Good job G!
That's my INDEPENDENT woman in the making!!!
No stinkin' boys needed here!!
It's by Jean MacLeod, author of At Home in This World: a China Adoption Story
"Mommy, why didn't I grow in your tummy?"
I looked my three-year-old daughter square in the face and gave her the speech that I had rehearsed in my head for as long as she had been mine. The speech was short, gentle and sweet. I told her about her birthmother in China, how much she had been loved and how much we loved her now.
"But, Mommy, why didn't she keep me?"
I took a deep breath and explained that I didn't know for sure, but that it might have had something to do with the China rule about having only one child. I described a few other possibilities and ended with my proclamation of faith – that we were meant to be a family, that I was sure that her birthmother wanted her to have a family for always, and wasn't it wonderful that we had all found each other to love.
Coming down from my poetic rhetoric, I smiled winningly at the tiny figure in overalls and waited for my hug and kiss. What I got: a look of icy outrage, arms folded in haughty disbelief, and an attitude that screamed "what a load of c***!"
I was unnerved. This was supposed to be a mother-daughter bonding moment where we celebrated becoming a family. A moment of sadness was allowed, but then things were supposed to be joyful and loving. Why was I feeling like I had tried to tell a sixteen year-old there really was a Santa Claus? And how could a three year-old see through all of my carefully worded, positive explanations? I believed what I was telling her about her birthmother... why didn't she?
She didn't because she had lived her story and somewhere, deep inside, she knew the whole truth. My "old soul" little girl understood that a happy adoption is built on a heartbreaking loss long before I did, and she was cutting me no slack.
Clearly, my daughter's birthmother wasn't going to be explained away. I slowly realized that I would be living with a powerful ghost of another mother, and that this ghost needed to be acknowledged, embraced, and disarmed. My daughter needed some sort of a relationship with her birthmother, and she needed me to have an understanding with her birthmother, too.
So, I invited my daughter's unknown, invisible, Chinese birthmother to tea.
Properly, of course, with a formal invitation dictated to me by my three year-old. In the backyard, we set up a child-sized table with three place-settings: tea-cups, cookie plates, and party napkins. Another tea-cup was quickly added for a favorite stuffed mouse who was a late RSVP. Lemonade tea was rapidly dispensed (formalities like small-talk pale with the preschool set when real teapot pouring is allowed), and we got right down to business.
"So, birthmother," I said to the empty chair to my right. "How are you doing" I'm thinking you might be missing your little girl. I know she misses you.?
My daughter nodded, and I asked her if she had any questions for her birthmom.
"Why did you leave me?" she asked directly to the space occupying the third chair.
"Why did you leave her?" I echoed. "Was it because you couldn't care for a baby? Did you have "big person" problems? It was a very sad thing for your baby girl. I think it might have been a very sad thing for you, too."
My daughter nodded vigorously.
We continued to chat about our day, the vast amount of Oreos eaten by Mousie, and the birthmother's magical trip from China? But my daughter was unusually quiet.
"Is there anything else you would like to ask your birthmother?" I inquired, watching her carefully as I pretended to sip my tea. My daughter went completely still, and I guessed at what she needed to ask and what she needed to hear.
"Birthmother," I said. "We want you to know that you are always welcome in our home and in our hearts. You are part of our family. But your little girl is *my* little girl to raise, and she will live with me until she is big and is ready to leave. You cannot ever take her back to China. This is her home now, and I am her mom, and I love her very much."
Then I left my child-sized chair to put my arms around the little girl with the enormous feelings; it is overwhelming to deal with big grief and big relief at the same time. In voicing my daughter's secret hopes and fears I had validated her connection to two mothers, and had begun my own long process of learning to deal openly with the painful side of adoption parenting.
The ghost? She still lives with us, mostly peaceably, nearly ten years later. We've felt her genetic legacy, as my daughter leaped into puberty. We've seen visions of her in the mirror, as my daughter grows into a beautiful young woman. Our joint acceptance of the ghost gave my daughter some power over her past, and allowed me to view the birthmother as an ally, instead of an enemy, during times that adoption compounded the emotional turbulence of adolescence. The three of us exist together, but only I remember that the three of us once attended a symbiotical summit meeting in the garden, and that we officially sealed our forever relationships with a splash of tea, and cookies.
Copyright 2008, MacLeod, All Rights Reserved
Jean MacLeod is author of At Home in This World: a China Adoption Story, and co-editor of Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections and mother of three daughters, two of whom were adopted from China through Children's Hope. From one adoptive parent to another, Jean shares her wisdom here in the monthly e-news and in the annual Children's Hope Newsletter.
24 rolls (King's Hawaiian rolls)
12 thick slices deli ham (black forest)
12 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Slice rolls in half so they open. Spread mayo on top and bottom of the inside of each roll. Assemble rolls with ½ slice of cheese and ½ slice of ham. Place all of these in a baking pan or stone. Mix together the melted butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds with a whisk. Brush this mixture all over the tops of the rolls and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
Brittany also commented that it also calls for some brown sugar. I am assume that would go in the mix that is brushed on the tops of the rolls!
1 batch basic quiche and tart dough (see
related recipe at left), divided into 6 pieces
4 1⁄2 oz. ham, cut into 1⁄2-inch strips
2 Tbs. chopped green onions, green portion only
2 Tbs. heavy cream
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Press the dough into six 4-inch tart pans. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Line the tart shells with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until the shells are set and the paper does not stick when lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and continue baking until the shells are golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Line the bottom of each tart shell with 3/4 oz. ham and sprinkle with 1 tsp. green onions. Crack an egg into the center, pour 1 tsp. cream over the egg and sprinkle with 2 tsp. cheese. Bake until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 3 minutes. Using a pot holder, carefully turn each pan over and tap the bottom to release the tart. Set the tarts on individual plates. Garnish each tart with a pinch of pepper and serve immediately.
FYI, this has been going on for 2 hours that I know of...probably longer! Geesh! Take a break!
So this is also what the internet says...
In case no compatibility icon appears there is an adjustment that can be made to IE 8 to help my site work.
o In Internet Explorer 8 locate the Tools Menu and select Compatibility View Settings
o Add the Giorgia Danette site (‘www.giorgiadanette.blogspot.com’ without quotes) in the ‘Add this website’ box
o Click Add
o You can then close the box and open the assessment
Again the upgrade to version 8 for this browser is not recommended.
- When Giorgia wakes up in the morning all sleepy eyed and hands me her crib blankets for me to fold and points at the monitor wavy her pointer finger saying "no, no, no, no, no". It's always five no's in a row in the cutest tune!
- When she giggles every time I pull her out of the crib in the morning. (She is DEFINITELY a morning girl!)
- How she says "shoes" and "bow" in the morning... like I'd forget!
- How she stands for the "Bug Spray" and turns on cue for the back to get done!
- When she kisses me goodbye at daycare. It's the only times she doesn't wipe the kisses off!
- Love how G wants a napkin DURING her meal to wipe her hand and her face! (except any meal with red pasta sauce)
- Her smile when she first sees me when I arrive to pick her up!
- The days when she waves bye to EVERYONE at daycare like she's a celebrity.
- The days she DOESN'T have meltdowns leaving daycare.
- When she pats my computer chair and says "SEAT" meaning Sit so she can sit on the armrest of the chair and blog surf. BTW, every little Asian girl is LILAH to her. So cute. I'm not sure if she recognizes Lilah or she just loves the way her name rolls off her tongue.
- How she SQUEALS with delight every time a puppy or kitty come on tv. Although she won't watch any kiddie video or show! She did however watch Sabrina the Teenage witch on Saturday just to see Salem the cat and squeal!!!
- When she is so gentle with Pirate and squats down for a kiss.
- How she hollers at Pirate when he puts his front paws up on the coffee table to check out what's in G's snack cup!
- That G will take a nap ANYWHERE when it's that time!!!
- That G will give me at least two or three good photos for every 500 I take!!
- How when given the choice every night at bedtime she chooses snuggling with me first over going straight into her crib. (not without contemplation first though)
- How she's a great sleeper...I've been BLESSED!
These are just a few of my FAVORITE things!
1. On my posts TITLE do you see a fancy "G" and the the title of the post or are they on top of each other? (work computer = they overlap only on this computer)
2. On the right sidebar where my photo is in that Queen Mama frame, do you see the border on the right side of the sidebar? (work computer = piece of border is missing)
3. Scroll down the right sidebar...under "Find It Here" can you see all the links or are they only half on? (work computer = they are just out of wack on this computer)
4. Can you see my diamond and pearl footer line below my signature in each post? (completely doesn't show up on work computer)
All three of these items show up just as they should on my laptop and my home computer. I will grin and bear it if it is just some little issue with my monitor.