L I V E • PLAY • DO
Celebrate! THE GIFTS OF OPEN ADOPTION ADOPTION & SURROGACY RESOURCE GUIDE KIDS IN THE COMMUNITY: GIVING BACK HOLIDAY OUTINGS
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8 An Interview with Madison Wray and Haley Ward from ‘Ivy + Bean: The Musical’ 12 The Gifts Of Open Adoption 16 Resource Guide: Adoption & Surrogacy Support and Resources 18 Kids in the Community: Giving Back 22 Best of Portland and Beyond: Our Top Picks for Getting Out This Month 26 Found Around Town: Cooking Tools 27 Thanksgiving Book Reviews 28 Not Your Average Shower: Celebrating Adopted Babies 30 Craft Your Own Winter Wonderland
Cover and Contents Photography courtesy of POSY QUARTERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY photoposy.com
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According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word family is defined by eight classifications including bloodlines, social units and, of course—organized crime. Truth is, there are all kinds of families. Chosen, blended and step, birth and adoptive, surrogate, same sex parent, donor and single parent families; the landscape has definitely changed in the last 50 years. Not every dynamic is the same and we like that the modern American family looks different than it used to. So long Ward and June, today’s family is way more interesting! So, during this month of gratitude and giving thanks, we can all celebrate the diversity of our families. In this issue we focus on adoption and adoption and surrogacy resources. If you’ve ever been curious about what birth and adoptive family relationships can look like, don’t miss the feature on the gifts of adoption on p. 12. And this month is a great month for supporting community and demonstrating how it feels to help others. Check out some of the organizations providing volunteer opportunities on p. 18. Have you been anxiously awaiting “Ivy + Bean: The Musical”? Well, it’s here! Don’t miss our interview with “Ivy + Bean” actresses, Madison Wray and Haley Ward who light up the stage on page 8. And speaking of theater happenings, we always appreciate the holidays as an excuse for getting gussied up and stepping out on the town. November brings countless opportunities for experiencing the arts. From free music and storytelling programs at the library to $5 ballet tickets (see our top picks on p. 22), you can introduce the kids to the world of skill and imagination without breaking the bank. While we equally love experiencing the magic of the holidays in Portland, we cherish the holidays as a time to reconnect with family and friends at home. Over warm food and smiles, we give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Kelley & Beth NW Kids Magazine | 5
Listings Aadland Dental................................................23 Barre3................................................................. 7 Beanstalk............................................................ 9 Bella Stella.......................................................21 Bethany Christian Services..............................17 Black Wagon...................................................... 9 Cedarwood Waldorf School............................... 2 Clackamas Speech............................................. 9 Columbia Gorge Railroad.................................11 Cotton Babies...................................................21 Do Jump............................................................. 9 Dr. Pike Dentistry for Children............................ 7 Eco Maids........................................................... 9 GoodTime Chinese School...............................11 Imago Theatre..................................................23 Laurelwood........................................................ 2 Little Fruit Farm................................................11 Madison Furniture...........................................11 My MasterPiece Art Studio..............................13 North Portland Orthodontics...........................13 NW Surrogacy Center......................................17 Oregon Episcopal School.................................19 Oregon Hope Chinese School..........................29 Oregon Rail Heritage Center............................21 Peg Stilts..........................................................21 Portland Aquarium..........................................13 Portland Language Arts..................................13 Portland Spirit..................................................19 Portland Trampoline........................................15 Posy Quarterman.............................................13 Propagize.........................................................29 Soccer Shots.....................................................32 Spielwerk Toys.................................................... 2 Stacy Johnson..................................................17 SunGarden Montessori Children’s House........23 Sunriver Resort.................................................. 3 The Kids’ Backyard Store..................................15 The Vintage Pearl.............................................23 Thinker Toys......................................................29 WeVillage.........................................................23 Whole Foods Market........................................31 World of Smiles.................................................. 9
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magazine Publisher / Advertising Director Michelle Snell email@example.com Editorial Beth Friesenhahn firstname.lastname@example.org Kelley Schaefer-Levi email@example.com Account Manager Laurel Ackerman firstname.lastname@example.org Client Services Coordinator/ Client Ad Design Karel Chan email@example.com Design Robyn Barbon firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Inquiries: 503-282-2711, ext. 1 email@example.com Accounting & Business Services Heather Rex firstname.lastname@example.org Connect With Us: • Phone: 503.282.2711 • email: email@example.com • Facebook: facebook.com/nwkids • Twitter: @nwkids • Pinterest: pinterest.com/nwkids NW Kids is published monthly by Miche Media, LLC. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy; sometimes we make errors. Please let us know when we do and accept our apologies. Printed locally; Please recycle.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO
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An Interview with Madison Wray and Haley Ward from:
You may have seen Madison Wray and Haley Ward. They performed together in Oregon Children Theatre’s “Fancy Nancy” last season and individually have starred in several other productions. Both in their senior years of high school, these young thespians are currently co-starring in the highly anticipated “Ivy + Bean: The Musical,” where you can see them as the notorious, inseparable and mischievous best friends, Ivy and Bean. We had a chance to catch up with the actors about their experience in the theater thus far. Here’s what they had to say. How did you get involved in acting? MW: When I was young I was incredibly shy in public but in the privacy of my house I sang and danced non-stop. My mom enrolled me in theater camps hoping that might bring me out of my shell. It worked. I took several classes and then auditioned for my first play. I have been acting continuously since then. HW: I started singing and dancing from an early age. My first class, at age 7, was with, what is now, Abernethy Performing Arts with Keith Walls. I performed in a couple musical reviews. I played Molly in “Annie” and Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins”. By the time I was 11 I was cast as Peter in “Peter Pan” in a community theatre production and I knew this was for me! What do you love about acting and performing? HW: I love that I can be part of sharing other people’s stories through music, dialogue and dance. I love when I know I have connected to people in the audience. That I’ve given them something to think or feel about. I know when this happens because I get to see the reactions of the audience, face to face. There is nothing else like it.
MW: I love the tight bond that develops between the cast members in a production and I love interacting with an audience. Adopting and exploring a new persona on stage is always exciting. How do you develop a character? Or prepare for a role? MW: I try to research all of the different facets of the character and then apply my own experience to my work. I watch and observe people a lot. For example when preparing to play the role of Nancy in “Fancy Nancy” we had a dance party with a bunch of 7-year-olds. Do you ever get nervous? How do you feel when you perform? HW: YES! It’s necessary to be nervous. If I’m not nervous then I’m not serious. I use it. When I perform I feel what my character feels. Before and afterwards I feel anxious and exhausted. All great feelings! What is a good age to begin acting and taking classes? MW: I began when I was four but it’s never too early or late to start. continued on p. 10
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What actors do you admire? HW: Everyone I have worked with, on every show in Portland I’ve been in, to date. Seriously, they have all made me a better actor and performer. I like actors that can play a variety of roles. I really appreciate actors who have a broad range. They inspire me to do the same. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do? MW: I would tell them to let their heart and passion guide them and that they can be successful if that’s what they wish for. HW: Get involved, anyway you can. Do school shows, sing in church, tryout or even volunteer at your community theatre. Taking classes at places like Oregon Children’s Theatre is a great way to start or even accelerate your current involvement. If you love it and are willing to seek experience and always improve your skills, the rest will follow.
What is your favorite part you have played? MW: There are so many that I have really enjoyed, so it’s difficult to choose just one. Some of them include Jackie Bouvier in “Grey Gardens” at Portland Center Stage, Young Cosette in “Les Miserables” at Broadway Rose and Mildred in “Zombie in Love” at OCT. What is special about OCT? MW: OCT is special because, while it is an incredibly professional environment, it is also tremendously supportive. Even though we work very hard there is never a lack of fun. I always feel good when I am there. HW: The opportunity for young people to actually perform in a professional setting sets them apart. The staff at OCT is incredibly supportive and know how to cultivate young people to be their best. They are one of my home away from homes, I have here in Portland.
“Ivy + Bean: The Musical” runs from October 25th-November 23rd at the Newmark Theatre. Tickets start at $18. For more information, head to octc.org/onstage/ivybean
Photographs courtesy of OREGON CHILDREN’S THEATRE
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Photographs courtesy of MICHELE GRECO, CPC
THE GIFTS OF
OPEN ADOPTION by MICHELE GRECO, CPC
It wasn’t until after years of trying to conceive a child that we began to read about adoption options and learn about open adoption. It wasn’t until later that we begin to understand the gifts of open adoption. I remember thinking it seemed a little different that instead of being matched with a baby by an adoption agency, we would be chosen by expecting parents, who found themselves for one reason or another unable to raise and parent their child. Cognitively, we understood why this would be good, but inside we also felt vulnerable, especially after the distress of infertility. At the time we had no idea how life changing this would be for us. Silly really, because becoming a parent in general is life changing. For us becoming parents by way of open adoption became an invitation to grow in new, unforeseen ways. The adoption process felt a little like waiting to be chosen by the team captain during a middle school gym class, complete with internal turbulence. 12 | NW Kids Magazine
But the moment our daughter Carly Jo was born, everything shifted and we, and our new acquaintances called “birth family” shined out to meet each other. In the beginning we sort of meandered through each decision breathing and growing together as a family, this birth family and us, in an every day kind of way, almost without noticing the magic that was happening, almost. Then weeks and months passed to today, nine years later, when I can tell you that we are truly family, in every sense of the word. As in, airport runs, babysitting, adopted dogs from the same litter. We share holidays, help each other move and vacation together, along with our parents. Carly is always bragging about how lucky she is to have so many grandparents. Yes, this is what you might call a radically open adoption, or you could just call it family. continued on p. 14
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think about it, there are even ways to do much of this in an international or closed adoption. These kiddos win to be surrounded by so much love and openness; it allows them to freely love their whole complete selves. So, love, love, love! What is this 1967 all over again? Truth is, we need all this love to get past the loss and shame historically associated with adoption. I know this is a snap shot story, skipping over those moments of vulnerability that we each experienced as the days and years passed. And so it comes across pretty storybook, but honestly, it is. I also know from the coaching and mentoring I’ve done over the last 8 years, that there are many stories where this is not the case. But what seems to remain true is that children raised with openness in their family, regardless of how open it is, have the opportunity to know and own their whole story first hand. This is very empowering and to me seems like a basic human right. These kids have the opportunity to love, be loved, and to know they are loved, by everyone related to them. Who wouldn’t benefit from even more people loving and supporting them? By having Carly Jo and her best interests in common, both her birth family and we, her parents, are always inspired to show up as our best selves. Each and every time we get through our fears and stick our necks out in order to be open and loving, we grow our capacity to love. So, you might ask yourself, what does it look like to expand your capacity to love? I believe it is your heart at it’s most open, accompanied by being present in the moment and being non-judgmental. Together these equal freedom. In open adoption it means that with our most open hearts we are able to talk freely with our children about their origins and adoption, to love our child’s birth family with compassion and without judgment, to let our children freely love and be loved by their birth family, and to talk freely with others in our life and community about our adoption. If you 14 | NW Kids Magazine
With infertility there is, of course, also loss. The loss of the ability to give birth to a child of your family of origin is an experience that makes couples feel very hurt, even broken. It is however, also this exact experience that connects us to our child’s birth parents. You see, both the family that cannot grow a child to parent and the family that grows a child they cannot parent, have experienced loss. This is our connection. It is through this common theme of loss, that we complete each other. It is with these thoughts and the ideas of openness and non-judgment that we are able to meet each other where we are. And now a further word about shame. Shame is something we all have the opportunity to feel, especially in the world of infertility and adoption. So yet another shared experience. Shame is the worst. We shame ourselves when we feel we have done something that makes us unlovable. So, we punish ourselves, for simply wanting to be loved? In open adoption, because everyone has been allowed to love everyone, we are all whole and free. When we align with the abundance of love, instead of loss, blame, guilt and disconnect, we blossom, turning our shame and grief into pride and joy. Another gift of open adoption and perhaps the greatest gift of all, because as we overcome our fears and embrace openness, we are teaching ourselves and the world a new way to be. Michele Greco is the Director of the Portland Coaching Collective and a Certified Professional Coach, specializing in adoption and in helping her clients craft a life of intention. michelegreco.com, portlandcoachingcollective.com
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ADOPTION & SURROGACY SUPPORT AND RESOURCES
ADOPTION COUNSELING SERVICES adoptioncounselingservices.com ADOPTION MOSAIC adoptionmosaic.org ADOPTIVE FAMILIES MAGAZINE adoptivefamilies.com BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES bethany.org/portland BOYS & GIRLS AID boysandgirlsaid.org CATHOLIC CHARITIES catholiccharitiesoregon.org CHOSEN INTERNATIONAL choseninternational.org DOVE ADOPTION INTERNATIONAL adoptions.net FAMILIES WITH RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN ADOPTIONS (FRUA) frua-oregon.org FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN FROM CHINA (FCC) fcc-nw.memberlodge.com FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN FROM VIETNAM fcvn.org
MOTHERS WHO ADOPT AS SINGLE PARENTS Contact Cindy at 503-929-8450 or firstname.lastname@example.org NORTHWEST ADOPTION SUPPORT northwestadoptionsupport.com NORTHWEST SURROGACY CENTER nwsurrogacycenter.com OHSU ADOPTION HEALTH SERVICES ohsu.edu/adoption OPEN ADOPTION AND FAMILY SERVICES openadopt.org OREGON ADOPTION oregonadoption.com OREGON FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN FROM GUATEMALA Email: email@example.com for more information. OREGON POST ADOPTION RESOURCE CENTER (ORPARC) orparc.org NORTHWEST ADOPTIVE FAMILIES nafaonline.org
FUTURE FAMILIES NW futurefamiliesnw.com
NORTHWEST ICHILD (INDIA CHILD) nwichild.org
HOLT INTERNATIONAL holtinternational.org
SW WASHINGTON ADOPTION SUPPORT Contact Darlene Wilson 360-256-8795
JOURNEYS OF THE HEART journeysoftheheart.net KINSHIP HOUSE kinshiphouse.org 16 | NW Kids Magazine
KOREAN FOCUS NW nkcs.org
TREE OF LIFE ADOPTION CENTER toladopt.org
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Photograph courtesy of CHIJO TAKEDA & FRIENDS OF TREES
Kids in the Community:
Giving Back by KELLEY GARDINER
‘Tis better to give than to receive, or so we tell our kids. But as parents, we know that practicing what we preach will instill a lesson that sticks with little hearts and minds for a lifetime. Serving others not only teaches practical life skills and develops empathy, but it can also be a whole lot of fun. Give your kids the chance to help, and they’ll see that calling it the “Season of Giving” isn’t just lip service. These organizations are more than happy to welcome your family for one day or on an ongoing basis. Many will require signed waivers for children under 18, even when accompanied by a parent. Others have specific age requirements or need RSVPs. Check ahead, and make plans today! HANDS ON GREATER PORTLAND Hands on Greater Portland is ready and waiting to connect your family to an array of volunteer opportunities. Each entry lists an appropriate minimum age, and activities marked “Good for Kids” are designed to be safe and fun for kiddos to do with adults. Even toddlers can get into the action, as 1-year-olds can create a love letter for a senior. Kids four and up can make care
packages or sort supplies with help from their parents. Check out the “Volunteer With Your Kids” page on their website for more ideas on how to volunteer with your family and make a difference in our community. handsonportland.org
OREGON FOOD BANK The holidays are a time when many of us celebrate or show love with food. While we’re thinking about eating a second slice of pie, or worrying about how to fit all the leftovers in the fridge, too many local families are struggling to keeping everyone fed. Kids six and older can help re-package food for distribution at the Oregon Food Bank’s facilities in Beaverton and Northeast Portland. Your little (and not-so-little) ones will learn about food systems, waste, and helping others at the same time. Some of the food re-packing is kept cold to preserve the goods. Wear clothes that will keep you warm as you move around in 50-degree temperatures. Maybe you’ll get the added benefit of exercise, not to mention fun. oregonfoodbank.org continued on p. 20
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FRIENDS OF TREES Get a lesson in ecology and make the air cleaner for your community by helping to plant trees in a neighborhood or park. Friends of Trees will bring breakfast snacks, coffee for you, and hot chocolate for the kids. Tools and gloves are also provided, so all you need to bring is appropriate weather gear, “sturdy shoes” and a good attitude. Friends of Trees doesn’t just plant seedlings. They also help keep established trees healthy by organizing regular “ivy pulls” to remove invasive English ivy from local parks and trails. Looking for a unique gift or a way to memorialize a loved one? Donate a gift tree. All gift trees are planted in the Collins Sanctuary in Forest Park. You’re welcome to plant it yourself, or Friends of Trees will do the dirty work on your behalf. friendsoftrees.org
BLANCHET HOUSE Serving food to others can show your kids that not everyone has the same privileges that they do. Teach them early the joy that can come from serving others and treating everyone with dignity. Kids eight years and older can help plate the food at Blanchet House, serve to guests, bus tables, or keep beverages filled. Make it a regular date, or just volunteer one time. All volunteers are welcome to stay and eat after the meal service. The Blanchet House has a large pool of volunteers, so reserve your desired date early. Shifts are available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Monday through Saturday. blanchethouse.org
CHILDREN’S BOOK BANK Books really are the gift that keeps on giving. Children who are exposed to books at a young age not only read those beloved stories over and over, but studies show that early reading can spur brain development such as language skills, logical thinking, and concentration. The Children’s Book 20 | NW Kids Magazine
Photograph courtesy of THE CHILDREN’S BOOK BANK
Bank thinks every child deserves to be surrounded by books, regardless of financial means, so they collect used books, clean them up, and re-distribute to children and families in need, with the help of volunteers, of course. Kids as young as 4-years-old can join a family volunteer night, “sprucing up” donated titles by wiping off dust and grime left by previous sticky fingers. Older kids can learn organizational skills by leading a book drive, or your little tailors can make and donate tote bags. Check their website for instructions. childrensbookbank.org
Looking for a different project for your kids to tackle during the holidays? üü Set up a clothing, coat, or food drive üü Visit a nursing home or assisted living center üü Pick up litter in your local park (with gloves and supervised, please) üü Donate old toys üü Make cards for military members serving overseas
Kelley Gardiner is a Portland native, a freelance writer and blogger, and the mother of one sweet toddler. To see what she’s up to, visit kelleygardiner.com.
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Best of Portland and beyond OUR TOP PICKS FOR GETTING OUT THIS MONTH
NOVEMBER Wednesdays in November CRAFTERNOON AT POA CAFE
Every Wednesday from 4-6pm enjoy Happy Hour at Poa Cafe while your kiddos craft it up! The cost of class is $3-10 depending on the project, supplies and guest teacher. The fee also includes a yummy snack and drink for the li’l artiste. poacafe.com
Thursdays in November RED YARN KIDS SHOW
Pizza + Red Yarn = FUN! Join Red Yarn and friends Thursday evenings from 5-6pm at Mississippi Pizza (no show 11/27). $5-10 suggested donation. redyarnproductions.com, mississippipizza.com
Beginning November 8 ALL ABOARD! SANTA TRAINS
There’s nothing quite like putting on your jammies and heading out for a magical round-trip journey to the North Pole. If you can’t make this year’s Mt. Hood Polar Express, you can ride ORHF’s vintage steam-powered train right here in town with Santa on The Holiday Express. Tickets go fast, so book soon! mthoodrr.com, orhf.org
Please confirm calendar events and performances as scheduling changes may occur. 22 | NW Kids Magazine
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NOV 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30 COLUMBIA GORGE MODEL RAILROAD SHOW
NOV 11, 13, 15 & 22 AMERICAN INDIAN STORYTELLING AND DRUMMING
Enjoy traditional stories, songs and drumming of the Kalapuya people of the Willamette Valley. This event is free at Multnomah County Library branch locations. Please check library website for more details. multcolib.org/events/americanindian-storytelling-anddrumming
Portland is home to one of the largest model railroad clubs in the west. For over 30 years, the CGMRS has been putting on this highly detailed, family friendly show case that has quickly become an annual November tradition. Train enthusiasts young and old will have fun recognizing miniature versions of local landmarks. 10am-5pm, $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-11. cgmrc.com
NOV 14, 15-16, 22-23 “ALICE IN WONDERLAND”
See all your favorite characters come to life as magical puppets in award winning Tears of Joy Theatre’s first play of the season. Best suited for ages 4 and up, this original adaptation by Lewis Carroll is sure to delight the whole family. For ticket and show information visit the TOJT website. tojt.org
NOV 27 TURKEY TROT AT THE ZOO
Get ready for Thanksgiving dinner and help out a good cause with a 4-mile fun run or walk through Washington Park ending inside the Oregon Zoo. Even the youngest of tots are encouraged to participate with a 1/2 mile Tot Trot for kids age 11 and under. Check prices and register with Oregon Road Runners Club at orrc.net. oregonzoo.org/events/turkey-trot
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NOV 28 MACY’S HOLIDAY PARADE
Bring some holiday cheer and join in the excitement of Macy’s Holiday Parade. Starting at 9am and only lasting one hour, this short downtown parade is one of our favorites. With nearly 650 costumed characters, 25 inflatable floats and Santa on parade, there is not enough time for a melt down. macys.com
NOV 28, 29 & 30 THE PORTLAND BALLET
This year kick off your holiday season with a beautiful performance by The Portland Ballet as they present John Clifford’s “Tales from Mother Goose & The Enchanted Toyshop” accompanied by the PSU Orchestra. The fun begins Friday, November 28th at 1pm with a special 5-Dollar-First-Show price, followed by the opening night show at 5pm. There will be 1pm and 5pm performances on Saturday and Sunday, November 29th and 30th as well. Tickets range from $5-$35. Don’t miss this Portland holiday tradition for the whole family! theportlandballet.org
NOV 28 BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
We love the holidays and the holidays at Skamania Lodge are truly one of a kind. Spend the morning having breakfast with good ole Saint Nick. Kids can share their wish list with Santa, while family members watch with glee. $12 for children and $18 for adults, 9-11am. skamania.com
Remember to check the NW Kids online calendar for dozens more outings and activities each day. Share with friends, subscribe to the RSS, add directly to your calendar, and more features. There’s something going on you don’t want to miss!! nwkidsmagazine.com/events/month NW Kids Magazine | 25
Gourmet Pita Pocket Lunch Set by Hape at Blackwagon, $15 blackwagon.com
Handmade Soft and Hardwood Kitchens at Spielwerk Toys, $169-269 spielwerktoys.com
Rise N Shine Coffee Maker by Hape at Thinker Toys, $25 thinkertoysoregon.com Super Cooking Set by Alex at Kids at Heart Toys, $30 kidsathearttoys.com
Stir Fry Slicing Play Set by Melissa and Doug at The Learning Palace, $12 learningpalace.com Matryoshkas Measuring Cups by Fred at New Seasons Market, $15 newseasonsmarket.com “Pretend Soup And Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up” by Mollie Katzen at Powell’s, $11 powells.com
Fox Tea Party Set at Spielwerk Toys, $55 spielwerktoys.com
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Gingerbread Bake Set at Grasshopper, $25 grasshopperstore.com
Thanksgiving Book Reviews BY CATHERINE WIESE OF GREEN BEAN BOOKS “THE GREAT THANKSGIVING ESCAPE” by Mark Fearing (Hardcover $15.99) (ages 5-8) Think local this Thanksgiving with Portland’s own outstanding author and illustrator Mark Fearing. Cousins Gavin and Rhonda dread the Thanksgiving dinner doldrums, until they realize they can make their OWN fun with just a little imagination. With expressive digitally-manipulated colored-pencil illustrations, Mark Fearing offers a kid’s eye caricature of Thanksgiving, lightly poking fun of family traditions. Whether it’s the hallway of aunts who smother you in gross kisses, or the teenagers who seem more like zombies from the glow of the television, you’ll enjoy every morsel of this deliciously hilarious book! “GOBBLE, GOBBLE, TUCKER!” by Leslie McGuirk (Board Book $7.99) (ages 2-5) If a dog had to pick a favorite holiday, don’t you think it would be Thanksgiving? With all the delicious and yummy smells, Tucker knows exactly when it’s Thanksgiving. A dog could never forget the savory, wonderful smell of turkey. But after a day of rolling around with his cousins, Tucker still hasn’t had a bite to eat yet. Will Tucker be able to enjoy his favorite holiday at the dinner table? This Thanksgiving tale will surely get your tail wagging!
“GIVE AND TAKE” by Chris Raschka (Hardcover $17.99) (ages 5-10) In a time where we give thanks and take stock of what is important, “Give and Take” is the perfect book for this holiday season. Told in the style of folklore with thick brush stroke illustrations, Chris Raschka demonstrates the importance of balance between giving and taking. Cozy up with this tale of apple picking, pumpkin brewing, and a sweet ending with some pie! “THANKSGIVING FOR EMILY ANN” by Teresa Johnston (Paperback $6.99) (ages 3-6) Emily isn’t feeling very thankful this year. How could she while feeling a little lonely and sad? Just when she’s about to put a naughty plan together, her family helps her realize what Thanksgiving is all about. Perhaps Emily isn’t so lonely after all. A sweet story about family, friends, and a holiday to celebrate togetherness. “Thanksgiving for Emily Ann” is a treat for the whole family!
1600 NE Alberta Street 503-954-2354 greenbeanbookspdx.com
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NOT YOUR AVERAGE SHOWER: CELEBRATING ADOPTED BABIES Article and photographs by KELLEY SCHAEFER-LEVI
When my husband and I were in the middle of adoption planning, we knew we wanted to have a celebration of some kind to commemorate the road to parenthood and the birth of our first child. We also wanted to experience some of the baby preparation process during our wait to become parents, so we registered at the usual baby stores, had our daughter’s car seat installed, attended baby care classes and asked our friends and families for help with hosting a shower.
a bio kid. We were advised to be cautious and while we did prepare our daughter’s room in advance, we didn’t go too far over the top. We were given a crib that we set up, stocked a changing table, and readied some other basics without emotionally attaching too much. We took the risk and I’m glad we did because ultimately, interruption or not, adoption allows parents in waiting (at least in my experience) to open up to any possibility, some easy and some hard.
There are so many types of adoption and adoption stories out there. Some couples are able to plan ahead for the birth of their child, and some couples don’t have time before placement occurs. Some families adopt toddlers and older children where a baby shower may not be necessary. Others may choose to wait to begin planning and celebrating until the day their child comes home. In our case of private, open adoption, our daughter’s birthmother chose us early on in her pregnancy, so we had ample time to prepare.
By the time shower planning began, we knew we were having a girl and had chosen a name for our daughter with the help of her birthmother. Everything we requested and bought was pretty gender neutral, and that would have been the case if we weren’t adopting. The shower was a family friendly event where guests could stop by to merely wish us well. We ate lots of food, had a few drinks, played a game or two and formally said goodbye to our lives as a married people with a dog. More than anything, our shower was a means to celebrate the birth of our child who we had not yet met, and to mark the importance of the hundreds of diaper changes that lie ahead.
There are two camps, it seems, when it comes to celebrating, mentally preparing, and readying your home and the adopted child’s room beforehand. Some say, don’t do it pending an interruption in placement. And some say, prepare as if you are welcoming 28 | NW Kids Magazine
There are many ways to create a beautiful shower or homecoming celebration for an adopted child. One way is to create a book
for the unborn baby. If the adoption is of an infant and there is time to prepare, have guests write a note to the child with a wish attached. We still have our guest book and our daughter asks us to read it to her from time to time. My husband and I also wrote letters in the book about our hopes and dreams for her before she was born. Again, this was a risk, but Iâ€™m glad we went for it. Those who choose to have a shower before the baby is born for mama only, can do many of the same things you would do at a non-adoptive baby shower, save for measuring bellies. Adoptive mamas, depending on their sensitivity to the subject, may not want to focus on the aspects of birth as much as the celebration of life and parenting. However, mamahood, adoptive and not is still challenging for first-timers, and showers and preparation can help ease the transition into the world of babies. Honoring the passage to motherhood is equally important to adoptive moms. If you choose to celebrate in advance, keep it real. Adoptive baby showers should reflect who you are and the gravity of the situation. There is the possibility that an interruption in adoption planning may occur and because of this, being honest from the get go is ideal. My advice would be to choose carefully whom you ask to help you plan. Those involved need to keep the details from becoming too specific and really focus on commemorating the monumental event of parenthood and starting a family, and less about the heaviness or difficulty that potentially lies ahead. And finally, a quick note on gifts for the adopted child. We received so many beautiful gifts for our unborn daughter, some very useful and practical and others adorable or meaningful. Guests should be informed of the age of the child being placed with the adoptive family on the invitation, so they can take it into consideration when buying a gift. Most importantly, when planning your celebrationâ€”have fun! Your babyâ€™s on their way, and you will be sleep deprived and parenting soon. NW Kids Magazine | 29
Craft Your Own Winter Wonderland
Regardless of the weather outside your window, inside it is cozy, and warm, and perfect for creating a winter wonderland. Snowmen, penguins, polar bears – who else enjoys cold weather? You can make them all by using items you have right around the house. And the best part is, these friends won’t melt!
Supplies: Small boxes, cans, laundry detergent lids Cotton balls Construction paper
Stack the cans and boxes to create the bodies of your winter friends. Fit them together into the shapes you like best. Remember: You’re going to be covering these shapes with all kinds of decorations, so all you need is the basic shape outline.
lue all your friends’ body parts G together with the glue gun.
Start covering your bodies with cotton balls, paper, fabric, and other items to make the base coat. Remember: You don’t have to make your friends their traditional colors. A purple penguin or blue polar bear works just as well!
Ribbon Scissors Glue guns & sticks Embellishments!
Use household items and craft supplies to embellish your friends. You can make noses, eyes, ears, flippers, arms, legs, scarves, hats, necklaces, clothes, and anything else you can think of. We’ve used: • Ribbon • Pompoms • Googly eyes • Game pieces
• Sticks • Bottle tops • Buttons
Set up a winter scene, maybe in a window, or on a shelf, or in a box. Enjoy playing with your winter friends!
The Craft Factory is a drop-in craft studio and birthday party event space located in the heart of Multnomah Village in SW Portland, Oregon. We also host private parties, school workshops, and provide arts education. Visit us online at craftfactorypdx.com or call us at 503.577.4310 to book your party today! 30 | NW Kids Magazine
NW Kids Magazine | 31
32 | NW Kids Magazine
THE GIFTS OF OPEN ADOPTION, ADOPTION & SURROGACY RESOURCE GUIDE, KIDS IN THE COMMUNITY: GIVING BACK, HOLIDAY OUTINGS