Gifts & Books
Recent blog posts
- Mamas Write Anthology
- Teaching Your Child To Meditate
- Talking With Other Adoptive Parents
- We Are Back
- My Niece The Swimmer
- Elephant Bird -- Some Thoughts on Adoption in Dr. Seuss
- Interview With Cooperative For Education
- At Long Last, My Daughter Sleeps In Her Own Bed
- New Years Resolution: Less Talk
- School, Stress And Stomach Aches
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I belong to a writing group called the Write On Mamas, and we have self-published our first anthology, titled Mamas Write. The essay I contributed, “The Mother in the Square,” is set in Antigua, Guatemala.
This article in the North Bay Bohemian, about the group and anthology, features a beautiful piece of writing by my friend and fellow adoptive mom to a son from Guatemala, Teri Stevens. Read through to the end of the article for Teri’s very moving piece, “There Was a Before.”
Mamas Write is now available in England, apparently, on Amazon, and soon at select bookstores and on Amazon in the US. Exciting!
If you have a child who is a worrier and fretter, or like most children leads a hectic life, meditation (mindful practice) can help improve focus, concentration and more importantly, bring about calm and peace of mind. With more teens and young adults being medicated for anxiety and depression, teaching meditation at an early age might give a child a useful tool for daily challenges and challenges that lay ahead.
If you do not already practice meditation, you can learn together with your child. Meditation can do no harm, needs no special equipment and can be done in your home. This is not a comprehensive description of how to meditate, but it is a good start.
So how do we go about meditating?
It has been over two months since I last saw my friend Pam, but I think we managed to catch up on each other’s lives in the two hours we had together recently. After she left I realized how much I missed chatting with her. Both of us have adult biological children and younger children through adoption from Guatemala - we have a lot in common and a lot to discuss.
My friend often says that she never worried about her four biological children the way she worries about her adopted children. I concur. Without a doubt, our adopted children face challenges our biological child did not. Even though we are not new parents, parenting tools we used with our biological children don’t work with our adopted children.
As a person who cannot execute a single stroke of Butterfly much less 100 yards of it, I'm wildly impressed with my sister Deanna's three daughters, superb swimmers all. But today I brag about the one in the middle, Astrid Swensen, who successfully defended her title of Division 1 Massachusetts State Champion in 100 Fly with a new meet record of :55.4. Congratulations, Astrid! And congratulations to my sister and her husband, David, too!
Two summers ago, Astrid competed in the Olympic Trials, a thrilling experience for our entire family. Because I'd like to remember those days myself, I'm reposting two blogs I wrote about my sisters' family and their dedication to swimming. Thanks for reading, and GO ASTRID!
Each of my nieces and nephews is unique, special, and talented in her or his own way, and I love and adore them all. But this blog post tells a little story about my sister Deanna's middle child, Astrid.
In December 2010, I stayed for a week with Deanna and her family--Astrid and her two sisters, Mackenzie and Mia, and De's husband David--in Boston, where they live, while I was touring New England for my Mamalita Book Tour. I probably don't have to tell you that Boston in winter is cold, and I mean frigid. Even after piling on multiple layers of down and fleece, including gloves and hat, I never stopped shivering.
But every morning at 5 AM, in the bedroom next to mine, an alarm would go off. As I burrowed more deeply under my covers, I could hear my niece Astrid rustle around quietly before tiptoeing down the stairs to the kitchen, where her father David clutched two mugs of steaming hot tea. David was waiting to drive his daughter to swim practice, and had already warmed up the car.
Off they'd go, so Astrid could swim a few thousand yards, with David, himself a former collegiate swimmer, helping coach the team. A full day at high school for Astrid followed, and afterwards, for good measure, another two hours in the pool.
As any parent with a child knows, you can't "make" someone practice like that. That kind of fierce determination comes from inside. A child either wants to, or she doesn't. And ever since she was a little girl, Astrid has wanted to. She still does.
I find that utterly, impressively amazing.
As I write this, Astrid and her family are in Omaha, Nebraska for the Olympic Swimming Trials. Astrid's event, the 200 Fly, will take place on Thursday, June 28, around 10 AM Central Standard Time.
Sending best wishes to Astrid, her family, and her teammates. You've earned this. ~