Tag Archive: guest post

Guest Post: “Brown Family”

It’s hard not to start bawling when your six year old stops getting ready for school to tell you, “I wish a brown family adopted me.”

It was one of those parenting moments in which I had to take a breath, hide my emotions and proceed with caution.

“How come?”

“Because I want my family to look like me.”

“Well your little brother and sister look like you.”

“Yeah but not the whole family.”

I hugged him and apologized for not being brown. What else could I do? I mean, there was a time when I was small when I operated under the notion that I was part African-American, but the fact is I’m not. I distinctly remember when I found out the truth. I was playing Barbies with my older sister; I was probably about 4, making her around 9. I chose a White Barbie for the Mom and a Black Ken for the Dad for our game.

“You can’t do that,” my sister informed me.


“You can’t have a White one and a Black one be married!”

“Why not? Daddy’s Black.”

And with the whack my sister gave me for saying so, I thus learned my Portuguese-Italian father, while certainly the darkest man I saw in rural New Jersey where we lived, was not, in fact, Black. And therefore, neither was I.

That was the extent of my own childhood racial identity crisis. Of course there was no real crisis to be had. Even though my dad is dark and my Polish-German mother is fair, they are both Caucasian. There was no loss of birth parents or cultural heritage for me. There was no wondering about my ancestry or why all the other kids at school resembled their parents and each other.

I always knew a day would come when E would start to work through his own valid identity issues so I don’t know why I felt so blindsided by it. Maybe I thought he’d drop some hints first, or that he’d be a little older.

When I tucked him in that night, we talked some more. Or, more accurately, I talked while he mostly cried and nodded.

Was he still feeling sad?


Did someone say something recently that made him start feeling like this?


Does he know how much Mommy and Daddy love him?


And even though everyone talks about how happy adoption is and we ARE so, so happy he’s part of our family, did he know there’s sadness to adoption too?

There is???

Yes, E, because we love you so very much but if the world was perfect and there were never any problems at all, you probably would just have stayed with your birth mother, don’t you think?

And my boy sobbed when I said this. My sweet, sweet first grade boy, with pain more suited for an older person to deal with.

Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?


Well I want you to feel at least a little bit better. You might always have sad feelings about this, and that’s okay. But I want to help you…find peace about it. Do you understand what that means?


Would you like to spend more time with your birth family? Great Grandma and Auntie you just met and your sister that was adopted by another family? Would that help?


Then I will do my best to arrange it, my love. I promise to always do my best to keep you in touch with the brown family you long for.

Gina Sampaio likes to challenge the notion of what being a stay at home mom means by not only staying busy with her husband and five kids but also with acting, writing, social activism and rabble rousing in general. Gina blogs about her daily adventures with kids, crafts and cooking, navigating a post-foster care transracial open adoption and the ongoing journey of surviving a sexual assault under the name Sister Serendip (follow her on Facebook and Twitter).

#AdoptionTalk Link Up

Adoption Talk Linkup Hosts

This week’s topic: Anything Goes

Grab a button for your post and join ErinJenni, Jill, Madeleine, and me! New to linking up? We’d love to have you join us, here’s how.

Starfish Confidential #AdoptionTalk

And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!

I want to hear YOUR story

November is National Adoption Awareness Month 
and I want to hear YOUR story!!

share your story!

For something a little different this month, I want to feature how adoption has touched you, my lovely readers.

I’m going to leave this pretty wide open — anything adoption-related, from anyone who has been touched by adoption —

A few possible examples (but certainly not exhaustive):

  • the day you met your adopted or to-be-adopted child
  • how you talk to your child about their adoption and/or birth family
  • how you wish your parents had talked to you about your adoption and/or birth family
  • why/how/when you hope to adopt
  • the day you met your or your child’s adoptive or birth family
  • how adoption has touched your family
  • how/why you decided to make an adoption plan
  • things you wished you’d known before/during/after adopting/making the decision to adopt
  • why you chose an open or closed adoption
  • how/why you chose your child’s adoptive family
  • how you maintain or create connection with birth families
  • what it is/was like having adoptive siblings
  • why you’ve chosen not to have contact with your or your child’s birth family
  • how you support or hope to support adoptees, adoptive families, or birth families
  • things you wished you’d known before/during/after deciding to make an adoption plan
  • basically anything adoption-related, from anyone who has been touched by adoption

I will edit for grammar, spelling, etc, and I’ll be happy to send you the edited version before posting, if you wish.

Message me on facebook, or send an email to Jamie @ StarfishConfidential dot com. Please include any pictures you’d like me to use, and feel free to give use pseudonyms or nicknames. Let me know if you’d like to see the edited post before it goes live.

Hint: It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.

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Mother Goose Speaks – Spend the Holidays with ALL your kids!

I have a special treat for y’all this Thanksgiving Week!! I finally convinced my mentor, Mother Goose to do a guest post for me!

As I sit here tonight surrounded by my goslings, I am so ready for the holiday season. We are eating turkey this week (but no rolls due my weight loss journey with Duck Mommy) and everyone at my house is excited. I always decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving and I can’t wait! 

The trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is my favorite time of year. The house smells wonderful from baking, and the TV is constantly showing a new must-have toy and everyone’s list continues to grow! It’s a cliché, but giving is much more fulfilling than receiving.

Papa Goose and I have been foster parents for over 15 years. We have fostered more than 150 Littles! Our house is always a busy place and that’s just how I love it. Our house is not quiet or spotless; sometimes the kids stay up too late and sometimes go to bed without a bath. We are far from perfect parents, BUT our house is a home full of love.

We don’t see skin color in our home – when you break a white egg and a brown egg are they different inside? The big thing is we don’t see foster either. Our kids are our kids. I love them with all my heart (especially the ones who are hardest to love). When my 10-year-old biological daughter was about 2, she was certain that our licensing councilor was her caseworker. She was convinced that L came each month just to see her!

One day we were cleaning up from lunch and she asked me, “Mom, where are my other mom and dad?”
I giggled and said, “We are your mom and dad.”
She looked perplexed and said, “NO, MY MOM AND DAD BEFORE YOU!”
She thought she was a foster child! So I thought: well, I’m doing it right!

I can’t imagine a Christmas without kids. The excitement of a child’s eyes when they get up in the morning and Santa has brought them presents! Even more I can’t stomach the thought of a foster child spending Christmas away from their foster family.

I know you’re asking yourself why any child would be away from their foster family???

Unfortunately, some foster parents ask for respite over holidays and even birthdays. Yes, I have had a respite child at my house on their 1st birthday and guess what: the other foster family didn’t even bother to tell me it was his birthday!

I clearly have a huge problem with this. I just don’t believe that we should be allowed to ask for respite over Christmas OR Birthdays. I know people want to spend Christmas with family out-of-town, but take your kids (all of them) with you. Please. Or if you really can’t, then put on your big girl panties and go a few days after the holiday. Are you going to have any less fun with people on the 27th of December?

Imagine your whole family goes on a cruise, your parents pay for all your siblings’ families to go but not yours. Imagine how that would feel as an adult. Now multiply that feeling by a thousand, because these kids are already feeling crappy about the holiday because it’s the first, or fifth, or fifteenth holiday they are spending away from their family of origin, with a foster family they may not know very well or trust. And then they’re just dropped off – like dry cleaning or the mail – unimportant and definitely other. Other family, other child, just other, not a part of your family. No child deserves to be treated this way EVER, but especially not during the holidays.

If you’re Christian, would Jesus have sent anyone away? Because that’s what this holiday is really about, right? Celebrating his birth? I think he would have gathered all those orphans together and shared what he had, and if Mary and Joseph wanted him to come for dinner, well he would pack all those kiddos up and head on over!

So please love all your kids. Give them a great big hug and have a wonderful holiday season together!

Much love and happiness,
Mother Goose

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