Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog funk

Have you ever felt like you were in a blog writing funk? Like sitting and writing is the last thing you have time for? (To all my 3 blog readers that is...)
Well, that's been me. It seems that every since Lyla came home I have been in a blog writing funk. Mostly because of time.... with 3 kids, it hardly gives you time to sit down and eat a meal, let alone write meaningful posts on your blog that others will care to read!
So that's where Ive been. Funk City, Funky Town, get the point.

Here's a little catch up...

My family is now a steady family of 5. My two step children came to live with us full time right after we got home with Lyla. My daughter is 16 1/2 and my son is 12 1/2. They are amazing children and I love them as my very own! This brought a huge change for me though. No more "ever other week" or "part time parenting" for us. It was an adjustment. One that I was happy to make though. Our lives were drama free and way less complicated now. We embraced the change and have loved it every since.

Lyla has just been grown like crazy. She is now 14 months old and is just a beautiful angel. Our family is IN LOVE with everything about her. She started walking the beginning of December (at 10 1/2 months) and now runs most everywhere. She loves to be chased and laughs a beautiful laugh when you catch her.  She says a few words... mama, dada, bye, ball... we're working on expanding that vocabulary! She pretty much just has to point and we do it for her, so I'm sure she hasn't cared to learn too many words yet. haha.
She has a deep love for anything Sesame Street and Elmo. She will sit and watch Sesame Street in the mornings while I get ready and we just went to see Sesame Street Live this weekend and she was in awe!

Clint and I are great. We are getting ready to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. We have really grown so much as a couple. I love seeing the areas we have grown in and areas we still need to grow in. I guess that's what marriage is all about...

The "bigger" kids are wonderful. We are currently searching for Laynie a car. She hasn't really wanted to drive, so we have put off buying one for some time now! I think we are more ready for her to drive then she is!! She's going to be babysitting Lyla this summer, so a car is a must.
Blake is busy with baseball. We have been in 3 tournaments so far and they have done really great! They got first in the one this past weekend!  They are both ready for school to be out. I think Clint and I are too!!

I'm still working hard at my Etsy store. I have a pretty steady line of orders. I wish I sewed more for Lyla, but it seems my sewing for my store gets in the way. I need to prioritize that a bit better.

Here are a few pictures from the past few months!
 Lyla at 10 months...
Thanksgiving (10 months)
Well, I did sew her 1st Thanksgiving outfit.

11 months

1st Birthday Pictures. Jan 9th, 2013
This girl LOVED her smash cake!
Clint's 41st birthday was in Feb. Of course we had to get him a new OKC Thunder shirt. He's just being silly with the glasses :)

I love this picture of Lyla and "Grand" (Clint's Dad).

Dad and his kiddos! I'm so blessed!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2012

I was excited to be a part of the Adoption Blogger Interview Project for 2012. It just so amazing to me to see how many adoptive Momma's there are out there. I have been so encouraged by so many of these wonderful Mothers and I was blessed to get to learn a little bit more about one in particular! 
*You can read a BUNCH of other interviews over at "Production, Not Reproduction"
 I was paired with Alissa from Not A Visitor and loved getting to know her! Here were my interview questions and her wonderful answers!!
1. What made you choose adoption as "Plan A"? Was there any "backlash" from friends/family about not having bio children first?
Andrew and I have always had adoption on the table -but we did experiment with getting pregnant before we pursued adopting full force. I had been told since I was a teenager that for various reasons it might be difficult for me to become pregnant, so it wasn't surprising to when it didn't happen naturally. Andrew has never felt a need for biological children, though, so for him trying to get pregnant was more humoring me than anything. What we found out about our fertility was that if we really wanted to reproduce biologically we likely could, but pretty serious medical intervention would be necessary. That helped me get in touch with something I felt I had always known in some way - that adoption was how we would find our children. We did not experience backlash from family or friends, although some folks have asked us if we'll ever try for a child that shares our genetics and we just answer cheerfully that we're happy with the family we have. All of our parents have biological grandchildren from our sibs (Andrew and I each have a brother) so our choice didn't deprive them of that experience.

2. What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about open adoption? Have you faced any of those?
I think the biggest misconceptions around open adoption have to do with pre-conceived ideas about first families and first parents as a threat to the adoptive family. Especially when J, my oldest, was a little baby I would get questions like "but, her birthmother can't actually find you, can she?" or "What if she wants her back?" I usually explain to people that in my view the situation is the opposite - our connection to Z, the girls' first mom, is an asset, and the fact that she gave birth to and made the first big choices for our girls doesn't threaten my motherhood in any way. Her love for her children adds to the love in their life in general, and the more connected we can be to her the better, even though at the moment most of the communication is from us to her.

3. What has been the most challenging thing about raising two children outside of your race?
The most challenging part for me has been the growing realization that wonderful people do and say racist and ignorant things - and by "people" I mostly mean "white people." I was working my own racial culture issues (I am white) before the girls came into my life but having them as my daughters brings out the worst in other people sometimes, and usually its my people - the white folk - who screw up and say or do something racially insensitive when I or my girls are around. The number of strangers, always white folk, who have asked or tried to ask without actually saying it out loud if my girls are "crack babies" is astonishing to me. Equally intense are the number of times I have had to ask white people not to touch their hair. It has been eye opening, and a great opportunity for me to figure out how to talk to people about race issues as well as how to communicate my boundaries to others in ways that are compassionate and firm - the way I want my kids to learn to respond to that stuff if they need to.

4. Tell me a little about your decision to become a priest? What religious affiliation are you a part of? I grew up Catholic and thought that priests were only in the Catholic faith. Enlighten me! :)
Great question! I am Episcopalian, and we also have priests! The Episcopal church is part of the Anglican Communion which descended from the Church of England - the one that started when one of the King Henry's wanted a divorce that the Pope wouldn't grant so split the Catholic church in England off to be under the king. Long story short - a lot of what Anglicans and Episcopalians do with language (priest, bishop, mass, etc) is similar to the Roman Catholics, but a lot of the theology and dogma is less rigid. In the USA we've been ordaining women for several decades. I decided to become a priest because I feel a deep vocational call to do that work. Part of that call - the explainable part - came from discerning that this is a vocation that will use all of who I am: speaking skills, leadership ability, intellect, love of Scripture, love of people, desire to engage in good and meaningful work. It will never be easy but it will also never be boring! (well, sometimes the meetings are boring, but in an overall sense - the liturgy and people sense - not boring.)

5. How do you decide on what to share with your readers and what to keep private?
My first rule is to only tell my story and not anyone else's. So if, for example, I am struggling with a behavioral issue with one of my kids I don't write about "her" problem but instead I write about my struggle as a parent and what's going on for me. I don't want my children to look back and feel like I was spilling their secrets or intimate childhood moments all over the internet, but I do want to be authentically myself in my writing. My second rule is that I don't write anything that I wouldn't want my mother or my husband to read. Which is necessary, as both do read my blog. Finally the stuff I write here isn't private - I would share it in a homily if appropriate, or talk about it with someone I didn't know well. I'm more open than many people - but for me this is public stuff. These rules end up meaning that I generally don't complain about the people in my life or tear down any other human beings in what I write.

6. How did your family react to your transracial adoption? Was anyone one way before you adopted and another way after you brought the girls home? Meaning, did you have any "supporters" before that turned into "not so supportive" after?
If anything it was the other way around! Meaning that the few "not so supportive" turned into supporters once they met our J and saw us together as a family.  My family is different than me in many ways - the same is true for Andrew and his family - but they are hands down one of the most loving groups of human beings in the universe. From the moment we announced we were adopting and how it would happen they were extremely supportive - with one exception whose generational location among other factors contributed to some anxiety on that person's part over the transracial nature of our adoption plans. Suffice to say one facebook album of photos later and all doubts were gone. 

It is my experience that biases against a category of human beings (race, class, sexual orientation,etc.) are much easier to maintain when people don't know or love anyone who belongs to that particular category. I want to be careful how I phrase this, because it is in no way a justification for transracial adoption, but one of the happy byproducts of having my girls in my life is that family members who maybe have never had the chance to be close to and love someone who isn't white now have that opportunity. And just that can change people. We don't have a mono-racial friendship community, but some of our family does, and this has been good for them. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

9 Months

I can't believe our little angel is already 9 months old! She is such a delightful baby. This past month she learned to crawl, clap, dance, and pull up on everything. She likes to stand by herself and she has one tooth on the top and 4 on the bottom. It's SO CUTE!
She loves table food....has NEVER liked baby food! She prefers to drink from a cup or a sippy cup with a straw! She is 18.4 lbs and 26inches. We are just so in love with our little lady.
It seems like she does something new every day. We think she's super smart (maybe a little biased).

We took a few "Fall" pics last weekend.....