I Said No

I have been avoiding this blog for awhile. It’s one of the reasons the content has been, well, not about adoption. I didn’t really want to share this with anyone, but something in me thinks it needs to be blogged. I actually wrote half of it before (in the afterglow of moving my blog back to WordPress and gaining lovely new followers – hi, you). Look, I’m already distracting… This isn’t easy to admit.

I turned down a referral. For those of you not in the adoption world, a referral is a child whose basic info is given to you as a potential child to adopt. I said no to a child. It’s still hard to believe that statement could be true. When I started the adoption process, I thought I was open to so many special needs. Abuse? I have some experience with abused kids. HIV? Sure, I can dispense meds and find an awesome medical team. I hate the thought of any child being left without a family. I abhor the thought of a child being passed over for someone younger or cuter. I thought there was a child that needed me. I didn’t think I would even consider saying no.

After just a few weeks of waiting on a referral, the director of my adoption program called me to tell me about a young girl. I didn’t immediately say yes, and I wasn’t sure why. What was known about her story was enough to scare others away; wasn’t that the kind of child I had wanted? What we knew of her story I could manage. I actually had some related experience. It wasn’t that I’d gotten cold feet, but it took me about twelve hours to figure it out.

Although I hadn’t immediately said yes, I hadn’t said no either. I hadn’t said anything. The director of my adoption program told me to think about it, so I hadn’t had to say anything yet. I thought about the little girl. I thought, “she needs me; this girl should not be alone.” I thought about how her name was a variation of one of the names on my list. Wasn’t that a sign? I thought, “I can’t say no.” Then I thought about me, and realized I wasn’t really what she needed. Of the little I knew about this little girl, it struck me that she needed a lot of stability. It struck me that she needed a two parent household. Brother 2 was living with me though, so I could provide a father figure. We had determined we would figure out this beyond normal co-parenting arrangement. Something about the little I knew about her made me think that an uncle might actually be frightening. I rolled it around over and over. I felt good about saying no and felt bad that I felt good about saying no. It has never taken me so long to type out just a few words as I composed the email.

I said no because I didn’t think I was good enough for this child. I didn’t know enough (nor would we be able to) to determine if my home might actually exasperate her grief or fear. I am sure there are some who will think that it’s a convenient excuse or even rationalization to say no. It could be, but I feel solid enough in my intuition to open myself up to the trolls of the Internet. I’ve been guilty myself of thinking someone was just baby-shopping when they turned down a referral. I get that you may be judging me.

It was my first experience as a parent of not being enough. No matter how many books I read or classes I attended or professionals I consulted with, I could not prepare a home that could be all I thought that she deserved, that she needed. I could not give her a stable father. I wasn’t enough, and I could not prepare myself enough. The mom guilt would have been constant, but worse, my gut told me that she would thrive better in another home. I was afraid she would never fully feel safe here. The director of my adoption program did eventually tell me that another family – a two parent family – said yes to her almost immediately. I’m hoping I get to meet them at one of my agency’s events. I hope I get to see her thriving in the love of a two-parent family. While I will never be her mom or probably even an adult she knows well, I still think about her often and want for her to have all she could need and more than she could want. I want her to feel safe and loved and confident and happy and capable and important and so much more. I would have given her those things if I could have, but I don’t think I could have been enough on my own.


Hey, Jealousy

Told Abby on twitter that her post got me thinking in an unexpected way. I don’t have shame about being a single mom. In fact, I think those who discriminate or even pity us need to grow up and grow their minds. Some who know me who might discriminate probably give me a pass because I adopted. (They can still imagine that I did not have *cough* pre-marital sex). I get Abby’s desire for a partner, but I have S-man, and he is pretty amazing.

Maybe it wasn’t Abby’s post that spurred my heartache. Maybe it was Facebook. Right after reading Abby’s post, I had a bit of a perfect storm – PMS, some (clearly minor since I cannot recall) personal stress, and finding out S-man was going to be around even less frequently. The pièce de résistance was the start of wedding season on Facebook. I am truly very happy with S-man so rarely do I feel left out, and I can genuinely experience joy for friends embarking on the grand adventure of marriage. The wedding I attended that weekend was one of those scenarios. The wedding I saw on Facebook of one of the less than a handful of men I’ve dated as an adult with who I actually saw a potential relationship was not that scenario. I crushed hard on this guy who should not have been my type, and he seemed like real marriage material (clearly, I was right). There were never any hard feelings between us, so I suppose the crush never evaporated.

Today when I saw a marriage announcement of a friend who truly deserves every wonderful thing she has, who missed out on romance until much later in life, I hated that I was jealous. Jealous? Me? Of marriage? I think marriage is awesome, but I didn’t think it was something I wanted, at least not intensely enough to be jealous.

I am not opposed to marriage. There are certainly things about it that I desire. I don’t think my commitment issues started when the engagement of my youth ended disastrously. I think that came after the two major involvements I had afterwards. The point is I do have commitment issues, but not anything like S-man does. The therapist has helped me figure out the origins of his issues surrounding relationships, and I simply take him at face value. I don’t think any issues I have would hold me back from marrying him, but I’m not sure if it would be a good idea for him even if he thought he was over those things

But he’s pretty amazing. He is certainly not perfect. I don’t think he’ll ever learn to shut the cabinet doors. He couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag. He will be distant when he is stressed. But he is so good for me. He calms me. He balances me. He loves me. And I love him. I know where I stand, so I don’t need the title of marriage. I actually think I’d prefer a courthouse (well, the pastor’s office), so it isn’t the wedding planning either. So what do I do when I feel jealous? It isn’t that I question if I’m good enough. I don’t wonder where my life is going. I am ok if I am perpetually single with or without S-man (although I am sure I would have bad days without him or anyone else). Yet I am jealous, jealous of the grand statement of being chosen I believe. It isn’t the commitment because I know things can change….

Writing it isn’t helping me figure it out. Talk to me; what could be behind my jealousy when I feel like I have everything I need (and more) already? And what do I do with this stupid feeling?

*Posting now for Abby. I will add a picture soon.

**Also, today S-man has been amazingly supportive. Seriously, amazing. So please no hate on my boy just because his life experiences have made him hesitant to “commit”.

It’s Been Decided

I’ve had a lot of blog posts bouncing around in my head recently, but mostly I’ve just been enjoying reading. I think I’m tired of being heavy for a while. I’m not giving up blogging, but I may be giving up this URL and returning to beyondnormallimits.wordpress.com. GoDaddy emailed me that something was expiring soon and I just can’t justify renewing. My original plan to make money for a cause hasn’t really grown as I hoped, and I don’t plan to figure out ways to make that happen in the next several months at least.

I am going to start the process of transferring have now transferred my content from beyondnormallimits.com, but I am afraid I will lose your comments 😦 If anyone has a fix for that, let me know. I hope those of you that have followed me here will follow me there again. Thanks for your patience with my growing pains.

In Search of a Stronger Circle

I read a lot of adoption blogs. Some I read because they make my heart swell. Some I read because they keep me up to date. Some I’m not sure why I read. Several I have quit reading. In fact I need to update the blog roll on this blog…. I am fairly opinionated about adoption blogs, but most of you do not know me in real life so you aren’t subjected to those opinions.

The Circle of Moms Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms contest has always confounded me. It seems to be quite the popularity contest with letting people vote multiple times. In the past, I’ve noticed that those near the top are the “popular” blogs, but not necessarily those with content I most respect. When I see a link on a blog I enjoy, I click over from Google Reader and vote for the ones I like. But I don’t vote often as they would prefer.

AdoptionTalk is a blog I read often, so that is how I found out about the Broken Circle. Apparently one of the blogs in the top 5 has been disqualified for not being “positive” enough – I’m really not sure how to interpret the statement. I’ve not read Adoption Truth before this, but I’ve added her to my Google Reader.

I think there are several under-appreciated blogs on the list.. and several over-appreciated blogs on the list as well. But I aim to be positive, so these are the ones that I suggest you look into and maybe even vote for if you are so inclined. From the bottom up (based on current standings), so those most under-appreciated are mentioned first…

  • One Fine Tree I love reading her blog. Teresa is honest and open, and her boys are adorable! They are young, so she doesn’t have a lot of adoption issues to examine just yet, but I am sure that will come.
  • If It Takes A Whole Life I fell in love with her European travel with two kids first, but I have since fallen in love with her as a mom – and more cute kids.
  • Mama C and the Boys If race plays in your family at all… or you’re a single mom… read Mama C.
  • They’re All My Own I’m newer to this blog, but I like what she has to say. I think she probably has experience and insight to share.
  • The Eyes of My Eyes are Opened More cute kids, but mostly she is able to dig into the sadness and trauma involved in adoption.
  • My Fascinating Life I hope “Claudia” knows how insightful and helpful she is.
  • American Family I’m a big fan of snark, but I’m also a big fan of thoughtfulness. AmFam is blazing a trail of open international adoption and planning for her forever home at the same time.
  • Our Little Tongginator I truly want to meet TongguMama in real life some day. She is such an insightful mom, in-tune to her kids’ needs.
  • AdoptionTalk If you care about what is going on the world of adoption, AdoptionTalk could be one of your primary sources. She may push your buttons sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t buttons that could stand a little pushing.
  • The Declassified Adoptee I am not sure I’ve actually followed this blog, but I’ve followed Amanda at Lost Daughters.

As adoptive parents, we do not serve our children well to hide from blogs by those that have been adopted or those that chose adoption for their children. Our children need us to read those things. They need us to learn from them. It isn’t always fun, but it helps us grow. It helps us wrestle with issues. I want to read more blogs by those that wrestle with issues. If I sound like a know it all, please know that I do not. I fear that is a weak point for me as I mostly use this (anonymous) blog to talk about my frustrations. Isn’t that how we create a stronger circle – by learning from each other and by challenging each other, growing together?

I’m in search of a stronger circle. What other blogs should I be reading? I may have purposefully left a few off this list (that I don’t particularly enjoy), but there are several on their list I have not ever read. I suggest you also check out Lost Daughters and The r house for adoption blogs. How are they not included in this contest?

Edited to add that “Claudia” may have the best view on the whole situation. Although now it looks like the entire contest has imploded. My question remains though… are there other blogs I should be reading to build a stronger circle?

Raising Boys in a Dangerous World

I was feeling badly about not blogging frequently. Now I am feeling badly that I feel like I need to blog about something. I wish I didn’t know the name Trayvon Martin because I would not know his name if he was still living. And yet, I wish I had heard his name earlier. I don’t watch the news often and often read international news sources more than American news sources, so it could be my fault that I only learned Trayvon’s story this week, nearly a month after his death. But when I googled for blogs about Trayvon not much came up. Is there a reason we aren’t talking about this? I know that I am tearing up just already writing this. Is it just too much to talk about, too emotional for us as mothers?

The mama post that most got me is MamaCandtheBoys’ Wearing a hoodie and sweatpants or… I am so glad she chose to share the photo of her adorable, precious, vulnerable son. It seems to be such a brave choice right now.

I don’t fully understand the law in Florida. I don’t know what justice can or will be served. Can and will are very, very separate in this case. I do know that nearly 1,500,000 people have signed a petition asking that George Zimmerman is prosecuted.

I don’t know what happened or who said what, even after listening to all of the 911 calls. (I had to post this link because it was difficult for me to find them because it seems people have been using it for SEO.)

I think that Michael Skolnik may have stepped on a few toes with his article White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin, but I don’t think he is wrong.

I know that yesterday, there was a “Million Hoodies” march in New York City to draw attention to Trayvon’s death, so maybe I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard about it.

I have heard (but not found confirmation) that Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend when he noticed George Zimmerman watching him. I have heard that she told him to run, but he said he did not want to. I will assume that Trayvon’s parents had The Talk with him, and he knew that running for safety could exacerbate the situation. I’m afraid that knowing that George Zimmerman ignored the 911 dispatcher’s instructions, nothing could have truly entirely kept him from harm.

As a mama, that is what scares me the most. As parents of brown children or black children, especially as parents of sons, we must prepare them for the assumption of trouble. While I prefer to assume the best of people, I know that the worst will be assumed of our sons. How can we ever prepare them enough even to manage the most sane of those who are prejudiced to expect the worst?

Corey Dade gave us a few thoughts from what his parents taught him. A dear friend who has a son on the verge of leaving adolescence, told me that she has talked to him about never wearing his hood up because it can increase negative perceptions… and he is an attractive, intelligent, well-spoken white boy. The worse has been assumed of him simply because he is a male teenager, and he is white. Our brown sons and black sons will be pulled over simple for driving. They will be followed in stores. They will not be allowed to date certain girls because their families do not approve.

I hadn’t yet thought about not wearing hoods up, but we will definitely have that conversation. Beyond hoodies, we will talk about perceptions of sagging and other fashion choices. I will explain to my boys that being well spoken is not bougie, but a way to encourage others to expect positive things from them. We have to talk about how perceptions can be changed by posture and gait and mannerisms. I am more likely to ensure that my boys drive cars that are clean and well cared for.

The pressure of self-preservation that requires such maturity and awareness of our boys before they are truly capable of such things crushes my heart for every one of these boys. It is overwhelming and perhaps why we don’t want to talk about Trayvon. But we cannot ignore it. We cannot pretend it isn’t reality. We cannot fool ourselves that there are not people out there who cannot see past the color of one’s skin. We cannot believe that the world is safe.

What we can do is support each other as mothers. Regardless of the color of our skin, regardless of whether our children are adopted or biological, no matter if our children are black or brown, we are all still mothers raising children in this dangerous, prejudiced world. We can support each other when the world is cruel to our children. We can learn from each other. I will support you. Will you help me? What will you teach your sons to keep them safe? What should I be teaching my boys?

Edit: I need to add this link to How to Talk to Young Black Boys About Trayvon Martin. I am sure there are more things we need to teach our sons, but this is a good place to start.

3 Blogs in 1

I started to write a couple of blogs, but never finished them. I’m not sure I have any actual point here. Maybe it is just a sign that I am thinking a lot. I’ve always been ok with not knowing the answer and not knowing what comes next. I suppose this could merely be a symptom. I am still trying to find my blogging groove, but I have seen some people post “random” updates with a bulleted list.

1. I miss my brother. I miss my quiet, thoughtful, passionate brother. Sure, I miss his cooking, but we’re all surviving on my attempts at domestication. He’s been on my mind a lot recently. Being on opposite ends of the world makes it difficult to catch up. Sure social media makes it easier, but we are both introverts. It’s actually sad how little we connect. When we do it is sweet but short.

Brother 2 has been in Asia for several months. His career ambitions have taken him around the world for several “short” stints – Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East. I’m so thankful that we get much quality time in between when he is actually in the States, but I’m afraid those will get less frequent as he’s climbing the career ladder. My brothers are some of the smartest men I know, so I have much faith in what he can achieve.

2. The other day we ran into some of S-man‘s friends from middle school, and we set a date to meet up for dinner next month. S-man still hangs out with friends from middle school! I have some dear friends from my college days, but we don’t catch up nearly as much as we should. Perhaps we have grown a part. I certainly don’t chat with friends from middle school or even high school. Recently, I have been making more “mommy friends” as well.

I spend my time with my new “mommy friends” and my girlfriends from my pre-mommy days; I catch up with my friends from school when I can. While there are a couple of exceptions, I mostly prefer my new friends to my old friends. I consider myself a loyal person. I have a family member that systematically eliminates people from her life, and I don’t consider myself anything like her. Yet, this concerns me a bit. What does it say about me that I prefer my new friends to my old friends?

3. I’m contemplating all the adoption bloggers I know or know of. Some are simply bloggers who happened to be touched by adoption. While they may mention adoption now and then, I am really thinking about those that talk about adoption regularly. Some of those who are in the midst of the process and mostly writing about the wait and their own experience rather than examining all the various issues involved long term. It is those that talk about all the issues involved, who try to be advocates, and who keep blogging after their kids are home that interest me right now.

It seems there are two kinds of adoption bloggers – those that are primarily about adoption and those that are primarily about blogging. While I’m not a fan of blogs in general that simply report on their activities, Mooshinindy can write about a note to the tooth fairy in a way that warms my heart. No matter what the subject matter, I most appreciate analytical, thoughtful bloggers.

I guess I’m feeling a bit bothered by those that are put forth as the best adoption bloggers, who seem to be more about blogging than adoption. I read many thoughtful adoption bloggers that read books on adoption and go to conferences and think about the impact of adoption on their kids’ daily lives. This is clearly an unfinished thought. I don’t have a point of which I am currently aware. Any insights for me?

Facial Hair Trauma

I was traumatized at the salon. Yesterday, after sudsing my lock, massaging my scalp, and catching up on the past few weeks, my stylist wrapped up my hair and began stirring the hot wax. I had gone a couple of extra weeks between cuts and not been paying a lot of attention to my brows, so I wasn’t surprised that he spent some extra time and care shaping them just so. But when the wax suddenly was placed on my upper lip I froze.

My stylist and I have an understanding. I trust him. He has only ever made me look better. I also consider him a friend, as we occasionally cook for each other and get together outside of the salon. He asks me what I want him to do this time, I tell him to have fun and do whatever he wants, and he tells me about the most recent ad he saw or new idea he wants to try. It’s nearly the same every time. When I told him about finding my first gray hair, he told me not to worry and when I need color, he will just mix it up for me. Without even asking, one of these days he’s going to pull out the dye, and I will know that I am officially too gray. We had never discussed bleaching or waxing beyond my brows, so excess hair was not a concern that I had. Apparently, I am now too hairy and needed that extra work.

I am glad that my stylist feels comfortable enough to see something that needs to be fixed and simply fix it. I really am okay that he didn’t ask, and I’m probably glad he didn’t talk about it. But he didn’t mention it and I was in shock, so I didn’t ask any questions. I don’t know how often I’m going to have to maintain this. I don’t know if I need to go for lip touchups like I go for brow or bang touchups. I don’t know if I need to be bleaching at home. I don’t know how to bleach anything other than towels and socks.

So how do you maintain your facial grooming? (Please feel free to respond anonymously) Do you bleach or wax? Do you have a professional perform bleaching or waxing? Do you maintain at home in between professional work?The thought of stubble frightens the daylights out of me. There is just nothing cute, sexy, or feminine about that! Has anyone else suddenly been bombarded with new grooming techniques by a stylist?

Laundry, Housework, and Parenting, Oh My!

I promised you guys a lighter post. I certainly don’t want this to only be a place where I rant about things that I cannot say publicaly. I realize this is public, but most of you do not know who I am “in real life”. I would love to tell you about the Valentines date I had with S-man, but I am afraid it wouldn’t translate well. I would think it was humorous, but someone would comment with ‘the nerve of him.’ So I’ll suffice it to say that I am loved and I am happy, but S-man certainly isn’t prepared for a traditional relationship. I guess I’m not all that traditional myself, anyway.

Before I get into any real content, I want to say that things are really great around the BNL house. Junior is sick often, but it is never anything major. We have settled back in after the remodeling. Pinterest has helped me re-discover my inner wanna-be domestication. I have a lot of freedom in my job right now, so it is easy to balance time with S-man when he is not traveling for business (he travels more than he doesn’t these days) with cooking, cleaning, and spending time with the kids.

In my domestication, I have really mastered the laundry problem I see many other moms on twitter complain about. While this works for me, it may not be as easy for those of you that are in an office 40+ hours per week. I work from home three days each week (two if there are big meetings). On the days I am home (weekends too), I do one load of laundry. One load isn’t much to remember to move as I am making more coffee or taking a bathroom break. One load isn’t much to fold while on a teleconference or listening to the report of ome ones day at work or school. One load isn’t much to put away at bedtime. There have been messy days when I have done several loads, but those are generally about stain prevention.

I’ve actually caught myself washing some things more often, simply because I have the time. Mostly I have learned that I have way more clothes than necessary, yet another symptom of first world excess. I continue to downsize my definition of need, and I hope to continue to reduce the amount of stuff we use and store. So, tell me your hints to downsizing mentally and physically!

I’m still working on the clean one thing each day tip I found on Pinterest. It’s definitely an improvement, but I think my chore list and Trey’s chore list need some alterations. What chores do you think are appropriate for a kindergartener? I’m trying to teach housework as simply something we do to take care of our home, just like we brush our teeth every day or exercise every day. I haven’t used chores as punishment, and I don’t want to unless it is a natural or logical consequence liking cleaning up a mess that was made.

Just needed to get this off my chest…

It’s been nearly two months since I posted here, and I seem to have written another soapbox post. Mostly I think that I am not writing often because I am so happy. I’m also being really structured about family time and staying organized. I promise to be a bit more light hearted some time soon. Do you want to hear about how I solved the “laundry crisis” I hear so many discuss?

It’s not a new post, but recently twitter popped up Don’t Adopt! by Russell Moore for me to read. I clicked through because I didn’t know the author, and I was pretty sure from the title that I would agree. I do agree with him this time (mostly). Not everyone can or should adopt. Adoption is a special need in itself. I don’t think that coming to parenthood, even through adoption, because you want to be a mommy or a daddy is a bad thing. The dangerous part is when you see yourself as a the parent to the child and not the parent for the child. Parenting is not about creating a person. Parenting is about helping a person grow into their potential. Parenting is mostly about love and sacrifice. If you get frustrated with your dog’s neediness, parenting may not be for you – yet…

Just as parenting is guiding the child to reach his or her potential, we all have the opportunity to grow. Some people may not be quite ready for parenthood when they start, but we all learn on our feet. There are pre-adoption classes, post-adoption support groups, therapists that specialize in working with adoptive families, books, blogs, and an adoption community. Personally, I think that the best parents are not the ones who go in with all the answers, but rather those who continue to learn and challenge themselves, regardless of the experience they may or may not have. I also think that because adoption is a special need in itself, you have to seek the guidance of professionals, not just mommy bloggers. I’m here offering opinions, hopefully challenging a few, but I don’t have all the answers – I am learning like everyone else.

In Adopted For Life, Russell Moore said some things that I find just as dangerous as the “wrong person” adopting, as he wrote in his blog. I realize that may not be a popular statement. It’s a book that seems very popular in the Christian adoption community. That in itself makes his statements more dangerous. Mostly Mr. Moore disagrees with me that you need the guidance of professionals. He practically preaches to ignore what the social workers specializing in adoption try to teach you about adopting an orphan. While there are other good things in his book, that statement is so dangerous that I would rather no other adoptive parent reads it. Dr. Moore has studied theology; I would be interested in his interpretation of Biblical passages concerning adoption. He has not studied psychology, neurology, or social work. He has parented adopted children, but that does not make him an expert. Every child is different. Every adoption is different. I will look to those who have studied and have experience with more than a few children.

Adoption & Advent

This morning while blog reading I was unexpectedly thrown off on a rant. I’ve been in an amazing mood, so the rant took even me by surprise. And yet…

I am tired of parents in the midst of the international adoption process bemoaning that their family isn’t together for Christmas. I could rant about how many other families aren’t together at Christmas, including the child’s birth family. I could rant that the inter-country* adoption process (if done correctly by competent professionals) is fairly predictable, thus nearly all of these families knew it was not going to be complete by Christmas. I could rant that no matter what you think about the international adoption process, a process is needed. (If you question that, Claudia’s series may help you understand). I could rant that when you choose to focus on the bad rather the good, you are bringing yourself down, but mostly I’m going to rant about the reason for the season.

Disclaimer: I don’t often discuss religion for many reasons. Mostly I find it to be exclusionary most of the time. The Beyond Normal Limits household is non-denominational Christian, but we learn about and discuss other belief systems and celebrate other holidays as well. Our friends talk about Jehovah and Allah and Jah and Buda, to name a few. I believe we are religiously literate, even fluent (a couple of us have taken seminary courses and had inter-faith relationships) family, but I’m also not sure I’m comfortable with the term religious as an adjective to describe me. God and I are cool, but Gods people are not always cool to others.**

Isn’t advent about building anticipation and hope as the world waits for a child, a tiny baby to fulfill the promise of God? I don’t think there can be a better example or life lesson to truly experience advent than if you are waiting for a child, whether by adoption or more traditional means. Advent is also about preparation in your heart and life for this child on which you wait. Advent reminds us that priorities, appointments, budgets, and more must be shifted to make, not just room, but the proper place for a child. The Christmas before my son came home, I made sure we had enough stockings and matching stocking hooks. We thought about what traditions to introduce or change. I scoured the internet for fun crafts and ideas. He was not here, but I had fun preparing to make his first Christmas with us very special.

Anticipation is waiting with joy. Disgruntled waiting or anxious waiting is not what advent is about. If you focus on ‘This isn’t how I want it’ rather than ‘This is going to be great’ , you cannot experience the full love and joy of the season. Adoption requires faith if you are going to survive the process without feeling traumatized by it. The adoption process is not about you. Parenting cannot be about you. Advent is not about you. It may not be as you’d prefer, but how helpful is it to you or anyone else to refuse to experience the joy of Christmas?

*Domestic adoption is another matter about which I’m not prepared to discuss in much depth. The time period for a domestic infant adoption is much more unpredictable. Personally, I couldn’t imagine waiting (and waiting for many) for someone to choose me. The openness of domestic adoption actually appeals to me, but not the emotional roller coaster of hoping without knowing if or when.

**I am fully expecting some ‘hate’ from that disclaimer. It will be sad to lose any of the few readers that I have. And yet, I still want to challenge you to consider how you use certain terms and make judgements about the worth of a person’s opinions based solely on church attendance or use of certain terminology…because I can speak church-language with the best of them!

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