Even though our story is somewhat unique, the idea of bringing a child into your home years after they’re born isn’t a new one. So often folks are hesitant to bring older children through their home, through adoption or other means, because of a fear that it’ll be more difficult to bond with a child you don’t receive as an infant. Through my limited experience (my own family experience!), I understand where this fear is coming from, but want to say that children bond with people who take care of them. Even without a genetic connection, a child, regardless of age, wants to feel love and likes the idea of being part of a family.
I like to think that our experiences with the Passport Dinners have helped them develop their curiosity towards the world around them. We talk about why people eat different things in different parts of the world. They know that hearty stews with root vegetables were common in Russian and Czech dishes because of the climate, and that bananas and plantains feature more prominently in Cuba and Jamaica for the same reason. They know that lychee jelly — an ingredient that was strange and unpleasant for them — is as common for natives of Malaysia as grape jelly is for Americans.
As a child of immigrants I ended up bilingual pretty much by default. My parents are from Taiwan and China, so I grew up speaking Mandarin Chinese with them and speaking English with my older sister and at school. Although I dreaded going to Chinese School on Sundays as a child, by the time I left for college I recognized the benefits of being bilingual and I knew even then that I would want my future children to be the same.
I woke up at 6:30 with what felt like menstrual cramps. I don’t know how many times I’ve read that phrase at the beginning of the scores of birth stories I’ve read over the months but it just didn’t seem real now that it was actually happening to me. I knew then that this was definitely labor, but couldn’t imagine I’d have a baby at the end of the day.
My husband and I had THE TALK a couple nights ago, and came to the realization that this year is THE YEAR: we’re going to try this baby-making thing! But there is a kicker, and it’s not a little one — we have a move to Europe in the works this Fall for his studies.
Though babies are not yet on the to-do list, my husband and I have been thinking about what having a child would mean. One of the things that came up is language — my mother tongue is Dutch and both my husband and I agree that I should teach our kids(s) how to speak it as well, so they can communicate when visiting my family and other advantages. The problem is… my husband doesn’t understand Dutch at all, save the odd word here and there. He won’t be able to understand us and has previously expressed discomfort and annoyance at not being able to join in conversations.
Not so long ago, temperatures were significantly warmer in much of the Northern hemisphere. Like, warm enough to wear a dress WITHOUT A COAT, if that’s your thing. Since those days are gone and it sometimes seems like winter will never release its icy grip (see also: I live in the Pacific Northwest), this sunny family portrait session from Samantha Clarke Photography seems like just the thing to warm your cold, bitter bones.
This is a tale about the lives of two men and their (highly opinionated) son. I do think it’s worth telling, but it’s a simple one about our little family. I hope that by telling this side to our story, more people will become motivated to become foster carers as well.