Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
** A quick note about AdoptionBlogs.com....They have forums for most things adoption related. There are blogs for specific countries, domestic, foster, specific faiths, infertility, parenting, adoptee, birth parents, etc. It's a great source of information and connection to other people involved in the adoption process.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Since I haven't been able to respond to comments lately, I'll do my best to cover everything in this post. If you have left a comment here recently, scroll down through the following list and you will probably find my reply. If not, please come back and comment again soon. I promise I'm not usually quite so rude. 8^)
My VERY NICE husband has been holding down the fort while I took care of the comment backlog. Now I'm off to take my turn so he can go play in a softball game. Yes, they play year round here in sunny Southern California. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, it is supposed to be 28 degrees tonight, with light and variable winds. BRRRRRR!!!! I will be happy to stay home with the kids!
Now, on to other blogging business. Ever since I changed over to Blogger Beta (or New Blogger, as it likes to call itself), all my comments come to me with no way to answer by email unless I have an email address from a previous exchange. In all honesty, I was spoiled by my previous ability to just hit "reply" to zip off a response to a comment, so I didn't save the addresses. Oops. Some people that leave comments here have a blog, and some do not. Some of the people that have a blog, do not have the "email me" function enabled in their profile. That means, other than leaving a comment on one of their posts (very likely a post completely unrelated to what they commented about on my blog), the only way for me to respond to comments is here on my own blog. That's OK most of the time, but if any of you are like me, you might not make it back to recheck the comments on a post you have already read. For those without a blog, I am not a mind reader, and refuse to employ detective services to reply to a simple comment. So, that was a really long way of saying you should either include your email address with each of your comments, or drop me an email with your name and email address once, so I can save it and be a polite blogger (most of the time anyway). OK?
Click Here to Subscribe
I do want to point out a couple things before you rush right over to subscribe though. This is a VERY active group. On average, I probably get at least 50 emails from this forum EVERYDAY. If that seems overwhelming, but you would still like the opportunity to participate, you do have the option to receive the messages in "digest" form, or to read them solely on the group site. There is Christian content from time to time, although I have yet to see anyone offended by its' inclusion or exclusion in the posts. The group is open to ALL trans racial adoptive parents. That includes International, Domestic, Foster/Adopt, Married, Single, Gay/Lesbian, etc. In my short tenure, the families in this group have been very welcoming and supportive of all members, regardless of similarities or differences. Overall, most people tend to maintain a light, humorous tone, which makes for a generally pleasant experience.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I'm pleased to hear you've been reading my blog. I originally started this endeavor to keep family and friends up to date on our exciting journey, but it has turned into so much more. I don't know if you have your own blog, but I hope you have thought about the "big picture" when making posts and/or comments. It is impossible to please everyone. In fact, it's really hard to know what to blog about, and what to keep personal. It's especially tough to guess how family, friends, and even complete strangers, will react to any particular post. I do my best, but on occasion, I miss the mark for someone.
I have determined that I have a good sized audience from the adoption community. Mostly, that includes white parents adopting black children. Unlike some people, my family and I never felt a moment's hesitation when God called us to adopt from Africa. The original country (Lesotho) did not have international adoption laws, so we immediately investigated ALL African countries that did. Ethiopia was a perfect fit for us. Many might have looked elsewhere because of racism, ignorance, skin color or fear of something as simple as hair care. We did not! Our daughter Grace is a source of great joy, and a ray of light in our home everyday. No one else would do!!
I would be lying to say that the hair care issues of a black child were not a "challenge" for me. I have very fine hair, with almost no body. I have spent my entire life trying to get it to do something, ANYTHING!! I am allergic to almost all lotions. Off the top of my head, I can think of two that don't cause me a severe allergic reaction. I have eczema, "combination" and sensitive skin, severely oily at the scalp and dry at the ends hair, etc. Many of my biological children share some or all of these issues. My Ethiopian daughter has her own set of issues. They just don't happen to fit into the already complicated repertoire of the rest of our family. However, I think I have made it abundantly clear that I am willing and anxious to learn.
For the record, I did not ever use the word "tame". Although, considering the way hair often looks when kids (both white and black) wake up from their naps, it probably would have fit. The word "challenge" is simply the truth. I have SOOOO much to learn. I REALLY don't know what I'm doing. I am the "clueless white Mom". None of this says anything about my daughter. I understand what you're saying about the messages black children receive from the general public, but would it be better for my daughter to receive less than honest statements at home? If anything, I was rather self deprecating in the post you responded to. We tell Grace constantly how pretty she is. My husband's favorite pet name for her is "Beautiful". Her sister and brothers applaud when she finishes getting ready for the day and looks "So Pretty!". The fact that I have a lot to learn, and am struggling, hardly reflects on her.
When I write a blog post, I am aiming for my particular audience. I am VERY careful about statements or stories that might be uncomfortable to my children or husband. Believe it or not, I actually pray about each and every post. I DO NOT want to cause pain, confusion, hurt, etc., to anyone; especially those I love the most. Can you recall any posts about my sons' ADHD, OCD, RAD, depression, etc.? How many of my blog posts come to mind when you think of pre-teen angst and hormonal outbursts? How about 4 year old willfulness and disrespect? Finally, I feel pretty safe in saying you will never read anything negative about my husband here. He is my life partner, best friend and a most wonderful father to all of our children; in spite of his human-ness. Let's not even get started on my depression and anxiety disorders. Some topics are just plain off limits.
I'm sorry if my post offended you in some way. That was never my intent. You stated that you did not intend to offend either, and I will take your word for that. I am a kind, compassionate person with positive motives. I'm not perfect, but I strive to do my best every single day. I wish my intentions could always be understood, but regardless, my mission in writing this blog will remain constant. I wish to keep our family and friends up to date, while educating them and others that stop by from time to time. Please feel free to keep reading, but understand that my honesty is going to continue.
Since our great date two weeks ago, the excitement has REALLY been building at our house. We have spent a fair amount of time acquiring the proper game watching wardrobe.
Will has given me daily updates on the discussions (more like debates/trash talk)on the sports talk radio shows. I have learned more about individual player and team statistics than I thought I would ever know. My kids have even come home from school sharing stories of friends and faculty at school getting prepared for the big game.
This is not usually my particular personal obsession, but with my entire family getting caught up in the excitement, it's tough to keep from joining in. So here we sit, watching the Chargers play the Patriots in the biggest game the Chargers have participated in since 1998.
Friday, January 12, 2007
This hair stuff is no joke!! There is a Yahoo group for trans racial adoptive parents that is totally dedicated to skin and hair care. I think that begins to illustrate the size of the challenge. I am trying to learn about which products work best and which products to avoid; what to do to help Grace's hair and skin, and what not to do because it will damage them. Yes, I did say DAMAGE! In the past week, I have read about hair breaking off, falling out, even ceasing to grow. I have read about bumps, rashes and scales on scalps, elbows, faces, etc. I used to think my sensitive skin and fine textured hair were a pain to deal with. It turns out, I had it pretty darn easy compared to this. I am willing to learn, but am clueless and confused when I stand in the middle of the hair product aisle at the store. So, I've decided it's time to enlist the help of the professionals. I called a local salon that specializes in "black" hair yesterday. I felt kind of silly trying to explain my situation (you know, the clueless white Mom with a sweet little brown baby that is developing a serious case of uncontrollable hair), but after a little chuckle, the man gave me the personal cell phone number of their stylist, Shamika. He assured me that she would be more than happy to answer all my questions, meet with me to teach me about products and styling techniques, and of course, provide "beauty" services as needed. If ever there was an answer to prayer, this was it!!
This is my Dad's house, car, yard, etc., this morning. He lives just an hour north of us; still very much in Southern California. I lived in this exact house, and in my own house just a couple miles up the road, for a combined total of almost 15 years. In all those years, a few snowflakes drifted down from the sky on only one occasion. They definitely did NOT stick to the ground or accumulate.
There is a rumor (can you call messages from the National Weather Service anything else?) going around, that the snow level here in So Cal will be dipping down to 900 ft above sea level tonight. Considering our expected overnight low of 26 degrees, and the predicted scattered showers, it might actually happen. My kids are hoping, praying, begging and pleading with God, Mother Nature, and any other higher power they can think of, for snow to fall on OUR house. They may even set up a watch schedule during the night, with strict instructions for the scheduled sentry to sound the alarm if any flakes are detected.