Photo by Shanna Hullender Photography

"Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change."

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Ugly Part II

We spent the last week at the beach. It was an amazing time: amazingly fun, amazingly hot, amazingly tiring, amazingly sandy, amazingly tanned, etc. This was the kids first trip to the beach. Actually on the first day they came to live with us, they asked me if we were going to the beach. I had made them a little scrap book about Billy, me and our families. One photo was of us on the beach. It is so sweet that even to this day, they like to look and read through that book.

Blogger isn't working well with me tonight and is not allowing me to upload photos. Oh well, another day.

Anyway, we loaded up and rolled out to the beach for a week long stay. My kids are dark skinned and I have never even seen them get a hint of a sunburn. Even still, I greased them down in SPF 50 sunscreen a bare minimum of two times a day. Even then, they still got darker! I on the other hand wore SPF 6 and still hardly look like I have seen sunlight in months! It is so interesting how God made mankind so similiar yet all so differently. Apparently, everyone around us was thinking the same thing!

In one particular gift shop, I noticed a store clerk really checking us out. I knew we were throwing her for a loop. Then she asked me if we lived on a boat! Seriously, she wanted to know how our kids got so tanned! I laughed and make some joke about how we must have looked ship wrecked.

Then Billy was at the pool and a German guy asked in front of our kids where our kids were from. Billy's response was "Dalton, Georgia." Then another day, a tween girl asked Billy why his kids were so dark when he is so white.

OK people, I am not politically or socially correct. Never have been and don't really care to be. HOWEVER, even I have more tact or perhaps more sense than to ask questions like that to a complete and total stranger. The part that ticks me off to no end are the questions that we get asked in front of our kids like they are deaf and dumb. I'm a smart aleck and some may go as far as calling me a smart a**. Both are terms that I really don't dispute. However, I have been trying to set a good example for my kids and also try to not give them a complex about their adoptive situation. However, people are really starting to get under my skin. Seriously, off the top of my head I could think of some very good comebacks about race and color to have spat off to the GERMAN guy. Trust me when I say that I would have been completely capable of clearing the pool with a snarky response to his inquiry. Seriously, I have to censor myself. I have to pray about it. I love the stunned looks, the stammering, and they way people have to readjust themselves when you make a profoundly smart aleck comment/statement to someone. But I am a Momma now and I can't live life Jim Carey in Liar Liar and go around and say everything that I think like I use to. I now have six little eyes and ears watching and listening to me. I love the first song on my playlist by Hillsong. I try to remind myself of these lyrics:

Everyone needs compassion

A love that's never failing

Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness

Kindness of our Saviour

The hope of nations....

Don't get me wrong, I don't get offend by everyone that asks me questions, not at all. Some people just rub me raw though with the way the come across. Of course, those people present themselves completely different that those that are sincere. I don't mind telling people that our kids are adopted and that they are multi-racial. If anything, it is something I love sharing should the situation present itself correctly. What I do hate are the people press harder after I say my kids are "multi-racial" and then give them the run down of those races involved. For some, they feel the need to know what parent was what so they can figure out who was getting with who. I mean, I don't go around asking strangers how much they weigh, how often they have sex with their spouse, or how much they reported on last years income taxes. Why do they feel so comfortable with asking me such intimate questions regarding my children and their history? You.Would. Not. Believe. the questions I am asked about my kids and their biological family. Isn't some stuff suppose to be private? Seriously, people...

I know that we will continue to draw a lot of attention to ourselves, after all, my babies are beautiful! But I have been wondering for a long time, how I will handle all these inquiries in front of my children since I can't tell those inquiring minds that they need a nose job, need to get a life, or that they are freaks, etc. I've finally come up with a decent idea that is definitely more of the Christian attitude! I'm going to have business cards printed up with my kiddos photos on them along with this blog address. The awesome photographer that I use, Lacey D. Cummings of Lacey D. Photography, inspired the idea. After each photo shoot, she gives me business cards with her information on them but they feature a photo of my kids. They are amazing! So I thought I would pick one of my most favorite pics and make it business card size with my blog address printed on it. So when I have someone that is digging too deep, I'm going to simply smile and hand them a card and nicely tell them that while I don't care to discuss all the details of our situation but that they can read what I am willing to share right here on this blog!

Sorry this was so long but I had to vent somewhere!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Counting Our Blessings

I've been doing projects around our house like a mad woman for the last few months. Honestly, I don't know what has got into me! Don't get me wrong, it is great! While I manage to keep everything organized in the house, closets and garages have always been hard hat areas.

We have now had the kids 11 months. I remember last year sorting through their little clothes and wondering if I would ever be able to dress them the way I wanted to. I know that sounds shallow but it is true. I KNOW most people get some satisfaction out of seeing their children in a cute new outfit. You know, makes you want to take their picture and all. I obviously had those same desires but was so overwhelmed by how much other stuff they needed at the time.

I wanted to get their rooms decorated like kid rooms so they didn't feel like GUESTS staying in our formal guest room. I wanted them to feel at home because I knew deep in my heart this would be their forever home. With that came needing blankets, sheets, and mattress pads. Oh, lest we forget the twin beds themselves. Then there were the toys, books, toiletries, medications, school supplies and the list went on and on. How would I ever afford to dress them decently when we needed so much AND I just lost my job?

Fast forward 11 months.

The other day I organized Zippy's closet. I separated out the shorts, pants, capris, dresses into winter and summer, tank tops, t-shirts, outfits and so on. A lot of stuff I didn't even have on hangers. I've picked up a lot of clothes here and there while out shopping and buying used from individuals and consignment sales. After I got the closet organized, I stood there in disbelief how many clothes she has...just a mere 3 year old child. Literally, her good sized closet is full of beautiful clothes. Completely full. I counted 30 pairs of shorts and 15 skirts (a conservative count that only included only what fits her right now and what was not in the dirty clothes basket). Also, I have passed on probably 2-3 garbage bags of clothing that I didn't want to an underprivileged family. I didn't bother to count anymore because I felt ashamed that at one time that I felt so overwhelmed to now be so over blessed! God has been so good to us, no doubt.

I love to shop, really I do. But I'm giving it up for a while. We need nothing now which is good because I'm broke until a couple of these houses I have under contract close! LOL!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You Wanna See My Room?

I really need to start taking more photos, really. I'm just not one of those Mom's with a camera stuck in my kid's face all the time. That REALLY gets on my nerves but I'm sure those photos will be much appreciated one day (and it makes for a much nicer blog)! Ok, I just gave myself a pep talk as I MUST try harder! However, I did take photos of our HOME today because we are putting it up for sale.

Anyway, I thought I would post some photographs of the kid's rooms. They are so proud of their little sanctuaries. I guess I can't blame them since life before foster care had them sleeping on the floor or in a playpen. Little Zippy always wants to show everyone her room. So as inappropriate as it is for her to ask the lawn guy to check out her room, I continue to allow it (of course while in my presence) because she is so proud and having a room means so much to her. Yep, MANY people have made the trek upstairs to see her little haven!
Yesterday, I took the kids for storytelling time at the library. I sat down beside a lady with three kids the same ages as mine. She asked me something about when they were smaller so I casually told her they were adopted. She perked up and asked "From where?" It just so happens that they that they are in the progress of getting their home study completed...for a foster-to adopt with their local Department of Family and Children's Services! They want a child of either gender up to 8 years old! There was so much I wanted to share with her but couldn't. I could tell she was over the moon to meet someone that had something GOOD to say about foster adoptions. Too bad we didn't get to talk more, after all we were at the library so we had to be quite! However, I have a feeling I will be running into her on more Wednesdays this Summer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Saving Grace

People often times ask me what was the hardest thing to get use to going from a childless couple to a family of 5 over night. For me, it was definitely meal preparation and cooking! Billy and I usually ate out. Well, that just isn't feasible with 3 little ones. First of all, it is not healthy and costs a small fortune. Then during the school week, we simply don't have time on our side.

I had never been a cook. I always managed to mess up even the most simple recipes. Better yet, I NEVER had all the ingredients to do a complete meal. So in the beginning (and now), it really stressed me out thinking about feeding three little growing kids. Plus, I didn't want to load them up with a lot of processed frozen rubber...I mean food. So this meant that I would have to learn how to cook all while coping with all the other changes going on in my life.

So at 33 years old, I embarked on learning how to cook. Fortunately, the kids were not picky and loved almost everything! However my saving grace was getting a subscription to E-Mealz. I was recommended their website from an adoption forum that I frequent. Many of the mothers on there had tried it and recommended it. It is roughly $12 for a three month subscription. I select the grocery store that I want to shop and the meal plan and they post that week's menu and shopping list. The great thing about the E-Mealz is that they shop your store's sales ads for you and then compile that weeks meals based off of it. Their menu never goes over a certain dollar amount so you always know how much you should expect to spend each week on groceries. Plus they include a very detailed shopping list for you so you don't have to make any unnecessary trips back to the grocery store. I am forever grateful for E-Mealz and feel that it was truly Heaven sent to me. Now my family eats tasty balanced meals on a budget. Not only do I love but so does Billy and the kids. They are always excited to find out what we are having for dinner now! Check out their website at