The Black Girl in Maine Podcast has arrived

The podcast has dropped! In it you will hear MamaC speak from the heart as you would expect.

I first met Shay Stewart-Bouley aka Black Girl in Maine through her writing, and presentations on antiracism and decentering whiteness. We have been on panels and symposiums together and share our stories of raising Black children in Maine, the whitest state in the country.

Shay and I get raw and real on transracial open adoption, impacts of daily racism and microagressions on the boys, unpacking whiteness, and why I left my 9-5 as a newly divorced single parent. The episode explores if and why I’m qualified to do my work as an equity and inclusion facilitator in schools, and as a 20th centurty family formation coach working with individual clients.

This podcast marks the true arrival of me knowing what I do best, and how I choose to share my unique and valuable experience with the world.

Please consider making a contribution to support more podcasts from Black Girl in Maine Media if you like what you hear. It was indeed an honor to be invited to participate on this nationally and internationally recognized platform. I look forward to hearing your impressions after you give a listen.

Keep questioning how your beliefs are serving you, and hold your littles and your loved-ones close.

Mama C Calls It Forth

Recently I went away to one of my favorite places in the world (so far) for a weekend with a single-mama friend to meditate, write, swim, laugh, and listen to God.

I connect to my visionary spirit, and my soul in this healing spot that I’ve been coming to since I was seven. When I get quiet, and a respite from my parenting modality I return in a palpable way to what I know to be true.

This time that truth cleary took shape in three distinct areas:

  • First is a deepening commitment to my sons feeling celebrated and accepted for exactly WHO THEY ARE today. (Middle school requires ferverent monitoring. Who are you-vs. who do you begin to believe your peers/teachers/ society or family says you SHOULD be.) This demands my being fully present, compassionate and flexible.
  • Second I heard that I will return to my dream of creating a one woman performative event (monologue/story telling+poetry) celebrating and exposing my first fifty years on the planet, and the events and people who shaped it.
  • Third, a new direction calls for my fifteen years as a transracial adoptive, biological, single and partnered parent. I will be unveilling this in more detail soon, but for the time-being it is already thrilling to announce it simply as a “Coming soon: Mama C Coaching and Consulting”. How can you help? If a particular post, conversation, article, or anything “Mama C” has been of help to you on your transracial/adoptive single or partnered/parenting/blending/ donor or other journey will you consider leaving me a comment I could use on my promotional materials?

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope everyone can create a little quiet space for themselves in the near future.

Post Successful Reunion Wrap Part 1

Just your everyday family vacation snapshots…when your family is ALL THIS and MORE

We arrived back in Maine around 10:00AM yesterday after the red-eye from Washington State Monday night. Leaving Sam’s family was all kinds of hard, for so many reasons. For me the hard was because my own visit with them was so short compared to last year. I dropped so easily back into flow with his mom, his grandmother and his sibs that I felt cheated from the brevity of the one and a half day visit this time.

I also wanted every opportunity to see Sammy in his new flow with them with me there. Of course it is going to be immediately different once I show up, as evidenced by the “Instagram Live” broadcast from inside the car with his brothers and cousins on their way to shoot hoops  mid week. (Talk about being allowed insight into a world you are not part of!) Finally, due to the dramatically declining health of his grandfather, there was a layer to this the leaving that felt very very hard. Not only is he very ill, but the care-taking demands on his Nahnah were exhaustive. I so wanted to be there to help her in ways that I am equipped and able to do.

When I asked Sam if he was sad about leaving he said that he was fine. When pushed a little bit, he said that he got what he needed from the trip. I could go on and on about what I think that means, but that is not my place. Sammy gets to take that one out and unpack it in his memoir one day. What I can tell you is that he stayed up till 4:00am every night in a room with three boys who claim him as their own. He never opened the new toothbrush I put in his back pack. As in still in the packaging!

Leaving California was another kind of hard. Until I have had more time to integrate that into my experience of being back on the East Coast I need to hold off on saying too much here. I will say that being grounded and supported where I was staying by my dearest friend and Sam’s namesake Samantha was critical to my ability to stay healthy, focused, and in my body for the duration of the journey. From mediation, to long foggy walks, to laying on the bed and laughing and crying to eating home made soup I felt totally held.

So when Marcel’s donor and family came to pick him up for their adventuring the day after we landed they came in and stayed at Samantha’s for an hour for coffee and bagels and ease. This was normalizing and perfect for everyone.  Kids coming and going, many conversations happening at once. Samantha and Tree have known of each other for a decade, so their meeting was so important too. Marcel found his footing with his new one year old brother (pictured above, and yes there is some kind of resemblance) and his feels-like-a-half-brother as well.  I felt as if I had known Tree’s wife (who we will just call “Gorgeous” here) for a lifetime within six seconds. It was Gorgeous who said; “this visit is energizing for all of our souls.”  Indeed. Sending them all off for the day and a half was like sending your child to the favorite uncle and auntie for an overnight. Clearly we are sill trying to find the language for all of these new relationships. More on that soon.

Leaving California was not immediately hard on Marcel, as he really missed his big brother, and was eager to meet Sam’s family too. (And as you can see above, he was quite a hit!) But clearly figuring out how to stay in deeper connect with all of the love he discovered is hugely important. That Marcel came back from his time with them, and his half day alone with Tree more eager than ever for the world to know him as a young Black man is important to mention. He is so deeply curious about how people see him and know him right now.

What I keep telling Marcel is how important it is that he know himself first. Pretty much we checked that box as a big YES for  all of us in the last week. One of my favorite parts of all of this, is that now is when we all get to really reap the benefits that this trip could begin to mean for  all of us.

The journey has just begun.

Birth-family Reunion Travel Fund

We have just completed our cross country trip, and still hopeful to raise the expense of the airfare through crowd sourcing. We are only $200.00 away from that attainable $2100.00 reach! Will you please consider a $10.00 contribution? Each donation adds up and truly helps. Thank you!!!!


Mama C and the Boys Patronage

Love what you read here? Are you a first time reader, or a long time fan? Do you look forward to opening the email announcing a new post? Has your own understanding of Open Adoption, transracial parenting, or known donor family connection shifted in a helpful way? If so will you please consider showing your support with a ten dollar fandom contribution? This allows me to be "paid" here, instead of needing to farm the stories out elsewhere. This will also help me keep Mama C add free and content full all year round! Bisous!






The boys are interviewed

From the archives: Backyard boys 2010

The Interviews

As promised–Sam and Marcel answered the twenty questions about me, that I took from some Facebook note going around a few years ago.  This is humbling and revealing. Doing it over the years will either enlighten or send me to the mixed nut house. My only qualifier might be that when we ask the questions, has impact on the outcome! Notice that order of who answered first varied. We’re always in search of equity after all.

1. What is something I always say to you?
M: We can’t get on the table.
S: No sugar

2. What makes me happy?
M: When I don’t get on the table.
S: Me.

3. What makes me sad?
M: When we don’t listen and don’t hug you.
S: When we say I hate you.

4. What was I like as a child?
S: You liked to dig in the dirt.
M: Ask me later.

5. How old am I?
M: 29.
S: 42

6. How tall am I?
M: Four feet tall
S: I don’t know

7. What is my favorite thing to do?
M: Go to the playground
S:  Rest

8. What do I do when you’re not around?
S: Vacuum
M: Turn off the Christmas lights

9. If I were to become famous, what will it be for?
S: Ice hockey
M: Riding on a fast motor boat

10. What am I really good at?
M: Ice skating, running faster than us
S: You are really good at keeping the house safe

11.What am I not very good at?
M: Letting us watch movies
S: Skateboarding

12. What do I do for my job?
M: You go to your school and work so much.
S: Teach reading

13.What is my favorite food?
M: Potatoes

14. What makes you proud of me?
M: Doing work
S:  Nothing! Ha!

15. If I were a cartoon character, who would I be?
S: Superwoman
M: A police officer

16. What do you and I do together?
M:We get on a horses and ride
S: We tickle

17. How are you and I the same?
S: We both have a head and and arms and eyes and nose and legs and…
M: We both have underwear

18. How are you and I different?
M: You have boobies
S: You have long hair and I don’t

19. How do you know I love you?
M: You play games with me
S: You throw me fabulous parties*

20. Where is my favorite place to go?
M: McDonalds.
S: Someone else’s house.

* Last night’s birthday party for Sam was an incredible success in every way. Post to come when Uncle’s pictures make their way here.

And to you, a boot to the head

Marcel sand and goldfish.

I am having a rather sensational night life these days.

Marcel has dreams that are big.  Marcel has needs that are bigger.

Take last night for example: after finding his way to my room, and settling in next to me around 2:00 am, I am awakened to full throttle screaming an hour later; No Sammy! That is MY book. GIVE IT BACK! I try to soothe him, and let him know he is dreaming. This is apparently not what one is supposed to do. He screams louder; I AM NOT DREAMING!!!! DON”T TAKE MY BOOK. GO AWAY! And then he kicks. Or hits. Or both. He is asleep seconds later while I lay there stunned, and full of adrenaline.

Then there was the sweet waking which went like this an hour or so later; Mommy I want you to hold me right now. I just love you. I want a donut. Get my B.B. King book. Don’t let Sammy eat my donut or my book…. And then he goes back to sleep.

Yesterday while half awake my little dictator sees me in the kitchen and demands; Mom come here right now and get into your bed! Did you hear me? Don’t ignore me.! It is moments like these where I pause and wonder many things..

All of this I prefer over waking to a foot in the eye socket, when #two adoring son finds that #1 adoring son has made his way into the bed before he did. Full on face kick from my mini monster Marcel on Thursday.  It may be time to borrow Sam’s Star Wars fighter helmet for protection.

How’s your parenting night life?