I just got a card from Ronaldo, the 10 year old boy I sponsor in Peru.  I always love hearing from him, but even better is when I receive a new picture.  Below is the latest, in which he is showing off some of the gifts I have sent him over the past few months.  What a handsome boy!

We’ve also been talking a lot recently about fruits and vegetables.  World Vision has been doing some family nutrition seminars in Peru that he has told me about, so I have written to him about my own backyard vegetable garden.  We both agree that carrots and apples are the best tasting, and he made me a fruit basket card:

Because packages can take a long time to get to Ronaldo, I have to start thinking about Christmas gifts now.  Any ideas of what I could fit in a 6 x 9 envelope for a 10 year old who loves soccer and math?

Recently, one of my best friends lent me a book from their collection—Dan Savage’s memoir The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant.  Savage is a really sharp and pithy writer, and the story of getting to meet his son D.J. through an open adoption is a fast and fun read.

Though the narrative follows a homosexual couple on their journey to adopt a child domestically, much of it still really resonated with me as a fellow adoptive parent (to be).  Though we are a heterosexual couple adoption internationally, we do have one big thing in common: we aren’t the “typical” adoptive couple.  In our case, because adoption is our first choice and not the result of infertility, our story is a little different from most of our peers and we sometimes feel like the weirdos of the adoption agency.  This is especially true when we take classes that have sections about encouraging us to grieve our infertility.  Obviously this is important to do if it’s relevant to your story, but since it’s not part of ours it ends up feeling rather awkward.  It was nice to have a reminder that we adoptive parent-types come from all over the place, and we aren’t as alone or as weird as we sometimes can feel.

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Recommended if you like your adoption stories quick and dirty and zingy, and especially if you’re a fellow weirdo like we are.

This past weekend, I headed to Annapolis to see a movie with some friends.  Afterwards, I decided to swing by the mall to get my free monthly Godiva truffle and scout around for good sales.  En route to get my precious chocolate, I spotted a brand new store that was selling alpaca products made in Peru.  Because, of course.

I picked out this sweet little teddy bear for the kids’ room, and I can’t stop petting him.  I’m pretty sure his fur is made of clouds.  Or kitten fluff.  Or the love child of a cloud and a kitten.  What I’m trying to say is this thing is so soft it’s unreal.  Alpacas are kind of magical.

Asker whyminawhy Asks:
HI, I just found your blog in the peru tag, you're gonna be great parents. Hope everything goes ok with your adoption. I like how are you interested in my country, do you know from what part of peru is your baby gonna be?.. Greetings from Lima. :)
bringinghomebebe bringinghomebebe Said:

Hi, thank you so much for writing!  I can’t wait to travel to Peru, but I don’t yet know where our children will be from.  I know that we will have to go to Lima to finalize the adoption, so we will get to spend some time in your city.  What is your favorite thing to do there?

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Hi! I read that you were sponsoring a child through world vision. I was wondering what postal service do you use to send packages? I want to send my child sponsor a care package but I'm not sure which service to use. Some people told me that USPS was a little risky and that I should use DHL since its used all over the world.
bringinghomebebe bringinghomebebe Said:

Hi there!  So far, I have had pretty good postage rates using USPS to send packages to Ronaldo.  Since World Vision’s rules say that you can only send packages that fit in a 6 x 9 inch envelope, I’ve been able to squeeze items into flat rate shipping envelopes without any problem.  As far as I can tell, he has received everything I’ve sent so far.  Hope that helps, and thanks for sponsoring a child!

This weekend, we had my parents over for dinner and tried cooking a Peruvian recipe from our newest cookbook, Ceviche.  To go with the chicken and veggies I was roasting, I made quinotto, which is basically risotto made with quinoa.

I learned how to make risotto when I was visiting friends in Italy last year, so adapting to this variation wasn’t too hard.  Unlike risotto, which starts with uncooked rice, the quinoa had to be cooked ahead of time and then sauteed in a skillet with onion, garlic, white wine, half and half, nutmeg, and shredded parmesan cheese.

The end result was thicker than a traditional risotto, but very mild and tasty.  I would definitely make it again, particularly since I know quinoa is supposed to be a very healthy grain to eat.

Dear kiddos,

Nine years ago today, your daddy and I started dating.  From the very beginning, we knew we were in it for the long haul, and you were always part of our conversations.  I told him I had always wanted to adopt.  He told me that he had always wanted to be a dad.

For nine years, you have been in the undercurrent of everything we have done, the idea of you tickling just below the surface.  We live where we live because the schools are good and we like having nature parks just a few miles away.  We also live where we live because it’ isn’t very far from two major cities, where we hope to take you often to explore museums and restaurants and other cultures.  We bought our house because we thought it would be a great place to grow up in.  We traveled together and figured out our favorite places to return to once you were in our family.  We adopted our dogs because kids really ought to grow up with pets.  We bought our SUV because it had plenty of room for car seats and sports gear and whatever other paraphernalia your hobbies might require.

We may just be into the second year of trying to bring you kids home, but it’s been years in the making.  Almost a decade, in fact.  Hopefully, by the time ten years rolls around, our family will have doubled in size.

We love you around the world and back,

Mama and Daddy

Molly Goes to Peru is part of the Molly and the Magic Suitcase series, in which Molly and her brother Michael have the ability to travel to different parts of the world and explore other cultures.

In this installment, Molly is off to Peru to tour Lima, Machu Picchu, the floating islands of Uros, and more.  With help from their new friend Cayetana, the kids get to try new foods, see some wonderful sites, and meet people who help them understand a little bit more about Peru.

The story is really cute and the artwork is enjoyable, so it’s going into our collection of children’s books about Peru.  I think it might also be a fun way to introduce our niece and nephew to the country so they can start to learn a little more about where their cousins come from. 

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Lately, we’ve been trying to eat and cook more Peruvian food, and here is the collection of books we have collected so far to help us along our way:

  • The Everything Peruvian Cookbook, by Morena Cuadra & Morena Escardo
  • The Exotic Kitchens of Peru, by Copeland Marks
  • Ceviche, by Martin Morales
  • Eat Smart in Peru, by Joan Peterson & Brook Soltvedt

What others should we add to our shelf?

Transracial parenting is not easy. There will be struggles and there will be triumphs. Do the best you can with the resources you have available to you, and never lose sight of your goal of raising me with racial and cultural pride. Every effort you make to honor my racial and cultural identity will make a difference in my life, and you will be surprised with how much you will learn about yourself and others along the way!