Don’t Judge an Act of Love

We got a call on May 28th, 2014, from the Department of Social Services. My granddaughter was going to be removed from my daughter. I had two hours to go get her.

I paused. Even though I suspected and intuitively knew it was going to happen there was still a shock factor to the words.

My husband, then fiancé, without hesitation said while I was quiet with the investigator, “Where do we go pick her up?”

A few hours later she was in our care. This was his first child. She was my seventh. Her mother had arrived at nine years of age from Romania into my care. She has mental disabilities, bipolar and a rainbow of other disorders that have caused mayhem throughout all the years I’ve loved her. And, oh my gosh, how deeply I love her. She continues to teach me on a high level of compassion.

So we picked my granddaughter up at the agency. We had nothing but a box of diapers and bottles. They handed me formula and a car seat. We ran to get a playpen. We had to get some extra clothing. At the time our finances were also super tight. I had my last child home who was graduating high school the following month and would be turning 18 in August.

People always make two comments to me that shake me up. I wonder how humanity has made it this far. First one is “Did you have another option than to take her in?” (This is asked many different ways).

Second one is “I don’t think I could do it.” (Sometimes this is implied as if we are some kind of heroes. We are not. We are humans)!

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks because until the event shows up no one really knows how they will react.

It took two and a half years of waiting and fighting to adopt her. Finally on December 1st of 2016, she was ours.

My daughter got pregnant with her second child and I heard from a woman in her building who took my number down from borrowing her phone. My daughter at the time was four months into her pregnancy. I felt it. She’s in Florida and we are in North Carolina. I would hear from her periodically. Since she got pregnant I heard from her only twice and when she did call I would ask and she would lie.

Her baby was born in April of 2017. She was alone. She didn’t know who was the baby’s father. I called social services and begged them not to let her take the child home. It took 10 months for anyone to do something. By this time he had been terrorized by her new boyfriend, had gotten pregnant again with her third and finally the county removed him from her care.  We got the call two months after he was removed, right around the time he was to turn one years old.

I was asked by the social worker if we wanted him. I was completely torn. My husband and I were to leave to Peru for my 50th birthday the following week. The social worker told me it was a long shot. I went home and shared with my husband who immediately said he wanted the baby boy. Our little girl needed a sibling. I called the social worker and told her we would take him. It took another six months of fighting with the system to get him. It was excruciating and exhausting. And, once again, the comments began with folks who believe they have the answers. “Not again! You aren’t going to take on another one…?”

Yet, something had changed in my life from all my other adoptions. My circle of friends are supportive. They are tribal. They gathered together and helped make this a wonderful experience. For the first time after seven other children, I had a baby shower. I was shown support from many. The few who had negative comments weren’t in my immediate life anymore. I changed and, therefore, my circle changed.

I won’t tolerate negativity any longer!

Our hearts determine our lives. I don’t judge anyone for saving a child. I can’t. I have learned after eight of them that I am here to mother many. My husband is an incredible father. This is his first rodeo and I’m navigating the challenges and struggles, the love and sleepless nights, the snuggles and cuddles, the reward of seeing two more children saved from a horrific situation. As for my daughter, she will continue to do whatever she wants to do. She’s allowed to because the system is corrupt. She lost her third child (immediately that she was born) and the baby is thriving in a beautiful home.

We are made from love to give love away as much, as often, and as freely as possible.

Adoption is a personal choice. Taking kids into your home is a remarkable way of giving back to this world. It is not for everyone. It’s not easy and these children are traumatized. They need assistance and patience. I ask that when you hear someone talk about adopting, or fostering, you can save the judgment and recognize the magic that’s happening to those little souls. You get to shape your perception and your words carefully.

Our lives are all connected. Each one of us. How you act and react is felt through the waves of consciousness. So…let’s be love.  Let’s be examples for the new generations. Let’s live through acceptance and awareness. You don’t know what’s in store for you tomorrow. You just never know what curve ball will be heading your way.


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Letting Love Live

This morning I had a memory of the first time I was stung with uncensored and unconditional love. I’m sure I had hundreds, or perhaps thousands of moments, but that evening seemed to stand out loudly.

My husband and I had been dating for a few months. I spent the night at his place. We had made love and only a candle lit the room. He had fallen sleep on his stomach. I turned over and saw him. The light from the candle enhanced his back muscles. I gasped. He was beautiful. I looked at his bare back in pure delight. Tears formed and I allowed for their release. He was sound asleep. I became very aware that he was mine, for however long that would be, and he was lovely. Not just because of his body but his sense of humor. I was falling in love. I was falling into a known territory that felt remarkably unfamiliar to all others.

I traced my fingers on his back softly following the shadows. He woke and turned over to his side while I kept rubbing him with my nails. At some point I fell into a slumber wrapped by his arms. The next morning as I drove the hour and twenty minutes home, I kept thinking of that moment that allowed me to fall so profoundly that every cell in my body felt the expansion of love. I literally felt a huge break in my chest.

Then I started to freak out. I felt I was losing myself. How could I? I’ve done this dance many times before. I had given all of me for years and not been reciprocated but what amazing lessons I had learned. I regret not a one!

As I watched the stretch of mountains ahead my heart felt a tingle and a pull. I was safe to fall. I was safe to rise towards the delight of being me…my authentic self without censoring from a man. The sun was rising over the landscape and I knew I had permission from the heavens to just feel the love that was to grow. I remember this many years later. I remembered it this morning as I watched him sleep in his stomach bundled under warm blankets.

Driving over the mountains that morning I recalled twenty years before when I was dating a lovely man. After we made love I fell asleep in his arms. Sometime after that I woke to him watching me sleep and the blinds wide open. He said, “The moon looks beautiful on your back. It makes your freckles look like stars!” He meant every syllable of that sentiment.

I buried my head on the pillow in embarrassment. I had a hard time taking in any kind of compliment.

I had never been seen…Or so I felt. He saw me. And when he died a year later a part of me died with him. Now noticing my new lover and his divine essence naked in front of me I felt all the love in the world that had been given, shared and exchanged. I felt it intensified and released in my soul. It wasn’t just a physical or emotional connection. It was a spiritual one.

At midlife I was finally me without apologizing.

And I allowed for all that was to come. He was mine then. He continues to be mine now. It has taken a tremendous amount of work and dance to stay in that love but it’s been so worth it. Because that’s what marriage entails. We are on the other side of that mountain of uncertainty and doubts. We are led by stars and candlelight through the darkest of obstacles.

We are in it because of the raw vulnerability from one another. We show up not always in perfect lighting. It’s in the unmade beds, crazy sleepless nights with kids, messy days, hard obstacles, little moments and unconditional love without judgment. It’s real life naked and fully clothed behind closed doors. I’m blessed.

Love Because

Every so often I get a message from a stranger asking for advice on their children. I answer simply with “I am sorry. I don’t know your sweet child. I cannot help you.” Then I suggest that they check out a nearby therapist or doctor. The reality is that I am not a license therapist and cannot evaluate anyone, especially children.

Now, if you want to know about fairies or theories on the multiverse and parallel dimensions, I’m your girl. If you want to laugh and hear me go off on some quantum tangent about how we are here but in other places…I am your girl. I can talk about consciousness all day, every day.

I can offer you empathy through your sorrow. I can hold sacred space for you. But, I’m not a child psychologist. I have experience in mental disorders from my own perspective of raising several children with challenges. That doesn’t make me an expert. And every child is unique.

So, if I come across as some kind of mother expert for raising children please note that I am not. Believe me when I tell you that I am clueless. Even after eight kids I am still making my way through infinite lessons…often times pulling my hair and cursing in my inner voice.

I am here for you if you need a shoulder. I am no expert at absolutely nothing but loving you. That…I…can…do!

**I don’t know who wrote the beautiful quote. It’s absolutely yummy.

Move Mountains

This morning on the way to school, Kali asked me, “Mama, why does the moon follow us when we are in the car?”

Me: The moon is magical that way.

Kali: I’m magical too.

Me: Me too.

Kali: Yeah but you don’t move mountains (apparently she believes she does…and I giggled at her superpower).

Me: Have you ever seen me?

Kali: Wowwww. (deep sigh and admiration).

When a four year old believes that she has the power to move mountains you better allow her to believe she can change the world and you will help her. Our conversation went right to how we can do whatever we want to make this world a better place. Cause we got this!

She gave me a high five and we agreed to move all the stones together.

Just a Matter of Time

We headed South a week ago to pick up our new baby boy who is 17 months old. It’s been an intense few months. One legal fight after another. He’s adjusted from the first night and we are blessed. It was just a matter of time before the questions would start from our four year old about her new baby brother!

Kali: Mama, who is my baby’s mommy? Is it Kara (I don’t know why she thinks it’s my friend)

Me: no, baby girl, she’s not his mommy.

Kali: who is his mommy and why didn’t she want him? What’s her name? Where does she live?

Me: she couldn’t keep him. She’s sick. Her name doesn’t matter right now. She’s not healthy enough to have him. So he came here that way we can give him a good life. And love him a lot.

Kali: mommy, he will be loved. Forever and ever. And she cannot have him back. (She says this as she’s holding on to him tightly).

Me: sometimes people are used to physically have babies so others can give them the love they deserve. Not everyone can be a mommy or daddy. Not every should be.

Kali: then he got in the right house. You and my daddy are great for the job. And he has a big sister and many other brothers.

**********

People think compassion is taught but compassion, like love, is a gift we are born with. We get to feed it and help it evolve but we are born with compassion, kindness and love. The rest is learned behavior. If a four year old (who has never wondered how she has two white parents) can feel the love in her family there is no reason the rest of us can’t just tap into that energy across the world.

Look for the divine in everyone.

Struggles…

Many years ago…12 to be exact…I was experiencing a struggle with my eldest daughter. She arrived into my life at the age of 11-1/2 from Romania. And with her came a lot of secrets and demons. She suffered from multiple personalities and deep wounds. There was no way to reach her regardless of all the love and security I provided. At the age of 18, finishing high school, she plotted to hurt me and some other family members. The heartache those days was immense. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced up to that moment in my life.

My son’s friend’s mother came over to get him one day. I shared my struggle through tears and heartbreak. She took me aside (a woman who truly didn’t know me that well even though our boys were super close) and she shared a personal story about her eldest son. She told me, while holding me, that sometimes we had to let go in order to continue helping our other children. Up to that moment I didn’t know anyone who had undergone things that broke the mama heart that profoundly. Whether it was addiction, mental illness, or whatever…I had not known someone personally who was navigating through similar experiences.

I listened to her. She had been at this for years. I felt her own release in that conversation. I listened so much that, now 12 years later, I can still remember her words of wisdom. This woman just lost her son a few days ago. That said son who was struggling with his own demons. And as I write this I swear my heart breaks even deeper. A parent should never, ever, have to do what she’s had to do this week. I know he’s finally at peace. She does too but there is always the uncertainty of how much we did or didn’t do to fix and save our loved ones. The doubts creep up and we are consumed by the unknown of it all. It’s hard to decipher what is real and what is not. Guilt and shame are familiar emotions that push the grief up. It’s all part of healing and letting go.

I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when someone has these struggles the only thing you can do for them is hold space. The loss is inexplicable. It’s unreal and I cannot imagine how my friend is holding herself up this week. So I pray and send loving light to her and her family since she’s not near me (although I wish I was with her at the moment). I keep meditating and hold her heart in mine. No one knows what another endures…not what she had to do for her son, not what I’ve had to for my own children. We have little windows we show to the world, but behind closed doors and blinds the truth of it is quite different. I am blessed to have had her 12 years ago to help me navigate my own grief, shame and guilt because I was completely lost. I had to let my daughter go. I had to love her from afar and continue to do so daily because she refuses the love. In the end I had to put my energy into those in my house who were willing to receive the love and security. And it continues…

That’s all we are asked to do: love and serve those who receive it (who are willing to accept it). We can’t fix or help those who don’t want it. It’s like hitting yourself against a giant boulder while the ocean smashes against you over and over. It’s pure insanity.

I love you, my dear friend. You know who you are…you will always be the words of wisdom when I struggle through my own little demons of guilt for not doing more…. I am here!!!!!

Let’s Talk Children

Last night I had a second opportunity to reconnect with my friend, Ann Lee, on our local radio station. It was a soulful, earnest discussion between two women, that is also a conversation between many women. With every conversation I experience expansion; I get to own more of myself through the mutual love and respect of another conscious, awake being. Communication is essential as we evolve spiritually. Enjoy…

You can go to Facebook link below to watch the video.

https://www.facebook.com/wpvm.103.7/videos/2123550044589149/