The Not-Exactly-Reluctant Husband

September 19th, 2011

Sleeping dadIf you're like me, you are thinking about adoption all the time. You're doing the dishes and thinking about filing the I-600A. Folding laundry is a time of reflection for your next blog post. Playing with your kids leads to daydreams about how great it will be when your next child is finally home. And thank heaven for DVR, because you have paperwork to do and Modern Family will have to wait. And then you look at your handsome, loving husband. He's watching the scores scroll across ESPN to find out the score of the Chiefs game that wasn't televised. And he's thinking That's it. Just football. So why is it that husbands--those who are fully on board with adopting--seem to be less… [more]

Heritage Hard Core

April 28th, 2011

Banh ChungWe adopted our oldest daughter when she was 14 years old. She had previously been adopted by another American family when she was 13 years old but they disrupted their adoption a year later. During that first year in America, life was very hard on her. She didn’t know any other adopted children. Her first adoptive family had very little interest in maintaining her cultural heritage. She felt isolated, frightened and alone. We had heard about her situation and began visiting her. After a few meetings with her, my husband and I brought her home to stay the weekend at our house so she could get to know our two sons. Our sons were older child adoptions as well. They immediately… [more]

Flags of Heritage

January 6th, 2011

533821_41933236When you adopt children internationally, the adoption agency always asks how you intend to keep the link between your child and their birth country. At the time, I thought that was a silly question, and I had so many other things to worry about at the time. I don't remember what I answered, but it must have been enough to appease the agency, and the foreign courts. Once we arrived home, I didn't think much about my daughters’ heritage. With Elle, if you didn't know she was adopted, you would never guess she was from Russia. With Bunny, it is a bit more obvious considering her dark skin, black eyes, and ability to swing her hips to any music… [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]

God Must Have Had a Reason

December 8th, 2010

oppositesI’m sure we are all familiar with the saying that there is a reason for everything. I am a firm believer in this sentiment. Most of the time I don’t know or understand the reasoning behind it, but I rest with the knowledge there is one. When it was time to adopt my children, I think God was having a humorous day. He must have had the giggles when he decided which children I would receive. On one hand, Elle, my 12 year old from Russia, is tall, lean and blonde. Like a dog, I could tell how big she was going to be when I looked at her feet. Bunny, on the other hand, my five year old… [more]

A Family of Rainbows

November 18th, 2010

Family of Rainbows For as long as I can remember, I have always seen myself with two daughters, two little girls with white blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.  I realize this dream was based on childhood pictures of myself, and I never gave much thought to how my husband’s looks would factor into the mix.  It just didn’t matter, because I was certain they would be blue-eyed blondes.  That’s how dreams work. Then life happened and the dream of having two little miniatures of myself faded away.  What I got was two little daughters, one with no hair and the other with black, wispy hair that stood straight up.  Once my daughters were placed in my arms, one in Russia and the other… [more]

A “Sore Thumb”?

March 4th, 2010

A "Sore Thumb"?With the addition of a new baby to our clan, we've been discussing the implications of race in our family. When we decided to adopt again, our original plan was to adopt from Ethiopia. Seeing how Beauty's creamy skin tone is a stark contrast from her parents' paleness, we just assumed we'd be a family with a variety of beautiful skin tones. Bella could--for all intents and purposes--pass as our biological child. We would never claim this as truth, of course, but she is as pale as we are--fair skin and rosy cheeks, blue eyes just like my husband. Bear and Bella could easily pass as birth siblings. And so again, Beauty stands alone. I've often considered what we could do to… [more]

Holiday Homecomings

December 10th, 2009
Categories: Happy family

AVA DECEMBER 2007While I sit here, typing away, I'm joined by two "helpers"; Bear is creating a masterpiece with crayons and Beauty is pretending to type on her "computer"--just like mommy. Admittedly, I'm overwhelmed by feelings of love for my children always, but this time of year is so, so special to me. And it's not just due to the holidays. Two years ago, my personal journal entry read (in part) like this: There are many overused sayings/cliches about the beauty that adoption can hold; one is that your child was born in your heart, even if she wasn't born under it. And that one, like so many others is true. She was born in my heart. But more so, I feel [Beauty] found… [more]

Speaking About Speech

September 9th, 2009

My son, Bear, is a chatterbox. No, really. He talks incessantly, and he regales his sister, Beauty, with endless stories, “recipes” from their kitchen, “child care” tips for their baby dolls and stuffed animals—you name it. He’s just a natural born talker (some may argue that’s a trait he’s taken from my dad’s side of the family!), highly communicative by nature. No matter what you want to call it, he’s been blessed with the gift of gab. Beauty, on the other hand, is a bit behind in her speech. When she arrived home at nine months of age, she endlessly babbled on and on—we were certain she wouldn’t be earmarked as a child with developmental delays. We were wrong. We knew around eighteen to twenty… [more]

Adoption Classes: Preparation with a Purpose

September 1st, 2009

I’ll start by saying this: while adopting Beauty, we attended one in-person class where they covered child care, basic issues relevant to international adoption, CPR, and the like. It was a good class taught by a very knowledgeable social worker. While pregnant with Bear, we attended a two-day class covering the basic child care principles as well as post-partum care. Another good class, taught by a very knowledgeable nurse. See the trend here? Good class, knowledgeable instructor. We recently completed our required hours of online training for our pending Ethiopian adoption. We took four courses and received certificates proving we had completed them as such. All these classes were also good. Overall, though? I have yet to be impressed with the set up of… [more]