Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Has it been a year? Really?





























I can't believe it has almost been a year since we brought the little man home. Seeing these pictures makes me realize how much we have all changed this year! Yikes. These pictures are from our pumpkin patch trip last year. We live very close to a place called Half Moon Bay. It is the pumpkin growing capitol of the world. Yes, the world. It is a small strip of land between the ocean and a mountain. Apparently this makes for prime pumpkins growing conditions. They even have a huge festival. Pretty fun. What makes it cool is that you can be standing in a huge field of pumpkins and look up and the ocean is right in front of you. It is a strange combination of orange pumpkins, green ground, blue sky and grey ocean. The colors are very vibrant and I never manage to capture on film what it looks like in real life. In our family, pumpkins and the ocean are forever linked. We always go to the same pumpkin patch and take a picture w/ Lauren in the same place. The goal is to eventually show how she has grown. We have done this every year since she has been born. I have never lived anywhere long enough to do something like this. I imagine I will be dragging her to the same pumpkin patch when she is 16 and hates me. Tough luck for her.

It makes me realize what a different childhood my kids are having, compared to what I had. Don't get me wrong, I love the way I grew up. We moved a lot. I learned how to make new friends and to be ok out of my comfort zone. These are skills that serve me well now. I really can't relate to the kid that grew up knowing the same people since birth and lived in the same house. Here I am now teaching Sunbeams that I have known since birth. My daughter has always lived in the same town, J.J. too. We don't have any plans to leave any time soon. They will probably be those kids that I couldn't relate to growing up. Huh. Life is funny.

This year for Halloween Lauren wants to be Dora the Explorer. I am sad because I wanted to get just one more year out of her being something pretty, like a princess. She is growing up. Jacob is going to be Mr.T. We are shaving a mohawk and everything. It will grow back in 10 seconds. I will never understand how my son can grow his afro out faster then Lulu can grow ANY hair. We shave his head every month, Lauren has NEVER had a hair cut. Again, life is funny.

This post has no point, just babble. My husband has been in New York for a few days and I am missing adult conversation. My mother in law also went through a pretty major surgery today. She has breast cancer and has a long road ahead of her. Chemo starts next. It is scary and makes me thankful at the same time that we have things like doctors and hospitals and chemo so that cancer doesn't always need to be a death sentence. It seems that there are no people left that don't have some kind of brush with cancer, whether it is them or someone they know. It makes me wonder who out of my circle of friends will be the one who gets it. Will it be me? My sisters? I am glad we don't get to know.

On a funny (and also sad and slightly racist) note, today in Walmart I was asked for the third time if I got my baby from New Orleans. Seriously. Are people crazy? Don't they think that the government is going to take more then a few weeks to reunite children w/ parents or family before they start handing them out? Or, do they think I drove to Louisiana and picked up the first black child I saw sitting on a roof or overpass? Is it because he is black? People are crazy.

Crazier every day.

18 comments:

Kate said...

I can't believe how little Jacob looks in those pictures! I can't wait to see him as Mr. T!

People are really asking you that? That's crazy.

I know what you mean about moving around a lot, seeing as we grew up in the same family. But I honestly think I had the best of both worlds. I didn't know my friends since birth, but I did since elementary school. So while I remember attending three different elementary schools, once we got to Heber I pretty much grew up with all my classmates. And I like that.

I emailed Kristin to schedule an appointment for Monday the 7th. I'm thinking about making the 'Big Move' the first weekend of Nov. Is that cool?

La Yen said...

Before we got The Jooj, at least one out of three people would advise us to "get a black baby because they are so cute." Like a golden retriever. She is half Indian, and people in my family are kind of disappointed that she is not dark. Because she would be cuter? I don't know. I wish I had an afro, though. That would be boss for the mohawk...

Bek said...

It is funny how people talk, isn't it? I am suprised that people didn't tell you to get a black baby because they are so cheap. This is one I have heard before. Ha, cheap like Gucci loafers.

Gigi is half indian? Is she Native American? Usually the tribe doesn't allow them to be adopted out. I have always heard horror stories about this thing. I know this b/c we have a cousin that is Navajo and was never formally adopted by my aunt because the tribe wouldn't allow it.

She is getting so big! Did you see my post about baby clothes for you?

R

Christy said...

I get comments like, "Wow. Your husband must be really dark." One lady asked me if I got our son from the local orphanage. A lady in line at Walmart asked me if it was difficult being a foster mom. I wish I had something quick and witty to reply to all of these people to let them know in a funny way that what they are asking/saying is way out of line.

No kidding about the "cheap" adoption. Does that exist? Although, I will admit that Eva was a "bargain"!

wendysue said...

Bek, we'll have to compare Halloween pics, Whitney is going to be a little punk rocker. She was blessed with her fathers double crown, so her hair automatically sticks straight up! So we're gellin' it up and maybe we'll do the tips green?? Maybe a little MOM tatoo?? Love the pics!!

Bek said...

A punk baby!! Cute. You should do green hair and a nosering!!!

Christy, you and me and Jen G should write a book about what to say. Usually I use some form of humor to let them know that while I appreciate their comment, they have crossed a line. For example....if they ask you if it is hard to be a foster mom you say..."not really, the reason we get the kids is to make them do work around the house"....or "nah, we just do it for the money...do you know how much it pays?". Or...."if you have strong enough locks on the cages that you make them sleep in it is no problem!" If you are not that bold you should look them in the eye and say "I am not sure, I would like to try it someday". Be totally deadpan and wait for their horrified reaction. They will either see that you are kidding and your non-answer is your answer, or they will be horrified and stop talking. Either way the problem is solved.

You have had more experience then I have, but I find that what they really want to ask is "is the child adopted" but they feel like that is somehow inappropriate to ask, so they come up with something even MORE inappropriate instead. :-)

Here are some more....when they ask if your husband is dark say..."no he is really light, you can imagine how embarassed I was when the baby came out black" Or, (with totally sweet smile and straigt face) "No.......why do you ask?". For the lady that thought you got him from the local orphanage (what is this? 1950? Annie?) you could say...."no, I bought him on the black market", or "I chose the best looking kid off the school bus and ran really fast". :-) I even had a lady ask once why we chose a black one. I looked at her and said "because he was the cheapest". Another time someone (an AA woman) asked "what makes you think you can raise a black man in your white household?" I answered "because I have a lot of money". She was fuming, but that was what she wanted to hear so who am I to disappoint? I also knew that this was what I signed up for when we adopted kids that don't look like me.

I do worry about when they are old enough to hear and understand. I won't be quite so flip then. Jen--Gigi looks like she could be bio s because Waldo has dark coloring. Does it happen to you? Wendysue, does this happen to you? Your kids do look Asian (a little bit--but not Whitney). My friend Catherine (white) is married to a Chineese American man. Her kids look really Asian. She gets asked all the time where she adopted her kids from and it drives her crazy....

:-)

Azúcar said...

Look at my new avatar~ :)

Will was a punk last year. He was also rockin' the red high top converse. The day before Halloween he fell down and gave himself two black eyes. It was the perfect costume for his first Halloween. The dog collar, plaid pants and anarchy t-shirt, he was BAD-A! It horrified my mother in law, but we loved it!

So I told a few people here at work about the New Orleans comments and they were just as shocked as I was. People are insane.
Sometimes I ask people if they got their baby from Uglyville, but that's only if their baby is really ugly. Occasionally I'll ask a mom if her baby is retarded because he certainly looks like it. Sorry Mrs. Olson, my bad!

Christy said...

The black market! Ha ha. I'm gonna use that one for sure.

I didn't mention the worst one. This happened just when Caleb was 3 months old. This old man said, "My family used to own us a couple of them before it was illegal." I said, "Are you kidding me?". And he said, "Nope." and walked away. This was before we had our post-placement visit. I mentioned it to the social worker and she couldn't believe it either!

I must admit, though...adopting transracially (or otherwise) is so worth it! Even with all the stupid people out there, I wouldn't trade my kids for anything!

Do you have some chains for Jacob yet? I went to a grocery store and put some quarters in a little machine to get some for when Caleb was Mr. T. He sucked on them the whole time so I didn't want to use my good stuff.

~j. said...

Gigi is Indian, as in, her birthmom is from India. Not Native American. And I think she looks a lot like Waldo.... I actually think she looks JUST like Waldo.

~j. said...

Also, the last year that I lived in my hometown, they started having an annual Pumpkin-hurling festival. The idea was to see who could come up with the contraption that could hurl a pumpkin the farthest (furthest?) distance. They still have this every year. And I sang the national anthem at the first one. Because, you know, pumpkin-hurling is staunchly American.

Bek said...

I am going to suggest pumpkin hurling to the Half Moon Bay Folks. After all, what are you supposed to do w/ all those stinking pumpkins?

We tried to adopt from India before we decided to so AA. It is hard if one person isn't ethnically Indian...but this is a good plan....adopt one from someone that is already here. Hmmmm. I would take a baby from India in a second....then China...then Chicago, oh wait.

compulsive writer said...

Great pictures of your beautiful family (loved the magical Disney pics, too).

I'm sorry people are so crazy. I can only hope that at least most of them don't mean to be insensitive. I'll have to pass on your great comebacks to my sister-in-law.

One of the things that I love best about having Sadie in our family is that I believe it helps the next generation be a little more color blind. It has been fun and hopeful, however, to see the past generation evolve. My two dear, but very much "product-of-their-time" grandmothers have gone from being outright bigots to ebracing this beautiful little girl. Wonders never cease.

Azúcar said...

p.s. Thanks for the Half Moon Bay memories, it's such a beautiful corner of the world. I hope that I can go back soon.

Bek said...

Carina,

Come back to Half Moon Bay and do a tour of Eickler-ville. You can stay in our guest room........

Any takers....

Compulsive, thanks for your leads on agencies. I am investigating some now and appreciate all the help I can get!!

R

cyndi k. wren said...

Jay may be going to louisiana with his unit to help out with hurricane relief. Do you want me to have him pick up a baby for you?

He totally will...

By the way. How many babies named katrina do you think will come out of this particular storm ravaged area of the world? Gag!!

La Yen said...

Her birth mom is from Utah--I am too cheap to go buy an imported baby. American made for me, all the way. Ford Motor Co. Plus, everyone is getting them from China. So played out. Only designer babies for me.

I am considering getting a black baby just so I can use that black market line. It is the greatest thing I have ever heard.

I was doing some geneology the other day and came accross an entry in my great great great whatever's journal--"1866, bought Lamoni Lamonite boy. 1887 Bought Lamonite girl." Freaking sweet.

La Yen said...

Oh--I forgot--I had a friend at work who had two little boys, about the same age and height, one was black and adopted. People would ask her all the time if they were fraternal twins (thinking that dad was black and mom was white, so they got one of each!)

Azúcar said...

That is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

This goes back to rule number one: People are stupid.