One whole year!

6 Jun

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Today was the official one year date that the babies were placed in our arms. We’ve learned a lot in our first year as parents – it’s a steep learning curve.

We learned that taking care of African American hair is a lot of work. We go through conditioner like crazy at this house. I keep trying out different detangling/moisterizing/leave-in conditioner products. So far, my favorites are Carol’s Daughter hair milk (smells amazing!), Miss Jessie’s curly pudding, I forget the brand but it’s an olive oil leave-in conditioner that works really well. We also have a Carol’s Daughter leave-in conditioner spray – I like it a lot for how nice it keeps their hair, and also because it smells like vanilla. Whenever I use it one of my friends always tells me the petits hair smells like a cookie, which is good.

I also learned that brushing AA hair is way different than what I do for my own (super straight) hair. You have to use a very wide comb, and only do it when the hair is wet. I usually finger detangle every day when I moisturize. And use the comb in the tub when their hair is full of conditioner. I’ve only started ‘doing’ Bea’s hair. I just do simple box braids. No beads because she just pulls them out. I also sometimes do bantu knots, but braids are easier because it lasts a few days. For Lucien, I just detangle and am letting it grow.

We learned about caring for their skin. Bea has very sensative skin. She breaks out really easily. When she first got home, she had major diaper rash and a rash all over her neck and face. The magic cure, believe or not, was to use only ultra sensative Aveeno. It cleared up her neck/face rash in no time. We also have to lotion them all the time. We started out with only cocoa butter, but after about 8 months I couldn’t take the smell anymore. We now use a bunch of different kinds: grapefruit (my favorite!), blood orange, coconut, unscented…the key is to lotion when they wake up in the morning, after naps, and before bed.

I don’t know if I mentioned, but we live in the rural south. We sometimes have to deal with jerky questions. One time while waiting our turn for bloodwork, a (crazy pants) old lady asked us how much we paid for them, and why didn’t we get white ones. Then another couple asked where they were from, and when I told them, they huffed me which I guess isn’t so bad. Then we had the doctor’s office that wrote Bea’s name wrong in their records, then blamed me and made fun of her name. Then they kept calling me a foster parent and they purposely scared Bea. I flipped out on them so badly that my husband was completely mortified and he now brings her to that doctor without me.

I have to admit, I’m actually surprised that we don’t get more rude comments. Most people stop us to tell us how cute they are and to ask if they’re twins. A woman who works at our local grocery store thinks the petits like her because “they can sense my kids are mixed.” I find that strange, and I think the real reason they like her is because she gives them lollypops.

We’ve learned that Yo Gabba Gabba will keep them occupied for a long time. We also learned every single song that has ever been on that show. For the record, I’ve also seen every episode of In the Night Garden, too.

Since the babies have been home, I find myself cooking more of a variety of foods. Lucien literally has eaten everything I’ve ever given him from raw broccoli & carrots, to deep fried pickles to tart lemonade to salsa to…he likes everything. Bea’s much pickier. She used to follow Lucien and if he ate something, she would too – I think until she realized that he ate everything. For her, if it has peanut butter, tomato sauce or coconut korma sauce, she’ll eat it.

I know I’ve learned that I’m not really into a lot of other adoptive parents. I really hate when they talk about saving a child, it’s insulting. Or when they resort of posting images of what I call poverty porn to get you to agree with them. Or when they’re trying to diagnose their adoptive children with all sorts of psychological ailments before even meeting the child(ren). I hate when people refer to their kids as “john and mary are my bio kids. Jennifer is my child from China,” or wherever the kid if from. I really hate when they bitch about their adopted child not knowing English, but they won’t bother to learn any of said child’s native language. There’s also the parents who change their 3 year old (and older) child’s first name and then wonder why the kid doesn’t answer when they call them. Mostly I hate when they make generalizations about “all adopted children,” because really that’s just an asshole-y thing to do. As an adopted child myself, I find it completely insulting when people do that. This is why I’m a hit at parties (<—that's sarcasm, it's actually also why other adoptive parents don't like me either).

Most importantly, we learned all about two little ones. It has been fun seeing their personalities come out. Bea is totally the bossy one. We learned babies are gross and messy, but that we still love them. I’m looking forward to what we’ll learn this next year – especially since they should be talking soon and potty training…

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4 Responses to “One whole year!”

  1. Elizabeth June 7, 2011 at 07:15 #

    What a great post.

    I would have flipped out at that Dr. too. And they change Drs. Why go somewhere so rude?

    And wow, the adoptive parents you are talking about – are they online blogs or people you actually know? I know a lot of adoptive parents around here and am happy to say none of them talk like that. One of my dearest friends has a boy from Ethiopia and they took him to a local AA barbershop for awhile to learn how to do his hair.

    So glad the babes are doing well – they are so cute!!

    • Chantal June 7, 2011 at 07:24 #

      Yeah. We stayed with the dr because he’s here in town. The next closer one is an hour away. We’re going in two weeks for a follow up and since we’re moving, we never need to go back. And, yes, my husband will be taking her. 🙂 oh, and I recently heard from a friend in town that this same doctor grabbed her son’s face and demanded he look at him when he was talking. The son is in his teens and autistic. The mom went ballistic and I think, reported the dr to the medical board. I guess small town doctors think they can get away with this stuff.

      The adoptive parents were on various blogs I’ve found. I actually don’t know other adoptive parents in person. I think if it were in person, I’d completely freak out.

      How awesome that your friend found a barber to give her advice! Honestly, I just read a ton of blogs and asked my AA (female, the males are all bald!) friends for advice.

  2. deva June 9, 2011 at 19:40 #

    Love this post! Congrats on the one the one year anniversary of your union.

    • Chantal June 15, 2011 at 03:42 #

      Thank so much! This year has totally flown by, I can’t believe it.

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