25 June 2014

Transracial adoption: One of these things is not like the other...

An interesting incident from January 2012 when I was still a new mom...

We are in line at the grocery store, my five month-old daughter sound asleep in her baby carrier on the cart and me watching the woman in front of us unloading her cart's contents onto the belt.  The woman is blonde, blue-eyed, petite, and pretty. The little boy standing next to her - probably five years-old or so - has to be her son because he looks exactly like her. He is adorable. I can't help staring at him.

The little boy notices me gazing at him so I give him what I hope is my best "I really like little kids" smile. Thankfully he smiles back. Then he notices the baby carrier sitting on my cart and makes his way over to me.

"Can I see the baby?" he asks me in a raspy voice.

"Sure, Buddy," I say and move aside.

Grasping the cart handle he hoists himself up for a good look. Apparently this is a kid who really likes babies because he gets a goofy big smile on his face. At this moment his mom notices him missing from her side and looks around to see him standing on my cart.  She looks as though she's going to call him back so I give her my most "it's OK" smile with a little hand wave and she relaxes while the cashier continues to scan and bag her items. After another moment the boy's smile fades as he looks from Esme to me and back again several times. He steps down from the cart and with a serious expression says slowly and loudly, "S h e ' s   v e r y   b r o w n."

The petite blonde looks alarmed at this loud pronouncement from her son.

"Yes, she is," I reply.

"She's very brown," he repeats, "and you're NOT."

A look of sheer horror settles on the face of the little boy's mom, but I wave her off gently before she can interrupt.

"No,  I'm not," I say with a chuckle.

The little boy thinks about this for a moment and then asks, "So, is your husband brown?"

"Omigod," says the little boy's mom her face flushing in utter embarrassment.

Personally, I don't think she should be embarrassed at all. Her kid is a genius! How many five year-olds would make that leap?

"No, Buddy, my husband isn't brown."

He looks confused.

"My daughter is adopted."

"What does that mean?"

The boy's mother is now making quiet strangling noises with her face in her hands, "Honey, please!"

Ignoring his mother's near panic, I say, 'That means that my daughter grew in someone else's tummy, but that lady couldn't tale care of her when she was born. So my little girl came to live with me and my husband and now we're her parents."

"Oh, OK," he says cheerfully walking back to his mother's side.

"I am SO sorry," says the mom looking as if she'd rather be anywhere else.

"Please don't apologize. It's just fine. Really."

My daughter is brown.

Very brown.

And I am not.

23 June 2014

I'm Back (and Conversations with Esme...)

It's hard for me to believe that my amazing girl is almost three years old.

And that I haven't written on this blog for more than two years. What the heck happened???


That's what happened.

Diaper changes, sleep deprivation, walking circles around the kitchen island in the middle of the night trying to get her back to sleep, schlepping her in the car seat here and there, teething, barfing (her, not me), bottle feeding, baths, sleep deprivation, multiple daily clothing changes, getting barfed on, getting barfed on some more, getting barfed on again, sleep deprivation, crying in my car because I'm so tired, hearing her first laugh, seeing her first smile, watching her roll, then scoot, then crawl, then pull herself up, then take her first step, and more steps, then run, then say her first word and her second word, trips to the playground, more trips to the playground, etc. etc. etc.

Losing myself entirely for almost three years in this wonderful, terrible, fabulous, maddening and transformative thing called motherhood. When I started this blog back in 2009 to explore my husband's and my adoption journey, I had every intention of then writing about our family post-adoption and about my experience with motherhood. But somehow writing about motherhood just never materialized. I was just too busy. Too tired. Too much of a mom and not quite as much of the me I was before I became a mom.

But here I am again. Feeling the need to write. And what else would I write about? Being a mom is my full-time gig. It's what I do. It's what's in my brain. It's kind of all I know these days. So basically it's all I know to write.

So, to kick off the re-boot of this blog I am going stop making excuses for why I've been gone so long and instead get you up to speed on my girl via some of my favorite conversations with Esme who is, as I already mentioned, amazing.

Actually she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Super smart, extremely independent, uber social, fearless, compassionate, charming, and has a great sense of humor.

February 8, 2014

Filed under "What Not to Say to Your Child":

ME: OK, Sweetie, it's time to get dressed.

ESME [goofs around in rocking chair]

ME: Guess you don't want to go to the mall today. Guess we won't replace your bracelet.

ESME [hopping off chair]: Go mall! Go mall!

ME [lifting Esme onto changing table]: Well, we have to get you dressed. Can't go to the mall in your pajamas. Well, you could, but then I'd be a crap mom.

ESME [laughing hysterically]: Crap mom! Crap mom! Crap mom!

March 19, 2014

At the library with La Munchipessa.

ESME [picking up a toy stuffed frog]: Frog is sad.

ME: The frog is sad? Why is he sad?

ESME: Has no friends.

ME: The frog has no friends?

ESME: Nooo.

ME: That is sad.

ESME [rolling a toy car with two Little People in it to the frog]: Frog has new friends!! [smiles]

May 5, 2014

ESME [pointing to her purple sock monkey doll]: This is baby.

ME: Purple Monkey is your baby today?

ESME [nodding, but also frowning]: The baby sick.

ME: She's sick? Oh no.

ESME: Need to go to doctor office. The baby sick. Need to go to doctor office.

ME: OK, we better call to see if we can get an appointment.

ESME [pointing to Purple Monkey's little leg]: The baby has cramp! Has cramp!

ME: Oh no.

ESME: [rubbing Purple Monkey's leg and smiling a huge smile]: Cramp all gone! Baby feels better!

May 11, 2014

I am in bed while my husband and daughter are busy in the kitchen making pancakes for me. (And I know this because La Munchipessa just ran to the bedroom door, announced, "We making pancakes for you!" and then dashed off again.)

Happy Mother's Day to me!!!

[addendum: In related news, La Munchipessa just reappeared in the doorway to announce, "We have syrup!"]

May 31, 2014

So, I'm fighting the spring/early summer crud [cough cough cough sniffle sniffle sniffle]. My daughter;s take on the crud...

ESME: Open you mouth.

ME [opening my mouth]

ESME: You have germs in you mouth.

ME: Yes, I have germs in my mouth.

ESME [pointing to herself]: I doctor. I make you feel better.

ME: You're the doctor and you're going to make me feel better?

ESME: [nodding enthusiastically] : I doctor.

ME: What do you recommend for me to feel better?

ESME [thinking]: Soup!! [runs to her covered water table where she busily combines dirt and grass in a bowl] I make you cake. You feel better.

ME: Well, thank you. I think cake will make me feel better.