Tag Archives: Moms

She’s Got a Safe Place

This week Hope was invited to a sleepover with a friend. She was invited to stay over a friend’s house last month, but I said no since I didn’t know the girl’s parents. This week, I did my due diligence, called the mom, had a nice chat and allowed Hope to go.

She was so excited.

So. Was. I.

Seriously, do you know what this means???????

Ok, here’s all the ish I’m supposed to say: OMG, my daughter is improving her social skills. She’s developing solid friendships. She’s being invited to parties and sleep overs. She’s finally, finally starting to blend in and find her groove socially, something that has really been so hard for her. Her social struggles, among other things, have been the source of much anxiety and depression, so I’m ecstatic about this development. Yay.

On the real, though, OMG!!!!! Hope’s social evolution also means some freedom for me. I might have some Fridays and Saturdays with Elihu and friends just cold chillin’ this summer.

Check it, last night after she happily kissed me good bye, tossing her backpack over her shoulder, striding out of the house confidently, I cabbage-patched my way to the coffee table to grab the remote. I cupid-shuffled on into the kitchen to pour myself a tumbler of red wine to go with some tortellini. I snaked my way to my beloved couch, clicked on Netflix and began what I expected to be a quiet evening with Yappy binge watching Orange Is the New Black.

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I got through two episodes.

Just as I was padding into the kitchen to pour myself another tumbler of wine and smash another brownie, I got the wild hair to text Hope goodnight and that I loved her.

She called me back.

ABM’s internal millisecond monologue: “Awww, baby girl loves me! She’s actually calling me back. I bet she’s going to tell me what time to pick her up in the morning. Occasionally, she can be so darn sweet. I love this kid.”

What actually happened: “Um, hi mom. Um. I think I’m going to come home. I am not going to stay at XX’s house.”

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I’m sorry, what???

Wait, what? I’ve only watched two episodes of OITNB! I’ve only had one tumbler of wine and one brownie. I haven’t even put on my good lounge wear yet. Something must be horribly wrong.

No, nothing’s really wrong, the movie creeped her out she just wanted to come home.

Huh? The movie? The rated R horror movie that you insisted wasn’t a big deal and that I was being a stick in the mud about because I didn’t normally let you go, but this time I relented because you were going to a sleep over and well, horror movies are a part of sleepover culture?

That movie?

For realsies?

Yeah, that one.

Just when I think we’ve gotten all the missed developmental hoops out of the way, the one where you get scared on your first sleep away and need to go home hits us square between the eyes.

Sigh. There are just so many little landmines on this journey to emotional health and well-being that you really, just can’t catch them all. You just can’t!

There was a silver lining though.

Kids who get scared on their first sleep away want to go home because home is safe. Hope called her mommy (that would be me) and she wanted to come HOME to her MOMMY where its SAFE!!!!!

I smiled and started cabbage patching again.

It’s true sometimes when they say a setback is a setup for something better.

I was nervous about her being away. I enjoyed my evening so much, but I kinda missed just having her in the house. If she had been here she probably would’ve been in her room not talking to me, but she would’ve been here. It was strange to be in on a Friday night and not have her here. In truth there were a few mixed emotions there. I was thrilled for her and for this rite of passage, but it only reminded me that I may only have her this close for a few years before she flies off into adulthood. I want that for her, but gosh the time is flying by so dang fast. This week she will celebrate her third birthday with me. In a year she will be able to drive (I don’t know if she WILL drive, but she’ll be legally able to do so). In three years, she’ll finish high school and don a cap and gown and stride across a stage to pomp and circumstance while I cheer and use Elihu’s hankie to mop my tears of joy.

It’s just going so fast.

But Hope’s desire to come back to home base where it’s safe is so significant. Her willingness to share with me that she was scared and needed a hug is such a big deal. Her desire for me to toss some salt at her door and window (to ward off evil spirits and purify the space) and her desire for Yappy to cuddle for a while with her are all such big leaps for her, that I was happy to give up the remaining hours of my freedom.

I was happy to greet her at the door with a big smile and a warm, safe hug.


Black & Brown Pop Culture Moms

Thursday @ 10pm EDT!

Thursday @ 10pm EDT!

After listening to a recent podcast featuring a segment on best pop culture moms and hearing no moms of color from the last 50 years getting any love from contributors, Mimi and ABM found themselves irritated! Seriously, how could anyone forget Claire Huxtable?  Florida Evans?  Aunt Viv???  Or even Winona Woods, who adopted Penny on Good Times???

There are numerous Black and Brown women swirling around pop culture who also serve as mom archetypes that all women can look to as role models.  So, on the next episode of Add Water and Stir, ABM and Mimi will chat about their favorite Black and Brown pop culture moms and give voice to those of us who recognize the value of and contributions women of color make in the fine art of mothering.  Be sure to leave a comment below or tweet the ladies (@adoptiveblkmom and @mimicomplex) with your favorite Black and Brown pop culture moms. ABM and Mimi will include your moms on the podcast!

On the Wine Down, the ladies will chat about the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion finale and the hot mess that is Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.

Join the ladies live on Thursday, May 14 at 10pm EDT/9pm CDT on Google+!  Or catch the show later on Itunes, Stitcher or YouTube!


Holiday Anxiety

Ok, first off, I wish I wasn’t anxious and I wish I wasn’t feeling whiny.  But I am and I do feel anxious and whiny.  My shoulders hurt from stress and anxiety.  I feel prickly and irritable.  I would really prefer to withdraw and just hide in my house for a few more days.  But it’s Christmas and that would be sad and somehow just wrong.

In an hour or two I’ll head a hundred miles south to visit my parents for the holiday.  Grammy and I are tender with each other; we love each other very much, but I know we both are still hurt from our drama from the last few months.  My new/refurbished cell phone doesn’t give off its own wifi signal so I can’t just hide in my old room and work on my dissertation.  Going all the way there just to retreat to the Panera to practice overt avoidance doesn’t feel right.   Maybe I’ll go visit a few friends.

Oy vey, I just realized that I didn’t get my godson a Christmas gift.  Sigh…

Christmas afternoon I’ll head west to go visit Hope for all of one day (Thursday).  I’ve spent the last week and a half trying to manage Christmas expectations.  Interestingly, Hope asked for two sets of books and an Ipod Touch.  Originally she asked for Beats by Dre headphones; I quickly explained that new mama didn’t believe in spending more than $10 on headphones, so $50-$200 were wholly out of the question.  The Touch is really a no go at this point; although Hope will have internet access here I’ve found her not ready for it quite at the tip of her fingertips, especially if its portable.   I’ve decided to bring her a pair of sneakers, the Bieber perfume and some gift cards that we can use when we go shopping that day.

She’s excited that I’m coming to visit.   I’m anxious about her reaction when I get there; she’s been fickle since she’s returned.   It’s probably good news; she goes monosyllabic on me like any other kid her age.  She’s being normal in a most abnormal situation.  Her behavior has been stellar since I took her home; no detentions, no suspensions; no visits to the principal’s office or notes home from teachers.   I’m so proud of her.  Of course, she’s highly motivated because of a deal I made about her getting a cellphone this spring if she could stay out of trouble.  This brings me to my anxiety about this trip.  I don’t want to do too much too soon, so I’ve kept the gifting light (especially since I have to carry this stuff).  My family gifts but we tend to do just one or two gifts and that’s it.  Of course we’ve not had a kid in the family for many years, so all of this is new.  I also know that I need leverage and motivational points with Hope; this works with her in helping her be less impulsive.

I have to realize that I can’t control how Hope will react to the gifts I bring.  I just need to spend time with my girl and try to have the best time I can with her for this expensive but short visit.   I’ve got a house full of stuff for her, but I just want to mete it out over time on my terms rather than this huge explosion of gifts just because it’s Christmas.

I’m hopeful and prayerful that she will be home for good soon.

For now, I just want to get there, see her and give her a hug.  That’s all I want for Christmas.


“Technically…”

Very brief phone call with Hope tonight.  Foster family has taken in a new sibling group with some very little ones.  Hope was explaining who she was talking to on the phone to the 3 year old when she said:

“She’s adopting me, so she’s kind of my mom.  Well, technically, she’s my mom.”

My heart did back flips while I played it cool on the phone.  It was just a few short weeks ago when she said calling me mom was weird because she had never called anyone that before.  Now, she’s calling me that as a descriptor.  She hasn’t called me mom directly yet, but I have hope that she will, likely sooner rather than later.

What an unexpected delight after a crappy day of writing.  A day where a small flaw in the data rendered four hours of dissertation writing nearly useless.  Listening in on Hope telling someone that I’m her mom is the perfect ending to this day.

Love that kid!


34 Weeks

I turned in my adoption application the first full week in January.  I’ve thought about this day every day since I dropped it in the mail.  Some people wait years for this day.

I waited, officially, just 34 weeks.   Just six weeks shy of a full term biological baby.  Today turned out to be my Match Day.  I guess that makes me the proud new mom of a “preemie” 12 year old!

Hope (The kid formerly known as Hope Kid) is a girl!

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Her social worker informed my agency today that this was a match, and then it was up to me.  I already knew it was a match.  I cried all through the phone call, and a sense of euphoria swept over me.  It was such an awesome moment.  I swear the news made me high.

I celebrated like I celebrated defending my dissertation proposal, just 49 days ago:  I got 2 slices of pizza, a large cannoli and some bubbly from Whole Foods.  Can you do that right after delivery?  I don’t know, probably not the bubbly.

Oh, don’t get it twisted, I love a good highbrow celebration, but when I’m celebrating something alone, privately and savoring the moment, pizza, dessert and bubbly are my go-to party yum-yums.   Match Day is beyond sweet.

A mere two weeks after starting this blog, the next chapter begins.  Oh, I’m not under any disillusion.  This is a visual depiction of what I’m feeling.

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I’m on the first drop of an amazing roller coaster.  I don’t know whether to hold on to the rails or raise my hands high.  I’m screaming with fear and giggling with glee.  I see twists and turns ahead that scare the sh*t out of me, and yet I’m looking forward to every gut-wrenching, puke-inducing, teary eyed moment of it.  Who knows, I might even want to ride this particular ride again someday.

Next week we start developing a meet and greet and transition plan.  This weekend I’m visiting the newly minted grandparents (my folks).  We’ll be poring over decorating magazines, filming videos and picking out pictures for my life book that I will send her in the coming weeks.

Today was a very good day.


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