*Disclaimer—not lumping ALL Christians into this group! So don’t send me hate mail or a theological _________________ about how you walk in LOVE all the time!
It’s no secret that I call myself a Christian. Well, I hope it’s not a secret. I am and I say it proudly. When I say that though, I want to say that I think I am one of the coolest people you might ever have the chance to meet. But, that isn’t what I want to write about today, now is it? (But really, I am a really cool person!)
It recently came to my attention that some of my fellow Christians, don’t like the fact that I adopted a “Black” kid (their words—not mine). Now, as with any story, I admit, I am leaving out some of the details (details like—obviously, “[I am]…a lesbian because I adopted a black kid as a single woman” or “I got a tattoo on national TV of my black kid—so I am not only not waiting for God’s order of how a family is built, but I am scarring my temple!…”) surrounding this scenario. Granted, some of these people have known me for years and it’s pretty sad that judgment, racism, and ignorance still rule their lives. And for some of this—I blame me! I have clearly not been a good enough influence or example in their lives to steer them away from such things (add this to the list of things I gotta step up my game for this year!).
But I just want to take a moment to thank all my non-Christian friends (and even strangers) who have had NOTHING but amazing things to say about my adoption. I just want to thank you for loving my son—no matter what. I just want to thank you for offering to watch him and be kind to him. I want to thank you, random lady at Target, who bought me diapers! I just want to thank you for not judging me for wanting to adopt as a single woman and not say things like, “You should have waited for your husband, so that you could adopt in God’s ‘right’ order. You are out of God’s will by having a child out of wedlock!”
Thank you my friends who are worshipers of Buddha and Mohammed, non-believers, Jews, Hindus, GLBT’s (I know this isn’t a religion, but they are part of my life and they love me and K), Atheists and Agnostics (if I left you out, it wasn’t on purpose) for caring about the cause and the plight of orphans like I do. Thank you for knowing that my tattoo, that I was blessed to get on national television, wasn’t just about the tattoo. Thank you for knowing that tattoos don’t totally define who I am. Thank you for knowing that my son is funny and smart and creative and witty and snarky and goofy—just like his Mama!
Thank you for understanding that there are so many things out there in the world that matter besides petty stuff. Thank you for being aware of what is going on in the world with things like, oh I don’t know, the plight of ¾ of the world trying to get access to clean drinking water. Or maybe, just maybe, you might like to know that right here—in our 1st world life: 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States, 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die and everyday, 46 school children will be diagnosed with cancer. Or maybe worry about/focus on this: More than one in six people worldwide—894 million people—don’t have access to this amount of safe freshwater. How about the fact that there are 340 million people in the world living with HIV. Let’s think about there are possible 17 million orphans in the world due to AIDS. Oh, but why stop there! Every day 5,760 more children become orphans!
Ooopsie, Mr./Miss/Mrs. Über Christian—am I making you uncomfortable? Am I revealing trade secrets? Am I ratting you out? Well GOOD FOR ME!!! Get over it! I am not telling non-Christians anything they don’t already know about you—you suck sometimes. You judge them for piercings and hair color and dating choices and music choices. You judge them for not being just like you!
Don’t get me wrong. I know plenty of people who serve God, love God and love others. I adore them. They are in my inner circle of friends, but so are the other people I am thanking in this diatribe. I have said all of this to say, I still love you—you judgy Christian! NO MATTER WHAT! That won’t ever change. I will still hug you when I see you! I will continue to pray for you because the Bible tells me to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I love you because God loved me when I was unlovable. I love you because I don’t always deserve love and I still get it, so you will get my love too! I love you because…just because!
But—I will end this the way that I started it—thank you, from the depths of my heart, the people in my life who love me and K—just because!
Yeah, I stole the title and the overall thoughts about this post from a blog that I follow—I admit it. But hey, didn’t someone say that imitation is the best form of flattery? Well, here we go!
I am my harshest critic—pretty much about everything. At work, I can be hard on people (just ask them), but I am even harder on myself (just ask me). I expect a lot out of the people in my life, but I expect SOOO much more out of myself. So to think of things that I didn’t suck at (as much) this year was a stretch for me.
*These are in particular hierarchy!
Endorsing food variety with K. Since he came home—it’s been tough to get him to try new things. Thank you OTFCC (his school) for your nutritious and wonderful meals because they have exposed him to so many new types of food. Not only that peer pressure kicked in that my kid now loves BROCOLI!!! I have jumped on board and supported this. When he asks for something by name, we put it on the grocery list and get it. When we are at the store, I ask him about trying one new thing each trip!
Stuck to (sorta) my work schedule. For those of you who know me, I could work a 16 hour day and still think that I hadn’t done all my work. My full time/day gig has been in flux for the past 18 months and I told myself that I would leave on time so that I would have quality time with K. I was really good (not perfect) about it.
Made more time for friends! It’s so vital that I maintain friendships with my own people (adults that is). I need to make them a priority, and I really strived to do that this year. Again, perfection didn’t happen, but I have quality people in my life!
Made more time for me. I made sure to allow “me” time in the mix. It wasn’t all the time nor was it weekly, but I did something for me at least once a month!
Kept K’s bedtime consistent. When he goes to bed on time, I get more “me” time (AKA—time to grade papers for my OTHER job), but it’s nice to know that he is getting the rest he needs and I am getting some quiet time.
I lost weight this year. Not sure how that happened, but from last January to this one, I am down almost 20 pounds. HEY HEY HEY!!!
I screamed less this year (I think). I feel like K and I really got into a discipline groove this year. He is going on 4, so there is A LOT of discipline going on in the Williams household, but I understand him a little bit better and he got to know me a little better too.
I allowed K to spend the night somewhere else a few times last year. That was big for me, but it was SOOOO good for both of us!
I took a Grant Writing workshop (and my job paid for it). It’s something that I have always “thought” I wanted to do and I finally got the chance to do it. It was amazing and I learned a lot about myself and the grant writing process! *Starting to write my first two grants this month!!!
I deleted some people from my life. It’s sad, but sometimes necessary! It freed me from a lot of stuff!
I stayed consistent with my blog this year. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and it was great to vent, share, inform, and just explain things on my blog even if I am only speaking to myself.
K became a US citizen with a US birth certificate. The paperwork was a NIGHTMARE and sadly, because of it, I will NEVER adopt internationally again, but as with everything regarding K, it was well worth it! Welcome home my son!!!
K and I went on our first vacation since we’ve been a family. We have done weekend things, but this was a 2 weeks in Hawaii kind of thing! It was great to see him see the ocean for the first time ever, snorkel, swim in the ocean, etc. We had a blast!
So… there you have it. I know that there is a ton of other things—and that’s ok! I don’t need to rant and rave about EVERYTHING. As we always say, “our life is awesome!” and really, it is!
*I will use each Tuesday to rat myself out about something! It’s all in good fun and I am sure that these “truth-day” revelations won’t be things people don’t already know about me!
It’s been a while since I posted one of these, but this has been bugging me for a while but I didn’t know how to phrase it, so I have shied away from it! But here’s the deal—is the education system so horrible that Facebook status’ always need to look like this, “Headed tew skool” or “Ihh dislyk wen mi friends go through mi friends just tew get friends”. Seriously people, it isn’t cool to sound like an idiot. Also, is this how you want the world to think you speak and spell? I know it’s just laziness and wanting to be funny, but as a mom and educator, it bugs the crap outta me! I know you know better y’all!!!
Scenario: Was asked by my boss to pick up some big time/really rich donors in the electric cart and drive them back to main campus. I show up to get them—four 68+ year old men (all apparently residing in the Palm Springs area—i was told that they carpooled from the area!!!) get in the cart and we head back to campus!
Man 1: Wow, that place seems to be poppin’! (referring to Bruxie Waffle Sandwich place)
Man 2: I bet those waffles sure do pack a lot of calories!
Man 1: It was poppin’ when we walked by it earlier
Co-Worker: The line is usually around the corner!
Man 3: Well, I guess you could indulge once in a while!
Man 4: Clearly it’s not a place for people like us!
Man 3: Speak for yourself. I would try it!!!
Man 1: Only on my “cheat days!”
*My reaction to this 30 second conversation (in my head): Did old dude just say “cheat day” and “poppin’”?
I will admit it, this holiday break I have allowed K to watch large amounts of TV. For those of you who I see often, you know how I feel about the zombie box (AKA the TV). I limit K’s TV watching and take it away from him when he isn’t “good”. Sadly, he LOVES it and is thoroughly bummed when I don’t allow him to watch! But this break, I have really been lax! He has been able to watch abundant amounts of TV and has loved every second of it. We have played outside each day for at least 2-3 hours, but seriously, our days have been filled with a significant amount of TV time!!!
The problem I am running into is combating the amount of potty talk that my “approved” movies have in them. Now, when I say “potty talk” I don’t mean cuss words. K isn’t allowed to say things like “stupid” or “dumb” or “shut up” and it seems like ALL movies and TV shows say these words. While I still only allow him to watch PBS shows and DVDs, it’s still a problem. No matter what the character says, I let him know that we don’t say those words. He repeats it back to me, but…I have noticed that when he’s playing with his Woody and Buzz dolls or with his trains, he is mindlessly repeating sentences and phrases from movies that have these words in them! It’s driving me crazy, but how do you combat it? I don’t want him to be the weird kid who isn’t allowed to watch ANY TV (he’s already got a white mom and no dad!), but at the same time, I don’t allow him to say those words.
So… my friends, your advice? Or Miss Debbie—have fun next week! Or maybe I should wish you, K, the best of luck—you might be spending a lot of time in the red chair next week at school!
Who woulda thought that that woulda happened at IHOP!?
I am blessed to work at a place that gives me the week between Christmas and New Years off, and that it’s paid! Not only that, my dad’s birthday falls during this week, so it’s been our tradition for me to take him to lunch (just the two of us) on his birthday! Since I have become a mama, obviously, K has joined us and my dad loves it even more now, I think.
So, as per our usual, we went to a late breakfast/early lunch and it was his choice of where to go. My dad, being the decadent guy that he is, chose IHOP! When I asked him why, he simply said, “I think K will like it because you can see the train tracks from the window, and I like the food, why?” I wasn’t’ berating his choice, I just didn’t think that this would be his choice since I was footing the bill!!!
But as I have learned, everything happens for a reason. K does love the view from IHOP. He can see all the cars on the 6 lane road and the railroad crossing—it’s like a little bit of heaven for him! Yet, this time was different. As we were walking out, this woman approached me and asked me where my son was born! I could tell by looking at her that she was from the Motherland, but wasn’t sure if she was Ethiopian, Eritrean or Somalian (not saying they all look alike, so don’t send me hate mail, I just didn’t want to assume anything!!!). After I told her he was born in Ethiopia, she said, “I am from Ethiopia too! Can I ask his name?”
Fast forward 15 minutes. It was an amazing conversation in the parking lot of IHOP. Come to find out, her son shares K’s birth name and she lives locally. She was stoked to discover that there was a little Ethiopian community right here in Orange County. I shared with her about all of our friends and that we were celebrating Timket in January and that we had just recently eaten at Tana Restaurant in Anaheim and that many of us have gone to culture class in LA.
We exchanged numbers and she hugged both K and me. As with most of my encounters with Ethiopians, it was beautiful! But, it was not only a wonderful encounter; it was fantastic for my dad to see it as well. Since my dad didn’t travel with me to pick up K in Ethiopia, he hasn’t seen much native, adult Ethiopian reaction to my adoption. He has asked me, on several occasions, how Ethiopians feel about Westerners adopting “their” kids, so I know it’s a concern of his. He is very aware of my feelings about making sure that not only K, but others KNOW that he is ETHIOPIAN-American! He was so happy to have had the chance to talk with her and hear her thoughts.
As we pulled out of the parking lot at IHOP, we were all grins and basically shared the same sentence over and over—wow! Who woulda thought that that woulda happened at IHOP!?