A Place called Home

Thoughts from an adoptive home

I Loved You So Much I Let You Go

I love having an amazing moment. What exactly is an amazing moment? I think it’s an individual personal thing Sometimes it’s a God thing. For me, I know amazing moments are beautiful things. I am always amazed when life brings me to moments of realizing that there are no accidents in meeting people. Ever. And adoption always confirms that in some way. But lately it’s been more than that.
I had a recent conversation last night and I was once again reeled back into this reality of God delivering me a possible message that it’s not an accident I adopted children and he wants me on a certain path. I get sidetracked often in life so I lose sight of HIS messages, HIS purpose and yet as usual, HE with HIS divine ways of interceding and “waking” me..comes along and just puts the situation where HE wants it.
Today I’ve thought so much about adoption. I once again looked at some videos, of people not even related to me, yet affected by adoption. And I find that tears are so easily produced, emotions so vulnerable and raw and a true sense of relating in ways only those experienced or touched by the process of adoption can truly comprehend the impact of it on a family or individual. I have a heart for adoption and I think God put it there.
I often wonder about God’s plans for me. I often call out..”what do you want from me God?” And I get no voice I can hear in the same room. It requires for me to be still to hear HIM..and that is not often accomplished and I’m often challenged by this life on earth that is so filled up with noise and activity. I am often..straining hard to hear HIM speak. But hear HIM speak I do and he speaks to me through people and situations around me. He reminds me often..that Love covers all things..even adoption.
I had a day where I thought about the mothers that give up children for adoption. My heart hurts for the mothers that have to let their babies go…because for 9 months a life grew in them and was a definitive and literal part of them. And they, for reason’s only known to them, choose adoption. It is the hardest thing a mother does for her child. She lets her baby go. Into another family, on another journey. And the pain might lessen but the life is never forgotten. Ever. I heard one story where a mother gave her baby up for adoption as a young mother in college because she felt a better life for her child could be provided, only to come to a thought process later on in her married life when she couldn’t conceive, God must somehow be punishing her in some way for giving her baby up for adoption. So sad. I carried that thought with me all day. Hurting at the thought a mother could think that. Adoption is an incredibly selfless act and yet mothers punish themselves in their selflessness. But it’s the anguish of what a mother gives up and lives with in her choice to adopt her baby out.
I thought of that story all day. And I really put the shoes on of that situation. And I think that is probably what I just really reflected on most today..the emotions that go with giving your baby away. The physical pain that one must feel to do that.
The face of adoption looks so different on an individual basis. Everyone’s story is different, their circumstances, their situations and their choices..all so different to each and every person. Yet, the face of adoption as a whole, has one cement-like fact. It’s all a choice out of LOVE. Out of selflessness. And yet, as mothers we punish ourselves in ways that we shouldn’t. God calls us to bear life…not abort it. God calls us to care for the widows and orphans. We are all adopted by Christ. Adoption is a god given thing. We have a god given obligation to cherish life. Sustain it and maintain it. So, when I see a mother choose adoption I see her choose life and respect it. I see her choose LOVE for her child, not love of self. I see selflessness..she thought of her child over herself. She valued a God that created life.
I can only honor mothers that give their babies up for adoption. To me..mothers who choose adoption for their children are spreading this message. I love you so much I will not abort you. I love you so much I will not abandon you. I love you so much I am giving you something I can’t give you myself. And I love you so much..I will pray you have a life, you live and you know I loved you so much I let you go. And if you come back to me..you will know in my heart I loved you more than I loved my own self. And that my friends is adoption…and adoption is LOVE.
Love Peace and Prayers
Sully

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What is Greater than Love?

I can’t believe we are coming to another school year ending for us in about 7 weeks!! My kids are growing up too fast. I am excited for all the independence gained, but sad too because once they grow..you are left with memories instead of actual moments. And those moments are just precious golden things. I am however so thankful that when God made us he actually gave us the brain to hold those memories. Could you imagine life without memories?

As I watch them make their way through another year, I can’t believe that it’s been a year and a half since we completed our adoption. One of the greatest gifts in life is to be a parent. And it doesn’t matter how you go about that..whether you give birth, adopt from America or China. A parent is a parent! And the foundation that it is based on is pure love.

Yesterday as I was driving…which I have to admit music combined with driving kicks my passion for many things into high gear…nature, I love the beauty nature offers and love to be out in it. I hear the music and my mind literally transcends into places that is far into my imagination. I am most creative when I drive and have music on. It was an odd feeling yesterday to actually feel that passion of creativity take over me…it was like channeling into an awareness about my own self that I could just feel as if someone pushed a button.

And that fits into this post because when I ask what drives me everyday in this life…(not the actual driving of my vehicle) it’s the passion to love. Completely and without hesitation. Like I love my children. And the way Christ loves me.So many people truly don’t know…sadly, that is the truth…they do NOT KNOW…that the greatest thing in life is to love. And to be loved.  It is such a profound thing..and we never truly focus on it ever. We are seriously all so busy. But you know if you actually stop and think about loving your children…sit back and just live in the glow of who you are creating them to be. It’s a bit overwhelming. And that is love in its purest form. And it’s the love Christ has for us. That is what drives me every day. it’s not to accomplish my list of things to do, to make dinner, or clean my house. Those are just menial tasks…I enjoy them..but they are not my life-force of living. Those things do not sustain me…they simply maintain me.

I’m a parent of both bio children and adoptive children and it’s an experience I can only define as learning about love outside of your own flesh and blood. Adoption is an experience of acceptance in its highest form. Often times to learn about love  it’s a simple measure of making the comparison of what it feels like to accept the children you adopted and did not give birth to ( blood connection is absent)…and realize THAT is what God did for us as his children. We all too often think about being HIS creation, but often overlook the adoptive nature of salvation. With one choice we are “adopted” into Heaven. The acceptance of us in our complete sinful nature is amazing to me. I see this truth of love and acceptance so crystal clear in what I’ve learned about adoption. I look at my children and people and I see Christ who accepts me and all my sins..how can I not do that for others. Isn’t this what we are truly called to do?  Everyday..I’m driven to love and accept. And hope that is enough of a light that someone is drawn to it.  How can I not when it is done for me?

As I ponder the closing of another school year…my kids have amazed me this past year. They have endured great change..and I sit in awe of them and who they are. Not that they are such tiny great people being bragged about out of a mothers prejudice thoughts. Because truly they can be pretty rotten. No, they are actually incredibly imperfect, flawed and perhaps a bit damaged by this world and they events and experiences they’ve endured already. They’ve suffered chronic illnesses, life altering circumstances and even death of a biological parent. My children are scarred. But they are perfect with their little broken wings..and God see’s fit to make them angelic in their own beautiful ways.

The greatest thing I want my children to know above anything else is love. Love is by far what will overcome any obstacle, trial or hardship. It is the highest form of emotion one can possess…and it’s the best thing to give and receive. At the end of the day you have your character that leads you, your integrity that defines you and your beliefs that form your foundation. Love of self…decieves you. But love of Christ and others…..will trump sin faster than any other thing.

With that thought…let love guide you in all you do. Whether you reach out to love a neighbor, a friend in need or a child in need of adoption…the bottom line of doing those deeds is this: When you reach out in love…you adopt a relationship however small based on a God that defines us just like that. In love….is there any greater thing to know?? I think not.

http://youtu.be/KklKZDkcbLs

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No Longer Color Blind

And so it is again…too long between posts. What has been going on in our Adoption world, in this Place we Call Home? Let me catch up. Life has been crazy. And it’s been hard. But I’m a survivor made with whatever strength God see’s fit to give me. This blog is a blog about adoption, a home that should be a safe “place” where children have been adopted and maybe somewhere in God’s plan he has another child he wants me to adopt. I have no answers for HIS plans today. I just know that the key word is safe. It’s incredibly contradicting…in emotion and thought and even action…to be an adoptive home for children and then go through this horrible experience of divorce. Yes, divorce. That is what has been taking place in this Place Called Home for all of us. One can only look at that and say REALLY? How awful is it that the judge that approves your adoption, is the same judge that approves your divorce 2 years later. Again…let’s say it together REALLY? 

Yes REALLY!! You know how many times a day I ask HOW can this be? How did this happen. I search for that answer everyday. In the muddy waters of emotions…I find a small piece of the answers each day, making me stronger and wiser, but I don’t think I will ever have a complete answer. I don’t think there is one. Because it should have never happened to begin with.  My life has been re-directed, altered, permanently changed. As well as my children’s. And so I sit here today trying to pick up the pieces of that situation. And have it make sense. It’s been challenging to say the least. 

Everyday of my life..I was a believer that marriage is forever. I am a believer of marriage. I do not think that divorce is an option. So how did it come to be one for me? How did this home come to know this? How does someone with my beliefs choose divorce? I will not teach my children that divorce is a simple way out. I will not teach my children that marriage is to be taken lightly and the solution is divorce. I will teach my children that marriage is God’s design for couples and it is to be honored and held up in high regard. It is an awful reality to know my job was to take in kids from broken homes and give them something to aim for. And now here I sit part of another broken reality for them.

But there is something much, much greater I learned that should exist above all things. It is stronger than all of us combined. It’s a four letter word, it covers everything and it should be the driving force for everyone and  among all people. But sadly it isn’t. The concept is LOVE. And unfortunately it’s not the driving force in many people’s lives.  Love is the most basic need, expression, desire and gift one could give. And yet without it…it kills the greatest of things. It robs of us spirit, sound mind and good judgement. Without love we get lost. Without love we feel useless. To BE loved is universal. To feel it is what makes each person’s world go round. So why in the world of  divorce does this concept not over ride all things? That is the mighty question of the day.

I can’t tell you the countless times I sacrificed great, great Godly things for my beliefs. I can’t tell you the amount of times someone has suffered…in my home…because I chose to stick to my beliefs over the right way to live. When you sit on a pew, and listen to a preacher and do everything in your power to live right and good…but feel so empty and isolated and see the empty expressions on your childrens’ faces..there is more to this choice than just sin.

Every day I lived..I chose a belief system. I did not choose to stand by love. And yet every ounce of scripture I read or would hear…brought me to the overall concept of what Christ really stood for. LOVE. I didn’t learn in church, about beliefs, I learned about LOVE and how God feels about me and what adoption means and why we do it. And everyday I would face this incredible contradiction of what the bible told me about it and what was being lived. When anger fills a person’s heart, when bitterness or resentment creep in. When a person chooses to sacrifice love in their heart for negative things…a farm does not get sewn, fruit does not grow and in the end..no amount of water will bring the field of good fruit back to life. Everywhere in the bible…without naming specific scripture or pointing out targeted verses…I am amazed at how much the Bible speaks about love. But yet we focus more on the sin of divorce than we do of the love of the person.  I am fully aware of scripture and what it says about divorce. I am fully aware of the sin it actually is…but I’m more aware of the love God desires us to have. I am more aware of the idea that this God created us in LOVE.

There is no justification for the loss of a marriage. NONE. But can anyone justify the lack of love in a heart? What do you do when every ounce of scripture that dictates our love for others is not present in action or thought, the truth telling we should have among us is obsolete, and the fruits of our labors and the love that is required to be sewn is not sewn at all?  When no compassion is given, no forgiveness is experienced and it’s not love that rules your homes and lives..but anger and all the things you see with the devil and what resides there is not GOD at all? I find it hard to believe that this God that created us..with a full intent to love…would allow his Children to not KNOW love. Especially his adopted children. Aren’t we all adopted into HIM. Is it not our place to care for widows and orphans. I think I owed it to God to LOVE what he set before me. To that I say REALLY? And to that I say..what exactly is a A PLACE CALLED HOME?

Love is. Love is a Place Called Home. And I heard a song today that fully impacted my thought process with all this. I was feeling grateful that I was given an opportunity to show my kids the real beauty of love in a heart. That  is my job. The words in this song start off with saying “just a glimpse of your Love and I am changed” and so it brings me back to knowing that God’s love for me totally changed me. And the love for my children will totally mold and change them. Love totally makes us walk in a different way just as the song suggests.

What is more profound in my reality of what this divorce has shown me is she says in the song “for too many years I have been color blind. Only saw in shades of gray and stuck in black and white.” And how often do we miss the colors of what love really offers. I was stuck in black and white and needed the color of LOVE. I couldn’t sacrifice this lack of love anymore. My children deserved to see the world in color and feel the colors in their life bloom like flowers.  I refuse to believe that LOVE does not over rule our sins. REAL LOVE…does not hurt. REAL LOVE does honor, and it respects and it puts a value on people that cannot be replaced. At the end of the day…love should be evident in all we do. And it should be present in all we say. Even in our mistakes. In our failures and in our losses.

And so I move forward…in this broken home that WILL be lived out loud with LOVE.

Everyday…I am learning that LOVE now lives here. I am learning that when I am attacked and told that I cannot be given compassion (yes I am told it will not be given to me), I am told very negative things, shown daily how poorly I’m viewed. I’ve been made to feel selfish, that I’m a hateful person…incredibly hurtful things. That is not God and that is not LOVE.  I never knew anger and hatred could eat a person up..but I actually see it more than I ever thought I would. Everyday I wear armor, and everyday I know..God  loves me. He doesn’t see me like that. I thank God every day for HIS love.

Where once I was color blind, now I’m not. And where there is LOVE…there is GOD.

Love, Peace and Prayers,

Sully

http://youtu.be/lrYqNBonbD4

 

For the last 12 years I have known God. I have desired HIM. I have requested his presence in my life. I asked for my marriage to be guided under him, my thoughts, views and perceptions. I have seeked God in all I do. I have failed greatly. I have been sinner, hypocrite, evil-doer. I have failed miserably. Too many times to count. I have yet to fail at asking to be loved.

So I must share how that actually does make sense. I woke up today with the same wobbly legs I have had since this started. And for anyone who has seen Bambi it is indeed equivalent to when Bambi walks..those first few steps you think he’s for sure going to not make it..and then after a few stumbles and tries…Bambi does indeed make it. And that has been me for a few months not. How does something like this happen?

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Kings and Queens

I can’t believe how much time goes by between my posts. Time flies. Literally. Let’s just pick up though as if I haven’t let too much time between my posts pass. So I was in my “mom-mobile” the other day and I was reflecting on how great it was to be part of foster care again. Not that I had been gone from it for very long. Oh no..I just had a two-year old return home after caring for him for a solid year. No.. I didn’t take any long absence. I simply hadn’t taken in any new children for quite some time. And so just last week I started saying yes to more children. Last week I took in a new child and he is a sweet, sweet little boy. No foster child is ever issue free so of course it is a matter of working out for the child what exactly his needs are and I’m in the process of doing that for sure. But underneath…this little boy has a very sweet demeanor. He is a seven-year old first grader..and you know I just love little boys at this age. So glad I took him in!! I also did a respite for a 2 and 3-year-old over the weekend. The two-year old cracked me up and he was a typical two-year old. I love the age of TWO!! I mean, I think I need to seriously get me a two-year old. Loved it!! I mean loved it. The 3-year-old, he was a different story. I loved him and all his little issues..but lets just say foster care is truly hard work. Issues and all!! And so this is what I want to share with all of you.
Foster care is amazing. You now how hard it is to say that. Hard. Incredibly hard. You know why it’s so hard. Because..foster care is ugly. More ugly than one can imagine. It is not this glorified service we do like we are babysitting kids in the absence of their parents. OH NO..we ARE the parents in the bio parents absence!! This is real life. With real losses for these children. Some parents are literally in jail. Some are accused and convicted of domestic violence. Some children are truly neglected and abused. And the things some of these children tell you, you wouldn’t wish on any child ever having this information in their brain..yet they do. And you wish you could just erase it..with a little remote. Just like we do for changing channels on the TV. But there is something about foster care that is like no other reward in this world.
Those rewards are this: you know in that child’s life, there is no parent being responsible for them. It is the foster parent and maybe some bio family doing a part-time thing for them. Maybe by default, maybe not. The bottom line is…it’s happening and you the foster parent are the only love that child is getting. So you give it. Without question. How else will they know it and get it? And you know they are not getting boundaries. So you define a little in their life. Because you want for them to understand how a little bit of life works. So you give them a little bit of “tough love” so they can understand what it truly means to be loved..and not roam this earth free without anyone answering for them. Isn’t the point of life supposed to be where we learn how to answer for our own selves? How can we not teach that to a child..to answer for themselves so they can become productive functioning adults. Does that make any sense at all? To me as a foster parent it makes perfect sense.
So you know…as I contemplated all this in my “mom-mobile” I felt great. I contemplated how I was back to saying yes. My home was open and I am so happy it is open for foster care business. You know..I am not here for me. You know, what exactly does that mean? I am not here for me?
It means I am not here for me!! I am here for some other great purpose. I am here to serve others. Literally. And when I went to church on Sunday and heard the pastor say basically “give of ourselves?..actually he never said those words at all. I just summarized and heard the entire purpose is we aren’t even here for ourselves anyway. We are here to serve others. We are here to glorify God. So I feel the best way to do that is love the children in need. Right here. In my city. Bring them home to love. SO I am and I’m incredibly happy doing it.
And you know as I drove down the road..as I was contemplating all of this.. I heard this amazing song. It was such beautiful timing too. It is a song that tells us..what Kings and Queens exist in this world. And you know, they are all Kings and Queens. And I’m so happy to be working with them. So happy.
When I see a little boys face..I see a King. When I see a little girl..I see a small queen. Every day is not grand or beautiful. Every day can be difficult. The journey to being a King or Queen is hard and that is what makes me really, really care for these kids. Because they are not average. They endure great hardships. Hard trials and hard things to accept. And they have to grow up knowing it. So my heart is in this path and I want to continue working on the idea that..I’m working with a King and/or a Queen…and we are all God’s children. And for that…I think we are all some kind of royalty!!
Love, Peace and Prayers
Sully

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Painting Your Masterpiece

Happy Saturday! Today has been a day filled with caring for two babies!! I love the world of foster care and adoption. I love my life and how it’s taken on a beautiful picture of connecting to others through this world even when I’m not active with a placement in my own home. I can honestly say my world of spreading the news of foster care and having other families join me in this journey.. gives me satisfaction words alone cannot convey. Well maybe if I tried hard enough to find them I could but you know what I mean right? I LOVE that I am connected to these families in this way. And I LOVE the babies..wish I could just take care of them…I’d take another baby in, in a heartbeat..but being on my own and having so much to do for my own kids..I am not sure I can actually handle that but my heart is HUGE with desire for loving on a baby..that is for sure. So today I was intrigued by these two babies I cared for..one was a biological child and another was a foster child. And it is amazing when you see how each child exists in this world…it’s a fascinating thing to be able to say I have this experience as a foster parent. I know many think if you can be a parent to your child you can be a foster parent and yes anyone can be a foster parent. I do however think it requires a great set of skills and a knack for dealing with very deep issues. It takes willingness and dedication to endure these difficult sometimes tiring subjects..but along the way you become skilled at a world where neglect is present, abuse and some very ugly negative things with children and the adults in their life are present. Very present indeed. And what you really become a part of is the damaging, damaging effects of kids in foster care. It’s a world where much pain is present..and sometimes you ride the ride with them. You become educated on many things on many different levels. And you experience much joy when they find forever homes, even if you end up not being the forever home for them!!
The journey you go through with each child is unique. There is no one journey the same. I think I like that part. Each new child is a new story. A new family. A new set of tools and skills required. But one thing that never changes is their needs. Its a CORE fundamental need of love and acceptance. It’s monumental. That fact is always the same. And what you really witness is tiny little broken hearts with broken little angel wings. And then you get your own heart involved with them..and share their pain. So your role as a foster parent?..Part Healer. God is in control of the complete healing so it requires for us to pray for these little angels..but you are working for God in these things..so you are like God’s nurse. Part Healer for sure. We aren’t just feeding them and providing for their safety and nourishment…no, we are providing depths of great emotional need that will help mend those broken little hearts and sew up the broken or ripped wings on them. And your one and only hope is they will learn to love with complete little hearts and fly with their sewn up wings. That is it!! It’s foster care stripped down. It all equates to love and needs.
If someone came up and asked me what my favorite part of being a foster parent was it would be knowing that I had something to do with their healing process. Often times a foster parent has these same life experiences. And often times we learn in the midst of taking on a new child..we often times have some of the same beasts in our own past. There are times when you are going through something with a child in foster care that you recognize something in them..because you recognize it in your own self. It is not uncommon for traumatized adults to choose this line of work BECAUSE of their own childhoods and what part they want to play in changing these things for children. Not uncommon at all. We all have ways of conquering inner demons, taming the beasts within ourselves and going out into the world to make a postive difference to a child because it’s a mindset of knowing and relating in ways some other adults can’t. Some foster parents were in foster care as children. Some foster parents were simply adopted and want to help out with the process of finding good homes for kids. Whatever exists for the foster parents, you can usually find some experience they relate to with foster kids that helped them decide they wanted to give back and this is how they do it.
One thing that can never be taken for granted is each child in foster care suffers in some way. I never realized how traumatic childhood experiences could be for the children while they are in actual foster care until I became a foster parent, and I never realized how unresolved childhood issues could affect adults later in life until I found I related a little too well.
I find it incredibly interesting that life is like a painting..a picture constantly being drawn out onto the canvas. The picture is always everchanging though. The colors are like seasons, bright and bursting forth like anger within..and yet blinding like the sun that joy often can do for us. We as the painters of our own pictures have our “paints” all representing different experiences and circumtances…we set out to paint our own life. Is it really uncommon that spring, summer fall and winter could represent our inner self in colorful ways? Sometimes as people we burst forth with great happiness and joy and reflect all these magnificent colors and we are just in full bloom and other times we are cold and dark and just bare like a tree in mid winter. With nothing to offer because we are trying to find warmth inside ourselves. So life is like the tides..constantly moving. Painting for us our life on a canvas. Foster care is like this…constantly changing..flowing from one situation to another…and with each day we progress to the place of healing. To the place where every human being seeks…to find that place..whether it be a place in a family, a biological connection…or a place they can simply say they belong. At the end of the day…that NEED in us all is the same force. We all have the need to have our own paintbrush…We all just have different paintings to paint.
That’s all the love I have today folks…but I’ll be back!
Sully

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Love is a Lesson..and It Never Fails

How has 10 days of January passed already? When I was a kid it seemed like time dragged on so slowly. Now I can’t seem to get it to slow down. And I do wish time would slow down just a little. When I think about all the little meaningful things in life I want my kids to know and learn, I wonder if I have enough time to instill those powerful lessons to them. And I don’t mean lessons of the philosophical measures of life like I enjoy. I don’t mean lesson’s on how to be successful or determine a career path. Not at all. I simply want enough time to teach them about love.
Life has been quite the rollercoaster lately. I am a foster parent and after the two-year old I had went home after a solid year of caring for him, I was quite lost without my little guy for a bit. It still hurts. I have days where I just wish I could smell him. And only a parent that has literally LOVED ON a baby with their entire heart understands that deep connection to a mini human. You just crave their smell. I loved that baby with my entire being and felt a huge loss when he left me. I just wish I could hold him one more time. But as a foster parent you endure those losses. You go into this knowing that is the other side of it. The rewards and losses both are part of this journey.
After my guy went home, life took a turn that resembled an amusement park. NO exaggeration there either!! I have felt like I’m in the fun house of a carnival and when I walk through it and look in that mirror I find I am either the size of a marshmallow and an all squished up appearance stares back at me…or i’m this really, really skinny matchstick looking figure looking back at myself and I can’t even make out a face…YEP..it is beyond strange to KNOW this is happening and not a darn thing you can do about it but just go through it. OH, AND…if you could combine that fun house experience with immediately jumping in line waiting with complete anticipation to ride a roller coaster..yeah, you know that feeling..that adrenaline kind of feeling that surges through you while you wait and you hear and even see the “machine” ROAR passed you and heck, sometimes you even feel that breeze from the speed and velocity of the ride as it passes you…OH YEAH…you know the ride is coming and you know, your “all cool”..your gonna go through with it..go FORWARD…you know, you got this kind of thing?? but that feeling is there of KNOWING you are going to go for a THRILL RIDE..then you RIDE the ride, you step off and when you get off you feel a little like you kind of went through something HA, sometimes we even get headaches and get sick right??…HAHA..yeah, life for me has been a complete amusement park. I am actually pretty close to naming my own park here soon. Still working on the name!! But..just as in life, you gotta go through the whole park for the ENTIRE experience. That’s me..along for the ride but it can stop anytime now, I’ve been at the “park” longer than I’d like.
So, I was saying that I’m a foster parent and my little guy went home. From there, life just has completely entertained me to my very core self. Today, they called me on a 7-year-old and I said YES!! I was excited to get a new placement. I’m kind of ready to go forward and give someone some love for a while. I think it would be good for everyone. My kids are excited for another child to come stay for a while too. But..as it turned out, they found a different home already. But the best part is I’m ready to go for another round of dishing out some love to someone who needs it!! Which brings me to what made me thing about what I really wanted to post about and this thing called Love that I really want my kids to learn about. And they want to learn it too. And it’s a sad story but here is why…
My thoughts on the whole roller coaster ride is I’m not just the only one in the amusement park. My kids are right along side of me..holding my hand, and we are going through the park together. It’s not a personal thing we are going through..its a family thing. So I’m not the only one that has to worry about bad days. I am worrying about their bad days too. And it was during one of these bad days for my kids..I discovered that my adopted daughter had something to confess to me about love. And it was absolutely heartbreaking. But in the heartbreaking moment, light shone down onto the issue and revealed it’s light…because without the heartbreaking revealing moment…growth for her might not have ever been possible. I was heartbroken and amazed at her bravery for admitting what she did to me.
Im in an emotional amusement park with my children because my husband and I are going through a divorce. And this post is not about divorce at all, it’s about adoption. I have recently learned that when people go through divorce so many layers of emotions, issues and loss come up. I learned myself that may times in the middle of divorce, possible issues of abandonment comes up for one or both spouses if any of that lies in a person resulting from their past. And I must say at this point that when you are a parent who is dealing with your own issues and trying to weed through layer after layer of loss, the mere thought of abandonment alone for yourself is monumental emotionally. When you add that thought to your children..it’s like someone stealing your oxygen. Especially when you adopted children…and that issue is massively present within them.
Often times,in fact almost always, people assume that adoption has a face of joy, happiness and gratitude. And it’s an odd statement because yes it is all those things. But often times it’s not those things at all. I think those are the rewards of adoption…but when you adopt older children from foster care, adoption is not any of those things for many and for great periods of time even. It is a large process to work through to make it to those states of mind. Adoption for my oldest daughter wasn’t a happy experience at all. Her face showed me what she wanted me to believe, her heart however showed me a complete rejection from the beginning. And it took two years…but in the midst of our crisis, my daughter finally told me in words from her mouth, she didn’t feel very loved. That was her confession!! I almost have to write this again because it was such a monumental thing…she told me “she didn’t feel very loved.”
Can you imagine your child telling you this? From the day I brought her home..I knew deep in her heart was this hatred in life and even of self if you will, this lack of loving feeling..and her struggles with not feeling like she belonged, her displacement, her not being able to let her parents go, her brother..all of it. All present in our home. I am intimate with her bio family and never even met them. And forever she rejected her own emotions. And then finally these words came out. And I was so incredibly hurt but then about halfway through the situation..I stopped myself completely. And realized..”wait a minute. I’ve been waiting for that to be verbalized from the beginning.” The fact that she could internalize and then verbalize that she didn’t FEEL loved. The incredibly odd thing is I actually stared at her for a few minutes and admired her bravery. I am a parent experienced at life and I am struggling with my own admissions in life. And I stared at her all familiar eyes that actually look like mine and we don’t share blood at all and I saw my own self. How was she so brave to admit that? Somehow, I related to her all too well…I did not share her experiences but I am a fatherless child. I struggle with that male/female family dynamic loss..I know that greatly now. For a brief moment, I shared that unloved feeling. Yet, even in that brief moment of relating..it still cannot compare to her permanent losses. My daughters bio father has passed away and that possibility of reconnecting is permanently lost for her. Can anyone fault her for feeling so unloved? When I was finally brought back to reality after a few minutes , I so very much was on my way to taking her confession personal..I’ve been working at loving this child for two straight years now!! But then I realized..”OH NO, I am NOT going to take this personal..she is telling me a valuable, precious confession and now I’m going to do everything in my power to give her this gift.” Because now she’s ready to receive it. Now I can get past that childhood baggage..that loss and fill her up with the right stuff. A golden opportunity has presented itself. I saw it.
I wasn’t even on this thought process of this situation when I heard this song come on the radio yesterday. It caught my attention because when you are in the midst of feeling so personally broken, you just want that healing balm of something to engulf you and comfort you..and as a parent trying to comfort my own self AND my kids in the middle of a divorce, there is just so much I’m trying to let go of and embrace especially this purpose that God has for me. It’s been a tough process and so these words came to me and spoke to my heart..they wrapped around me like a blanket..and comforted me..and I heard “I know it feels you’re at the end, but here your story’s just beginning.” Ok what?? I feel at the end. I need a new beginning. So now I’m listening. And funny I have heard this song but never really listened to the words..So then it said…”I know you can’t see past the moment, but I see beauty in the broken.” Ok, well I’m feeling pretty darn broken…what is this saying? And as if that didn’t speak loud enough..it then said..”looking at your life from where I am, I promise you that all your dreams and all your greatest plans, they don’t compare to my hope for you, my love can do way more than you can imagine” and then it just hit me..I have so much love to teach my children. We are all broken by something, my kids are broken right along with me right now…and there is a lot of beauty to be found in that. And knowing what my daughter confessed to me..I was filled with this sense of purpose of what needs to cover everything for us right now. Love and nothing more. No other effort but that. NO wasted time or energy on what is not worth it. Love is worth all things. And so it becomes this great purpose of learning about love. I realized that if I could just take every day and put forward acts of love that they can learn by…there is no failure in that. Love does not fail. Love is patient. Love is kind. And so it must go on just like that. In love. And then when the broken stuff gets healed..I hope that when my daughters find their bio families..it will be with love that she embraces whatever comes her way with all things. And one day she will be able to say “I felt loved.” Is there anything greater than that? I think not.
And that is all I have on adoption today…LOVE.

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Finding Serenity

I find it incredibly interesting that if you actually google “holiday blues” you get ton’s of sites describing how to cope with them. Out of curiosity I looked up Holiday Blues on the online websters dictionary and found no defintion for it. However, make a quick entry into google or yahoo…and you would be amazed at what the internet offers for advice and solutions.

So why would one do that? Well..I would guess because for the first time EVER..I felt so BLUE..I think I was probably the color of a pretty blue ornament and you could have hung me on a tree. Never before had I felt such a blue feeling. I am experiencing some very hard times so of course it is just part of my journey and experience at the moment. I however was amazed at how powerful holiday blues can grab hold of someone.

And adding this entry on this blog..ADOPTION blog…what does that have to do with anything? I would suppose that being the deep thinker that I am, I have learned in life that everything is related and everything can be applied to something else. I was an avid martial artist at one point in my life and I learned early on in my low ranking belts that martial arts is 90% mental and 10% physical. With that said..I learned that everything in our head..all the things we look at and view, can be viewed with many different angels and hold many different definitions. And taking the long route here…remember we are talking about holiday blues? And then we are on an adoption blog? Right? Ok..keep following..because my point is this. If I was experiencing holiday blues..I can’t imagine what my adopted children must feel at times like Christmas. Shew!! That is all my point was but you know I just like to take long journeys to get to it sometimes. 🙂

Christmas is a time where families are cherished. A time of magical wonder where we decorate trees, and share so much togetherness and it’s about coming together and being in harmony with the family and friends we built our lives around. And in my state of holiday blues…the part where I feel sorry for my own self and forget that others have pain and burdens too..I realized what it must be like to know you are adopted, to know you will never be with that family again for many years to come…it is a permanent state of holiday blues for many people. And a state of mind many need to learn to cope with. Literally. And so I learned they have so many sites out there for coping with it. And I was amazed at the idea..so many people must suffer with holiday blues.

My adopted girls have adjusted well. In fact there was no hint or idea they suffered from anything unhappy on Christmas morning. For so many adopted children..they learn the skill of coping. And embracing. Enduring. And the big one… Accepting. I don’t think it was a second thought to them. Not on the outside. It was not always like this. My oldest struggled greatly. I know of her struggles. It was at first a daily thing. She would talk about her Mom and Dad. Something would trigger a memory. I could see she would struggle with her own happiness..how can she learn to live in this family without guilt of being with her own biological family? What a pain that must be for her. For any child that is adopted..to have to live with guilt to embrace a family..when all you want is to go home to the bonds of blood..regardless how messed up it is. To come to the point of smiles on Christmas morning….a tad bit shy of something close to a miracle. Great work and love was involved in that process. Not an easy feat emotionally for any adopted child.

And so my thought process came to this. I found I was comforted by this here…”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Funny because I used to live by that daily in some struggles in my younger years. I embraced that saying and would say it over and over in my head through my daily battles. I carried that on a keychain and embraced it with passion. And it’s odd how things we bury..things that were anchors or lifeboats for ourselves at some point we forget to use for our own selves. And even worse it is something that can be passed on to help another. But life catches us off guard and we forget the most important lessons.  Yet it came back to me..like an epiphany…maybe as I was staring at the tree and feeling sorry for my own self..it came back to me through realizing my children were actually living this out loud!! So it spoke to me.

I was being told that somewhere they found serenity. They found the ability to accept those things they couldn’t change and they smiled with great happiness to open up a gift and not feel guilty for their happiness. They had great courage to accept they were adopted into a family that really does not make them feel connected to the earth as they should feel. Oh the courage that an adopted child must face knowing they are adopted. And I was shown their wisdom..to embrace fully that they have had to move on and well…MOVE ON. So I couldn’t help but find my own serenity in that reality.

It is with great passion I will once again embrace this one more time..that God will grant ME the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.  And thank you God for showing me through my adopted children to find this path to peace once again.

Love, Peace and Prayers

Sully

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Just a thought about the magic of DNA

I had not realized how adversely closed adoption, and the absence of my biological history had affected me until I gave birth to my son Gabriel. When I held him in my arms, for the first time in my life I felt connected to the earth

Adoptee and adoptive parent Cori



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The Best Gift for 2012…My Brother!

One the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree..One of my favorite songs of all times at Christmas. And then there is Silent Night, The First Noel…I have too many to name as favorites. I am so ready for Christmas this year. I must admit I have struggled with my Christmas Cheer for 2012. Since July we have had ALOT of emotions flowing through my family..anticipation, newness of relationships, learning about adoption and my brother’s life as we merged our lives together. And NOVEMBER?  Talk about anticipation killing someone. It was all I could do not to die of excitement of meeting my brother for the first time!! Thanksgiving was a perfect holiday to me. Amazing holiday. And that feeling of loss was HUGE when my brother had to go back home. I mean HUGE. You know like how do you join your lives and then have to let them go back. Well, you don’t!! It’s not an easy accomplishment..but you learn that there will be new horizons to seek out. And so you do..with diligence. So when December rolled in..I struggled with getting my tree decorated, I struggled with Christmas cheer…but one thing I didn’t struggle with was feeling in my heart the new definition of what adoption really looked like. What it felt like…and I  had gained an entire different perspective of adoption just by knowing my brother and his life as I got to know him.

In 2011 I was a parent who adopted. My girls were the adoptee’s. When you go through adoption, you are asked by the Guardian ad Litem..questions. It is a legal proceeding that does precede the adoption so the courts can get an “inside view” if this is something the kids and family can move forward with in a healthy fashion together. I am always amazed at what hindsight teaches us all with EVERYTHING. As I recall our meeting with the Guardian ad Litem..I recall how easily we all answered the questions, how prepared we all felt. Now though, as I recall that meeting, and add the meeting of my brother to today…I had no where near the understanding of adoption back then as I do today. I can honestly say..I have an entirely different understanding of adoption now that I know my brother. I now understand an emotional aspect to adoption, I clearly thought I knew, but there was no way I could have. I didn’t know what it was like to be adopted. I could talk to my girls, ask questions and hear their reply’s..but I had no real appreciation because I was the one doing the adopting…but now, with discovery and words shared I have come to know in conversation what it means that my brother was the adoptee..and now I was beginning to understand my sibling and what the side of being the adoptee looked like. If you asked me in 2011 if I thought I knew what it meant to be adopted..I would have answered with confidence..YES!! I thought I did. But in 2012…my world was changed by the definition of adoption completely. And it has allowed me to see into my girls world with eyes I never could have prior to meeting my brother.

Adoption is an incredible experience. There is no way to possibly describe the emotions involved with adoption. I know that as a parent, you are put to challenges you never thought you would encounter because when you have a child who is adopted and knows they are adopted there is much emotion that takes place in them. They never really feel truly connected. They fit, they survive, they exist, they learn, they grow and are molded to you through bonding and experiences and forming relationships..but for that child, there is a connection they desire that is only felt by DNA. I learned this just by adopting my girls. I had this confirmed by knowing my brother. When I look at my girls, I accept they need this. I accept that this is their lifelong “losses” and they will struggle with connectivity. So we work on it. We understand it. With my brother I understand I am his connectivity and he is mine…and so we seek it and nurture it…when you know you are without connectivity and then you have that DNA connection, you have that need to stay connected to it. It’s incredible. I understand what it is like to be on the outside looking in..and on the inside looking out. And I feel incredibly fortunate to have this experience. Both sides. Understanding and insight many people never get. We sometimes only see one side. And I feel so grateful. It has allowed me to understand my girls and understand my brother. I have been given an opportunity to bond with my girls based on knowing and understanding and bonding with my brother.

I can’t help but sit around my tree this year..sitting in quiet awe as I just stare at my pretty lights..how much 2012 has really brought me. I see the wrapped presents and I have to admit..they really don’t mean that much. The gifts and blessings I’ve been brought…cannot be wrapped with paper. Instead my gifts and blessings are wrapped up with great love and tied with bonds that cannot be bought, traded or sold anywhere. I am not without Christmas spirit in regards to gift giving..I have simply come to know that this year in particular I learned with great definition just how much real gifts of the heart produce. I didn’t lose my heart for Christmas shopping..I simply yearned to have the gift of my brother returned to us..and no present can compare to that gift of our relationship my family has found in him. As I parent my children with this new understanding..I realize that nothing I buy them will ever compare to simply understanding their needs better…by learning what those needs really are. I learn so much with each day we progress..with them all.

2012 didn’t end. We are all still here. Alive and ready to celebrate our Saviors birth. A man who so easily died on the cross for us..gave us the gift of salvation and life. So..as I celebrate HIS birth..I will celebrate my brothers birth..with gratitude he is alive to celebrate his life with us..even if it’s years later. And I celebrate that my children were born…because I was able to adopt them because they lived. And there is no greater gift than life…be it Jesus or anyone else. WE celebrate life. And so I celebrate at Christmas 2012…this gift of adoption…my brother, my kids and how that has given me greater definition to my life. I cannot celebrate Christmas because of a tree, or gifts or anything material. Christmas is our saviors birthday and LOVE is the greatest gift.  So I guess we should add Away in a Manger to my song list. That is a favorite of mine too. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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Adoption Hits Home

Wow! I can only start this post by saying that one word WOW!! I created this page before I knew what my REAL journey was ever going to be about. How does that happen? It happens because God’s design for our life is something HE knows of before we do. See, I am an adoptive parent. I adopted chronically ill children. And I started this support group idea..”Joshua’s Generation”.. thinking I could really impact alot of people with my experience..and my focus was on the chronically ill children and how we could really lift that up into a ministry of some sort. And I threw this blog in there as well…thinking as I created and designed the other stuff..I could also throw some things in there from an adoptive family aspect. I have a unique family life and I want nothing more than to help people overcome all that goes with adoption or chronically ill children.

As an adoptive parent..I have seen first hand what adoption really means to a child. We have been through massive adjustment with each child..the emotional aspect is monumental. When you have biological children..young biological children, adoption is something they go through as well. Adoption is not something that affects one or two people. It affects a family if other members of a family are involved.

I can tell you first hand adoption is an amazing journey. It will take you to the peaks of emotions you didn’t even think was possible to feel. It will challenge you beyond measure, it will bring you to places inside yourself you didn’t even know existed. See, it’s a very interesting journey too because the growth that comes with adoption is something I never would have ever imagined possible. You are taken to extreme places in adoption. As an adoptive parent you even become angry at the biological family for some of the things that take place before a child is removed from a home if you adopted from foster care. But adoption can also be a beautiful experience no matter what the circumstance or reason for adoption.

One of the most powerful things about adoption you learn is “blood ties”. See we all have this idea of love and family that it doesn’t take blood relations to create or make up a family. This much is absolutely true. But what is not entirely true is that real blood lines won’t matter .We all have this fantasy idea..even I did so I can write this from experience, we naively believe that you can forget where you came from. No actually you cannot.  I am here to tell you that blood absolutely does matter and nothing you say or do will ever take away, dull, eliminate, erase NOR is it even possible to delete what goes with blood ties. The only way this is ever possible is if someone just never knows they are adopted. I am sure there are stories out there where adopted children don’t want to know their birth families..but even still it’s a choice. I have personally come to the belief that God designed blood with magnetic pieces inside and when you know you have blood out there…like a hound you want to sniff it out. And that curiousity is never appeased until you know your answers.

I have watched my adopted children for the last couple of years and our situation is a little unique and my children knew their birth family…but even still,with all that they endured, the neglect and hardships, they want that birth family. Blood is a powerful thing to children. To parents, to siblings. There is not a day that goes by that my daughter does not think of her blood brother…her blood family. I live this with her. I talk about it with her. Her birth family is very real to me. I journeyed into their birth father dying and having to be the person that shared that with my adopted child. Painful, painful things to watch a child go through. Blood and family is God’s design for his people. And I’ve watched it first hand..being a constant fight, a constant battle to accept for my children. They every day have to fight to live with their desires of wanting thier blood related family. I have come to be so intimate with the emotions of what really takes place for a child of adoption…but I had no idea God would reveal different angles of adoption or that it would hit so close home to my own heart.

A couple weeks ago, the child that I knew my mother gave up for adoption found us. And with all I’ve experienced as an adoptive parent…now I’m a sibling of an adopted child. How does that come back around. Well..I’m going with it. I’m now my children. I am a sibling of adoption. So that statement of it doesn’t affect just one person. TRUE.  And I am here to tell you that the magnetic pull of blood is a monumental emotion. It’s like the one magnetic pull I watched my children go through…I was now feeling.I am feeling. MONUMENTAL. And my thought process. I cannot get out of my head if he liked super heroes. What is up with that? And I mourn…oh how I mourn this life I could have had with him. To know that years cannot be made up. To know someone’s blood us pulsating through thier veins that tested match your DNA…your magnetic DNA.  It’s all consuming. A curiosity beyond peaks you never thought existed and valleys so low…it’s heartbreaking. It is incredibly bittersweet so feel what could have been…but never was,OH  but now is. And I am sitting here in awe of my past experience, my gifts God has given me, my love for writing…my desire for God to use me in ways HE see’s fit…and I realize as I sit here..he was only just beginning to prepare my heart. Now a little of the picture makes more sense. It doesn’t make the emotions of it any easier.  But this all wasn’t anything of me…this was all GOD. Wow…it’s powerful to know that. Which makes the pul of it even greater. To know God designed this plan…WOW!

So as a person passionate about adoption..I had no idea it was going to land home so close in my heart. I had no idea I would see this brother I had..with all knowing wisdom of what he must feel as an adopted child. See I think what makes this so overpowering for me as a person is…I know adoption. I know the intimate details, depths and emotions that go with it..from a child’s perspective. Now my brother is those children. He was. He has been. He has questioned..he has been curious beyond measures…so, I know those emotions. I know that power. I know that blood pull. And God now just gave that to the two of us. Talk about powerful. When God gives you abilities to feel so compassionately about another person with insight and undertanding to their situation…you get so caught up emotionally.Now, I’m looking at my children saying AHH…I got it. Wow this is really intense. Wow this is an amazing pull. And I crumble over the burdens they must carry…the weight of that pull.  What my children must feel for their parents. And their siblings. God has been showing me for the last couple of days…this beautiful journey.No matter what way you look at it. Adoption is just a beautiful amazing journey.

The emotions and depths of adoption are this magnificent journey. It really brings home how God has adopted us all. See ultimately blood doesn’t have to exist to make us family…but really when you think of it…God designed us..in HIS image from the earth and by Jesus’ blood we are created by BLOOD. I know I personally get consumed when I see Jesus up on a cross and I see HIS blood. Bood absolutely matters but is not necessary. I find it interesting we are pulled by the great emotion of love and love is a powerful thing. Love is like the glue that brings us into one family. You don’t need blood for love. And you don’t need blood to be a parent of a sibling.  But when true DNA and blood is present…when adoption is what seperates that DNA..you are pulled like a magnetic force that was God’s design to be there. And this is my current journey. And I’m embracing it.

See my new found brother and I have already talked about God. And I hear God speaking to my heart about this gift he is giving me. And this new found brother spoke something to me and said…God isn’t finished with you..and in my struggle and pain that goes with adoption..the normal fluctuationg emotions that take you on the biggest roller coaster of your life…I realized..You know, your right. I didn’t become an adoptive parent for nothing. God was preparing me. God designed my heart for this journey and I cannot wait to see where HE takes me…because I know he has just fully blessed me. He’s blessing my mother and healing her of pain and scars.At least he will.  And he is healing my brother and bringing us all together. God has blessed me one more time. For that I am eternally grateful for not just the blood of Jesus…but the blood of my brother as well.

 

http://youtu.be/Z61zdZJ9uZc

 

 

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