Thursday, July 31, 2008

Open Book 2008!!!!!!

Last August, here on our blog, we did an Open Book Challenge (click here and click here --and check out all of our answers on our posts dated from August 27-September 3). It was super fun for us to do, but it took a loooooot of time! A year ago, according to our blog meter, we had around 300 individual readers per day. As of today, we have around 600 but oftentimes our numbers spike much higher (like during the few days before and after Meera's birth when we were getting 1,400 individual reader hits per day). This is just to say that we don't dare do a truly 100% Open Book Challenge this year, but we would still like to keep the spirit of it alive, and --importantly-- we'd like to get an idea of who's reading this here blog!!! Who the heck are all of you people?!! So, even if you've never left a comment here before, please de-lurk now! If you read our blog, please participate in this here Challenge~~~~~~~~~~

The Open Book Challenge is an opportunity for you to ask me/Braydon/us both any question(s) you want. We may not answer every question (simply because there are indeed things we don't make public), but we will do the best we can. The new rule for 2008, though, is this:

No open-ended questions. All questions must be closed-ended questions (i.e., questions that can either be answered with "yes," "no," or some other one-word-only answer).

So, I challenge you, dear readers, to not only ask a question but to come up with a way to frame what might otherwise be an open-ended question as a cleverly worded closed-ended question.

We're going to shut this game down on midnight August 5 -- so be sure to leave your questions here in the 'comments' before then. We'll start posting our answers to your questions on Friday, August 8.

Ask away!


Paige Mann said...

What a great idea! Now I'm thinking about doing it on our blog! AND I'm the first this go-round! Woo hoo!! Here goes:

As another half-parent :) adopting from Haiti---seemingly a different adoption animal from any country out there---If you could sum your adoption of K&O up with a song, what would that song be?

Love the blog!!!!

Asiaha said...

Hi Mr. and Mrs. Johnson-McCormick. My name is Asiaha and I live in Virginia and Im 17 years old. I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I love it! I check for updates everyday.

My question is, have you took Kyle and Owen to a Amusement park before? (like Hershey Park, Six Flags, Kings Dominion). I think they would love it!

Jen said...

I would love to know, are you planning for any more kids?

cassidy said...

hello Johnson-McCormick family! I must admit, I love your blog and my roommate often makes fun of me for checking it out so often, seeing as I know so much about you all now and you know nothing about me! My name is Cassidy and I am 23, just recently moved to New York City after growing up in Missouri my whole life. I came across your blog through my friends, The Bakers (they have an adoption blog as well) and your blog is always entertaining, very thoughtful, and always has great photos! questions to you (trying to cleverly disguise them as close-ended questions)...

1. I do not have any children and don't plan on having any for a while, but I always wondered when I would feel like an adult...after leaving my parents house? after getting a real job? after getting married and having kids? So my question you feel like adults/parents now or like you are playing house?

2. Do you have any regrets with raising the twins that you want to change with raising Meera?

Congrats on having the Party of 5 and I wish you all the best!


Amy said...

My name is Amy, from Houston, Texas and I'm a medical student but in between hitting the books and the medical wards I check up on your blog everyday!!

My question is do you think that with your twins being raised in a very white environment that they will be more likely to be in interracial relationships when they start dating?

ConnorFam3 said...

Hey Johnson-McCormicks, I have a interesting reason why I read your blog... Carol McCormick, is my adopted brother's birth momma. She told me about your blog when we were chatting on AIM one night and I've been hooked ever since!

I don't really have any questions, just wanted to introduce myself!

Here is my familiy blog

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather and Braydon!

I've left some comments before, but I am not sure, if I ever introduced myself properly. My name is Katja, 26, and I live in Germany! 7 years ago, I spent an Au-Pair-Year in Wisconsin with a wonderful Canadian Single Mom and her 3 kids (two adopted boys, one bio girl). She had lost her husband to cancer, when the Kids were 3, 4 and 8... Very tragic, but they were and are a great family.

This was the first time, I've been confronted with Adoption, as it is not as common in Germany, as in the US. Well, I got hooked on the topic and started reading a lot about it. Back in 2005, I dicoverd my first adoption blog while researching on the Internet. And somehow, about 18 months ago, I found your blog... Don't even remember how exactly :-)

I enjoy your insights and your writing very much and look forward to News from your Life every day! Thank you so much for sharing. I especially love the posts, that center around all the adoption questions...

Someday, I want to have Kids as well and I might even adopt. Who knows? Thanks to you and all the other wonderful people out there, that share their stories, I sure do know a lot about the reality and the difficulties involved (and of course, I hab my share of reality back in 2001-2002 with the Kids in Wisconsin).

So, my question is totally adoption-unrelated:
Where do you plan to take ALL three Kids for your first "real" vacation (meaning: you have to take an airplane and lots of snacks ;-) as a Family of 5?

From a fellow airplane-and-travel-fan in Germany!

Rose said...

After having meera, do you want or wish for any more children? (I know you said meera is the last but you can't control your heart!).

Nikki said...

Will you ever bring K & O back to Haiti to visit?

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Erin and I live in Buffalo. My husband and I have two children aged 11 and 14. We are in the beginning stages of adopting a boy from Haiti. My 11 year old and I love reading your blog everyday.

When our children were little my husband and I used to love to talk about what our children would be when they grew up. At this point in time, what do you think your children will "be" when they grow up?

Keep up the good work. We just love the photographs!


Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Erin and I live in Buffalo. My husband and I have two children aged 11 and 14. We are in the beginning stages of adopting a boy from Haiti. My 11 year old and I love reading your blog everyday.

When our children were little my husband and I used to love to talk about what our children would be when they grew up. At this point in time, what do you think your children will "be" when they grow up?

Keep up the good work. We just love the photographs!


Brooke said...

Sorry this isnt a yes or no question. But I was wondering how your neighbors are doing with their adopted children?

Rose said...

OOps. Forgot to introduce myself. I'm 23 years old Somali-Canadian living in beautiful British Columbia. I'm a nursing student. I discovered your blog 8 months ago and just read all the archieves within a week --- I was that hooked! I love your writing and think your family is amazing.

I've always been interested in adoption and am quite obsessed with adoption blogs recently.

And -- I've always had a soft spot for twins. Would love to adopt/give birth to them at least once!!!!

Maggie B. said...

Hi! My name is Maggie, and I live in Pasadena, CA. I love your blog, and I found it through a friend's blog who linked to another blog which linked to your blog! (Does that process have a name?)

Anyway, I was pregnant at the same time as Heather--I delivered my third child in late December--so we are in the midst of enjoying a precious baby and two older sibs as well.

Thanks for your great writing and deep thoughts. We hope to adopt someday (from the CA foster care system), so I LOVE reading about your adoption and your incredible boys!

My question--when will you take the boys' 4 year-old picture by the tree? And will Meera be in it as well?

Anonymous said...

I am from Evansville Indiana and I came to your blog via a friend who is in the process of adopting from Haiti. I have enjoyed reading your posts and looking at the pictures of your gorgeous children. My question is:

What type of camera do you own? It takes such beautiful pictures!

Major Mom said...

HI There
I love reading your blog, I get such a kick out of K and O and their everyday antics. I grew up with twins cousins, both boys. Yes, they have lived to be college students and so did my aunt:) We are a family of 4 living in Watertown, NY. We are in the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia. My question for you is:
What agency/orphanage did you adopt from in Haiti?
Trisha Roe

Stella said...

My name is Stella, and I'm 15. I love love LOVE your blog! Your boys are such a joy to read about, and I love their spirit and the way your family does everything! Something that struck me awhile ago was when Kyle and Owen were wearing tutus. You have no idea how cool that is to me! I know so many people who would gasp in horror at the idea of letting their boys wear tutus, but you guys are so open, and you just let your boys [and now GIRL] do their own thing! I love your way of parenting! I often babysit kids, and cringe at the way some people treat their little ones. You guys rock! I don't have a question yet, but I wanted to say hi anyway, and I'll keep thinking about a good question for you!

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Mary and I check your blog daily. I can't remember exactly how I found it, but I also have twin 2 year old boys and another baby boy born a week before Meera. I love how you write with such candor and humor, and your willingness to share your lives with us.
My question is in regards to Heather returning to work. At this point are you looking forward to it, or dreading it? Thanks!

memphislis said...

Hi, I am a daily reader and total fan. I teach 6th grade science in Memphis, TN. I taught for 6 years in a predominantly black school (I'm white) and notice differences in movement, stance, etc between the white children and black, even knowing that a few are being raised by white parents. My question:
Do you notice things about K and O that are "nature" and not "nurture"?

Anonymous said...

Johnson-McCormick Family,

Greetings! I have been following your blog since early 2008 and so enjoy checking in on your amazing family almost daily. Heather, you really have a way with words and the blog is a joy to read. And it doesn't hurt that we get to enjoy pictures of your adorable 3.

My question is not a 'yes or no answer' question, however, I am hopeful the answer is simple enough that you will still answer. Where do the nicknames MorMor and MorFar come from?

Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions!

Laura from Seattle

Anonymous said...

Will you send your kids to a private or public school?

Rachel and Arielle said...

Hi Johnson-McCormick's!
I feel like I know you so it's funny to "introduce" myself now. I'm Rachel from Minnesota and I found your blog through another adoptive family I know. I returned to the US in June after volunteering in orphanages in Uganda, Sudan, HAITI, and Peru for the past 2 years. I've also been a nanny for too many years to count. I'm super passionate about orphans and adoption and sincerely hope to be just like your family someday. I am 24 now and can't wait to adopt!
I don't really have a question for you, you have such fun info already. I love your blog and think your parenting is so incredible!

Anonymous said...

Do you know who Kyle & Owne's birth Mom is? If not, could they ever track her down some day if they decided to?

Do you know anything about her?

Anonymous said...

What were Kyle and Owen's names before they were Kyle and Owen?

Theresa said...

Hi to the Party of 5. We are a party of 8...the BK8. My partner and I are parents of 6 children, ages 2 - 17. Our interracial family has united through adoption and birth. I found your blog as a link from another blog which is primarily about multiracial families. I love reading your blog and find the insights refreshing, confirming and thought provoking. you belong to a religious/spiritual community?

Cheryl said...

Hi Braydon and Heather,
My husband and I live in Michigan, have three bio daughters ages 21, 18 and 16, and have a daughter (age 6 1/2) and a son (age 7 1/2)adopted from Haiti in 2004. Whenever I think my kids are being overly energetic and are getting into things they aren't supposed to I find a post on your blog that makes my kids seem low-key. :-) Well, maybe not low-key but a little more 'normal'.

I read your blog several times a week and love seeing your photos and hearing your stories. I think you are both great parents and the perfect parents for your kids. God knew what He was doing when He put them in your lives!

So, no questions--just a note to say 'hi' and keep up the great blogging.

glamah16 said...

I'm Courtney and can't even remember how I found your blog, but I have been hooked ever since. As my clock ticks I'm starting to think that adoption may be the answer if I marry my partner who is Caucasion( I'm African American).
So did it take you a long time to learn how to twist and loc the boys hair? Also are they "tender headed" or well behaved when you do the hair?

Maggie said...


My question is:
Will you come visit me in my new city the next time you are there?

ASA is not the same without you :( But, I *totally* get why you are sitting this one out. Thinkin' of you, mama!


Anonymous said...

Did you ever find out who sent you the chair for Meera?

Mom to 3 said...

Hi Johnson-McCormick Family!

I have been an avid reader of your blog for many many months now. We are a fellow party of 5 from New England. Our oldest is 4 and our twins recently turned 1. I thank you for sharing your lovely family with all of us. I look forward to reading the answers to all of these wonderful questions.

My questions are:

You appear to be the "perfect" family. As a fellow mom of twins and a singlet, I have many trying days. Do you ever have a bad day and lose your temper with your incredibly active kids? Do you ever make mistakes as a parent--what are they? What do you feel is your biggest mistake? Would you do anything differently as a parent?

Do you feel like you treat Meera differently than K & O? Do others in your family or circle of friends treat her differently? We have noticed that people treat our twins differently simply because they are twins and have that unique twin thing going on. My oldest has said she wishes she were a twin because the twins get all of the attention. My heart breaks a little when she says that.

Cate said...

I'm a former Big Sister in Big Brothers/Big Sisters and there's a strong possibility I may end up with custody of my Lil' Sis. I adore her, and her grandmother, who has custody, is in failng health.
She's African-American. I'm white, and now live in a very non-diverse community in Oregon. Okay, bluntly, it's almost all white. She visited recently, and we were eating out. A lady at another table shot us dirty looks our entire meal. I wanted to scream, "WHAT?! Have you got a problem?"

Have you run into situations like this and how do you handle them?

Christina said...

Who am I? Mama to Aiden D (Ethiopia '08), third year law student (go irish!), former elementary school librarian (TFA 2001 Corps), and fellow blogger ( Proud to be a J-M Reader since Jan. '07.

How many minutes per day do you spend blogging?


Tasha said...

Hey J-Ms!!
My name's Tasha, I'm 16, and I'm from Manchester, England. For a while now I have not been able to stop thinking about what I can do in the world - and my dream is to go to uni, master a couple of languages with development studies, and then just do whatever I can to help those less fortunate.
I adore the beauty of adoption, and have vowed that I will be a mama to at least two adopted kids in the future (not for a few years yet though ;-), hopefully from Haiti!
Anyways, I came across your blog from a link somewhere, and I just loved the way you write about your fantastic family. The candid humor and amazingly crazy scenarios you depict are so great, I'm always checking for the next interesting read you post. Thanks a lot!!

My question is, do you intend for K & O to learn Creole/French in the future, as that is what they would speak in Haiti?

P.S - As someone already wrote, I just love the way you parent. You seem so relaxed and open for them to be and discover who they are without restriction, but the discipline is still there. Well done, and I'm sure the kids will realize how lucky they are in a few years!

This Mama said...

HI there!!

Mandy here, 33 year old Mom from Canada! I've been reading your blog for over a year now on a regular basis, and found it when we started our adoption process. We are still in the process (nearly out of IBESR) of course! You family has a great energy and zest for life and I love that :)


What is your favorite time of day? (inspired by your early morning sun playroom pictures...)

ali said...

ali from NH here, mom of 3 bio, one adopted from haiti in 03, one adopted from arkansas in 07 blessed/lucky do you feel to have gotten 8 month old twins out of haiti in such a short time, especially now that people are waiting well over 2 years? even in 05, 8 months was almost UNHEARD OF. WOW. it took us 13 months in 03, and only because we went down there, sat in the IBESR office for 3 days until Rose would talk to us and she finally sent him through and only because he was DYING. we then finished the adoption ourselves with help from the consulate. what a MESS. late 03 was so bad down there.
also, the boys look so identical to us, but one seems redder haired than the other, is that just the camera doing that?

Karen Vitek said...

Hi Heather and Braydon!
I thought the Top Ten things the boys have done was hysterical - only because I didn't have to clean up afterward! My son, David was sent to his room once to clean up. All was very quiet for quite awhile - a bad sign I know but I thought maybe at 10 he is finally being industrious and serious about his room. WRONG!! He proudly announced to me that his room was done and he wanted me to check it out. To my horror he had drawn with a marker on the ceiling above his bed a poster of Stitch! He couldn't understand why I was upset. He (with assistance from his sympathetic sister) cleaned it up but as you may know ceiling paint is very absorbent so the faint outlines are there and I left it as a reminder. I don't even want to think of how he got up there.

So my question is: What is the most effective thing you do to let the boys know their behavior is unacceptable to prevent it from happening again?

Love the blog! Karen

Karen said...

I don't remember if I've ever posted a comment here before, but I figured this was a good of time as any!? :-)

I have two step-daughters from Guatemala and we just came home with our youngest from Ethiopia in early May. Maybe one day we'll go the biological route as well, and my question is what is your favorite phrase to give to anyone who says "oh, now you'll have your "own"?

The Jabber said...

Ha, I *love* Christina's question! As a fellow academic *without kids* I have been wondering this myself.

I am an immunology Ph.D. student in Seattle. My sister is in law school with Christina, which is how I found out about this whole world of adoption blogs. I used to read the mom blogs, now I read the adoption mom blogs. I also read the scientist blogs but let's face it, they're not nearly as cute.

I'm going to follow C's question up with this one: How many other blogs do you read daily?

Ani said...

Hi there! I've been following your blog for a while and I just love the stories and pics! I'm mom to a beautiful 3 year old boy, adopted domestically, so I value your insights on parenting and adoption.

My question is open ended, but its really the only one I have (the other ones you answered last year!), so here it goes: how did you choose Meera's name?

All the best to you guys!

Ani said...

Hi there! I've been following your blog for a while and I just love the stories and pics! I'm mom to a beautiful 3 year old boy, adopted domestically, so I value your insights on parenting and adoption.

My question is open ended, but its really the only one I have (the other ones you answered last year!), so here it goes: how did you choose Meera's name?

All the best to you guys!

Lucy said...

Hi! my name is Lucy and I live in NY.

My question is don't you just LOVE Owen's laugh??

I was going through the old post and I was watching the Happy Holidays video. And his laugh made me want to laugh. haha.

What a precious baby girl and boys you have!

Candis said...

Hi Heather and Braydon,
My question is: Are you going to answer all of these intriguing thoughtful questions? I sure hope so, 'cuz you always have intriguing and thoughtful responses.

Mi familia vamos a ir a Disneylandia a la lunes, but we'll be back Thursday night. I can't wait for Friday!!!


Anonymous said...

Hello ! I am an AP to a tiny 20 month old wonderful girl from Haiti, we have been home for two months and to say my life has changed for the better would be a major understatement! I love how chill you are with your kids, and also that there is not a lot of "god" talk in your blog which is rare in the adoptive world I have found. As a city-dwelling parent I love seeing photos of your big lush yard ! My question is this-at what age did your boys become truly aware of strangers (rude) questions? What come backs have you both used ?
Thanks, I love your site!

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Lieve, I'm 17 years old and I live in Holland. I'm off to college in September to study Medicine. I really can't remember how I came across your blog, but I've been reading it for a while now. I love reading & seeing pictures about/of the daily life of a family totally different than mine on the other side of the world :)

Question: I never ever heard of the beautiful name Meera before, anywhere. Is she named after a family member? Or has it some kind of other special meaning? *Not really an easy, close-ended question, but I'll take a shot :)

riversnake said...

Hello J-M Clan! I haven't been a reader for very long (since April of this year) but I absolutely LOVE to read your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with everyone! My husband and I are adopting our first child domestically and then want to try to conceive naturally and eventually adopt from Haiti.

Okay, so my question is open ended but I was very curious so I thought I'd put it out there anyway in hopes that maybe one sentence could sum up your answer... What one piece of advice would you consider critical for parents planning on adopting from Haiti (or transracially in general)?

Thanks! Can't wait to read your responses to all the great questions that have been posted!

Claudia said...

Hi Heather and Braydon,

My name is Claudia (born in Pittsburgh, PA) now live in Illinois. I am 36 years old, married, and have two teenagers. A girl 15 and a boy 14.

I have no idea how I came across your blog, but enjoy visiting it periodically. I get a laugh at all the antics K & O do and it brightens my day. Meera is so lovely and I just love how she is so expressive to you all.

My question is (wish it was close-ended, but unfortunetly not) where do you get your lovely, yummy recipes? I am always looking for great and wonderful ideas to cook for my family and many times I am at a loss.

Keep up the lovely job that you both are doing raising your three little angels.

Love & Hugs

vy said...

I haven't commented much before so here's my intro. I am a mother of a soon-to-be 4 year old adopted from China. We are currently waiting for our second child from China. (Hubby and I live in Denmark. He's a Dane, I'm American.)

My questions...will you share your tips for preparing the boys for the arrival of their little sister in an upcoming post and will you include any good books on the subject matter?
I don't recall you ever mentioning any sibling jealousy and they just seem so loving and sweet with Meera. I would love to hear any tips.


Brittany said...

I found your site through Gay Dads with Twins, which I found via a Google search about exhaustion, sneezing, and this annoying rash I had. (Random and totally unrelated to the actual blog themes, I know.)

Anyway, I have felt for a very long time that if I ever had kids, I would adopt them. (I remember playing often "pretend" that I found a baby in a basket on my porch or in my little tree house and how I was going to keep it.) While I am just a kid (or uhm ahem, a 21 year old kid) and have no plans to venture into the difficult waters of baby-acquiring territory any time soon, I do find it very interesting to read about other people who have adopted, how they explain the concepts to the kids, how they deal with other people and negative reactions.

Beyond the adoption-related posts, I also think that the way you are both raising your family is very good and probably right along the lines of the way I'd want to do it if I ever I do. I think it's important for kids to have exposure to different people -- different races, religions, family set ups. I remember reading here somewhere a line about how families don't always match and I think that's a very good statement. I also think it's cool to allow boys and girls access to the same type of play -- heck yes, boys can wear tutus! And even be Jesus-napping angels! (If they're quick enough, anyway.)

And okay! A question...hmmm. Well, since finding your blog, I have learned a lot about Haiti. I always want to donate things (though being in college, I don't have lots of things to donate yet) but I'm always worried that the money will never get to the people who actually need it and end up lining some fat cat's private jet fund. Can you recommend a project/charity/non-profit that helps out Haiti?

Mr. & Mrs. Lorentzon said...

My question is about Heather's parents, whom you refer to as Mormor and that because they are Swedish??? Just curious!

We live in Sweden (I'm American, my husband is Swedish) and we recently came home with our baby girl from South Africa.

Tracy said...

Hi Party of Five!
I have no idea how I found your blog, but I've been reading for awhile now. I'm a writer/mom of 5 year old twin girls (who could give K & O a serious run for their money in the antics department) adopted domestically (open adoption).
While I have many open-ended questions, I'm going to follow the rules and ask these instead:
1) In one word, what is your favorite way to relax after the kids are sleeping but before you are sleeping? I actually watch something completely mindless on television for at least 30 minutes in an effort to empty my head.
2) Do you have a preference for keeping your sons together or to separate them in kindergarten? (We're doing together in Kindergarten this fall ... and will play it by ear after that.)
Tracy R.

Sister Haiti said...

Hi Johnson-McCormick's!

You said to de-lurk, so I thought I would. I've never commented before but read your blog several times a week. Your family sounds so fun and your pictures are always great.

My name is Salem. I'm 25 and live in Ohio. I am co-director for an organization that helps impoverished kids with un-met medical needs get the medical care they need.

I have two (going on three) siblings adopted from Haiti. My husband and I currently have two 1 year old baby boys here from Haiti for medical care - not twins, but I am getting my taste of what twin boys would be like!!! Yikes! :)

The boys are getting ready to go back to Haiti soon. Dh and I want to adopt our first couple of children - we'll start the process sometime after the boys go home.

Thanks for always being so honest in your posts! I'll go back to lurking now. :)

Nicole said...

Hi Heather
I posted here a long time ago but wanted to say hello again. I'm Nicole- I am a mom to 3 also- a daughter (10), son (8) adopted from Haiti when they were 6 and 4 and a little bio boy who is 11 months old. We also chose adoption first despite everyone assuming we tried and couldn't have a baby.

I also love the book your Spirited Child and believe it to be a very good resource when raising kids from Haiti. My kids are also very energetic (the nice way of putting it) and exuberant- some may say loud! But the interesting thing is they were in an orphanage at young ages and I attribute that behavior to trying to survive in the orphanage. But your boys came home at such a young age it couldn't be that for them. So maybe it is a nature vs. nurture thing with Haiti? We also were blessed with a very short Haitian adoption... 7 months from delivery of dossier to home!

Anyway, I find I have much in common with you and love your blog. I found it through another adoption blog. Thanks for posting and for all the laughs and inspirations. My kids' number one moment so far is when they came in the house concerned why everytime they tried to "ride it" it stopped going up. "Ride what?" "The garage door!!?!!"
Yeah- spirited!

Stella said...

OKAY! I finally thought of a question worth asking! Was Meera almost named anything else? What were the top ten names?

SELLY said...

I don't remember if i've left a comment before. Eversince i stopped on your family blog months a go i couldn't get enough. Lol
I'm Selly, a medical student from Indonesia. You guys are inspiring person. If i never get married i would definitely adopt. Thanks to you guys! ;p
My question is, as they getting older do they imaginary friend often comes on their talks? Just curious. God bless your family.

Sara said...

I found your blog several months ago and have taken the time to go back and read it all! My question is if you could adopt again, but from another country, what country would it be?

Beth said...

Hi Johnson-McCormicks! My name is Beth and I have been an addict to your blog for about the last six months. I used to tease my partner, Lisa, because she would always tell me the funny stories and how adorable the boys are but now I am just as hooked as her.

We are in the process of starting our own family and we love to read about all your experiences and insights because you share so honestly and openly. Lisa and I had planned to adopt first from Haiti and then have a baby biologically. After researching more and lots of talking we have decided to go biologically first and then adopt. This all leads to my question, that I am still trying to phrase as close-ended...

I remember reading that you had strong beliefs that you should adopt first and then have a biological child, but I do not remember reading about those beliefs. Is there a certain time period in your blog that I could find this to read about how you two made your choice? If there is not would you consider sharing your beliefs on this issue? Not open ended I know, but we have come to value your opinions through reading about your family and we want to make the most informed decisions for our future family. If this is one of the areas that you are keeping private we understand.
Thank you for all your sharing. I know you said you do it for yourselves and your family but we feel like you are doing it for all of us too, so we can benefit from all of your experiences and knowledge.

tnt5150 said...

Have you two ever considered cutting the boys them a "traditonal" haircut?

abby said...

Hi! I have been reading your blog for the past few months after being told about it by a friend of mine. I have no idea how she found it, but she thought I would find it interesting because I live near you (Doylestown). I really enjoy your posts and your insights into the every day details of life and the much bigger questions of race, social status, and much else! I also find it fun with the local connection and the fact that we also go to Lake Winnipesaukee in the summers. Thanks for sharing so much of your life and your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

At what point did you feel the boys were securely bounded?


Anonymous said...

I left a question earlier asking about the camera but you can scratch that one! (I found the answer in last year's blog). My new (and hopefully not previously answered) question is:

Do you have any other nicknames for Kyle and Owen other than Ky Ky, K, and O? And how do you refer to them when talking to Meera? (i.e. your brothers, bubbies,etc)?

Tricia V. said...

Hey J-M family!

Since I'm a regular reader & poster, I won't introduce myself....(but I do hope to meet you in person at ASA next year hopefully Heather!!)

Anyways, here is my (very leading) question:

When will your spring Caribbean getaway be to Haiti?

And here is the probe:
Which Haiti-scholar will you invite along to guide you around and show you the GREAT parts of Haiti, not just the crappy parts?

Um, ok, hope those questions make it through the screening process!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Meera will be calling Braydon, Papi like Kyle and Owen do?

Life in the Bend said...

Thank you for your blog. My husband and I adopted our two children from Ethiopia in February. We have our own blog at

Do you feel that most people treat K., O., and M. equally now that M. is here? I ask because I worry about the effect having a biological child could have on our first two children.

Tiz said...

Hi My name is Tamsin and i live in Western Australia with my Husband and 2 boys (also very lively!) aged 6 & 4. I found your site via a site given to me by a friend with a daughter from China. I dream of adopting our next child but at this point it seems it will have to be just that ...a dream. Thank you for your great blog, you have a lovely family.
My question is Do you live in a culturally diverse community? I ask this because i do not and it worries me that a child from a different culture would find this hard if we do get to adopt from Ethiopia as we would like to.
Thanks Again

Anonymous said...

Hello HBKOM!

This is Eden, i've left a few comments before but i think i'm still considered a lurker :) I've been reading for over a year i bet - yeah over a year as i remember last year's open book challenge! I'm a horse-lovin spanish(foriegn lang'in general)-learnin gotadeskjob girl in the heat, i mean, heart of Tennessee. 27 no kids but plenty of animals. So i finally came up with a question - you guys ever think to add a cat, dog or pet to the mix? it'd be fun! ;) i know Alex has that cute pup & all..

Martha said...

Hi Heather and Braydon,

I'm Martha and I have been reading your blog for quite a while. I'm not sure how I came across it, but I check in every day. I love your eloquence and reading about your kids' antics! I graduated from college a few years ago and currently live in Boston, where I try to help women get social services in a community health center... so social inequities are something I think about a lot.

My questions: Did the boys help decide on Meera's name? Did they accidentally tell it to anyone before she was born?

Gooch said...

Hi Party of 5,

This question is for Heather.

Have any of your colleagues offered unsolicited advice about the blog (i.e, be careful what you post; aren't you worried about security?; etc.)?

I'm curious because my fellow grad students seem to always say that about my blog.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

Chicago, IL

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather and Fam-

It's Marsha Bowersox, a former student of Heather's (MA, 2002)and a big fan of your blog for many reasons. I love the living, thinking, moving sociology incorporated into your daily lives. I love that you take the time to tell others about how you're parenting. And most of all, I love that you're phenomenal role models for someone like me-- kids are definitely in the long-term plan, but how? when? where?why?!?

I started reading during some long, lonely days in the place I currently call home- Transylvania, Romania. Email, blogs, and really any link to friends & family really brighten my days.

My question: Is it truly possible in 2008 to raise kids without gender biases?

Anonymous said...

Hello Heather and Braydon.

I'm a lurker and I love it. I don't even have a bona fide blogger name. Perhaps that's the next step. I found your blog through my sister Chandra and it brings me a lot of happiness when I read it.

I'm 29 years old and I'm in graduate school studying biochemistry. I am married to a wonderful man who enjoys computers on a level I have a hard time fully comprehending. I am one of 11 children and it enriches my life. They bring me happiness, peace, security, and lots of laughter.

Thanks for the smiles and keep up the great work.

My question is for Brayden. I often send your posts to my husband. You have no problem (seemingly) articulating your thoughts and feelings. Your posts are sweet, well written, and so loving (so are yours Heather).

My question is you find it hard to be the same kind of man (big hearted blogger) around other men?

Thanks again for allowing me to see and read about your amazing family.


kelly said...

I love your blog...My name is Kelly, i'm 21, from ohio (originally MI), i have adopted haitian siblings, GO HAITI!, i found out about your blog thru my mom, cheryl.

what i'm wondering, is if you could do it all over again, would you give birth first, and then adopt, or do it the same way you did?


Anonymous said...

When you were adopting, did you ask for twins? If so, why?? Did you ask for boys? If so, why??

--Terel from Detroit MI (daily reader since Dec. '06)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a grad student at Stanford and have been reading pretty much every day now for a little over a year now. I read mostly because I find daily inspiration here to keep going as an ambitious female in academe. Thank you for giving living color to the POTENTIAL to have a strong family and a powerful career as a woman. You are literally the only proof I have that it might actually be possible for me. And believe me, there are many days when I really need that to keep going (I'm sure you get it). One thing I love about your blog is that it gives me so much food for thought in regards to gender (both in terms of partner/relationship and parenting). So my question is this: Now that Meera is in the picture do you think you will raise her any differently than you raise the boys in regards to gender? Do you think it is more important to be aware of gender in your parenting now that you have a girl, or is it no different than before? Do you and Braydon talk about this stuff? And if you're willing to answer an open ended question: how do you think about gender/parenting differently now that you have boys AND a girl??? Would love to hear your thoughts. Again, I really appreciate your blog. Thanks for not being afraid to put it all out there. And thanks for being a real life example that it can work as a HIGH-ACHIEVING MOTHER!!!!

Anonymous said...

We read your blog as a family - we are a waiting family (we live in Colorado, adopting from Ethiopia). Our kids and us LOVE your stories! We have no friends or family who have adopted and we feel that your blog is helping to prepare us for what lies ahead (as much as we can be prepared!) especially the issues about race etc. Our question is do Kyle and Owen know about the blog? How long will you keep doing it? Thanks for blogging!
from the Josephs in Denver

Uzo said...

Hello Johnson-McCormick Family:)

I don't have a question per se. I just want to say I LOVE YOUR FAMLIY. I discovered it last year and have been an avid reader snice then (minus the last few months leading up to graduation).

Heather, you are such an inspiration. You come across as a strong woman who is a great mother and wife. I love how you are raising your kids (esp. how you do incorporate the twin's heritage into your family life). As someone of African heritage, I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first on how things were going to work. And even though I know that things are not perfect (by this I mean I do feel like there are somethings that the boys might be missing out on ... but on the other hand readers don't know everything) now I know that LOVE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. You love your babies and they love you and Brandon.

I really do pray that someday GOD will bless me with a man who is as loving and supporting as Brandon comes across. Hi Brandon.

Congrats on Meera:) She is a beautiful baby.

Sidenote: am not sure you know this but the word "Dreads" is actually derogatory. I am told that the origin comes from the the saying that folks with locks looked 'dreadful' with their locks, which gave birth to the modern name 'dreadlocks' for this ancient style. From what I understand, people refer to the Twin's hairstyle as "locks".

Good luck with everything:)

Anonymous said...

My question is for Braydon! I have been a proud reader of the JMBlog since March '07! My x-girlfriend first got me hooked! Now she's gone but the blog remains! LOL!! I love it when Braydon posts. It is hard to find blogs with men who post on things that really matter. Thanks Braydon! And your photos and videos are awesome! My question is how do you make it work doing the big time career thing and the big time father thing? I hope to do it too some day and like the females who see H as an inspiration I see B as an inspiration. But there arent many guys out there who are doing it (at least not that I know). What are the tricks you've learned to make it work? What advice do you have? And most important (for me right now) how do you find a partner (female partner) that can really make it possible? If you guys ever come to Seattle I want to meet you ALL (dinner on me!)!!!!!!!!!!!
Jose in Seattle

Anonymous said...

All these serious questions! I feel like I've got to lighten the mood! Hope this isn't too late (I'm past the deadline!)
If you two could go anywhere on a 4 nite vacation for just the two of you where would you go?!
Sherri (been reading from Montreal for about 8 months)

Anonymous said...

We are Dan and Sue from Hartford CT. Someone else asked if you have any regrets about the boys that you'll do different with Meera. Here's the opposite question from me. Tell us one thing that you did with K & O that you will definitely do the same with Meera?

Mom to 3 said...

I have a couple of additional questions, I hope you don't mind!

What are the boys' favorite videos?

How much t.v./ video time do they have on a weekly basis?

I am really impressed with all of these thoughtful questions. I am very much looking forward to reading the answers.

happy mom said...

Well since I think you are in the east and I am not, I am probably too late and that is okay. I have not had the time for blogging so much lately, but I have left comments in the past. I love your insight and congratulations on your new baby! We too are a family of five and have some common ground (some)

I know that you write boooks I have figured this out from some comments that others have left in the past (or I should say I think I figured this out, because maybe I mis-understood) I have tried to find these books and have not been able to. is it open ended enough just to ask for a link, to said books? thanks and keep up your wonderful blogging, your precious children are adorable! think you will ever adopt or give birth again?

and I completely understand the feeling of wanting the all natural birth. but those babies come the way they want. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm Tamara from Southern California been reading for a little over a year now. LOVE your blog and I think you have the coolest funnest (is that a word?)family! My question is
How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy? And how did you stay so fit? (you looked GREAT EVEN when you were OVERDUE!)

Anonymous said...

How on earth are you going to find time to answer all these questions?!!!! (You don't have to answer this one.)


stephanie garcia said...

I am a little late in commenting, but wanted to introduce myself as a reader in Chile, South America. My husband and I have three beautiful kiddos through domestic, transracial adoption in the US and we are now headed to Haiti to adopt two precious baby boys - not twins, but merely 4 months apart.

No question from me! I'm just looking forward to reading your answer to all the other 80 or so ... (:

GOD bless,

Anonymous said...

We are an adoptive family (Ethiopia) in Chicago. We love your blog and hope you never stop because we learn so much from you! (Your boys are about a year older than our daughter so we are just one step behind with your stages and phases!) We're ready to start sayng prayers with our daughter so we are thinking about how to do a simple famly prayer. Our quesiton is What is the prayer that you say with the boys every night? I Know you have mentioned that you do prayers each night. :)
Steve & Kimberly and Mia age 3

lori said...

I'm a regular reader & our adoptiive familiy loves your blog! Thanks for putting it out there!

Do the boys ask about their birth dad?

Our oldest just started to have imaginary phone calls with her birth dad ( who we don't know -yet!).


Anonymous said...

I've been reading for about a year and a half now. I absolutely love your blog. It is the first thing I read when I get to work and log onto my computer every morning (I don't have internet acess at home)! I have been away on summer vacation, I hope I'm not too late. I have read virtually every book you've mentioned on this blog. I wish you'd mention the books you recommend more often because I always go right to get them and they are always gems. ALWAYS! So, my question is: Can you tell us what book you're reading right now?
From a huge fan,
Julia in Portland Maine

Anonymous said...

We love your blog! Question: How much do the boys weigh these days? from Randy & Kelly in Memphis

Katie said...

I know question time is closed, but I thought I'd leave a comment. I thought it was great when I read that you told the boys that when they grow up they would sleep with another man or a woman in their beds. I don't have kids but I do think it's so important to reinforce ideas like this from a young age. That way, it seems normal from the beginning and they grow up to be tolerant and also unafraid to be who they are.