Happy Mother’s Day to All the Mothers In My Life

May 13th, 2012

Back in the 1990’s I spent some time in Guatemala. Completely surrounded by a foreign culture and a foreign language (both of which became second nature to me while I was living there a while), I was a long way away from home and away from that wonderful lady who gave birth to me and raised me- my mother. I know the 90’s don’t seem like that long ago, but technologically it sure was. Email hadn’t yet become popular, so our main form of correspondence was by snail mail. And when you’re that far away it took about 2 weeks for a letter to travel from one to the other, then 2 more weeks for a reply. International calling still cost us an arm and a leg back then (or… [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]

Easing Into Post-Holiday Life

December 27th, 2009

1Easing Into Post-Holiday LifeLast year, we celebrated Beauty's first Christmas. I say her first Christmas because the year prior (2007--her real first Christmas at nine months of age), we celebrated as a family of three prior to her homecoming. There were a few reasons for this, most of which being that we didn't want to overwhelm her with the overpowering newness of transition blending with tradition. At nine months of age, we knew it wasn't the same thing as welcoming home a newborn just before the holidays arrived. We had a low-key Christmas Eve and Christmas Day since Beauty hadn't even hit the two week mark of her arrival in the U.S. by the time December 24 rolled around. It was nice… [more]

Thankful Beyond Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2009

Thankful Beyond ThanksgivingToday is Tuesday. Thanksgiving is Thursday. Enter pre-holiday panic. Well, maybe not panic, but definitely a step up in our day to day routines. We are hosting dinner this year, and even though it's a small endeavor due to a recent move, it's still, well, an endeavor. There's the main course (which in our home is tofu instead of turkey) to prepare, a plethora of sides to time just right, homemade scones and pumpkin pie, and a legion of crafts to complete our festivities. This year, the kids are really into the "prep work". They both love to help out in the kitchen, but making paper turkeys out of hand prints trumps mixing pretty much anything in a bowl. At 2… [more]

On B-Days…and A-Days

August 17th, 2009

When you have kids, birthdays are suddenly a big deal. By birthdays, I mean the birthdays of your child(ren), not necessarily your own birthday. My pre-motherhood birthday celebrations usually involved going out with a bunch of my friends and my main squeeze, all dolled up for a night on the town. Once Bear came along and then Beauty, my birthdays became back seat occasions of my own choosing. But my kids’ birthdays are HUGE events in our home and in our family. It’s not to say we spend a fortune or throw amazingly lavish parties, but more so we just really celebrate our children, our family, our life. It’s incredible, and we really try to spend the day focused on the blessings we’ve received in our… [more]

Triggers

November 24th, 2008

This week marks a milestone for my children: their birthmother’s birthday. We have an open adoption by mutual request, thus, I have the kids make something and we send it off. My daughter seemed particularly sad this year as we created our gifts. I asked her about it, and her eyes welled with tears. She said she missed her birth mother. Now, I’m not at all competitive with her birthmother, but I questioned this a bit. Whereas my daughter does recall certain fairly catastrophic events in her childhood, and has the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to prove it, by and large, she has forgotten the day-to-day life with her birth family. She was placed in foster care somewhere around her 4th birthday, and her little… [more]

Dear Birth Mom, Your Daughter Is Two Years Old

August 13th, 2008

I am two! Can you believe that it is already that time again? It is time to write our semi-annual Dear Birth Mom letter and update. The months seem to fly by unbelievably fast and it has already been six months since our last update. Our darling daughter has just turned two years old. It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to Texas to meet her for the first time. Now, she is the one rushing, in every direction at once most of the time. She has been transformed from an enchanting little baby to a beautiful little girl in two years. Dear Birth Mom, Now that Amigrace has turned two, it is obvious that she has inherited your tall, lean, and muscular build. At her… [more]

Double Digits!

June 29th, 2008
Categories: Birthdays, Privacy

My oldest turns 10 this week – Double Digits. In anticipation, he's been educating the two youngest on the Intricacies of Being a 'Tween. Every morning you'll find him coming up with new “rules” or facts about what 10-year-olds like or dislike, do or don't do. He started out by telling them he would be spending more time in his room. He said he'd most likely start watching much less of channels like Sprout with them. He explained that he, instead, would be up for more mature fare, such as movies for 'Tweens like Jump In. He told them he might need some time to be alone or just hanging out with older friends. As he tells them these things, they pay rapt attention and hang on every… [more]

Surviving Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2008

For many of us, Mother’s Day is not the day we had dreamed of when we started out our parenting journey. We don’t have children rushing to us with hugs and fists full of flowers. We aren’t greeted with “I love you” or children wanting to make the day perfect for us. Many of my days started with my son throwing a huge fit, possibly literally throwing things, cursing at me and other equally fun things. At some point in my parenting journey, I stopped making the day about making my kids feel good about having me for a mom, and instead I celebrate making it through another year of parenting. Not the ideal thing, but it works for me. Here are some things… [more]

Adopted Children, Birthdays, and Bad Behavior

January 21st, 2008
Categories: Birthdays

When I was going through the home study process, my social worker told me to read several books about adoption. One of these books talked about birthdays being a sad time for adopted children. According to the author, for children placed for adoption as a newborn, a child's birthday is also the day that his birthmother "abandoned" him. The author said to keep an eye out for bad behavior around a child's birthday because this could indicate that a child is struggling with adoption issues. The child might not want to celebrate the day that he was taken from his birthfamily.

I did not know whether to believe this or not. Birthdays are generally happy times for kids, especially when they know that they will be… [more]