Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Million Dollar Question

I was asked this question, and before I provide my best effort at an answer, I'm opening it up -- and hence opening a can of worms:

"I'm wondering if someone can help steer me in the right direction. This isnot a comment on your latest post, but a question that surely you have addressed somewhere. We are considering an Ethiopian adoption (we have a little boy naturally) for our second child. I just can't get around the fact that I might spend 20,000 dollars to adopt a baby whose family would be able to take care of her if I gave them that money. I feel like if I truly loved a child, I would just give that money to a family (families) and then the child would be able to stay with her own family. In other words, why does the person with the money get the baby?"

Carlos, as you wait, you might read my archives from early 2006, as I struggled while we waited for our referral.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When Did DD Become Aware of her Adoption?

Overwhelmed with Joy asked in a comment on my last, and perhaps cryptic, post.

Miss I is now three and almost-a-half, and recently has showed some concern about some of the language we use. Particularly, "mother" and "first mother," are terms that confuse her. I suspect that natural- and birth- would be no more helpful to her, for it is about the term "mother" and all derivations. She currently wants to be only my baby, my *only* baby, and a baby forever. I suspect that this has more to do with her transition to preschooler from toddler. I think, too, that it is because at three, adoption is far more conceivable to her.

We've been reading her lifebook to her intermittently since she came to us at 17 mos. She was old enough to celebrate her adoption, at two. She was there when my nephew was born, and knows that she was not born to me. How well she understands why she is in a family she was not born into, who can say? How well can a three year old understand death? illness? finality of any kind?

For a transracial adoptee, adoption is almost inescapable even from a young age. I would not expect an adoptee the same race as her parents to have the same level of comprehension of (or interest in) the construction of her family at the same age. Our daughter knows our family is much different from other families. Yet I'm not certain that she really knows.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I gotta post quickly because dd resorted to pretending to eat a crayon to pull me away from all the comments on Nicole's recent post, but I am

a.really sorry (though I know it isn't my fault, I belong to the class, so . . .) for all the aparent "we wipe the bums" rhetoric. It exhausts me. We wipe the bums because we get to do so. It's part of the package that we are privileged to have and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous and damaging to our children

b.mulling a conversation I had with dd (recall, 3) who was uncomfortable when I said "your first mother" -- though I've said it before, this time it struck her wrong and

c.desperately wanting to put the "is Natural mom offensive?" business to rest. I've posted about it before, but here's the short version: I am my dd's mother by legal decree. THAT is the opposite of natural in this context, not "artificial," not "fake." My husband is my legal spouse, not my natural one. My son is my natural and legal son. My daughter's natural mother is not her legal mother, I am not her natural mother. It's true and it's okay.

(Also, I am totally itching to get involved in the resurgence of the vaccination debate, but I am behaving myself for the moment).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Must Read on Food Waste

Increasing food prices have caused many people to consider cutting their grocery bills. The first place we look to cut should be waste. Check out this NYTimes article on food waste. How we eat affects efforts toward a (more) just world.

Terribly Sad News

I cannot imagine what Steven Curtis Chapman's family, and in particular his teenage son, is feeling after the loss of Maria in their own driveway.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Sign of the Decline of Western Civilization

I read this burning question in a magazine this weekend:
"How many different ways can I wear my new gladiator sandals?"

Then there is this news out of Ethiopia.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please head over to Mia's to learn more about the open records debate, to see how nothing has changed, and to understand why it should.


Little Bun came home the other day and yelled "Moses R. Bloom, get down here now!" When I asked what he was doing, he said "practicing."
He considers himself the "family hero" for finding a name he thought we could all agree on for our third -- Moses.
"Moses" will not actually be Moses. "Moses" will come with a name already; Moses could be a girl . . . and Moses? Since I'm not Gwyneth Paltrow, Moses seems a bit much. (Not as much, however, as a name I was surprised to learn ranked somewhere in the 900s for popularity -- "Messiah.")
Still, it had occurred to Little Bun that "Moses" is or will be a real person. I thought it had occurred to me before, too, but it hadn't, really, until this afternoon. I was walking down the sidewalk on a beautiful sunny day and it hit me that somewhere in this world there's someone else whose life I'm responsible for stewarding. H*ly Moses.

ETA I just learned that the baby house is called Mussie (Moo-say?) -- Moses.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why is a mouse a terrifying find in a house that has three pet rats? (I literally cried when I found it and now cannot get the fact that there was a mouse in my house out of my head).
Apparently my dog and my cat have decided that if an animal is in my home, it must be a pet, and so are no longer doing their duties.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Little Bun had too much caffeine at his Auntie's wedding. Any caffeine is too much caffeine. Caffeine for Little Bun is prohibited.
We discovered that he had had this one Pepsi too many when his eyes flashed rapidly, he giggled maniacally, and tried to breakdance in his rented tuxedo.
Later in the evening, after he'd settled, he had this to say:

"I'm really sorry that I disobeyed you and my disobedience led to misbehavior. I asked the lady for an Orange Soda but I guess she only heard 'soda' so she gave me a Pepsi and once I had that Pepsi . . I'd never HAD a Pepsi, and I couldn't pass up my chance. Now I'm sorry I took that chance."

Do You Know What You're Getting Into?

Dr. Bloom finally shared with significant people in his life that we have completed our homestudy and preliminary dossier documents for #3 (Some have known for sometime for practical reasons, and while they think we are crazy they have been wise enough not to say so). The Blooms were not pleased.

"Do you know what you're getting into?" one pivotal person asked. I responded, "Did you know what you were getting into when you got pregnant with each of your children? Children are always a surprise, and we're looking forward to that again." What I wanted to say was "I know! That's what I wanted to ask SIL when she announced her pregnancy, but I controlled myself!" (with a smile -- because I really am guilty of thinking that same thing).

I'm not sure I know what the question means -- do we know what it's like to parent three? (of course not yet) do we know the potential medical challenges of our child to be? (not yet, but we're as educated as anyone can be about the conditions to which we've opened ourselves) have we considered that family members who are willing to babysit two Bloom children might not be willing to babysit three? (this is not a real problem as we don't go out) . . .

More than last time, we DO know what we are getting into. So many lessons we've had to learn about being an unconventional family have already been learned. We've prepared twice for a child with medical/developmental special needs, and while our children have surprised us with their perfect health, that preparation could come in handy this time. We've learned to play zone defense.

Pregnancy and adoption are not comparable, and it saddens me when prospective adoptive parents try to make adoption intelligible to others by comparison with pregnancy. Yet there are times when the tact necessary for engaging with a pregnant woman is also necessary for engaging with an expecting adoptive mother. This is one of those times, one of those times when "congratulations" is appropriate even if you don't mean it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Overwhelmed with Joy has announced the opening of her Sparkle and Charm Boutique. Be sure to check out her beautiful bows (Miss I wants the butterflies), admire the detail, and congratulate her on the launch!

Off to the youngest Auntie Bloom's wedding -- Miss I will be a flower girl in a lovely organza dress with embroidered butterflies sewn by the talented Grandma Gardener. (If only Miss I had those bows today!) I'll post a picture tomorrow.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Teleflora Responds

Thank you for contacting Teleflora to share your thoughts about the
"Teleflora presents America's Favorite Mom" program.

In response to your concerns, Teleflora is immediately changing the
name of our "Non-Mom" category to "Adopting Moms." After closer
examination, we can see how this may have been offensive to moms who
have adopted children -- moms who are indeed real moms to their
children in every sense of the word. In fact, many of us at
Teleflora are "adopting" parents ourselves, including our president
and owner. The essence of this category still focuses on a
grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster
children, each one raising and loving a child.

This show of insensitivity on our part was in no way intended and we
deeply apologize for any concern or distress we may have caused. It
was always our intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

In closing, all of us at Teleflora would like to offer our sincerest
best wishes to all the many women throughout the world who have
worked so hard and given so much to earn the name "Mom."

The America's Favorite Mom Team


It seems "Does she call you Mom?" isn't such an odd question. Teleflora and NBC have decided to include adoptive mothers in the "Non-Mom" category for their America's Favorite Mom contest. Jennifer K. is an adoptee, and a mother by birth and adoption, yet she qualifies as a "Non-mom."

I wonder if my non-kids will be able to find an appropriate card. They'll probably have to not make one themselves. I just hope they never buy me a teleflora bouquet.

PS I just faxed Jeff Zucker.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Multiple Choices

It's so hard to decide on the spot. I wish you had been there to vote on the following options:

"Does she call you Mom and Dad?"
A. Yes, except when she is calling me "Sugar-free."
B. No, she calls me Momma and her Daddy Daddy.
C. Of course. But if you are asking if she understands that she had another mother and father, yes to that too.

"I could never do that."
A. I know what you mean. I could never have married your husband! (with a wink).
B. Adoption isn't for everyone. It's really only for very empathetic people who can understand their children's losses even if we haven't experienced it ourselves. It's only for people who don't expect to see themselves reflected in their children but to see their children shine. (Add a whole host of self-righteous statements to round this one out).
C. I'm so grateful that we did.

I answered C's.
The Blooms are a bit down in the dumps this week, but still, there's a lot to celebrate:
Little Bun has a piece in the All City Art Show
Miss I is finally transitioning to the preschool room (we've been waiting a long time for a spot)
Dr.Bloom's sister is getting married this weekend, in a garden
and I'm going to the Neil Diamond concert some months from now.
All of these things are very exciting.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Adoption Effect?

This study is worth reading and discussing. I'd be interested in follow-ups to 18 and early twenties.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


At a recent party with seven year olds, one party-goer, a casual friend of Little Bun, grabbed my breast. I wasn't going to tell you about it, but then I took another look at the subjects of my most recent posts and realized that it was a natural inclusion.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I tease that she's three going on thirteen

but I think our culture is making it happen. Here's evidence in an msn article about the latest starlette scandal:

'Tween-focused franchises such as "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical" have become a major element of Disney's strategy, as it attempts to capture the 6- to 14-year-old set as they outgrow animation-focused children's programming.'

The problem here is not the photo (though the photos are bad for reasons beyond the "beyond her years" they project). The problem is in Disney's strategy, in Nielsen ratings and the ways we as an audience have begun to see ourselves as Market. It's in parents' thinking, and it's right there in the article: Six to fourteen year olds are described as a *set*.

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as a tween. At the dawn of the industrial revolution (but not much before) there were Children. And later in their lives, children became Adolescents (and they slammed doors and their parents cried). In the best of cases, those adolescents became Grown ups. Please, grown ups, help us reclaim childhood by rejecting this market notion of "tweens," ages six to fourteen.