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!



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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)





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Adoption Questions People Ask…Why Are We Deterring this?


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.



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Baeya’s First Birthday

Baeya came into our lives with a force. We were a family of 3 one day and the next a family of four. She has filled our lives with love from the moment we laid eyes on her. She loves to be held, loves to give hugs, and loves to climb anything available. I cannot believe that she is one. We had such a good time celebrating with family and friends. I made it a goal to have everything ready when everyone got there so thanks to our awesome family Nate and I were able to spend the majority of time celebrating with Baeya and Owen. (Normally I feel like I am in the kitchen most of Owen’s past birthdays.) My mom also took some awesome pics for us!

Mom's camera 834 Mom's camera 825 Mom's camera 838 Mom's camera 846 Mom's camera 856 Mom's camera 888 Mom's camera 898 Mom's camera 904 Mom's camera 907 Mom's camera 918 Mom's camera 921 Mom's camera 925 Mom's camera 931 Mom's camera 936 Mom's camera 948 Mom's camera 945 Mom's camera 873 Mom's camera 951 Mom's camera 952 Mom's camera 954 Mom's camera 1011 Mom's camera 1031 Mom's camera 1042


Our Adoption

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Fritzel Number 4 Updated

When I originally wrote our adoption story of Baeya I was so filled with excitement and joy that my post didn’t exactly come out the way I intended. So in honor of Baeya’s birthday and the weekend that made our lives SO MUCH MORE I thought I would do a better job of capturing the weekend Baeya was born, brought into our lives, and became part of us.

Nate, Owen, and I went to the OU/Texas Tech game on Saturday for our annual family rivalry game and had a great time minus a little rain, well… I had a great time;)
I left a little earlier than Nate to get Owen back to my brothers and in bed. While we were winding down, hanging out with my nephew, mom, and sister-in-law I got a call from our social worker that they were showing our adoptive parent scrapbook page to a couple who had already had their baby. She was born the night before at 10:54 pm. I figured I would wait to tell Nate when he got back. This was the second time that we had received one of these phone calls. Obviously we were not chosen the first time so I didn’t feel in too big of a rush to share the anxiety-inducing news with Nate. About exactly one hour later at 8:20 we got another call from the social worker, and my heart about leapt out of my chest. When you don’t get picked you definitely don’t get a callback an hour later telling you the bad news. I ran into the other room to speak with her in private. Meanwhile my sister-in-law and mother had caught on pretty quickly that something big was happening. I was then told that the birthmother and birthfather had chosen us. Our social worker was telling me about the risk involved which can include things like if the baby has Native American blood and of course the potential of the birthparents changing their minds etc.  I was just sitting on the bed with my mouth open trying so hard to hear what she was saying, except all I could think was, I may have a daughter out there right now. Nate luckily walked in about 1 minute after I got off the phone. Telling Nate that we were selected to adopt a baby girl was pretty overwhelming. I could barely get it out without bursting into tears. There were a few more conversations with the social worker over the phone, once Nate was in the know, and an email sent with some more information about the birth family. By the time we had read and discussed everything it was 10 pm. We then had to decide when we were leaving for Beaumont.
Owen had still yet to go to sleep due to the craziness and we contemplated just putting him in the car but decided against it. And thank goodness we did because when we “woke” at 6:20 Owen was coughing the bark cough. Like the kind that tells you, this baby is SICK. By the way I put “woke” in quotes because I am sure you can imagine how much we slept knowing that we were about to be united with our soon to be second child. So we put Owen in the car and headed home making lots of phones calls and “googling” the whole way. Thank
goodness for smart phones! We learned that Beaumont is a 6 hr drive from home. I made Owen an appt on Sunday morning in Keller at an urgent care for kids, and spoke with Nate’s mom about potentially keeping him for us. We ran home pulled out every attic box in order to find newborn clothes, bottles, burp cloths, blankets, car seat, and anything else we could think of and were able to get a load of baby laundry done.

We ended up leaving Owen in Ft. Worth because the doctor thought it was best. Paula (Nate’s mom) came to get Owen and we packed up the car and headed to the airport. When we landed there were a several  issues that we encountered. The first obstacle was getting a rental car. Not one place in Beaumont rented cars on Sunday. We had setup a rental car for the airport we were flying into but mid flight we realized there was a much closer airport and we flew into that one. (BTW-Nate’s dad has his private pilots license and has a plane for his company. We wanted to get down there as quickly as possible so he graciously flew us and stayed with us there throughout the adoption process.) So when we got to the new airport we realized that they did not have rental cars available. We ended up taking a cab to the hotel, but on the way to the hotel realized that Nate had booked the wrong hotel on accident. Which meant that we weren’t within walking distance to the hospital like originally hoped. By this time it was a Sunday at about 3 o’clock and baby girl was born Friday night. I was pretty much frantic to get to the baby, but we then found out that the hospital would not allow us to hold or see the baby unless the birthmother was present. The problem was the birthmother had checked out of the hospital the day before and lived in another town about 30 mins away. So our social worker had called and asked the birthmother to meet us at the hospital and came and picked us up from our farther away hotel. (Thank goodness for those Social Workers;) She took us to the hospital where we were able to meet birthmom and birth gma. We were then able to hold the baby for 2 hours while we got to know the birth family. They are wonderful people and we instantly liked them.

After having to say goodbye that night we were to meet up at Buckner’s office the following day at 11 to sign the paperwork and take sweet baby home. We walked to a rental car place the next morning and were able to go to Walmart and buy some formula and a couple of clothing items before heading to the adoption agency. Unfortunately due to problems with the hospital, the social worker wasn’t able to check baby out without the birthmother which didn’t get done until 3:30pm. We had waited all day to see her and were overjoyed when they finally walked her through the doors. We also had a few other hurdles with photo id’s and notary publics so the paperwork finally was signed at about 6:30 pm. We weren’t too upset waiting at this point due to the adorable baby girl we got to hold the whole time. After the paperwork was signed we did the entrustment ceremony and shed many tears together. Baby Girl’s birthparents were there and able to say goodbye (for now). They had named sweet baby girl Hope which seemed very fitting to all of us. Nate had come up with the top three baby names with Baeya being the favored. After speaking with the birthparents and seeing their reaction to the name Baeya, it was a done deal. We had to spend another night due to the craziness of last night, so we are on the plane headed home now. Can’t wait to introduce little Baeya to her big brother Owen. I should also say that I am forever greatful to my wonderful father-in-law who flew us down there and experienced all the ups and downs with us along with my mother-in-law, mother, and sister who took good care of big brother Owen anxiously waiting on news the whole time.

So welcome home Fritzel number 4, we have been faithfully awaiting your arrival;) God is so Good!

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Nate's Iphone 877 Nate's Iphone 895 Nate's Iphone 906 Nate's Iphone 908 Nate's Iphone 909