Archive for September, 2013


first impressions


One year and six months ago today my girls met their forever mama.  Memories of that traumatic day are slowly resurfacing and they have the language skills to communicate those memories.  Here are a few.

Mama, I was so scared when I first sees you ‘cause you had bright yellow skin and such a stick out nose.  Why your nose not stick out anymore?

I don’t remember what Bibi looks like that day.

Why you wear those black pants that day?

Why there was a purple folder?  What was in there?

They gives me a bath in a bucket the day I gets my mama.

We walked to the man to fixed my hair so pretty to meet you.

Papa Ema put me in the car first then we picks up Keta.

I did not know I was spose to be Yvonne.  Silly mama, calling me the wrong name.

Was Gambo happy I gets a mama?

Thank you to all the forever unknown people who cared for my girls until that day, cared enough for them to bathe them and spend hours on their hair, and dress them in the clothes that I sent.  Thanks for buying a small suitcase for their belongings.  Thanks for whatever role you played in making sure two little girls grew up knowing the love of a family.  I’m grateful.  I try to imagine how that day was for K and F and for everyone else who knew them or was involved in the process, but it’s difficult to understand and articulate everything that day was for me.  They’re happy and healthy and loved.  It’s good.  I’m grateful.



recent randomness

Mama, why the boy at a wedding called a broom?

Alphabet start with a and a start the alphabet!

When I has a bird on my head I would freak out!

My horse bucks me off when he’s ‘bout to step on a ladybug.  Or a wolf.


I only likes the fish you takes the wrapper off.  (shrimp)


Mama, we’re decoration-ing your hair!

I want to has a prince when I grows up and he’ll be a handsome prince.


Mama, can you writes a note when you’ll check on us so the muloji knows you’ll be right back?

Mama, I keeps wanting to tells that lady to let go of the rope for my back horse riding lesson to lets Cocoa run fast, but I was too shy.

Mama, can we read 100 books tonight?  (We read 100 books the day after the last time this request was made.  Books for three year olds are short, but not short enough to make me want to repeat this already.)

Mama, when Milo jumps up to the sky will he break our house?


Mama, why we can’t see Grandpa Leslie up in the sky?

K and F planted a peach pit and expected a bumper crop about nineteen seconds later.  They’ve dug it up to check on it daily and have relocated it each time.  Obviously, since it’s taking so long they haven’t found that one perfect area of our yard yet.

Francine has two enormous big girl teeth growing into her itty bitty not big girl mouth.  She’s not going to show off that super cute little gap though.  Keta has yet to lose her first, that one that was an itty bitty bit wiggly back in June.



so. what.

I get it. My family is not like most. There’s a mama but not a daddy. There’s kiddos who have a first mama that’s not me. I get it. I know we’re not what people see everyday. They are mine though and I am theirs and when we’re at the park and I hear you saying they’re not mine and I hear you hating us for no reason, no real reason anyway, be glad I’m certain my kiddos can’t hear you. Yep, MY kids have brown skin. SO. WHAT. They have brown skin and I do not. SO. WHAT. Hating us for that? Hating two sweet, innocent little girls, for that? I really don’t get it. I’ve never understood it, that hatred, but now I have people hating my kids. I know it’s a conversation we’ll have to have, but how do you explain to your children that some people will just hate them for no reason? They’ll be alright, my two strong, brave girls, but that their gorgeous brown skin and beautiful tight curls will be reason enough for people to hate them, I don’t get it at all.




Thought this would be better than secretly but not quietly trying to “gives Rody a carwash” using the bathroom sink.





bit by tiny bit

In anticipation of having kiddos with complicated backgrounds from a foreign country who would speak a different language and be adopted, I read a few books and took mandatory classes.  According to all of it, bonding is a process.  An adoptive parent and new kiddos aren’t and never will be suddenly bonded.  It’ll happen over time, a lifetime likely, bit by tiny bit.  My two have such different backgrounds and just like any two people they have very different personalities, coping mechanisms and outlooks.  The bonding process has been so different for them.  One had the same caregivers from birth to meeting me.  The other did not.  She had several mommy figures but was often left to tend for herself it seems.  The first, although traumatized, was pretty much ready and able to accept that someone could and did and wanted to love her and take care of her.  The second, having had no experience with it, struggles.   The first went through several versions of what to call me, “mama yo” then “my mama” (realizing that I truly was) and now just mama or mommy.  She wasn’t too resistant to receiving and giving hugs and making eye contact.  Don’t get in a staring contest with that one.  You will lose.  She has a gift.  The second fought so hard against it all.  Eventually, she’d try, but she had no idea how to go about it, touching and being touched, hugging and cuddling.  Eye contact was really hard for her too.  Bonding with her has been a rough road for both of us.  At first, she wanted nothing to do with me, preferring Bibi or to be left alone.  She screamed for three solid weeks.  The process at times has been literally painful.  Bonding seems to plateau for a bit then there’s suddenly a huge step toward love and trust followed by another plateau.  It’s hard for me to see the changes from day to day, but looking back the girl has made tremendous progress.  She’s healing.  She’s been increasingly affectionate and letting me be too.  More and more she’s letting me take care of her, be the mama.  Just last week she did two new things, big things for her.  She drew a family portrait (and so proudly gifted it to me) and she starting mirroring, copying me.  In the past she’d note things I’d do or watch me, but for her to look at me and make eye contact for an extended period, huge deal for her.  Seeing her delight in mirroring me and giggle about it, huge deal for both of us.  She’s come a long way, bit by tiny bit.  So good to see.


They love wearing mama’s old dresses!