Reliving Christmas

January 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Jason Holling, Same Sex Parent

Jason and Justin are a couple waiting for a match with birthmother to start their family.

Jason and Justin are a couple waiting to match with a birth mother to start their family. They look forward to reliving Christmas with their child.

This time last year Justin and committed to starting our family through adoption. Despite all the hustle and bustle of the season, Justin and I love Christmas. We love to decorate. We love to give gifts. We love spending time with our family — well at least a few days before we are ready to strangle each other!

The best part for us is that moment when all the gifts are under the tree and the last dishes from a big dinner are being washed that makes it all worthwhile. There is not another store to go to or another gift to buy. There is nothing else we can do but sit back and enjoy time with the family with a full stomach.

Justin and I have many nieces and nephews to spoil while we wait for our own child to adopt. My favorite was my niece and her glitter boots. She was so excited when she opened the package that she dropped the other gifts around her to put them on. And she wore them for 2 days straight! Only taking them off for bedtime. We love watching the kids get excited opening the gifts. It’s truly the magic of the day that makes us leave but at the same time want to adopt a child of our own even more.

Justin and I look forward to sharing the joy of Christmas with our child in the years to come. It will be like reliving the joy and excitement of the holidays with our little one that we experienced when we were little. We look forward to building new traditions with our family of putting up the Christmas tree, counting down the days until the big day, and spending time with grandma and grandpa on Christmas day.

I can’t wait for day we are putting out the cookies and milk for Santa. Or the excitement in the morning when we have a toddler jumping on our bed to go see what Santa brought them. Hearing the excitement in their voices as they rip open the paper to see a gift will make the wait to adopt all worthwhile.

We are lucky to experience this with our nieces and nephews while we wait…hopefully next year our wish to adopt will come true and we can start to experience this magic during the holiday season with our child.
We are an approved family with Independent Adoption Center. Visit our profile and Dear Birthmother Letter at


Comedy in a Casserole

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Amy Wise, Family, Interracial Families

By: Amy Wise

Flashback to Thanksgiving 1993…Jamie and I had been husband and wife for just a few months and we were going to our first “married Thanksgiving” at his sister’s house. His sister asked me to bring a dish to share with everyone and I was so excited to be contributing to the Thanksgiving dinner. I was a little nervous because it was our first holiday as a married couple with his family. I decided to bring the staple dish that I had grown up with…green bean casserole with french onions on top. You all know it, you all love it, you’ve all had it…right?

Well, we got to his sister’s house and I proudly walked in with my green bean casserole. I set it on the table, took off the foil, and waited for everyone to dig in. After we said a prayer everyone started to dish up all their food from the table…everything but my casserole that is. So I thought, hmm, why is nobody eating my green bean casserole? This is a favorite at my house…what’s up? I was starting to get a little hurt as everyone dished up and walked right by my beans. Whatever…I proudly filled my plate and ate those beans up! However, I was literally the only one! Apparently black folk don’t like green bean casserole.

The funny thing is after that holiday meal, I was given the task of bringing the rolls and the soda going forward. Yes, you heard me…rolls and soda…pretty impossible to screw up right? My green bean casserole has been the holiday funny ever since. Good thing I have a good sense of humor! At first it really did hurt my feelings, but now I can actually look back and laugh. This was one more thing to adjust to in a mixed marriage….getting used to each other’s traditions big and small. As time went on I graduated to making complete meals for Jamie’s family…um, minus the green bean casserole!

The hilarity continued this year when my sister-in-law Niki called to let me know that the green bean casserole commercials had started and she couldn’t wait to make it. I laughed! It truly is the running joke even after all these years. By the way, a little aside, Niki is white like me. The silliness continued on Thanksgiving day while talking to my mom. She said, while giggling, “Be sure to tell Jamie that Aunt Sal is cooking green bean casserole today.” Then minutes after that phone call, Jamie’s longtime friend Calvin, otherwise known as “T”, called to wish us a happy Thanksgiving. Jamie and T were comparing menus and T listed green bean casserole as one of the dishes he and his wife were making for dinner. Jamie quickly said, “Oh hell no!” and just started laughing! He then proceeded to share the infamous green bean casserole story with T. Another little funny, T just so happens to be black and his wife is white. Do you see a pattern here? I have yet to talk to an all black family that serves the infamous casserole.

Through the years the green bean casserole jokes have become another fun tradition that we all share as we continue to embrace the differences between our two very opposite families. Who knew that each year we would literally have comedy in a casserole!? It’s a perfect analogy for us.


Storybook Land

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Brandy Black

By: Brandy Black

I cooked my first turkey this year. This is a big deal coming from an ex-vegetarian with a flex-a-tarian wife. We screeched and screamed our way through the prepping stages and I think I washed my hands 100 times- they are shriveled and dry now, but…. the turkey was a success. Or at least my guests didn’t complain. So I do believe the basting every 20 minutes for 4 hours (yes it was 17 pounds) was worth it.

We also started our own family tradition. Ordinarily the “Black family” always find snow the day after Thanksgiving. We will sled or ski or just sit in a lodge and sip cocoa, but we are determined to seek the cold white fluffy stuff that makes you feel like the holidays are here. This is especially important for us Californians who can only rely on synthetic snow to boost our Christmas spirits. So…the Black-Howards (Susan, Sophia and me) have continued this tradition and have this year, upped the ante…Disneyland! It wasn’t intentional. We actually got tickets as an extended activity from a wedding we attended on Friday. We almost skipped it but the bride (who was beautiful at the wedding-congrats Amy) convinced us that Disneyland would be decked out with holiday joy. She was right! For a girl who likes to submerge herself in the hallmark holidays (we’ve gone through this before), Disneyland is the place to be. Christmas trees and holiday lights were around every corner and there was a holiday parade that ended with a perfectly suited Santa waving to my jaw-dropped daughter. It was pure joy and surprisingly Sophia couldn’t get enough of all of it. Here I was worried about the experience being wasted on a toddler.
“Ride! Ride! Mama”
“Mickey Mom. Mickey”
“Ice CREAM!”
It was a wonderful holiday weekend for all. Now I fear my wife will never jingle another bell again and Sophia will forever carry around her Mickey Mouse balloon, deflated or not.
S and Mickey

My own storybook note: I didn’t hit the November deadline for National Novel Month- I made it to 25,000 words but I will finish it!

On another note: My wife just launched the best children’s CD, check it out on our products page. I’m so proud of her!