Thursday Open Thread

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a warm fuzzy to pull on your heartstrings: a mother took newborn-style pictures of her recently adopted son (who happens to be 13 years old) and posted them on facebook, where they quickly went viral. I thought it was sweet and tender and funny. Made me a little teary, even.

What’s on tap for you today? I will volunteer at DD’s class party, go get one last massage as part of my Bell’s Palsy therapy, then sneak away for a quick lunch with DH before we pick up the kids from school. Way romantic, amirite?  ;-)

Chat away!

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48 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. Alrighty…anyway, I saw this a little while ago floating around on photog blogs. I love how the photographer nailed all the current trendy newborn poses while still maintaining the sweetness of that young man. Love.

    However, I’m disturbed by the comments of people saying they wanted to adopt a newborn but now want to adopt an older child because of this. Are they really prepared to deal with RAD and all that may follow? It’s not like adopting an older cat vs a kitten at the shelter, and these people sound like it’s a decision on par with that. It takes a very special, committed family like Mrs. Pastor’s. Older kids in foster care deserve the very best families, not people who can be swayed by a cute photo…

    • Also, I meant to say that I see so many newborn photo shoots in my blog perusing that this really is a great parody of all the copycat-ing, if nothing else.

    • I think it’s nice that so much attention has been brought to the issue of waiting children. Perhaps some of the commenters were people who had a legitimate interest in adoption anyway, but this made them reflect a bit more. A good social worker can help a family sort through everything and help facilitate a good match.
      Overall, I think it sheds a positive light on the possibilities.

  2. I love those pics and the story of how the kid was laughing all through the shoot. I think it’s a sweet memory that I hope will be important to both of them forever. That being said, I agree with BB, but wonder if some of the folks who just never thought of adopting an older child might at least explore enough to discover whether they have it in them do so, knowing all the risks. (Eternal optimist today, I guess. Must be all the cold medicine)

  3. Super fun surprise!! Way back before Christmas, I ordered a handmade pocket knife from an old friend of DH’s who makes knives as a hobby (he’s a retired teacher). He wasn’t sure he could get it done before xmas, which was fine. I got a couple of emails in Jan and early Feb, “sorry, gonna get to it soon, another few weeks,” etc etc. Then surprise surprise, it came today! It is very very nice, but the man won’t tell me how much I owe him. He has a website with other knives on it, but no folding pocket knives because he only makes them “for special friends.” I don’t feel comfortable just leaving it at that, so I’m thinking of sending him some goodies and some money for his shipping. I wish I knew at least what his materials cost him. Any ideas for me?

  4. I think it’s sort of odd – in the vein of that “Love You Forever” book – and then even odder to let it go all over the ‘net.

    She sounds like a lovely mom, he sounds like a lovely kid – the photos sort of creeped me out. Maybe it’s because I am so loving how GROWN my young man is – I can barely LOOK at him if he’s not fully dressed, never mind photograph him, and FUGGEDABOUT posting on FB posing like a baby.

      • Well I don’t know, I’ve seen a lot of really funny “pregnancy” photos, professionally done, of the dad gazing down at his belly with a basketball under his shirt. I think it kind of pokes fun at the seriousness of so many photo shoots. I didn’t see it as exploitive.

        • I guess that’s what makes the world go ’round – everyone sees things differently.

          Also, not every cute photo shoot needs to be shared publicly KWIM? If I did have these photos of my kiddo, I might do FB to just my friends, but I wouldn’t be all over the world media with it. Again, to each his own. My son has a wonderful sense of humor, but I can’t imagine this being part of it …. for him.

          • Your son isn’t insecure, though. Some adoptees can’t get enough assurance that their families really really really want and treasure them. Many adoptees describe having a hole in the heart that is hard to heal over. Maybe that young man is proud that his family is willing to trumpet that to the world.

          • Also remember that these kids have been seriously ripped off and never got so many things that children should be able to take for granted. Sometimes a resilient and well adjusted child will focus resentment on some trivial detail, and addressing that can have symbolic significance. I recall one older adoptee who liked to play baby games like patty cake with his mom. Humorously or ironically but the mom thought there was somehing there below the surface. That was what I thought of when I saw this.

            • Yes, the story on the blog was that he was sad about not having baby photos so mom hatched this idea. I know he had fun, supposedly, but I hope the mom acknowledged what else was going on beneath the surface before poking fun. I’m assuming she did…

              • I didn’t read it as poking fun. I read it as recreating something that he was missing. I don’t have experience with adoption but I thought it was bloody beautiful. I thought it was the joyful creation of something he was missing. It made him happy & that’s cool.

                • Not poking fun at him, but using him to poke fun at the genre. He seems cool with it and I loved it, I just hope his true feelings weren’t glossed over.

                  • I guess I just don’t see it as him being used. No 13 year old boy does something like that unless they want to do it. I’m thinking he’s got a wicked sense of humour and had a great time with it. This looks to me like it comes from a very loving place – there are plenty of parents who post crap using their kids (all the Jimmy Kimmel shit) who need a good smack but I wouldn’t put this in the same category at all.

            • I get why he’d want them. My similar thought was how these photos retroactively make him more permanently “theirs”.

              A dear friend of mine was adopted as an older infant. One of her most treasured items is a photo that her foster mom thought to take of her earlier in her infancy. It is her only baby picture.
              We have a single, far-away, blurry polaroid. It’s not much, but I can’t complain.

  5. I sent my wife 9 roses at work – one for each year we’ve been together since that fateful Valentines day in 2004 — she got MAJOR street cred for them… yay!

    I love this day.. LOVE it..

  6. The next time I go to NC I will have to try to keep my shirt on in public or I may end up with a felony conviction and a 6 month jail sentence. (In comparison, the sentence for your first DUI offense in NC is one night in jail.) Meanwhile, my sister is worried about her possible future governor in Virginia, their attorney general (Cuccinelli) who conducted a witch hunt against a UVa climate scientist, made transvaginal ultrasound a household word and has been endorsed by Rick Santorum. He has a new book released this week which is apparently a manifesto of sorts. People are posting alternate titles for it on Twitter at #CuccinelliBookTitles – I think my favorite was “The Ultrasound and the Fury.”

    I thought the pictures were cute, tweaking the newborn photo genre. If her son didn’t mind having them taken and distributed, then why not.

  7. DH dropped off A and C at drama camp this morning and got compliments for being so organized – on time, forms filled out, lunch, snack, water bottles…. Ha! Of course I did the work, all he did was drive. I asked him if he told that instructor that his wife is wonderful!

    Tonight the girls are having dinner with our neighbor and her granddaughter. DH is planning a special dinner that we will make together. We love cooking together so this is perfect for us.

  8. My DH is on a trip – again, still, something – so it’s just me and the girl tonight. Just how every 16 yo girl wants to spend Valentine’s right? With her mom? But I’m going to order pizza and make brownies. And I’m sure she’ll be doing homework, so I may just have to watch Downton Abbey to pass the time.

    • Since it was just me and my mom my entire childhood, Valentine’s Day was very much about family with us. Every year she’d give me some sort of stuffed animal, a box of chocolates, etc. I loved it! The year I was 15, she came home after work with an armful of groceries, and asked if I could go out to the car to get the rest of the bags. I did not find more groceries in the car, but instead there was a Westie puppy with the cutest red collar and leash! She was quite a surprise Valentine’s day gift!

      • We had 2 successive westies growing up. They are the quirkiest dogs! The second one, who we got when I was 15, just died last year…and I’m 32! He was a mess at the end though. My parents really should have put him down long before that.

        • Yeah, ours was pretty high energy, but because she wasn’t the dominant dog (we had a stubborn male Cairn terrier that bossed her around), she was very easy to train. They’d go nuts every time the door rang or UPS came by, though. Oh geez, all the barking those two did must have been so obnoxious to our neighbors!

          Odd story — we lived in a townhome, and would leave the sliding glass door open a little so the dogs could go out onto the patio during the day. This was in a suburban condo development in OC, so the general public didn’t just drive through the complex. One day I came home from school, and was laying on the floor playing with the dogs when I noticed a spot of blood on the white carpet. I thought one of the dogs was hurt, so I checked them over and didn’t see anything, but then noticed another spot, and another spot, and another, all the way from the glass doors straight to the front door. There was a spot on the tile entryway, too. We never figured out what happened (I have no idea why my mom didn’t call the police), but figured that someone must have gotten over the thick hedges and 4′ concrete wall and into the patio, and then got attacked by my little dogs and got the hell outta there!

  9. Heart shaped pizza for dinner. DH is working late, M has dance in about 20 minutes and I have an awful sinus cold. Not much romance around here tonight, but that’s okay. I get enough romance on a day-to-day basis.

  10. Jess is three weeks in to the new school year, and already I can see a big difference from some changes that the school implemented. The administration took the move to hire more teachers for the grade 1,2,3 classooms to bring class size down from 29 to 22 and reconfigured the classrooms to bring in another large room. Parents are encouraged to attend the morning “community circle”, which is where roll is taken and the classes ease into their day and their philosophy class. I was so impressed at how much more orderly the classroom was (not just the noise level) and how much more capacity the teachers had to manage and facilitate.

    I’ve also got a good first impression feeling about Jess’s teacher – her teacher last year (who she should have for all three years, given the school structure) is out on maternity leave. The new teacher this year is … um … how do I say this without insulting last year’s teacher … a hell of a lot more proactive and direct. It’s very nice to see.

    I take a lot of confidence from seeing that the school’s administration is making a honest, sincere, positive effort to take on board criticisms from last year and implement solutions for a better outcome. Early days, of course, but gee, it’s nice.

    I know, I know, this verges very closely on a #soblessed, so I’ll stop.

      • I am particularly grateful because the teachers are currently deadlocked on negotiating a contract with the state of Victoria. When the current state premier (equivalent to a governor) was elected ~ 18 months ago, he committed to making Victoria’s teachers the “best paid” in the country. To get there would have meant a 30% pay hike over three years. But when the teachers pointed that out when starting contract negotiations last year, he dropped the whole thing and came back with 2.5% per year for three years, plus the introduction of private-sector “performanace pay”. Yeah. The teachers really came back hard on their intial stance and are down to 12.5% increases over the next three years, and the premier is just sh!tting all over them. He hasn’t made a counter-proposal at all, has attempted to get court injunctions to break strike actions, etc.

        It’s utterly dispiriting to see teachers being treated that way.

      • There’s still a row to hoe, and it’s not a perfect school (what institution of learning will ever be??). But what I respect is the fact that teachers and administration are listening and they’re responding, and it seems to be moving in a good direction.

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