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Clingy Babies

My babies have been very clingy lately. I understand why Prima is - her Gotcha Day is November 22. This is always a rocky time of year for our girl. She came to us quiet and watchful. Immediately after her first bottle with us, and a lullaby, she went to sleep and slept through the night. She retreated to sleep a lot in the first days. She is quick to cry right now and needs me to hold her a lot. I took her to breakfast yesterday just the two of us. And there we were in line: me with a 54 pound 8-year old on my hip and she was very relaxed as I held her in that line.

Her teacher says that she is very kind to her classmates. There is a child in her class on the autism spectrum and she just quietly helps him with his daily agenda. The teacher says it was so sly that she had no idea who was doing it. She finally asked him and Prima fessed up. Her teacher said she is helping him for the all the right reasons and none of them are for accolades. Although I'm giving her some right here i…

I Was Not Prepared For This

When you decide to adopt a child in the state of Colorado (and I think the Hague now requires it too) you have to take a certain number of training classes. We took more than the required amount so that we were prepared for our baby to struggle to attach, prepared for her to have public meltdowns, prepared to help her navigate the world of racism and injustice ... but you know what? No amount of classes or books really prepares you for what you may face.

I was not prepared for the anxiety my 8-year old faces every day. I was not prepared for the endless verbal loops she gets in - it's like her brain is on a hamster wheel. I was not prepared for her perfectionism. I was not prepared for her to take every thing so seriously. If I have to hear one more time about the kid who told her "zero voices" in the hall at school somewhere around mid-year, my head just might explode. I was not prepared for her to feel three years later that her little sister is "ruining my life.&…

Falling Apart

Parenting as an adoptive mother is an awesome responsibility. It’s not just society looking over my shoulder. I have women half a world away who will be keenly interested in the well being of their children. I feel the never ceasing weight of parenting another woman’s child, and the weight of my own measureless love for my children.
My daughters are mine through and through, but they were born to other women. This comes with an undeniable compulsion to do everything right. My entire body is a taut guitar string just waiting to snap. Everyday I hold them, nurture them, go to work, cook, and tuck them in at night. There is often an overwhelming sense of frustration that I’m somehow messing it up. When they scream at me that they won’t eat and I remove them from the room, I ask myself is this right? Is it okay to remove them from the table? Is this attachment parenting? When I get calls from the school that one had a 45 minute meltdown and they didn’t know what to do, the pressure builds.…

Exercise Can Fuck Off

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On Monday, I took the kids to the gym after work and school and I walked around the track for 25 minutes, then did some arm machines. My goal here is to increase stamina and be healthy enough to help Segunda as she gets older and needs help with some physical activities. I did okay.

We came home to a crockpot pork chop dinner for which husband made spaghetti. Normal night after that of homework, bedtime reading, injection for Segunda, etc.

Tonight, I went back to the gym after work and school and I walked around the track for ... 20 minutes. Less time than Monday. As I walked the track, staring at myself in the mirror, I took stock of the pain and where it was coming from. I watched my ever-widening thighs approach themselves in the mirror before rounding the track away from the mirror, my "workout" pants stretched taut over them. My hips were aching but it felt a little like sore muscles, so I soldiered on. Oddly my shoulders began to hurt. I made sure they were down, stra…

Motherhood - It's a Lonely Business

Motherhood is a lonely business.

Your babies want you when they are hurting. They want you when they are hungry. They want you when they are tired. They want you when they are angry.

You're their source of succor. You're probably your partner's source of succor too. And some of you, like me, serve that role at work also and for many of your friends. It is my greatest desire to make a helpful difference in everyone's lives.

I'm exhausted and I'm lonely. After the lights are out, I lay in my bed, with my kids sleeping beside me, watching Gilmore Girls on my tiny iPhone screen just trying to get a little bit of relief from the daily duties that are sometimes drudgery, sometimes frustrating, sometimes painful.

At lunch during the week, I juggle calendars and create "to do" lists and "don't forget" lists. Register Segunda for kindergarten, put Prima's sparring bag in the car (don't forget the bo staff), whoops Segunda has swimming ton…

Hate. It's Easy.

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a voter for the President-Elect told those who didn't vote for him to "suck it up and put away your safety pins." Well, I ask you, if the claim is that the President-Elect is not racist or xenophobic, as many of his supporters claim, and the majority of his supporters aren't either, as they claim, then why aren't they too wearing safety pins.

There are people in this country who are very afraid. They have brown skin. Their children are being bullied in the schoolyard. White men are shouting at them in the streets. They are being beaten. They are being molested. They are told to go back where they came from.

Hate crimes are up.

There are people in this country who are very afraid. They are disabled. There are members of the President-Elect's cabinet who have been quoted as saying that the problem with American education is that the disabled go to school. They are treated as sub-human.

Hate crimes are u…

This is Us ... Yes, This Is Us

*** Spoiler Alert - I may give away some things, so don't read if you haven't watched ***

The new show on NBC, This is Us, is resonating with the adoption community, particularly those families who are transracial. 
In the last 2 episodes, Randall, the adopted black son who completes the "triplets" in the family, discovers that his mother knew his birth father since the day she left the hospital. Randall struggles mightily with this knowledge and his identity as a result. The show focuses on Randall's struggles and just touches on his mother's agony. It's clear that she was wrong from the outset. And there is very little sympathy spared for her in the show. It's Randall we are worried about. Last night I laid in bed in a puddle of tears as I watched the latest episode where Randall works through his feelings as best as he can with the help of a trippy mushroom shake. We see his memories of his dad working so hard to give him the foundation he needs an…