Archive for August, 2012



















It’s so fun to visit family!



Please don’t ask if my daughters are sisters, especially when my daughters are with me.  I am their mom.  They are both my daughters.  That makes them sisters.  They’re reminded enough that adoption is part of their past, that they’re different than most people around.  It’s a lot for them to figure out and cope with.  To have people ask if they’re sisters and then ask again stressing “real” sisters is just not nice and it makes Keta and Francine uncomfortable and question even more (and not quite trust) this whole family thing that is still a bit of a mystery to them.  They have the same mama, so they’re sisters, real sisters.



I don’t know, maybe.

That’s the current response I get to every question whether it makes sense or not.  I wonder where they hear the things they like to say and I know it must be me who says them.  In what context did I say it and how many times?  I hear myself in lots of things they say, some make me proud, some make me cringe.  Soon, I’ll be able to deny it was me…..  They must have picked that up at school, surely I would never say that.



no thank you big

How do you explain to a three year old the meaning of forever?  How do you explain to a three year old who has had no experience with anything lasting any time at all, including a brief period in which even her name didn’t last?  Keta occasionally asks how long this is her home and how long I’m her mama.  I tell her all the time in as many ways as I can think of to explain it.  She’s not sure though.  She just doesn’t get it.  How could she?  I told her when she’s big big and has her own babies, I’ll still be her mama.  I told her when she’s big big and all grown up like ….. that I’d still be her mama.  Even when she’s big big and all grown up and she goes to school too far away to see from here, like Kalais, I’ll still be her mama.  “Mama, no thank you big.”



and other Francine close-but-not-quite-the-right-word words….

topato = potato

ayigator = alligator

ayigator = elevator

hopsital = hospital

bye-yoon = balloon

bambi = band-aid

peas = peas

peas = please

yap = lap

bump = butt

Jango = Jango, Gigi’s dog

other Jango = Cocoa, Gigi’s other dog

You-ee = Louis

She put her apron on all by herself and was so proud of herself that I had to capture the moment, her great success!

She told me on day three of the first week of school it was “only one nigh’ night until mama comes back, not a lot of nigh’ nights!”

She wants to know where everything grows, and is so excited to when I tell her.  She exclaims happily, “Bananas in the tree like apple!”

“Topatoes in the gyound like stawbeddies!”

“Where pizzadillo gyow, Mama?”

So much fun!


back to school

I’m back at work.  The girls are going to preschool, all day long.

Although there’s not a lot of options in our small town, there’s a great place for Keta and Francine.  It’s small and right between work and home.  To help with this new schedule, this transition, we went to their school a few times together and I left them a few times just for an hour to help them understand that this mama will come back.  We had a special dinner before their first day complete with pink plastic wine glasses, cloth napkins and their favorites, pizza and chicken wings.  I gave them each a necklace with photos of us together, just like mama’s necklace.  We read books to help get ready, we talked about it endlessly.  It might be scary and sad, but fun too.  They had a really hard time.  Behavior and coping skills took a nose dive for a bit.  Kids with a more regular background cry and maybe throw a fit when they’re left at school at first.  Not these two.  Keta has been abandoned by so many and passed around so much, it’s what she expected.  She wasn’t happy about it, but deep down she knew another abandonment was just around the corner.  She shut down and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Francine hasn’t been passed around quite as much and another abandonment is what she feared.  To most, it seems they’re doing well with this new transition since they aren’t crying and throwing fits at school.  That’s not the case.  They’ve resigned themselves to whatever cruelty is coming up next for them.  They will be alright and they will love school and learning and they need to be there for some social and mental stimulation and for the daily reminder that mama really does come back.  Keta is angry though.  Everyday she’s angry at me for leaving her for so long.  She won’t hug me when I pick her up or talk to me for a bit.  When she decides to talk, the first thing she always says is how long I was gone.  She was beginning to trust me and this is what I do to her, leave her with strangers, again!  Everything they’re doing is “normal” for kids with complicated backgrounds and I know it could be so much worse.  At least Keta feels secure enough and trusts me enough to express her anger.  Once we’re home for a bit it’s back to our usual business of play and talking to me nonstop at the same time.  We got through this week and I’m happy it’s the weekend.  We’ll never have to do that first week again.




Today we’re even.  Ten weeks in country, ten weeks at home.  One day we’ll have spent more of their lives together than not.  It’ll be a good day, but I can wait.  It already seems like time is going too quickly.