From the bleachers, the slide and the street

Working on his power twist

Watching Sam hit a baseball is one of my favorite past times. Marcel has a swing on him too, and starts t-ball at the end of the week!  At practice yesterday Sam boasted to his teammates about his powerful hit, a result of our batting practice the night before. The kid really can hit!  I was happy to reconnect with the parents I know, and reach out to a few new faces. The bleacher culture is one I’m surprisingly at home in. I love the snippets of opportunity for adult conversation, outbursts of cheer, and that camaraderie  web that brings us together at practices and games. Sitting next to one brown skin Papa, I immediately launched into my; “I am so glad Sam is one of several kids of color out there again this year,” conversation. When his partner joined us I immediately boasted about Sam’s choice of threads at Easter. Read: this Black mama will think I am a good mother of a brown skinned child if she knows I bought my son a three piece suit…I stopped myself before making her look at pictures on my phone. I had just met the woman ten minutes ago! Continue reading “From the bleachers, the slide and the street”

A little April swag

Hello April. Like Marcel, this blog is in it’s fourth year. That’s fun. It celebrated it’s birthday on February 1st, completely unnoticed by me. A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk about my blog in a little informational with a friend of friend who was considering her own forays into this self publishing internet world. I was remembering my first post, a reprint of a story I had successfully published in a newsletter for single mothers choosing parenthood through adoption, or reproductive assisted methods. I was telling her how it felt to have my first unknown reader leave a comment (euphoric) and what it feels like today when too many days have passed between posts (painful, constricting). Most of all, I shared how writing this blog allowed and continues to allow me to make connections as a parent, a parent in the hue, an adoptive parent, and as a writer, that not blogging would never have afforded me.

Every time I post, I feel that I am re-opening a sacred portal that travels to shared hearts and minds across the ether for a brief moment of palpable connection. A connection I crave, celebrate, and cherish.

Continue reading “A little April swag”

Red, red, green and gold, gold

This color makes me happy too Mommy!

On the lighter side, a few images from the week. Highlights include: “birds of paradise” the color I have always wanted in my kitchen, as applied by Shrek, Sam and Marcel while I was presenting another “I can talk about race in the classroom” workshop to educators in Augusta. All time highs in the warm weather department that brought out gliders and long afternoons with sweet friends on the beach. Sam’s parent teacher conference affirmed what we already knew: he’s doing beautifully, is a remarkably strong reader, and all systems are a go go. I even managed to spend a record three hours working on a fiction entry to the NPR short fiction competition that has an 11:59 pm deadline tonight amidst 15 hours of my own parent teacher conference obligations, and workshop prep.  My family, my heart, my work, my voice all feel clear, and empowered. The months ahead feel as if they are poised for something grand in so many tangible and abstract ways. I am feeling truly blessed. Continue reading “Red, red, green and gold, gold”

The best stocking stuffer-EVER

a page from Sam's lifebook

The nurse insisted that I have his picture taken, with him inside it.  I was too scared to let anyone touch him, let alone stuff him a big old stocking a volunteer had made for the new mommies at the hospital. The new mommies, the relinquishing ones, the adoptive ones…

That was six years ago.

Tomorrow Sam turns six. I got the call that he had been born, at about 4:45am.  I had woken about ninety seconds after he was born, and sat straight up. He and I like to believe, I could hear his newborn cry from across the country, and into my waiting heart.

On Monday, Sam pulled that stocking off of the wall, and shoved it into his backpack. He took it to school to show his friends. I don’t know what he told them. It was nice for once- not to play twenty questions. He used to say he was born in there.

What I love is that his birth story is so everyday normal to him. He was born, after an uneventful two hour labor, and Tea his first mom, got to love on him for twenty-six hours until we (my dear friend Ronda and I) arrived three snow storms later.

Marcel holding Sam's stocking.

Tea called him “Fatso,” and said that he was so big he was “scaring all the other babies in the nursery.” This is all part of his lore, his umbilical story. That he now says he was born in that stocking fits right in.

Honestly our becoming a family, totally eclipses Christmas for me. I covet moments with Sam-and alone-to look at the album from that trip, to relive all that sweet new mama terror and joy.

A Mother’s Day card for Sam’s first mom

I am holding the pink 5X7 card with the rhinestone glued to the center of the bouquet on the Mother’s Day card that Sam picked out for his birth mom, his first mom, with a heavy heart.  The heaviness is not what you might think. First I realize how far I’ve come in my thinking about her in the past five years. (Sam was adopted at birth, he was thirty six hours old. We have an open adoption.) From feeling threatened by an idea of her as always meaning more to him than I could, to feeling a sense of managing  “it” as in the relationship well, to where I am now. Now, being in a place of almost unspeakable gratitude on a daily basis for the love she created in bringing Sam into the world, and into mine. Mother’s Day is naturally a time when feelings run deep around here.

I was looking through pictures that I had printed recently, and wondered which ones I wanted to send along, and which ones Sam would want to include. We always choose different ones. I almost want to censor him by only sending happy, active, outdoorsy, look how great his life is shots. He picks pensive moments, if that is what you’d call it. Serious shots. I would worry about how she’d interpret those. Now I think it is his way of saying; I don’t know what me to share with you, so I’ll send this one along. It is safer. We include them all.

Read the rest of this post at Moms of Hue by clicking here.

Adopted: A night at the Movies

Adopted, the film by Barb Lee, see it.

I organized a viewing of this film, in the school library this evening.

Twelve families from the adoption community here that I am connected with were represented.

All of us have adopted transracially.

Although none of us had adopted from Korea, or China, where the two featured adopted children were born, (one now in her thirties, the other nearing two) it spoke to everyone of us in deep and gut crushing ways. When I turned on the lights at the end, there was not a peep in the room, and most all the eyes in the place were blurry and red.

What ensued was a conversation where strangers and acquaintances and friends alike shared their awe, their grief, their worries, the work they see before them. Continue reading “Adopted: A night at the Movies”

My Own Racial Awareness Evolution at Adoption Mosaic

Several weeks back one of my gurus in the adoption world, Tara Kim at Adoption Mosaic Blog, invited me to become a guest blogger there. My first attempt at tackling what my own racial awareness evolution looks like appears there today.

And for those of you looking for more back story, my “Spotlight” profile at Mom’s of Hue sheds a little more light.

The boys are waking, the day begs my attention.  This instant coffee is not quite enough for a Wednesday.

Tuesday’s Teacher: Share Your Voice (and win an honorable mention at My Brown Baby)

My horoscope this month  said this:

You will plant many new seeds in the coming year. Many influential people will come to you with ideas and offers, and it will be up to you to choose among the best. Most Pisces put a high premium on creativity, and one of the sweetest parts of this trend is that it will encourage you to show a new side to your talents that you’ve never had either the courage or opportunity to display – very soon you will.

Let me be YOUR horoscope this morning and tell you that whether you believe in Jupiter’s effect or not, putting your voice out into the world when you have something to say is why you are here.

So many writers, yes you my readers who are writers have contacted me to say; “Your success inspires me to write too…”

Soon I am going to have to write the post where I list the six million people who encouraged me too. My poem,  Ancestors Unfold the Stories Untold was announced this morning as an honorable mention, (right after the winning post) on the My Brown Baby Something New competition. I can barely type here this morning because I am possessed with joy.

Joyful Mom over at happygirlhair.com encouraged me to enter it. Thank you to her!

You have so much to say, say it.  Write it. Share it. Blog it. Submit it. Send it. Glue it to your wall. Share it with a friend. Self Publish the book. It is our intended  purpose to record, to share the voice we were given.

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.