2015
03/17

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General Adoption Info

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Why domestic adoption?

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A friend was recently asked about why she was choosing to adopt a domestic infant (a pretty expensive way to adopt) rather than adoption through the Foster care System. This question can make an adoptive parent feel a bit judged but as you know I never want to deter anyone from asking questions. I have written a little about this before in Choosing Adoption but I would like to address it a little more.

Domestic infant adoption is giving an opportunity to a woman to choose life for her child when she knows she is unable to parent the child in the way she wants. She is able to make an adoption plan in order to keep her child safe, well loved, and taken care of. If a mother is unprepared to have a child and does parent, this could increase the chances of CPS involvement in the child’s future. I am in no way saying that a birthmother who chooses to parent will have CPS called on her but counseling and the option of making an adoption plan would increase the chances of preventing any future encounters with CPS.

I also encourage people to have a completely open adoption in order for the child to know their Birthparents. Which is pretty specific to domestic infant adoptions. Although there can be contact in some CPS adoptions, this is not the norm or even necessarily a positive thing in some cases. Open adoption allows the child to hear about what a hard sacrifice it was for their birthparents to make an adoption plan and although they were unable to parent, they are very loved. I was also very glad to save our money, fundraise, and ask for donations in order for social workers and counselors to get paid for the many hours of their time counseling these women and thoroughly investigating potential adoptive parents. Adoption can be extremely expensive but most of these women choose to parent after these counseling sessions and are much better parents because of their time spent with a social worker. As children of God I feel that it is not only important to comfort and care for the children but also the mothers. I hope that our child’s birth mother feels the love we have for not only our child but for her too, along with the birth father and birth siblings of our daughter. Giving these mothers options on who they want to parent their child is a good thing. What some refer to as a “waiting list” is seen through my eyes as options for the parents out there who are thoughtfully choosing a safe, loving home for the child. Our particular agency never had more than 12 families in the adoptive parent book at a time and when we were picked there were only about 7 families.

I also should add that as adoptive parents we should be diligent about picking an agency or lawyer who we know will be supportive of the birthparents decision making and ethical in every step of the process. We never want to be a part of coercing any mother into an adoption plan that doesn’t want it in this country or in any other.

am in complete support of adopting through CPS and international adoption in addition to domestic infant because there are way too many children out there who need forever homes.

When deciding on an adoption route we need to try and find God’s will. Nate and I felt completely led to adopt through domestic infant and if we do adopt again we aren’t sure exactly how we will go about it but I am sure prayer will be our first step. Adopting a child is a very complicated and intense process. What is right for some families may not be right for others.

2015
03/11

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If it looks and sounds racist…

I don’t even know why I am surprised to see a fraternity singing racist songs. I know better, I know that racism is everywhere. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that a group of college men would actually sing a horrifically racist song. Then again, maybe this video will get through to people that racism is still here. Here is a blatant reminder that racism still exists for the people who actually think it’s gone. I am glad that in this reminder no one was physically injured/killed (this time), but let this be a kick in the pants for all of us to continue working on a future free from racism and white privilege. I saw a news story yesterday afternoon about some of the fraternity guys’ parents making statements and apologies about their sons and mentioning that they aren’t actually ”racist”. One of the fraternity members singing his heart out on the video said he wasn’t a racist in his statement. What I would really like to say to them is, “Oh no, Y’all are definitely racists.”  If you are able to sing those words? If you can even stomach being apart of a group of people who would sing those words then you qualify. Welcome to the real world guys. It’s almost like the word is more offensive than the meaning. No no we aren’t racist we are just singing about hanging people because of their skin color.

Racism: Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

As an elementary school social worker I used to tell my students that if you are hearing or watching the bullying go on and not doing anything to stop it, then you are a part of the problem. As adults, it can also be hard to stand up and say, No, that is wrong and completely unacceptable.  This is bad, this is real bad and always has been. We need to open our eyes. Don’t uncomfortably laugh at a racist joke because it is a boss or “friend”, tell them that you are not ok with joking about race. Tell them that people are equal in God’s eyes and equal in yours.  Don’t allow people to treat others different because they have a different skin color. For that matter we might add in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other reason I may have missed. I realize I am way late to the game but I am just so tired of hearing these excuses for Ferguson police, for college “boys”, for the Eric Garner murder.

Another term used in some of the statements issued was “prayerful”. Clearly Jesus is the one to get through to these guys and I pray that they truly seek him. We all need more prayer, we all need Jesus.

For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:9-10

2014
12/16

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Help for my future

From the moment Nate and I decided that I should stay home from work when Owen was born I have known that I would go back to school. It’s something I have wanted to do since undergrad. Social Work has been a huge chunk of my identity since 21 years of age. I have never felt like I belong to a group as much as I do with social work. It has changed my reading habits, my relationships, and my self esteem from the day my sister said “Jackie you want to do social work”. This is when I was a sophomore in college explaining to my sister (a social worker) what I wanted as a career. My sister and I were so different growing up that never did I think our professional careers would align. Turns out there are hundreds of different jobs through social work and my sister and I have taken very different paths within social work. Also turns out my sister and I are not as different as I thought.

Social work just comes natural to me. It feels right and at the same time pushes me completely out of my comfort zone constantly, which makes me love it even more. So when Owen was one month old I applied and was accepted into the UTA SW graduate program. Yes I know, Owen is almost 4 (tear) and yes it’s a two year program but I am still going. I take two classes a semester so let’s be honest it’s probably going to be another 2 years before I finish. I’m not in a hurry though and I actually really enjoy learning so it is what it is. School has kept at least one of my feet in the SW world, but I took a semester off when Baeya was born and just returned this fall. I took one online course and one Wednesday night course. On Tuesdays Nate and I enrolled in a 9 week parenting class. It’s just a more intense class than the women’s class I took this summer regarding the book, The Connected Child. We had several hours worth of homework each week, because I really needed more homework and on Thursdays Nate had his cornhole league. As you can see, we are crazy people. Needless to say, I am so happy to have the holiday break from school. Unfortunately I am fast approaching my next internship and have NO IDEA where I want it to be! I loved my homeless shelter, elementary schools, and the psychiatric hospital from the last internship (blogged about in My issues are starting to show). Not to mention my love of adoption. I am completely stumped. So I wrote this whole thing just to ask for help. Where should I go? I really don’t know what I want to do when I go back to work, there are too many options. So if you have any advice PLEASE tell me!

2014
12/16

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Music

133  Muse in Mexico 2008

I can’t count the many times I have gone to see live music, as I’m sure you can’t either. I love music, as do most people, and have gone to some great shows recently which caused this blog post. As I have been thinking about writing it, all these key moments keep popping up. Y’all its five AM so if I sound ridiculous, it’s because I am. I wake up really hyper if it’s before 6AM, luckily no one ever sees me this way.

I started dancing at a studio when I was 7 years old. I fell in love with Michael, Janet, and Madonna literally on a dance floor. Madonna really did teach me how to strike a pose and express myself. My dad taught me the undeniable goodness of Motown and my mother taught me some pretty fun ’80s songs. The preteen years (and my 3 years in Iowa) taught me how powerful a good rap can be. Yes I am talking specifically about Tupac, yes I still love him, and yes he is still alive, (Machiavelli, where you at).

I did have a love for country at one point but for some reason it just didn’t stick that well…

In my teenage years I will give Nate the credit for introducing me to rock. (Your welcome dear.) My dad had listened to some rock on the radio when I was growing up but Nate showed me at the time how great a little 311, Radiohead, and emotional Incubus could be. My college years would be my time of music reflection. My little hippie friends made me the Led Zeppelin fan I am today with, of course, a little Beatles, and some Jack White dashed in there. So after my first concert, yes it was N’sync and no I am not ashamed, I loved the concert going experience. Nate was a drummer in a band our senior year of high school which meant we spent many weekends listening to his band “of the moment” (there were a few throughout hs and college) and many others in Deep Ellum on the weekends.

While in the “music scene” in these younger years there has always been one thing that grinds my gears (Nate, my editor, told me to say that).

ENCORES. Encores are the WORST. It is one of the most arrogant situations I have encountered. If your preacher left the stage after a Sunday service only to be applauded back on so he could preach more, I PROMISE YOU, you would never go back to that church. (I may or may not have stolen that from my pastor, according to my editor.)

So to all the band members reading my blog (I laughed out loud when I wrote that), Listen, I know one of the three songs you are going to play in your encore will be a favorite and I know you are tired and could use a little break. BUT, you look ridiculous. Our feet hurt too. We want to go home and go to bed too. Oh and btw they quit serving alcohol over an hour ago so for a few different reasons your probably not sounding as good as you were two hours ago. Ya done yet? (Just so you know, Nate tells me I am the only person who feels this way, so I understand if you don’t agree, kind of.)

On the way to see The Black Keys a few weeks back as we were anticipating a fun night with an encore (insert eye roll here), Nate helped me type up all the shows that I have gone to (and can remember) and since this blog tends to be a place I frequent for good memories I am going to write them here. Plus I don’t foresee a lot of future blog writing on music so might as well right? I would encourage you to write them down too, it was really fun reminiscing. This is in no way a thorough list nor does it have any order but I don’t really care, I’m posting any way.

  1. Black Keys
  2. Delta Spirit (2)
  3. 311(6?)
  4. Incubus (3)
  5. Franz Ferdinand(2)
  6. Wild Feathers
  7. Deathcab for Cutie(3)
  8. The Police
  9. Elton John
  10. Billy Joel
  11. Muse(2)
  12. The Eagles
  13. N’sync(3)
  14. Coldplay(2?)
  15. Primus
  16. Arcade Fire
  17. Pixies
  18. Sublime
  19. G Love and the Special Sauce
  20. Band of Horses
  21. Dawes
  22. Fleetfoxes
  23. Blue October
  24. Black Lips
  25. MGMT
  26. Yonder Mountain String Band
  27. Eric Clapton
  28. Ben Folds
  29. Bella Fleck and the Flecktones
  30. Radiohead
  31. Modest Mouse
  32. Vampire Weekend
  33. Matisvahu
  34. Steve Winwood
  35. Dr. Dogg
  36. Doves
  37. Counting Crows
  38. Etta James
  39. Iron and Wine
  40. Jake Bugg
  41. The Killers(2)
  42. Beck
  43. Justin Timberlake

Music Festivals

  • ACL (2008ish)
  • Lalapalooza (2006)
  • South by Southwest (2004,2005, 2007ish)

 

 

2014
10/30

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Adoption Questions People Ask…Why Are We Deterring this?

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Lately I have come across so many articles of questions you shouldn’t ask people who adopt. I get that people can be insensitive but seeing these articles all the time bugs me. I started the blog for numerous reasons but a big one was to put information out there. To let my friends and family know about the process, the ups and downs, and even the financial aspect. I have wanted to adopt since I was about 8 years old (give or take), am a licensed social worker, researched like crazy, and I still had so many questions when we started the process. In fact I didn’t even know what a truly open adoption could look like.

It’s not that I feel like every adoptive parent has to tell all of their business, but I do want to be an advocate for adoption and adoption education. As we ask questions we just need to be thoughtful of what we are asking. Other than that, if phrased nicely, I would be happy to answer your questions. Questioning is how we learn and grow. Here is the thing, we are the faces of adoption so if we respond to an offensive comment with a rude reply or an abrupt end to the conversation then we have done one of two things;

1) Shut the conversation down for good with that person and/or

2) Allowed them to continue asking the same offensive question to another family.

During our adoption seminar the social worker had us write down the offensive questions family and friends had asked us since opening up about our adoption plan. Quite frankly at the time I could only think of one. We had so much support and positivity from the moment we told everyone that I was actually pretty surprised by the one offensive question. Needless to say, it took a lot of will power to answer with respect but I think I did a decent job for the first awkward question. I also hope that I used language that they used/remembered from that point on. I will say I was pretty astounded by some of the questions others in our seminar had been asked. Our job of advocators for adoption will not be an easy one if we have to respectfully respond to some of those questions, but I beg anyone in the adoption community to try.

With all this said, there is one thing that I will not answer. My daughter’s story of what happened prior to being adopted is her story, not mine and I suspect that most other parents will protect their children’s stories too.

We all have our things that we are knowledgeable in whether it’s politics, religion, math, social work, or where to get the best hamburgers. Unfortunately we need to remember that we also ALL have things that we are NOT familiar with.

And maybe, just maybe if we do a good job of answering those questions, then there will be a couple of other families with a little more insight into adoption.