Tamales and Borscht

September 27th, 2011

Tamale, traditional food from Latin AmericaTomorrow is Bunny’s adoption day.  It’s been six years since we brought our little bundle of joy home from Guatemala.  Every year I think about holding her in my arms knowing she was finally mine. In years past we have celebrated with cake and singing, taking time to celebrate the expansion of our family.  Rather than sugary sweet confections this year, I’ve decided I want to try something different.  Tamales.  I want to make tamales. Tamales from Guatemala are different than the Mexican tamales we typically see.  They are usually wrapped in banana or plantain leaves rather than in corn husks, and they are smaller, although there are more variations than there are Guatemalan regions. I’ve been searching around the… [more]

Santa Was Adopted, Too

December 21st, 2010

1122208_20339657One of the things I love about Christmas is the Christmas television specials. When I was little, I remember counting the days until I could watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I loved these shows, but my most favorite show was Santa Claus is Coming to town. This weekend I was watching television with my kids when I heard the distinctive voice of Fred Astaire. I think I was more excited than my daughters. As S.D. Kluger started telling the story of Santa Claus, it dawned on me…Santa was adopted. Just like Elle and Bunny! For some reason this year, I really listened to the story. I know… [more]

Homecoming Anniversary Celebrations

November 28th, 2009

Homecoming Anniversary CelebrationsNovember is drawing to a close. I can hardly believe it. Where did this year go? With the holidays just around the corner, another important celebration is looming for our family just before the "big" events get underway. For our family, December 14 is a day of celebration. December 14 of this year will mark the two year anniversary of Beauty's homecoming. It's been two years? Really? All at once that seems so ridiculous--as though it has been so much longer and so much shorter all at once. I don't remember what my daily life was like before she arrived; it's as though she's just been here with us always, brightening every day with the intensity of her smile. Amazing. Two… [more]

Holiday Hardships: Missing Your Child In-Process

November 12th, 2009

Holiday Hardships: Missing Your Child In-ProcessAs many of the regular readers know, my family is in the process of adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia. I don't write about it much here, because to be honest, there's really not too much to write about just yet. We're hot on the paper trail, which is good, but it is also a very quiet time. We are wrapping up our home study and have a fair clip knocked off our dossier already. This is a good thing. It's a very good thing, actually, but here's another confession: the holidays are sometimes a little hard when you're in wait. And here I am, in wait. Now don't get me wrong: Bear and Beauty make everything amazing… [more]

Remembering Their Mom

May 11th, 2009

Yesterday was Mother's Day. We had a nice day of homemade gifts, surprises and family together time. The kids had been working really hard at school making gifts for me for the last couple of weeks. My four year old had already shown me her present of course and hid it several places all over the house. She finally found it just in time to give it to me. Mita had drawn a picture of my and had a list of my likes and favorites written out. I was amazed to realize how much she knew me. She may have asked Hubby the details (he doesn't remember?) but the fact is that she either knew or found out my… [more]

Cinco De Mayo

May 4th, 2009

As tommorow is Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) I thought I would write a bit about adoptions from Mexico and ways to keep the Mexican traditions in your home. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of a battle that Mexico won against the French. This holiday is very popular to celebrate in California, where I once lived, and I have carried on the tradition and celebrate it with my family. It is a good way to teach your kids some culture while having fun doing it. If you have adopted a child from Mexico or are in the process you may want to have a fiesta of your own tommorow or this weekend. This would be an easy way of… [more]

International holidays: October

October 1st, 2007

It is hard to believe ... well, for me, at least, because I am passing-of-time-challenged in unpredictable and confusing ways ... that October has rolled around already. This year is going even faster than 2007, and that one had the rolling down to the equivalent of a sixteen-pound bowling ball flicked from the fingers of a fullback with torque ... zero to 365 in about as much time as it takes my electric kettle to boil. Reality will out, though, and I have accepted the Octoberness of this morning, so with little fanfare and much consternation over how ridiculously close we are to the holidays already, I'll turn my focus to international festivities specific to this, the 10th month of this speedy year. Today is Independence Day in… [more]

USCIS Fee Increase and Holidays in June

June 7th, 2007

Two unrelated topics in one post! Hey! How do I do that? Why do I do that? Today, because I wanted to give the link that has all the low down on the "Final Rule" of the USCIS Application and Petition fee schedule, which also has information about the public comments collected on the proposal. It makes for interesting, if depressing, reading. And I'm sorry to be getting to this a bit late in the month, but although the occasions of Gawai Dayak (Borneo), the Red Earth Fair (Native American) , Dano (Korea), and D-Day (USA) are behind us, there are holidays ahead that I wanted to pass along for international adoptive, multicultural and multiracial… [more]

May 7: World AIDS Orphans Day

May 7th, 2007

Today is the day. This is my second year posting information on World AIDS Orphans Day, and although I put the word out earlier in hopes that community leaders would be encouraged to join in on events, today is the special day set aside in efforts to draw attention to the plight of millions of the world's children who have lost parents to AIDS. At last count there were fifteen million children who had lost one or both parents to AIDS. In the countries most devastatingly affected this is 15% to 20% of the total number of children. It is expected that by 2010 there will be at least 100 million. The latest available statistics tell us that in 2005 there were 2,300,000 children under the… [more]

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May 3rd, 2007

©portobello_bell May is big on events. Not only does the month celebrate Mother's Day, Memorial Day Older Americans, Teacher Appreciation Month, Tennis Month, National Egg Month, Better Sleep Month, and more, it is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month This celebration began by congressional resolution in 1978, setting aside the first ten days of May to acknowledge a couple of important milestones in Asian Pacific American history: the contributions made by Chinese workers to the construction, and finally completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, and the arrival of the first immigrants from Japan on May 7, 1843. In 1992, Congress made it a month-long gig. The National Register of Historic Places is showcasing historic properties