Monthly Archives: July 2009

Trading Out

Recently, I took Holden on a two day college road trip. He brought along one of his buddies. I brought Aubry.

We stayed overnight in a wonderful small town. I was tired from getting up at 3:30 in the morning and driving in the rainy pitch-black morning for four hours.  Holden and Sinc were hungry and wanted to take the car to get some dinner. Holden had two days more days until the three-month driving moratorium expired. Legally, he couldn’t takeP7080050 anyone in the car with him under the age of twenty-one. Mark and I were holding to the law.

It was a safe town, so I told the boys to walk. They seemed antsy – even though they had walked most of the day. I sent them with what I thought would be enough money for their food and Aubry’s and mine.

 They were gone longer than I thought they should be. I called Holden. They were close and I could hear the laughter. “Mom, wait until you see my hair! I’ve got to tell you what happened!”

 Uh, oh. Goofy sixteen year-olds. Good, but their “teen-ness” sometimes wore on people.

 They arrived not five minutes later, with cold food and new haircuts.

 I know the boys didn’t have money for haircuts – it hadn’t been part of the plan.

 I didn’t get the chance to ask.

 “We got free haircuts! Both of us.” Holden announced.

 I could see that.

 “How did you guys manage that?”

They proceeded to tell me how they rapped for their haircuts. Their idea. They ran out of money at the Taco Bell and asked the manager if he would consider giving them some more food if they could do some good free-style rap for him. He agreed.

As they walked by the local Great Clips, they challenged each other to try for haircuts. The bored stylists cut their hair because they did such a great job.

The haircuts were decent. I was impressed with their ingenuity and drive.

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Filed under Family, The Intenational Mom

Questions “On Children”

“Mama, why do you have that? Don’t you want me?” cried Aubry.

I was stunned. Not want her?

 Impossible.

I threw my arms around her and asked her what she was talking about.

“That writing, in the frame,” Aubry said. Little tears streaked her sweet face.

Ah ha.

I went into the family room and got the offending piece, a gift from my mom. It was in the crackled frame. It contained one of my favorite poetic essays from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.

“Do you mean this, sweetie?”

She nodded.

PA240280“Come here. Right next to me. I’m going to read this to you and then explain what it means to me. Okay?”

Another nod.

I didn’t get very far. As soon as I read “Your children are not your children…” Aubry stopped me.

“I don’t understand. I thought I was yours!”

“You are babe. But I believe that all of us – Daddy, Holden, Josi, Greyson, you and me – are together because of something much bigger than us. We were meant to be together.”

I found that explaining the spiritual and majestic power of the essay and how it resonated with me to my young daughter was difficult.

“So you know it but can’t see it?” she said.

“Yes; like the wind.”

“But I can feel the wind,” Aubry pointed out. (Of course I had chosen a poor example…)

“You’re right. But I feel this in my soul. It’s hard to explain.”

“But I’m yours and you love me, no matter what.”

“Yes. Forever. No matter what.”

I smiled at her and she snuggled closer.

“Do you think we’ll find more sticks tomorrow? I wish you’d let me keep it.” Apparently satisfied with my answer, Aubry was on to other topics.  She was referring to the walking stick she had spotted earlier in the day.

“Maybe, but you can’t keep them. Okay?”

“Can we look for tadpoles too?”

 

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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Filed under International Adoption, Parenting

Adoption Dialogue – Catch as Catch Can

The other day I was on the phone with a prospective adoptive parent when Josi walked in. She stood there listening to my side of the conversation. Adoption has not been a topic my daughter has been comfortable with. There have been the rare instances when she has acknowledged adoption, but she has never wanted to discuss it. (My youngest twoP7100119 often examine it…)  I thought she would leave, but she didn’t. She stayed until I hung up, well over a half an hour later.

“What were you talking about?” she asked.

“Adoption. A parent wants to adopt. What do you think about that?”  

Josi gave me her very deep look. She nodded and said, “Uh, huh.” (This is her typical response when she feels something deeply or is giving it a lot of thought.)

 “Adoption is pretty wonderful, isn’t it?”

 She nodded and surprised me with a huge smile and a hug.

 “Bye-bye!”   Another Josi “ism”.  And out the back door she went to play with her brother and sister.

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Filed under Adoption, Advocacy, Parenting