‘Can you please stop talking about it? Why do you keep talking about it? Can you just stop?’ She slammed her cup of milk down.’: Foster mom’s emotional realization that ‘goodbye is coming’Read More
“I met K at the wrong time.
I have never been on any of those hot dating apps or websites; the two times I went to a club dancing was with girlfriends and I denied any male coming near me: I was not looking for someone like K to drop into my life anytime soon.
To be completely honest, I didn’t know that I would ever want to look for another long-term relationship, let alone in the next year or two.
At 26 years old I had already been married 6 years, parented 7 children — through birth, adoption, and foster care — and miscarried 2 babies. We had helped plant a church, mentored dozens of people, looked the part of what even myself would consider a ‘Goals Couple.’ Hell, we fooled even ourselves.Read More
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.
The 4 — and then 6… and then 7 — of us looked so good in photos together, we fooled even ourselves. Until one day I was brave enough to stare our marriage’s reality in the face and ask for help. We had 5 kids at the time and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. The walls of our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies I had construed to survive, because silently dying inside felt more livable than looking at the truth and what would come next.
I wasn’t ever going to be a divorcee. ‘Divorce is for weak people who don’t understand the sacredness of the vow.’ I sincerely believed this to my core. I wasn’t about to tell that to a divorcee’s face, but anytime I heard of another friend’s marriage ending, I pitifully shook my head, disappointed for their lack of strength to just make it work.Read More
“‘I just have to ask… do you love Sage as much as you love Ira? I mean, I know you say you do…but I’m just so curious if it’s true.’
We sat on my living room floor when she asked me this. With a world of confidence and pride in my chest I was able to nod and beam and let her know that I absolutely love Sage as much as I love Ira.
I love them each as though I birthed them both…but I also love them as though I adopted them both. To me, it is the same unending mama love.Read More
When I was staring separation and divorce in the face, I was sure I was going to die of shame. So much shame wrapped up in the dissolution of a marriage — in my family and community and online and as a faith-based person.
I was confident divorce would make me Not Good Enough.
But one day He spoke so clearly into my shattered soul, saying “When you say you aren’t good enough, you are inherently denying My Truth. I say you are a glorious work of Myself, I say you are My masterpiece. Stop eating the lie that you are not good enough. You are made in my image then, now, and tomorrow. Your marriage and wife-title is not your core identity, therefore as you lay it down, you are still wholly Beloved.”Read More
Monday evening I laid on my bedroom floor’s white rug in a pile of pathetic-feeling-pity and stared at the empty suitcase that was originally my friend Kat’s. How was I supposed to pack for a trip I didn’t even have plans for? What kinds of things do I take to wear? What will I even do on this trip? Was this a mistake? Should I just not go? That’s a lot of days in a row without Sage and Ira. How will I survive this grief?
When I looked ahead at the Californian days in front of me, they were so empty and ready to swallow me up whole.
I was sure that all the space the coming days held might kill me because I would have to sit in all of my pain.Read More
I have started and drafted dozens of blog posts since August 2018.
They’ve been about motherhood, about race and racism, about marriage and divorce, about healing and wholeness, about self-love, about foster care and the perils of working with DHS…
But only a small few have made it to the published side of this little space I call mine.
2018 exploded a whole world of pain that was hidden from even myself…or at least I was working extremely hard to keep it hidden from myself. Because what happens when we stare unspeakable damage in its face?
How do we rise from such depths of brokenness?
How do we pick up all the pieces that shatter? There is no way to put them back together how we or the world (aka Christian culture) feels they should be, because piecing together a shattered plate comes back together differently no matter how hard we try.Read More
Here is the prayer I've been mulling over today, on MLK Day:
May I never forget the privilege it is to parent these children whose skin is darker than mine, whose hair is textured and curly, whose lips are fuller, who come from descendants of Africa.
May I never forget that my whiteness has oppressed them for generations upon generations — continuing to too — and that they + their ancestors were and are made in the very image of God. We must always start with the Truth that each of us are made in the actual image of God.
May I show my white son what it means to be a white person who loves Jesus and understands that His grace is big enough for us to sit in the truth that we play a piece of the evil that is white supremacy, and we get to choose to ignore it OR be a part of the bridge being led by people such as Dr Martin Luther King.Read More
Here it is
…. I am in the middle of a divorce.
I feel like I can finally breathe putting this out here in my small corner of the internet…. while at the same time I feel suffocated from what I expect to be some people’s reactions, assumptions, criticism, and responses.
In the grand scheme of life, it hasn’t been very long since the abruption of my marriage, though it feels like it’s been ages.
It is a nice idea to not say anything at all — on the internet anyways — and let the fact that I was married for six years just kind of slip quietly away into the archives of the internet.Read More
I find myself in yet another season of deep, irrevocable loss.
When I wrote my memoir about finding the fullness of joy through allowing myself to grieve — This Undeserved Life — I could not have foreseen the depths of grief and trauma I still had coming at me. But isn’t that exactly how trauma works? It blindsides us and catches us off guard and knocks us down to our rockiest of bottoms.
Tumultuous. That’s the kind of journey I am experiencing.
Loss, no matter the kind, changes us.
It works into the corners of our souls a sorrow that remains, even if at times we don’t feel it.Read More
I find myself living in my worst nightmare. The kind of nightmare you didn’t even believe could happen in the darkest of nights to you. The kind of nightmare that only happens to other people, less holy people.
It’s the kind of nightmare where every thing just sucks, where there is no going back to before the nightmare began because before was still miserable, it was just the hidden kind. The kind that is hidden from even yourself…because you so, so don’t want it to be reality.
But… before the nightmare woke us all up, I was slowly dying a quiet, secret death. It was okay enough though, because I was believing it to be okay and wanted it to be okay so badly.Read More
I lay down all the dreams I dreamt,
all the things I was sure were meant
Everything is changing,
there can be no more waiting.
Every piece of me burns,
caught up in a flame,
a fire creating sorrow-filled pain.
We have been chosen as a permanent and forever family for a baby sister.
Baby sister makes us a family of seven.
The privilege is not lost on me.
Last fall our friends accepted a baby girl into their family as a foster placement. I couldn’t help but see some similar features between her and Sage.
Over the months, we have gotten to know her and play with her and see her work hard despite the odds and cards dealt to her.
In April of this year our friends said she was moving towards adoption and they were not going to be her permanent/forever family.Read More
The other day I was walking through the streets encircling our current home. It was before 8 am and both my boys were so wiggly and sad, the best thing to do was load them into their side-by-side stroller and soak in some fresh air and morning sun.
My favorite mornings are the mornings we get out when the sun has barely risen, my coffee is warm, and I have time to stroll the neighboring streets.
We were walking and they were holding hands as they often do; resting on the top of the stroller were my forearms and the book I was currently reading. I walked slowly while I read out loud.
“Oh are they both yours?” The question caught me off guard, which it shouldn’t have, considering this question is asked multiple times an outing.
I get it. My family isn’t the typical family made up of mini-me’s. My family has two babies that look identical in age but not in appearance: one is brown with textured-hair, the other is white with straight hair and appears to be my twin. We have two daughters who also have brown skin and textured hair, one even wears a hijab at times. Me and my husband? We are white. And no, we don’t take this parenting-kids-of-color lightly.
Before you stop us in the middle of the grocery store or while I am trying to play at the park with my kids, I’d like you to know these ten things:Read More
It’s been a decade since we began our parenting journey, and here’s what I want you, someone new to this journey, to know:
You do not have to have it completely figured out, but you do need to be figuring it out. Your education as a transracial adoptive parent should never stop. It should continue from now until your dying day. This means not only listening to adoptees and learning about adoption norms (such as how trauma can change the brain, what adoptees need from their parents, etc.) but also about what your child of color needs. The best people to help you understand this are people who racially match your child.Read More
Hi y’all! My name is Nicole and I am a birth mom from Texas. Ive been a birth mama since 2017. I placed my son, Moses, in an open adoption at birth. I wish I could meet you all and have a glass of wine or coffee (which ever is your preference, because honestly I love both) and have this talk. For now, I hope that you enjoy reading one of the voices that usually gets silenced in adoption!Read More
Something I've seen and even bought into until I became an adult with my own thinking is that society likes to stigmatize kids who are in foster care or who were adopted. I didn't even realize I bought into this.
They are seen as less than, unwanted, and often times "behavioral." They are labeled "the bad kid" by peers and even adults. Sometimes we don't even realize we see them this way, often it is implicit and subconscious bias deep within us...that's the trouble with our society. Things are engrained into us without even realizing it, and these things continue to churn the way our world works, spinning abusive and unjust cycles.
And sure, many of our kids's behaviors hurt other people. That is real. But, I'd argue that every single kid hurts another person with poor choices; they're all developing and learning what is okay and what is not.Read More