Monthly Archives: March 2015

Dear Peach Parents with Chocolate Children,

I ran into something yesterday that was a solid reminder to stay vigilant. Because sometimes people are just big, fat, ignorant honkeys. Nothing against white people, some of my best friends are white. (That’s a joke, because I’m white.) Anyway, I mistook a Smiling Face for a friend…

“Your enemy won’t do you no harm
Cause you’ll know where he’s coming from
Don’t let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I’m only tryn’ to school ya”
Read more: Temptations – Smiling Faces Sometimes Lyrics | MetroLyrics

It is a TERRIBLE feeling to get duped! Betrayed. Tricked. So I have compiled the beginning of a list that might (maybe) help adoptive parents to spot “Smiling Faces”…

#1: “Why isn’t there a White History Month?”
If your friend complains that the African American teacher facilitates constructive discussions about race too much, your antennae should go up. Teaching children to be “color blind” teaches them that color is bad. P.S. White History Month actually does exist! You can learn more about important white figures in the months of January through December each year.

#2: “The Sin of Provocation”
If your friend’s child bites your child and then she blames your child for driving her child to bite, your antennae should go up. Biting is never okay, and it is never the fault of the victim. Duh.

#3: “There is some truth in stereotypes, why else would they exist?”
If your friend ignores concrete evidence and assumes that your black, male child is a trouble maker who struggles with academics more than her white child, your antennae should go up. Everyone wants to think that their child is a genius, but it is nobody’s right to convince your child that he or she is less than what they are.

#4: “Mean People Suck”
If you and/or your child come away from play dates feeling inadequate, your antennae should go up. True friends will be kind to you and leave you feeling encouraged.

#5: “Microaggression Theory”
Suggest meeting at the library so that you can observe your children interacting with each other while they work on homework. If your friend shows up with the child’s Auntie who happens to teach the grade your children are in, you should run. Just run. Know you’ve been ambushed and run. It will end with the Auntie explaining why her niece or nephew is a saint and your child is a goading pre-criminal.

The fact that our children have been through too much too soon makes them survivors, not monsters. They are exceptional and strong. We must publicly celebrate them and stand up for them at all times.

Nobody gets to parent my child but ME.

The Fashion Industry is Trying to Kill Me!

I don’t understand the desirability of the leg gap. A friend of mine who is black and thin told me she was teased relentlessly as a kid. The bullies said that her leg gap indicated that she was “experienced” because there was room for … erm … company. Strangely, white people seem to think that same leg gap is something to work for. To starve for.

This woman is simply too skinny. Unless she is 13. And even then...

This woman is simply too skinny. Unless she is 13. And even then…

This is what women should aspire to look like in jeans! Beautiful!!

This is what women should aspire to look like in jeans! Beautiful!!

The following shorts photo is pretty extreme. I find the image deeply upsetting, and hard to look at. The model’s thigh bone is showing. Why is anyone okay with emaciation, let alone celebrating it? The message I receive when I see photos like these is that my society wants me, as a woman, to suffer and die. I won’t be pretty until I am unhealthy. Being a woman with curves is bad, and punishable.

This woman's thigh bone is jutting out. She should be hospitalized, not photographed!

This woman’s thigh bone is jutting out. She should be hospitalized, not photographed!

This woman is so sexy that I almost blush looking at this photo. LOVE her!!

This woman is so sexy that I almost blush looking at this photo. LOVE her!!

BEES!!!!!!!!

Luc and I arrived home on Friday to find about 15 bees angrily buzzing around our kitchen! Another one was in the den! Another in the living room!! AND the rest of their mob was outside trying to get in! I swear I saw some tiny pitchforks and torches.

I closed all the doors to all the rooms and we barricaded ourselves upstairs. Unfortunately, it was the first hot day of spring and we were sweltering. We ordered Chinese and picniced on the bed.

Then, just like that, the bees were gone! Asleep? Elsewhere? Hiding? Who knew?

The next morning, they were back in force! We called a bee dude who said he has been called to several houses in the neighborhood. He explained that the previous day had probably been the scouts, and now they were back … with the queen! Zoiks! He said there were likely THOUSANDS of bees!!!

But, they seemed to be mostly gone again. So I guess the queen was like, “We are not impressed.” They don’t seem to be back today.

I Can’t Help … Yet

It’s hard to know that our future son or daughter is going through terrible abuse or neglect right now, and we can’t do anything to help. I pray that God will work in the child’s heart and let them know that there is hope. I pray that God will work in us so that when the child comes to us, He will use us to strengthen, heal, support, love, encourage, and lift the child up.

Instead of thinking about how I wish I could change the unchangeable, I am trying to focus on becoming a Mom who can teach my children to use their pain to grow stronger.

Foster to Adopt

We had our first meeting/homestudy for the Foster to Adopt program. I started this post the day of the meeting. I wanted to talk about my feelings. Almost a week later, I am opening it to find that all I wrote was the title.  So, the feelings are pretty big and scary.

I think my biggest fear is doubling my work as a Mom. Two kids? Am I ready for that? Will #2 be as strong-willed and energetic as Luc? Because Luc gives me a lot of grey hairs. On a daily basis. A lot.

Of course, there are the questions about the mental state of a child in the foster system, but we all have our issues. And there are risks in every method of bringing a child home, including bio kids. Plus, there are so many books and resources for fostering that I feel confident that we’ll be able to handle those types of issues. I suppose there is less fear in this area because it’s a type of parenting I am a little more familiar with. I think. Not sure how foster parenting is different from adoptive parenting, but I do know that this area of parenting is dramatically different from bio parenting. Pretty much opposite.

The day of the meeting, I ran around the house like a mad woman. I cleaned and tidied and ordered and fixed. I grocery shopped (Instacart of course!) and prepped food. When you come to my house for dinner, you can tell how nervous I am about having you by how much dessert I provide. This night I had two pies, ice cream sandwiches, cookies, fig newtons, and fruit. For five people.

We met a woman at church through the new Foster/Adoption Ministry that we are all starting. She works for a non-profit that holds the hands and helps parents, like us, who are going through the foster process. So she came over along with the super nice, awesome guy from the agency we are going through. It really helps when the people are so encouraging. And I can’t believe that an agency actually exists to help us through the process, alongside the foster/adoption agency!

They asked Luc how he was feeling about the process. They were gentle and clearly knew how to listen to his replies and conversation. They were glad to see that we have talked about the idea extensively as a family and that Luc is on board, and thinking about the reality of it.

We even walked around the house and did a first check for what needs to be changed or added in order to pass the inspection. Since then, I’ve been on Amazon Prime buying fire extinguishers, first aid kits, a fire ladder, fire place screens, etc. If only they did these inspections for birth children. So helpful! I even had to buy a drawer organizer for my knives b/c they have to be locked up.

The next step is an hours long psychological review with a clinical psychologist. We would be able to get on that right away, but for a small hiccup that will cost us about two weeks.

About four years ago, someone reported me to DCFS for parenting my son “aggressively.” I have since learned that the majority of foster and adoptive parents have been accused like I was. The problem is that even though my case was ruled “unfounded,” it remains on my record for all eternity. Even though “unfounded” means it was baseless and never should have been reported in the first place. It was a horrific experience. And it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Our process will resume in a few weeks I guess. I’m using the time to buy the supplies I need and fix the stuff that needs to be fixed.

I’m excited. I think. Nervous and excited.

Dear White People Movie

These notes are from a few weeks ago. I keep trying to make time to finish the post, reread it, yadda yadda. Anyway, I give up on that. This is the raw notes. Well, half of them anyway…

– – –

Yesterday, Delta Sigma Theta sponsored a viewing of “Dear White People” at the Jackie Robinson Community Center. It was an interesting movie that left me with a lot of question. After the movie, they had a panel for some Q and A time.

The panel after the movie.

The panel after the movie.

I figured they’d have a lot of interesting things to say. So, I took notes…

What are everyone’s initial thoughts after the film:

Andre Coleman liked how every character had an arc. He wasn’t rooting for or against any one of them. They all had strengths and flaws. (I have to admit I noticed the same thing about the movie. I really liked that.)

Anthony Samad said something interesting about the introduction of the wealth/class dynamic, but Siri autocorrected and I can’t figure out what I typed. He started with something about a 21st century prism. And then I have “splash was that this is critique of white price ledge most people don’t want to deal with.” I think “price ledge” is supposed to be privilege. Mr. Samad talked about how he thought the film was brave because it tackled not only the race issue, but the wealth and class discrepancy intrinsic to racial inequality.

Derrick Garland Coy liked that the movie was about intelligent college kids. No gang bangers or “‘hos” or other typical stereotypes. Intelligent, educated, young black people are struggling to find their identities, and how “we as Americans” (I think he meant black Americans, not American people as a whole) struggle with identity, especially when others mistakenly think we are in a post-racial period.

(I thought Mr. Coy made a really good point. I noticed a lot of assumptions (mistaken sometimes) about motivations. And that’s hard right now because some people do date a black guy to make their parents mad, but others date a young black man because he’s handsome and smart and funny. How is that poor kid supposed to learn the difference?)

Barbara Avery wanted to note the age of the movie’s creator, Justin Simien. And all the panelists agreed that the movie could not have been made as well by a creator of any other age. Ms. Avery was pleased to see the biracial and gender stories, and she noted that they are different from what we saw twenty years ago.

Lloyd Ferguson complained about often hearing people declare that we are living in a post-racial society. He noted the disparity in quality of life clearly indicates that we are not. The movie touched on this idea lightly. Mr. Ferguson added that it is important subject matter for discussion.

Is there a shift between generations in subject matter of discussions?

Samad said there is the same dynamic of wanting to push the next generation forward. He said the Civil Rights Generation “was so much more intense.”

— This statement made me bristle a little. And a little later, Avery commented on it.–

Avery called the current situation for college kids “death by a thousand cuts.”