Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back in the swing of things!!

As I sit here and gaze at my computer screen, I realize I have not had as much contact with those in the blogging world as I would have liked.  Well here I am... finally!  :o)

So let's see... where to begin --- over these past months, I have been able to promote, discuss, and present a variety of events to many people.  Being able to participate when and as requested, is an honor for me.  I love what I do and being able to pass along the messages of encouragement and empowerment found within the words of my books, is nothing but fabulous!

Children who read the words I have written and feel good about who is inside of themselves.

Parents who read the words and see there are so many ways of guiding their children through any of the emotions or stresses that arise as days go by.

Support workers and educators who read the words and know there is a new way of aiding the children and families with issues that may arise in a child's everyday experiences and can provide a positive resource in a non threatening way.

And that is what is most important for the children after all!!!

My Adoption Awareness month last November had me spending some time travelling to Michigan where I was very fortunate to have presented on a panel with two wonderful authors and fellow adoptees, whom I may now call friends, Rhonda Roorda and Kevin Hoffman.  They were very informative and it was amazing to speak with them both, relate to some of the same type of issues growing up and to be available to all those who showed up to listen to what we all had to say. What an experience!  I look forward to partaking in more opportunities with the both of them!

Here is a story I was surprised about during the late fall and thought I would share -- my ten year old daughter had spent the night at a friend's place for a birthday party.  When I went to pick her up the following day, she commented on a few things, mostly about how a couple of her friends had argued during most of the evening.  The comment that stood out the most for me was, "I don't understand why they argue so much, it's not like they are really cousins anyway."  I wondered what she meant by that and questioned her.  She responded by telling me, "Mom, they aren't "real" cousins because so and so is adopted."

Now, if you can imagine, I was pretty surprised to hear that because my children know all about adoption and know I am adopted as well.  I continued to prod for some answers from my daughter.  "What do you think it means to be a "real" cousin honey?"  "Well, if her mom had had her then she would be related to her family but she wasn't so she isn't really their daughter or her cousin."

If you have ever seen the look of a deer in the headlights of any oncoming vehicle that would be the look I had on my face and in my heart.  I felt like everything I was trying to teach my child had flown out the window because she didn't understand that being a "real" member of anyone's family means being a part of their life, in their heart, in their homes, and in every way possible.  I reminded my young daughter, who I believe was and is old enough to hear direct answers from me, about my status of being a person who was adopted and queried her as to what she thought of my being a "real" member of my family.  Her answer was "Mom, I feel sorry for you and for her because you didn't have your real families to live with.  I know you are adopted but you are my mom and so you have me and we are real."  Again, look of a deer... As I continued to discuss the blessing of having been adopted into a family rather than be left in the foster care system, I could see the understanding finally come into my daughter's face and she seemed to believe what I was saying about families and belonging to one, real or not.  All families are real whether a child is adopted, fostered, biological, step, surrogate, whatever way a family is made up.  It took a lot of discussion and I am glad she talked about everything so openly with me -- I would rather her speak open with me than to speak frankly with her friend and possibly lose a friendship over misunderstanding what "real" meant in an adopteees life.

Adoption does not make anyone less than -- it never has and never will.  So why is it that there are still so many people out there who think that way??  I am glad to say my daughter understands a little more about this subject and now we need to ensure more people are made aware so that young hearts are not hurt for something that promised a forever family to them!  Having my own experience as an adoptee makes all the difference in the world and I am thankful to my family for making mine real!

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