Before Yasmine’s husband, Matt, proposed, he turned to the most important members of this soon-to-be unit, his beautiful children. Yasmine already enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Kailey and Nicolas, but their blessing was integral to their family’s future. Then nine years old, Nicolas innocently noted that they had a mom. Kailey, at the wise old age of eleven, sweetly explained, “She’s going to be our step-mom, Nicolas. Just not the evil kind.”
Since then, Yasmine has valued creating unique bonds with her stepkids, so she was particularly touched when she heard about our friend Jasa’s foray into raising chickens with her stepdaughter, Stella.
Jasa and Stella connected immediately through a shared love of animals, so when eleven-year-old Stella suggested getting chicks, Jasa understood this tiny window of time between Stella the child and Stella the teen was the perfect opportunity to share an experience that would require patience and love (and maybe a few messes along the way).
They ordered chicks from a feed store in Santa Barbara, and as they waited to pick up their chicklets, Stella spent her days crocheting bonnets and a swing (adorable) for their bundles of joy. Two weeks ago, Cosette, Bluebell, Duchess (of Yolk), LouLou, Henny Penny and Squonkel joined their family.
We checked in on Jasa, Stella, and their furry tots. “They’re already getting so big. They’re going to have to move out soon. It’s making us so sad!” Moving out means leaving the warmth of their guest room corral for a backyard coop, but Jasa and Stella are feeling their first pangs of empty nest syndrome regardless.
While it may not be obvious, theirs is an experiment in love and family bonds. Jasa and Stella have marveled together as they discovered each chick has their own distinct personality. They are really hoping that Henny Penny is a girl and not a rooster; it turns out chicken gender identification is a well-studied, but difficult skill. If Henny is, in fact, a Benny, he will have to leave the nest, a heartbreaking thought for his new mamas. Jasa has admitted to a favorite, so Stella surprised her by embroidering a pillow with Bluebell’s likeness, an heirloom to capture these short-lived baby days.
We will continue to track Jasa and Stella’s chickadees in the coming months, but with Mother’s Day upon us, we love the reminder that building our nests is about time spent, love shared, and caring for each other. And we sure hope Henny Penny won’t be fleeing the coop anytime soon.
With seven children ranging in age from six months to sixteen years between them, sisters and bloggers Yasmine Delawari Johnson and Soraya Delawari Dancsecs are experts at parenting in L.A. They take a break from PTA board meetings, cooking, and producing films to blog at CityThink each Thursday.