January 26th, 2013

all babiesBefore I became a parent, I was very interested in cribs, baby bathtubs, tiny clothes and shoes.  I agonized over picking the right pediatrician.  I worried that my child would be sick and I wouldn't notice.  (That actually brings a chuckle now since every mother knows that you more often think they are sick when they are fine than the reverse.) I focused a lot on names (probably appropriate) and cloth vs disposable diapers (less important than it seems at first).  We philosophized about parenting methods but had to use almost none of them on our perfect-at-the-time oldest child.  Could I handle sleep deprivation? Would my husband and I still find time together?  (The answer is "Not at first, but it… [more]

Christmas Joy

December 28th, 2012

family 2012It was our third Christmas with the Littles.  Where has the time gone?  The first year, we had to put a fence around the Christmas tree to keep everyone safe.  Last year, they were still a little confused about the whole process.  This year, they had it all figured out. 3 days before Christmas, The Blitz (3) observed both The Captain (5) and Tinker (4) sitting in time out.  He came into the kitchen and said, "I be pretty good, right Mom?  Santa gonna leave me presents and gifts?" I assured him they would all get presents and gifts; Santa just wants to know you try to make wise choices. I noticed in the weeks before Christmas, I was feeling a bit wistful… [more]

Like a Kid Again

November 28th, 2012

Attack of the LittlesI didn't realize that at some point over the past two years I have moved from cheerful optimism in the face of criticism to mumbled apologizing.  It wasn't an overnight change; it was a subtle shift taking place one interaction at a time. When we took on three "little kids" at once, we knew we would have both challenges and criticism.  We suspected it would be hard work at times.  We ventured that there would be social repercussions.  Undaunted, we forged ahead. There  is a bit of a "pack" effect when you have three children very close in age.  So if one child, for instance, decides to break away and sprint up the aisle after church, the other two exuberantly join… [more]

Looking Back . . . and Forward to National Adoption Day

October 10th, 2012

all babiesWhat is it about fall that makes us wax sentimental?  Is it the subtle shift in the air, the slight crisping of ground beneath our feet or the bright chill (sometimes!) in the morning?  Maybe it's the return to school and all my own memories of being a school kid.  Whatever the cause, it seems like I am looking back a LOT these days. In October of 2010, we were enjoying our first autumn with our Littles.  So young, everything was a sparkling new adventure.  (The picture is the day we brought them home!) We were planning for Halloween costumes, teaching them to say something that sounded enough like "trick or treat" to make the candy fall into their little buckets and… [more]

14 Years Ago

July 17th, 2012

Sunshine april 4 2012It was Sunshine's birthday last week.  She turned 14 and somehow, that sounds a lot older than 13 to me.  Maybe it's because she's a high-schooler now.  Anyway, the event had me waxing nostalgic about when she was born. Sunshine's birth-mother -- Suzy --  was  in her twenties and in the Army.  She had a 4-year-old son being raised by her parents and she thought it was unfair to ask them to raise another child.  The Army does not allow single parents to be the guardians of minor children for obvious reasons.  It was a heart-wrenching decision for her. At first our adoption plan did not include us being present for labor and delivery.  On the day she went into labor… [more]

Walk Alike, Talk Alike

March 7th, 2012

Tinker haircutThis is where I will officially cross the line and some of you will begin to think/realize I am crazy.  Yesterday at dinner, the Blitz (age 2) had a dinner-time breakdown when he thought I was getting stuff onto his plate too slowly.  To my older children I said, "Isn't that sweet?  He looks and sounds exactly like The Captain used to." My children did not think the loud, dramatic wailing was cute.  Not at all. Nor did The Blitz. I am still so mesmerized and amazed by how alike our three little ones are.  It is my first time to raise siblings and I just did not realize before how much of "who we are" is apparently encoded in our DNA.  It's… [more]

When First We Met

January 11th, 2012

A Song for the Littles

When first weall babies met, oh when first we met My heart skipped a beat; My shoes were suddenly nailed to the floor And I found myself unable to speak. Your delicate hands painted the air You voice was a song on a breeze But your face  -- oh, your face -- your beautiful face It left me weak in the knees. You looked at me shyly then glanced away; You were coy, flirtatious, a sprite. When you hit me with that dazzling smile, My world was then set aright. ---------------- This poem is a reflection of the very first time I saw our three youngest children, then 10 months, 21 months, and 35 months old.  If you have not had the experience of adopting yet, let me assure… [more]

Why Siblings?

August 31st, 2011

All but Sunshine Let's face it: it can be daunting thing to consider adopting a sibling group.    It is not an easy call to make but there are some good reasons to take a chance.  There has been some solid research done on sibling adoption.  For our family, seeing the benefit to the kids made it easier for us to take the leap of faith. Most of the research is not all that surprising but it is good to have common sense assumptions backed up by scientific methodology!  For instance, research shows that siblings adopted together have few behavioral issues and higher self-esteem.  Of course they are less lonely. Siblings in general (not only adopted ones) tend to use each other as back-up support.  A… [more]

Family Redefined

July 10th, 2011

DSCN3158When I was a child, if I complained about my siblings, my mother told me, "You can choose your friends, but you don't get to choose your family.  So you'd better learn to get along.  One could argue that the whole thing gets flipped on its head with adoption because you are, of course, choosing your family! There is a whole component of adoption you don't necessarily get to choose though, especially when you adopt through foster care, and that is the children's birth family.  Whether or not your children have visitation with their family of origin, regardless of whether they want visits, even if your children don't remember their original family, they are now part of your past, your present and your… [more]

“Nature” Takes Over

April 28th, 2011

Littles adoption dayIn the debate over "nature versus nurture," I've always been of two minds. As an adoptive mom of two who were not related to each other, both their similarities and their differences were striking. I don't think they are fundamentally more different from one another than I am from my full-blooded sister, and they are a lot alike. Now that they are young women, I am struck by how alike all our voices are; if we are speaking off-camera on a video tape, it's not that easy to figure out which of us is talking. I find this completely humbling and amazing. I can see their "natural" tendencies in their response to stress… [more]