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]

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]

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]

Keep Your Children Healthy & Active

January 27th, 2010

1187576_playful_spring_time_1A healthy lifestyle is beneficial when learned early in life. Longer life span, more energy, and happiness and contentment all accompany good health. And what more could you want for your children? But for some families maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle isn't easy. It takes effort. It takes work. But it is worth it in the end. Set an Example: One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach your child about healthy living is to live healthily yourself. As you know, children watch the actions and habits of their parents. You can show them that healthy living is fun and rewarding. Along with your example, talk to your child or children about how to make healthy choices and ways to… [more]

New Year, New Resolutions

January 4th, 2010

New Year, New ResolutionsHappy New Year to all our readers! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe new year, surrounded by those you love the most. We had a quiet night. My husband had to work, so the kids and I had a sleepover in (*gasp*) mommy and daddy's bed. They loved it, and I did too. We had snacks and drinks, and the three of us (plus three cats and a beagle) were out cold well before 9 PM. But we all woke up happy and together, and my husband walked in the door with a cup of my favorite coffee in hand. Not a bad start to 2010 at all. I've been thinking a lot about what this year… [more]

Memories Or Money: Nostalgia Trumps The “Garage Sale” Box Every Time

September 17th, 2009

Beauty's shoes - October 2008I’ll admit it: I have a soft spot for nostalgia. Okay, so being entirely honest, I'm a grade "A" sap.  I’ve been going through the kids’ clothing for an upcoming garage sale lately, and I’m finding it harder and harder to put items into the “sale” pile. For instance, I set aside two small-to-medium boxes, one for each child. I decided I would fill the boxes accordingly and then the rest of the remaining items would go straight to the gigantic garage sale box. Suffice to say, that hasn’t been the case. Those two small-to-medium boxes were replaced with ones of the large-to-extra-large persuasion.  Sure, there are givens: the outfit Bear wore on his way home from the hospital, any… [more]

On Memories and “Firsts”…

August 22nd, 2009

It’s Saturday morning, and we have a full day of “home-based” activities on the horizon. We’re baking banana bread (with a hint of lime as I’ve found to be customary in many of my readings about Guatemalan recipes), we have crafts lined up (the kids are really into creations made with construction paper cut-outs of their hands right now), we plan on giving the dog a bath (insert groan here)—a full, nice day. Throw in clean up, most likely bath time, hopefully a nap, and meals, and our day is set. But the weather outside is not typical of August in Chicago; it’s cooler, very autumn-like, and it has me a quite a bit nostalgic. Memories are amazing, sometimes funny, and often beautiful things. I… [more]

On Adoptive Parenting: Blending Adoption and Biology

August 10th, 2009

Years before I married or even thought of having children, I knew I wanted to adopt. It's a topic on which I've always felt strongly, but back then I had no idea just how much or how beautifully it would shape my life. The actual details that led my husband and I to adopt merely sealed the deal: this is the path we were destined to take. Adoption has made my life so joyful in so many different ways. While pregnant with our son, Bear (now three years of age), I elected to take all the genetic screenings offered. One of the blood tests was a screening for the carrier gene of Cystic Fibrosis. I have to admit this much is true: I had little idea… [more]