Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is quickly approaching on October 4th!  Tomorrow!  As we send our children off to school with love (or in my case, send them to the dining room table), I can’t help but reflect on all for which I’m thankful.  During this incredibly busy season, the famous Moon Festival holiday offers an opportunity to take a break and simply be grateful for our family and all of our blessings.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival dates back to the Tang Dynasty in 618AD, and is a very popular celebration of thanksgiving and gratitude for the Chinese.  Families reunite and give thanks for the harvest and family unity.  The holiday falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month (in September or October) when the moon is brightest and fullest in the sky.  Moon Festival is celebrated on this day because the big, round moon symbolizes togetherness and reunion in the Chinese culture.  Celebrations are made by joining together to look at the moon in the evening while chatting and visiting with one another.  People share dinner together, eat traditional moon cakes and a few other delicious treats, and tell old legends of the Jade Rabbit and Chang’e that make up some of the Moon Festival traditions.

I simply adore the themes of family togetherness and thankfulness.  Even though we aren’t in China, the Moon Festival offers an opportunity to be intentional in sharing those themes with our loved ones.  It’s a time when we can share with our children about how appreciated and valued they are.  In addition, Moon Festival presents a creative potential gateway into the sometimes difficult conversations of first families for our children who were adopted from China.

Because although the holiday is meant to represent thankfulness for families, it has the possibility of representing loss for many of our children as they think about their first families.  Why not take the opportunity to be available for that dialogue, if our children will give us the honor?  Reading the beautifully illustrated adoption book, We See the Moon, might be a fantastic way to begin.  It isn’t a traditional Moon Festival children’s book, but it fits perfectly as it eloquently and sensitively addresses difficult first family questions from a child’s perspective.

There are other fun ways that Mid-Autumn Moon Festival could be recognized as well:

  1. Read Moon Festival children’s books together.
  2. Decorate your home with a few traditional Chinese lanterns that commemorate Chang’e.
  3. Or make your own lanterns together.  Idea 1, Idea 2, Idea 3, Idea 4, Idea 5, Idea 6, Idea 7
  4. Craft a sweet art project together.
  5. Buy traditional Moon Cakes from a local Chinese grocery store or order them online.
  6. Or spend an afternoon baking delicious Moon Cookies together.  (Our family loves these as an alternative to Moon Cakes.)
  7. Sip tea together (and munch on Moon Cookies!).
  8. Go out for Chinese food at a local restaurant, or cook your own feast at home.
  9. Host a moonlit picnic for family or close friends.  Include round foods like apples, pears, grapes, and melons.  Consider reading some Chinese poetry aloud too.
  10. Roast marshmallows (another round food) over a fire pit in the evening.

This is a fantastic time to create family traditions, no matter how simple or extravagant they may be.  Weaving Chinese holidays into our family celebrations doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, especially as different seasons of our lives bring different challenges.  Even though celebrating Moon Festival in our family doesn’t look like it does in China, the point is that we are together.  Being grateful for one another and showing each other how valued we are is what truly matters.

Zhōng qiū jié kuài lè! Happy Moon Festival, my friends!

Switching gears to a subject other than sweet baby chicks, we have been busily preparing to lead four families through the Empowered to Connect 9-week Connect Class.  It’s been a year since our ETC Train-the Trainer training.  The time was so powerful for hubby and I as parents and just as people, so we are thrilled to be finally leading other families through it!  If you think of it, please pray for the four families that will be joining us for the next nine weeks, as well as hubby and I to lead well.  Our prayer is that the training will be exactly what they need and that the attendees will leave with tools to help them care for and connect with their children.

Mama Daffodil did, indeed, accept all of the new baby chicks.  All 15 of them.  Fifteen.  After sitting on wooden eggs and golf balls for 2 days, she allowed us to quietly and not-so-stealthily replace them with baby chicks.

Did I mention there are 15?

She has so instinctively and fiercely taken on the role of protector, teacher, and caregiver.  And the babies have unequivocally accepted her as their mama hen.  They follow her around everywhere and obey all of her sounds.  Sometimes that means keeping up with her, other times it means watching and copying, and still others it means hiding from potential danger.  I am so fascinated by this whole process.  I’ve never seen animals truly mother their young, so it’s been a super neat experience.

I know we’ve asked a lot of Mama Daffy, but she’s taken on the challenge with pure grace.  Today, she taught her babies how to dust bathe.  I keep thinking I’ve seen the cutest thing ever, and then Mama Daffy tops it off with something else.  Today, it was dust bathing.  So darn adorable.

Our sweet Red Star baby chicks arrived!  All 15 of them.  They are every bit as cute as the pictures suggest.  They arrived healthy, feisty, and playing right out of the box.  Huge kudos to Murry McMurray Hatchery for doing a top notch job with their chicks!  I can’t recommend them enough to purchase chicks!  We quickly got them into our brooder with a heat lamp, and gave them some vitamin/mineral water and feed.  They are just the sweetest little furry balls of farm baby to watch!

More to come on the story with Mama Daffodil!

  • September 15, 2017 - 1:11 pm

    Aliyah - Oh my gosh I love them!! And love this story of Mama Daffy, she’s awesome :))) ALiyahReplyCancel

    • September 21, 2017 - 4:47 pm

      Nicole Renée - They are just doing SO well! It’s amazing to watch!ReplyCancel

My sweet Daffy girl has gone broody two times now since the beginning of the summer.  I think she desperately wants to be a mama!  And ohhh, she’s a stubborn one too.  It took almost 2 weeks to break her last time.

This time around, at about a week in, I had a revelation.  Why not try to let her mama the chicks that would be arriving any day?  The timing was not planned, but is quite providential.  I have her sitting on about 7 golf balls and wooden eggs in preparation for her to brood the new chickies on their way from the hatchery.  I don’t know if she’ll accept them, but we’re going to give it a good college try.  It would make adding 15 new chicks to our current flock of three hens much easier.  For all parties involved.

You got this, Mama Daffodil!