Relating to Other People’s Kids

October 8th, 2013

childrenMaybe years of failed adoption attempts have jaded me.  I never attached much meaning to whether or not my future children would be genetically related to me or not.  I just wanted the opportunity to be someone’s mommy, and to share that with my husband and have him be their daddy.  In fact, I used to get a bit too invested in the lives of other people’s children.  I was one of those people I now cringe about, dishing out unsolicited parenting advice, often heavily peppered with judgment.  My poor sister-in-law was the first to experience this when my niece was born 9 years ago.  In preparation for my graduate thesis, I researched parenting magazines, and so in spite of not… [more]

Connecting Together

October 6th, 2013

3832156682_3ac3f3c5da_q My husband and I adopted a child from foster care earlier this year. She has been leaving in our home for over a year now. We have all grown closer together as a family over the past year. We love our child very much but at times we do not connect. I think back to when my husband and I met 12 years ago, we had to form a connection. I remember thinking when my husband and I was dating that he was a nice person but I didn't think that I wanted anything serious with him. We both laugh as we talk about that now as we could not imagine our lives without each other but that took time and… [more]

Temporary Attachment Parenting

January 23rd, 2013
Categories: Bonding, Caretaking

babay carrierMy husband and I parented our foster daughter VV for 10 months, from the age of 6-16 months.  During this time, we had ongoing contact with VV’s family, especially her young mother.  It wasn’t clear whether or not we’d be able to adopt VV at first.  We assumed that we would until proven otherwise.  So in the meantime, we did what we could to form a proper attachment with our little girl. We were obligated to have VV in daycare during the week, but in the evenings and on the weekends, she was all ours.  Before she became too heavy, I loved to carry her in a baby carrier, especially when walking our two dogs.  It was like a never ending hug… [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]

Mercy Trails Ranch

November 15th, 2011

horsesF-E-A-R-L-E-S-S  Letters spelled out in splashes of bright paint across the soft brown sides of the little horse.   A four legged canvas for the word that she wanted to stay forefront in her mind as she thought back to her time at the Ranch.  Words attached to memories.  Memories that she tucked away like treasures to be brought out in times of struggle and darkness.  Memories that would give her the strength to break free. Those memories threatened to flood her even now, fresh on her mind, as she stepped back to admire her art.  The intimidation at the size of her partner for the week- how the little mare seemed so large that first day.  She remembered her uncertainty the first time… [more]

A Less Than Stellar Performance

October 10th, 2011

redI am well aware of the intricacies of sibling rivalry. I grew up in a very large family with eleven siblings of my own. I know that siblings can love each other one minute, hate each other the next and then love again. My youngest, and my next to youngest, have been engaged in an on going tug of war of anger, jealousy and love. Days of shoving, arguing, tattling mixed with times of love, playing and laughter. A true microcosm of the larger human word and all of our interactions with each other, person to person, culture to culture, country to country. I suppose it should come as no surprise really. It was bound to happen at some point. Kids are kids, they… [more]

A Creative Solution

September 12th, 2011

1060980_wedding_ringsA good friend of mine, Jessica, adopted a child from China about ten years ago.  When Jessica's daughter was around four, she exhibited a lot of anxiety whenever Jessica left the house.  Jessica would want to pop out for a trip to the grocery store, coffee with her friends, or even a date with her husband, and her daughter would go into a rage, screaming and clinging to her mother, begging her not to leave her.  Jessica had two other children, neither of whom exhibited this behavior, and she was perplexed as to why her daughter would feel so insecure.  And why she would do it now when she hadn't been that way as an infant or toddler. She told me about the… [more]

Celebrating Family

July 6th, 2011

paper_family_ii-I love the word family and how it has evolved. 50 years ago, if we would have asked a group of people what a family was it would have been such a boring answer. "A dad, a Mom, and 2.5 children." Maybe they would have gotten really crazy and added a pet. I love the fact that we are living in a generation where all families can be accepted. I was a young mom. I had my first son at 19 and decided to become a solo parent. His biological father was not the kind of person that I wanted to influence my child so I figured that me alone was better than us together. It was the best decision that I… [more]

Happy Father’s Day!

June 19th, 2011

645389_father_and_sonIt's Father's Day and across the country dads are opening up presents: ties, barbecue tools, car gadgets, the latest technological mechanism guaranteed to make their life easier.  Or perhaps they are going to spend the day on the golf course--after breakfast in bed, no doubt!  Whatever it is, I hope all dads get to celebrate. I've made this observation before, but it seems that the adoption literature is full of stories written by adoptive mothers.  We hear their voices and know their perspective.  No doubt it has to do with the fact that when it comes to adoption, often it is the woman who is the driving force. But what of adoptive fathers?  Who are these men who willingly go along with their wives… [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]