Monday, October 29, 2012

A hurricane...

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind so, it is totally fitting that we are in the midst of Hurricane Sandy right now.  It is the perfect culmination of that time. Don't get me wrong, it's not all been bad, but this hurricane hasn't been either.  The rain and wind have canceled school for my husband and my building was closed so we are just home together as a family today.  Bonus!

I don't even know where to begin.  Two weeks ago, Justin and I went to Asheville, NC for a dear friends wedding.  It was beautiful.  Jack stayed home with his Papa who had come from Illinois to visit and stay with him for the weekend.  On that Friday, Jack bit a kid at daycare and since this was his third offense, he was kicked out for the following week.  Now, I understand that the other kids must be "protected" to my labeled 18 month old, but the problem is, he has not bitten anywhere else and thus I cannot address the behavior.  Needless to say, the week following proved to be very stressful for me in trying to piece together childcare.  My dad (Papa), stayed for an extra day and was with him on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday my friend (who conveniently lives across the street) watched him, Thursday his Hoho (Justin's dad) had him, and Friday I stayed home with him.  So while the daycare provider said we needed to "teach him a lesson" by keeping him home for a week, I think he learned that if he bites someone he gets to stay home with people he loves dearly all week.

Regardless, even having amazing people supporting us and watching our child, the week of hodge podge child care was very stressful for me.  Then, he goes back to childcare the following Monday where I was met with a constant reminder that if he bites three more times he's out for good.  Awesome.  Something to look forward to!  Trying to put childcare together indefinitely!  Ugh.  Needless to say, we started looking for other options.  In the midst of this, Monday was a bit crazy at work, Tuesday I attended a funeral of a Navy SEAL/brother of a dear friend/friend of ours who died entirely too young, and sure enough, by Wednesday I was sick.  Out of work Thursday and Friday and oh by the way, did I mention we were going to Raleigh for the weekend?  And with an impending hurricane I was a bit apprehensive about how things would go.  Oh yes, and my grandmother died on Friday night/Saturday morning.

I hope you're not feeling too sorry for me right now.  Because if you are, let me just say that was all just a slow wind up for this fast pitch.  Let me tell you the amazing things that happened the last two weeks:
- I got to see my dad! Jack got to spend time with wonderful people who love him dearly for a whole week!
- I got to stay home with Jack for a whole day and we had so much fun just playing together.
- My mom worked super hard for weeks to prepare an auction for us as an adoption fundraiser which raised over $500 for us!!
- As sad as it is to me that my grandmother passed away, she deserves to be in heaven with Jesus and my grandfather where there is no more suffering and ultimate peace.
- We got to spend the weekend in Raleigh with people we love dearly.
- One of those couples hosted a neighborhood pig pickin adoption fundraiser where we had some friends and some people we didn't even know who all came to support us and raised...wait for it...$2000!!

The more we go through this process, the more I'm realizing that this adoption is less about us and more about spreading the word of adoption and God's love.  We see how we have been adopted by him into his family and that he loves us and EVERYONE in the world so very much and wants us all to be adopted into his family.  I do mean everyone...not just white people, straight people, rich people, do I need to go on?  Adoption is part of His plan. And us adopting our little boy from Uganda is so much bigger than us expanding our family. We get to talk about adoption, the need for orphans to have homes, the love of Christ, and so much more.  In our need to raise money to help us offset the costs, people get to be involved in adoption in their own way and we are privileged to have amazing people come alongside us and partner with us.

We are so thankful for all the support we have been given thus far.  We are dumbfounded at how much money we have raised so far and are ecstatic about how many different people are a part of our family now because they are vested in us and this process.  We hope you are feeling as blessed and joyful as we are.

Friday, October 5, 2012

#19

Our number is 19...yay!!!  For some reason that first number becoming a "1" is so exciting to me!!  The other thing that's exciting for me is that two referrals from our agency were granted last month, both little boys :)  This is very exciting to me because that means we really ARE moving up on the list!!

On a more difficult note, adoptions seem to be creeping by in Uganda due to some policy changes there so our agency is seeing their timeline grow.  When we started this process, wait list time was estimated to be 6-9 months.  When we finished immigration and were placed on the wait list, we were told that time had increased to 9-12 months.  Now, we've been on the wait list for 6 months, and were told this month the timeline is closer to 12-15 months.  As much as this makes me sad, it's not because I can't wait and don't trust the process, it's just that I want my little boy home!!  And yet the reality is, I really do believe that however long it takes, I know that maybe my son just needs a little more time to get ready for us!  Or maybe he isn't born yet or his family can still care for him.  Whatever the reason, whenever that day is, I can't wait to get our referral in 6-9 months from now and get ready to go get our baby.

For selfish reasons, I hope that means he'll be here by this time next year...here's hoping that's not unrealistic ;)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

dynamics of a transracial family

What does that title even mean?  I almost titled it "The 'n' word" but thought better of it but that's what this post is really about.  Not just the word, but the subject.  It's something that has been on my mind/heart lately.  Not sure if you guys watch Parenthood but I so very much appreciated and was impressed that they dealt with this this past week.  But what I'm looking for is truly more feedback and input from you guys!

If it's not clear at this point, we are adopting a little boy from Uganda.  He will be less than two when we comes to live in our home (I hesitate to say when he becomes our son because in our minds he already is that).  So if you don't know us, our family with be made up of two white adults, a toddler ginger, and a baby/toddler African.  And while we have thought about, discussed, and even begun to put some things in place to ensure that our little Jack and James will see people of different colors and backgrounds around in them as friends, and in different jobs, roles, and experiences, there will be things that James will go through that we (and Jack) will never be able to understand.

The premise of the part of Parenthood I referred to earlier is that Jabar (a child of mixed race) hears a rapper say the slang form of the "n" word.  His father (who is white) attempts to handle it but does so very poorly, purely due to his lack of understanding.  The father informs the mother (who is black) and she decides to sit down and have a conversation.  It was great how she handled it and it taught me that we are not prepared to have that discussion.  But it is a very real conversation that will need to happen and one that we will need some help with.  We can bring our baby home and he will be our son through and through but the best thing we can do as his parents is to make sure he has the resources he needs to grow and understand the life before him.  I'm sure he will be discriminated against.  I'm sure he will be made fun of for having white parents among other reasons.  I'm sure there will be hardships that he faces that we, as white middle class people, never had to.  And it breaks my heart that I will not be able to protect him from all those things.  But the best thing we can do is, when the time is right, to be open and honest and give him what he needs...and to understand that that may not come from us.

So this is just me trying to be open about our future child and do our best to give him the life he deserves.  If you have any suggestions or recommendations about how to broach this topic, what should be said in this conversation, or anything in this arena, please feel free to leave a comment or message me and let us know.  And thanks for loving our family!!