Friday, October 28, 2011

Subliminal Baby

I had a truly frightening experience last night. I was visiting a friend who just gave birth to her third child a month ago. Her baby girl is absolutely beautiful. I was holding her (the baby, not the friend) and she looked in my eyes and smiled. That's when things got really scary. She started cooing at me, and I thought to myself, "I could do another baby."

What in the world? My baby is only 16 months old and is just barely walking and talking. I still have 2 kids in diapers and only one of my four children is in school all day. What kind of subliminal power did this baby have that caused such a crazy thought to enter my mind? Of course, I could never mention my scary experience to my husband; I'm pretty sure he would go catatonic. Please don't misunderstand me. I love my four babies, but I am so ready to get past the diapers, high chairs, bottles, urine, poop, and carseat phase. When we adopted Kiira, we both felt like our family was complete. And I think it is. Which is why my experience last night scared the crud out of me.

This reminds me of a study I read about years ago. Researchers found that when they showed women pictures of babies, their pupils dilated. However, they did not find the same reaction in men, although men's pupils did dilate when shown pictures of women. Go figure! I really do think that there is a biological reaction women have to babies. But, as sweet and beautiful as my friend's baby is, I was happy to have her smile and coo at me and then hand her back to her mommy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

8 Blissfull Years and Counting

Okay maybe not everything has been bliss in the last eight years. We've had our share of trials and challenges (hello, 4 kids in 5 years!) but at least the marriage part has been pretty close to blissfull. I'm so grateful to have married the best man I know. I'm not just saying that for the blog. Kent really is an amazing man, father and husband. I lucked out. Here's to many more years of traveling life's road together and beyond.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colorado - Families Supporting Adoption

I am excited to be a guest blogger at the Colorado Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) blog. I'll be writing once a month. My first official post is about open adoption and the hesitation some people have about openness with their children's birth parents.

"To Be Open or Not To Be Open"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why We Adopted Black Babies

Any adoptive parent can tell you that adoption related questions are often the most intrusive, insensitive and outright rude. That's not to say that other parents haven't experienced the rude comment or two from an occasional stranger. But, with adoption for some reason people often think they have carte blanche to say or ask whatever the heck they want.

I've been asked more times than I can count if my two adopted children are my "real" children (I change their poopy diapers and rock them to sleep at night, so I REALLY am their mother), if they are siblings (they are now), how much did they cost (how much did your c-sections cost?), do my two biological children accept them (huh? as much as any siblings accept each other, whatever that means), but the most jarring question I've been asked repeatedly is why we adopted black children. To be clear, I've been asked that by both white and black people.

It is a loaded question. Sometimes it's loaded with accusations or mistrust. Sometimes it's loaded with curiosity or ignorance. Sometimes it's loaded with racism. The answer to that question is even trickier. We did not set out to adopt black children; we set out to adopt children. When the agency asked us what race of baby we wanted, we said, "It doesn't matter. We just want the child that is meant to be in our family." We filled out our homestudy paperwork, did our fingerprints and background checks, said lots of prayers and waited to be chosen by a birth mother. Why did our children's birth mothers pick a white family for their children to grow up in? As much as people may want a logical straightforward answer, the REAL answer is that God led us all to each other.

The first time our adoption agency talked to us about Forest, the strongest, warmest feeling flooded my heart and I knew he was meant to be our son. We had just said no to the agency the day before about a white baby boy, not because he was white, but because it didn't feel right. He wasn't our boy. Forest was our boy, and even though we both felt so strongly that he was meant to be with us, his birth mother didn't pick us. We were disappointed and confused. Three days later, she delivered Forest and chose us to be his parents. We both cried when we got the phone call and eleven hours after his birth we were holding him in the hospital.

Kiira's story was different but just as beautiful. Forest was only 9 months old when I began having very strong feelings that there was another baby meant to be in our family. I was terrified to tell Kent, and he pretty much thought I was insane at first. But, after several days, he came back to me and said he had prayed about it and that I should go ahead and contact the agency. Kiira was born nine months later and after 2 failed placements. Nine months later. That meant that when I had the impressions that there was another baby, she had just been conceived. Kiira's birth mother chose us 2 weeks before Kiira's birth and being with her and her/our baby in the hospital was a spiritual experience.

There is a plan that is greater than all of us. God works in all of our lives to bring us to where and with whom we need to be. We adopted black babies because Forest and Kiira were meant to be in our family and they are black. Their blackness has enriched our lives in ways we never could've anticipated, and more importantly the essence of who they are, their spirits, have completed our family. None of us would've been who we were meant to be without them, and they will become the people God plans for them to be because of our being together.

I think most people who ask why we adopted black children are looking for a race-based answer or at least a racial justification. The honest answer, however, is spiritual and more than just skin-deep.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Follow-up: Why Saudi Women Need Drivers

I just read THIS article that the Saudi Arabian woman who was set to receive 10 lashings (see previous post) as punishment for driving has been released and the punishment rescinded. Good news.