Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Open Book Answers PART IV (by B)

Q: Anonymous from Evansville Indiana What type of camera do you own? It takes such beautiful pictures!

A: Thank you - you're so sweet (I suppose we have to take some credit)! It’s a Nikon D40 with a 18-200MM lens. And yes that lens is awesome (thanks Jon for talking me into it). You can see my thoughts on it here.

Q: 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"?

A: That’s a really interesting one. We are often told that Kyle and Owen are just like us, although we certainly don’t feel like we’re as crazy and active as they are! They both have distinct personalities, ones that seem to be what might be called very strong predispositions. Kyle is internally focused, thinking, sensing; Owen is externally focused, enacting, experiencing. These traits do really seem to be innate, but it’s hard to say, since we also foster it.

Q: Paige Mann
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?

A: Oh that is tough! I am not typically fond of Christian music (although Heather is), but I gotta say that Sara Groves “Less like scars” just about hits the nail on the head.

Q: 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!

A: Hi Jill – In terms of adopting Haiti, there is only this we believe: Hang in there and work to make it happen. You are this child’s parent and nobody on this earth is going to go to bat for them…you have to make it happen. Do whatever, whatever, whatever it takes and don’t wait, you are the only one who is going to rescue this child.

In terms of transracial adoption, I don’t think we really have the answer, but maybe it lies in not just empathizing but working to give them meaningful roots in their race and heritage; which is tough to do.

Good luck and rely on others to support you through it!

Q: 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 Braydon. 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 this....do 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.


A: Hi Keely, thanks for the question to me, I feel so special! And it’s a good one that I am not really sure how to answer. I think that in general I don’t have difficulty being open with my feelings around other men. And frankly, men (and women) seem to open up to me and tell me things (that sometimes maybe they shouldn’t). BUT, I will say that I also don’t always hang my feelings out there. For me, it all depends on the context, the company and the conversation. Meaning, if I am having lunch with a friend at a comfortable restaurant, then it’s pretty likely I will lay it out there. But if I am at a ball game with a few guys having beers, it’s less likely that I will. And some people tend to quiet it in me, while others make me feel more comfortable.

Then again, I tend to just spit it out and people tend to just seem to take it from me for some unknown reason. I will also say, that I tend to embarrass myself quite a bit with what I have to say, for good or ill, even if people respond to it. In all cases, I am fairly comfortable with who I am, my attributes and my flaws and accept them about myself. But I still don’t take criticism well!

Q: 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

A: Hey Jose – thanks for the question and compliment, that makes me feel so good! It’s great to have a like minded guy reading the blog – and we’ll take you up on dinner if we get out to Seattle! I have thought about this quite a bit. Ladies reading, this is really a guy to guy thing, so please please please don’t take offense:

I find that some women have a spark, but not all. A spark in their eye, a rebellious sensibility. Rebelliousness that transcends appearance. This rebelliousness is a deep seated anger at the world that is so strong because there is such deep love for the world. This spark is a true treasure. I don’t see it too often, and when I do it stands out and almost screams. I believe that lots and lots of women are born with this spark, but sadly over time its extinguished by their life experiences. By the time men like us are in a position to think about it, desire it and seek it, they are mostly gone; which is tragic. But I lucked out and found it. Now don’t get me wrong, when I met Heather at age 22, I was not thinking about it like this, I just thought she was a super hot ticket and I was really into that. My sense of it didn’t come until later.

One of the things I believe about women who have this spark is that it’s our obligation to defend it and keep it lit. Make sure it does not go out.

I don’t really know how to do that honestly, and sometimes I am the one who threatens it. But I always try to remember that the spark is the key to Heather, and one of the things I treasure most of all.

So when we fight, and we do get into some nasty ones, over balancing career, family, chores, social life, etc – we all know the pain points – even in the worst ones, if I realize that I am encroaching on the spark, I try to back off and ensure it doesn’t get crushed. Frankly, it’s been too close a few times, and those are some of my darkest memories.

That’s my big big tip. Keep the spark alive. You might get in awful fights, you might both think it’s over, but keep the spark alive, the rest you can work out. And look for the spark, but don’t be deceived by the appearance.

Q: Anonymous said...
Will you send your kids to a private or public school?

A: Hi – we actually already do send them to private pre-school. They are entering kindergarten at a Waldorf school this year. Last year they were in pre-school at the same place. Heather and I are both proudly public school kids, and had always thought we would send our kids to public school, but we have realized that Kyle and Owen are not suited for the schools around us (or more accurately the schools are not suited for them – read between the lines here please).

Q: My question is, as they getting older do they imaginary friend often comes on their talks? Just curious. God bless your family.

A: Well, June still seems to be a regular contributor to their lives. Right now they both have “many Junes”. June also seems to have taken on some rather amazing super powers recently, although she can be quite disempowered from time to time too. June’s splash in the pool goes above the roof, but another June can’t have the treat jar because she had a time out….

Q: Erin
At this point in time, what do you think your children will "be" when they grow up?

A: Funny question! By “be” I think you mean career or profession, so here is the list as I see it at the moment (and Meera is not in the mix because she is just too young to show a predisposition to anything other than nursing right now).

Kyle: Author. Filmmaker. Composer. Golf star, Philosopher, Theologian, Governor
Owen: Doctor, Actor, Lead singer, Swimming star (watch out Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps!), Senator, Chef


Q: laurafingerson said...
Ooo ooo ooo! I have a late entry to your Open Book Challenge! (And here I never accept late assignments from my students....) What one summer Olympic sport can you imagine each of your children excelling in? Meera might get a waiver on this question until she is older....what about Kyle and Owen?

A: Hey Laura - how timely (so to speak)!

Owen: Swimming or diving, or gymnastics
Kyle: Pole vault, high dive, referee for beach volleyball (does that count?)
Meera: Sleeping through the cheering when her brothers win the gold.

Last thing I wanted to add, is that I read around 40 blogs daily - but almost all for work. If you're not using Google reader, you should try it! :)


Renee and Jeremy said...

Hello: I have been reading your blog for a while now and thought I should say howdey! I feel like I know you a little from reading your posts. What a great idea- blogging. It's all new to me. Your kids are so cute!! We have two freinds from another church who are adopting two siblings from Haiti and I worked with a wonderful lady last year at the school I teach at who just sent their dossier two months ago. After looking into blogging, I was soon amazed to discover the many others adoption bloggers out there and many for the Philippines or countries close by. My hubbie and I live in Nova Scotia Canada right next to Newfoundland. We just finished our psy assessment today and hope to get our report next week and send off our dossier to the Philippines!!! I am so excited!

I would love to hear from ya. It has been such a great support reading and sharing with Renee (another blogger)over this last little while and I would love to connect with others on the same journey. Please feel free to drop by my new blog at http://philippinesadoptionjourney.blogspot.com/. Take care for now,
Renee- in NS.. smile

Anonymous said...

can i just say your thoughts about women and their "spark" should be put somewhere in a marriage manual for men.....in a way i felt like god was talking about me even though you were talking about heather.....thanks.... and brent and i look forward to meeting your family sometime at the pa haitian adoption reunion..hopefully we will have our son by this summer!!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your piece about the *spark*, even though it was meant for guys. You very accurately described how I feel as a woman, who has been through a lot of life and has been at risk of that spark being extinguised many times.

Secondly, I just added one more thing to my list of what I am looking for in a guy/man/partner/husband (yet to be found;-)

Oh, and my name is Heather too.