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New User
beetlepress
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
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question for Kris

How are Monique's children faring, and when was the last time you were able to see them? Are they aware of the good work you are doing?
Author
KrisH
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: question for Kris

Monique's kids are doing great! Her son and one of her daughters live outside of Bamako with one of her brothers, and her other daughter lives a bit farther south with two of her sisters. Happily, they are all in school.

I last saw them when John and I returned to Mali in 1999. We will see them when we go back this coming December. We're very excited.

As for how aware the kids are of the book, we know that they've seen the book, held it in their hands, but can't read it yet (oh, French translation, where art thou?). They know that people here pay their school tuition and help fund the clinic named in their mother's honor. Other than that, John and I are just Uncle Bakary and Aunt Fatumata - friendly white folk and tellers of fart jokes - as far as they are concerned.

Kris


Learn more about Monique and the Mango Rains.
New User
Levanah
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-03-2007
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Re: question for Kris

Hi Kris,

I am from Michigan and read your book, could hardly put it down. Thank you for such a beautiful account of your time and of Monique. You mentioned that before going to Mali you hadn't seen a birth before. Obviously now, you have a great appreciation for kids and the birthing process itself. I'm curious. Were you a person who wanted children and to biologically create a family before your in-depth experience with birthing? Did being in Mali with Monique change your views about women's bodies, women giving birth, and creating life?

Thanks for talking more about your history and attitudes about birthing and children making.

Levanah
Author
KrisH
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: question for Kris

Hi Levanah,

You are welcome. And yes, as you mention, I had never really thought about birth at all before going to Mali. In fact, I'd spent my life in great fear of getting pregnant and its consequences! I don't think I realized how much working with Monique affected me until it came time to have my own children. I knew I wanted to give birth at home, with midwives. As for having biological children (rather than adopting), I honestly didn't think about any other option. I'm not sure why, but I don't think it has to do with working with Monique; I think it has more to do with the drive to carry on my and John's genes as well as our culture's values and bias. John and I started thinking about having kids when I was only 27 (feels young in hindsight) because I knew that I might have trouble getting pregnant. Now we have two kids.

John and I came very close to adopting a child from Sierra Leone (in fact, had all money paid, and her assigned to us) before things changed with her family situation and it was no longer possible for us to adopt her. A long, sad story, but I learned through it that my love for a child is not based on blood. We are lucky enough to live in a community in Massachusetts where there are adoptive families, bi-racial families, families with two moms or two dads, co-housing communities, and couples with no kids at all. It has only reinforced my basic beliefs that family is created in so many ways.

Thoughts?

Kris


Learn more about Monique and the Mango Rains.
New User
Levanah
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-03-2007
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Re: question for Kris

Hi Kris,

thanks for getting back to me about my question regarding your own feelings/desire with birthing. It makes a lot of sense that your experience wiht Monique would have influenced your own desire to have a birth at home with a midwife. It is interesting that you almost adopted a daughter from Sierra Leon. That would have given you another connection to Africa.

Levanah
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