0

NO! We are the Lucky Ones!

 

Copy of Fresh Blog (3)

It happens at least several times a week, we all hear it. “You’re a Saint”, “These kids are so lucky”, “You’re so great for doing this (adopting)”.  When we hear this, we cringe. Yes, we actually cringe! Ask any adoptive parent, I am pretty sure they will all tell you they hate to hear this.

We get it, we understand why you are saying it, and we realize that it is coming from a good place, but these words are not what we want to hear. Adoption is neither a badge or a scare. It just is a different way to build a family.

Here is why these words make us feel uncomfortable…we are not special. We have decided to grow our families in a different way than you. We get that this is not your path, and there may be things about adoption that you don’t understand, but that’s why we chose this path and you didn’t

Any adoptive parent that takes delight in hearing these words is in it for the wrong reasons. To say that we ‘rescued’ our children, means that they needed rescuing, and the truth is, our children rescued us. They rescued us from a black and white, mundane life without giggles, playfulness and the joys of being a parent.

It becomes offensive and damaging when people actually say this within earshot of our littles. This is counter productive to the stories we have told them. Most of our stories include the idea that they grew in our hearts, we loved them before we met them, we searched for them, and they made our lives complete. This scenario of the parent is a saint, and the child is lucky contradicts the story we have told them. It replaces their story with the feeling  that the children were “saved” and are indebted to the parents.

We love our children just as you do. It’s easy for us. Next time, consider telling us how lucky we are to have such amazing kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
0

*Heart to Heart is The Best Way to Wear a Baby!

photo

I mentioned a few posts back that T*Bug have a younger sister. She is now 10months old. When she was removed from her bio-mom and placed in another foster home, our caseworker talked with us about our obligation to arrange sibling visitations.  T*Bug had just lost everything and everybody, including their baby sister. Not only did they miss her, they had concerns for her. Where was she? Was she ok? So this was an obligation that I had no problem fulfilling.

Our caseworker mentioned that we did not have to meet at the social service department for visitation. We were welcome to meet anywhere, and that we could even arrange to take baby-girl for an afternoon each week, and spend time as a family together.

I liked this idea, because the idea of going to the SS office and sitting in a sterile room for an hour and having the kids try to ‘force’ this hour together was not appealing. I also didn’t want to have to take T*Bug back to the SS offices. They have bad memories of the offices and going there might be confusing for them.

We are now in our fourth weekend with baby-girl, she is fitting into our family weekends nicely.  I think it has been good for T*Bug to be with her and L*D are bonding with her as well.

I have to admit that after I take her home, for the next 24-48 hours I miss her. I carry her in a babysling  when she is with us. I am a huge advocate of ‘baby-wearing’. Georges and I carried L*D for the first year that they were home with us. I think it was great for bonding and attachment with them. So, now I use the same sling to carry baby-girl. My hands are free to wipe snotty noses, tie shoelaces or give extra hugs to the other four. But this has the added benefit of bonding time. We have gotten to know one another, baby-girl and I. And here it is…I am falling in love. Every Saturday…there she is cuddled up in the sling, heart to heart, we breathe in unison.

221652_503037193038_5170_n

227126_1015926204616_6153_n

This weekend Miss N is going out of town, so baby-girl will be dropped off after school on Friday, and I will take her home on Sunday afternoon. This will be an interesting weekend, not because we will have her all weekend, but because it’s a busy weekend, filled with soccer games, Lola’s 7th birthday, Kadampa Center, and I have a women’s circle that is meeting this weekend (not to mention my usual weekend chores…laundry, clean house and grocery shop for the week.)

With all the chaos a fifth child will bring to our home this weekend…I will be happy to have my second heartbeat back, it’s easier to breathe with two breaths.

*Heart to Heart is The Best Way to Wear a Baby! This statement isn’t intended to say that it’s the number one way to care for a baby, but instead to signify how great it is! Try it, you’ll like it.

1

A Meditation on FosterCare

Bug....

Bug….

When we were in our Map (foster care) classes, they lead us through an exercise that now, seems so relevant. Follow along and try to imagine…

..Imagine you are five, you are in your home, and it’s 3 days before Christmas.There is a knock at the door. It’s the women that has been visiting your family for the last year, Miss J. This time she tells you that you and your sister will be coming with her. You gather up a few items of clothing and you are able to pick one special toy…you choose the nightlight animal (even though it doesn’t have batteries). You say goodbye to your Mom, you say goodbye to your baby sister and you get in the car with your younger sister and Miss J. You are crying, and through the tears wondering…where are we going? When will we see our Mom again? When will we see our baby sister? What is going to happen to them? How long will will be gone?

You fall asleep, during the ride, and wake up in the driveway of a home (not an apartment) in a neighborhood that is not familiar. You enter the house, and  you are greeted and overwhelmed by two big dogs (you have never been around dogs), two kids that seem to be about the same age, and a man, a big man.

The house smells different than your house, there is no carpet under your feet, just wood floors and throw rugs. You walk down a hall to a bedroom that you are told you will be sharing with the young boy. There is a bed…this will be your bed.

Days pass, weeks pass you try to adapt…the food is different. At each meal you are presented with food that you have never experienced and asked to just try a bite.  The music you listen to is different than the music that your Mom often played at home. Even though these people are nice, they look different, sound different and even smell different. Your senses are overwhelmed and your heart aches.

There are different rules in this house, and words and actions that no one seemed to notice at home, bring unwanted attention in this home. You keep wondering “When will we go home?”

One day you go to a large office building and at the top of the stairs you see Mommy and your baby sister…FINALLY! Today is the day, I am going home, you spend time with your family in a room, playing and laughing, then you are told it’s time to go. You put your jacket on, take the elevator down and then your Mom kisses you goodbye. Wait? What? She’s leaving through a different door, what is going on? You scream, cry! You get back in the car with your younger sister and the lady you have been staying with. You have started calling her Mom, because she is sweet, and gives you hugs and kisses your forhead when you are scared, she listens to your words and you know that she genuinely cares about you…but…she is not your Mom.

You look out the window of the car, and tears stream down your face and you wonder “What is next?” You enter the house where the man (that you now call Papi) and the two kids are laughing and playing. They don’t know that you just saw your Mom, and now she’s gone, they don’t know that you cried all the way home. You try to jump in and laugh with them, so that they don’t see the hurt you are feeling.

You wake up the next day, eat breakfast, and drive the new route to the new school you have been attending, where you sit, with new classmates, and learn from a new teacher in a new style of learning (Montessori).

You can stop imagining now, and return to the safety and warmth of everything you know. As for T and over a million other children in fostercare, they can’t this is their reality.

I try to remember this lesson, daily with Bug and T. I try to mend their hearts and let them grieve. I try to be their new safe place.

0

I Have a Dream!

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Famous-Quotes

Every year we celebrate Martin Luther King day with a baking project. We go out to the chicken coop and get a few white eggs and a few brown eggs. We talk about diversity and how on the inside the eggs are exactly the same, and the birthday cake we bake with these eggs is still just as sweet!

Last year we made cookies and decorated those instead of making a birthday cake. We ate a few, then we visited the fire station and police station to give plates of cookies to those that work to help protect us everyday.

2013-01-15 19.36.41

This year, our chickens have slowed down with producing eggs and I decided to come up with a different lesson. I used a mixture of red and green apples for applesauce  in the same way I used different colored eggs for the birthday cake. The kids enjoyed it, and we took our time coloring pictures, and watching videos of MLK Jr.

2013-01-15 19.35.53

This year was even sweeter, because 50 years ago, Dr. King stood on those Washington DC steps and said “I have a dream….”, today we watched President Obama stand on those same steps and accept the responsibility of his 2nd term as our US President. Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr.!

560814_405850856166067_1624689967_n (1)

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

2013-01-15 18.06.03

2

Empowering Women to Break the Cycle of Poverty

tzutujil_maya_women[1]

Early on after receiving the ‘referral’ for L&D I began to think about their birthmothers.  It began to weigh heavy on my heart that my ultimate joy, was the ultimate heartache of another women.  Both L&D’s bithmothers could not provide for them due to poverty, and they chose adoption.  I wanted to do something, even if it was small to contribute to helping to solve this problem.  I had just read the book, Banker to the Poor, by Muhammad Yunus, he had just won the Nobel Peace prize that year (2006), and I admired him, for his creation and work with The Grameen Bank.  This is an organization that provides micro-loans to women around the world. There are many non-profits that have taken on the mission of providing micro-loans.  The organization that I have found to be the easiest to work with, with the lowest administration fees is KIVA.  To date, we have provided 28 loans to countless women (many are group loans) mostly in Central and South America. I know it’s not much, but my hope is that it has helped at least a few women break the cycle of poverty and raise, and educate their children so their entire family is able to break this cycle.

 

1

Travels Begin

download

 

A few weeks ago I posted on facebook that we were beginning a new chapter in our lives…many of you that know us well, guessed it, and we have shared this decision with a few friends and family. Instead of the excitement that we are feeling towards this new journey, we have felt trepidation from some…so I am hoping this blog will help friends and family understand our decision. I am also hoping that friends, family and possibly strangers may stumble upon this and realize the many blessings that adoption and foster care bring.

We adopted our two children from Guatemala 4 years ago, and we have always talked about adopting again. When the conversation of becoming foster parents came up, it wasn’t completely a new idea. It has been an evolution though. We were first introduced to foster parenting through our beautiful children’s foster parents, Rosa & Lorena.  We are still in touch with Rosa, and have had the privilege of  being  able to see her twice now, and we talk on the phone frequently.  We were/are very grateful for Rosa and Lorena, the two women who fostered our children while we were waiting to bring them home.  We thought, “How can they do this…love these child, and then let them go?”. Well, now we ask “How can we NOT love these children and possibly let them go?”

Now it’s the first question that I am sure many of our friends and family are asking.”How will they be able to let these these children go without their hearts breaking?”  We expect there to be heartache along this journey, and if there isn’t, it means we are not doing our job with our hearts open.  Here’s a question…if you knew that you would only have a year, 6 months or even a week with your child…would you choose not be with them? I believe that these children are meant to be ours, and imprint on our lives, as we imprint on theirs. It may be a few days, months, or they may stay forever…but whatever the length of time they are with us…they will be Family!