Photo by Shanna Hullender Photography

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Be Bored

There are two things I can't stand to hear roll off my children's lips: "That's not fair" and "I'm bored." Well baby, life isn't fair so the best thing you can do is get over it right now. And here are my thoughts on boredom:

Dear little monkeys,

There are three of you kids in our family. We live in a neighborhood filled with children. We have a garage we cannot park in because it is overflowing with your toys. We have a big ole nice flat back yard perfect for any sports you would like to play. We have a Wii and a Nintendo system and all three of you have Nintendo DS' and iPods. We have more kid movies than Netflix. This summer, you have been swimming on a regular basis, to the movie theater several times, friend's houses to play, had friends over to our house, golf camp, VBS, to the lake and more. The summer is only half over at this point and we still have a lot of fun left on the agenda. However if you want to proclaim you are bored, then I will show you boring!

Be bored,

In my opinion, children do not need to be entertained every wakening moment of their little lives. Why? Well, when you become an adult you learn that life is not one big party! So just like my thoughts on fairness, they need to just get over that now! We live in a society where kids feel entitled to always have fun. Then there are parents that jump through hoops like baboons at the zoo to keep their kids entertained. I'm not being Debbie Downer because we too do so much with our kids. You are suppose to have fun as a kid. It is a good thing! However, perhaps we have done too much mindless entertaining and now they don't know how to simply entertain themselves with their imaginations.

So, this week I refuse to shuttle them up and down the road. We are going to stay right here in our home...oh but wait, they are going to be outside with a big water cooler. I will be inside cleaning up the house I have neglected while entertaining them this summer. Today was day one although Billy ended up taking them to play miniature golf earlier. Even still, the day outside in the yard is proving painful for them. So we will be at the house all week and in the evening they will be going to VBS. I bet they will be elated to go to VBS each night to get away from the Devil (me) at home.

I've already had one come in an ask if we can go swimming today. "Well certainly not, Dear. Yesterday, swimming bored you! Now shut the door and run along."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is "ideal?"

The boys finished up 3 weeks of golf camp today.

"Ideal" for me is an unpredictable and unconventional life. I loathe routine although sometimes I wished I liked it more. While I don't really know what my ideal life is, I know it probably isn't what everyone else considers ideal. Billy on the other hand is a polar opposite. At least he has me around to keep his life interesting! :-)

When I think about my ideal family, I really don't see a mental imagine anymore. I guess instead of thinking that we are complete, I like to dream of the unknown even if it never happens. There is just something so depressing with the finality of some things unless it is cleaning, laundry or baseball season.

I can't say that I started out wanting a large family of my own. However, I do think that the changes in my relationships with family and friends that I have experienced since my three kids came to me does play a big part in wanting to creating my own larger family.

All I know is that I want to live life to the fullest while I still have some spunk left in me. I can rest when I'm old or better yet, when I die! I don't want a head stone to read "Here lies a lady that lived a quiet and peaceful life." Instead, I prefer "Here lies a lady that was never bored. Ever. She had more kids that the old lady that lived in the shoe and every single one of them drove her CrAzY!"

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Common Objections to Adoption

I saw this video on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. It spoke straight to my heart. Not to mention, several blogs that I follow have touched on some of these same points too in the last couple of weeks. While I would love to adopt again, I am THAT person that feels like we would have to make some major changes to our home and get a larger vehicle to accommodate a growing family. Plus, our money tree out back died a few summers ago when we had that severe drought. We simply cannot afford it.

I try to have faith that all those obstacles would somehow work themselves out. So, I have been praying very specifically now for an older child. I have really felt in the depths of my heart that if we ever adopted again, it would be an older boy and very likely a minority. However during my late night internet surfing, I saw a girl on a photolisting that I completely fell in love with. I know you can't get your hopes up over a photolisting, really I do. However, I wonder if it is God's way of telling me once again that my idea of what my family should look like isn't the way He wants it to look. You see, I haven't even looked at photolistings for girls in FOREVER because I was just dead set on a boy. My desire for a boy has a lot to do with the fact that boys are harder to place than girls and because of our housing situation with sharing bathrooms/bedrooms and such. Oh sure, we could make it work but it really isn't what "I" consider "ideal."

That is all for tonight as it is getting late and I am having a hard time organizing my rambling thoughts. However, tomorrow I will talk about what is "ideal."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sweet & Ignorant

You've just got to love it when someone prefaces a conversation about someone by making the disclosure they are adopted. Even worse is when they tell me three times as if I didn't hear the first time. Then they rattle on about how this adopted person made terrible choices and has pretty much ruined their life, their adopted parent's lives, and many people's lives around them. While they don't say it, they must feel like it is somehow related to this person being adopted, after all the adoption disclosure was made three times!

Why would someone even dare start a conversation with me like that? Ignorance, plain and simple. You see Ignorance has a spouse that is a real dandy. Ignorance's spouse has made a lot of terrible mistakes too just like the adopted person has made. However, Ignorance's spouse is not adopted. Ignorance's spouse is a spoiled brat that had a great childhood and has never had to be accountable for anything. Oh, there are just so many parallels between Ignorance's spouse and the adopted person's lives. So what is the excuse here?

Adoption is a serious issue and is not to be taken lightly. However, people everywhere deal with adversities of all types every day. Life is not guaranteed to be easy or fair. I remember going off to college at 18 years old to the #4 party school in the nation. At orientation, we were told that any school could be a party school and that college is pretty much what you make out of it. I think the same idea applies to life. Remember the whole "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" saying?

I just smiled at Ignorance. After all, Ignorance is sweet but ignorant and no malice was intended. However, sometimes I wish I could be like Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar just for one day. ;-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh, Happy Days Are Here to Stay...I Pray!

Yesterday, we celebrated Fuller's 8th birthday. Instead of a birthday party this year, he got to have his first sleep over which turned out to be a huge success! Fuller had a blast surrounded with family, friends, cake and presents (and tons of swimming). One of his favorite presents was the NKOTBSB (New Kids On The Block/Back Street Boys) cd that I bought him. Yeah, I totally had my own interests at heart when I purchased it!

However mixed in with all the excitement, June 6th is another sad day in the adoption arena for me...and possibly one day for Fuller. While all birthdays are special, his is even more so because he shares the same birthday as his natural mother. Last year in the midst of his celebration, he looked at Billy and me and said "Today is also my real Momma's birthday too!" He wasn't sad but just made the statement. Regardless, it was on his mind. I usually foster open dialogue about their birth family/parents. However, on this particular day it is harder for me because I just don't know whether I should or not. If he is excited, then I don't want to rain on his parade by mentioning it. He said nothing about it this year so, I just sort of followed his lead and didn't say anything either. However, I do worry that as he grows older and the excitement of his youth wears off that his birthday may start to haunt him. Awwh, the beauties and uglies of adoption.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How We Roll

Summer is in full swing here around the Vinyard household. Temps are in the high 90's and only sun is in the forecast. With every trickle of sweat, I remember why I love the winter months. Oh well, I digress. Anyway, this week has been filled with swimming and a baseball tournament game nightly. However, two of the most unexpected things have been the highlights of the week for our kids: Rolling with the windows down in the car and getting hosed down at the car wash. Seriously, they did not get nearly this excited at Disney World!

When we left the game the other night, I decided to roll down the windows and peel open the moon roof. This goes against my grain BIG time because as soon as the wind hits my hair, I start looking like a cross between orphan Annie and Ronald McDonald. However, we were going home for the rest of the evening. So down with the windows and up went the volume! By their reaction, I suppose it was the first time I had done such with them in our near two years together. My word, I can't even express the shrills, giggles, and the pure enjoyment of three little kids getting to roll with the windows down! The best of all, it was FREE entertainment!

Then yesterday, I went to one of those little old fashioned car washes near our home. Usually, I go to a full service one but didn't have time and the car was really starting to grate my nerves. They watched me with the soapy brush (and asked a gazillion questions) and then when rinsing with water, I turned around and let them have it! We had just been swimming so they were already in swimsuits and flip flops. I sprayed the kids as they jumped, laughed and screamed "Do it again!" Every car the went down the road stared and/or laughed at us! No fancy Country Club memberships here when you can take you kids to the car wash and hose them down for a buck twenty-five!

I can already envision the kids going back to school in August and the teacher asking what was the best thing they did all summer!