Thursday, March 22, 2012

SXSW -- Colombia Well Represented - Part 4

The group Mr. Bleat from Medellin Colombia bring more Colombian rock to the stage.

In English,


In Spanish:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SXSW -- Colombia Well Represented - Part 3

Ancestros bring the music of the Pacific coast of Colombia to the festival.



Read more and hear another song by the group here:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SXSW -- Colombia Well Represented - Part 2

Today's SXSW Colombian musical group is Il Abanico. They are an Indie/Experimental band. The two performers are originally from Bogota, but now live in New York. You can read more about them here.


Here is a sample in English:



And in Spanish:

Monday, March 19, 2012

SXSW -- Colombia Well Represented - Part 1

This year Colombian bands were well represented at the SXSW festival. Over the next few days, I will highlight the Colombian bands that were invited to participate.

The first is, Telebit, an alternative rock band from Bogota. You can read about them here:


Here is a sample of their music.




And another one.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

4 Rules for Initial Attachment -- Rule #4

Our social worker, a woman with over 25 years of International Adoption experience, suggested that we keep others away from our then 2 year old and try to settle in for a few months. She called the first 6 months crucial for bonding and attachment. She suggested a few basic rules. Today, I am highlighting her rule # 4.

4- Do not introduce them to extended family too soon. You will know when your child is secure and calm. That is the time to meet new people. For some babies, it will take a few weeks. For toddlers or young children, it can take much, much longer. This can be difficult to explain to excited extended family members. Try reminding them that your child has just lived through a major trauma and that your child does not see his adoption as a joyous, happy, long awaited moment. He has just lost everything he knows -- a home (however sad), food, smells, sounds, friends, schedule, etc. He is trying to make sense of the world. The more that things change, the more difficult it is for them. Having more people coming in and out of his life for a short term does not promote stability. It causes more internal stress and confusion. However hard this is for extended family, they need to know that the best way to show love to this new little one is to wait just a bit longer.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

4 Rules for Initial Attachment -- Rule #3

Our social worker, a woman with over 25 years of International Adoption experience, suggested that we keep others away from our then 2 year old and try to settle in for a few months. She called the first 6 months crucial for bonding and attachment. She suggested a few basic rules. Today, I am highlighting her rule # 3.

3- No one should comfort your child but you. That means NO ONE. Your child will fall, have a bad dream, get angry, get sick, etc. Under no circumstances, I repeat, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, should anyone be allowed to comfort your child but YOU.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Your child does not immediately see you as the kind, loving parents you are and want to be. You are strangers. By allowing other strangers to comfort her, you are sending mixed signals about your own willingness to be the comforter. This can be especially important while in country. Children may seek others who understand them for comfort, or perhaps a helpful maid or interpreter will jump in to assist you. While the interpretation may be helpful, do not allow them to speak the kind words on your behalf. You should, at the very least, learn the language of comfort in your child's native tongue. In English, we say, "It's okay." "You are going to be alright." "You are safe." "Everything is OK, Mommy's here." etc. Be able to say these words, and do not allow others to say them for you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

4 Rules for Initial Attachment -- Rule #2

Our social worker, a woman with over 25 years of International Adoption experience, suggested that we keep others away from our then 2 year old and try to settle in for a few months. She called the first 6 months crucial for bonding and attachment. She suggested a few basic rules. Today, I am highlighting rule # 2.

2- No one should hold your child but you. That means NO ONE.

Your child, in spite of your best efforts, will likely still not really see you as Mom and Dad, even after spending long weeks with him in country. He may be beginning to like you, and perhaps even trust you, but you are still relative strangers who likely don't even speak the same language he does. Therefore, do not confuse him or upset him by allowing him to think others may now be a caregiver.

In some cases, children appear to prefer a new comer over the new parent. This can be detrimental for bonding and attachment on both sides. Therefore, remember, HANDS OFF. No holding, loving, hugging, by anyone but you.

Monday, March 05, 2012

4 Rules for Initial Attachment -- Rule #1

Our social worker, a woman with over 25 years of International Adoption experience, suggested that we keep others away from our then 2 year old and try to settle in for a few months. She called the first 6 months crucial for bonding and attachment. She suggested a few basic rules. I am sharing that advice with you here over the next 4 days, the parenthesis are my own thoughts:

1- No one should feed your child but you. That means NO ONE, and this is especially true of treats. (This is tough for grandparents who like to spoil.) The child should know that all good things come from Mom and Dad.

For a baby, this means you hold the bottle for them -- even if they are old enough to hold it for themselves.

For toddler age and older, you should hand the food to your child. Even at a restaurant, you should ask that any plate be handed to you, and then you hand it to your child. Most of these children have never been to a restaurant, they don't know that that is just the way it is done. They think, "Oh great, we are going to that place where we eat everyday and where the nice lady -- who speaks my language -- hands me delicious food. I like that nice lady. I wish I could live with that nice lady." This rule is particularly important for children who might have had problems getting enough food in the past.

Remember, you should be the source of everything good!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Get Ready For National Recycler Day


According to Law 511 from 1999, March 1st is National Recycler Day in Colombia. Note, I did not say National RecycLING Day. Nope, this day is dedicated to the people who perform some of the hardest, dirtiest work in Colombia [see yesterday's post].

While the law lets each department and city decide how to best celebrate this day, they are required by law to offer the “Condecoración del Reciclador” -- Recycler of the Year award each year. This award is to be given to the person in their community who has most "distinguished him or herself in the collection of recyclable materials so that they may be treated and reused."

One of last year's National winner: Jaime Henao Gómez M

"All of his working life he has worked as a recycler thus contributing to the betterment of the environment and the quality of life in the community."