Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Post 2016 Election

The eleven year old crawled into bed with me this morning and I told him the news of the election. I held him as he sobbed. "How can someone so mean and unkind and who hates us so much (meaning= a gay family) be president? How can people who love us and call us their can they vote for him?" (pause and sniffling) "Why can't we move to Canada?" I explained to him that not one person makes all the decisions in our country. That there is a process. And it's our mission to do the opposite of him, to be kind and good people. "And it also means we need to get involved in things we believe in. We need to volunteer and be of service so that these organizations exist to help more and more families like ours. Our mantra for the next four years is just like the saying on the t-shirts at my yoga studio, Kindness Is Contagious!
We held each other and cried and his questions continued to rattle in my mind. How can people who love us vote for a man who doesn't support our family? How am I going to teach our newest son, who has seen trauma first hand, that the people who say mean things and degrade others is not the "winner." For right now, I'm going to hold them. All three of my sons and tell them that they are safe. We will continue to look up to President Obama as an example of the type of man that we aspire them to become. My wife and I will continue to believe that LOVE and KINDNESS will always win. And we will hold on to hope.


Adoption from Foster Care- The Siblings Meet!

We drove into the residential facility where our new son is living. I say to the boys, "Look out the window, this is it!" Trees line the one lane road for a long stretch that makes you feel as though you are entering a summer camp. There are small cottages that house the children. Outside of each one a bike rack overflowing with child sized bikes, a bike for every child on campus. You can see horses grazing far off in the field, it feels magical here.

Today is the day that L and Z will meet their new brother for the first time. It's a bit weird and every one's veins are pulsing with nervous excitement. We've shown L and Z pictures of what he looks like and briefly what we know about him that is appropriate for the boys to understand. He's coming from foster care and has experienced tremendous trauma but we aren't sharing that with L and Z, or anyone in our family. Children are put into foster care because they have not been cared for (neglect) and often have experienced physical or sexual abuse. The story of our son's past is not for anyone else to know, it's his story. And when he chooses to share it, if ever, with other people is his decision. 

As we got out of the car Z reached for my hand and pulled himself close next to my arm, quietly he says to himself "I'm feeling kinda nervous."I look down at him and smile and say, "Me too bud." I made the very active choice to not diminish how he is feeling by trying to change them. And instead chose honesty and authenticity. I'm working on this more and more in my life. It's so easy to say, "it's going to be okay", "you'll do fine", "no reason to be nervous, he's a great kid and so are you". Growing up, that was often how my emotions were handled in my family I know that it doesn't actually make you feel better and instead the coat of shame begins to be woven over your shoulders. Then you wonder to yourself, "what is wrong with me? I'm the only one feeling this way." But in actuality everyone is feeling the same way, they are just scared to admit it.  

We held hands as we walked and just as I was about to let go, he then squeezed it three times. This is our family's "secret" way of saying "I love you" and we often do it to each other when we think the person needs it the most or when we are around other people and it would be too random if you blurted out "I love you!". I smiled down at him and we walked into the building where in an instant our family dynamic will be changed forever.


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