Last dance
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
Hi Friends: When I started this blog in February 2010, I never imagined I’d still be at it ten years later. But I’m nothing if not dogged, so here I am. Today is my last post on this web location.  Starting now, you can find my blog tab attached to my new website, jessicaodwyer.com. Thanks for reading! See you there. xoxo ..read more
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Week 2
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
I’ve been calling our situation here “homeschooling,” but “remote learning” is more accurate. Because at this point my kids are 17 and 15. Their work and study habits have been in place for a long time. If we don’t backslide too much, I’ll count that as a victory. Of the the many jobs I’ve held over my lifetime, one of the most educational was teaching at a public high school in San Diego. My first full-time year, I taught American and British literature to 165 students in 9th and 12th grades. And let me tell you, I was overwhelmed. There was so much information to transmit, and I didn’t feel ..read more
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Day 5
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
Day 5 of homeschooling and sheltering in place. First, we thought 2 weeks seemed impossible. (“Whaaaat?” we said. “How will we manage????”) Now, with no definite end in sight, 2 weeks is a nanosecond. We’re looking at a marathon, not sprint. A new normal. “School” remains a work in progress. Assignments? Learning? At this point, I’m happy to see our kids standing vertically and changed out of pajamas. Don’t get me wrong: the school has been great; the teachers are on it. But in the interest of maintaining peace in our household, I’m taking the George Costanza approach: Serenity now. Upside ..read more
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Adoption memoir by Anna Maria DiDio
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
It’s hard to think about anything right now except staying safe and keeping loved ones close. But if you’re looking to distract yourself by reading, I suggest Love at the Border: An Adoption Memoir from Mexico, by adoptive mother Anna Maria DiDio. When DiDio asked me to read her memoir a few weeks ago, I was happy to oblige. Adoption is my obsession, and I always learn from other people’s stories. A quick summary: DiDio and her husband were parents to an eight-year-old biological daughter when they adopted seven-year-old Priscilla from an orphanage in Mexico. (To my knowledge, few children ar ..read more
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Corona
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
I found this photo of me at our rented house in Antigua last summer. The world is so different now. Everything from before seems quaint and naive. My daily excursions to the artisan market. My crazy affection for handmade plastic baskets. Our carefree visits to restaurants and museums. Today, we’re grateful to breathe fresh air. From March 16: Day 1 of homeschooling and sheltering in place. Day 1 of many days to come. The school district said 2 weeks, but we’re anticipating much more time than that. Upside # 1: We’ve discovered Downton Abbey. Which everyone in the world has watched, except us ..read more
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Momostenango
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
Recently, I returned from a 9-day visit to a region in Guatemala I’d never been: Momostenango in the department of Totonicapán, in the western highlands of Guatemala. Wow. WOW. Momos is about 25 miles north of Quetzaltenango, the largest close city, and a short drive from San Francisco El Alto, generally regarded as the country’s most authentic market. We were a small group of 5, plus our leader, Liza Fourre, and spiritual guide, Juana X. This is my second trip with Liza, who founded and runs “Art Workshops of Guatemala.” My first trip was a weaving tour to artisans in Nebaj and the Ixil area ..read more
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My debut novel
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
  Seven years is a long time to dedicate to writing a novel. But when you’re as obsessed with a subject as I am–Guatemala, adoption, the complexity of family–seven years passes like a blur. You put down words on a page, and then more words. Words become phrases, sentences, paragraphs. Until one day, seven years and a million rewrites later, you have a book. Which, in my case, will be published by Apprentice House Press of Loyola University Maryland, in October 2020. Yes, my debut novel has found a home! The title is Mother Mother. Here’s a short description: A California woman searches for he ..read more
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Antigua bus depot
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
Behind the tourist market in Antigua, Guatemala is the bus depot. If you haven’t already seen these mobile works of art, check them out next time you’re in town. The designs are glorious. While you’re at it, slip in to the municipal Mercado, where the locals shop for flowers, shoes, candles, baskets, meats, chicken, beans and rice, electronics, ceramics, clothes, kitchenware. There’s always something to see. Missing my happy place. xoxo ..read more
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New Year 2020
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
Happy New Year, friends! This year, I’m going to try hard to follow my own advice, which is “Parent the child you have.” I don’t know where I first heard these words, but as soon as I did, I knew they were gold. Or gold for me. The idea to parent the child I have has been allowing me to step back, take a breath, and pause before speaking or acting. To not impose on someone else my preconceived idea of the “way things should be.” One of the greatest mysteries and most intense joys of adoption has been discovering who my children are. Who they must be. Who they will be. My children are not ..read more
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“What’s the buzz?”
Mamalita - an adoption blog by Jessica O'Dwyer on Guatemalan adoption
by Jessica
3y ago
I love how music brings you right back to a place. We drove down to San Jose to see the 50th anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and I was at St. Mary’s school in West Deal, NJ, in Mr. Gironda’s music class listening to the album, over and over, the first “rock opera.” That score, those lyrics. Mr. Gironda’s grand production. Everybody in town was in it. Everybody singing “What’s the buzz?” Sitting in San Jose, I remembered every note, every word. Such an alive, vibrant production. My kids were transfixed, and I, transported. Love when that happens. xoxo ..read more
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