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Add Water and Stir will focus on promoting adoption within communities of color, especially within the African American community. We want to give voice and visibility to families like ours who often seem left out of mainstream adoption conversations. We hope to educate others as we talk about our struggles and triumphs of parenting adopted children. Of course, there will be time for Mimi and ABM will kick it about all kinds of not necessarily adoption related topics as well.
On this special episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and ABM are revisiting the topic of adoption disruption and are joined by Beverly Clarke, Director of Project Wait No Longer at the Barker Adoption Foundation. Beverly passionately describes the need for parents to have reasonable expectations, to redefine success for their families and to commit to practicing self-care when things are particularly rough. This interview is so good, we decided to skip our regular shenanigans in the Wind Down and include our interview with Beverly in its entirety.
In recent months, it seems the number of zoo enclosure breaches have increased, but the recent death of Harambe, a silverback gorilla, has prompted a very hostile, very racialized discussion of parenting. Also, parents need self-care; Mimi and ABM confess self-care triumphs and fails and things we can do to nurture a commitment to self-care.
The mission of our podcast is to give voice and visibility to families like ours who are typically not a part of the adoption conversation. So we are pretty geeked that, today we have two foster parents that are affiliated with the Foundling, a New York based charity that empowers thousands of children and families to live independent, stable and fulfilling lives. Our guests today are Stephanie Lopez and Daryn Eato, welcome to the Add Water and Stir Podcast
May is National Foster Care Month in the US. More than 400,000 children in the United States are in foster care; usually with the goal of being reunited with their birth families or being adopted. The families who provide safe and healing homes for foster children are a special bunch and on this episode of Add Water and Stir, ABM and Mimi take some time to explore one example of an NGO that provides support for foster and birth families.
On the second segment, reveal their mutual ambivalence about Mother’s Day. The holiday triggers memories of personal loss, their children's’ losses and those of their birth mothers. Although they are grateful for the opportunity to be mothers, their respective journeys to motherhood shape the way they view the holiday devoted to this role.
In the Wind Down, Mimi and ABM reminisce about when they were little girls. Before you know it they are in a time machine back to when they were cheering and wearing
As mothers of two beautiful girls, Mimi and ABM have a front row seat to the blessings and the challenges to raising girls. The media can portray young black and brown girls to be mouthy, bossy, ugly and worse. On this show, the ladies talk about the secrets to raising strong black girls in the face of how the world views them.
On the second segment, ABM and Mimi reveal their mutual ambivalence about Mother’s Day. The holiday triggers memories of personal loss, their children's’ losses and those of their birth mothers. Although they are grateful for the opportunity to be mothers, their respective journeys to motherhood shape the way they view the holiday devoted to this role.
In the Wind Down, Mimi and ABM reminisce about when they were little girls. Before you know it they are in a time machine back to when they were cheering and wearing church socks.
Parents often feel guilty about all kinds of things. We question whether we spent enough time with our children, whether we are able to provide enough opportunities for them, whether we are using the right kinds of consequences and motivators for our children. During this episode, ABM and Mimi talk about their own experiences with parenting guilt as well as adoption guilt. It turns out, that the guilt is tied very closely with shame and depression. The big takeaway? Go easy on ourselves and practice more self-care.
On the second segment, the ladies discuss the use of respectful/positive adoption language (RAL). Prompted by a birth mother’s request not to be called BM in a social media support group and subsequently being accused of being “too sensitive,” ABM and Mimi explore adoption language and whether it really meets the needs of the community. Although RAL is designed to promote respect and dignity in the adoption community, this language has been criticized for being dismissive of unethical practices sometimes present in adoption.
In the Wind Down, Mimi and ABM chuckle about singing gospel spirituals to deal with the stress of child-rearing. They also briefly chat about Mimi missing a possible hall pass opportunity with Don Cheadle.
Both ABM and Mimi have written numerous times about their fears in raising their daughters in an environment that seems to devalue their lives because of skin color. On this episode, the ladies talk about discuss a recent episode of ABC’s Blackish entitled “Hope.” ABM and Mimi wrestle with some of the themes in the show and chat about what they are doing to address their own fears.
On the second segment, the ladies welcome Sara Crutcher to the Add Water family. Sara recently published Heart Picked: Elizabeth’s Adoption Tale. Recognizing the dearth of adoption books featuring Black families and fulfilling her personal dream to write children's’ books, Sara tells the tale of a young curly haired girl named Elizabeth who is adopted into a same race family. The book is beautifully illustrated and an entertaining read for anyone.
During the Wind Down, Mimi and ABM get their laughs on catching up on the hilarity that is Empire. They also debate whether Empire matriarch, Cookie Lyon is the archetype for mothering. Are you a ride or die mom?
On the 35th episode of Add Water and Stir, Mimi and AdoptiveBlackMom discuss their celebrations of Black History Month.
The ladies discuss the need for cultural heritage/historical months; the relative absence of history for people of color is left out of the mainstream narrative. Mimi and ABM reminisce about singing Lift Every Voice and Sing, reciting MLK Jr. speeches and specially decorated bulletin boards at school. They discuss the need to embrace and teach Black history to provide children with lessons in inclusive history, as well as the need to provide children of color with narratives that include people who look like them. All families must be deliberate in teaching Black history since traditional schooling may not provide sufficient opportunities for such learning. The ladies wrap the segment with some of their favorite resources for teaching Black history to their girls.
In the Wind Down, ABM and Mimi discuss Beyonce’s Formation video and Super Bowl performance and the countless think pieces inspired by the release.
After a long holiday hiatus, Mimi and AdoptveBlackMom return in the latest episode of Add Water and Stir to discuss their relative success at keeping their 2015 resolutions and their 2016 resolutions. Both ladies made progress in some areas and backslid in others. the first time they met their children after being selected as matches. For 2016 Mimi has goals for her family and her new life as a stay at home mom, while ABM is sticking with one theme, The Year of the Try.
In the Wind Down, ABM and Mimi discuss the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations and the Jada Smith/Janet Hubert drama related to #OscarsSoWhite. They wrap up the show with some listener feedback and recommendations.