Posts Tagged ‘Hallmark’

Adoption Awareness

May 20, 2008

I thought we were doing fairly well at educating our three kids about adoption.  We are currently waiting for our referral call for our little 3-5 year old daughter from Colombia.  The family discussions have been going on for 18 months… so I assumed we had covered at least the basics.  Nope.  Yesterday I went onto and clicked on one of their adoption shows for my viewing pleasure.  When the commentary began my two boys, ages 11 and 9, came and sat on either side of me to watch the tear-jerking clips of a family adopting from Romania.  I always need tissue close at hand to watch those happy introductions and homecomings.

Anyway, the adopting family was at the orphanage in Romania with their two previously adopted kids and their biological daughter.  They were back in the same country to adopt the older sibling of their kids.  The daughter being brought home was 10 years old and the initial moments of reunion were filmed for all to see.  There wasn’t much speaking going on until the 8 year old said to her 10 year old sister, “I love you,” in Romanian and the girl answered in English, “I love you.”  I’m tearing up remembering the scene.  The siblings had been separated for more than 4 years.

Back to my house, Austin asked in disbelief, “You mean they can’t talk to her?!?”  “No, they don’t speak Romanian and she doesn’t speak English yet.”  I was witnessing culture shock in my family room.  “Are we going to be able to talk to our sister?” he questioned, hoping for an answer that would fit into his comfort zone.  “No, she speaks Spanish,” I replied.  “They aren’t teaching her English????” he was aghast.  “No.”  He couldn’t believe his little ears.  International adoption just became crystal clear to him, especially the international part.  After a few moments of sitting with his mouth hung open staring at the computer screen adopting family….. he asked in confusion, “Then how are we going to talk to our sister?”

Great question.  “With love,” was my answer.  You don’t have to speak the same language to hug, or giggle, or point and smile, or hold hands, or scratch a back, or color, or cry or even play happy-clappy games.

?#1 from My Sister’s Jar – Fav Holiday

February 2, 2008

Tell about a favorite holiday tradition you had growing up.

Who doesn’t love Christmas? Well, you know, other than Orthodox Jewish people.  There are so many little gems wrapped up in my mind involving traditions, tastes, sights, smells, feelings and songs.

Spritz.  Mom would make those darling, dainty pressed-cookies each year that melted in your mouth as sugar-buttery goodness.  Yum!

Carolling.  Not that we participated much, but I loved the few successful times we did.  One was in Fort Vermilion, Alberta when Dad, Mom and Christy came up for a -40 degree Christmas.  We sang four part harmony to the Hepburns on a crystal clear, freezing night under the moonlight.  It was delightful.

Candlelight Church Services.  I’ve only been to 3 or 4, but there is something holy about candle light in Jesus’ house on his birthday.  Of course, not a single candle-lit service passed without me visualizing Michael Jackson’s hair bursting into flames on that Coke commercial.

Nanaimo Bars.  Many Canadian mothers made ’em.  Only mine cut the custard layer and hand-spread the chocolate on each one.  You know, those chocolated-then-cut bars always tasted a little cheap to me.

Christmas Lights.  Sparkling lights on houses and in yards are so beautiful ~ especially in snow. I think that is the lone happy memory I have about living in Northern Canada in the wintertime – OK, that’s two, counting the four part carolling aforementioned.  One year when we lived in Spruce Grove, we drove into Edmonton with all the Crosby’s in our party van.  We went to Candy Cane Lane and drove with the windows down and the sliding door open.  OK, freezing but fun.

Fire in the Fireplace.  Crackling.  Popping.  Hissing.  Spitting.  There’s something LIVE in a fire.  I also am secretly addicted to staying warm – so a toasty hearth draws me like a fly to fly paper.

The Empty Ornament Box.  It was 1992… or was it ’93? We were stuck in Fort Vermilion for Christmas so my family sent a box of gifts to us.  I don’t remember any other contents of that box – but a single small package addressed to Rick.  It was an empty box that was supposed to have a Hallmark ornament in it.  Mom never checked if it was actually in there when she bought it… and well… it wasn’t… mailed 2,000 miles to the frozen tundra…empty.  Still makes me smile.

Drift Wood Angel.  Dad’s cousin Jo painted an angel on a large piece of driftwood that hung near our entry all the days of my childhood.  When tole-painted angels on driftwood finally went out of style ~ I inherited it… in 2005.  I have proudly hung the slab in our entry ever since.  Long live driftwood angels!  Noel.