Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Promises, promises....


Dear Charlie,

As I pack and get ready to bring you home, I've been thinking about all the fun things we are going to do together, but also about all things I need to do for you. I'm imagining what type of mother I will be, and how I will accomplish the goals I have set for myself. I don't have it figured out yet, and I may never figure it out. So far, this is what I've got: I promise to give you all the "regular things" parents give their kids such as food, medicine, hygiene, protection, school, encouragement, comfort, cuddling, playtime, and a reliable schedule.

I also promise some unique things, just between you and me, our little twosome:

You will get to go back to Ethiopia with me one day.

We will play and eat with other Ethiopian adoptive families as often as possible.

You will never be the only child of color in your school.

I will read you a story as part of your nightly routine.

I will offer you the freshest, non-refined foods I can find.

I hope to teach you to recognize and cope with your emotions.

I will learn to make some Ethiopian dishes for us to enjoy.

I will learn to do your hair in ways that make you feel pretty.

We will honor your birth mother on Mother’s day and many other days.

I will offer you my support in dealing with any adoption issues or grief you may experience.

I will not expect you to fulfill all the goals I haven’t gotten around to fulfilling yet.

I hope to be a feminist role model, meaning an independent woman who is able to take care of herself, have a career, and have loving relationships.

I will give you choices in daily life, and even allow you to make mistakes. If you make big ones, I will stand by you as you fix them.

I will not rush you into growing up, and not infantilize you once you do.

I will validate your feelings.

I will allow you to explore your independence (although I may be holding my breath the whole time so please be quick about it and get it over quickly!)

I promise I will not use my saliva to clean your face.(Unless it’s an emergency and no one is watching.)

I won't be perfect in any of these pledges, but I will do my best.

Love,

Your Mama

12 comments:

Angela said...

Good pledges from a good mommy;)

Queen Diva said...

That was very sweet Michelle!

Oh my gosh! I'm guilty of your last item you listed. "I promise I will not use my saliva to clean your face." And, yes every time that I do, it's an emergency and no one is watching....LOL!

Andrea

Calmil2 said...

You had me until the saliva pledge...oh you will so use your saliva to clean her face :) Have a wonderful, safe trip.
Oh, I forgot to say that there is a pair of soccer cleets (sp?) in those shoes and I hope you find a kiddo that LOVES soccer to give them to :)

leesavee said...

Don't even KID yourself with the saliva one, dear!

Charlie is going to be lucky to have you as her mommy, and you are going to be so, so lucky to have her as your daughter.

Sending you prayers...

Kiki said...

Yeah, you definitely will use saliva to clean her face. I said I never would too and I do it all the time and I don't care who is watching. :-) Also, forget about that fresh, non refined food stuff. That'll last until her Aunt and cousins (namely us) take her on her first trip to McDonald's! Sorry, it's gonna happen so you might as well forget about that one right now.

Lasstly, another funny thing that Olivia said th other day that relates to this...she said,"All a kid needs from her parents is love and food." So there you have it, the wisdom of a 7 year old.

Can't wait to see you on Sat. Now that your parents are coming here and picking up our gifts to drive down to you I'm freaking out because mine is fragile and too big for overhead compartment so I'll have to check it! Hope the airline doesn't break it! Arrrggghhh!

Anonymous said...

Loved your list of promises to Charlie :) Awesome, awesome, awesome! I'll add two--what I tell people who are having kids: 1) Never expect him/her to complete or fulfill you. 2) Always be your child's friend, but even more importantly always be his/her Mother first. There! That's all the wisdom I have to impart :) I thought I had your Ethiopia dates written down, but I can't find>> where. When do you leave and when do you come back? Hope you're day is going well! Hugs and love, ~Michelle

Anonymous said...

Awesome letter. Very wise. You're gonna be an awesome mom. But I already knew that....
danicuz

Kristine said...

Awww...I can't even read this without crying! You are both so blessed. Go get that baby girl!

J-momma said...

love it! it's so cute that you seem so bonded to her already. it's like you are meant to be together. so excited to hear all about your journeys as a mom.

Malia'sMama said...

Beautiful Mama! I have thought about these things but never written them down. Time, I guess :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mikavr, I was just reading your blog and just couldn't let it be unsaid that I haveso much respect for your thoughts on raising Charlie. I especially like this one. "You will never be the only child of color inyour school." I am glad you realize the importance of this. I was also deeply touched by "We will honor your birth mother on Mother’sday and many other days." I do think as Charlie grows to adulthood, shewill respect this more than you will ever know. Also very touching.. "I will learn to make some Ethiopian dishes for us toenjoy. You will get to go back to Ethiopia with me one day. We will playand eat with other Ethiopian adoptive families as often as possible." You will be a wonderful Mother to Charlie and i am honored to be able to share in this with you both. Just a lil warning here.. "I promise I will not use my saliva to clean yourface.(Unless it’s an emergency and no one is watching.)" You will have touse your spit.. it is unavoidable. :) lol Sometimes on yourself. Whenever I did this to my kids I also asked then to spit clean me.. it made it not soone sided. Anyhow.. you touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I look forward to your both coming home! Have a great, safe trip and first thing give Charlie a hug and kiss from her Auntie Dusty! Be safe my friend! Dusties

Sharla said...

Lurker here and I just had to post. I was teary eyed after reading this promise, "You will never be the only child of color in your school". I’m actually African American raised by my biological parents. However, I was often the only “black kid” in class and one of only a few in my entire school. It’s something that my husband and I discuss frequently because I don’t want my kids to feel the same sort of alienation and bitterness that I sometimes felt as a kid. My husband and I are struggling to find cultural balance as well as maintaining an educational advantages for our future children. We live in Louisiana where the public schools are dismal failures. Our children will have to attend private school if we remain in this area. However, private schools are usually all white. The south hasn’t progressed nearly as much as we’d hoped. We are considering moving to a more diverse area for our children as well. I’d love for my kids to not see the world in just black and white. My husband and I are both African American but I just wanted to let you know that we share some of the same concerns. I love your blog! You will be a great mother and I'm in awe of your preparation and commitment. -Sharla