bursting with love. I've mentioned in past entries that my children are only 10.5 months apart in age; I've also mentioned the issues we dealt with upon Beauty's transitional period of homecoming. This is my entry dedicated to Bear's side of the same story. When I was pregnant, my… [more]