Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A smashing good time and a breakthrough

So my best friend and her family came up for a visit this past weekend. Did I mention she has twin 22 month old boys?! Wowzers!! This was the first time she has come up to visit me (I usually go to visit her) since our wedding. I knew that we would probably have to move a few things out of the boys reach once they got here...decorative, breakable fall pumpkins, etc. However, I had NO idea the things they would think to get into! To be honest, it scared the living daylights out of me! Here I want to take in young children when I'm living in a war zone for toddlers. Their radars were set on 'seek and destroy' from morning to night. They claimed a few casualties, but never fear, Aunt Gina came back with a counter attack...

We decided to let the boys burn off some energy at the park so I took them to the awesome Kidsview park here in town. Being as I don't have kids, I didn't know if there would be anything age appropriate or not, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The boys were having a ball climbing up and sliding down. We were good about always having someone go up with them and then having someone wait at the bottom of a slide for them. Well, so they had mostly been going down the tube slides and all was well until Jacob found another slide...a wavy slide. Sure, great, so I line him up and send him off...he launched off the first 'wave' and went airborne, only to come crashing down and hit his head on the next 'wave'. Oops! Did I do that?! Fortunately, after a few second melt down, his body of steel was good to go. Whew!

Despite my plots against them, the boys survived their weekend visiting Aunt Gina. In all seriousness though, I was so happy they came up to visit because I just don't get to see them often enough. And I love those little adorable boys, despite what onlookers may think. It was a good learning weekend too. Once Clint and I start readying our house for foster/adopt children, I shall have to invite them back up and let the kids loose so that I can discover any hazard I may have missed!

Now on to a change of subject...well, still about kids really. Yesterday, I think I witnessed a breakthrough! The woman I work with that made so many horrible comments about adoption a couple of weeks ago came into my office. She is a Christian and listens to KLOVE. Of course, this being national adoption month, there is a lot of talk about it. On the station, they were interviewing a couple who had adopted. They were discussing about how it took awhile for them to get on the same page because the husband was hesitant. He said, "As soon as I said the words, 'why don't we have our own kids' I realized how foolish a statement that was." My coworker told me about hearing this story and I could see the gears turning. She had said those very words to me. I think she realized that her statement wasn't good, but she couldn't come out and say it either, but I've got her thinking!

However, she told me this adoption story a few days after stating this, "I just want to give you a tip. If you take in a black baby and they are really light-skinned, don't think they will stay that way. That's how they start out, but they get darker." Wow! Clearly need some work on her heart in that area. Can you just imagine? Like I would honestly freak out at the sight of a darker child? I wish I could speak eloquently, but I was honestly left stunned over the remark and simply stammered out that I didn't care about the color of the skin. In fact, my mom tells me the story about when my younger sister was born and going to the nursery to see her. They pointed my sister out to me, but I kept insisting that another baby, a black baby, was my sister.

Last night, a couple in our church invited us over for dinner. They are about our age and told us they plan to go through the foster/adopt process as well. They too have been faced with animosity over adopting a child of a different race...from family members. It's nice to know that we are not alone and that we will potentially have a couple going through the same trials and tribulations. Although, with them being a youth minister and an elementary school teacher, I'm sure they will make it through much more gracefully than we will so therefore, it will be nice to have a GOOD example to follow. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Calming down...

Well, I really hate that my last post left a sense of negativity in the blog. I've had time to calm down and think through things. Overall, I know that the person I spoke of in my last post means well for me. She does want the best for me. However, she wants what SHE thinks is best, which isn't necessarily what God or I think is best. And I know she doesn't want to see me in pain or struggle. Adoption, especially from CPS IS going to be hard and I know their will be tears and lots of difficult times, but I'm willing to face that. So, in all, I understand her position. But so much of her statements were of ignorance and that makes me sad.

I still have not told my boss, just never seems like the right time. For my boss, I know the 'adoption' part he will be indifferent on. I think he will actually be happy about us starting a family. My concern with him is the work part. My boss is kind of like a dad to me and someone I HATE to dissapoint. He is a work-aholic, loves his job and would do it 24/7 if he could have his way. He will not be happy about me quitting my job. In his eyes, I will throwing away my education. I'll fully admit that quitting my job IS scary. I never envisioned my life going this way, but I think it's a good thing. Deep down, I know I'm not 'throwing away' my education because college was so much more than just a Masters in Engineering, but I do still wrestle with that thought.

So, I have yet to jump that hurdle, but I DID tell his wife! Baby steps. :) And of course, she was happy about it like I knew she would be. So, perhaps she can work on softening his heart on thinking I'm a failure for quitting my job, well, for now anyway. I don't plan on being retired from the working world for life, but at least while the kid(s) are younger. However, I doubt I will go back to engineering as I won't be able to maintain my license. But my future job prospects are concerns for another day.

I'm looking forward to the weekend as a couple of my best friends from college are coming for a visit. See, I told you college was more than just the education! Their worth alone is immeasurable!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


You know that mobile phone commercial out right now where people are so into their phones that they are oblivious to the world around them and onlookers exclaim, "REALLY?!" as it is all just so ridiculous? Well, that's about how I feel with some of the remarks and reactions I've received from people on our plans to adopt. It's sad that so many have a negative view on adoption because they 'heard' this and 'heard' that, yet they don't 'know' for themselves.

First, let me take a step back as it will have a point later on, trust me. And this isn't a nice subject, but it is a part of me and the older I get, the less I want to hide it because if I speak out and give someone else the confidence to speak out against it, then I've done a good thing. I was sexually abused by my paternal grandfather when I was a child. Yep, horrible. I'm thankful that I had a sister who was brave enough to tell a friend, who was strong enough to tell an after school program teacher, who didn't blow it off and told my mom. And I am so blessed to have a mom who believed us, advocated for us, and took us away from that situation. How people can say a child can make up such horrific acts, is beyond me. Anyway, we went through counseling, and I am a strong person. He can't hurt me anymore and it's not something that I dwell on. It's turned over to God and what a weight off my shoulders! However, I am marked so to speak. I wanted to work in the church nursery/preschool to start interacting with younger kids, anything to help with raising our own. However, going through the screening/application process I immediately knew I would be banned. Why? The glaring question, "Have you ever been sexually abused?" Sadly, there is some statistic out there that states that those who were abused are more likely to do it to someone else. It's something I cannot even fathom doing, but I knew I had to withdraw. While it's frustrating, I get it and there is no sense in getting angered by it, there are other ways I can help the church and help myself help kids.

So, now, back to adoption. I have been absolutely floored with the responses I have received when telling others about our plans. And yes, many have been positive, but it's the negative ones that keep you from sleeping at night. The negative responses go something like this, "Why don't you have your 'own' kids." As if adopted wouldn't be my own child. Number 2 is, "You do know those kids from the state are troubled/messed up/bad (insert your own negative word here)."

My most recent outrage, and this person truly takes the cake, occured yesterday. I decided it was time to tell those I work with since we have told so many people and I didn't want them to hear it second hand. I knew I would be approached with negativity from a certain someone as this is her nature. However, I suppose I wasn't fully prepared to take the blow.

It went a little something like this after I told her we were adopting: "What?! Why?! I mean, that's great but why don't you have your own kids first?" These will be my kids! "I know, but you need to feel that life growing inside of you." Alright, so I broke down and shared that I didn't think we'd be able to have our own without medical help, but really, that has nothing to do with it. I am fine without 'carrying a child.' Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but I just don't have that emotional need. And yes, I get that it is a beautiful thing and if I ever experience it, I would be grateful. But I have heard this several times, 'why don't you just have your own kids.' It's sad that adoption is viewed as second best. I hate hate hate that stigma. We are all God's creatures and we are all to be loved and to receive His grace.

She then returned to my office to say something that almost had me fly off the handle: "You are an intelligent person, and Clint is an intelligent person, which means you would probably have an intelligent child. These kids (those in foster care) are troubled and messed up." REALLY?? Seriously?! A) Who knows what our child would be like. We are all individuals, all unique. What if we had a special needs child? Or, back to the, what if we can't have a biological child? B) Yes, these kids are troubled, wouldn't you be if you had to endure abuse and neglect? So, somehow they are worth less? Aren't worth loving? Can't overcome and be intelligent people? And who says intelligence has anything to do with measures of self worth? And here is where my point in the beginning ties back in: I was sexually abused, lived with an alcoholic and drug addicted father, am I troubled and messed up (perhaps, one should not answer that, lol) and not worth loving? It's interesting because she was telling me that I shouldn't 'just give up' on the nursery issue that it wasn't fair to me. Well then, what about all these children? And no, I don't have my head in the sand thinking that all will be peachy and I am somehow 'saving' these children and that I will make them angels. I know it will be tough, parenthood is tough, but having children isn't about just 'helping the kids'. We need them as much as they need us. It's a two-way street.

The final straw, race. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I told her I was fine with adopting any race, however that I did have reservations about adopting an African American child. The reason, I don't want them to miss out on their heritage. Yet, if I can provide them a loving home and prevent them from bouncing around 'the system' then perhaps I would be doing the right thing. It's something I struggle with, I just don't want them to feel like they are missing out on a huge part of who they are, but I would do my best to integrate their heritage into our lives. Anyway, this person got this look of...disgust at the thought of having to touch an African American child. Oh my! My heart is in a million pieces. Now, this was in discussion of trying to do the simple act of doing their hair. I was talking about how I would have to learn how to do intricate hair stylings, but I am up for the challenge, I've seen others master it! And you should have seen the braids I could whip out on my My Little Ponies as a child!

Anyway, yesterday really broke me down, but only made me more determined. I pray God will use me as a voice to the world that adoption is not 'second best' or that anyone is unworthy in his sight.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Catching up

How has it already been three weeks since my last post? Time sure does fly! Speaking of flying, that's just what we got to do a couple of weeks ago! Clint's boss owns his own plane and took us up for a ride during the Reklaw fly-in. I hope to discuss that more when I download the pictures. It was such a neat experience and I am so glad I overcame my fear to get in the plane!

Since my last post I also celebraed another birthday. I'm well into my thirties now, no turning back! That's alright though, doesn't bother me. I had a nice low-key birthday and Clint got me an awesome spa package that I thoroughly enjoyed.

We also got to watch the Rangers in the World Series! First time I've ever been engaged in baseball, but what fun! Even if they didn't win it all, they're still winners in my book. Sadly, the Dallas Cowboys are not. Football has been hard for us this year as our teams are not so hot, but that's the way it goes, you can't always be on top.

Hannah's House - They finally found a place to lease! And then they hope to purchase the land/house once their property in Glen Rose sells. Also, I have been asked to teach the finance classes to the girls. I'm excited, yet nervous at the same time. Not sure when I will start as we were supposed to have a volunteer retreat this past weekend, but too many people backed out so now it is not scheduled until February.

Leadership Longview - We have selected the ARC of Gregg County as our project. We will be designing some gardens for them. We took measurements today and will get rolling on a budget soon so that we can begin the fundraising.

So, that's the last three weeks in a nutshell. Clint and I were able to attend some adoption breakout sessions this past weekend which were really great. I think we have both come to terms that we will need to be willing to foster. It's not that we are against it, but we know letting go will be SO hard to do, but at least we can have comfort in knowing that we provided a safe and loving home no matter how temporary.

I have a lot to discuss about adoption, but will wait until tomorrow. To say that I am frustrated would be an understatement. I knew we would be met with criticism on our decision, but I am really blown away at some of the reactions I have received, especially from one particular person. My ranting will be long, so I will discuss more later. I got so mad today that it's hard to even put my thoughts into words.