A Party Ain’t A Party

This stage of parenting is seriously turning out to be the biggest mystery for me. Seriously, so much of what Hope is going through, I went through far away from my parents’ view. I was away at college. Now, I’m guessing, that many more folks experience this early adult parenting than I anticipated with more than 50% of college students living at home.

So, apparently, this is kinda the norm?

Ha, it doesn’t feel normal. Even though I’m a first-generation college student, both of my parents moved out shortly after their high school graduations. My dad went into the military and my mom moved to the city. Like everyone, they made their way and figured it out. Again, they were away from their parents’ view as well.

Me, I’ve got a front-row seat to Hope’s shenanigans. And I find that parenting through them is a big discombobulating because these were not conversations that I or my siblings had with our parents, and they didn’t have them with their parents. I’m like, WTF am I supposed to do or say?

Hope had a party earlier this week.

Yep, in the middle of a pandemic surge, she invited about 15 folks over to a party in the condo party room. It was supposed to occur about a week or two ago, but it got snowed out so she rescheduled to this week. I was not a fan of a gathering, but she contracted to use the party room all on her own—which I was really happy about ‘cause those folks were not coming to my house.

She was very excited, and I was excited for her. Social relationships have always been anxiety-inducing for Hope. She finds it hard to make new friends and sustain healthy friendships. Her current job seems to have a nice collection of young people close in age, both younger and older. I’ve met a number of them and many seemed a lot like her in the anxiety-awkward department so she found her tribe.

Well, long story short, only about 5 people showed up for the party. The day after it was clear that she didn’t consider the party a success, that she was really upset that folks who RSVP’d didn’t show, that she felt like she wasted money, and on and on. I asked her if she enjoyed the company of her guests to which she replied yes! Did they bring food? Yep. Did you have leftovers? Already handled. Did they help clean up? Yep, they even helped me pop the balloons! Wait, you had a party with balloons too? Um, ok.

By my estimate, you found your core, solid pals, but Hope and I do different math. She didn’t go to work the next day. She said she was embarrassed, and my heart broke a little.

After I really tried to listen to her and watched her openly wrestle with her emotions, I got to parenting. Hey, don’t give the people who didn’t show up so much attention when these other five folks came out to hang with you. It was 12 degrees that night; you know how I get when it’s that cold—other people get like that too. We just want to curl up in the covers; we will totally be no-shows. It’s not personal; we still love you, and we are still going to bail on that invitation. It’s a whole arse pandemic out here; it’s not a bad thing that fewer people showed up. Risk reduction! I’m sure that if these folks are your friends and they care about you, they’ll apologize for missing your party.

Welcome to the rest of your life and invitations to stuff that you accept only on the day of to explore every possible legitimate, and some illegitimate, excuse not to go to the event.

Afterward, I pondered when and how I learned that. I thought back to parties I had in my twenties, and I just don’t remember. Sure, I have a little pit feeling wondering if people will show, but somewhere I learned that sometimes they just aren’t going to make it and it’s not the end of the world. Somehow I learned that it didn’t mean they didn’t like me or worse. It just wasn’t the big deal I made it out to be.

I don’t know if I helped Hope through her feelings just like I have no idea how I got to the realization that it wasn’t a big deal, in the grand scheme of things. I find I keep bumping into coaching Hope through these kinds of things and I have to really think about how I learned something and when. I mean, this stuff was 30 years ago; it’s hard to remember. Or I remembered how I originally learned it and then learned something new later but not being able to figure out how to explain it. Then explaining more nuanced things…it’s just harder than I anticipated.

I don’t think I’m messing up, but I wonder how other kids who live at home learn this stuff. Are y’all having these kinds of conversations? Is learning through coaching better, worse or no different than learning through lived experience? Does any of this even matter?

I just didn’t expect to coach through some of these experiences, and it feels even more strange than usual.


Reflecting on 2021

Well, first of all, whew; I’m glad that’s over! I mean, losing Betty White on the last day of the year was just…unnecessarily mean behavior from the universe.

Last year was a bit of a rough ride for me and Hope. It started with the absurdity of the January 6 insurrection—I can’t tell y’all how many friends and family fretted about our safety. We were fine, but having worked at the Capitol early in my career, my partner at the time worked at the complex. I have many friends and colleagues who work there or frequent the complex. Aside from the emotional proximity–that was some wild White people-ish. My career has been devoted to making this country better and to see what we saw…It was as stunning to me as watching the towers fall 20 years ago.

Hope and I would endure a major trauma just days later that was just…Nearly a year later, it is surreal. I remember feeling guilty, angry, pained, devastated. It took months for Hope to recover as she was already flat down given traumas from 2020. But, as always, she is the strongest person I know. Thinking about the last 2 years, Hope had a rough entry into baby adulting.

And then one day, thanks to a great team, she was better. She got a job, started saving up for a car, and started pushing all kinds of boundaries that left us sporadically at each other’s throats. I’m not going to lie, I spent a lot of time mad this summer. This period also left me with some major trust issues, that I’m just starting to unpack now. I came to realize a couple of things during this time. First, my intrinsic motivation made me behave very differently at Hope’s age. I didn’t *really* cut up until I was out of undergrad and had a home of my own. Second, what boundaries I strode across at Hope’s age was done 2 hours away from home and my parents’ knowledge. It helped me remember that her behavior was delightfully, annoyingly and trust-bustingly normal. I did find solace in that.

I said no a lot at work last year. I hope to do more of that this year. My priorities with work are evolving. I’m fortunate to have a lot of autonomy, but something is missing. I’m not being intellectually stimulated in a way that feels good. The last 2 years have been crisis management. How do you sustain anything when a 2 year crisis is quickly turning into a 3 year crisis? It’s exhausting and doesn’t leave much for intellectual creativity or curiosity. I think I’m busier than ever and bored, really bored. I took a 6 week philosophy course that ended last month and the readings, discussions, they were both hard and invigorating. I also realized that this class was honestly the hardest I’ve intentionally worked my brain since the accident. I turned my camera off and hit mute one night because I was overwhelmed by the fact that my brain “still had it.” I didn’t realize how fearful I was that my capacity would always be affected. Anyway, that’s also how I realized, I was bored.

I took a vacation alone; I recommend it. Hope bought a car. I’m so proud of her. My perimenopause symptoms worsened–like WTH? This is really some trash, but I’m glad my circle is normalizing talking about it; it helps to know your repro-revolt isn’t any more or less weird than your sista friends’ experience. I started a small crochet business making pet sweaters and scarves (for now!). Hope made a big decision about her relationships with her biological family. She also has the most amazing Afro now that her hair has grown out, and the best part is that she finally seems to really love her hair. I was partnered and now I’m single again. I was reminded that straight men really have no clue what BS straight women have to contend with. I really need us to do better parenting and modeling healthy romantic relationships because there are a lot of jerks who didn’t get schooled.

As we celebrated last night, Hope and I talked about our desires for 2022–a return to normalcy, the end of the pandemic, a return to living in residence at college, possibly the sale of our home, companionship for both of us and a trip to Vegas for Hope. Yappy just wants us to never leave him ever again–I really need to start working on that in hopes of getting out of the house more.

It was a tough year, but Hope and I ended it on a positive note–dressed up for homemade pasta, playing Mario Kart with frosted sugar cookies, and Costo’s Bailey’s knockoff.

Happy New Year Peeps. Thanks for rocking with me, Hope, and Yappy for another year.


This Christmas…

This Christmas, Hope, Yappy and I headed to Grammy’s and Grandpa’s house for the day. We dutifully took our COVID tests this morning; I’m so happy I had ordered a few a couple of weeks ago. It gave us a lot of peace of mind to know we weren’t dragging the plague into their home. We laughed, we exchanged gifts, ate a yummy Christmas dinner with caramel cake for dessert (IFKYK), mocked holiday Christmas movies even though when I reminesce on the scenes in my mind they check every GD box for holiday, family friendly rom-com, minus the rom part.

This Christmas was great.

This Christmas feels legit like the first Christmas that I truly went in to spoil territory, and it was completely by accident. I appreciate a nice set of packages under the tree, but I’ve always tried to put experiences over things. But y’all this is the SECOND GD year of this panini and seeing as this is the worst EFFING GROUP PROJECT EVER, there are those of us who have opted to limit experiences that have heavy exposure. This year, we got a little loosey goosey wth this stuff.

I usually chose one substantial thing from her wish list as her big gift. Then a few other gifts and gift cards and dassit.

This year I purchased the Nintendo Switch from her list. Found it on sale and purchased it early. Great!

Then there was a late night/early morning binge on the JCPenny app, followed by a swing through the Target app, the gaggle of things that were in my Amazon cart, a traipse through Wayfair and like a couple of Amazon purchases before I fell asleep. I remember bits but I know it’s going to be cray when I look at the books later in the week.

I also remember that was around the time I made a batch of edibles. I’ve since adjusted the dosing to something less…dramatic because this was a really epic binge shop situation.

Anyway the boxes came, and then I got busy and thought I was done. Until I had nearly a week of work-free rest with lounging layabouts in the afternoons; then I started thinking: What kinda dork gives a person a gaming system with no games? Duh. I hit the web, picked out a few, delivered next day. Hmm, I probably should get an extra controller, well since I’m here, some of these accessories are cute!

Then I was like, oh I need to get the TV in her room spruced up and make sure it’s on the house wifi. Hope rarely watched TV in her room, so the TV is legit, rarely used and like new. Until you realize that Hope has been my daughter for nearly 8 years. While she was away at work, I slipped in prepared to get the new Fire Stick set up so that it would be plug and play for her upon opening the gift. When FireTV asked for network settings, this TV replied, “I’m sorry, who dat?”

The like new TV is basically an old “dumb” TV. That setting didn’t exist at that time, apparently. In any case, while it is a silly thing, if your TV can’t get hooked to somebodies connection then do you really even have a TV?

Two days before Christmas I find a decent deal for an upgrade to present TV streaming standards, and like 2-3 hours later that living room TV got dead. There had been a few weird things with the living room TV over the last month or two, but it wasn’t alarming or so I thought. I spent quite a bit of time trying to reboot the TV and got nothing. Never came back on. So, I had to buy another TV. Hope was blown away that I ended up buying two TVs at the last minute.

Yesterday while visiting, Grammy was fussin over her and Hope was eating it with a spoon! And I was struck in that moment about how far we have come. Our first holiday in VA, Hope was only 12, scared, hopeful and probably a bunch of emotions. We went to my cousin’s house for the holiday and Hope spent a good chunk of the night sitting on the floor looking at her foot, which had a little jumpy nerve spasm. I would later learn that these spasms happened in her temples, feet, and hands when she was really stressed. Now she genuinely blossoms with joy when she’s around family.

I’m really into observing Hope these days. I marvel at how she has grown up, how much she has matured. This year really got off to a hellish start, but it is encouraging and a blessing how she’s bounced back. I’m grateful and hopeful for her future.

Oh, Hope got me two sandwich makers–I asked for the simple version, but she got me that and a suped up version. I mean, I do have two air fryers–a big one when I’m doing the family thing and a small counter top on that I use for chicken fingers and tater tots on a week night. I LOVE THEM.

This Christmas was lovely. I’m blessed beyond measure.


Ugh 😣

Wrote a whole post about Hope’s refined code switching skills. It was touching. I talked about my own affinity for switching and how I’m at an age when I choose to do less of it. I talked about how we both kinda like being bougie and occasionally acting super proper, even though that colonized AF.

It was good.

And then Google ate it. Said, “Oh girl, you wrote that? That was yours?” while slowly looking me up and down while popping gum.

Technology kinda sucks.

We’re fine, and I’ll try to recreate the post tomorrow. Xoxo


Keeping Up with ABM

I really took the last couple of weeks to get rest. I meant to write. I meant to do a lot of things. Some things got done, others didn’t, and I’m ok with that.

I was grappling with an arthritis flare that forced me to slow down. I don’t like that I was forced to stop and rest, but that rest was so needed. I feel like my vacation was forever ago.

Thanksgiving with the family was wonderful. After two years of being apart, it was such a joy to be with my family in the same spot. It was so soul-filling. I have missed them so much. During the pandemic, I have seen all members of my family individually, but being together was magical. Hope had a great time; Yappy…less so because of the toddlers, but he was a perfect pup.

I’m trying to wrap up the year at work. I’m eager to take more time off and get more rest.

Hope is working her fanny off. I think it’s fair to say she doesn’t enjoy working with the “public” much. People can be awful and the pandemic has really brought out the problematic people. Layer on holiday shoppers and it’s any wonder why folks tolerate anyone else. I try to support her, make sure there’s good food available and home remains a safe place. I also listen to her post-work vent sessions. She’s really adulting now. LOL.

We’re ok, just busy. I promised to be back soon!


Thoughts on Reunion

I’ve often written about Hope being in reunion with some of her biological family. Over the years, the relationship has ebbed and flowed. While it isn’t what I always hoped for Hope, in total, it’s definitely been a good thing for her. I don’t know what I imagined the relationship would look like, or how everyone would deal with their own emotional stuff related to the separation, the loss, the adoption, and the reunion. I just know that everyone involved has tried to figure this thing out.

Years ago, I wrote about finding Hope’s biological mom. I remember when I found her, I felt like the information was burning my hand; I wanted to reach out to her. I wanted to orchestrate the connection. Thanks to my therapist (who is amazing!), I slowed down and really deliberated my reasoning. I wanted Hope’s mom to know that Hope was ok, that I was a good mother, and that I was hopeful that she could have a relationship with her daughter. I never reached out to her, and ultimately that was a wise decision. Hope has expressed minimal interest in reconnecting over the years. I ran the risk of really overstepping in reaching out to her mother; so I stayed in my lane. I just made sure that Hope knew that I would support her at any point in her journey if she wanted to initiate contact.

I’ve kept tabs on her mom; the internet is a scary place. For less than $50 I have her address, phone number, job location, and a lot of other information. I update the information every year just in case Hope changes her mind. I never wanted her to have to go through a big search in the way so many adoptees must endure trying to find family. I keep things in a digital file with a link that’s available to Hope at any time.

I think of all of Hope’s biological family on major holidays. I wonder what their dreams of their family looked like, I wonder what family recipes Hope is missing out on, what family traditions she is missing. Sure, Hope and I have our own traditions–pizza and gifts on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving with family, brunch on Easter–but I know that there are other pieces that are just not here.

Recently, an opportunity for more reunion presented itself. At Hope’s request, I jumped into background check mode: web searches, image searches, cross-references, reaching out to someone, who knows someone, who knows someone. within a few hours, I was pretty sure it was a legit overture. Within 24 hours, it was confirmed. I kept Hope informed the whole time.

And then she made a decision that wasn’t a shock, but it did feel…I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. But that’s my stuff. I’m sure that Hope is navigating a lot of emotions she hasn’t shared about the situation. I’m proud of her for articulating her immediate needs; I know those needs may change in time…or not.

For many adoptees, reunion can be complicated; this one isn’t any different. Emotions can be complicated too. Decision-making is also complicated. And you know what, there isn’t a single right answer.

That’s not quite true. APs just gotta support adoptees.

Eight years ago, I promised I would always support her having connection with her family if that was what she wanted. Certainly, there have been times when holding that promise felt hard for me, but I tried my best to support Hope. These connections are her birthright.

We’re all a bit older now, and a little wiser (I hope). And my decision-making in Hope’s life is decreasing as I try to create space for her young adult flexes. It’s an interesting time for both of us. I’m hopeful for Hope’s future and will continue to walk alongside her as she navigates decisions about reunion. I’ve kind of made peace with my own curious questions about her family; none of it is really my business. It’s Hope’s business.

But on the eve of another holiday, I can’t help but wonder about all Hope’s people out there. I hope they are thriving, that they are happy, healthy, and as whole as one can be when their child is not with them. I pray that one day everyone’s questions will get answered, and that everyone can get to the next level of healing.


Thoughts on Food & Eating

I’m pretty open about my eating disorder. I am a recovering bulimic. I’ve been clean for over a decade.

I developed the disorder during my second year of college. My friends staged an intervention. I started going to counseling. That lead to more than 10 years of trying to get on top of things. Along the way, I developed Barrett’s Esophagus, have horrendous reflux, lost my gallbladder, and have to take a cancer preventative for the rest of my life. I usually joke that the Holy Homeboy gave me scraps for a GI tract, but the truth is that my illness did this.

Anyhoo, my last episode was triggered by my ex’s alcoholic relapse. I tumbled right on in that hole after him. It took 2 years of Eating Disorders Anon, Al-Anon, Codependents Anon, and an application to my doctoral program to get me out of that situation. That was the last time I binged and purged.

Well, I’m going through a high trigger spell right now.

Hope is triggering me.

She’s oblivious to this, as she should be. But she’s engaging in food behaviors that my body interprets as disordered. And it’s kind of driving me nuts.

Generally speaking, Hope is not a morning person nor does she eat breakfast. That took a lot of getting used to. I grew up in a family that sees breakfast as a form of communal worship, and getting three squares is one of the many ways I cope with my bulimia. Left to her own devices, Hope will eat one giant meal because lazy wins when you compare cleaning after 2 meals instead of one.

In recent months. Hope has gained a bit of weight, enough to concern her doctor, and I’d wager she’s gained a bit more in the two months since we saw him last. I have been trying to make sure that she has access to healthy foods: I cook. I successfully compete against the urge to stop off for take-out on the way home from work. I figured that if she was going to binge then I would make sure she had high-quality food to do it.

A few weeks ago I started buying her a few Lean Cuisine’s for lunch at work. Keep in mind, she works at Target, where she could buy these same meals, but I have to make it easy. I also know that food is one ofo Hope’s love languages. I figured that these might help scale back the late-night binges, which takes me back into the first 3,4, maybe 5 years of us being a family.

Hope experienced many bouts of food insecurity as a child. She would sneak and steal food constantly. I made her one of those boxes with snacks and promised to refill as needed. She’s binge nightly for months on end. She was nearly finished high school before she really was able to self-regulate. Now she will eat every meal I offer, but the late-night buffet stays too.

All those years I was never tempted to binge and purge. She had my full attention.

But now our mother-daughter relationship is evolving rapidly. She’s a really cool person, and I enjoy spending time with her. But this food pattern has me feeling things I don’t like feeling. And I don’t know if this is a new version of food trauma, now that she’s older, or a conscious choice to just load up when her body says go, or just what normal college students today do.

(I hate the last part of the last sentence. Why don’t I just announce I am getting and feeling older? Ugh)

I know I’m going to have to talk to her about it. I’ll feel awful if she’s just currently wired to eat like this, it’s a preference. Actually, I’ll feel guilty for asking her to change the routine. But what if she might actually be wrestling with disordered eating? Maybe me disclosing my struggle with the request to change the routine for me would lead to her talking about her needs as well. I would want to help her save herself.

I hope it’s nothing. It concerns me that my ED recognized these behaviors. I have all kinds of triggers; hell my job is a whole trigger. I know what I know. So we’ll talk; and things will be fine. I just need to do this really soon; otherwise, I might slip down this slippery slope. Wish me luck and grace.


This Week in Parenting

Ah yes, the purchase of a car triggers all kind of adulting issues! There is some work that the dealership still needs to do on the car; I made sure it was included in the contract. I’ve left it to Hope to make the appointments to get it done because it’s her car.

Well, you know how adult-adults talk to baby adults? Yeah, that. This dealership has given her all kinds of run arounds all week. Frustrated, she came to me on Thursday to complain (again).

Now, you know how you have to put a bit of bass in your voice to convey meaning and authority? Most 20 year olds don’t have that yet, so, I asked her if she needed “Dr. ABM” to call; she sheepishly said yes.

I dial up the dealership and leave the sales manager a nice, but firm message that this needs to be taken care of immediately and that there will be no more shenanigans from any other departments: Make it happen sir.

It’s such a whole new world for Hope; I forget how much we model things for our children.

Well, the car is getting the last of its work done this week, just as I gently suggested on the phone.

Interestingly, the sales manager didn’t call me back; he called Hope a few minutes later. She laughed afterward because he told her to be sure to tell me that he called me back right away and that things will be handled in short order.

You got that right.

This is just such an interesting time since I am constantly trying to figure out when and how best to help Hope. I want her to feel supported, but I also want her to feel like she can handle an increasing number of things herself. I always feel like I’m practicing one extreme or the other.

I felt like I did ok this go ‘round. I stood back and allowed her to try to handle it; when that didn’t work, I asked her for permission to help.

This parenting thing really does keep evolving.


Some Things on a Friday: 11/5/2021

  1. Another crazy week. I’m just exhausted at the end of each day. It’s Friday night and I was in my jammies by 7pm. Yappy is laying beside me gently snoring. We are definitely in for the night.
  2. So much happened this week. Seriously, there was a lot of living crammed into this week.
  3. Last week, Hope bought her first car. Last Friday she was online searching and found a car that was priced well and seemed to be in good shape. She got the carfax report and asked me to look at it. It looked reasonable. I suggest she send it to my dad to get his opinion. He called and said it looked good. The next morning we went to the dealership and she drove home with the car! I helped her a bit, but she’s on her way.
  4. It’s a Fiat 500, and it’s gray. At least I know that she won’t be riding a bunch of people around. To get in the back, someone would have to really contort themself. She’s very proud of herself and so am I. Payments start in December.
  5. My dad came to visit. I have seen him several times since we all got vaccinated, but this is the first time in over two years that he came to visit. We spent a whole afternoon together. It was perfect.
  6. Hope got 4 tattoos this week.
  7. Yeah, that’s it. You read right–FOUR TATTOOS.
  8. I’m a fan of body art. I have 6 tattoos, and I had a belly ring that I lost to a surgical scar. I got my first tattoo when I was a year or two older than Hope. I didn’t get the others until I was in my 30s. I’ve encouraged Hope to slow down and be really thoughtful and intentional about what she put on her body and why.
  9. Maybe she did, but it doesn’t seem like it. Three of the tats are fairly benign, but that fourth one was the subject of my hour of therapy yesterday. I have HUGE feelings about that tatoo. I do not like thet tat or what it conveys. I do not like the location of the tat.
  10. Because I’m honest; I probably wouldn’t have a meltdown about the tat if Hope was like 30 getting it. Getting it now seems so less meaningful or thought out. I probably still wouldn’t like it but I know I wouldn’t be as upset. It was clear that Hope didn’t want to talk about it with me, and while I don’t like that either, I know and respect that tats are very personal, that’s her body and her choice. So I’m going to mind my business.
  11. I started a philosophy class this week. Heavy dense material. I gotta get back into the rythm, but I kinda love it.
  12. I bought tickets for the Mexican Artist immersive experience for next year. I was able to go to the one for Van Gogh and it was *amazing*. I know have something to look forward to in 2022.
  13. Tempertures have dropped and just when I gotten a hold on my termperature regulation (Thanks Menopause!), now I have to re claibrate again. I think I’m going to swap to the winter beddingthis weekend. I’ve got this amazing shaggy bedspread. It’s cozy and Yappy also loves it!
  14. There was more , but I’m ready for a snack and some tiktok!

Ten Things on Thursday: 10/28/2021

  1. I really start each week thinking about writing more, and then the week gets going and blah. I really don’t want or need to be in the office full time, but some days my screen fatigue is so bad that I am just exhausted at 5. Yappy has been demanding another long walk in the evenings (1-2 miles) and I’m dunzo after that. So, I just manage this one post.
  2. I’m starting think about adoption more intentionally again. I heard myself say during one of my talks recently that I really have icky feelings about the use of the term adoption when referring to pets. It’s like I think, “But that’s a human word! And I bought my dog off of craigslist. I was thinking about it when I was on Twitter and #4weeks was trending. Sen. Joe Manchin (who should just come out as an old school moderate Republican at this point) said he didn’t think people who give birth (and before anyone gets slick about my phrasing, this is a trans-friendly household, so mind yours), really needed 6 weeks of paid leave and maybe 4 was sufficient. Asshat. Anyway, it made me think of my own journey and the tiny wound I still feel about being infertile, and how I always knew I wanted to adopt. I dunno, I’ve been thinking alot.
  3. There’s also an AdoptUsKids billboard near the house that promote adolescent adoption. I’ve been reflecting on my journey, and what I’ve learned about adoption. The reality is that I really, really wish that adoption wasn’t necessary. I wish folks had what they needed, whatever the need, to support them parenting. Even with the sting of infertility, I know that I’m super fortunate to be able to afford adoption without incurring any debt. I wish families were more functional, and thats folks had the capacity to parent.
  4. I wish birth control was free. I also wish conservatives would stop playing…acting like they don’t do the secks till the break of dawn just for the sheer enjoyment and dopamine bender. Stop it. Hell the freakiest folks I’ve ever known were and are GOPers. I digress.
  5. I wish we worked to preserve families. I wish we would treat addiction like the disease it is instead of a arbiter of morality. So many people crave connection, intimacy, acceptance and love without ever getting their needs met; yeah, they turn to drugs, chasing that moment that the high made them feel seen. I’m not sure what the programs should look like, but I know I’m willing to pay the taxes to pay for them. I know if it could reduce the nearly half million kids who are in foster care or support birth mothers who might be in teh middle of crises. Jeesch, we just gotta do better as a society.
  6. I look forward to seeing the new documentary on Colin Kaepernick; I’ve seen a few blurbs about how being adopted into a White family and him coming to a more dramatic racial awakening as a result. They, the blurbs, conclude that that’s really what has made him “militant.” Really? Not the neverending torrent of extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black folks? Ok, but real talk growing up in Whiteness is very much a part of this story. I’m also sure that there are some White APs out there legit shaking with fear that their little brown skinned Brad will end up spouting BLM or worse being ungrateful and hating them. Chile, this is a wholle mess. Anyway I’m eager to see it.
  7. November generally brings back lots of memories of Hope coming to visit for the first time. Two weeks of drama. We laugh about it now. I dropped the turkey outside my front door. Hope sat in the floor looking at her foot during dinner. She met the family who embraced so beautifully. It was two weeks of a lot for both of us. Eight years later, and it’s all jokes and love. I understand our emotions so much more now. I get that she was terrified; I was also terrified because this was the first glimpse of parenting I’d really had and here I was on front street with my family feeling really, really inadequate.
  8. I’ve been thinking about adoption’s image, the whole narrative. It has good guys and bad guys, but which is which sometimes depends on which member of the triad you are. Sometimes your both, sometimes you’re neither. I think about how Hope and I hide in plain sight as a same race adoptive family. We don’t hide though; Hope insists on being transparent about her adoption. I remember one day she told me that she actually had several friends who were also adopted. I’m thinking wow, how did these kids find each other? Hope always shares; I think it draws other adoptees to her.
  9. I remeber being a little sad at the beginning of my journey; I was resigning myself to the fact that Hope probably wouldn’t really be like me, like she would be my daughter and I would be her mom, but she wasn’t going to adopt any of my quirks. Now I laugh when I hear her use a turn of phrase that I use or when she smells the milk before pouring it -even when you KNOW it’s fresh- like I do. It’s a tic I developed as a result of some childhood stuff. I do it with almost all dairy products. Or, as I realized this week, how she’s picked up that I was folding my towls differently. She now folds them like me. I get a little thrill of pride when I notice these small gifts.
  10. I think about finding other words besides complicated to talk about adoption. There is a hard prism to look at adoption through. So for now, complicated will have to do.

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