Intermission: Imagined and real musings on what we see

Intermission with Hassan/ Mama C and the Boys

We made it through five magnificent songs.

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I managed to sit still long enough to make it to the intermission.

I see giant white boards with musical lines on the walls, and markers calling Marcel’s name.

We’re in a big recital/classroom on a college campus filled with college kids to see my friend Hassan play piano.

The same friend who stopped by the night before to invite me to the show. Who came by to hug on me, my brother and mom  during his forty-eight hour visit back to Maine.

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The friend who went to this college, graduated with honors, and is a nationally known jazz pianist. The one who looks like you, is taller than an oak tree, and speaks as softly as the brook on the edge of a path he and you are following wherever it will take you.

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The pianist is brown. Everyone has come to listen to him. He is captivating, talented, and within my reach. He is a Black man who adores me. I will grow up and be a Black man too.

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As a transracial adoptive parent: a  forty-five minute drive to expose them to twenty minutes of completely extraordinary normal is part of my unspoken agreement with his first mom, with their future. This is the investment: twenty minutes that could create exponential reverberations in terms of possibility in their lives.

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Thank you to Bowdoin for flying Hassan here (from Cincinnati) to play the show to raise money for the Haitian Student Alliance. Bowdoin college where Sam’s grandfather went to college. Bowdoin College where John Brown Russwurm, a Jamaican native graduated in 1824, the first Black man to graduate from Bowdoin. The third Black man to graduate from a college in the United States.

Sheets of Hue-and Jewelry Too!

In my next life I’ll have a separate blog devoted to all the things I think other people can’t live without. But until then, we have Fridays. In the past I have introduced you to a blog, or two that deserves the Mama C nod. In this case, I’m talking textiles. Tamia, contacted me after reading one of my Moms of Hue posts to tell me about her unique creations. That in itself made an impression on me, so I checked the link, loved the product, and reached out to her. Tell me about you, and why you are doing this, and Mama C will open up her showroom doors is how I put it. And she did.

Here is her  story;

A few months ago I was looking for fabric to make my three year old a blanket, I wanted it to have little kids who looked like her and to be bright and happy. I searched everywhere and came up with nothing, finally I decided to use my graphic design skills and create my own fabric line. The blanket came out great, and she truly loved seeing kids who looked like her. My daughter is from Haiti and when we become a bi-racial family I became acutely aware that there is a real lack of products on the market that represent families that look like mine, and for that matter any families that represent the modern American family. Two moms, two papas, single parents, single adoptive parents, adoptive families, bi and tri racial families. I graduated with a B.A. in graphic design and culture studies, my thesis was on how design and art can positively influence culture, with this line I hope that in a tiny way I can make a positive difference and offer support to families like mine.

Hand to Hand Textile and Surface Design  or Manoallmano can be found here.

And while you are there, I would love to suggest you pick up a pair of earring or a necklace for yourself, hand crafted by a single mother of a mixed  family friend of mine with an eye like I’ve never seen for the balance of beauty and strength in metal.  Find Kriya Davis Jewelry here.

Walk on down the Etsy hall to find the incredible Pretty in Peace Spring Collection by another fantastic artisan and mom of hue who I know through my writing life. She describes her mission here;

I am a native New Yorker currently residing in serene Goodyear Arizona with my husband of 17 years, two awesome little people and 5 fabulous furbabies. Pretty in Peace designs is a multifaceted venture as it allows me to sit pretty while loving and homeschooling the young ones and, it feeds my inert need to deliver a message of peace and ecological awareness. For lack of a description more befitting, Pretty in Peace jewelry designs are the “anti-bling”. In a society that justifies malevolence against living things indiscriminately in the name of fashion and status, I saw a need. A need, to provide an alternative for the conscious and provide hope for the innocent. No animal products or ‘by-products’ are ever utilized in my designs, this includes; all leathers, silk, pearls, bones and coral. Imported precious metals are carefully selected from vendors who support fair trade artisans. Whenever possible, post consumer recycled packaging is used for shipping.

To find more from Pretty in Peace click here.

So much fun to share the wares, and the love with you all. I am a firm believer in using my limited economic resources to support those whose products are also doing the work as it were. I have not been given any free goods, or tickets to baseball games in exchange for these glowing endorsements. Enjoy! If you know of other artisans of hue, or single mothers, or adoption or mixed friendly folks giving it their all to get something important out into the world, let me know, or shout them out yourself.

Hip Mama’s Hip Cover Child

Marcel is claiming some fame for himself.

My first (evil) thought: this is the invitation to his high school graduation party.

Order the magazine here, and 10% goes to Haiti.

I have written for this, my favorite magazine of all time, a few times before which is how the connection and the request came about.

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Tonight we went to share a meal with Eddie, and to celebrate Friday, and cover children, and my invitation to write for Mom’s of Hue (more details to follow) and my new post at Adoption Mosaic’s blog in the near future.  The best part was not the amazing pizza, or the woman who offered me a writing studio at a very reasonable price, or the fact that my children actually sat down and ate in a respectable joint that did not have a television set, a play table or a childrens menu or anything called “fast food.”

The best part was when Sam said after dinner; “Mom that was so fun. I love Eddie so much, and I really like having time with you and my brother. We are a great family. And, now we get to see Uncle. That is too cool isn’t it mom?”

Marcel screamed; “I really, really, really love everybody too!”

Tuesday’s Teacher(s)

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My coach watched my failed attempts and asked; “Do you want me to show you what you are doing wrong?”

“Well of course!” I said with a little frustration.

So he did; “This is how Eddie taught me,” he added with emphasis. Apparently it is in the initial twirl, and the circumference of the hip movements.

So, now I can hula hoop, thanks to my five year old instructor’s fine tutelage. Continue reading “Tuesday’s Teacher(s)”

Help Bring Keanan Home from Haiti

January 22, 2010 Keanan is on his way to the U.S. tonight. Thank you to all who offered their support. We send you our best wishes for a smooth transition for all of you.

A fellow adoptive parent who I met through writing circles was in Haiti visiting her adoptive son to be (two and a half years in the process) when the earth quake struck. Her story, and what we can do to help bring him home now, and not in three more years.

Excerpt from her blog: I am home from Haiti, safe and relieved. So many stories to tell, but right now we are mobilizing our energy towards trying to get our son home, too. It was extremely difficult to leave him in Haiti under the current situation. We are hearing rumors that there may be an option for getting him home under humanitarian parole. I know a lot of you are reading this blog and offering help. THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP. If this smacks of desperation, it’s because we are desperate. We want to get him home. Watching the news since I’ve been home has made me even more aware of how bad things are over there. I am grateful to be home, but very upset to have left our son there. http://ow.ly/1n8GU0

Edwidge Danticat Reads Her Haiti Stories (You Tube)

Thank you to fellow She Writes (SW) writer Sayantani DasGupta for sharing this video link with the SW family. It brought Eddie’s mother back into my kitchen, hearing the lyrical French in the introduction alone.

It felt like an important way to help all of us connect with the strength and life force of Haiti.

UPDATE: For updates on our Eddie’s family, and ways to help please see the post below. Thank you. Donate here. Continue reading “Edwidge Danticat Reads Her Haiti Stories (You Tube)”

A Haiti Relief Request from Our Edwige*

Update from Eddie: She has launched DearWorldHelpHaiti.com to consolidate help efforts and queries.

Dear World,

I wanted to take a moment to plea with you to help my family and the relief efforts in Haiti.

This tragedy has devastated my family and shocked the entire world. Please help.

My family in Haiti and so many others need water, food, shelter, and basic first aid.
Please forward this to anyone and everyone you know who would like to help.

Donate here.

Please $1 would make a difference.

Info on texting to help HAITI relief efforts.

Thank you,

Edwige

l’union fait la force

*Edwige, our Eddie, is as many of you know our nanny-sister-daughter- mother, our rock star.  She can also be found here.

Hands On Diaster Relief

I have also been asked to let my readers know about the organization HODR and  the volunteer work they are doing in Haiti. They had over 400 volunteer inquiries yesterday. My friend Elizabeth who lives in NYC has volunteered with them in Haiti and has been asked to try to share their message in the ether.

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And finally  for our adoptive children in particular who may be over hearing pieces of the Haiti story unfolding. A reminder that so many of our children have incorporated into their own birth story, (from fact not fiction in most cases) the idea that a tragedy, or extreme poverty factored into their adoption story or plan. So like all loss this story can trigger feelings of fear, anxiety and the like. I bring this up as a parent who sees this play itself out in many ways. It was Sam who asked so many questions last night about what is happening in Haiti that brought this to my attention.   Uncle and I were talking about the story carefully, I thought. Hours later Sam had many questions about families there, and the children.  Sam has a personal connection through Eddie which intensified his immediate connection. He asked if her mom was there and who was there. But the edges that were up for him were familiar in other ways too.

UPDATE from Eddie

Thank you from Eddie to all who have sent prayers, love and concern. Her family is continuing to hear news from various family members in Port Au Prince. Her mother shared one loss with Eddie, and the good news that her maternal grandparents, and great uncle have been contacted. The latter nearly escaping a falling building. Her family is in the process of relocating several cousins to an area about 75 miles from the capital called Fond de Blancs where many of her family members now live.  Relocating the rest of the family will be expensive, and I have asked Eddie if we can participate in fund raising efforts as her extended family. Her father’s parents have survived, but his family has suffered many losses.  Learn more here.