Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Braydon, my hero, has me a new computer!

Answers to questions from the comments from the last post--
(tomorrow I'll try to do a real blog post)

Hi Amanda! -- Yes! With every single stage and phase of baby Meera (including the entire pregnancy) we (me, especially) find ourselves thinking about where the boys were and what they were doing at her age. I think about it all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. We have a pretty good understanding of where they were and what they were doing -- at least from the time they were born until the day we went to get them. As hard as that understanding is, I think that it (the knowledge/understanding) is a good thing -- for both us (B & me) and for K & O. Adoption waiting is the worst. The WORST. By far worse for the waiting children than for the waiting parents... but that says a lot because it is just plain horrible for the waiting parents. People who haven't been through it just don't get it. Those of you who have been through it, or are currently going through it, you know what I mean when I say this: It pains my heart (pains my heart) thinking about Kyle and Owen in that orphanage for their first eight months. Meera turned 8 weeks old today. Not all orphanages are the same (even in Haiti some are worse than others)... but when K & O were 8 weeks old they were lying in a grungy port-a-crib, in the sweltering heat, not sure when/if they'd get another bottle, not bathed, not held, not loved. It kills me to think about it. It just kills me. But... I like to think about the fact that they had each other. I try to focus on that. They laid there everyday, together. And they lived. They survived. They transcended. They flourished. They thrived. And here they are today -- lovin' on their 8 week old baby sister giving her thousands of kisses every day and asking to hold her. Life is heart-wrenching and amazing and awe-inspiring. What a big, wide, wonderful (albeit screwed up) world we live in. So, yes, I do think about where the boys were and what they were doing. I think about it all the time. Thanks for asking about this Amanda. I hope to blog more about this sort of subject -- including thoughts/feelings on adopted vs. bio kids -- down the road (hopefully not in the far too distant future).

Zahara asked about the stares and comments we've received since having Meera with us... As always, some people do ask questions, most just stare. Unless people say things to us we ignore them. Children are the best -- they just put it out there (which, to Braydon and I, at least, feels much better than coping with the stares and whispers and 'lets-pretend-we're-not-gawking-at-them' that we get from most adults). This past weekend, for example, a little girl exclaimed out loud to her parents: "Look! The baby is white and they are black!!!!!" I like that kind of thing because it just opens it up wide open. Children, we find, tend to just be curious and that's really cool and fun. Adults often just stare -- and that is uncomfortable sometimes. Sometimes we get a bad vibe and that is really uncomfortable. People sometimes ask questions or make comments, and that is almost always a good thing. Another example from this past weekend -- We were having lunch at a restaurant and I took Owen into the bathroom. As we were washing our hands a middle-aged white woman at the sink next to us said to me: "You have such a cute family!" I said, "Thanks!" She said, "I was looking at your baby earlier and she's so cute and alert, and your boys are just adorable." I said, "Thank you!!" And that was that. I thought this was really, really cool. It felt very supportive and positive without feeling at all fake or weird. Often I think people want to say something -- and want to say something positive -- but they just don't know what to say and I felt like that woman had figured out a great thing to say. Just last week my mom was telling me that she was at an amusement park with my niece and it was an entirely white crowd. She noticed a family of white parents and black kids. She wanted so much to say something supportive and positive to them (especially given that they presumably felt a little weird about it being soooo white there), but just didn't know what to say and didn't want to come across as weird. We were talking about it on the phone and I couldn't think of what she could say that would be perfect. And then just a couple days later I had that encounter with that woman in the restroom---- I think saying "You have such a cute family!" is just the perfect thing to say. I plan to say something like that to families similar to ours when we see them in the future (as rarely as that is).

Anonymous said -- "Okay, so fess up: what's in the delicious looking salad (including dressing)?" Well, here's the deal... If I do this then you have to make yourself not anonymous (I hate anonymous comments!!!) and trade me one of your great recipes that you're eating this summer. Acting on faith that you'll live up to your end of the bargain, here goes:
Braydon and I love salads and I tend to make up a great salad idea and then make it over and over until we're sick of it. The salad picture is of our current salad fixation. We've eaten it several times already this summer and just yesterday when I was food shopping I bought all the ingredients to eat it again this week. The boys love it too. I just made it up so I don't have any measurements or anything, but here you go:

* Lay a down a bed of nice baby greens on a platter
* Toast a couple handfuls of pecans ('toast' = place in dry pan over hot stove until they are browned). Put toasted pecans on greens.
* Add on a couple big handfuls of fresh blueberries
* Add on crumbled goat cheese (getting good quality goat cheese is key to making this salad awesome!)
* Drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil
* Drizzle with Litehouse brand Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette (I just discovered this -- it is in the cold refrigerated section of the produce area)
* Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
* Note: I would also add thinly sliced red onion to this salad... (I'm just not adding onion this summer because Meera seems to have a bad reaction when I eat onions so I'm avoiding them at all costs!)
* Serve with crusty baguette and white wine! :)


kenzsethia said...

Adoptive mom from China and waiting for our 4th from Ethiopia. I can completely relate and love your thoughts about adoption. You do have an adorable family!

Mark and Sarah said...

I'm thrilled that you're planning on blogging about bio vs. adopted kids in the near future. As a mom to a 5 mo. old bio babe and mama to an adorable Ethiopian toddler babe, I see myself so closely in your words and actually learn more about myself through your thought process. I plan to try out your delicious salad too...sounds awesome!

Malia's mama said...

hey J-M Family! malia and I are in Portugal, and while she naps, I thought I'd try to find your blog, and did! :) Looks like Meera and the little men are just thriving. And, sooooo much of what I read here, today, brought tears to my eyes. Blessings to all 5!
Malia's mama

Double Double Happiness said...

I have very enjoyed following your blog. Owen and Kyle are amazing big brothers.

I am the MaMa of twin girls from China (3yrs) and bio twin (boy/girl)(22months). Our dynamics are exciting and active as well.

Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful family via your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I found your blog about a week before Meera was born and have been reading on and off :). Congrats on your three children!

I want to comment on the issue of people staring and whispering. Obviously I don't know what people think when they see your black boys and white baby, but I think you shouldn't underestimate how gorgeous your family is and that all those people might be simply staring because they can't take their eyes off of them!!! It happened to me when I first found your blog, I came back several times to look at the banner picture of K&O in the white shirts and party hats; it was just such a gorgeous picture! I imagine that they have to be 100 times cuter in person, and even more so with a baby in tow :).

I have twin girls after many years of infertility treatments. I don't have a blog myself but I have been reading several blogs of multiracial adoptive families, especially Chinese, and when I see multiracial families my first assumption is that they adopted due to infertility (unlike your case). My immediate next thought is how happy those parents must be now, how lucky they are (the parents), how much they deserve it after a long wait (at least that's what I speculate happened! :)). Those are the thoughts that go through my mind as I unavoidable stare at them :) Many times I make comments; usually to the children if they are old enough (something like how cute their are or some other silly comment about anything); it's like I can't miss the opportunity to somehow "acknowledge" that happiness. Ok, this is getting long.. bottom line is you never know what's going on in people minds when they stare at you. Curiosity about what your story is, for sure; that's unavoidable. I doubt there's too much negative judgement going on.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great salad recipe. I am away on business but when I return home I will try it and also will think of one to share.

Bek said...

YOu are the greatest Heather!! I love the answers here.

My mom just asked me the same thing (about what to say when she sees a family that is like ours). I think that "What a cute family" is perfect. If they are chatty (like I tend to be), it will come out that it is a family formed by adoption(if that is the case) and then they can share that they have a family like that too.

I always have a sneaky feeling that when we are asked about our fmaily or when people say things that are nice or supportive, they know someone like us anyway...

Your boys are the cutests. I can't wait to read the bio/vs adopted post... maybe we can get a bunch of us to post on it the same day... I could sure learn something from other families (..esp as the parent of special needs kids, both bio and adopted, that adds an extra tasty dimenion to already yummy kids...)

Holli said...

oh the salad does look so good.....but no such luck with the salad dressing here in England - their take on s.d. is mayo-waterish packets- gag.....
LOVE your other thoughts!!! and though at this point I am not waiting for particular children but my children all the same- I TOTALLY AGREE - we have worked, cried and longed for our adoptive children more then our bio. children but love them the same!