Category Archives: Soap Box

Black History—a Part of the Whole

As I stated in my preamble, Eric Holder’s speech on February 18th regarding Black History Month left me with a variety of topics to cover. The trick, of course, is trying to categorize them in a way that makes sense to people other than me. At this point, my intention is to go with three main topics over the next few days: Black history as part of American history and the public discourse surrounding it, Black culture, and the importance of learning from early slavery instead of just harping on it. More or less. We’ll see.


In his speech, Mr. Holder begins by calling us “essentially a nation of cowards” for what he sees as a lack of discourse regarding race relations. More than once, he proclaims that American history can not be appreciated without an understanding of Black history.

That’s true.

Of course, American history also cannot be fully appreciated without an understanding of Irish-American History, Asian-American History, Hispanic-American history, or the history of any other group that may or may not have been exploited in the building of this great nation. We are, truly, a melting pot. Each culture that has entered our borders has brought its own set of values, its own list of trials, and its own share of great minds to contribute towards getting us to where we are today.

How do you think a push for “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant History Month” would go over?

Yeah, me too.

Obviously, there is one significant difference between the Black population and others—they were the only ones who lived through government-sanctioned slavery. Certainly, that is a blight on our history. It, and the years of segregation that followed, were a time when horrible people did unforgivable things.  It is a time we should remember and learn from.

But, it is a time that has passed.

I will not pretend that discrimination is dead in our society. It is alive and flourishing. It has the potential to intimately effect all people, regardless of age, gender, or skin color. If you don’t believe me, do a search on college scholarships exclusively for African Americans. Now, do a search on scholarships for which you will only qualify if you are white.

Mr. Holder is right about one thing—honest discussions on race are hard to come by in a multi-racial setting. This is because, as non-minorities, we are taught to feel that we should continue to bare the responsibility of, and make amends for, the actions of our ancestors. Never mind if they were actually slave owners or not, we still remain guilty by nature of being the recipients of “White Privilege.” And, of course, that status as Privileged makes it politically incorrect to suggest that people strive to be judged on the capacity of their minds or the content of their character, as opposed to the amount of melanin in their skin.

But, Mr. Holder makes impassioned pleas that we strive to acknowledge the pigmentation, not just the accomplishments.

He loses me, however, in his insistence that Black history needs to be more thoroughly incorporated into the study of American history. Growing up, I learned about Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln (oh, wait, does he count as part of Black history?), Frederick Douglas, and Rosa Parks. I even learned how the Civil Rights movements following Ms. Parks refusal to move to the back of the bus was really more about a seething reaction to the treatment of the murder of Emmit Till than because people were really that mad that a tired lady couldn’t get a seat up front.

I learned about the Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, and the Civil Rights movement. I studied mandatory busing and saw the devastating effects that it had on some of the schools close to where I grew up.

I really don’t remember if I learned any of these things during the month of February. All I know is that I learned about them in their historical order, as part of a comprehensive look at American history. I didn’t spend one month learning about “them” and the rest of the year learning about “us” as Mr. Holder’s speech seems to imply.  I just learned OUR history.

Of course, there are things about our history that I don’t remember ever learning. Too bad for Mr. Holder, they fly in the face of some of his assertions. Mr. Holder claims that other significant civil rights movements, such as feminism, “were all tied in some way to the spirit that was set free by the quest for African American equality (during the Civil Rights era).”

As if fated, the history lesson that I did with my kindergartener today was on Susan B. Anthony. Like Mr. Holder, I have always seen the fight for women’s suffrage as coming after, well—not the Civil Rights era for goodness sakes, but after the end of slavery. After all, that is the order in which they are studied, right? Today, however, I learned things that I never remember learning before.

Susan B. Anthony, who was born in 1820, was an impassioned abolitionist. By the time she was 25, she and her family were holding weekly anti-slavery meetings which were, at times, attended by Frederick Douglas and William Llyod Garrison (another noted white abolitionist).

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who was never taught that Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony knew each other and worked together to fight slavery.

Susan B. Anthony—one of the most notable pioneers of feminism—began her work for women’s rights because she was sick of not being taken seriously as an abolitionist because she was a woman. The fact is, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked for Black Suffrage at the same time that they were fighting for Women’s Suffrage. Their dedication wasn’t spurred on by the success of the anti-slavery movement (and certainly not by the Civil Rights era), but by their desire to have a strong enough voice to HELP MAKE IT SUCCESSFUL.

I didn’t notice Ms. Anthony or Ms. Stanton on Mr. Holder’s list of people that should be studied as part of Black history.

I read Mr. Holder’s remarks on Black history, and I am left with the strong suspicion that he was the type of kid that just couldn’t help picking at scabs. He’s right on one thing—there is healing that needs to occur. It won’t happen, though, if we insist on constantly ripping open old wounds.

This country’s history is OUR history—all of us, no matter what the color of our skin is. It needs to be acknowledged. It needs to be viewed for what it was. It needs to never be forgotten so that it will never happen again.

And then we need to move on so we can acknowledge our present and the tremendous progress that has been made.

Because, in case you didn’t notice, Mr. Holder, in 2008 the majority of our country elected a minority President.

That’s got to count for something.



Filed under politics, Soap Box, The Me Behind the Mommy

Parenting: Commitment Optional

Do you ever feel like you know that you have things you want to get out of your brain, but you just can’t manage to access them? I know that there have been things throughout the day that I have wanted to write about, but I just can’t put together a coherent thought right now. Of course, it doesn’t help that my husband is in the same room watching television. Loudly. Sadly, it is usually pretty obvious when the tubes in his ears are failing–my life gets that much noisier. Sigh. I really do worry that, someday, putting holes in his eardrums will stop working and he’ll have a legitimate excuse for not responding when I try to talk to him. I just pray that none of my kids inherited his jacked up inner ears.

That being said, I need to spend some time talking about adoption, what with this being National Adoption Month. Certainly, there is much to discuss–good, bad, and ugly. But, given my inability to focus, I’ll just throw out one little semi-related topic.

This past July, Nebraska enacted a Safe Haven law to protect babies from being abandoned in unsafe conditions. They failed to put an age limit on this law (most states range from three days to one year). In the past five months, 34 children have been abandoned using Safe Haven, the majority of which are older children (up to 17-years-old). Five have been driven in from other states. This law is being used by some parents as a way to wash their hands of “problem” children–I watched one mother tearfully proclaim on the news this morning that abandoning her child was “the only way” to get her help for oppositional defiant disorder and ADD.

Last week, Sean and I had a conversation revolving around what to do if a child becomes so out of control that he is completely disrupting the family. No, I haven’t reached that point with any of my kids, not even close. We were watching a preview for this week’s episode of Celebrity Rehab (my mother is now hanging her head in shame), where Steven Adler’s (original drummer for Guns and Roses) mother blames him for the fact that she kicked him out when he was eleven. I was shocked that any mother could even consider just washing her hands of her child. He was a bit more understanding, telling me that I don’t know what it is like to have an out of control kid and, for heaven’s sake, I shouldn’t judge the woman, lest I end up with some karmic bite in the rear in the form of one of our children going off the deep end.

He’s right. I don’t know what it is like to have an out of control child.

He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a mother.

In a world where labels and their corresponding behavior-altering medication are practically thrown at us, I still don’t get it. If it is that bad, I could see seeking professional help–even respite care. But, taking your kid to a “Safe” place and giving them the permanent heave-ho? I don’t see that solving any mental/behavioral problems they may be struggling with.

Fortunately, Nebraska is currently working on revising the law so they will no longer be the country’s dumping ground for challenging offspring.

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. Kids that only have a normal amount of hyperactivity and defiance. As harsh as my assessment of these parents in Kansas may seem, I really do sympathize with them. I know how hard normal kids can be, and I know that normal parents can end up with truly challenging children. I would never want to be in a position where I would have to test just how far my patience would stretch. Even on their worst days, I’m so grateful to have my children.
  2. The first real snow of the season. Yeah, yeah, we had the snow splats on Saturday, but that just made life miserable, then melted as soon as it hit the ground. We actually have a thin, pretty layer of white on everything outside right now. Snow is enjoyable when it looks that tranquil.
  3. Serendipity. I mentioned yesterday that I had made a trip to Aldi on Saturday with my mother. It just so happened that their weekly specials included Leapsters and the Clone Wars math game. Since a Leapster has been a given for a Christmas present for C~ this year (major jealousy over his brothers’ Leapsters), and N~ has been asking for the Clone Wars game, it was a great find.
  4. E~ finally had his first tooth break through today! Given the fact that he now screams if I try to offer him baby food, insisting that what is on my plate should go into his mouth, his toothless state has been a bit troublesome. Not that one thin edge of tooth is really going to make any difference in the eating issue at the moment, but it is a good sign. N~ was my only other kid to get teeth this late (W~ and C~ both started around 4 months and broke several at once), but he had no interest in solid foods. I see a whole world of culinary possibilities about to open up.
  5. The fact that C~ is starting to develop his own preferences instead of just going for what his brothers like. This does, unfortunately, mean that I am enduring constant requests for Yo Gabba Gabba, which is the equivalent of an acid trip for toddlers.


Filed under Daily Life, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Soap Box, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Sometimes, It’s Better Not to Know

Yesterday, as we sat eating dinner and watching Fox News (I know, I know, how horrible to do both at the same time!), the kids asked, once again, if the person on the screen was Barack Obama. They really have been quite fascinated by the idea of the election. Sean looked at me and said, “You know, it’s kind of too bad that N~ is too young to understand the social implications of all of this.” That would be the social implications, of course, of having a President with the same racial makeup he has.

“You know,” I told him, “I’m actually glad.”

The thing is, I have been thinking about just that topic for the past couple of days. It started with the revelation, the day after the election, that virtually 100% of the black vote went to Obama. Honestly, it bothers me that this is seen as neither surprising nor appalling. Honestly, if 100% of the white vote had gone to McCain, there would (rightly so) be screams of racism. Because, really, an entire race of people is not going to all vote the same way if they are voting on issues and beliefs and who more closely aligns with their world views. It just doesn’t happen.

With this in mind, I started thinking about some of the attitudes I encountered when first making the decision to adopt transracially. I learned about the long-standing declaration by the National Association of Black Social Workers that placing a black (or biracial) child in a white home was committing cultural genocide. Even organizations like Pact, which was founded by parents of transracially adopted children, stressed the importance of having strong same-race roll models and involvement to teach racial identity that I, as a white parent, could not.

I’m beginning to think that my inability to teach certain aspects of racially identity will be a blessing in my son’s life.

(Pausing to duck while some of you throw stones.)

Here’s the thing, it is absolutely true that my son won’t grow up with an ingrained understanding of racism like he would have gotten in a black family (which, incidentally, is not what he would have had if he were raised by his birthmother–she’s even whiter than I am). Instead, at five-years-old, he has no idea that there are narrow-minded people in this world who won’t like him because of the color of his skin. He doesn’t know that there are people who will have lower expectations of him for something as inconsequential as race. He doesn’t know what a big deal it is for the majority of our country to have decided that the black man is the one better qualified for the job.

And I like it that way.

Don’t get me wrong, he will learn. He will have to. You can’t shelter a child forever. But you can let him develop a strong sense of self worth before making him deal with the stupid ideas of what our country has now shown to be the racist minority.

Have you thought about that? The kind of racism that claims a black person is less intelligent or qualified has to by dying. Our country just proved it is dying. Because, not only did over half of the voters pick Obama, but there are tons of people who voted for McCain who still would have happily voted for him if he were black because they aren’t racist. They voted against Obama’s politics, not his skin color. Racism isn’t dead, but you can’t look at what just happened and believe that it still holds even a fraction of the same power that it once did.

Instead of teaching a child that he should go through life on the defensive because of his color, you can let him internalize the idea that he can be anything, even President of the United States, regardless of his skin color. He doesn’t need to grow up believing that he will instantly be a victim of society because of his race.

No, I can’t teach N~ what living with racism feels like. But I can teach him what living with it doesn’t feel like.

I think that is going to serve him pretty darn well.


Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. The fact that my kids are already totally “grossed out” by the sight of Sean and I kissing. If they want to continue to run, screaming and giggling, every time kissing comes up until they are, oh, 25 or so, that would be just fine by me.
  2. Lucky Charms. If you’ve ever wondered if an eight-month-old has the cognitive ability to sort objects, just throw a handful of Lucky Charms on his high chair tray. In no time flat, you’ll have a tray of tan cereal and a baby screaming for more marshmallows. (And, of course, a smile on your face.)
  3. Birthday parties. And any other reason for my kids to have all of their cousins together at the same time, for that matter. Because my kids love spending time with their cousins. (And I certainly don’t mind hanging out with the adults in the family!) Happy 2nd birthday, little niece of mine!
  4. Kids that actually enjoy working. At least, most of the time. I may never understand why vacuuming and raking leaves are fun, but making beds and picking up toys require a battle of epic proportions. But, whatever. I’ll take the leaves and vacuum with a smile on my face.
  5. Being part of a family that includes a black uncle, cousins who are also biracial, and cousins who were also adopted. Because, racial identity (or adoption) issues or not, it is always a bonus to have family that you can relate to on any given issue.

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Filed under adoption, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Soap Box, Thirty Days of Thankfulness, transracial adoption

The Perfect Woman

As I mentioned the other day, I finished Breaking Dawn this week. After a couple of weeks of occasionally cracking into a book that should have taken me all of two or three days to read, I finally made myself sit down the other night and read the last couple hundred pages.

It is no secret that I have failed to understand the enthusiasm that some have for this series. Part of it has to do with the actual writing. I have read several other beautifully written books recently and the writing in this series is, well, so-so. The best analogy I can think of is to say that it’s kind of like listening to Weird Al on your way home from The Metropolitan. Not that there isn’t a certain entertainment factor to White and Nerdy–it just isn’t Puccini, you know? How I feel about the Twilight series is kind of like that.

There are a lot of things I could comment on with this final book (like the fact that one of the teenage girls I work with at church who loved the first three told me the other night that she is having a hard time plodding through this one, too) but I really just want to focus on one thing that really bugged me. Coincidentally, it is also extremely time-appropriate to events of this week in grown-up land.

What constitutes a perfect woman?

In Breaking Dawn, Bella’s perfection involved her becoming extremely beautiful. “Extremely beautiful,” however, seemed to also mean being almost unrecognizable. By her own father, even. She ran around thrilled with who she now was, even though (because?) it was no longer her.

That, my friends, bothered me. Deeply.

Go ahead, tell me it is just a story and I’m making a big deal out of nothing. Accuse me of being a bitter harpy. But, seriously, what kind of message does that send to the Paris Hilton obsessed demographic that these books are aimed at? Most of them are smart enough to realize that they can’t get an Extreme Vampire Makeover, but how many will be asking for a new nose and bigger “assets” for their birthdays (already a frightening new trend among the teenaged set)? After all, it was only a few months ago that they were hearing one of the cast members of MTV’s The Hills talk about how she would rather risk death than continue without a “better” chest and nose. Just like Bella, she was dying to be perfect.

Females, young and old, face tremendous pressure in the realm of perfection. We are given constant images of who we should be, how we should look, what we should think, and how we should act. Some are positive, but an overwhelming amount are destructive. And, of course, even when a woman attains some standard of perfection, or even just great achievement, there are always those who are standing by, ready to change the standard and find fault with the accomplishment.

Just ask Sarah Palin.


Filed under Books, politics, Soap Box

If I Don’t Trust You With My Money, I Won’t Trust You With My Kids

Summer break is almost over and, for the first time ever, “back to school” holds meaning for me. At five years old, N~ starts kindergarten in a couple of weeks. People tend to assume that this means that life is going to get one-kid-less easier for me. Not so.

I’m homeschooling.

OK, plenty of people will take issue with me giving the virtual academy that designation since the government still has its face all up in my business, but I’m the one teaching and it’s happening in our home. Good enough for me.

For those who aren’t familiar with the K12 Virtual Academy, it is an online charter school. N’s allotted tax dollars pay for a computer, books, and teaching aids to be sent to my house. Lesson plans are provided over the internet. We have to complete a certain number of hours of school per week, which is kept track of over the internet. We will still have to take the idiot proficiency tests, and a certified teacher will be checking up on collaborating with us. But it’s very well organized, and it’s free, so I can live with a little bit of big brother.

While I don’t have all of my materials to start the school year, our lesson plans are already available online. In his first week of kindergarten, N~ will be learning eight phonemes, learning about the earth, starting basic mathematical concepts, reading Cinderella, and goodness only knows what else.

I don’t know about you, but I remember making puppets out of brown paper lunch sacks when I was in kindergarten.

We now live in the school district that I grew up in. When we moved back here, we were informed that our taxes had just gone up to help fund every building in the district being torn down and replaced with brand new ones. These buildings maybe needed some upgrades, but they certainly didn’t require demolition.

The next year, the schools tried to pass a levy to raise taxes for operating expenses. They were “in crisis” and couldn’t go on without more money. Of course, they knew that they were having problems before they asked the residents to spring for new schools, but they waited because they knew there was no way they would get those new buildings after taxes were raised for operating expenses. They thought our community wouldn’t leave them without the “needed” money after the schools were built, though. I’m proud to say that they were wrong. They have tried over and over to pass that levy in the past four years. They’ve never even come close to succeeding.

So, they have “cut expenses” by eliminating advanced placement courses (those kids still have to have teachers to teach them, so it doesn’t decrease the load at all that I can see), and ROTC (which is funded by the military). In other words, they’ve been going for blackmail.

I could go on and on why I couldn’t imagine trusting our local government schools with my children. A childhood friend’s mom is an elementary teacher in our school district. She was bragging to me once about her integrated classroom. I asked what that was.

“Well,” she enthused, “I have kids with severe disabilities in my class with the other students.”

“So,” I asked, “normal kids are mixed in with kids with serious learning problems?” (I found out later that this doesn’t even begin to describe some of the kids in her class.)


“Doesn’t that slow things down for the kids who don’t have learning disabilities?” I asked.

“Well, sure, my class is behind the other ones in our grade, but it’s great!”

Um, yeah. I stood there thinking, “I would never, ever, want my kid in your class.”

I’m not going to say that the virtual academy is perfect. But there is soooo much more I could say about why I hate public schools.

At least I know that N~ is going to get a real curriculum. And he will get to learn at the pace that is right for him.


Filed under Homeschooling, Kids, Soap Box

Men (and Women) Are That They Might Have Joy–Not Guilt Trips!*

Before I go into what I have to say, I want to clarify some semantics because sometimes you miss the meaning if you don’t get the nuances of the words. This is one of those times. A lot of people use the terms “gospel” and “church” interchangeably. I don’t. I actually make a huge distinction between the two and, if you don’t get the distinction, you are probably going to misinterpret what I have to say. So, please understand that I see the “gospel” as a set of religious truths. I see the “church” as the group of people striving to follow the gospel. The gospel is a perfect ideal–the church is the imperfect organization striving for that ideal.

I have been doing a lot of reading today. I have been reading about studies done in 2002 (if you have time, read some of the cross-referenced articles here–a lot more insight than I can cover) and 2008 that showed that the state of Utah has the highest per capita rate of antidepressant use in the nation. As a matter of fact, the use of antidepressants in Utah is almost twice the national average. I have read all kinds of speculation as to why that is. Certainly, there are many who want to blame the gospel of the LDS church. And, naturally, there are many in Utah who want to claim that the LDS population has nothing to do with it (Idaho and Arizona, which also have large LDS populations, do not share these increased antidepressant usage rates).

I think the answer lies firmly in between. I know that the LDS gospel, lived as it is intended, brings happiness. But I think that the church–the people, the mores, the social traditions–sometimes strays.

A couple of months ago, I left a comment on a blog that I had stumbled upon trying to offer encouragement to an LDS mother in Utah who felt that she wasn’t doing enough. When I suggested to her that she give herself a break, she responded that there are two different types of LDS women–the perfectionists and the slackers. I’ve thought about that a lot. Especially since my experience with living in Utah left me with a different impression. In the church, I saw the half-way normal people and the hyper-perfectionists.

Early in my freshman year at Brigham Young University, we had an Enrichment meeting that I don’t think I will ever forget (for my readers from other religious backgrounds, our women’s organization has regular meetings–Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment meetings–that focus on building women up). This particular meeting was about organization. The girl who was teaching the lesson held up her own mother as the ideal. She pulled out sheet after sheet of her mother’s daily planning. The entire day was scheduled in fifteen minute blocks. Shower. Hair. Makeup. Eating. Everything was scheduled down to the minute.

We were a room full of awed and humbled coeds. We weren’t planning like that. We were doing a lot of things off the cuff. We were obviously inadequate and needed to use this type of strict planning if we were ever to hope to become the type of women that could run a household and raise children.

Then, something occurred to me. They medicate people for this.

Seriously, we were a room full of eighteen-year-old girls feeling hopeless because we were normal. We were all but flagellating ourselves for our lack of OCD. That day, I saw many girls study those sheets of paper and vow to be better. Many, I’m sure, felt like failures when their normal brains couldn’t handle the regiment.

The three years I spent at BYU were some of the most stressful of my life. Certainly, the pressures of being away from home, carrying an insane class load, and working almost full-time contributed a lot. But that wasn’t all of it. I have experienced much greater stress as a wife and mother, but those years were the only time in my life that I experienced anxiety attacks (seriously, I once even saw a man standing in my room that wasn’t there).

For me, I think a lot of it came from the pressure for perfection. It seemed like people forgot that we were striving towards perfection, as opposed to needing to be perfect right now. Suddenly, I went from the definition of a square, since I was probably the only varsity cheerleader in the history of my school to not spend weekends drinking and sleeping around, to the equivalent of demon spawn because I didn’t qualify for the Virgin Lips Club (seriously, that was an actual, organized club in the high school where I did my student teaching). It was unnerving.

Last year, Sean considered applying for a position that would have moved us to Salt Lake City. Even without knowing, at the time, that Utah is considered the nation’s most depressed state, I was decidedly uninterested. I have seen the difference in pressures between there and here, and I’d rather see my kids grow up with their friends thinking they are weird for taking a stand on their morals than with the pressures I saw my high school students out there facing.

And, again, it isn’t the gospel that does it to us. It isn’t necessarily even other people in the church (although that certainly happens at times, too). Frequently, it is ourselves. We compare others’ strengths to our own weaknesses and always come up lacking. We constantly tell ourselves we could do more–we should do more. We expect ourselves to do things that we would never expect of others. And, when we don’t want to take on one more thing when we have nothing left to give, we feel that we haven’t done our duty.

We need to lighten up.


*Title taken from Perfection Pending by Russell M. Nelson.


Filed under Church, Healthy Living, Soap Box

Adoption Math: When 4+4=7

When we first made the decision to adopt, open adoption was not my goal. Heck, even a semi-open adoption was kind of a scary idea at first but, the more I read, the more I was convinced that it would be a good idea. I liked the idea of my child’s birthmother having the opportunity to know that the child she brought into the world was ok. I liked the idea of keeping the lines of communication open in case my child had questions in the future.

But my family? Yeah. Not so much.

My mother, especially, was scared of the idea and thought that I was crazy for wanting it (especially when we were matched with T~ and she told me, unequivocally, that she wanted NO contact). She was afraid that it would be confusing. She wanted to know what would happen if T~ decided she wanted him back (answer: nothing). I’m sure that when I decided, around N’s first birthday, to completely open the adoption and go visit them, she thought I had lost my mind.

Yesterday, T~ and her family came to our house to visit for the day. It was long overdue–we haven’t seen each other in over a year and have been trying to plan the visit for months. As I prepared for the visit, I was reminded that even though my family now sees our open adoption differently than they used to, many people still view it as odd. I still notice the awkward pause when people first find out that we have visits with N’s birthmom. I chuckle inside at the comments about our “unique” situation. It doesn’t offend me. If I wasn’t living it, I would probably think it was kind of strange, too.

I told Sean the other day that adoption is the only place where four plus four can equal seven. Why? I have four children. T~ has four children. But we only have seven kids between us. I don’t know if I really comprehended that it would be this way before we adopted N~. But the reality is, even though I am his mom, he will still always be her child, too. Making the decision not to parent him doesn’t change the fact that she loves him. And her love for him doesn’t diminish mine, nor does mine diminish hers. He’s just loved that much more.

All this being said, it might surprise you that I’m against legally enforceable open adoption agreements. I honestly don’t think that open adoption is the best thing for everyone. This comes from having known several birthmothers in real life–some who would be great to be in an open adoption with, and some who wouldn’t (I’m not going into detail here–I’ll just say that I think that adoptive parents have every right to make choices that prevent their role of parent from being completely undermined). I really believe that a large part of why our relationship with T~ is so great is because it was allowed to grow in a completely organic way. We have never spent time together because there was a date on the calendar that needed to be checked off.  It has never been forced in any way. We’ve seen each other because we genuinely wanted to, and there is a lot to be said for that. Especially because I know that N~ can tell that we visit her because we want to.

Yesterday’s visit was great. The kids spent the whole day playing together. The adults chatted while we took care of the kids. My parents came over and we all had dinner together. We’ve reached a point where it is really comfortable to spend time together. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we have done it enough times that none of us worry if this might be the last visit. We know we’ll see each other again. (Of course, I can still tell that it is hard for her when they leave, which is totally understandable.) My big surprise of the day was that N~ didn’t ask her any questions. He never once mentioned his knowledge of who she is in relation to him.

At this point, I see us as family. Not just two separate families with one child in common, but a whole group of people who are bound together. I am genuinely grateful to have T~ and her family in our lives.



The post below is a couple of pictures from our visit. As usual, if you want to see them, you can email me (or leave a comment with you email) for the password. If I can verify who you are (blogger I know, someone I’ve emailed with, someone I know in real life…), I will send you the password.


Filed under adoption, open adoption, Soap Box