Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow pics

And good things to do on snowy days.


Bury your grudges ... or the person you have a grudge against?

Play with your dog.

Play inside. With a hat, you can be like a grown up lady.

Get ready for the big day.

Curl up with a quilt and a good book. (Pictured: "The Queen of Style")

Cuddle up in your crate with ... a mirror? Well, this dog lives with a little diva; what can we say?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I've created a monster

My K has been a Michael Jackson fan ever since he first came to our house at age 3. He immediately found and loved the movie Free Willy, previously forgotten in our collection of VHS tapes. You could read a lot into that because of the story about the kid in foster care and everything, and maybe it's all true, I don't know for sure. But the thing he loved most was the MJ video at the beginning. Heaven forbid you should fail to rewind the thing all the way and miss that video.

He doesn't watch it so much now. Which is fine. But we did introduce the kids to the long-form "Thriller" on Halloween. K wants to watch it every few days. So I showed him how to find a collection of MJ videos on our Blu-Ray player. (We love that thing and its streaming Netflix. Joy.)

Since then, it's almost nonstop. The kids find MJ weird and fascinating, just like all of us. Especially the changes in his appearance. But they love the long-form videos for "Bad" and "Black or White" with their simple, didactic stories. A keeps trying to imitate the dance moves, which is certainly something to see.

I have to say, I wasn't a huge MJ fan in my youth. Never owned a cassette, even. Mostly I was too young when he was really huge - fourth grade when "Thriller" was everywhere. But that's it; it was everywhere. I remember a kid playing it on a boom box in the school bus on the way to my rural Oklahoma elementary. It was part of what I marinated in during my childhood. And now it's part of me, and I do think the guy was kind of a genius with the infectious beats and the feel-good messages

So I pass it on to my kids. That's all right, isn't it?

Saturday, November 06, 2010


As you can see, we made a decision about becoming a dog-companioned family. This is Heidi Irina. She's a young, small-size German Shepherd/cowdog cross. She is calm and sweet and just a love. She came from Montana German Shepherd Dog Rescue in Hamilton. She's kind of lazy and mostly wants to be snuggled. Lucky for Z.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Two of my kids were placed for adoption voluntarily by their birthmoms. I am always amazed by their selfless choice. If ever I know I need to do something but feel it is just too difficult for me, I think of them. Because of my experience as a foster parent, I know what it's like to say goodbye to a baby you love with no guarantee you'll ever meet again. It's one of the most lonely and desolate feelings I've encountered. It takes amazing strength to endure that voluntarily in the best interest of your child. These birthparents are phenomenal.

My other two kids joined our family through the foster care system. Their birthparents wouldn't have chosen to give them up. They were removed for their best interest by a system that, although imperfect, employs many good people who do truly want to keep children safe and help them find good, loving, permanent families. These adoption workers can be angels on earth.

On our journey to build our family we have been blessed with good and supportive friendships with other adoptive families. We were part of a group that uncertainly entered adoptive-parent education classes together in the fall of 1998 at LDS Family Services in Salt Lake City and continued to meet and socialize together for several years as gradually children joined our families. I have relied on advice and support from a diverse group of women from the Adoptive Parents bulletin board that began at around that time (now we congregate on a private board). Blog friends have offered kind words. And we have met people through church and other avenues who have been wonderful examples and thoughtful friends. I think you will understand that it is not vanity and I am not necessarily referring to us when I say that adoptive parents make up a generally awesome group that we are humbled to be part of.

One last party. Last but not least. Those kids. They are beautiful, fun, smart, quirky, challenging. They come with their own spirits and personalities. They have experienced loss. They are affected by the lives they had before they came to us. They are resilient and strong. They are the stars of the show. They are why we are all doing what we do. They are the super-fantastic, always interesting, sacred and special children of adoption.

November is National Adoption Month. I am a mom through adoption. I am so grateful I have the chance.