Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Although I still haven't finished all of my online adoption training. I completed 30 hours of training through DC Children and Family Services last year, isn't that good for something? I'm trying to figure that out. Can't I even get 2 credits? Every little penny counts over here. I guess I could take my Ethiopia courses though. I'll do that over Christmas since I'm bahhumbug. My goal is to get my home study finally completed, written up and in my hands by the end of January! Wish me luck!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here is the latest email and my response (btw, he hasn't responded in a day, maybe he could tell I was a tad pissed off and decided to leave it alone). I'm not even going to comment on the article in Newsweek because I'm over the poor adoptive families crap...it also could be my bahhumbug mood but whatever...I'm tired of people looking at us like poor us for having to adopt!
Tami: I'm sure you'll have a different experience as your child will be an infant.But I thought of you when I saw this article.
P: Happy Holidays to you also. You always share such lovely and inspiring insights with me, I appreciate the support. How about this title: When Childbirth Goes Wrong. Most Americans who have children find joy. But others aren’t prepared for the risks – and may find themselves overwhelmed… Not much difference is it?
When Adoption Goes Wrong
Most Americans who adopt children from other countries find joy. But others aren't prepared for the risks—and may find themselves overwhelmed.
By Pat Wingert
Updated: 3:16 PM ET Dec 8, 2007
Peggy Hilt wanted to be a good mother. But day after day, she got out of bed feeling like a failure. No matter what she tried, she couldn't connect with Nina, the 2-year old girl she'd adopted from Russia as an infant. The preschooler pulled away whenever Hilt tried to hug or kiss her. Nina was physically aggressive with her 4-year-old sister, who had been adopted from Ukraine, and had violent tantrums. Whenever Hilt wasn't watching, she destroyed the family's furniture and possessions. "Every day with Nina had become a struggle," she recalls now.
As the girl grew older, things got worse. Hilt fell into a deep depression. She started drinking heavily, something she'd never done before. Ashamed, she hid her problem from everyone, including her husband.
On the morning of July 1, 2005, Hilt was packing for a family vacation, all the while downing one beer after another and growing increasingly aggravated and impatient with Nina's antics. "Everything she did just got to me," Hilt said. When Hilt caught her reaching into her diaper and smearing feces on the walls and furniture, "a year and a half of frustration came to a head," Hilt says. "I snapped. I felt this uncontrollable rage."
Then Hilt did something unthinkable. She grabbed Nina around the neck, shook her and then dropped her to the floor, where she kicked her repeatedly before dragging her up to her room, punching her as they went. "I had never hit a child before," she says. "I felt horrible and promised myself that this would never happen again." But it was too late for that. Nina woke up with a fever, and then started vomiting. The next day she stopped breathing. By the time the ambulance got the child to the hospital, she was dead.
Hilt is now serving a 19-year sentence for second-degree murder in a Virginia maximum-security prison. She and her husband divorced, and he is raising their other daughter. She realizes the horror of her crime and says she isn't looking for sympathy. "There is no punishment severe enough for what I did," she told NEWSWEEK in an interview at the prison.
Hilt's story is awful—and rare—but sadly it is not unique. Adopting a child from another country is usually a positive, enriching experience for both the child and the parent. Over the last 20 years, foreign adoption has become more popular, and Americans now adopt about 20,000 children from Guatemala, China, Russia and other nations each year. (In the last few years, as restrictions and red tape have increased in some countries, the number of overseas adoptions has begun to drop.) Longitudinal studies show that most of these kids do quite well, but in a small but significant number of cases, things go very badly. Since the early 1990s, the deaths of 14 Russian children killed by their adoptive parents have been documented. (That disclosure was partly responsible for Russia's decision in 2006 to suspend its intercountry adoption program while it underwent review.)
Cases like those are extreme, but clinicians who specialize in treating foreign orphans say they are seeing more parents who are overwhelmed by their adopted children's unexpected emotional and behavioral problems. And though reputable agencies try to warn parents of the risks, not all succeed. "In the past, agencies were a bit naive," says Chuck Johnson of the National Council For Adoption, which is responding to the problem with a massive education initiative. "Now we're urging them to give parents a more realistic message." Some parents struggle to find effective treatment for their kids. Others seek to give them up. Reports that a growing number of foreign adoptees were being turned over to the U.S. foster-care system recently prompted the Department of Health and Human Services to order its first national count: 81 children adopted overseas were relinquished to officials in 14 states in 2006.
Why do some adoptions go so wrong? Clearly, it's not the kids' fault. Their behavior is usually the result of trauma, mistreatment, malnutrition or institutionalization in their home countries—problems more common in places like Eastern Europe. But "the country of origin doesn't matter so much as the child's experience," says Dr. Dana Johnson, director of the University of Minnesota's International Adoption Clinic. Some are found to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome, mental illness or reactive attachment disorder, an inability to bond with a parent. Prospective families undergo an arduous screening process, including home visits, and specify how much disability they can handle. But even families who specifically request a "healthy" child sometimes go home with a troubled one. In some cases, the mismatch is inadvertent. But in others, orphanages or adoption agencies overseas—eager to find homes for difficult children in their care—mislead prospective parents or fail to disclose the full extent of a child's problems or personal history.
Emotional and even physical problems can be difficult to detect at the time of adoption, especially in infants, and often aren't diagnosed until months or years later. Hilt says that's what happened to her. She and her husband decided to adopt after being told she'd probably never conceive. After passing their agency's screening, they brought home their first daughter from Ukraine in 2001, and that went so well they decided to adopt two Russian sisters. But when they flew to Siberia to meet them in May 2003, they were told the sisters were no longer available. Instead, they were told, they could adopt Tatiana, a lively 18-month-old, and Nina, a quiet, withdrawn 9-month-old. They visited Tatiana every day for a week, but officials never let them see Nina again. "They said she had a bad cold," Hilt said. Nonetheless, they signed adoption papers for both girls. But when they returned to finalize the adoption in January 2004, they were told that only Nina was still available. The Hilts hesitated. They suspected a bait-and-switch, especially when officials insisted they sign papers testifying they'd spent many more hours with the baby than they had. "The whole process didn't feel right," Hilt said. "But we figured we could love any child. You convince yourself that everything will turn out OK."
But from the start, Nina "literally pushed me away," Hilt said. Over time, Hilt found herself resenting the little girl. "We'd been such a happy family, and then Nina came and everything changed," Hilt says. "I began to realize that we had made such a big mistake." (Tatyana Kharchendo, the doctor in charge of the Little Sun Child Home #1 in Irkutsk, where the Hilts adopted Nina, did not directly answer Hilt's charges, but insisted the child "was absolutely healthy and beautiful.")
No one is exonerating Hilt or others like her. But Joyce Sterkel, who runs the Ranch for Kids, a Montana boarding school for disturbed international adoptees, says she's come to see the parents as well as the kids as victims in these tragic cases. "It's a horrible thing, but I understand how some people end up killing these kids," she says. "They have no empathy, no affection, no love. My heart goes out to these parents because they don't know what to do."
When Sterkel, a nurse, first started working with international adoptees in the early '90s, she didn't see many deeply troubled children. But 10 years ago she adopted two Russian boys whose American parents had given up on them. One of them, a 14-year-old boy, had just been released from a juvenile-detention center after trying to poison his mother. Over time, Sterkel was approached so often about adopting other children that she decided to open her camp. Today it houses 25 to 30 kids from all over the country, and has a waiting list. The overwhelming majority are from Russia, Romania and Bulgaria, but she also has had children from South Korea and Colombia. Some were bullied or raped while institutionalized or were the children of prostitutes, drug addicts or alcoholics. "I have gotten calls from parents who say the child they adopted has killed the family dog, threatened to kill them, and no one will help them," she says.
Emotional, behavioral and physical problems are not unique to adopted children. Biological children can have the same range of issues. But adoptive parents often assume they know what they're getting into because they get the chance to meet their child in advance. That was the case when Kimble and Shellie Elmore of Los Angeles met a 10-year-old Russian child named Tania in 2005. The director of the orphanage proudly described her as an "angel."
But as soon as they took custody of their new daughter, her behavior changed dramatically. "She was completely out of control," Kimble says. Tania would scream for hours at a time, then fall into deep sullen silence. After signing Tania over to the Elmores, the Russian court handed them her file. They were stunned to find that she had a history of violence and had been transferred from one orphanage to another. They called their adoption agency back home, but were mistakenly told that there was nothing that could be done, that Tania was now their legal daughter. (The American Embassy could have helped, if they'd known.) Seeing no alternative, they boarded a plane and brought Tania back to California. By the end of the first week, she was admitted to a hospital psychiatric unit. She came home a few days later, but things grew worse. She tried to stab her father with a spike and attacked a police officer who came to the house in response to a 911 call.
Doctors diagnosed Tania with bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and attachment disorder, and suggested she be sent to Sterkel's camp. In the past year the Elmores have exhausted their savings and retirement funds trying to pay for private residential treatment. "We know she's just a child and we want what's best for her," says Kimble. "But we don't know how to help her. Adoption is supposed to be a touchy-feely thing surrounded with the glow of new parenthood. But no one says, 'What if the worst happens?' "
Psychologist Karyn Purvis of Texas Christian University, who has done extensive research on troubled adopted children, says many of these kids simply don't respond to stern lectures and timeouts. Lab workups of her patients often reveal extremely high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. "The children, for the most part, were in safe homes living with safe people," Purvis says, "but those cortisol levels told us that their children did not feel safe with them, even if they'd been living safely with them for years." Children like them are almost constantly in a hypervigilant state, she says. They don't let their guard down long enough to forge affectionate relationships.
Over the past several years Purvis has developed new methods to restore a sense of security and trust to traumatized kids. If a child becomes violent, for instance, Purvis often responds with a "basket hold." She cradles the kids firmly but gently in her lap, facing outward, with their arms crossed in front of their chests. She rocks and quietly soothes until they calm down, then asks them to look her in the eye and tell her what they want. Purvis's assistants have taken to calling her the "Child Whisperer."
Sometimes techniques like these result in dramatic turnarounds. The family of a 5-year-old adopted from Russia thought they had no choice but to seek psychiatric hospitalization after she threw her baby sister down the stairs. But after the parents adopted Purvis's methods, the little girl finally started talking about the serious abuse she'd experienced. The child's behavior changed markedly. But her mother "changed even more," Purvis says, "because now she has hope."
Purvis is quick to say that her techniques don't work with every child, and older kids can take much longer than younger ones. "They have to unlearn what they've learned," she said. The next step, she says, is for prospective adoptive parents to get more training before and after they adopt. "Very few agencies are training parents to deal with brain damage, sensory deprivation, aggression," Purvis says. "A lot of these parents are smitten with the hope that they'll make a difference in a child's life, but they need very practical tools. I consider myself very pro-adoption. But I'm also very pro informed adoption. "
Peggy Hilt wishes she'd heard this message years ago. "If I knew then what I know now," she says, "I would have gotten help for Nina and for me." The best she can hope for now, she says, is that her story will prompt others to seek that help before it's too late.
Warning Signs for Adoptive ParentsAdopted children often go through a period of transition and adjustment once arriving in the United States from another country, but sometimes problems persist, behavior worsens, or new problems arise with time. Acting out and defiance may be protective measures children take because of a history of abuse, neglect or maltreatment. Karyn Purvis, director of Texas Christian University's Institute of Child Development and an expert in the treatment of troubled adoptees, says parents may need to seek the counsel of a clinician who specializes in international adoption cases if their child consistently exhibits any of these behaviors:
Sexual acting out, like masturbating or inappropriate touching of others
Aggressive, bullying, violent behavior
Night terrors or sleep problems caused by fear
Behavioral melt-downs when parents are trying to get the child to do homework, or when there is lots of noise or activity
Resistance to any expression of affection, like kisses and hugs from family members, but approaches strangers indiscriminately
Explosive anger when confronted with relatively minor disappointments or delays
Insists on being in control at all times
Terrified of being alone, or the other extreme, insists on being left alone
Hoarding or stealing food
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Now, I don’t eat the stuff because it makes my stomach hurt (unless it’s a salad or the occasional fries and I suffer through the stomachache) but, I know kids love it, as did I when I was a kid. So, Mickey D’s did a smart marketing move. Yes, they say they have a long-standing and rich heritage of supporting education and academic excellence… blah, blah, blah…it was marketing pure and simple. I’m a business woman and I’m not mad at them. The bottom-line is dollars and cents. All companies have community based programs and McDonald's is no different. Sure, they may care about the community but the bottom-line is they care also about shareholder value. To that end, they created a campaign with the Florida County School District where students received envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald and received coupons for a free happy meal if they got good grades or attendance. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO….The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is demanding that McDonald's immediately stop the program! They said it’s advertising to the children and "This promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low," said Susan Linn, director of CCFC. "It bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy Meal."
I mean come on people, who is the CCFC trying to fool…they know they take their kids to McDonald’s! It’s only a free Happy Meal. I personally try to stay away from the stuff but, when I have my niece or nephew screaming bloody murder in the back seat of my car and the only thing that will shut them up are those golden yellow arches…excuse me, a free happy meal coupon would come in handy! Maybe they are a little upset because their children don’t qualify for the good grades? I don’t get it…it’s a choice. You see McDonald’s on TV everyday, so it’s not like the kids don’t already know what McDonald’s is. It’s not like parents don’t frequent McDonald’s. If you don’t want to take them there then don’t. I think it’s a great incentive for kids to do good in school…it’s the little stuff, especially in a time when kids don’t get many incentives anymore. Maybe they haven’t seen how much of the budgets are cut or maybe they don’t even care or maybe that’s not the point, I’m pretty sure that’s not the point for them but for me I still don’t get it. I remember the incentives we used to get, paddles on the behind and hand if we didn’t shut up, corporal punishment was still in at my elementary school when I was a kid! Not joking, I’m from Cleveland! The occasional pizza parties, trips, ice cream and so on. Heck, I’m jealous they get McDonald's Happy Meals! I would support Baby I getting a Mickey D coupon although her Happy Meal would probably include a fruit salad or veggie burger or some healthier choice but hey she needs to dream of something why take her hopes away?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm going to take a few days off from posting and get this, posting everyday has even inspired me to start a blog for my company (I'm a gluten for punishment) on living the ultimate life. I'll let you know when I start that blog in case you can't get enough of me! LOL
One last thing. Somebody better send me a prize, a candy bar or something for posting everyday (smile)! Happy Holidays everyone!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I just figured out the reason why I don't enjoy cooking is because I don't really care that much about food... However, in my house there were very few times we fought over food but, one of those times was when my mother was making plantano maduro (sweet/ripe plantains). This was a treat because I was raised in Cleveland and it was difficult (and expensive) to get plantains and when she did, they went just as fast! Now, I live in DC and the culture is so diverse, I can get plantain anywhere, I think I've even seen it at 7-11 next to the Big Gulps.
I don't fight my little brother for my plantano maduro anymore but I still love them. Does this mean I cook them? Of course not, silly...well, not too often that is. LOL So, the staple of the Dominican culture is plantain and the staple of the Ethiopian culture is injera. Uh, OH, although I love (and always have loved) Ethiopian food you know I can’t make it and I’m a little concerned about trying to make injera because it has a taste that you don't want to mess up. But, I want to make sure that I can make it before Baby I comes home. I keep looking in the Safeway aisles for it and they don't have it. Something tells me they won't be getting injera anytime soon. Hey, maybe I should ask them next time I go. What do you think they will say? That would probably be funny. I’ll keep you posted on this one. LOL Maybe this weekend, in my free time (yeah right) I’ll have my first try at making injera and a little snack to go along with it. What do you think about this recipe that someone sent me? I'll let you know how it turned out. Wish me luck.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil
1. add the yeast to the flour and slowly add the water and stir it well to form a thin batter; cover and let it sit in a warm place for 3 days; stir the batter once a day
2. when ready to make the injera, add the baking powder and salt to taste, stir well
3. heat a large non-stick pan/griddle, brush it with some canola oil, set heat at medium-high
4. take about 1/2 cup of batter and pour it on the pan and swoosh it around to spread the batter into a thin layer on the pan (sort of like making crepe)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Yup...that's pretty much how I am feeling about a month long of posting! I now have to look for inspirational quotes to keep this up in the midst of migraines, meetings, work and more work...I'm tired. Maybe I'll have more to write on Tuesday. Oh, I have a lot to say I just don't have the energy to write it! I wish I could just speak my thoughts into my computer.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. white vinegar 6 oz. of stuffing or dressing 5 tbsp. butter 4 oz. turkey 1 lb. spinach 2 large eggs salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Bring pot of water to a simmer and add white vinegar.
3. Shape the stuffing into two patties and saute with 2 tablespoons of butter.
4. Put turkey on top of patties and place in oven (so they stay hot).
5. Saute spinach with remaining butter.
6. Poach eggs for three minutes.
7. To assemble, put stuffing/turkey on plate; top with spinach and eggs; season with salt and pepper.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Since more than 25,000 people die annually from hunger I think I can be your annoying friend today and I give you permission to goof off at work and play this game. Hey, you are goofing off anyway and reading blogs so go ahead and play, it's okay! Oh, and you will have a much better vocabulary to wow your supervisor with. Maybe I should play, then I'll stop using urban language like WTF (I was just told this is important nomenclature), holla and whateve. Even more importantly maybe I can beat my mother at Scrabble. Yea...WHATEVER!!! Is that better? LOL
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Geez... well Moms get your credit cards out and start thinking about those names because little Pacey, Madison, Parker, Gabi, Arriele will hate you forever if you don't have a domain name for her. I mean Mom what were you thinking?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
"Good Morning, I'm Tim calling from Eastern Marketing Company, yesterday you started a survey with us. Would you like to continue today?"
"Good Morning. What perfect timing because I'm conducting a survey also. I'm adopting a baby from Ethiopia as a single parent. I'm having a few issues trying to figure out how to raise money to finish paying for the adoption. Also what color do you think I should paint the baby's room? At what age do you think I should put her into daycare? Do you think I should work full or part-time? But I really need to work full-time...Oh I forgot to tell you about my business. Hello.... Hello... Tim? Are you still there?"
I laughed hysterically. I don't think Eastern Marketing Company will call me back again. The point is, start asking them a lot of questions and see how they like it!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Adoption trendy? Very funny, I'll be sure to remember that as I am saving, scrimping and trying to figure out how to pay for my adoption. Trying to be the best single mom I can. I have to fit in with the Jones ya' know!
Friday, November 16, 2007
I was curious so I went to board and read the email. I felt bad that the man got sick but I was disturbed by what he called his sickness and really wondered why he would call it the Jungle Crud? Ummm...anyway, you know I sent the board an email and did I get backlash. Probably, many are reading this blog this morning...oh excuse my impoliteness...GOOD MORNING! :-)
So, this is what I said:
What is this Ethiopian Crud? Is this what the doctor called it (because I looked it up online and couldn’t find any medical definition for it) or is this what you and your husband have decided to call it? I can tell you it does not sound very nice to me and I am offended by it. Addis is not in the Jungle so to me this has a very negative connotation of what you believe Ethiopia to be and your understanding of Ethiopia. Furthermore, when I saw the word "crud" and I saw “hassle”… like see what I had to go through to pickup this little baby. Traveling anywhere and simply getting on a plane can be a hassle. When I travel across country I get sick so again, this just didn't sit well with me (you can say it is just me but this was brought to my attention by someone else on the board.). I have said this on other boards, I say this on my blog, and I will say it on this board...you are now stepping into a new world where you are not only adopting an Ethiopian child but you are adopting a Diaspora. You now must think about the subtleties of the words in which you speak and write. Those things which may not seem like such a big deal to you are very offensive to others. Selam
Guess what happened then? Someone threatened to call my adoption agency on me! They said I was ridiculous! It was just a few words and yes maybe they were not the right words but this was simply ridiculous. Who is this Tami person...I sent them to my blog. This was my response:
My name is Tami. The purpose of my email was to let you know exactly what I said, how words come across to people and how they can come across as racist. This is a forum for learning and trust me you better learn some of these lessons now, while your babies are young. Race is a very touchy issue and people don't like to hear it or discuss it, I force people to see it and talk about it...many people don't like me because of it...sorry. I live it daily. I am actually pretty friendly, I talk about this, I can laugh about it...many others won't. If any of you feel the need to call Gladney about me please do but I think you are over reacting. Trust that they read my blog just like everyone else. Selam.
Just another day in Happy Blog Land for Me! Happy Friday!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
This list actually made me think and realize (I don't know about you) but I REALLY am worth more dead than alive (scary but true...sorry Mommy)....let's see:
-there's the house (I live in DC you look at real estate here!)
- two life insurance polices (I won't tell you how much they are worth but Baby I will be chillin' on the French Riviera when I'm 6ft under)
- the business (it will be worth something...my financial planner says it is worth $xxxK if I sold it today...any takers? LOL)
- the car (it's a depreciating asset but an asset none the less...LOL)
- jewelry, artwork, furniture and other stuff (you can still make money at yard sales you know!)
Oh well, since I'm still alive and happy I should continue to work on trying to make it on the Gladney's Mommy list first...I'll be happy with that!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Our playoff game(s) is/are this Saturday, 9am. My mother is so proud, so much so she has driven 7 hours from Myrtle Beach, SC to DC to see me play football. Now, that is supporting her baby girl! LOL I suppose these are the crazy things mothers do for their children. I know I would do the same for Baby I...okay, I lie. I would get on a plane, not drive, but I would go see her in the playoffs even if she were a grown 'ole woman!
Keep your fingers (and toes crossed) and wish my team (Wolfpack) winnings for Saturday...we want to come home with the trophy!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
As I am typing this I am also thinking about how little my daughter's family probably has to eat right now. I wonder what my daughter's mother and father are doing right now. How they are feeling. Since my daughter is not yet born (I'm moving at a snails pace) it makes me a little sad to think they may be hungry and possibly sick. Maybe my daughter has other siblings that are crying right now because they are hungry...wow, this is a humbling thought while I am sitting here at my laptop drinking a soy latte and getting ready to go to the gym for yoga. After you look at these photos I'm sure that you'll have a different appreciation for the food you eat today also. Selam.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
WARNING...this is something like picking a baby name...it won't be easy! LOL OKAY...I'm open to suggestions.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Okay, are you ready for my comment to this conversation? WHAT THE F#$@? Since when is it okay for a parent to take their child out of school to celebrate their birthday at Chuckie Cheese? Yes, yes I know a parent can do what he/she wants to do with their child but, what values are we instilling in our children when we show them that we can take them out of school at the drop of a hat to celebrate what most people celebrate on the weekends. Let's be serious, it's not a religious holiday, Christmas or even President's Day...it's a 10 year old's birthday for goodness sakes. I wanted to tell my neighbor to get a grip, go buy some cupcakes, goody bags and drop his kid off at school but then I remembered a few things.
First, I heard my mother saying "Tami mind your business." So, I didn't say a word instead I'm complaining to the blogosphere. Next, I remembered this is the same person that gets his kid a personal shopper at Nordstroms. Yes, a personal shopper! The first time I heard this I said to him "Excuse me? Haven't you ever heard of TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or Potomac Mills (the outlet mall)." He said "Oh no, I've never taken my daughter to one of those stores." I laughed and said, "hmm...silly you. My kid will love them, be happy and very cute. What she will never see is a personal shopper from Nordstroms unless it is her own money!"
SIGHHHH...what is he thinking or maybe it's just me. Maybe Baby I will be deprived because my mother had this theory unless I was dying...I was going to school every single day!!!!!!!! She did allow me to miss senior cut day though. I didn't want to cut so I told her it was senior cut day and she let me stay home. That was nice. Oh, and it was the time when I wore a mini skirt to school (when they were not allowed...yes, I'm dating myself here) and they sent me home to change but my mother was mad because she said it wasn't too short and let me stay home all day...that was it! I missed two days from school (let's not talk about the days I was suspended that is another post LOL)...the other days I missed I was dying! Lesson for Baby I: it's school or you better be dying.
My friend said the hostess and the other waitresses were taking bets on if I was Ethiopian or not. I said I know, it happens all of the time. It never fails, in DC it is pretty much assumed I am Ethiopian only ocassionally do I get Dominican (I'm not offended, it's kinda cool). Finally, my waitress comes and asks me "are you Ethiopian?" I say no. She looked a little shocked and disappointed. She walked away quickly and that was that. I didn't get anymore big smiles from her all night. sighhhhhhhh I didn't even have a chance to say my proud statement..."I'm in the process of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia!" I love saying that!
My friend had a huge laugh, made lots of jokes, and said I better learn Amharic fast before I'm accused of not being proud of my heritage. I guess I better find an Amharic class in 2008!
*Sidebar: In my heritage research I found out that DNA from the Fulani tribe shares some of the same DNA from that of Ethiopians some more some less. Maybe when my daughter comes I'll get tested more to find out if we share similar DNAs.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My best friend invited me to LA to spend Christmas with her and her family (btw she had her baby last Tuesday, they named him Christian). I may or may not go, I haven't decided yet. However, I do know one thing, this is my last year of having a solo Tami Christmas. Next year will be my first year of a Mommy and Baby I Christmas. It will be the beginning of my family traditions.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
When you send me questions they don't post automatically (I have to approve them first) so you can either send them to me anonymously or you can include your name. I will not post your questions in the comments section if you ask me not to. I'm not trying to "out" anyone for their questions. I'm actually looking to be helpful and simply looking for something to write about for these 30 days! LOL If I don't get any questions...I'll make something up!!!!! Just kidding. I'll think of something witty to write about (as usual).
So, what questions do you have??? I'm sure there is something that you have been dying to ask but you didn't have anyone to ask, here is your opportunity!
Friday, November 2, 2007
My friends and I have spent time debating where the best place to send our children to school is. I live in DC and we definitely have a number of educational challenges, as well as choices: charter, public and private schools. But you better believe I want nothing to do with anything that is segregated. As much as I love who I am, I know who I am (and I will make sure that so does Baby I) so I don't need an all Black grade school for my child to know that. I want my child to know and appreciate the entire world of diversity - other cultures, foods and languages - it is who she is, who I am and who my friends are. However, I understand this is an issue for some families.
We are in a time of crisis in public education but, there are great things going on in every city and don't let anyone tell you there is not. Also, don't let anyone tell you bad things about good options such as charter schools. Charter schools are good options for our children but not every charter school works but guess what? Neither do all public schools and many haven't worked for say 50 years now. At least if a charter school is not performing they shut it down, I can't say that for traditional public schools.
Don't let the race card stand in the way of your child's education. Fight for what you believe your child deserves. This is your child's future. Don't just put your black child around some black kids during the day because you feel guilty for being white or living in an all white community if the school you are going to send your child to is substandard and the environment is not safe--you will be doing your child a disservice (and I know you don't want to do that). No one can learn in an unsafe environment. It's sad to say but, it is very difficult to get gang activity and violence out of schools and to get high quality teachers that will tolerate unsafe environments. So, just remember when thinking about where to send your child to school, the best education isn't just about academics but, it also includes factors like violence and ethnic composition of a school (scary we have to think about these things isn't it, but we do). Yes, so much to think about.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Okay, before everyone sends me hate mail I tried to understand the difference of National Adoption Awareness Month. I wanted to see if someone unofficially did this to include all areas of adoption not just foster care. As you may or may not know National Adoption Month is actually recognized by the President. I want to believe that someone was thoughtful enough to realize that National Adoption Month was simply divisive to the adoption community and did not include international adoption or even those that never went through the foster care system. However, I kept finding the same definition even for National Adoption Awareness Month so I can't help but feel a little duped by the title National Adoption Month. This month really isn't about me/us...the focus is about adopting out of foster care and oh yea... we know you are adopting also but...whatever! I'm sorry, I just don't get a warm fuzzy feeling from the definition of National Adoption Month.
When I talk about adoption, I speak about it for all children domestically and internationally, my choice just happened to be internationally because it worked better for me. I guess I thought this is what National Adoption Month or National Adoption Awareness Month would be...something inclusive of all facets of adoption.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
There's a sucker born every minute and I guess my time has come. I was foolish enough to visit chou-chou and she posed a challenge for November and I foolishly accepted (love ya chou-chou) yes, even after thinking about it.
If you didn't know it, you do now, November is National Blog Posting Month (you may need that answer for a Jeopardy question). What will Americans think of next? We are always making stuff up and the saddest or best part (half-empty/half-full) is there is ALWAYS someone there that will buy into it. So, being that I am a blog stalker (I've finally admitted it, I even stalk my own blog to see who has left me comments), I have decided to write something every single day for the month of November! If you too would like to join in with my misery...oh I'm sorry, I mean fun really I do (smile) go to NaBloPoMo and sign up...misery loves company.
Finally, to the folks who really like my blog, you are in for a treat because I am actually going to be forced to step it up a notch. And for those people that don't like me...Why are you still reading my blog??????? GOTCHA
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I remember saying I would never be like my mother but now I find myself doing/saying the same things that my mother does. I am my mother’s child! For example, I swore I would never….
- Go to bed early... I fall asleep in front of the TV around 9 pm or earlier if nothing is keeping my attention.
- Say "This Too Shall Pass" or "You'll Get Over It" or "You Know You Can Have Anything You Want"....I say them all!
- Get tired of hanging out on weekends with my friends... My couch is oh so comfortable; my friends say I'm the worse to try to get out of the house!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
To the two anonymous messages that I received thanks, I’m glad I stirred up emotion in you. I think it’s pretty cool that I have that power, now if I can only do good with this power! J (You are probably not laughing right now but I am!) FYI, the positive comments received on my site are from other white bloggers so obviously I’m not so racist. If you take the time to go through my site you would see I have never posted anything negative about whites...read my posts to be clear on my views before you attack me. Now as far as the last post I said that the woman should use less expensive products and I asked the question…Whatever happened to Vaseline? Hey lady…it was a question!!!!!!!!! Jeez…I laughed when I wrote that! You should have also! Maybe you need an extracurricular activity or something! Hey Tasha or Chou Chou can you suggest one for her? Maybe she should read Michael Moore’s books or watch his movies (love him or leave him)…I love him!
The point is…one person is never going to see the same thing another person sees. Secondly, different races tend to see things differently because we have different experiences. This blog is merely a blog from my perspective…you can either take it or leave it but as I heard a pastor say: stop coming if you don’t like my sermon.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Every time I see a post on the adoption board about haircare I immediately cringe. I know that it is going to be something, for the lack of a better word, "interesting." I mean just because you are adopting a black child does not mean the haircare product you purchase must have the name Africa in it, be purchased in the motherland, or say specifically for black hair. (FYI...Most of my friends use products like Sebastian, Enjoy, KMS, etc on their hair). Your kids are just kids. They don't need a whole lot of stuff in their hair anyway...the more you put in their hair the more dependent you are making it on the products and they are way to young for that. As one of my friends says, just let their hair do what it is going to do. No matter how much stuff you put their hair is never going to be straight so get over it. The names of some of these products: WTF... Africa Hair, Mizura, Loc Butter? I don't even put that stuff in my head. People don't believe the hype! I also read that someone was so upset about Carol's Daughter products because they liked using them on their daughter but they were so expensive. I'm not going to knock another sister's products, they are good but yes they are expensive, there are other products on the market...USE THEM!
Side bar...this same woman said she only bathed her kid once a week because she thought her daughter's skin got too dry (she moisturized twice a week only)because the products were too expensive. Lady use another less expensive product, give your kid a bath and moisturize her daily are you kidding me? Whatever happened to good 'ole Vaseline? Johnson & Johnson makes some great products. I still use some of their products on my skin and I'm as soft as a baby's ...well you know. Sighhh
Growing up my mother used Johnson & Johnson No More Tangles on my hair and it worked just fine (and I could sit on my hair). I know that dealing with ethnic hair is a challenge for some of you. I see the fear in your faces when you talk about hair care and I see the end result on your child's head. We don't want them to look crazy but please don't go to the extreme. Don't put multiple products on their hair. They don't need gels, freeze and shine, moouse, cremes and all of that stuff. It doesn't have to be some imported product from Africa (or so it says). Different kids need different things.
Finally, while I respect the views many of the adoptive mothers have provided on the big hair care dilemma I would advise if you are just very stumped find a good black hair salon to get the 411, if you don't have a good girlfriend to tell you the truth about which products to use or not to use. Oh and one more thing...let the baby's hair grow! I know she looks cute to you with short hair but in our community we have a love affair with hair (at least while they are kids) so let it grow, let it grow.
Following is a poem that I found about nappy hair. I love my nappy hair and I'm proud! :-)
And when I was too young to really care
I loved to twirl each curl in my hand
And appreciate the texture of every strand.
But when I got older I was told
That the straightest hair was just like gold.
My hair got ironed with a metal comb
And the smell of burning grease made me moan.
I got a relaxer to run from the smoke,
But the pain of my overcooked scalp was no joke.
I even tried a Jheri curl to give myself a break
But being a target of jokes made my heart ache.
Oh, the day I turned my back on chemicals and heat,
I felt so free - oh, what a treat!
I trimmed off what was left of the damaged mess
And saw in the mirror what I thought was success.
But society said I had lost my mind
And that I would run back to tradition in time.
I got the strangest looks everywhere
And even loved ones frowned at my nappy hair.
I can't get a black brother to take me out for a meal
Since my hair lacks European appeal.
But when I look at my origin,
The continent of Africa, where my ancestors had been
And the beauty of the people who live there,
I saw nothing wrong with my nappy hair.
God gave me this hair
So I should not be ashamed
It is part of who I am
Ain't nothin' wrong with it, I exclaimed.
So I will wear my Afro, my twists and my coils!
I will not allow my confidence to be soiled.
Even if my hair is locked and dreaded,
I am proud of being nappy-headed.