Archive for December, 2007

Up For Consideration

…a very interesting article I found on Google News today.  I’d like to link it here and get everyone’s honest opinion.  I found it quite powerful.

Let me know your reactions and thoughts.

December 29, 2007 at 9:15 am 16 comments

An Assignment

, AKA mama to Roo has an interesting challenge to counteract all the blogging nastiness that’s happened around here lately. Write about something nice. And it can’t be about adoption. No problem.

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CHICKEN MARBELLA
Let’s talk food – a subject near and dear to my heart. I cooked my behind off the last two weeks or so. We hosted two dinner parties and a few drop-in situations. Zannie and her friends had a cookie decorating party and I taught her how to make Russian Tea Cakes. When deciding what to make or not to make, I came up with decidedly do-ahead menus. Chicken Marbella for one dinner (A GREAT dinner party dish) and Beef Short Ribs with an Asian broth over mashers for the other. Instead of making a complicated dessert, I served cookies and See’s candies. I made my life easier and had only a couple of freak-outs instead of many. One good thing about having company over a lot is that your house stays clean. Toys were put away often and dishes were washed immediately. I loved it.

Another great thing about this Christmas was getting books that I am excited to read. I’ve recently become really interested in Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist after I watched the movie about her life which starred Selma Hayek. So, I got her biography and I’m devouring it. I received ‘Super Natural Cooking’ from my family to give me new and creative ideas for our new way of eating. It’s a good read aside from the beautiful pictures and recipes.

The last good thing about the holidays is that there is an end. Today I am putting the decorations away. I am always very happy to put them out and getting into the Christmas mood and I am usually equally happy and ready to put them away. That’s how I’m feeling today. Zannie is really getting into the swing of things and has even been cleaning things by her own initiative. (I swear I don’t know how this has happened.)

On Sunday, we’ll trek over the Sierra Mountains to grandma’s house to do a bit of frolicking in the snow and to get away for a couple of days. Come early January, Zannie will be back in school and then I’ll have to think of a new Big Project. Maybe putting all our pictures in albums is a good idea. I’m totally behind on that. Ideas are accepted…anyone??

December 28, 2007 at 10:31 am 1 comment

These Two Are My World

zannieizzy-christmas.jpg

December 27, 2007 at 7:12 pm 3 comments

Six Months Later

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Isabel has been my daughter for six months.  We’ve been a family of four for six months.  I’ve learned by ‘listening’ to Isabel how to care for her.  She’s showed me what she needs and when.  She’s taught me her different cries and that the ‘hungry’ one is more urgent than the ‘I’m bored’ cry and different still is the ‘I need a bottle’ or the ‘I need some cuddles’ cry.  I speak fluent Isabel-ese. 

It hasn’t always been easy, not by a long-shot.  I’m not speaking about the love part.  The love just comes and has been there since meeting her and holding her.  But being the kind of mom she needs has taken time and lots of mistakes.  I hate that that’s true, but it is.  I wish I could say that since I had already been a mom to a baby before Isabel, that I seamlessly parented her from the day I brought her to our home.  But I didn’t. 

I had to learn that she likes to be held close, but she needs to be able to look out and around.  She likes to sleep on her own and adores her crib.  (She won’t co-sleep…have mixed feelings about that)  She loves savory foods over fruit or sweeter things.   I had to learn that she is, at times, tentative.  She holds back a minute, decides if she trusts what you’re offering her, and then pushes it away or grabs it with a smile.  She’s shown us who she is over time, and it’s been nothing short of amazing to watch it all unfold. It’s lovely. 

I look into those deep, brown eyes and wonder, “Where did you come from?”  “Your mother must be beautiful and graceful because you certainly are.”  I wonder what her mother is doing and if she’s safe.  I wonder exactly what circumstances led to her decision regarding her baby girl.  I hope that she is not suffering.  I wish we could send her letters and pictures, and we do send pictures and notes to the orphanage in case she comes looking, but that’s just not the same.  I wish that young women, particularly women in impoverished nations, didn’t have such impossible choices when faced with an unplanned pregnancy outside of marriage.  I heard my husband talking softly to Isabel the other night as he brought her down to her bath.  He said, “I’m so sorry your mom couldn’t keep you and raise you.  But since she felt that she couldn’t, I’m so lucky that we get to raise you.  We’ll take you back to Kyrgyzstan and find her if you want to.  We’re here to take care of you.”  Those were some powerful words for me to overhear.  He’d got it just right.  For me, hearing that with adoptee ears, he’d got it just right. 

Over the holidays I heard the often-said “That’s one lucky girl”.  With my extended family and with close friends, I usually reply with a minimum of, “No, we’re the lucky ones.”  And we are.  Isabel has lost so much and has been through enough without the added burden of hearing how ‘lucky’ she is.  She deserves a childhood free of obligation, guilt and the message that her existence in our family is one in which she ought to feel grateful.  We’re going to set up her whole childhood around the truths around her birth and adoption, and let her feelings come without our own feelings getting in the way.  She’s not in our family to help us overcome infertility.  She’s not here in any sort of ‘occupational’ way.  It’s hard that it happened this way – for her mother and for her.  Never for a moment do I push aside the enormous losses Isabel and her mother will always carry with them.  But now, and for the future, Isabel is in our family.  She’s my daughter.  She’s thriving and lovely.  For that, and so much more – I am so incredibly lucky. 

December 27, 2007 at 3:04 pm 7 comments


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