Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Meet My Family!

Happy Poetry Friday!

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Please enjoy lots more Poetry Friday with Michelle Heiderich Barnes at her blog, 
Today's Little Ditty. She has an amazing playground of poetry for all ages. I love every visit with her there.

I am pleased and honored to be part of a blog tour of Laura Purdie Salas' newest book, Meet My Family (Lerner 2018). This book is a whimsical, loving and current peek at all kinds of families in our world through the eyes of animal babies.




Meet My Family has a place in the heart of my immediate family. Each of the six of us, Me-mom, My husband-Dad and our four kids were born in a different place to different biological parents. 

How can that be you ask?




The miracle of adoption.  When my husband and I decided to grow our family by adoption we not only fell in love with our children as they came to us but also celebrations unique to our family.

One favorite is celebrating GOTCHA DAY--which is the anniversary of the day we adopted each of three of our children we were in various locations of China. To this day, we celebrate with a meal of Chinese food. Sometimes, it's at fancy Chalin's in downtown DC. Other times, when our schedules are full, it's take-out around our kitchen table. The important thing is being together.

Our kids love retellings of when we met and details about how we learned to be family. One child would not allow me, her mother, to hold her for three days....another giggled like a little old man and another came to us running and hasn't stopped.

Even though one of our children has ventured off to college, we still celebrate GOTCHA DAY. It's a special thread in our family....in fact, you might even call it "the red thread" .




Laura Salas has a family tradition to share as well...take it away, Laura!


My Favorite Family Tradition - Advent Celebrations

When I was a kid, my parents put more stock in rules than in traditions. But we did have a couple. The one I remember most is our advent gatherings.

Each Sunday night for four weeks before Christmas, my parents and all four of us girls would gather in the living room. Mom or Dad light the advent wreath. My sisters had helped my dad make it, and it featured a gold spray painted plywood base, plastic holly and poinsettias, and plenty of glitter. We thought it was extremely fancy! Mom would light the proper number of candles, and one of us girls would pass out that week’s “program”—scrawled after forcing everyone to commit to a particular song or story. If it was cold enough (this was in Florida), Dad would light a fire, and we’d drink hot chocolate. 

Then came the music. Someone would play an instrument, and the rest of us would crowd around to read the lyrics (who knows more than the first verse of any carol by heart?). Mom played the piano…I can still hear “Friendly Beasts.” Dad usually played saxophone. We girls would bang out tunes on the organ, piano, clarinet, recorder, piccolo…. For an hour, our faces glowed in the candlelight and twinkling tree lights, and our voices warbled, shook, and soared. Giggles and shushes occasionally broke the mood. And at the end of the hour, we bickered over who got to snuff the candles. Then, before the smoke finished wisping away, we drifted off to do our own things and the slightly mysterious together time would be over.

I don’t have any pictures of our advent celebrations, but here are my sisters and I in the living room (I’m the smallest), with the piano right behind us. As I look at this photo, the notes of Friendly Beast are starting to chime in my head. 



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Thank you for visiting A Word Edgewise today, Laura. It's been really nice letting our families get to know each other here.  We'd love to get to know your family too! Share a family tradition that makes your family unique.

32 comments:

  1. I love your Chinese food tradition and that photo of your beautiful family--thank you for sharing, Linda, and for hosting this stop on the blog tour!

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  2. I love learning more about Linda's and Laura's family traditions. We celebrated Advent and had the sibling fights over who could snuff the candles. My mother plays piano, but I don't remember singing carols until Christmas Eve. Thanks for sharing and connecting.

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    1. Haha--I love that little connection between us, Margaret:>)

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  3. I was so touched by your beautiful post. I love the idea of Gotcha Day. What a wonderful tradition and beautiful family.

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    1. Isn't it? And I just love the love that pours out of Linda's story...

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  4. It is a beautiful thing to make a family, and in many different ways, I agree. There are five adopted children in my and my brother's family, children (now grown) we feel blessed to have. I love hearing about Laura's Advent celebrations, too. Family love comes in different ways, all special! Thanks, Linda, happy to see the pictures too!

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  5. What a wonderful post. Enjoyed hearing about your and Laura's family traditions. Beautiful photo of your famiy, too, Linda. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Jama. Your posts about your mom and family have always been magical, so I'm happy you enjoyed this:>)

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  6. This post is all kinds of wonderful, Linda! Thank you for sharing GOTCHA DAY and the Legend of the Red Thread—I loved reading about both. And then Laura's memories came like so many warm fuzzies, to push me over the sentimental edge! Thank you. :)

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  7. What a wonderful post, Linda. I love Gotcha Day. It needs to be shared in a picture book! And then Laura's memories of song, a great compliment. I am excited to see this book.

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    1. Thanks, Brenda. Writing this tradition for Linda's post gave me a great opportunity to talk to my dad and sisters about it, so it rippled outward...

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  8. What a wonderful family tradition! I remember when we welcomed my little cousin into the family from China - he completed us!

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  9. Thank-you both of you, for sharing your traditions. Gotcha day sounds fabulous (Chinese food - how could it not?!) and I love the thought of the red thread.

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    1. That red thread idea is comforting, isn't it?

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  10. Nice family stories! I like the Legend of the Red Thread. I imagine there is a red thread connecting me to you all :-)

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    1. Oh, Tabatha--that is a beautiful thought!

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  11. Gotcha day, Red Thread, Advent festivities and a special book...so much to love here!

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  12. How fun to get this special peek into your family traditions and those of LPS!! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee--it was fun to share!

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  13. I always like it when family backgrounds are shared, Linda. Thank you to you and Laura for sharing those stories with us. Gotcha Day sounds like a great day to bond with loved ones and the Legend of the Red Thread is probably now of piece of family history. My family celebrated Advent too but the days that meant so much beside Christmas during the holidays were St. Nicholas Day and Little Christmas on Jan. 6th.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Carol--I have never heard it called "Little Christmas" before! Learned something new:>)

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  14. What a very special post to celebrate Laura's new book, which I can't wait to see for myself! Linda, so much love shines through your descriptions of your beautiful family. That red thread legend is the perfect image. I love Laura's advent memories, too - and that picture with those sweet robes and slippers! Thanks to both of you for sharing, and Congrats again, Laura! :0)

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    1. My wonderful Grandma Foshee knitted those slippers for us--and I think sewed the nightgowns. I'll have to ask my sisters. I have hardly any pix of me and my sisters,and I love this one:>) Thanks, Robyn!

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  15. Thank you, Linda and Laura, for sharing your special family traditions. Gotcha day sounds like so much fun, and I love the myth of the red thread. We didn't have an advent wreath, but we always had an advent calendar and sang Christmas songs along with my mother's favorite Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra Christmas albums. Congratulations on this wonderful book, Laura!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine--and hugs on the stress/deadlines lately!

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  16. I love the tradition of the red thread tied around ankles of those destined to meet, how mystical, thanks for sharing this Linda and introducing us to your lovely family. I enjoyed hearing about your families advent traditions to Laura.

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  17. Laura, this cozy slippers & robe picture must be in your *Florida* room! (People sometimes think it's strange that we have a fireplace in Florida...) It's sweet to know these nourishing rituals that included whole family music. I've always been a singer, but the rest of us, not so much. And Linda, I am wide-eyed with a zinging feeling from learning about GOTCHA day - could spark a picture book from you. My heart melts with this photo, having become friends at the Highlights workshop & then since, learning little beads & baubles about your family, but now I have a more rounded picture. Wow. So many 1,000- watt smiles. Thanks for brining Laura & her new book here to us. I am eager to become one of the family of readers who page through the families in MEET MY FAMILY.

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Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!