Gotta Hand it to Me

I have my own personal and portable DJ. Reed loves to play music for me as we drive from activity to activity. He plugs his iPod into the car’s reverse-USB port and carefully selects songs based on factors of the moment.

On a recent trip that was just the two of us — which meant he got to sit in the front seat — he chose songs from our past. One he got done fiddling with his iPod and the music began, he did something remarkable.

He reached out for my hand.

For the rest of the 15-minute trip, our fingers were as intertwined as our voices.

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The next day, Tessa invited me to take the dog for a walk with her. “Come with me, Mama,” she said in the unguarded tone of voice I remember from her pre-teen days. And by “pre-teen” I mean “less hostile.”

We found the leash, clipped it on Dexter, and headed out the door. Before we even got around the corner, Tessa did something remarkable.

She reached out for my hand.

For the rest of the 15-minute stroll, our hands connected us and our stride synched us.

hand to hand

This post is a part of #Microblog Mondays. Whazzat? A post that is between 1 word to 8 sentences long [oops]. Head over to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

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Don’t forget to sign up for the Finding Zoe virtual book club by Friday. Can’t beat a good book and great discussion about it.

Just the Way We Are

Teen Girl had had a rough day, as often happens for teen girls in middle school.

moody teen girlAt dinner, each of us — Dad, Mom, and Tween Brother — did our best to help her feel better from the trials of her day, but the meal ended with Teen Girl in tears, dramatically fleeing from the table in favor of a flounce on her bed.

After awhile I went up to simply abide with her. I laid facing her with my hand on her shoulder, saying nothing but breathing oh-so-slightly visibly, audibly — a human prompt. Dad soon joined us, positioning himself as an appropriate metaphor about family always having each other’s back. Dexter, never one to be left out of a group hug, hopped up on the bed, too, tail wagging and adding in his special kind of soothing influence.

A few moments later, Tween Brother came in, shattering our efforts to calm Teen Girl with his obnoxious iPod, which we all heard coming up the stairs. I started to shush and shoo him.  Couldn’t he see we were in the Middle of Something and weren’t in the mood for blaring Bruno Mars?

Luckily I’m not super slow (only slightly slow), and in a flash it clicked that his iPod selection wasn’t random, and his presence with his iPod was anything but careless. Rather, it was full of care. Tween Brother joined our family pile and began singing to his sister in his endearing, off-key voice.

♪, ♫   Cause you’re amazing…just the way you are   ♪, ♫

Dad and I joined in the chorus, the three of us serenading Teen Girl with gusto if not with mad vocal skillz:

♪  When we see your face  
   There’s not a thing that we would change  
   Cause you’re amazing  
   Just the way you are  

Even our Teen Girl couldn’t stay moody through all that.

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This post is a part of #Microblog Mondays. Whazzat? A post that is between 1 word to 8 sentences long. Head over to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

~~~~~

Don’t forget to sign up for the Finding Zoe virtual book club. Can’t beat a good book and great discussion about it.

Image: “Mike” Michael L. Baird [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

AdoptLit Book Tour Signup: Finding Zoe

You already know this is the place to participate in adoption and infertility-themed virtual book club discussions. But with this latest option — a book released into the world just today — we’re adding in a twist.

Adoption Meets Deaf Community

adoption memoir by brandi rarusYou may think you’ve explored all facets of adoption, but Finding Zoe by Brandi Rarus adds in an additional component that you may not have given much thought. When I took teacher education classes years ago, I chose to write a research paper on deafness as a disability, and was surprised to discover that many deaf people don’t consider deafness a disability. It was helpful to resolve some of my ignorance on the issue.

So with this post I invite you to read Finding Zoe and see if you have any blind spots (so to speak) about either adoption or Deaf Culture that can be filled in with an enlightening memoir.

Appropriately so, actress Marlee Matlin has written the foreword to Finding Zoe. The first part of the book is an engaging primer on deafness, Deaf Culture and various factions and philosophies within it (reminds me of Adoption Culture). Brandi is the perfect person to share this, as a former Miss Deaf America and a bridge between two sometimes-polarized factions in the deaf community.

The latter part is on how daughter Zoe found her way through four other homes before landing with Brandi and her family 8 months after she was born. Zoe, now 10, is the child at the center of a very open adoption. In fact, both her birth parents agreed to be interviewed and the book was released with their permission.

Brandi and her writing partner Gail Harris do an admirable job telling the story from the viewpoints of many of the participants in it. Because of the contentiousness of some of these relationships at some points in time, that was no small feat.

I’m confident you’ll find Finding Zoe — and the upcoming discussion about it — worthwhile.

You are invited to participate in this Virtual Book Tour.

It’s easy and it’s fun.

  1. Sign up today.
  2. Get and read the book.
  3. Be ready to discuss it in December (well before the holidays) with other readers.

Note: You don’t need to have a blog to participate. You can write your post in a space created specifically for blogless readers. Everyone is invited to participate.

The book is available via Amazon in hard cover ($16.72), Kindle ($10), direct from BenBella books ($15.40) and at various other booksellers. I’ll provide the forum here; you just need to provide your own coffee and danishes (or wine and Cheetos, if you’re so inclined).

Author Participation

Author Brandi Rarus will participate in this book tour by responding to reader questions. So if you think of one to ask her while you’re reading the book, capture that thought.

author of finding zoeHow does a Virtual Book Tour work?

It’s easy!

  • October 31: Last day to sign up for the tour. You’ll find the “Book Tour Signup” form below.
  • Read the book between now and mid-November. Reserve it from your library or purchase from your favorite bookseller.
  • November 14: Come up with up 1 or 2 discussion questions to ask of other participants (not Yes-or-No). A question for the author is optional.
  • Shortly thereafter, you’ll receive a list of questions from other participants. From this list you will choose any 3 to answer on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, one will be provided for you.
  • December 2: Posts go up! Links to participant stops on the book tour will be posted here on LavenderLuz.com so you can read, comment and discuss with each other — just like a face-to-face book club, but with less coffee cake and more keystrokes.
  • Please follow this blog and spread the word to interested parties (tweet, share, G+ with the buttons at the bottom of this post).
  • Did I mention you need to sign up?

Fill out this form ↑ .

Open adoption parenting & mindful living