Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mommy's Heart Went Pop!

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of our key concerns with readying our lives for Addis to join us was to diversify the play room.  I knew right away that our book collection was gonna need some work.  It seemed like the majority of the books we had about babies talked about "bringing them home from the hospital" or "when you were in my belly" etc.  I loved these little book for teaching Stella about how she joined our family, but they simply would not do for Addis.  His story is so beautiful and I want to celebrate the special way he joined our family too. 

I have a pretty good collection of adoption books for children.  Some of them have sweet bears who are so glad to have their "adopted" cub join their family.  Others speak more to how "my love will find you where ever you are."

Today I came across the most eloquently written and beautifully illustrated children's book regarding adoption, specifically from Africa. 

Mommy's Heart Went Pop!  An Adoption Story
by Christina Kyllonen and Peter Greer
Illustrated by Jeff Brown

This book truly gets at the raw beauty of adoption.  All of us adoptive moms are thinking the same things.

"Who is rocking my baby tonight?"
"Who is taking care of his boo boos?"
"Who is singing to my baby?"

And because there is nothing else we can do, we wait and we cry and we pray and we decorate their new room and we dream about our little one, and our friends don't know what to do so they throw you a shower, and when all that's done, we sit in their little empty room and look at their little empty bed and we wonder if we will ever be a family and we cry and we pray....and our hearts get bigger and bigger.

Then in the middle of the night we get the email or the phone call and it doesn't matter that it's 3am because we haven't been sleeping in three months anyway because we keep checking our email through the night for the one that tells us we are cleared to go.

Finally, we fly across the world to our little one and our lives are never the same and our hearts really do go POP!

If this is you at any stage of the journey, then I must insist that you immediately go to this link and buy this book.  It's the kind of book that you will want to prop up in your child's room and read to them every night.

And as if that isn't reason enough to buy this book...

All the proceeds of this book will go to the "rubymyles fund." This fund is administered by 4-more and provides grants for adoption and support to organizations addressing the orphan crisis.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Racist Pancakes?

My family has a long standing pancake tradition.  All growing up, on special occasions or not, our family was treated to smiley face pancakes.  We would wake with anticipation on random Saturdays to find Greg in the kitchen whipping up a batch of these famous treats.  I thought it was time to bring this tradition into my home, so for Jonathan's birthday, I made my first batch of these grinning beauties.  I just knew Stella and Addis were going to be so excited with my blue eyes, red grin, super fun breakfast.

Stella took one look at those pancakes and said, "But Addis is brown?"

It caught me by surprise.  For one thing, we have never had a discussion on what color any of us are and to be honest, I didn't think Stella was even aware of the skin difference.  I have done what most multiracial families have done, diversified the play room.  We have our Hispanic Jonathan Berry Cabbage Patch Doll, our Ethiopian beauty that I don't let the kids play with because she is too pretty, Stella's favorite doll named Tumiany who she won't sleep without, and on and on.

But this one snuck up on me.  I was making only light brown (as we refer to the other three Berry's) pancakes and it didn't sit well with Stella.  I love that about her.  So I did what all shamed mothers do when their children correct their mistake, I made a batch of brown pancakes and all was well in the world. 
Clearly I need some work on my smiley faced pancakes.

I am confident this won't be the last of these learning moments...but my lesson was learned here, I will never make only light brown smiley pancakes ever again!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Once-A-Month Cooking

So, many of you have asked how the freezer cooking is coming along and I have to say, I'm a total believer in this process.  I no longer have silly guilt trips because the hubs and kids are eating cereal for dinner once again.  Instead I just throw something from the freezer in the crock pot and we all actually get to eat something hot.

I really do love "From Your Freezer to Your Family."  I love that she includes the grocery list and labels.  The meals are fantastic but I have found that for my toddlers, it's not super compatible.  Last night I made the Cumin-Cinnamon Pot Roast.  Jonathan and I loved it but the kids wouldn't touch it.  I'm usually opposed to cooking a special meal for the kids but I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that all four of us ended the meal with good ole mac and cheese.

There is a freezer cookbook that I would totally recommend if you are like me and need more "toddler friendly" ideas.  It is called, "Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorite."

I have found this cookbook a tad more challenging to navigate at first but once you get the hang of it, it's quite simple.  The recipes are fantastic and include some of your freezer must haves like your chicken and dumplings and meat loaf but it also has some very interesting recipes that I can't wait to try.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Year

I can't believe it's been a year since I held my little man for the first time.  I am a little delayed in writing this post because I've been with my best gal pals in DC.  We spent four fabulous days talking and drinking coffee and eating great food and meeting great people. 
I'm home now with my precious ones and finally have a minute to reminisce about that first meeting.  I'll never forget seeing Addis for the first time and how amazing it felt to hold him and kiss on him.  That was such a wonderful week, except for the part where we had to leave him there, and I never want to forget how special it was. 
First Time Holding Addis

Addis and Daddy
Saying Goodbye

And of course I have to attach the link to our video.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million :)