He, She, They, We!

This is who my kid is (he). This is who I am (she). This is who our community is (they). We are all family (we)!

May 30, 2013 11:05 am

A couple of years ago, I was blessed with the chance to get a portrait tattoo of my son by the amazingly talented Kat Von D on her show LA INK.  It’s been a couple of years and K asks about it all the time.  This is him seeing himself and me on TV for the first time.  *Yeah, I re-watch the episode a LOT!

January 26, 2013 7:00 am

LA Ink “sighting”

Got this message from a fellow adoptive mom who I met 3 years ago at an orphanage reunion!  Blesses me to get messages like this!

Hi C,

You probably don’t remember me, but I met you at the Toukoul reunion in Portland in 2010 during the hair care class. I had just received our referral. Anyway… I’m watching reruns of one of my favorite shows, LA Ink, on Netflix and up walks this woman to the door. I immediately think, “That woman looks so familiar. Who is that woman? How do I know her?” Next thing I see is a beautiful picture of an adorable little Ethiopian.  Ah ha! It took me 1/2 second to realize where I had seen your face. So fun!

And beautiful tattoo!!!

Have a blessed day.

September 24, 2011 5:05 am

Bakers Dozen

Well, within 9 days I have been recognized 13 times on this island.  I wasn’t going to count when the first few happened.  I actually don’t expect people to remember my story from my 4 minutes of fame (if you can call it that) on LA INK, honestly.  Yet, the reason I started counting was because people haven’t just been coming up to me to ask me if I was on the show, but have been sharing with me how inspiring my story was—and that is what has blessed me the most.  That is the reason I really wanted to do the show!  Well, and I knew I’d get an amazing tattoo too!

I got to talk to 2 young couples who are here on vacation who have struggled with fertility issues.  One of the women told me that she didn’t know that adoption was really something for them, but once she saw me on the show, they have been doing research on adoption and trying to find what might be the best fit for them.  

An older couple from Tennessee said they recognized me from the show because they are raising their granddaughter and she loves the show—they watch it with her to have something “cool” to talk to her about.  Not only that, one of their granddaughter’s friends was recently pregnant and gave her baby up for adoption and, for them, I was the only “face” of adoption they had seen, so they felt great about this young girl giving her baby to a family who desired to have kids!  They thanked me!

A 40-something couple didn’t recognize me, but they recognized K and asked if I was his mom.  When I turned around and said yes, they saw the tattoo and both screamed at each other, “I told you it was them!” 

A few people haven’t recognized me or K, but they recognized the tattoo and approached me to ask about Kat, the shop, and the overall experience. 

I have had a couple of teenagers come up to me and K and just wanna hug him and that’s been sweet.  It’s after they comment on him and how cute he is that they ask about my adoption and the experience of getting a tattoo by Kat. 

One response I seem to get from a lot of people is how happy K looks—and that makes me proud.  I love that he’s happy and that others can tell!  He really is a happy kid.

I have been honored that people have shared their stories with me and that I have been able to share a bit of my story with others through this tattoo!  That’s what it’s all about, right?

August 19, 2011 5:05 am

High Five for Friday—week of 08.15.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

1.  The episode of LA INK I was on aired last week and it was really good!  So grateful for the chance to share my story!

2.  Jacuzzi time to de-stress!

3.  Nap time with the kid!!!!!

4.  K telling me he loves “us”.

5.  21 days until Hawaii!

August 11, 2011 5:05 am


Written April 15th, but couldn’t post it until now!    

Well, as most of you know, I was blessed with the chance to get a tattoo done by the incomparable Kat Von Dee!  After months (no, really, MONTHS) of vetting by the casting agency, production staff, and by Discovery Chanel themselves, I was chosen to be on the show and have a portrait tattoo of my son done!  I was able to share my adoption journey to my son!  The story of love that carried me half way around the world to find each other!  And what an amazing story to share with strangers, and what an amazing story to share with the TLC viewers. 

I had no real “scenario” in mind for this day, even if I did, it wouldn’t have compared to what happened that day!  Nothing could have prepared me for the kindness, compassion, honesty, authenticity, care, concern, thoughtfulness, humanity, humor, consideration, and coolness that each and every person I came into contact with had!  Honestly, from the moment I walked in for my “pre” interview, I was greeted with nothing but respect and kindness.  It was a long day, but well worth it.  My interactions with the cameramen (yes, they were all men) to the sound people, to the production crew, to the people who drove me around and picked up my lunch was nothing short of perfection.  They were friendly and funny, smart and playful! 

Not only that, Stephen Baldwin was on the set that day!  While I am sure that we all have our own opinions about the Baldwin brothers, he was very friendly, gracious, and funny!  We got the chance to “hang out” behind “the shop” while we were waiting for our tattoos!  We talked religion and family.  We talked geeky stuff and wordswithfriends.  We talked about stupid things and things that matter.  Simply put, we talked.  When he left for an interview with CNN, he asked me if I would be there when he got back.  When I told him that Kat was almost done with my tattoo, he commented, “You are the coolest teacher I have ever met!” and said it was lovely to meet me!  I know that I am just a nameless, faceless person in his “world” but the experience with him was really cool, in my mind.

Now on to what I know you all want to know—Kat Von Dee!  Awwwww!  What an amazingly talented woman!  What a kind person!  What a sweet demeanor!  What a great laugh!  And we laughed A LOT!  When I walked into the shop (my fake walk in, the one where they film it like 3 times), she greeted me and told me that she was so excited to get going on my tattoo that she had already drawn it up!  We got started right away and the camera crew wasn’t ready for that!  I was stoked!  We spent many hours together and the cameras really only rolled on us for about 30 minutes!  The rest of the time we talked about EVERYTHING!  We talked about boys, love, family, tattoos (obviously), adoption (obviously), being a friend, being confident, being not so confident, makeup, and so many other things that I can’t even remember.  Clearly, I don’t know about her interactions with other people, but we had a blast!  It took her about 4 hours to do my tattoo (which totally amazed me), but we got to spend more time together afterward just complimenting each other, giving hugs, crying about my tattoo and laughing some more. 

I haven’t shared all the details of that day, because I like to keep some of these stories for myself!  Just sayin!  Again, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a day like that, but this surpassed all my thoughts or ideas or whatevers about what this experience might be.  I am changed.  I KNOW others on that set were changed; not only by my story, but by my son who they never met, but got to “meet” through my story!!!  Whatever they aire on the show will be what it’s going to be, I have no control over that… but it was a pretty amazing day!

You may have your own opinions about tattoos—go ahead and keep those opinions to yourself please!  This tattoo truly exemplifies my love for my son, my love for life, my love for orphans, my love for our family, and the love of God that carried me to my son!  Thank you LA INK for being amazing.  Thank you Kat Von Dee for being authentic and genuine and kind and talented and open and remarkable.  She may never remember who I am, but I will never forget her or that day!

August 9, 2011 8:11 pm

Tuesday Truth-day! August 9, 2011

My episode of LA INK is supposed to be on this Thursday… Yeah.  Never been on TV.  NEVER thought it would air.  Totally nervous.

What if it sucks?  What if they took out all the awesome stuff I said about the orphan crisis?  What if they edited out all the really cool things I said about my experience/journey to being a mom?  What if they take out the passionate things I said about my son, his country, the people there, his birth parents, my other adoptive family friends?  Oh, geesh!  There are too many what ifs. 

I just have to know that the camera is gonna add 85 or 90 pounds and try to recall that MY day at the shop and getting the tattoo was so AH-MAZING that no matter what is on the air, really means nothing!  Whatever they air is on them. 

7:00 pm


For those of you who have asked, the episode that I am supposedly going to be on is supposed to air THIS Thursday! The show airs on TLC at 10 PM!  I have NO clue what was edited and what was not… we shall see…

July 1, 2011 5:00 am

High Five for Friday—week of 06.27.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

PS—these aren’t in any particular order!

1.  LA INK!!!  My segment is gonna air!!!  WOOOOHOOO!!!

2.  Swim lessons for K!  This is year two, week 4, and he is doing AMAZING!!!  He has learned backstroke, diving for rings, swimming underwater and how to go down the slide on his belly!

3.  Javier Colon won The Voice

4.  THREE DAY WEEKEND y’all!!!

5.  Carlos.  Even though he has been at Junior Olympics with his team this week, he still rocks my socks!