anxiety, family, gay, inclusion, respect, transgender, Uncategorized

Gays, Transgenders and oh yeah, pedophiles…

Let’s have a teachable moment. According to Merriam Webster the following words are described as follows:

Gay: sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex

Transgender: of, relating to, or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth

Pedophile: a person who has a sexual interest in children

Inclusive: open to everyone; not limited to certain people

Ignorant: lacking knowledge or information

Bathroom:  room in a public place with a toilet and a sink

Ok, now that you have all the definitions of all the buzz words with public bathrooms, why is there such debate? Only ONE word above affects children being preyed on in bathrooms….PEDOPHILE.

I know people are sick of hearing all the bathroom craziness of Target and other establishments and the regards to transgender. IN MY OPINION, it is ridiculous. The majority of people who use a bathroom at a public store, restaurant or any other establishment other than home, simply HAVE TO PEE. That is it. The majority of people who use the restroom go into a stall and shut the door and do their business. But because a person maybe in all ways identifying as a particular sex with exception to their “plumbing” we assume our children are at harm and going to be assaulted?  That thought  is just asinine (defined as: just stupid and silly).

PEDOPHILES are the ones who prey on children. You can’t recognize them on the street or in the bathrooms, they are sick human beings who find children sexually attractive. THAT is what is sick and disgusting. Teachers, priests, babysitters, relatives and the next door neighbors of children can be pedophiles. Half the time we don’t even know this until perhaps years have passed and an assault has taken place.

People who are gay or transgender are not out to harm our children. Plain and simple: they either find people of the same gender sexually attractive. Transgender just means they are born looking one way but all of who they are identifies another way.

It is not a religious debate, a political debate or even a sexual debate. It is being inclusive and allowing people who are woman (or define their selves as a woman) to pee in a women’s bathroom – and same for men.

Seriously – #PEOPLE JUST HAVE TO PEE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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anxiety, family, inclusion, mom, Non Verbal Learning Disorder, respect, Uncategorized

It’s the little things…

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I got this text this morning from my daughter. I realize it is just a text. Especially in the world of devices, online communication and teenagers it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But if you knew my daughter, you would understand how this small gesture made my whole week. (and it’s a MONDAY!)

My daughter and I argue daily…DAILY. Multiple times a day. Now do the math….times a week….times a month….etc etc. Which makes this mom one tired and crazy nut job at times. Why this mom loves quiet time at night watching meaningless TV with a glass of wine – ALONE.

Part of the arguing daily is she is a typical teenage girl. The other part is her NVLD (non verbal learning disorder). It plays a huge part in her social interaction. While she can talk non stop, she has a hard time relaying emotions/feelings. Things are black and white. Empathy is rarely expressed. Reading social cues is a daily struggle. more info on NVLD

So naturally when you have all that, the pressure of school and trying to make and keep a simple friend is hard and tiring. Then come home from school – exhausted from trying to keep up with what we call “normal” and be expected to be 100% respectful and social is just plain crazy and not achievable. While she can come across exhausting, argumentative and disrespectful a lot of the time….she has her moments that shine brighter than any other star out there. This text was one of them.

I have learned over these fun teen years that I need to really take in the little things. They may not seem big and grandiose to many of you, but to me and my beautiful daughter they are HUGE.

*another god article on NVLD      What is NVLD?

 

 

 

 

anxiety, anxiety in kids, family, inclusion, mom, respect, Uncategorized

High school mom fears….

 

My oldest daughter starts high school in a few short weeks. How can that be possible? Wasn’t it just May 2001 when we were getting her from Korea? Wasn’t it her first day of Kindergarten as she ran onto the bus with no fear? Wasn’t it the day she lost her first tooth? Wasn’t it just the day she rode her bike without training wheels? Time certainly does fly by. They always tell us “Enjoy this time, it all goes by so fast”. Fast is an understatement…

While I am super excited for her, I also am nervous for her. Neither one of us are sleeping well lately, I think it is the anxiety we both share. Hers about getting to class on time, opening a whole new locker, getting up earlier, getting good grades. Mine about making friends, be accepted, doing well, and having people see the awesome young woman I see.  I had the same fears as she entered middle school. A whole new school of people that didn’t know her, her challenges  and all her great qualities.

She made a goal list the other day for the new upcoming year. I will share a few…

~ Find some friends that are girls.

~ Try to get mostly A’s and B’s.

~ Really challenge myself and STUDY!

~ Start with saying HI and be smiley and friendly.

~Get to classes quickly and on time.

~Finally, be the best 9th grader I can be!

I love her list. While most kids her age see that list and think “piece of cake!” – for her each statement is a HUGE thing for her. I love the confidence she has. I believe she can accomplish all those things on that list. As a momma bear, I need to let go a bit more and let her succeed on her own. With that also comes letting her fail on her own too. That is the harder part. When you have a child that struggles with social skills, school work, and fitting in – you can’t help but worry 24/7. You want her to be the girl with friends, not fake friends that roll their eyes at her and bully her because she is different. Her “different” is beautiful. She is funny, talented, smart, strong, fashionable, goofy, confident. I want others to see the beautiful in that.

I need to have her confidence this year! While I can’t wait for school to start by this time of the summer, I also can wait for it – my girl is growing up…too fast.

Adoption, birth mom, family, infertility, marriage, mom, teen pregnancy, Uncategorized

The Lingo Ate My Baby….

  It is funny how the choice of words people use can make a huge difference in what they say or ask. I have been humored, hurt and angered by the the wording and questions people to choose to use.  All along this journey of teen pregnancy, infertility and adoption, I have come to realize language and the way we comment, ask and label situations is so important. Some people really have no idea that what they are saying is hurtful or even not politically correct. I would like to address some of these.

Lets talk teen pregnancy, shall we? When you learn of a teen (or even a young girl surprised with pregnancy) do not say “oh. eeh. geez. wow. what are you going to do!?” with a face that looks like you just ate something terrible. A young girl is already scared and feeling as tho they did something wrong and let down people. You do not need to be one of them. A simple “You are? Are you ok? Is there anything I can do?” or a simple “I’m here for you” is plenty. A hug doesn’t hurt either! If this girl chooses to keep the baby after weighing options and thinking it over, then be supportive – offer advice or even resources that can help. Don’t be “You ARE?! You are so young! It is hard work – blah blah blah”.  If she chooses adoption for her baby, the words “gave up” “giving up” are not favorable. It is not an old out of date sweater that is going to Goodwill. It is not chocolate they are giving up for lent. It is a young human being that is loved and the choice to choose adoption was carefully decided. You mourn the loss and are equally happy for the couple that will be this child’s family. It is a very emotional time. the comment “Oh, you’ll be fine! You will have other children when the time is right.” is NOT OK. You can’t replace that baby. It is a part of you that will always be.

Ok, let’s talk infertility, shall we? I remember when Mike and I were trying to conceive, it seemed as tho EVERYONE around us was getting pregnant. People would ask all the time “When are you two going to have kids?” Little did they know we were trying and failing. (wait, let me clarify….we knew HOW, just those pesky sperm and eggs didn’t want to do their part).

* insert sound affect: Needle screech across a record album……WAIT! Let’s back up a bit. After people get married, not all of them WANT to have kids and a family. So why assume they do. When you think about the question “So when are you two going to have kids?”… you are asking quite a personal question that really is none of your business!

Ok…back to infertility… our first doctor we saw after months of trying said “Ah, relax! Light some candles…it will happen”. Gee, ok. We never thought of that one. (eye roll) Then we moved onto charting my temp EVERY morning, Mike getting his sperm tested, getting shots, taking pills and having mandatory sex. Let me just tell you – sex on command is not as great as some of you think. Sure we would giggle and laugh at first. The thought of a literal nooner was hysterical. But 6 years later…there was no laughing. So when a couple is going through all that and crying every month when the test comes back negative… a person asking “When are you two going to have kids?”  may get a punch to the throat – so don’t be surprised by it! Especially once we found out I was the problem and couldn’t get pregnant. I actually had people ask me “So are you going to find the baby you put up for adoption?” …to those people I say “Are you on drugs!?!?” Because why on earth would I disrupt a plan that I carefully chose and had a hard time coming to terms with? Not to mention being so selfish to disrupt a young child’s life because of something I couldn’t have.

If you do know a couple is struggling, always asking how it is going is really just a reminder of how long and painful their journey is. Remember, that the couple is different from your aunt’s niece’s friend who went through infertility…Trust me, WHEN there is news to share, that couple will be the ones screaming it from the rooftops, skywriting it and will be so excited to share the news. It is their news to share… not your question to be answered.

Adoption. This area of conversation has SO MANY things to address. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat and let’s educate! First thing right out of the gate when we told people we were adopting was “Oh, you’ll get pregnant now for sure!!” To these people asking I say “No, we have medical proof we wont and I am not the Virgin Mary” and “We closed that painful door we struggled with for 6 years, made some closure and moved forward by opening the door labeled ADOPTION – why would you rip the band aid off that wound we are finally healing from!?”

We chose to adopt from South Korea. (That means they are ASIAN, not oriental. Oriental is a type of rug people!!) We didn’t need our child to look like us. To us, that was not important. To some it is. But we would get comments like “Oh. why wouldn’t you adopt from here and then your child might look like you?” During the process people would comment/ask “I heard it is expensive! How much does it cost!?!?”  – first off all, adoption fees are usually on a sliding fee. So it is different for everyone. And, WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS?! That is just a rude question…period. Unless of course you are asking because you too are thinking about adoption and want advice.

This is a good one too. Once we had our daughter – who again was Korean – 5 months old. People would constantly ask “Will she speak English?” Ok, let’s stop and think about this. A.) She doesn’t even speak yet and B.) We know maybe 2 words in Korean.  We would also get “Is she adopted?” Well, first off all I do not walk up to a mother in Target an just randomly ask “Did you give birth to your son?” – I must say tho – 90% of the people asking that particular question were adopting or had an immediate family member or friend that was. So we had an immediate connection about it. But remember, still a strange question to ask.

Oh here is a good one!! Once we adopted our second daughter we would get the age ol’ favorite question “Are they sisters!?”…. Let’s step back and look at this. I am at Target (yes I do shop there a lot) and I approach a mom with two boys (or girls) and just randomly ask “Are they brothers?”… the mom would probably look at me and slowly say “ummm, yeah?!” – and stare at me like why on earth are you asking. Ok, back to me now. When people ask this question I know what they want to know is: Are they birth sisters? I get it. But again, why is it someone’s business? And to our family and to each other…YES they are sisters.

“Will they ever find their REAL moms?” – I assume people mean their BIRTH mothers. We are both REAL moms. One of us gave birth and one of us raised and loved unconditionally. Maybe someday my girls will want to meet their birth mother and make the emotional journey and I will beside them sharing all the beauty of it with them.

“They are so lucky you saved and adopted them” – um, no. We are the lucky ones. They made our family whole. WE decided on adoption because WE wanted children and WE wanted a family. We are not fostering a hurt and sick animal here.

The bottom line with all of this is, be mindful of the comments and questions you ask. Be educated on the language and terms you use. You don’t always know what people are going through.

family, marriage, Uncategorized

Confused….

The events this past week leave me feeling confused. I LOVE the fact that #lovewins. I love that all human beings can share in the sacred union of marriage. Marriage is not something you enter on a whim – it is a commitment. If two human beings love one another, respect one another and want to commit to one another for better for worse, for richer for poorer etc til death do them part – WONDERFUL.

I do not like to talk about religion and my faith openly and publicly…it is a very personal journey to me. I am not looking for a big religious debate. I am stating my opinion and what I believe. What I think, pray about and believe are between God and I. But I am finding myself confused….and I believe others must be as well. I believe in God. I believe the Bible is the holy book in which we live our lives by. I believe God has the ultimate plan for us and he is the man (or woman) in charge. If you put your trust in God – all things are possible. I believe that he creates each one of us differently. How we go about our journey with what we are given is what matters. He gives us the crazy detours in life and its is our job to find a lesson out of them. I also am a person that is not black and white – I believe there is gray area. Why would God create a beautiful human being that cannot help who they love. If two people love each other, why is that bad!?!?! If the two people are both women or both men – why is that bad? Why would God create a person who is designed to love a person of the same gender and say it is bad? They just want to love and be loved. period. I know many people in same sex relationships – to see the way they look at the person they love is beautiful. I also know many man/woman relationships that are filled with bitterness, anger and divorce.

The God I know and trust teaches us to love one another. That all human beings are worthy of love. We are all beautiful and loved in the eyes of God…

 

cancer, family, Uncategorized

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead….

WITCH UNDER HOUSE It seems like over the past few months I have known people who had a funeral to attend, knew someone who only had a few months to live due to a diagnosis of cancer, pets dying or attended a funeral myself. There are so many ways we pay tribute, say good bye and celebrate these lives once they have passed on. Military have the ceremonies…special burial at a National Cemetery along with a 21 gun salute and the presenting of the flag to a family member. A person who passes away that lived into their late 90’s or even made it to 100 are celebrated with all the  historical events they witnessed in their long full lives. Maybe had great great grandchildren. There are ones that pass on that have had struggles with illness and we feel a bit relieved when they die because they are no longer suffering. God has brought them peace with the illness they long suffered from. Then there are the tragic deaths from accidents, murders, suicides or even the loss of a child. There are no words to even describe that type of loss. So sudden and so tragic it literally takes your breath away.

We will never know when it is our time to go. God decides that. We do know how to live our lives to the fullest and make each day count. Some of us may have all our funeral preparation done. Songs picked, headstone bought, bible verses selected etc. All of this has got me thinking….while I am only 46 and believe I will die at a ripe old age…there are no guarantees. What do I want my funeral to look like? How do I want people to remember me? One thing I know is “Don’t stand over my grave and weep”…that quote always pops into my mind. I know I do not want the traditional wake, church funeral and buttered bun ham sandwiches, jello salads with shredded carrots and bars made by the women of the church. I don’t want people all in black (altho those who know me know that I do wear black and grey a lot!)  I mean no disrespect to those who have that. But that is not me.

I want to be cremated. I want my ashes divided up between my husband and children. I want them to scatter their “share of me” somewhere appropriate that has meaning to them in regards to me. Maybe it is Target, maybe a park we visited, maybe the coffee shop where I met my son for the first time…or the old area where the Fairmont American Legion used to stand – where I met my true love. Or even Chadwicks NY where I grew up – under the large gingko tree. Don’t put my shell in a box and put me in the ground with the bugs – you all know how I hate bugs! I picture my memorial service and “bereavement meal” in a backyard – the scene much like the Braverman’s backyard from Parenthood. White lights strung across trees on a breezy warm evening. (side note – if its winter time…we will have a plan B – I mean I do live in Minnesota) Fun food and cocktails. I want people to celebrate my life with funny stories. I want pictures of me – pictures approved by my sister – we have an understanding about that! I want music that will make people laugh and sing and bring back fun memories. I want someone to play “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” because those that really know me will laugh and spit their drink out. I want the song “In My Life” played – version of Crosby, Stills and Nash – or a good guitar/song version by any guitar player friends and family members. I love “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone”. I want people to wear their favorite outfits…an outfit that makes them feel happy. I want Vicks scented tissues – if you cry, at least get a whiff of Vicks – Love that smell! So many other little things I think about.

I don’t like to think of dying as a sad occasion, but rather a celebration of a person’s life – there is nothing sad about that. So I ask you – how do YOU want to be celebrated?

cancer, family, Uncategorized

Cancer sucks…

cancer sucks  Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. I have known people all different ages that have gone through this. Relatives. Friends, Strangers. Neighbors. Kids…..kids….KIDS!?!?!  I don’t understand why. I know God has the ultimate plan, but why cancer? Why cancer in children? I don’t normally write about other people in my blog – it is usually my immediate family or situations that involve my family. This post is different. It is about a neighbor. The neighbor that is just behind our fence… a young boy we see through the fence cracks mow the lawn or play football with friends.  Our neighbor David who is an active football loving 7th grade. He was just diagnosed with a rare cancer…on his spinal cord. Rare – meaning he is like 1 in 6 people in the WORLD who have been diagnosed with this.

Here is his story that just ran on the news:  David’s Story

As an average person I think HOW AWFUL. Thinking of it as a mother….there are no words. I think how “lucky” he was to get injured during a football game. A game that David LOVES. That injury lead doctors to find this tumor. I just cant imagine the road he will now travel on…surgeries, treatment, Dr. appointments…the list is endless. Not to mention missing school, friends, etc. The support in our community has been fast and furious. Love how our town has rallied around this young boy and his family.

It’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR. (yeah yeah Life ISN’T fair…but this sucks) How as a mother and father do you keep strong for your child when deep down you are screaming “THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!!” and feeling helpless for your own child. My heart and prayers just pour out for this family. One thing I do know…they will kick cancer’s ASS! They are strong – #GerfastStrong! And David will be in the best care at the best hospital MN knows, the country knows, the world knows.

If you can help in ANY way this family…the link is below. Any little thing is helpful. It just means one less thing the family needs to worry about. Their strength needs to be on David…not on finances, meals etc. Power of prayer is remarkable. So remarkable…say a prayer or many prayers.

Help David’s Family

Cindy, Lars, Rachel, Allison and David….we are rallying for you all!