Thursday, January 17, 2013

What we do in the winter

 Winter is not our favorite time of year but we try and make the best of it.  We have big mountains close by for skiing but I didn't know if I was ready to take three little ones skiing, let alone myself.  Maybe soon we can try that. So for now our huge hill in the backyard makes a good sledding hill.  We had a lot of snow over winter break but now it is just gray and cold.  I would rather have snow then gray, because at least snow is bright and the kids like to play in it.

 Even little Champ likes the snow.  He gets sick of being in the house.  Sometimes I let him outside and he just stands in the cold to get fresh air.  He goes crazy in the snow, it is entertaining!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Confessions Of A Transracial Family

 This is kind of a hard deep subject but I wanted to share some of our experiences on transracial adoption.  I have had many question through the years so I thought I would share some of the feelings and experiences we have had. When we first went into adoption it was something I wanted to do my husband was more of the realist and had more concerns. Though prayers and long talks we both decided this was where the Lord was leading us. We decided to be open to any race. I don't know how to explain it but we just felt like this was what God wanted and we did not want to limit who or what he had planned.  I read some books and felt comfortable with African American people and thought it will be fine if this is the direction we go. Here is the the real part that isn't always the easy perfect feeling part.  Our call came quickly, nine months from start to finish to be exact. We went to pick up Lauren after our big phone call about a healthy baby girl who was born. There she was a beautiful little baby, she was very dark and had stick straight black hair.  Adoption is not like pregnancy because it comes quick and there is not a lot of time to let it sink in. We left the adoption agency being a normal white family living in small town Arkansas with two little white boys to a new family with a little black baby.  It was defiantly new territory and it was kind of scary.  I realized really fast my dream/ God's plan was not accepted by everyone we would encounter.  The stares at first and ignorant questions were enough to cripple me.  I felt depressed and so overwhelmed if I did the right thing for this little girl, my boys, and our family.  I also had wonderful friends that did love on our family and made us feel accepted so this was not from every corner but when we had the stares, confused looks, and silent judgment it hurt.  I will not lie it feels isolating and you feel like staying at home so you don't have to deal with the heaviness of all of it. My experience will not be every ones depending on the area of the country you live in and your mental state. I also had two other children two and four at the time. Laughing now but can you imagine how crazy that must have been!! Maybe it was my fragile state of not sleeping and a new change to our family but one of the most hurtful comments that stuck with me was..."I don't think I could every do that." "That" and I knew what "That" meant. At that moment a congratulations would have done.   
I have grown so much as a adoptive mother to a black child. I have faced some emotions that I never knew I had and have felt glimpses of how God loves all of us though this process.  The silly comments that honestly I hardly ever get don't bother me much at all. I don't worry so much about what people will say, or  if Lauren's hair is not perfect every time we go out. Appearance is big in the black culture, hair is huge. I always want Lauren to feel comfortable with her culture but I am not going to let her hair define who she is. White, black, or rainbow she is a child of God and I don't see her as anything but my daughter. God has really shown me how we all have hidden racism deep in our hearts and not all of us have figured out how to love like Jesus loves. There are times that I see the racism in the world and I think shame on all of us for letting this be. If your looking for it just like anything you will see the ugly of the world but you can choose to see the good and focus on the best of life. We still get looks but most people see this little face and smile and assume I am mom which I am so proud to be Lauren's mom!  I feel it is such a privilege to be a mother and it is a awestruck feeling to be given a child out of the goodness of a birth moms heart. 
 What is it like for my kids and do I worry about if it will affect them having a black sibling? I can't wait to tell you my thoughts on this common question I used to get a long time ago.  Now I can answer it accordingly since our family is completely comfortable with our diversity.  Yes!  It has affected my children in the best ways possible.  Oh my goodness, I wish everyone would adopt  transracially or become close friends with a different kind of family then their own.  My boys have been exposed to Black History, Soul Food, Black Hair, and the best one yet... loving someone who looks completely different and not caring. They have friends who ask them if Lauren is their sister and they say yes, we adopted her and don't think twice. There will not be any weird issue when they go to college someday when they have to room with someone who is from a different culture. They won't have to change who they are depending on who they are with, there will not be any hidden racism in their minds.  It is so different growing up this way and it is absolutely amazing.
In closing I know we still have many years ahead and experience to be had good and bad but if your thinking about adopting transracially I want to encourage you that you will be blessed. It is not easy and you will face things that other families will not.  Sometimes your heart will hurt and when you see peoples ignorance you will want to turn around like in the movie the Blind Side when Sandra Bullock yells at the football game to the racist hillbilly she calls Deliverance. Oh, and don't be surprised if you do step out of your comfort zone with people Mama bear always protect her babies. It is an amazing way to build a family and that child will bless you.  If there are any new transracially families reading this I hope this encourages you to know that you don't need acceptance from everyone to live the life you have been called for.You will gain confidence in time and that will carry you to be the difference this world needs. I am always here for anyone with questions about adoption.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My favorite place

Happy New Year! I am one of those weird people that likes to put all my Christmas stuff away right after Christmas.  It is not that I don't like my tree or Christmas, it's just I like to get my house back in order. It feels more empty but also less cluttered and cleaner.  You all know I am a clean freak.  I have had to let some of my clean freak go. My five minutes of the house being clean satisfaction only goes so far anymore.  With winter being here all the leaves are gone so I actually have some nice natural light to take some pictures of my happy place, my kitchen.  I have had a few requests for some more kitchen pictures, so here you go...

 My kitchen eating/dining area.  I added curtains and I love the look. 

 I know it is crazy but I have added a little gold back in my home here and there.  After I did I read something about how gold is coming back in style. I don't think I am going to gold-ify my house more then a few things here and there but I guess that is a good to go with what you like.
 I added a little chalk board above my stove in gasp..antique gold!! I like chalk boards.  
 Here is my Island (Jackie) she requested this. The back is bead board with another drawer on the other side and pull out. We had to make good use of our island, our microwave is in there too.
 Different lighting, I love having trees but it is so nice to have sunshine. Sun is hard to come by living in the Pittsburgh area this time of year.  I can't wait to blog this month.  I have some fun topics and pictures to share. 
Happy New Year, May everyone have a healthy and blessed year!
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