How does your TRA brain work NOW?

The Mama C teacher look/Mama C and the Boys

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I have grown in the last seven years (Sam is 6.5) not just as a mom, but as a TRA (transracial adoptive) parent.

If I had never adopted Sam, never entered into an open adoption relationship, never waited on the edge wondering what the text response from his first mom was going to be when I suggested (last week, post to come) that we come for a visit in the next year or so, I would not be this mom. I would not be this me. Continue reading “How does your TRA brain work NOW?”

Mama C and the Girls! Meet Barbara

I “met” Barbara when we were both writers at Moms of Hue, now We of Hue. Our connection came from many directions. I suppose it would be easy to say that our mutual status as single moms was a strong reason we supported each other and connected with ease.  But beyond that we share an entrepreneurial spirit (please check her etsy space Baby Squares-where I just received two gorgeous hand crocheted Berets, and butterfly hair clips),  a love of blogging at Chasing Metamorphosis, and a passion for speaking our minds.

But while I was writing from the comfort of my own home, with a secure job, Barbara was doing all of that and more without a stable home for her and her daughter, or a steady job. Sometimes staying in a shelter, or living with her grandmother while working a temp job when her car wasn’t broken or broken into were just a few of the obstacles she surmounted with grace and determination over the last eleven months.  All the while keeping her daughter’s stability and joy at the top of her priority list.

In my initial vision for “Freedom Fridays” in my post a day layout, I was going to devote this space to allowing others to be free to speak their mind, and tell their stories.  Even though she is a prolific blogger in her own right, it is always powerful to write for a new audience.

In her own words Barbara said of this piece that it was; definitely about being on the “other side”, maybe a testament to being winners in our children’s eyes during the times that we think we may be failing.  Having to uproot my child without a clear destination definitely made me feel like I was failing, and it had a LOT to do with the fact that I was a college grad.  I just wasn’t supposed to be “there”, yet I was, we were.

Through the looking glass

Barbara and her daughter

I am still decompressing.

I wanted very much to come here a champion – the winner of a very humbling experience.  I wanted to speak of how we’ve (my daughter and I) emerged, survivors of 11 months without a permanent address.  Truth is, I’m still transitioning from the transition.  Although I am now nestled in my comfy bed, alongside my sleeping baby, under a roof that is ours alone, I still feel a sense of instability.  I’m here testing the waters from my side of the bed, not yet able to fully jump right in for fear that the waters are 8 feet deep instead of three.

So, I stop, take a breather and take Mama’s advice.  Words do not escape me, but they most certainly escape she who is a part of me.  How does she really see me?  Does she see what I see in my darkest hours?  Does she see what I strive to do for her and because of her?

I’ll let her answer that.

(Questions borrowed from Mama C’s original reflections from Sam)

1. What is something I always say to you?
I love you too.

2. What makes me happy?
I have a good day.

3. What makes me sad?
I have a bad day.

4. What was I like as a child?
You were beautiful and kind to other kids.

5. How old am I?

6. How tall am I?
11 inches.

7. What is my favorite thing to do?
Write about things that inspire you.

8. What do I do when you’re not around?
Read books and magazines or take a nap etc.

9. If I were to become famous, what will it be for?
Writing a poem to the president and he/she loved it and you got to live in the white house.

10. What am I really good at?
Loving me and writing.

11. What am I not very good at?
Your good at everything.

12. What do I do for my job?
I don’t have a clue.

13. What is my favorite food?

14. What makes you proud of me?
That you’re doing a good job at work.

15. If I were a cartoon character, who would I be?

16. What do you and I do together?
Watch movies.

17. How are you and I the same?
We have the same eyes, hair color, etc.

18. How are you and I different?
We are not different from each other.

19. How do you know I love you?
Because you do.

20. Where is my favorite place to go?
Home Town Buffet.

If this is the impression that I’ve made on my child in just seven years, I think we’re gonna make it.

Little Linky Love

Kite by Marcel

This morning I met one of my oldest and dearest for a little cup of tea and a check in. When she asked me if I had been writing today (she is a fierce champion of my creative endeavors) I paused for a moment before guiltily responding; No but I did cross about twenty other things of my list. Then I rebounded when I remembered I had met two deadlines this week that I hadn’t even mentioned to her or you all for that matter:

The mothering rage conversation started here has taken on more life over at Moms of Hue on my piece by the same name. Join in and share your feelings about parenting and rage.

My thoughts on how I have, and how others might drop the ball on Marcel’s need for his own cultural literacy and heritage exploration begins over at Mixed and Happy with the post I do for them monthly. This one is called; Teaching the teacher to see her entire blended family.

Publisher’s Weekly Shelftalker piece on the Elephant in the Room of Children’s Literature (about the crisis in the lack of literature for and about children of color and what the publishing industry should do about it) includes a fantastic list of resources for many who have asked how to get your hands on great books for children of color, and all children featuring characters and content of ethnic, gender, and economic diversity for starters. Several of the bloggers you have been introduced to here in various ways appear in that article–including Annie Sibley O’Brien and Susan from Color Online.

I was also pleased to see this recognition for Moms of Hue, and look forward to seeing more of the same come their way soon.

And finally a special nod to the blogger behind, On the Mommy Track who came up to me at a park where the boys and I had happened upon a magical rehearsal of squires and pages and the like.  She introduced herself saying that she knew me from my blog, and loved reading about our family. It was a great moment, and her generosity is what I wish to return here with a little linky love.

Making a Button for Moms of Hue

Thanks to Uncle-a button is born. Well almost. Now I have to figure out how to actually link it here and there, and put the code over there, and the thing under there, and spit on the back, and tah-dah! (A button is something one blogger can add to their blog to direct readers to other blogs, or to show their connection with that blog.) The learning curve on all things blog related over here at the new home is HIGH folks.

But the button itself came about because Moms of Hue asked me for it. As in, my first post will appear there as early as today!  I completely froze myself up trying to craft the be all and end all introductory post for this, their first white, as in non hue mother who will appear there shortly. What an honor and a leap of faith on their part to include my voice in the mother mix at MOH. I have received overwhelming support and encouragement from the site’s creators,  Kristina Daniele and Renee Ross.

I take the invitation seriously, and am hopeful that my words might amoung other things encourage other mothers lurking out their on the periphery for whatever reason, to jump in and join the conversation.  This feels like a significant test to my confidence in a way that feels necessary, and well timed.  I welcome the moment, and fear it too.