Don’t “just hockey” me… Mama C speaks out

Below is an excerpt from the letter that I sent the owner of the Portland Pirates hockey team , Brian Petrovek, after chaperoning my son’s kindergarten class to a “Kids Hockey Game Day” provided to Maine’s school children by his franchise. After assuring the administrators of many schools that “violence would not be part of this kids day event” permission slips were sent home, arrangements made. Continue reading “Don’t “just hockey” me… Mama C speaks out”

Sammy and the Snow Plow (slideshow)

It was one of those perfect moments where Sam felt like a star, and I got to bask in his sweet joy.

An auction win that was worth five times the cost: a snow plow ride to school. It couldn’t have worked out with greater ease. Sam walked into school wearing his reflective vest, and a beam the size of one of the snow drifts he got to move in the parking lot according to Eddie, his driver. If you look closely in the “take off “shot you’ll see a school bus waiting behind them to go.

I asked Sam if he wanted to write about it this morning, and he said; just tell everyone I got to use the radio, and move the levers that make the plows crash into the snow.

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Would you believe?

Adoptive Families Magazine Award

That three years ago I started blogging, after a piece I wrote for Single Mother’s by Choice Quarterly published my first big piece, and after Sam hit me in the head with a slipper. He was almost three.

That the first poem I wrote as an adult was called “This is where you’ll find me” about waiting for a placement.

That this week the generous folks over at Adoptive Families Magazine deemed this blog one of the top twenty blogs on the topic of adoption? (Of the ones they were hip to, and of course we all have our own agenda.) I am as you can imagine in great company on that list-so please take time to read it. Then add your own ideas for the blogs they missed for next time!

I have everyone of you who takes the time to stop by and wonder, and laugh, and react, and share Mama C in whatever way you see fit, to thank for what this blog has become.  And yes Universe I understand it is time to get the proposal done, the book could not be more ready to be birthed, so to speak.

And would you believe that #1 son is being picked up in one of those GIGANTIC city snow plows and toured around the city for half an hour, and then dropped off at school? Of course the news crew is coming to capture this. How come? Because Sam just draws this kind of magic to him. That and I won a raffle for a snow plow ride last spring, and just remembered it last week. The news crew was not my idea. I’d better go email his teacher, and let her know he might be a little wound up, and that the snow plow ride is no tall tale.

Workshop face

School photo pose-future MBA candidate?

Yesterday at dinner, showing off his kindergarten school photo pose.

(I sense that I always pick a shirt, that I hope his first mom, his Tea will approve of. Not the one she would pick- there is a difference, but one she’d approve of.)  I also pick a photo I want Sam to look back on later and say; “Mom why did you make me wear that?”

This photo I love, because it reminds me of how I want to feel inside as the workshop weekend arrives. Oh wait, has arrived. Tonight. Our speaker is safely ensconced in her hotel, my list are printed out and highlighted and noted, and our very thoughtful contributors have bags of this and that waiting for us to pick up. There are parents around New England preparing themselves in one fashion or another for launching into this new territory together, and individually. And there is the little speech I want to present tonight. There is the thank you, and the here we are, and the look around you, and the let’s get to it, and the now what? speech I want to write that will take two minutes or less.

How I miss this blog. How I long to return, and bring you up to date on so many important things, like Sam’s successes, Marcel’s new friends, and my BIG relealizations that promise to resonate with some, and surprise others.

Wish us all well today, and tomorrow. Big efforts and new efforts culminating and beginning, and I am in the middle of all of it. I love it. And you my readers are there too, because this is where it all began, in more ways than you know!

Putting the cool in the pumpkin


Too cool for hayrides?



This the best you got patch?


As days go this one was about a nineteen star. Glorious back lit lush Maine foliage sucking the breath out of you at every turn, and deliriously happy children frolicking outside amidst pumpkins, corn shooters, and hayrides all afternoon. Fall feels so ripe with gratitude–and with you?

Transracial /Adoption Workshop Maine October 22nd & 23rd 2010-LAST CALL




Spaces are limited! For those of you who were waiting until the last minute. That minute is here! To make my life less zooey–registrations are not accepted past Wednesday, unless I figure out how to change that 🙂 So ACT NOW!!! There is great energy and excitement brewing about this, don’t miss out on the event of the year in our adoption community!

Prices are $125  for the full day on Saturday, and $45.00 for the evening program on Friday. If you can’t swing that, write to me at and tell me what you can do, and you can send/bring me a check–BUT PLEASE HAVE THAT CONVERSATION with me prior to Thursday. There are still spaces available. The transracial workshop is filling nicely, with about 35/50 spots spoken for at this time. The adoption issues in school is about 1/2 full, which will make for a great night too. Did I mention the free ice cream?

CEU’s are not available, but certificate of attendance will be available.

The two day workshop includes

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 (5:30-8:30) on Friday, October 22nd, 2010. A three hour Adoption Issues in the Schools evening workshop (bring a bag dinner, beverages and snacks provided) at the Rhines Auditorium of the Portland Public Library.

The school environment can present special challenges for children whose  families were formed by adoption. It is important for teachers and families to  be aware of issues that may arise. Topics will include: Family diversity, adoption language, answering questions about adoption from curious children,  and potentially difficult assignments for adopted children.

To register directly for the Adoption and School Issues  Workshop please click here


And an all day workshop created to support transracial adoptive parents and parenting, from 10-4 (with break and you bring your lunch) on the Saturday at the same location!

Transracial Parenting Workshop  Saturday All Day 10/23/10 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm with breaks
The decision to adopt across cultural and racial lines is a lifelong commitment to exploring matters of race, confronting racism in all its forms and constantly developing new skills and awareness.  All-day workshop will
help you to identify assumptions, provide you with tools and resources, and create a sense of confidence as you explore your future as a transracial family.  This workshop is appropriate for adoptive parents, waiting
parents, and professionals. Bring your Bag lunch* coffee and snacks provided

To register directly for the all day Transracial Parenting Workshop please click here

Look at the flyer attached for more information, or go directly to MAFC’s new site which houses the registration page here:

For More Information
contact Catherine Anderson


You are so brave-Noh Seok Mee and more

You are so brave (sculpture): Noh Seok Mee

Last night at the First Friday art walk, I came across this installation in the window of the Space Gallery, in Portland, Maine. I could have stared at it for much longer, but my art walking companion had to be on his way.  I copied down the artist’s name, and knew that I’d be back. Here is a link to the exhibit, and here is a link to Mee’s website.

This piece is helping me to maintain a steady and unwavering voice on a subject dear to my heart. My stance is making me, and others uncomfortable. My position is one that I take because my kids are too young to say it for themselves. This piece, and the world that Mee creates and allows me to inhabit in each of these little stuffed, painted and sewn bodies invigorates me. Being white is a privilege that is more and more uncomfortable for me to understand. If I can’t be uncomfortable with it, I will stop growing. It shouldn’t require bravery to be uncomfortable. But, it does sometimes.

Speaking of brave-Dawn Friedman’s piece in Brain, Child this month called; The Myth of the Forever Family is a blow open the doors look at trauma, RAD, and what happens when parents are not prepared and/or supported in adoptions where the children are coming to the families with these and other high need demands.

Speaking of brave-I am still putting myself out there in the dating arena. I told a date last night that I “did not write about my dates on the blog” when he asked if I would mention something he shared with me here. I might write a woman show one day called; Fifty Reasons to Stay Single, unless I discover I am wrong one day?

Speaking of brave-Sammy casting his line in the pond yesterday with the big kids, or jumping off that raft in the lake. Marcel putting one foot in front of the other, and letting his entire body get wet.

What brave thing are you working at? Tell your Mama C, so we can celebrate you too!

Mom Congress Update

Momentum is building.

Here is the little piece in the local paper.

Here is the link to all of the amazing moms I’ll be working with while in Washington.

I have a lot of fear around leaving my children for two and a half days. I have never been away from them for so long. I have no reason to worry, as I have the best step-in caregivers in the world taking over for me.  Of course, as uber-planner I have lists, schedules, and back up plans in place. I have been prepping them both as best I can. Separation is loaded for both of them for different reasons. But, they also need practice handling their feelings, and learning the strategies that help them to cope. Whatever I forget to predict, and plan for is OK too. How we deal with the unexpected is a good skill to learn. Right?  Gulp.

If I am given fifteen seconds to shine there, what I hope to get across to the delegates, and the assembled guests (including Arne) would be this question; How are we reaching out to the parents of children who did not feel that school worked for them? How can we help them imagine a different outcome for their children? If our mission is to look at how to increase parental involvement in education, is that not an imperative starting point? There a few million other issues I feel passionate about.  Considering my area of expertise (as an educator, multi-racial family advocate, adoptive parent, and honorary mom of hue), focusing on ways to connect with parents who feel disenfranchised or disconnected from education in any way is where I hope to impact the discussion.

Now its your turn: If you had could have your say on the topic, what would you add? Our work, as I understand it, is to look at how to deepen familial involvement in education. What are your insights? What has worked, or not worked for you and your family? What brings you to the classroom table so to speak, or chases you away?

Ring Bearers and Milk Sprayers

I went shopping with the boys tonight.

In search of a little quality Mama C and the Boys time, we set out.

First to look for shirts and cowboys boots for the wedding.

Not mine.  (Maybe one day.) Our dear friend Weezie’s wedding at the end of May.

The boys are going to be the ring bearers.

Weezie’s colors are pink and orange. The wedding is going to be a hoe down.

So I am charged with finding shirts that will go with her colors, and look nice with cowboy boots, hat, and a bolero.

What you see is from the dressing room at Old Navy.

What you are not seeing is Marcel spraying milk all over the table at the family restaurant after the shirt trying exercise.

Who would trust that child with a ring?