2013

At the beginning of 2013, I said “here’s hoping THIS year doesn’t suck”.

And, in comparison, it didn’t.

But, lemme tell ya, I’d define this year as “Loss”.

My Mom died early in 2011. A year and a half later my Dad died. (both of these deaths occurred unexpectedly after a brief illness.) Yes, there were people who reached out to me. People that checked up on me. And I appreciate them for doing so.

But I have been heartbroken by my oldest daughter leaving. I want her here. I want our family together. I want her to take my son with her when she does an errand, or goes with a friend for a late-night ice cream. I want her to make his first girlfriend feel comfortable at our home. I want my little daughter to cuddle in bed with her, to eat “sister soup” for breakfast, to paint nails with. I want her to be there when my little one comes home from school to show off her art work. I don’t want her having a serious boyfriend that I might not ever meet. I don’t want her squeezing in a skype call if she can when she’s having Christmas with some family I don’t know.

Add to that having a close meaningful friendship fall apart. This is a friend who we used to have holidays with, who we’ve vacationed with, and we were each other’s “go to” person when we’d have a crisis. Although we are both making overtures of friendship to each other, we’ll never be the friends we used to be. And now that I have a young child again, that friend isn’t available for me to drop my little one off for an hour while I run out to do some chore. I can’t send her over there to show off her newly pierced ears. She won’t be on Addis’ “emergency contact” form when she goes to Kindergarten next year.

 

Feeling lonely and heartbroken.

Anniversary

Three years.

Wow. What the heck were we doing all those years before? I can barely remember not having Her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Three years ago:

  • I had just returned from Ethiopia after meeting my little girl
  • Although the wait for our Embassey appointment wasn’t terribly long, it sure felt that way.
  • My neighbor had a baby shower for me. I wore a pillow under my shirt.
  • We were finishing up getting that little room ready. Straw colored walls, Pink & green trim, princess blanket (which has always been her favorite), cute pictures on the walls, shelves full of books.
  • Jet lag. Seriously, I didn’t see it coming, it took a long time to recover from!
  • Pictures, pictures, pictures. I couldn’t stop looking at them!

The first pictures we saw of Addis she looked stunned & worried. When we met her, her expression was flat. In fact, she had that flat look to her eyes until she had been home for about 6 weeks.

First dayThis picture is from the first daw we met her.

 

Box Braid Tutorial using Micro Braids

I took some pictures while doing hair today, I’m hoping that I can use them to explain how to do synthetic box braids.

This is the hair, I like using the “curly” braids, the ends don’t have to be secured.

HairsyntheticbraidsI use two strands together…but the strands on the left are one strand of the braid, the strands on the right are another strand of the braid, and then Her hair will be the third.

hairboxbraidThese synthetic braids are often crocheted into corn rows, but I’m not talented enough for cornrows! So we do box braids. She’ll have about 45 when we’re done. It might look better if the boxes were even smaller, but Addis’ hair is very fine & if I make them much smaller there isn’t enough hair to hold them in good.

hairbeginingbraidThe synthetic braid just gets wrapped around Her hair. The first few times I used tiny bands, but they didn’t help much.

hairbraidingJust braid them in. Really simple. You’ve got to keep them tight & smooth, but if you can braid you can do this. Keep braiding down, using 2 strands together as each strand of the braid + the Hair, until you’re a half inch or so from the bottom of the natural hair.

hairsplittingbraidWhen you get close to the bottom of the natural hair, split one of the braid strands away & add it to the strand that is Her Hair. Now you will have 1 strand that is really 2 together, 1 strand that is 1 tiny braid, & 1 strand that is 1 braid & natural hair. Braid it keeping those ends tucked into the braid as much as possible. Braid all the way down.

That is it!

After a few days, the braids start coming apart, but usually don’t reach the natural hair until they’ve been in 2 weeks. Maybe I’ll braid them back down again, or maybe she’ll have curly ends.

And then after about 2-3 weeks, I’ll start re-doing sections, keeping this styling in for 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!!

 

 

$2.13/hr

I had read an article once about how to be happy. Most of it I don’t remember. But one thing always stuck with me.

Leave a good tip.

It said that if you leave a few extra bucks, you’ll soon forget… but it can make someone’s day. In fact it can change their entire work shift, and They will remember. 

So I try to do so.

Today I came across this video, & it gave me goosebumps. Who wouldn’t want to do this?? (or, for that matter, who wouldn’t want to be the server?)

http://www.upworthy.com/a-gesture-of-kindness-is-a-big-deal-its-an-even-bigger-deal-when-you-know-how-bad-their-pay-is

A Little Bit About My Job

I’ve been accused recently of being racist. And, at about the same time, I’m seeing it happen on political discussions on the internet. People on the right are accusing those on the left of being “racist” because they keep dragging up history, because they won’t let the subject go, because everyone is the same & let’s just start from there. 

They aren’t saying that I’m racist in the conventional manner…they are saying that I am feeding the fire of hate by speaking up & bringing light to disparities or hate I see. They say that whites are having their place chipped away by minorities percieved “special needs”.

Yeah…I say… fuck that.

If I see racism, I’m calling it out. 

First of all, I am offended by it myself, even if it doesn’t actuallly effect me.

Second of all, things aren’t going to magically “get better” because it’s been 150 yrs since the Emancipation Proclimation, or because we have a black president.

Third of all, I have a black child. IT’S MY JOB. 

Let me repeat, CALLING OUT RACISM IS MY JOB. 

 

Are Your Boobs Fake?

This was my Facebook status recently;

HEY WHITE PEOPLE:
Its fine to give a compliment, but WHY would you ask if a little girl’s hair is “real” or “fake”?

Two of my (adoptive mothers of black girls) friends “shared” this. Here are mine, & their, responses:

  • What about if a brown person asks?
  • Amen…
  • First of all Brown people know better .. second they dnt ask if tits r real…lol 
  • No they don’t, not in Florida! My son’s girlfriend complains about the invasive hair questions all the time
  • That only mean it looks too good to be true, doesn’t it? Plus, what does this have to do with race? I’ve asked the same thing about a blonde’s hair color
  • I hear ya, never known a little white girl that was asked if her hair is real or fake and I`m older then the moon ~~
  • Oh my. Why ask anything? Compliment or go away!
  • I was once asked if my daughter has a perm. Yes…. I permed my one year olds hair. Ridiculous.
  • Me:  Black people know what her hair is. When a child is asked DAILY if their hair is “real” it can affect her self-image. Especially if it s a feature which is very different from everyone else. We all know how to use google. I love the “nice boobs, are they real?” comment
  • Me: asking a blonde, who is old enough to color her hair, is different than asking a little girl ifs she is “fake”
  • First of all your little’s girl iS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! Is she alone when ‘RUDE’ people ask this question or not??? I HOPE SHE IS WITH YOU AND KNOWING YOU, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH AN ANSWER THAT WILL BLAST THEM OFF THEIR FEET AND THEN GIVE THEM A BIG SMILE AND WALK AWAY I would like to be there when you do it!!!!! I have even come up with some answerrs in my own mind that I would say to them but that is you choice but make them GOOD!!!!!!!!!!  Let me know what you do do or say, please, and give your little a big hug/ Remember her hair is so awesome that when they first see her they are blown away by how awesome it just is!!!!
  • Me: She gets if with me and on her own. I’m saying something about it so that if people Don’t know, well now they will.
  • Me (to a deleted comment): A compliment is fine. Asking a 4 year old -especially an adult asking- “is that fake hair/is your hair real?” is not okay. Black people know what it is, or how to ask if they are looking for more information. Just about every day that my little girl has extensions in (which she loves) she’s asked if her hair is fake. By white people,children AND adults. There’s quite a difference if you’re asking an autonomous person a non-invasive question.
  • Me: It is a different context when a white person- particularly an adult- is asking. In our culture caucasian is the “default” setting. Whether or not You personally find black women attractive, our culture percieves caucasian as more desirable…black features are not the ideal, black hair needs to be “fixed”. I was told (by an Ethiopian-American woman) that its too bad Addis’ hair is so bad. Usually when it’s a white person commenting/asking they don’t KNOW about extentions. So, this is my Public Service Announcement. If you are about to ask a little black girl if her hair is “real”, go to google. That’s what it is for. Hearing comments DAILY makes a little one question themself…she wants to have Rapunzel’s hair. Let’s face it, it’s not likely to happen. So she gets extentions, & then is questioned continually to explain herself.
  • MeYES, I KNOW I signed up for this.I signed up to have my daughter quesioned “where’s your mom?” “how come your mom is white?” etc all the time. And, because I signed up for it, It is MY JOB to educate those around me. If you didn’t know, as a THREE year old, my daughter was subjected to a racial attack. The world we live in will only include more people unlike yourself, so if what you hear sounds odd, listen to it & see where the other person is coming from.
  • I know what you are talking about. The other thing we have had problems with, even with the boys is people       touching their hair without asking and then making comments. I can’t believe how many times I had to ask adults   “please don’t touch their hair”. The boys are bigger and scarier now but Tauni still has strangers touch her hair without   asking. sheesh people.

Ahairaccessories13

Apparently, several people found it offensive that I said “hey WHITE people”. I wasn’t out to offend people, but if You needed to hear the comment, it was my job to tell you.  This “conversation” occurred about 3 weeks ago, but is still coming up.

 

Half Mast

Sometimes, when there’s something particularly tragic in the news, I get obsessed with it. I can’t stop watching. If I’m not watching, I’m googling articles about it. Or talking, continuously, about it.

I can’t imagine how a parent gets up & faces the new day when their child has been murdered.

Especially, if you return home to find your child dead, and it is your other child who caused it.

What do you DO??

What the **** do you DO?

 

no i don’t want to include a link. the story which is haunting me isn’t even the only one, recently, which could be described as above. 

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