Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Time Has Come

Parents often are often encouraged to reflect and “weigh-in” on the future when making decisions about how to handle situations, something along the lines of pondering, “Will what is going on now matter in the future of the child?”  and “How will what is going on at this moment impact them?”

Sleep is elusive. Not surprising; this has been a year of focusing on Holden—college applications, final year of International Baccalaureate (IB) study, final college visits, college decision, IB exams, graduation, placement tests, packing—to ready him for the final move, for the next chapter.

One of my parent friends shared with me years back that it was a full-time job having an IB student. (Great words of advice, Di. Thank you.) What she didn’t share was how the emotional toll of tremendous pride, worry and sadness accompany the busyness. Likely because I didn’t ask and also because none of us travel our journeys the same; our “suitcases” are packed a little differently.

This is the morning of the eve of Holden leaving. I am up early because the tape in my brain is playing non-stop—triggered by many things, among them an infant perched on his father’s knee at back-to-school-night last night. Eighteen years later I experienced the sensation of letdown, long past the time when my body should respond. But I guess the brain remembers, as does my womb and breasts.

Returning to my initial point of how what is going on now impacts the future of the child…pardon me, since it is 4am… I also have concern for my other babies–Josi, Aubry and Greyson. How will Holden leaving affect them? Many parents and friends feel I’m overly worried, but you see, we have an added layer. It’s known as adoption. And adoption is always tethered in loss. Events like Mother’s Day, birthdays, moves, or separations can trigger a whole host of feelings like grief, rejection, and control. These feelings are part of having been adopted (always will be) and, as a result, understanding and addressing them are part of the parenting landscape (note: I did just write and publish the wonderful What To Expect From Your Adopted Child for parents on this very subject!).

Together the kids, without mom and dad, took it upon themselves to synch their channels of communication—Skype accounts and email accounts—assuring they can be in contact with one another after Holden is away at college. I am mother-proud; their actions reflect how they love each other unconditionally, how considerate they are, embracing each other with respect, gratitude and grace.

Tomorrow is the day. What is happening does and will affect the futures of each of my children. How we handle this separation, this new chapter, impacts us all—Josi, Aubry and Greyson even more so.  Our strength and comfort is each other. We will make this journey together. That’s what families do.


Filed under Adoption Issues, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Family, Multicultural Families, Rite of Passage, The International Mom

196,000 Miles and Still Running Like a “Top”

School for my younger three began on Monday. I dragged my feet…truly…, not at all enthusiastic about getting the kids back to school (although I LOVE where they attend). I would have preferred to have them longer. You know, to wear out their welcome and my patience. Just didn’t happen.

I tried to focus on seeing parents, faculty and staff again. After all, it had been a few months, and I missed them.

So, we arrived at school. I meandered along the winding road that edges the school buildings, dropping one child off here and two off there, my windows rolled down in the cool sunshine. I waved to parents I knew. Very few waved back. When picking my kids up in the afternoon I experienced the same thing. You see, I was driving another car—my “iconic van” (labeled by a number of parents as such) retired.

Today I cleaned the out the remaining trash, first-aid kit supplies, sketchpads, colored pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors, lined paper, games, puzzles, soccer balls, air pumps, cleats, shin guards, blankets, camp chairs, magazines, books, paper towels, wipes, tissue, sunscreen, tampons, recyclable trash bags, coupons, toys, stuffed animals, Goodwill donations, umbrellas, CDs, DVDs, and more. My van was the quintessential heaven of “stuff” to make us comfortable and keep us entertained and busy during the 196,000+ miles. It was always packed and ready to accompany us to our next destination, like a gargantuan diaper bag…

Mark believed my van, originally purchased for the purpose of mommy-driving our then six- and one-year-old, and then two more babies from infant carriers to toddler seats, to booster seats to none, might last five years. The van surprised us; twelve years plus.

The vestiges of us are gone, however the scents of kids, ripe sports socks and shoes, food, and spills (Did I mention that one of the boy kitties peed on the seat a few years ago? Vinegar works to some degree…) remain. It was more than just a van, friends. My vehicle shepherded my family safely thorough twelve years of life and changes and an accumulation of memories of road trips, camping and vacations. I hope the van lasts some time for the next owner. (Yep, we sold it! ) 🙂

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Parenting, Rite of Passage, The International Mom

What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween

Okay. I’ve just gotta share my big announcement here with you. I’ve written an e-guide for adoptive parents, What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, and it’s now for sale! Yep!  

I felt a strong desire to write What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween because of my work with adoptive parents and personal parenting experience. I saw a need to assist parents with ideas and support when their children are entering adolescence, when questions and emotions tied to having been adopted become more complex.  This e-guide is set up to be proactive, helping to prepare parents to understand and support tweens (ages 6-12) who have been adopted—before they reach this stage, or if they’re already there.

I have been teaching Beyond Tweens & Teens through my website and this e-guide has, in part, evolved from those classes. The guide is something parents can do on their own time or use in a support group. What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween is a terrific tool and resource—providing examples that will resonate with parent and from which they can draw ideas to support and parent their children. 

So, do you know someone who is an adoptive parent or will be? Are you an adoptive parent? What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween can be purchased here. Thanks for helping me spread the news!!

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Filed under Growing Tweens & Teens, The International Mom, Writing