Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bulleted Blogging

So much to blog about, so little time.

  • I love doing Meera's hair. Love it. Have always loved doing little girls' hair. I have loved doing K & O's hair for the past 5 years too, but there's something about little girls' hair... you know, it is just so so fun. Anyway, yesterday I braided Meera's hair for the first time! I must admit, it is gosh-dang adorable!
  • Here's Meera today (below), out for a walk with Braydon and the boys while I worked late. Hair in a braid again today. The great thing about the braid is that she can't figure out how to get it out (as opposed to any kind of ponytail, barrette, etc.-- which she loves to pull out). So, the braid lasts all day long. She still loves the backpack. And spends a ton of time in it.
  • Tonight, as we were putting the boys to bed, I was saying some loving things to the boys about how they are "our precious boys" and "we dreamed about them before they were even born" and "before they were even born we wanted our beautiful twin boys with brown skin and black hair and dark brown eyes" etc etc etc (my typical whispering sweet nothings in their ears at bedtime). Out of nowhere, in the midst of it, Kyle says to Braydon, "I am the only one who's black in the Star Room" [his class at school] Braydon affirmed that yes he was, and then asked "How do you feel about that?" He said, "Good!" Right now K & O have so much pride in being black boys. I spend countless hours obsessing over how on earth we can keep it that way as long as humanly possible. It is a top priority in our parenting, and a constant challenge we're trying to step up to every minute of every day. Semi-somehow related....... A couple nights ago I made "Indian Food" for dinner. I put that in quotes because this is tikka masala made with a paste from a jar (Patak's) and store-bought saag paneer and naan... so seriously, this is *not* the real deal... but anyway.... So, we were eating it (all three of the J-M kids love any chicken tikka masala that has ever been put in front of them... who doesn't???)... and Braydon said something along the lines of "...When I was a kid we never had anything like Indian Food..." and Kyle was suddenly like, "What? Indian Food? This is Indian Food?" And I said, "Yes, Indian Food, like from India." He said, "Like we're from Haiti. So, who is from India?" I said, "Well, like, next door, Ambika and Nate, they are from India. They were born in India. Just like you were born in Haiti." Later that night, getting ready for bed, Owen says, kind of questioningly, like he's asking it as a question-- "So, Nate and Ambika were born in India, and Kavya's mommy was born in India?" I was STUNNED. Seriously, I don't know how he knows that our friend Shalinee (their friend Kavya's mommy) is Indian (obviously, I know that he notices that she's dark-skinned, but I have never referred to her as "Indian"). I said, "Yes, my friend Shalinee was born in India." And he goes, "Yeah, just like we were born in Haiti. Was Kavya born in India?" And I said, "No, she was born in the United States." So, he says, "So, is she Indian?" And I was kind of dumbfounded about how to get into this whole thing. So, I said something like, "Well, you guys are Haitian-American because you're from Haiti but you're also from the United States. And Kavya is Indian-American because her mom's family is all from India but they're also from the United States" and then it all sort of veered off---- We proceeded to have a whole conversation about which place is further away-- India or Haiti, etc., etc., etc. Anyway, there is no real point to this, but I just thought it was totally fascinating that they (or maybe just Owen?) was putting that all together in his head, or at least trying to (asking big questions, that's for sure). They are getting more sophisticated about all of this stuff and it is just crazy to see how it all starts to come together for them.
  • Summer is quickly coming to an end. It is warm out still, but we're pretty much done with summer and moving on to fall. The boys are anxious for pumpkin-picking and Halloween-planning and we're already eating apples and pears instead of strawberries and blueberries. We're at the tail end of that late summer phase and tromping headlong into the early fall phase. Dinners like gazpacho are no longer-- dinners changing-- the true sign that a season's changing.
  • Braydon's business is --seemingly-- taking off. After years of heartache and struggle we seem to finally be getting somewhere with it. We are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. But finally, finally, there seems to be some traction happening. Here are K & O sitting at my home computer watching Braydon do a live business presentation that his company streamed --in real time -- over the internet. This picture is so symbolic to me because so much of Braydon's business start-up has always been ultimately motivated by his desire to provide for his sons. He started this company the same month we began our adoption process (January 2004). If you're a reader and you have any interest whatsoever in live video streaming (of music, of presentations, of workshops, of seminars, of whatever), please email us! hbj2 (at) lehigh (dot) edu
  • Meera is developing quite the little personality. She's suddenly busy all the time. With K & O this age (age 15-16 months all the way up to age 2) was sooooooo tough. They were both running/climbing/jumping in opposite directions all day long. Meera is completely different. Her energy is so different. Her time is spent on totally different things. And, big sigh of relief... there is only one of her. Whereas with K & O this was the most difficult phase of their childhood so far, with Meera this phase is such sheer pleasure. Every moment with her is pure bliss. I know that sounds crazy, but it is honestly true. She is a little gem. She's talking up a storm (although we understand hardly any of it), and she's all over the place.
  • I've got a big post about gender percolating. So look for that sometime in the not-so-distant future. Gender gender gender. It is huge. Here's Owen one day as he appeared after "Rest Hour" (photo taken by Margie, God love her!-- note the shoes-- {old bridesmaid shoes of mine} This photo is Classic Owen)
  • Kyle and Owen play that they are skydiving every day (ever since MorMor's skydiving weekend). This is their current play of choice. Mostly it involves them swinging on the swing set as high as they can possibly pump themselves into the air, and then, with dramatic flair, propelling themselves through the air until they land on the grass. It is scary to watch. I continue to think it is amazing that we've managed to get away with so few trips to the Emergency Room. I love this photo of Kyle (below). This photo is Classic Kyle.
  • We've been eating pancakes and bacon for dinner every couple of weeks or so. Not my favorite dinner, but definitely a favorite for the boys (all three of them). A good way to end the day.

7 comments:

Jen said...

hi Heather!
that soup looks amazing...any chance you could post the recipe? thanks.
as always, I loved the rest of the post/pics too!

Kristen said...

Meera's hair looks so cute in the braid!! Also, that's extremely perceptive of Owen to notice that your friend is also Indian. I love when you can practically see the little light bulbs go off in kids' heads!

I'm a Human Development/Family Studies major, and this semester I'm taking Research Methods in HDFS. We spend a lot of time talking about research designs and current research studies being conducted.

Today, my teacher told us about some research that's going on right now. Apparently, the "Association of Black Social Workers" are working to ban white families from adopting black children, citing all kinds of things that I don't even want to write out because it makes me so sick.

My professor wasn't saying he was in support of that movement, he was just telling us that now a lot of research is being conducted in order to see if it really makes a difference.

The minute he told us about that, my mind IMMEDIATELY went to Kyle and Owen. They are absolutely thriving in their environment and it almost brought tears to my eyes, to think that some people may think that it could be so damaging to a black child to be raised by a white family.

You and Brayden should be proud, as I'm sure you are.

Melanie M. Smith said...

I know that you try very hard to instill in the boys a sense of pride in being black. I'm assuming that you have the same fears that most transracial adoptive parents have about being able to raise black boys/men. I've read (and love) how you're trying to make sure the boys have positive black role models in their lives. I'm wondering if you guys have discussed their future schooling and are you going to try to find a more diverse environment for them? I'm a prospective adoptive parent (from Ethiopia) and I stay up at night worrying about this and how I can make sure my kid has plenty of role models that look like him/her. I guess after reading Kyle's comment I was hoping you'd expound on that more. Since I've mostly been a lurker, I guess I'll take the time now to say how much I love your blog, how much insight I've gained from reading about your experiences.

Melanie M. Smith said...

I know that you try very hard to instill in the boys a sense of pride in being black. I'm assuming that you have the same fears that most transracial adoptive parents have about being able to raise black boys/men. I've read (and love) how you're trying to make sure the boys have positive black role models in their lives. I'm wondering if you guys have discussed their future schooling and are you going to try to find a more diverse environment for them? I'm a prospective adoptive parent (from Ethiopia) and I stay up at night worrying about this and how I can make sure my kid has plenty of role models that look like him/her. I guess after reading Kyle's comment I was hoping you'd expound on that more. Since I've mostly been a lurker, I guess I'll take the time now to say how much I love your blog, how much insight I've gained from reading about your experiences.

Chapter Two Manmi said...

So much in your post...but quick thoughts...Meera's braids are adorable! And you just got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, if my son had come home much earlier than 8, at an age when he didn't already process the biggies he does know, well maybe, he wouldn't struggle to love his beautiful brown. Maybe coming to find himself different than most around him for the first time when his questions were already big has something to do with the reality that all my sweet nothings and celebrations of his beauty has not seemed to help him. We continue to speak in truth and love, and we pray he will grow to love all that he is.
Hugs,
K

kelly said...

My husband and I adopted (both white) adopted a biracial boy and have been working so hard for him to be proud and excited about his brown skin for as long as possible also. I think that it will help to build a strong self concept that will be harder for the world to tear down later. For an assignment at school he had to say what made him special and he said he was brown (he was the only brown child in his class at the time too). I felt like I had done a good job, at least that day! I love reading your blog - you inspire me.

Mom 4 Kids said...

I had a thought and wanted to share it. I think your boys look so much like Dhani Jones. Here's a pic of him http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_iUfIyMoE1Z4/ShCly-fYyvI/AAAAAAAAAI0/vy8-Jf7k2tg/s320/djones2.jpg. Do they know of Dhani? My hubby and I started watching his travel show on discovery last winter/spring. Anyway, Dhani is adorable and so are your boys!