29 September 2011

San Diego

Recently we went to Sea World in San Diego, California. I don't know if it's just San Diego, or maybe just the part of San Diego we were in, but I was surprised to see hardly any black people. I thought most big cities are diverse. Maybe we weren't far enough into the city. I don't know.

Another observation is that our transracial family got no extra attention. No one paid us any more attention than any other family. No one stared or took a second look. No one said how great we were for adopting Destiny, or how cute black babies are, or anything. It was wooonderful. We were treated as a family, not a different family. It made our vacation even more enjoyable.

Another observation: not everyone loves Shamu.

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13 September 2011

What NOT To Say to an Adoptive Parent

Thanks to a friend for sharing this blog post on Facebook. It's all about what NOT to say to an adoptive parent in a comical yet honest way.

Taken from the post:
Single Dad Laughing’s Guide to Adoption Etiquette.
  1. Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes the phrase, “how much did you pay for him?” First of all, it’s none of your business. Second of all, if you’re interested in adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don’t purchase children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don’t turn the child into nothing more than a commodity.
  2. Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my life. Are you serious?
  3. Never ask “where is his real dad?” Forget the fact that it will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son’s feelings to feel like I’m not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents are real parents. The term you’re looking for is “birth mother” or “birth father”.
  4. Don’t say things like, “as soon as you adopt you’re going to get pregnant” when you find out somebody is adopting. First of all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you really think that what you’re saying will help them? Secondly, while it is funny when it happens, it’s rare.
  5. Never say, “why did she give him away?” Do I really need to explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is “placed”. A birth mother and birth father place their child for adoption. And again, it’s personal and none of your business, so don’t ask if you aren’t my BFF.
  6. Don’t say, “it’s like he’s your real son”. This is similar to number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, damn it.
  7. Don’t say, “do you love him as if he was your own?” Ummm… probably more than you love your little terror, that’s for sure. And again… he is my own, damn it.
  8. Never say things like, “you’re so wonderful to adopt a child”. I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.
  9. Don’t start spewing your horrible adoption stories. “This one time, my friend’s sister’s aunt’s dog’s previous owner’s niece adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby away after they had him for two years.” First of all, it probably isn’t true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent. And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that happens, it’s not something you should spread because the hurt that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable.
  10. Don’t say things like, “is it hard for him to be adopted?” Well, it wasn’t, until you asked me that right in front of him you freaking idiot.
  11. I don’t want to hear about your second cousin who was on a waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby. Granted, this one was much more annoying when we were going through the adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get chosen. Show some kindness. Even to ugly people.
I love this article. To read it in its entirety click here: How Much Did YOUR Kid Cost?

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03 September 2011

People Touching Black Hair

A fellow, and much more talented, blogger of mine has written "An Open Letter to People Regarding Touching Chocolate Hair", and it is beautiful. I could not help but share it with you. I wish I could print out several copies and give them out to those who reach for my daughter's head.

"Dear People Who Have, or May, Come Into Contact with My Daughter,

Thank you so much for your interest in my daughter’s hair. Yes, it is beautiful, we both appreciate your compliments. Yes, she’s very patient and has no problem sitting to have her hair done. She’s been getting her hair done since she was very small and knows of nothing else; her hair regime is a fact of life and she doesn’t see it as the burden that you do. Nor do I.

While asking me about my daughter’s hair, please do not start touching it. Just because I am a vanilla parent this does not mean that you have an “in” to touch chocolate hair for the first time. I have had too many people tell me, “Oooh, I’ve always wondered what their hair felt like,” while pawing my daughter. She’s not an animal, she’s a human being.

We teach our children that strangers touching them in inappropriate ways is wrong and that they should tell an adult immediately. In our opinion, anytime a child is touched by anyone who feels that they have a right to do so, against the child’s wishes and without the child’s permission, is inappropriate.

You see, every chocolate/jam/cheetos handprint on her hair from other children and/or adults is a mark on her dignity. She is small, but she does have personal space and a sense of self-worth. When you invade that space without her permission you are telling her that she has no rights to her body; that her desire to be left untouched is not as important as your curiosity.

Even if your hands are clean, they still leave a an invisible mark...."

For the complete letter please visit her blog Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care.

You can find the t-shirt on zazzle.com.

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02 September 2011

First Box Braids

As I first started looking into black baby hair styles, even before our daughter came home, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that "box braids" are just braids. I can do that! Now that baby girl's hair is getting so long I attempted it. Didn't turn out too bad! A few notes: The snaps on the ends are too large to wrap the hair around the hinge and snap close. They just fell right out. The other ones you've seen me use (ie HERE) are too small. Even with the little bit of hair at the end of her braids they would not snap shut. So, I rubberbanded the ends, after making sure they were rubbed with coconut oil to protect, and snapped the snaps on top of the rubberbands. In the first picture the white snap on top almost didn't hold because there was too much hair in the rubberband. It came unsnapped a few times during church, so I just took all the snaps out when we got home and let her have just rubberbands for the rest of the week. I purchased both these snaps from Snapaholics. Another note, her baby bald spot is still growing out in the back so the hair next to her neck is very uneven. I slathered it in coconut oil to protect and put a rubberband next to her scalp, then braided in two spots. You can see one in the picture, bottom right. The second picture is just a fun picture showing what her hair looked like when I took the braids out. Needs more oil!

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Simple Banded Crown, Piggyback Style

She wasn't too impressed with the kiddy pool. Actually I think it was the lifevest that was buggin', but her hair sure looked cute.

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Sandy Beach

I knew that sand is hard to get out of black hair so I put this hat on her. Plus, it protects from the sun. Black people may not burn as easily as white people, but they can still contract cancer. We also used sunscreen. Back to the hair and hat, it worked well. I didn't yet want to buy a swimming cap for her, and didn't know if I could find one small enough anyway. This little sun hat did great. Ended up tucking the hair in the front, and back, into it and there was no sand in her hair when we got home. Plenty in her tummy though, as you can predict from the photo.

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Father's Day

Dear Hubby,
Thank you for being the best baby daddy I could ever ask for. I love you.
Love, Peach

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The first two are in the bath and the last two are after bath.

With the conditioner in her hair I comb it through with my fingers to get the loose hair out.

Here it is just about dry. You can see the frizzy areas that she sleeps on.

The top of her head stays curly until she pulls on it, which is a habit of hers.

After a coating of coconut oil it's ready for styling or just to sit pretty as it is.

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Baby Crown with Triangle Parts

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