The Secret Life of Adopted Parents

Another Hatchett Job, adopt, adoptive family, adoptive parents, love, creative commonsI have never written much about our journey toward parenthood.  Hubby and I adopted our oldest son and then (surprise!) were suddenly blessed with a biological son, 17 months later.  I have always said that our youngest was proof that God had a sense of humor!  Doctors surely don’t know everything and I wouldn’t change our paths to get here even one little bit.

But, most people don’t really understand what it is to be a family put together by choice as much as by chance.   Once you adopt a child, you meet, find, and get introduced to other adoptive families.  Pulling from several families and my own experiences, consider the following.

How many biological parents get asked these questions?

Which one is real? (referring to two children, one being biological and the other adopted and said in front of said children).

What IS he?  (referring to the bi-racial child of white parents.  To their credit, these parents would answer, “a little boy”  super slowly, as if the questioner was a total moron, which was usually the case).

Why are you so much taller than your brother?  (to a 6 foot 9 inch adopted child and his 5 foot 10 inch brother.).Another Hatchett Job, adopt, adoptive family, adoptive parents, love, creative commons

You’re a saint for taking on “other people’s problems” when who would want to do THAT???   (exclaimed upon learning that an adopted child was autistic and had learning disabilities, never mind that the parents were thrilled to have a child, ANY child to love).

Which one do you love more?  (Really, like that is really even an option).

Would you have kept him/her if you had known?  (referring to an ADHD adoptive child).

Will you accept a child who requires glasses?  (from the social worker to two obviously spectacled parents to be).

Why didn’t THEY (birthparents) want him/her?  Also:  Why didn’t his/her REAL family want him/her?  (honestly, they wanted this child desperately, but put his or her needs in front of their own and, by the way, my family is as REAL as it gets!).

Is he/she YOURS?  (to a transracial adoption family.  Like a lifetime of love and a court order ain’t good enough for the casual observer).

It’s so easy to have a child OVER THERE, they just give them away!  (in front of an Asian child who was transracially adopted).

Another Hatchett Job, everyone deserves a family, adopt, adoptive family, adoptive parents, love, creative commonsAnd this is only the tip of the iceberg!

So after 18 plus years of hearing this kind of well-meaning, but idiotic drivel, it was so refreshing to see an article on Huffington Post by Kathy Lynn Harris entitled, Dear Mom of an Adopted Child.  It begins:

Dear Mom of an Adopted Child,

I met you in adoption education class. I met you at the agency. I met you at my son’s school. I met you online. I met you on purpose. I met you by accident.

It doesn’t matter. The thing is, I knew you right away. I recognize the fierce determination. The grit. The fight. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. You are the kind of woman who Makes.Things.Happen. After all, you made this happen, this family you have.

Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. Maybe you ignored them.

To read the full text, click here.

Ms. Harris touches an emotional chord as she demonstrates by example the loving gestures that a loving, waiting to adopt parent will go through on the painstaking journey to parenthood.  On a very visceral level, she gets it.

Another Hatchett Job, adopt, adoptive family, adoptive parents, love, creative commonsTo be an adoptive parent is to truly explore love to its logical conclusion, that love is everywhere and it doesn’t have to be my genetic progeny to encompass all of my hopes and dreams in this life.  Love is far more than biology.

Is there an adopted child in your family?  Tell us about him/her!  Both my younger brother and my eldest son are adopted, as are two cousins.  We love adoption!

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

I Want to Homeschool…Now What?

Right or Wrong? Creative Commons, Another Hatchett Job blog, homeschooling, education, learning, curriculum, questionsAt one point, every homeschool parent has asked him or herself this very question and the reply they usually receive sounds like *crickets*.
This can be very disconcerting when you find yourself surrounded by articles on various schooling or un-schooling methodologies, a myriad of curriculum choices, and lots of uncertainty. Fortunately, in the last several years, many experienced homeschool families have been posting informative articles online that can help new homeschoolers navigate this brave new educational world.

I truly wish that these resources had been more available when I was starting out with my two sons.  My youngest is graduating from high school thisAnother Hatchett Job blog, Creative Commons year, and although we have tried public school, private school, and homeschool, and I am a certified teacher, I had all the same uncertainties that most new homeschool parents share.

Recently, I ran across a wonderful article entitled My Top 16 Tips for Beginning Homeschoolers on the Survival Mom blog.  This is exactly the kind of article that would have eased my fears and helped me to just jump right in.  I hope that you find it helpful, too.

Do you homeschool?  When did you decide to begin?  We homeschooled off and on throughout our journey.

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett

Why Kids Don’t Play Outside Any More

Another Hatchett Job, outdoor play, nature, kids, family, homeschoolI am not sure exactly when it happened, but the entire world has changed.  Kids simply don’t play outside anymore and it’s a crying shame!

Perhaps parents are working more hours and aren’t home to supervise latchkey kids.  Perhaps video games and movies on demand are so much more common than they should be.  Perhaps the increase in global news coverage and communications has convinced parents that there is a pedophile lurking around every corner.  Perhaps we are too lazy to go outside ourselves and then our children follow our lead. Perhaps our lifestyles are overly scheduled and the only time that a kid gets to touch the grass is at an organized sporting event, and then that grass is manicured and sprayed to be perfect turf.

Perhaps we should just GO OUTSIDE!  

Kids need free play time outside in order to help to stimulate their sensory nervous system.  And, believe it or not, this stimulation also leads to a sense of calm in ADD and ADHD kids.  Kids need to run and play and swing and spin and roll and get dirty, sweaty, and stinky.  Looking at images formed in the clouds and laughing and dreaming while laying in the grass are not wasted times for a kid (or an adult), it’s all part of who we are meant to be…connected to the Earth, our home.

In generations past, children had chores to do, sometimes inside the house, often in the barn or yard.  After chores could come fun–swimming in a creek, traipsing around the woods, building Another Hatchett Job, kids playing outside, nature, kids, homeschool, family, creative commonsforts, playing chase or tag, etc.  This allowed kids to burn off excess energy, be connected to the dark/light cycles and seasonal weather changes that we experience.  It made them healthier, hardier folks who tended to understand the world around themselves in a more meaningful way.

I recently ran across a wonderful article by Angela Hanscom that explores what has happened to eliminate outdoor play from our children’s lives.  She begins with a tale of a trip outside with children,

The third grade classroom that was visiting our nature center for the day consisted of mostly boys–rowdy, loud and rambunctious boys. As we started out into the woods, the children spoke loudly to each other in anticipation of what was to come. After playing a quick game and explaining the ground rules, it was time for free play. As soon as the children realized they had the freedom to explore and build in the woods, something funny happened – they got really quiet. They dispersed and many of them started working together to build a large teepee.

Nothing gives me more pleasure then to see children contentedly building a structure using branches and logs out in the woodland. That is, until fear kicked in and everyone’s pulse increased a few notches at the shrill cry of alarm.

Another Hatchett Job, kids playing outside, family, kids, nature, homeschool“Put the sticks, DOWN!”

The article goes on to explain some of the many sensory inputs that children receive from outside free play and why they seek out and find certain ones at certain times in their lives.  It’s a great read and I hope that you will take a few moments and check out the full article here.

I love trail riding and playing in my tiny garden.  What is your favorite outdoor activity as an adult?

Till next time,

Another Hatchett Job blog, signature, Jan Hatchett