About Race in America and Adoption

Because we were open to transracial adoption (simply put: adopting outside of our race), we were required by our adoption agency to read several books on this topic.  They showed scenarios that were eye-opening.  Why teaching her culture was important.  Who she saw in a mirror might conflict with how she felt.  How my child would be treated in a store would depend on whether she accompanied me or not.

I believe all of the books were written by adoptive parents.

I don’t want to discredit the voices of these parents, because I am one and as such I can learn from them, but where were the voices of the transracial adoptee?  I’ve done a lot of research of my own since, and I have found the voices of many adult transracial adoptees here on the blogosphere.

John Raible, Angela Tucker, Land of a Gazillion Adoptees, among many others.  Somebody get these people a publishing agent!  No, seriously, their stories need to be read by potential transracial adoptive parents. Continue reading

More than Culture Shock

I didn’t intend to make a whole other blog post devoted to the following topic, but I wanted to at least reference it once.  So please bear with me:

On our first venture into town on our vacation, I went into protective mother bear mode.  I don’t think I’ve fully recovered from the Texas incident.  It was all for nothing, though, as the only time we felt out of place was in the poultry section of the local Food Lion, and it had nothing to do with our family that doesn’t match.

I still don’t understand what a person would do with chicken paws.

Instagram Recap

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Blog Talk

As I mentioned in my last post, there are a few changes coming to this blog.  I’ll keep talking about my family, life in general, and what I consider important issues (usually related to adoption).  The biggest, and perhaps only, change is that I won’t be talking about knitting here anymore.  Oh, I’ll still be knitting, but I’ll be talking about it over at Knit Me for a Loop!

While taking stock of this blog, I came across a couple of posts about race in my draft folder that I wrote last summer and this summer.  They’re a little raw, but I hope you’ll bear with me.   They’ll go up this morning in this order:

1.  More Than Culture Shock : After we returned from our family vacation in the “South” last summer, I wrote about the racial divide among the workforce I noticed there and how this could affect an impressionable child.  This took place amidst the Paula Deen controversy.

2.  About Race in America and Adoption : Shortly after we adopted Wren, Trayvon Martin was killed by his neighborhood watch coordinator.  Two years later this summer, countless more black men and boys made the news as they were killed by police.  In this post, I recognize my white privilege and how one of my daughters will never have it.

An End of Year Update

I feel like I need to write a year in review post, but this won’t be it.  Instead I’ll share how we’ve been these past few months.  Since my last post all those months ago, we celebrated Chickadee’s first birthday.  Then she and I flew to Chicago to celebrate one of my sister’s birthdays.  We’ve also travelled to West Virginia a few times to see family and friends.  We’ve been able to pick up where we left off with our adoption support group after a long hiatus. We hired our first babysitter so we could go to a meeting… to talk about our kids.

Speaking of…  :-)

Chickadee is cutting her teeth out of order.  She’s got most of her incisors and molars.  That’s it.  I’m not sure where the rest of her teeth are.  Finally, at nearly fifteen months, she is a-walkin’.  She remains a very picky eater, preferring spicy curry, spinach, and lamb.  The pungent the better?  Since those items don’t frequent our weekly menu, all she prefers to eat still is applesauce and yoghurt so I asked the doctor if I needed to supplement her diet with vitamins. He wasn’t worried about her so we’ll keep encouraging her to eat our “bland” foods.  This girl is strange.  She is still vehemently opinionated and refuses to nap.  Oh, and she fell into a brick fireplace so the family Christmas photo isn’t going to happen this year.

Wren continues to be the most active little girl ever.  A friend lent us her copy of the movie Frozen, and much to our amazement Wren sat all the way through it.  So, of course, we bought our own copy which comes in handy for doing her hair.  (Seriously, we only own like 20 movies, of which most are trilogies, so this first Disney purchase was a big deal.)  She understands a lot and is communicating better with words.  She’s fiercely independent and quick at learning new skills since she wants to do everything herself.  She can to count to thirty with you, and she’s able to recognize most of the letters.  She’s a daredevil who loves to do “gymnastics” with daddy.  She also likes to recreate the ballet moves we’ve watched together on YouTube.   I think the time has come for us to enroll her in some kind of program.  (Do you have any suggestions?  If so, please leave them in the comments.)

I’ve been doing okay.  In addition to caring for my little girls, here are the two reasons I haven’t been posting much lately:

1.  Church stuff.  We’ve been working with our church to start a new church-wide ministry which launches in a few weeks.  We’ve had to do a lot of research and polling, a lot of prayer and study, and documentation and consequent training.  This has eaten up a huge chunk of time, and we are quite glad to serve this way.

2.  Knitting stuff.  I challenged myself to knit myself a sweater this year, and I did!  Not to mention all of the other knitted items I’ve made this year (this will be perfect material for a yearly recap post).

On another note:  Wordpress.com notified me this weekend that I’ve been blogging with them for five years.  This blog started off as a way to share my travel adventures with family and has turned into a public family journal.  I think that it’s about time for another shift, and I’ve been bouncing around a few ideas in my head since I don’t think you want to read about how potty training has(n’t) been going so well.  I’ve never been a good writer, but I have enjoyed these writing sessions as a creative outlet so I don’t want to stop altogether.  Well, this is all I can write for now, it’s time for some juice and pretzels.  If I don’t make it back by next week, I wish each one of you a very Merry Christmas!

Quick Update on the Girls

Chickadee is napping! And Wren has decided we are done playing our matching game, so I figure I can write a quick post about them.

First, the baby is eleven months old. She is just learning to stand unassisted which means walking is a ways off still. She is a parrot. She likes to say mama and dada and doggy and cat. I think she even calls out for her sissy by name, but this fact has not been independently verified by a non-biased party. She also said cup the other day. I’m cautious to say these are real words because she only says them when prompted.

Next, the toddler. Wren has an imagination, that one, and a sense of humor. She is a blast to play with. Today, she started to correctly identify colors today IN A YARN STORE of all places. I couldn’t be more proud.
Lastly, she has discovered the usefulness of pockets. I hope I catch her treasures before they end up in the washing machine.

We keep busy between playdates at the park, kids concerts, and trips to the zoo. Its been a great summer.

 

Happy Cake Day!

My sister Ling Ling and I are twelve years plus one day apart in age. And because we live where we do, we actually get to share our birthdays for one hour. Today is her birthday, and tomorrow is mine. But when the clock strikes midnight, and I officially age
one year, it is still her birthday because she lives one time zone behind me.

I know you read this blog, dear sister, but that you may not get to it later. I hope you had some yummy cake, because according to my two girls, that is what birthdays are all about.

xoxo

Summer Craft Round-Up (Part 1): Sew This, Knit That

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks.  It all started when little Chickadee was under quarantine.  Not only were we staying home, but she was taking solid naps.  Wren has always been a good napper, so I took advantage of the situation and set up shop in the basement.

First, I took out this unfinished quilt and finally attached the binding.  It was one of those stories where you wonder why you let it sit unfinished for half a year when it took one afternoon to complete it.

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It is not perfect, but it is the second quilt of this size I have ever made, and it is d-o-n-e!

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Then, feeling bad about having neglected my needles, I was determined to finish yet another project.  My mother had sent some bamboo yarn my way.  It was not enough for me to make a sweater that I’ve been dreaming about, at least not one in my size!  So I did some arithmetic and scaled it down many sizes.  It will fit a 3-6 month old baby.

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My Ravelry notes are here.

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THEN some leftover squares from the table runner I made back in December were calling my name.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so many evenings you could find me in the basement rearranging the squares.  After reading Modern Log Cabin Quilts, a really great book I checked out from my local library, I found my inspiration.

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The greatest part about finishing this project, aside from the finishing of it, was sending it off in the mail.  I really liked it, and I’m pretty glad that it’s going to a good home.  (Happy Belated  10th Wedding Anniversary, Andy and Lindy!)

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And THEN I decided that I was done knitting my nursing shawl.  It wasn’t shaping up the way I wanted it to.  I like the pattern a lot, but the wool/acrylic blend just didn’t drape.  So I knit a few more repeats until it ended on a good colour for symmetry and called it a baby blanket.  The cast-on edges like to curl so I’m contemplating what to do about that.  So technically, this project is not done because I need to … add a detailed edging?  … line the back?  Hopefully, I’ll figure it out soon enough and then I’ll come back with more photos.

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Oh, and Chicka is finally a good napper!  Alas, she’s awake so I’ve got to run.  Until next time.  :)