This situation felt unfair and I was furious. “I will never be the same again,” I thought as a burning fury formed into a profound amount of pain. I felt it searing, piercing my heart in a way that would change me forever.Read More
I was so nervous on our wedding day, I couldn't eat.
Remember, we woke up early to have breakfast together before getting all fancied up and prepared for the celebration?
Neither of us could stomach more than three bites.
It wasn't because we were nervous about our decision to say "I do." It wasn't because we were unsure of forever-together.
I think it's because we knew we stood on the edge of forever.
We knew after August 11, 2012 at 6 pm, we'd be with one another until death do us part.
The gravity and gift of saying "I do" to someone like you was not lost on me.Read More
When I invite God into these softened, honest spaces of seeing abuse and brokenness, I become more sad than angry with those who hurt us. The hardened walls of bitterness are shed and replaced with soft sorrow and an invitation to grieve the loss of what should have been.
Forgiveness is for our healing and wholeness. But I cannot find this freedom and joy until I truly begin to walk through the dark parts of my suffering and pain.
Time and time again, I find I cannot skip the night to arrive to the morning. Joy comes in the morning, but the morning comes after the dark night. Sometimes the night lasts longer than we want it to.Read More
Motherhood demands I reach out to Him, need Him more than I did the previous moment, and ache for His presence.
It is in the hidden and unseen moments of my motherhood journey I encounter Him fully. In the long nights without sleep, the books and toys sprawled out across the house, the food sticking to the walls, and the imperfect way I meet the needs of my two toddlers.Read More
Transracial adoption can be an incredible way to build families. When adoptees work through the pain and difficulty, when we understand our story as adoptees and as transracial adoptive families, we have the impact of not just making small changes, but making world wide, impactful changes.
Generational changes. How we care for our children. How we see our children. How we build bridges between white communities and communities of color. It all matters.Read More
My morning arrived but it was birthed through a long, long night of labor. And just because I am currently in a morning doesn't mean I don't have marks of the night. The darkness in the night can scar us, sometimes leaves marks of trauma from nightmares.
I'd dare to say the marks of trauma have made me a better person. They've taught me how to sit on my hands, to listen better, to do my best to quiet my defenses and explanations.
I've learned I can grab ahold of the immense joy in the morning and continue to acknowledge the darkness preceding it.
It's this beautiful journey of pain and healing crashing into one another, continuously.Read More
While in the infant adoption process and awaiting our match, every day I battled urgency.
I felt urgency to be matched with an expectant mama making an adoption plan, but was simultaneously fearful we didn't have even half the funds to be due.
There existed in me a void, one created by the wait.Read More
Whether motherhood came to you unexpectedly and too soon—without warning—, right on time, or far longer than you had hoped...the motherhood journey is not without loss.
But I'm wary to even post this blog. I'm wary because of fear: what if people think I'm complaining, when I'm not? What if people think I'm wishing we didn't have two one year olds, when I don't? What if people think I expected motherhood to be easy, when I didn't? What if people misunderstand?
I write for you, mama, who needs to know I see there is loss in the gift of motherhood. You have permission to acknowledge that loss, too—just as you have permission to acknowledge and grieve any other loss.
It doesn't make you less of a good mom, it makes you a whole mom. A human mom.Read More
"Oh so it worked for you! You got adopted and then found out you were pregnant. I'm so happy for you." Her words were confident as she loaded the belt with groceries, one by one, smiling at me. Beaming.
I'm becoming more and more aware there may never be a time when this myth falls away, when this stigma ceases to exist. But a mama can dream, right? A mama can dream that one day her son won't feel like he was some means to his brother?Read More
Two years ago we were waiting and longing and hoping; there were so many unknowns.
I still had to live the story needing written: the story of miscarriage after The Wait, our adoption journey, immense ministry + church trauma, and birth trauma. The story needed to be lived before it could be written.
I'm praying this book is a gift from Father to you,.
I ache in the deepest parts of me my story and words on these pages bring you THIS much closer to healing, wholeness, and loving bigger than you knew you could.
I pray my story shared in this book inches each of you further into His oceans of grace.Read More
The importance of reading to toddlers is insurmountable:
Picture books are some of the very first visuals children get of our world in all of its diversity and beauty and variations. Books are filled with information, seeping into their subconsciousness as reality. We choose our books with intention. Reading with intentionality, seeing what the message in your kids' book is, will help shape our future generation.
So we make reading a priority.
Here are our favorite toddler books.Read More
If you haven't read parts one and two, please do so here: Black Culture + Hair Care Go Hand in Hand [part one] and Your Black Child's Barber Should Be Black [part two].
This is the third part to a three part series on skin and hair care + maintaining black culture for your children of color. This series is intended for white parents raising black kids.
Since I'm white and am not someone who should be sharing on these topics, I've invited Helen to share with us. I'm so grateful for her.
For adoptive & foster parents, we cannot recommend enough the Not Just Hair facebook group.Read More
If you haven't read part one, please do so here: Black Culture + Hair Care are Absolutely Necessary.
This is part two to a three part series with Helen. This series is meant for white parents raising black kids.
Skin and hair care has become increasingly important to our family. Not only because our son's skin and hair need extra care, but because it is and will be a major part of his identity as a [biracial] black man.Read More
"The way a child’s hair looks is correlated with the overall care that child receives from her mom or parents.
A big part of self confidence among our black children comes from their hair."
As a white mom raising a kid of color, good hair care is a new world for me.
I have thin, greasy, flat straight hair. If I'm lucky, it might wave at you for twenty seconds.
Our son's hair has changed and transformed over time. With each new phase of his hair, we have reached out and asked other mamas what they recommend we do to properly care for him. I never want to think I know it all; especially when it comes to living the black experience: I know nothing.
It’s easy for me to run to my white mom friends who have been caring for their kids of colors a few more years than me. But I am doing my best to slow down, humble myself, and reach out to my mom-friends of color.Read More
Many [adoptive] families and couples decide early on they want a closed adoption.
If you fall into this category, you must answer this question: WHY?
It is almost always stemmed out of a level of fear and/or jealousy.
Every adoption and situation is different. There is no manual. We are all human.Read More
We like to do that, though. We like to compare and quantify.
When tragedies happen, we ask for specifics so we can gauge the tragedy of it: How many people were killed? How far along were you when you miscarried? How many foster homes has she bounced between? But was it physical abuse or emotional abuse?
But tragedy isn't to be gauged, tragedy is to be grieved. No matter the loss, trauma, tragedy, or brokenness, it is to be grieved and offered its space.
It is in the invisible and hidden spaces of grief I find Him. It is in the hard and pain-filled moments I experience His tender love for me.Read More
"I look back on our season of miscarriage and see how much He refined in me in the fire. He grew a community around us, a lot of it was grown through grief, and we needed that community while in adoption process. It is easy to say 'He is not with me' when in the thick of it. But blessed are those who mourn, we will meet Him there."Read More
Sweetest little Ira-
We have shared so many tears in the last year, you and me.
From the beginning of your existence, you invited me to live one day at a time. I learned the art of celebrating each moment I had with you, of finding immense grace in the unknown, in being forced to live moment by moment.
Your existence demanded me to my knees, hands wide open, yearning for miracles. You are a miracle, a rainbow.
---> Ira's first birthday theme was Dr. Seuss. There are OF COURSE pictures from his party + cake smash :)Read More
When I began posting our birth story, I only planned to share the four parts already shared. I received countless emails and messages asking for more, wondering what happened when I woke up.
Here is the next excerpt from my book. If you want to read more, know more, and travel the road of grief crashing into joy with me, you're just going to have to buy my book which comes out this fall. Sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter to know when preorders begin - upon doing so, you will download my two ebooks and many other goodies.
One more note: the heaviest group of mamas weighing on my heart this week is mamas who have been forced to grieve the loss of their birth experience and their babies. I remember after our miscarriage, a mama told me her birth trauma story and I wanted to punch her. I went to my cabin and sobbed. How could she complain and be sad about a birth of a living baby? I wondered, angrily. And here I am.
I reached out to a dear friend who lost her son at birth. I told her she had all the permission to be angry with me. She was gracious and said this birth story has given her "comfort in knowing I am not alone in grieving my own birth story. I hate that you have the trauma, but am so thankful for women like you who share their stories to let women like me know that 'hey, we are not alone after all.' I'm glad you've shared your story."Read More
This is part four to a four part series. These four parts are excerpts from my book being published this fall. My book is about varying forms of loss + giving them space.
Our birth experience is one of my greatest losses and I am learning how to give it space in my life. It is sacred, it is vulnerable, it is hidden. I experience triggers and PTSD. It isn't fun, but I am not going to pretend it is something it isn't: I'm not going to pretend like I am okay with how our birth unfolded.
Until today, this story has been kept quiet and hidden; it's raw. It has been one year since the arrival of my seconborn son. My book is overflowing with vulnerable stories and raw emotion...so I figured sharing this raw story would continue to prepare me for the launch of my book.
I write + share to give myself a voice, but also to give others a voice. Loss has a way of making us lonely; I hope to create spaces for connection and community. You are not alone.Read More