THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 16

Is Beth the best wife ever? Who knew Paper Boi could sing? Do black men quote Oprah IRL?  Are we all mad at Rebecca for keeping Randall and William apart?  Did someone call Jesse? Who will sign our petition if they don’t get an Emmy nod for this episode?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 16:

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Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

Telling Your Child Their Adoption Story

We were cruising the internet recently and came across an intriguing post inquiring how and when parents should tell their children they are adopted. We thought this was an important question that needed an answer, so we reached out to our pal Tao to help us out. Here’s her story about being and learning she was adopted.

I don’t remember being told I was adopted. I don’t remember the first-time mom or dad told me my story. I have no idea how old I was; it’s just always been a part of me. My story was told often, I think it was even retold on my 40th family birthday dinner. It isn’t your typical story people gush over, it has a ‘*oh my* element that can raise eyebrows and funny bits.

It came up in conversations organically. Along the lines of “Did I ever tell you the story about how we adopted you?”

I hope all parents use that same tone to describe how they adopted their child. It’s simple. Easy to weave into the conversation whether just to the child or to family and friends. No big reveal. Just a few short lines; my story goes something like this.

One day the doorbell rang and mom and my siblings went to see who was there. Mom was surprised to see Mrs. A, the Social Worker who’d helped them adopt my siblings, and invited her in. Mrs. A asked mom if they’d consider adopting another baby (me) because they couldn’t find a family for me, mom told Mrs. A they couldn’t adopt me, they had their hands full with two toddlers and everything else as it was, so Mrs. A left.

A few weeks later Mrs. A returned, ringing the doorbell again. Just like the last time mom answered it with my siblings behind her and invited her in, this time though, Mrs. A had brought me with her because she still hadn’t found a family to adopt me and would she reconsider.

Again, mom said no to the question. At that point, my oldest sibling took off to dad’s home office and told him Mrs. A was there, with me. Together, my sibling and dad came back upstairs and into the living room; dad looked at me and said “Sure we’ll adopt her.” That’s how I came to be adopted. Of course, that isn’t the end of my story or the many conversations we had over the years.

Bringing up your child’s adoption story makes it okay to talk about being adopted and okay to ask questions. When they are little, it’s just how and why they are adopted, but your conversations will get harder. They will get more in-depth, including wanting to talk about their other mother and father and why they needed to be adopted. Each time, the conversations can include information that the child can understand as time passes.

Thanks Tao for sharing your story.

The big takeaway here:  Tell your child he or she is adopted; tell them early and normalize the adoption conversations in your home. It’s never too early to begin to tell your kids their adoption stories so they remember always knowing it, and they always feel comfortable talking about their story.

Be sure to visit Tao over at her blog, www.TheAdoptedOnes.com!

Celebrating Black History with Family

February is Black History Month in the United States, and this is a month when the hosts really go hard on raising awareness about the contributions of African-American and black Americans with their children. Whether it’s the ongoing emotional upheaval of national politics or ABM’s hectic travel schedules, the ladies confess that this year they have not pressed as much Black History Month content on their children. ABM and Mimi discuss how if families are talking about the contributions of diverse historical figures all the time, then the need to compensate during awareness months is less. Black history, as well as diversity contributions from all people of color, should be integrated into family life every day.

Mimi and ABM also take a poke at the president by wishing Frederick Douglass well, since apparently, he’s alive!

The third week of February is National Random Act of Kindness Week. The hosts discuss how observing this awareness week provides a nice opportunity to teach their children to be kind to each other. Mimi raised the point that being kind really isn’t random; it requires ongoing mindful intentionality. Mimi and ABM chatted about participating in the week and hoping their listeners will as well. Let’s start a wave of kind acts.

This year we wanted to share our thoughts on the societal impact of having cultural awareness months and holidays and how they can bring meaning to our families.

The Wind Down features ABM being a little giddy about Aretha Franklin following her on Twitter and reminiscing about their early podcasting days when they chuckled about Cissy Houston side-eyeing Aretha Franklin.

Mimi and ABM conclude the show with a big announcement: Add Water and Stir will be sunsetting at the end of February.  The archives will still be available as will the Facebook page and Twitter feed. The show is being retooled and rebranded. The ladies will be back and ready to rock in early June 2017!

Show Notes

THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 15

Will Kate and Toby’s long engagement work out? Can a married person go on tour with someone that has seen them naked? Is Jack’s lonely drink at O’Shannon’s his final one? Will Randall get an Emmy nod for dropping that “Glory” tear AT WORK? Do we like Kevin now – I mean, we kind of have to, right?  Once again, where the heck is Beth going?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 15:

Download


Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 14

Is Kevin a Facebook stalker? Does Kate slide into Duke’s DMs aka Cabin 13? Can Toby be any more annoying? Did Jack clean the bathroom before their special date? Is Randall going to have to choke a b**** at work a la Wayne Brady? Can Beth possibly be more awesome?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 14:

Download


Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

Advice for Reading Files for Older Children

Recently AdoptiveBlackMom received an email from a reader/listener who is a foster parent.  Sue* and her husband have been fostering for two years and did not originally have plans to adopt. The couple is now in the early stages of the adoption process with the hopes of parenting a teenager. 

As they navigate the adoption process and begin the search for a child to parent forever, Sue posed an important question to Mimi and ABM:  What advice would you give to someone who was reading files of teens in foster care in hopes of finding their child?

The ladies decided to reach out to an expert on older child adoption, Beverly Clarke, director of Project Wait No Longer at the Barker Adoption Foundation to answer Sue’s question. Beverly was featured in Add Water and Stir episode 44, The Truth about Preventing Adoption Disruption.

Below, Beverly shares some advice on reading files of teens in foster care and determining if you might have found a prospective match.

Beverly Clarke’s Advice for Hopeful Adoptive Parents of Teens

  1. Remember that kids are more than their files.  If anyone was to take every seemingly “bad” thing you had ever done and put it all into one document – minus the context of what was going on in your life at the time, very few of us would seem like “good” people.
  2. Be honest with yourself.  Try to think carefully about your skills, strengths, and weaknesses and be honest about your ability to meet the needs of the child you are considering.  Many people talk about kids as being difficult or “bad.” It is not about a “bad” child. It is about an ill-prepared or being a less than capable parent.  Many kids that seem hard to parent to one person prove to be the perfect son or daughter for someone else.
  3. Talk to current caregivers.  This is a big one.  If you have the opportunity, try to talk with the person that is currently taking care of the child to see what daily life with your child might look like. The day in and day out realities of living in the same home with a person can make all the difference in the world.  If you find a child endearing or charming, the most difficult behaviors can seem manageable. However, if a child’s daily habits are all of your trigger behaviors – even a relatively well-behaved child will feel unmanageable.  The caveat to this is that you need to filter all information received through your own lens.  Some caretakers may find certain behaviors to be a much bigger deal than you would.
  4. Look beyond the behaviors. Try your best to connect with the child’s history and their story.  Behaviors are often just symptoms of larger emotions that your child is learning to manage.  Holding on to that reality will help you to parent beyond the behaviors.  Being in tune with the grief, trauma and sorrow your child has experienced will make you a much more compassionate and forgiving parent.
  5. Assess your resources.  Support is the key to successful parenting.  When looking at the needs of a child, do a careful assessment of the resources you will need in order to make parenting as low-stress as possible.  Will they need therapy, tutoring, and child care?  Will you have to have a backup plan for school suspensions or summer care?  Whatever the needs, do a careful assessment of the support systems you will need and do a cost analysis of those needs to be sure that you are going to be able to access support services as needed to help your child have a successful transition.
  6. Be Realistic – Teenagers are teenagers.  If you are looking at teen profiles and don’t want to parent a child who is sometimes withdrawn, combative, verbally disagreeable, entitled, ungrateful, lies and has fights over rules and technology then chances are, this type of parenting is not for you.  Talk to your (honest) friends who are parenting teenagers.  They will tell you that (whether by adoption or through biology) parenting teenagers can be rewarding and wonderful in many ways but that there are some basic behavioral and parental struggles that just go with the territory.

We are grateful to both Sue* and Beverly for the question and the advice!

If you have questions for the ladies of Add Water and Stir, drop a note at feedback@awaspod.com or tweet to @AWASPod!

*Sue is a pseudonym.  

Parenting in the Age of Trump

The ladies had successfully avoided talking about politics after the 2016 US presidential episode, but on this episode, they sit down for a long chat about the Trump Effect and its relative impact on daily life for families of color and parents raising children of color. Mimi and ABM talk about the rise in hate crimes and share a bit about their own experiences these last few months.

The show centers around whether and how to talk to your children about President Trump. How to help your children deal with the negative narratives that have been spun about people of color and women during the last year. It’s important that parents provide strong, narratives that build children up and promote healthy identity development.

ABM and Mimi also talk about how changes in health care policy might impact foster and adopted children accessing private health insurance in addition to Medicaid. It’s clear the ladies have given some thought to these issues. They are concerned and sometimes, just plain scared. They mention how important self-care is during this time of high emotion.

The ladies wrap the episode by providing their list of ways parents can navigate this tumultuous season.


Show Notes

THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 13

Did Kevin fool you too by leaving both Sloane and Olivia in the dust? Why doesn’t Randall have any friends…is it ‘racial’? Were Jack and Rebecca wrong for letting Kevin keep all the kids at his party, leaving Kate to sob alone?  Where did William get the money for all these new clothes?  Is Duke a fat camp predator, preying on thick chicks in their most vulnerable state? Most importantly, where the heck was Beth going?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 12:

Download


Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 12

Who is the heck is Fireman Joe and why should we care? Did Rebecca really duct tape flip-flops to her feet?  Will Nancy’s elderly bed head hair entice Dr. K over for a Netflix and chill session?  Is the newborn baby Randall a “magical negro” or perhaps Moses in the Exodus story?   Did we really need this episode?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 12:

Download


Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.

THIS IS US: The Add Water and Stir Podcast Recap

‘This Is Us’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 11

Does Jack really sign papers for housing TWICE without his wife’s input? Is Olivia’s new blonde wig enough to convince Kevin to dump Sloane? Can Toby stop talking about sex for ONE minute? Is William’s boo Jesse going to be the next person to move in Randall’s house?

Listen to our thoughts on ‘This Is Us” Season 1, Episode 11:

Download


Mimi and ABM from the Add Water and Stir Podcast recap NBC’s hit series, “This Is Us” with added commentary about race, class, privilege,  adoption and a bit of humor.  Join the conversation on our Facebook page and check out our entire podcast catalog at addwaterandstirpodcast.com.