Surrogacy appointment #1

January 3, 2019.

Mama and daddy picked me up from work so we would have time to chat before the appointment. We’ve known each other for years but we have not had a lot of personal contact. I’ve watched the couple go through so much in their journey of parenthood but that is their story to tell.

This is mine.

We hit traffic on the way there from roadwork on the interstate. We ran into closed roads. We got tickled talking about confusing downtown traffic and one way streets. We found the fertility clinic. Finally!!

We spent a time filling out paperwork then we waited. The doctor was ready for us and we went back.

Mom and dad shared their story. Doctor dis used the process with them. They shared a question and answer time. I’m so proud of mom. She’s researched so much. She’s serious and we know it. Doctor looked to me and asked me if I was good? Did I have any questions?

I did not. I told him I’m along for the ride. I’m honored to be able to help this couple. I’m blessed to give the gift of life.

Let’s do this.

He will not see us again until a legal contract is completed. Ok. Fair enough doc. See you soon.

🤗🤰🏿

Discrimination

I am a first-generation American. My father and his family moved from Germany, when he was 5 years old, to Texas. My father had to learn English and his family forced him to embrace American ways so that he would succeed in life in America. My father lost his German language skills through the years and if you met him on the street today, you would think he was just as “American” as the rest of us. My grandmother, although she learned English and follows American ways, is still very German. She speaks German fluently and still holds the German customs high.

My family always taught me to never look at someone’s skin color. I say these things as a background for my explanation of prejudice from my eyes. I started school at a local county school and my mind was blown. There was one black family in the entire school. There were two black students in my class, who were first cousins.   Growing up in North Alabama, I learned at an early age what discrimination was. There was a group of high school aged boys with shaved heads that would meet in the mornings before school and blow their horns and yell around the area. I learned that they were called “skinheads” and they believed in racism and white supremacy. I was over at one of my friend’s houses for a spend-the-night party one time and her dad and uncle discussed hitting a black man for points on a non-existent scoreboard they had kept up with for years. There was a bar a few miles from the school that did not allow black people to enter.

As a young adult, I experienced other races discriminating against me for the color of my skin. I have been talked to like I hated other races, without being asked my opinion. I have been ignored on several occasions while I was the minority of a group. I have had to defend myself in situations that embarrassed me simply because of my color. I believe I was sheltered but I do not believe it was an incorrect decision on my parents’ part.

I tend to discriminate against ignorance. I say ignorance because they live in a normative-cultural environment.   They follow customs of their community. They are accepted when they follow such ideas. I also struggle with the stereotypes of southern families. The man works and the woman stays at home, taking care of the children. The man does what he wants and the woman is left to make a decent home and take care of the children. The woman is not expected to gain education. The man is not expected to gain further education, either. It is acceptable to quit school at sixteen and gain a full time job. There is little desire to excel further in life. This way of living is passed down to the children. I know this is not the way everyone lives. I also know that knowledge has improved and families are beginning to want a better life.

It is hard when I work with families who do not want to better themselves because they do not know the improvement they are missing. I struggle with this prejudice in the community I work for. I have to learn how to meet people where they are at. I have to accept them for who they are and what they believe in. I have to be careful of their feelings when I express the need for change to parent their children in a safe environment free from alcohol/substance or physical abuse. I have to understand that although I am working with a particular family- expecting change, the environment the family is in will likely not change. When a family discusses racism as the norm, I have to carefully explain that race in itself is not a reason for blaming in the community, but at the same time, I cannot expect change in their minds and it is not my job to change that aspect of their life. As a social worker, we are to embrace our family’s differences of lifestyles.  I choose to put myself in situations that will broaden my understanding of groups that I do not naturally belong to.

 

See the good.

I was giving all of my mind funk to God today. I do that often. It’s the best thing to do. As I was letting Him have it, we were driving down the interstate. We had gone out of state for a vacation to see my best friend (whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years). It was an emotional trip. As soon as I had hugged my best friends neck, I couldn’t fathom the thought of having to leave her again in a few short days…. We grew up together. We were thick as thieves. We went through some rough times together. She was my safety net many times when I had nothing else and I hope I was that for her sometimes, too. She learned the hard way, just like I did, to FROG 🐸 (Fully Rely On God). She truly had given her life to God since I had seen her last. It was the most beautiful thing to see her shine like she was.

Anyway, we had a great time, not long enough though. We said our goodbyes.

I kept it together.

On the way home, I was just begging God to show me what I’m missing. Life is rough at times and I have a hard time managing it all. So there I am, losing myself out the window. I prayed for God to show me a sign. I want God to have control over my every piece of life and I fail. I make decisions without Him being TRULY at the center of it. And I’m tired of it.

So I’m asking Him. TELL ME. God, I’m basically a blonde dumb dumb so if you don’t hit me on the head with it, I may never understand……

Minutes later…. I can’t make this up….. My boo said, look at that. Someone had, in red solo cups, created a pattern in the fence of a bridge that we drove under. It said :

SEE THE GOOD

In big, bold, bright red, bubbly, letters.

See. The. Good.

Yes God. I hear you God. I will do my very best God.

See. I’ve struggled with this my whole life (that I can remember). I don’t know the name of it exactly. Depression. Anxiety. Sadness. Overwhelming fear. A mixture of all. I’ve tried hard to be proactive in seeking to better understand it and make it better in general. It’s a never ending cycle. A roller coaster, if you will. I can honestly tell you, I don’t know if Im doing myself good or harming some days. But today God shouted a sign to me. Not because I didn’t have faith in Him and His work in my life. But because He loves me. He truly loves me. Don’t get me wrong, He isn’t a magic 8 ball that I ask questions to and He gives me a yes, no, cannot predict now, blah blah. He gave me what I NEEDED to hear at that moment because He thought it best. See. The. Good.

Life is too short to focus on the bad. There is so much bad. That can’t be denied. But I NEED to focus on the good. I need to focus on the good of this world, myself and others. I can’t worry about what others think I’m doing or not doing. I need to leave all that to God and just see the good.

So. I leave you with the same message. Life is life. Our treasures are not found here. There will never be true satisfaction and peace until we hit those pearly gates. We give every bit we have to God. We have to seek out the good until good is all that surrounds us in Heaven.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Foster isn’t fun.

Look here. If you are looking into fostering, this isn’t exactly to deter you. What it is is to be raw and real with you. Don’t become a foster parent for superficial reasons.

1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Don’t become a foster parent because you think the parents suck beyond repair. Your MAIN job is to love these children unconditionally, through all of their brokenness, and to be patient while the parents work hard to try and get to a safe and stable place in their life. Your job isn’t to belittle them while they work. They aren’t you. They dont have the knowledge and resources you do. They are not where you ARE. Your job is to meet them where they are. To respect them as human beings. Can you do this? Yes. Then you have my full support!! If no. Go back to the drawing board and give in other ways. Offer assistance in any way possible.

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

It’s mother’s day. No pressure

You ever notice holidays are a trap? Everything HAS to occur at THIS time and this EXACT way and blah blah blah.

Exhausting.

I learned a long time ago, it’s who you are with and the quality of time spent. Not exact details and times.

I was young. Elementary aged. Half of my family was in El Paso, Texas. The other in Alabama. We spent one Christmas in Bama. The other in Texas. And you know, I never noticed where I was the exact day of Christmas. All I remember is having an abundance of family time and lovin.

Fast forward to now. I’m divorced. My children have a whole other set of family, some that I don’t even know about. My children love their other family. I want them to.

It’s important to me for them to have the best time.

So. Don’t let the holiday consume you. Enjoy who you have, when you have them!