Tag Archives: families with birth and adopted children

Raising Dad

Our youngest has just ripped one into goal. He is thrilled; a huge white smile opens up in his latte-hued face. While G is being congratulated by his teammates, and even though he wears sports goggles, I witness him searching the sidelines. His eyes roam and then spot us, but it is confirmation he seeks. From Mark. The smile widens further when he realizes that the goal was seen. Dad’s smile is as big, if not bigger. They exchange hardy and two-handed thumbs up.

My heart smiles.

A is in the big chair snuggled up to Mark, in a serious discussion about something deep. She loves the “deep,” the “chewy,” and the complex. He loves to challenge her. His nonverbal posture shouts full engagement. She is rapt in attention while he speaks to her. Seeing them like this, even though a common scene, causes my heart to swell. Tears prick my eyes.

I smile and go on.

J walks though the kitchen. Mark “checks” her into the wall. She laughs and does it back to him. This goes on a few times. This “checking” is something he began with her when she was just a wee thing. Introverted, she preferred to remain passive about everything. His goal was to help her instill “backbone,” understand she can be tough, that it’s expected she’ll stand her ground with others.

I am glad.

I watch my son with his girlfriend. H towers over her diminutive frame. I observe the way he looks at her, the manner in which his eyes dance as he takes her in. His large hand is gentle on the small of her back as he guides her through the building. He treats her with respect, compassion and grace. He has learned these things from his father, his role model.

I am proud.

Saturday mornings around here typically begin with a singing father and kids making pancakes (chocolate chip, apple-cinnamon, and plain dusted with powdered sugar) from scratch, accompanied by bacon, and fresh oranges. I often sleep in, or “lay in,” listening and enjoying happy composition of creating our weekend kickoff meal.

I am full of joy. My children are rich in the light and love of their father, and I am grateful.

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Filed under The International Mom

The Real Reality

Nothing like rising in the morning and encountering big pile of s____, as in the Newfie mother lode, on the indoor/outdoor runner. Fortunately our Newfs now overnight in the mudroom. I quickly tired of their heavy panting, nocturnal wanderings and occasional morning surprises—as in a pile of poop. One of them had a major case of diarrhea last night.

Of course it was I who cleaned it up. My 19-year-old son, you know, the one who is quite independent, passed through the mudroom just minutes before me. The evidence was present –> unlocked mudroom door by which he exited the house and the double–locked service door through which he didn’t. Yeah, yeah, yeah… He was on his way to work, likely rolling out of bed directly into the car. Yes, he left the dogs in. And, gosh, he left me that nice pile to deal with. I waved good-bye to him as he backed out of the driveway. No smile.

He and I will discuss this later…

This occurrence, like so many others in the daily fabric of our lives, underscores why I made my decision. I get a lot of requests—for interviews, to do book reviews, to be featured on this or that. But I was contacted about something else, so fascinating I had to read through the email several times and investigate the source, assess if it was the real deal before responding. It was.

Reality TV. As in a possible series. An offer to audition. The entire family. Can you imagine?!  “an outgoing, dynamic family comprised of interesting characters… this generation’s wilder, more entertaining Brady Bunch… all family members must have big personalities, be comfortable speaking on camera…” Trust me; we have this in spades.

I had a fleeting tug of  “Why not?” and experienced the thrill of  “fame” before true realization set in:

  • Reality TV exists for entertainment, ratings and consumption, all = money for the networks and mega-conglomerates.
  • Reality TV distorts “real” life, promotes moronic and negative societal expectations. Shows often feature the basest of human behavior. They fuel half-truths and risk.
  • One could argue that much of Reality TV perpetuates “dumbing down.” Dangerous stuff, folks. Think of your daughters and sons: education, critical thinking, taking responsibility for action, being held accountable, compassion for others, etc. The mind isn’t a terrible thing to use. Intelligence and values aren’t overrated.

Additionally:

  • My kids are not bridges, other than from their childhoods to their adulthoods.
  • Adoption continues to be misunderstood, and misrepresented, and  Reality TV is not the vehicle for “righting” the truths.

My kiddos and hubby we’re none too pleased with me, citing many weekend moments with, “See mom! This would make a great episode!”

I’ve emailed my response, and my counteroffer, back to the casting agent. While I eagerly wait in anticipation of hearing back (now I’m being snarky), I think we’ll focus on spending our summer together as we usually do—out of the glare of lights, camera and action—as a family.

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Filed under Family, Multicultural Families, Multiracial Families, Parenting, The International Mom

Wishing You and Yours Abundant Joy and Possibilities!

“Christmas gift suggestions:

  • To your enemy, forgiveness.
  • To an opponent, tolerance.
  • To a friend, your heart.
  • To a customer, service.
  • To all, charity.
  • To every child, a good example.
  • To yourself, respect.”

                                              ~ Oren Arnold

 

Merry Christmas!

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Filed under International Adoption, Multicultural Families, The International Mom