Life is a Series

There are nights I lay awake thinking about my six adult children and these two little ones in my care. I am certain other parents go through the list of questions: What didn’t I do right? What could I have done differently? Will they look back and realize that love was always given in abundance? Will they have taken into adulthood the knowledge that material things don’t really matter? Questions gather and release. And, as I toss and turn, churning on the mattress, I come to listen to my inner guidance. I have done the best I could do under my limitations and capacity.

People will always look inside glass houses, attempt to judge, criticize, and belittle. No one knows your path, the struggles along the way, the many times you had to bulldozed your way to the other side. These thoughts come and go during nights that sleep eludes me. And, then, another miracle appears: as daylight enters the room the Divine visits with assurance. I take deep breaths, thank the Universe for allowing me to redo all the wrongs, and continue learning. I go outside and enter the church of nature. It is there that I find the peace to comfort my spirit and quiet the many unknowns. I am the best possible version of me and I whisper to God, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!” I am whole again.

Asking for a miracle is allowing God to align your wishes with what you deserve. It is a faithful act of letting go and releasing to the unknown. It is in believing that we are entitled to the impossible. Once you know and feel the awareness of illusion in that everything is okay the world opens up to your every desire. We have no control of what can and will happen. That’s the miracle. As Lemony Snicket says, “Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see.” Allow those little pimples to pop and show you the beauty of your wishful heart.

Be gentle with you. Let the thoughts come and go but don’t try to control the what if’s and what you’ve could’ve done. Those days are gone. Today is a new day. Today is a miracle in the making. I love you.


Our Ability to Love


When I became a writer/blogger I made a mental note that some things weren’t up for discussion or sharing: serious things about my children (unless it was to help someone), hardships and disappointments with family and friends, and any discord with my mate. I wouldn’t put my dirty laundry out there for the world. When I’ve written about things, in regards to my children, I have tried to do it from a place of motherhood and the challenges the job entails, often times from a humorous point of view. Being a parent is never easy. Ever! In the moments when there is heartbreak you feel isolated. In moments of pure joy, you feel elated beyond whatever words can describe the event.

Yesterday it became official. Our (almost three year old) was officially adopted. We’ve been on this long process of making her ours since she was 5 months old. It’s a bitter sweet story. It’s one of complete joy in one hand and sadness in another. After raising 6 kids, one of my daughters from Romania had this baby girl. She is not mentally stable. She has serious mental health issues and lost this sweet addition to the family. Incredible how one moment of joy can transform into something so deeply heartbreaking within a short time.

Motherhood is who I am. I knew from early on in my childhood that I wanted a house full of children. My family was small. I wanted a big one. At the age of 10 I would say that I was going to have my own biological kids and lots of adopted ones. My mother frowned on this. I think she expected me to “outgrow” this notion.

When I was 18 years old the show 20/20 did a segment on Romanian orphanages. I had just gotten married and I made a comment of this to my then-husband. I was heartbroken, crying like a baby, watching the images of this segment. I told him that I had to help. He told me he didn’t agree with adoption. I was told that I could possibly never have children. I wanted to get on that quickly. I was born with some major issues in my female reproductive organs…but my tenacity and faith truly showed those ovaries who was in charged. By the time I was 22 I had two sweet boys, a divorce behind me, and the world ahead to possibly change the lives of one child. By the time I was 29 I knew I was ready to make that dream come true. My first little girl arrived on my 30th birthday (cause that’s the way God works with me). She was 2-1/2 y/o. The following year I adopted a little boy who was four and a few months later a little 9 year-old girl, and an 11-1/2 year-old young lady.

I will not share the struggles that arrive with caring for older children. I will not list the issues that came up with having that many kids under one roof. I believe that laughter and lots of prayers help us all cope with the wonderful experiences. But, I will share this: every single one of my kiddos has taught me some major powerful lessons. Each one has enriched me with love, patience, compassion and the understanding that we all have a purpose here. I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t a mother. I can’t imagine another career more soul-fully connected to growth, spiritual connections, and love.

When Kali arrived into our home, and hearts, my youngest was graduating high school. At the age of 45 I restarted my career of loving, patience, and compassion. I had to come to terms that my then-plans would be altered. My husband and I are truly blessed. He didn’t have children of his own. To witness the love between this child and her daddy…oh my gawd…makes your heart melt. I promise it’s sometimes Hallmark moments.

I woke today with gratitude. When her social worker informed me yesterday that she was finally ours, I sobbed at work. I was overcome with so many emotions. I felt the elation of finality and the sadness of completion for my daughter (Kali’s mother) who can’t be in her life at this moment. I have to continue being her mother and protecting this child as well. It’s not a fun balancing act. At times, in solitude, it tears me apart knowing I cannot be all to all of them. I cannot be Super Mom! But those are my lessons. They are there for the evolution and expansion of my soul.

I am no saint. I am often one giant hot mess. I make some amazing delicious over-the-top mistakes. I am as simple and common as they come. I am just trying to live the most beautiful lifetime while knowing that because of me, seven children, have experienced love and laughter.

We are all connected. May you find yourself reaching out to another who needs it. It’s in the small things. You don’t have to adopt a child or an animal or a family. You can just be there for another. You have the ability to be good, do good and create good. It’s all about humanity. We all have that extra oomph of DNA that expands with giving love. We have a tremendous ability to love one another. It’s called altruism.

It’s the holidays. Please gift yourself the most loving present of giving and seeing the world change one soul at a time because you were PRESENT in someone’s life. A cup of coffee, a gentle touch, a freaking delicious smile, a scarf and jacket, or anything that can give a stranger the ability to recognize they matter. It’s really THAT simple. You matter. I matter. We all matter on this melting pot of awesomeness we get to call home.

I don’t know another way to live. I don’t know another way to forgive. I don’t know another way to love. It might not be right, but it also isn’t wrong. So…join me, darlings, in the ability to give of yourself to those in need.  There are so many folks out there feeling the stings of loss and destitution.

I love you! Yes…you! Even if we aren’t friends anymore. Even if we are strangers. Even if we have had issues. Even if our time was short and sweet. We are in this together. Hugs!

Happy Holidays! We got an early Christmas present. And…nothing can beat these moments!

The Bravest Souls

babygirlBobbie Sue and I drove down to Florida on Thursday to meet my new grand daughter who was born on the first day of this year.  We love road trips.  This woman and I can be in a car for days on end and have a blast.  Between telling stories and singing we make the most out of a 10 hour trip.  Meeting this new baby girl was a gift.  To have my best friend there with me was priceless.

There is something so humbling and beautiful about a new soul. An infant is as close to God as one can get.  They have no malice, no fear, nothing but the need to survive and be loved.  They want to be fed, held, changed and loved.  To look into the eyes of a brand new soul is looking into the Divine.  I held that baby with an awareness I did not have at twenty with my first son.  Now at forty-five I witness a completely different dynamic to birth and a child.  They are waking into this world, taking everything in for the first time as an adventure, a classroom, and a journey.  Seeing my daughter hold her little one was overwhelming.  It was pure tenderness and love.

This business of motherhood is not easy.  It’s even more difficult as a grandparent.  I have to stand back and allow my daughter to learn from this.  Seeing her living conditions and the façade of what is real and what’s fake is heartbreaking.

Bobbie and I went to the supermarket to get a few things for them.  I stood in line at the deli department and asked her, “Are they gonna be okay?”  This woman, who is usually stronger than an ox said to me with tears in her eyes, “I cannot be strong for you.  If you want me to lie I will.  I know I am here for moral support but I can’t be strong for you on this one.  I don’t know. I have never been a mother so I can’t imagine how you are feeling….”  I thanked her for the honesty.

I got that sinking feeling like if the earth was moving below me.  My stomach twisted and turned and I stood there being elevated by Spirit.  I know the answer.  I just wanted to be sure.  There is no certainty.  My daughter doesn’t want to come home with me.  She’s living in fear and wants to move forward.  I respect that.  Her disorders don’t allow for her to rationalize the situation.  Her mate is not going to allow for her to move on that easily.  I understand it.  My spirit and faith in that space didn’t make it easy for him to swallow this closeness and strength.  He doesn’t like strong women.  Bobbie and I have been through enough abuse to see and shed light on this story.  I tried to be as cordial and sweet as possible but I could see he did not like it.

When I returned to her place I sat her down and hugged her.  In a small instance I whispered to her that I would come get her whenever she is ready.  The things not said spoke louder than if I had openly verbalized what I was seeing.  She smiled, her lips quivering, her hands erratically gesturing and nodded.  God will take care of the rest.   She knows she has a home.  My fiancé’s mother visited as well and she lives close enough to be there quickly.  I am so blessed for this new woman in our lives.  I am an orphan, both parents gone, and this woman has entered my life not only as a mother but a grandmother as well.

Every moment I spent with this tiny new soul gave me strength.  She is embodied by Christ.  She is pure God.  This little baby is the light needed for my daughter to stand up and find herself again.  I looked into her eyes and saw emptiness when we first arrived.  I broke down inside.  Tears of joy for the baby gave me reason to put on a strong demeanor.  I don’t know what will happen.  I only know that the light of joy, hope, and grace in us will shine upon this situation.  I have to believe it.

We returned home with many questions.  Along the stretch of highway in silence I found several answers.  I witnessed a new soul entering this world.  I saw a twenty-three year old with challenges trying to find her place.  The baby is loved.  This I know.  I kept reciting to myself, “On unknown paths, the bravest souls will go.”

I had picked two new words for this year: grace and adventure.  I was able to live through those two words this past weekend.  In grace I am allowing God for guidance.  In adventure I am grateful for the journey into grand-parenthood.  I am seeing something in me that I never saw before: allowance for growth.  As parents we cannot force anything on our children.  The only thing we can do is allow for them to reach out whenever they need us.  Ah…this is tough and painful!  But, the beauty of what’s ahead is in the grace of living through the awareness of faith.  And, that’s where the bravest of souls always go.

Honoring the Rawness and Ugliness

mom and daughter holding hands

I woke this morning and hit a wall (literally and figuratively).  I was half asleep walking out of my room when out of nowhere the wall socked me on the forehead.  I stood back and looked at it is dismayed.  What the hell?  I continued walking down the hall rubbing the spot like a magical lamp, waiting for a genie to pop out and grant me a wish.  It was there and then I broke down.  I sat at the kitchen table sobbing.  My daughter returns today from seeing her father.  She has been gone a whole week.  The last time she visited him was last Christmas with her brother.  When they returned my son decided he couldn’t live with me any longer.  Things were promised to him that were beyond my reach.  Now, I wonder how her behavior will be when I pick her up at the airport this evening.  Will she find the grass is greener in Miami?  She’s my last child, the baby of the family.  I cannot give her the material things her father can.  All I can give her is love and time.  He has a way of facilitating love with money and substituting it for the absence of time.

I sat down holding my head between my hands.  I can’t do this again!  This is not something I do easily.  I can’t fight the emotions that come up when I think of my children and how two of them have chosen to keep me out of their lives.  I understand that they arrived later in age and never adjusted to having a structured family. Regardless of their choices I love them and hope one day they can accept my unconditional love as a guiding light.  No matter what I do or say it will never be of their acceptance.  The only thing I can do is remain distance and send prayers every day.

There are moments in our lives that require a good head knock.  We are constantly going and going and going while avoiding the emotions.  I spent the entire week of Thanksgiving avoiding emotions.  Yesterday I got up, bundled tightly with warm clothes and trekked up a mountain.  I walked the 3-1/2 miles with such speed that when I got to the top my hips ached with strain.  Each movement required me to suck in the tears.  I didn’t know how I was going to come back down another hour and a half.  Something happened while I was on top of the world.  I sat down on a boulder and stared at the view.  I was closer to God.  It was there that I realized what was bothering me so deeply, why I had been so moody for days, and why I was so overly sensitive.  Heading back down, knees giving out every so often, pain on my hips causing a huge discomfort with the descending steps, I allowed myself the gift of meditating.  Walking meditation has always been a powerful tool for me.  I put my instrumental music on my IPOD and I don’t know how I made it back down.  Before I knew it I was walking into my house.

This morning’s head smack allowed the pent up emotions to subside.  This season of giving is not fun when the finances aren’t there.  My daughter will return with an abundance of “things” that I can’t provide at the moment.  Now with my head throbbing, my body aching from yesterday’s hike, I can’t fight the inevitable: I have to honor the rawness and ugliness of events from this past year.  I sit with tears trailing down my face.  All I have are prayers and faith that whatever happens is meant to happen.  Love is a powerful emotion.  It is strong in binding and letting go.  Love requires the soul to surrender. Its only expectation is that you listen attentively to yourself.  My ego has been non-stop bickering and all I can do now is sit patiently and allow whatever is meant to happen.

You, reading this, perhaps have gone through similar experiences.  You are not alone in disappointments, hurt, betrayal, ugliness, judgment, bigotry and distrust.  You aren’t alone on your walk.  There is a point that we require peace with our mental stability.  I have avoided going to see a therapist for almost a year.  Today, the head banging knocked some clarity into my stubbornness.  I am too far inside my own emotions to see the light.  It is time. With the holidays upon us it is not the best time to go solo in testing my strength.  My hippie-unicorn mentality can’t fix this imbalance alone.  My wish for you is that if you are in a similar space that you accept someone to help you.  It isn’t failure.  It is about self awareness, surrendering and love.  The hardest thing to do for most of us is ask for help.  You are not alone…ever!  Mucho love to you.

Finding Nemo

Relationships are like fish tanks: they look prettier from the outside.  Perfection is just an illusion created with the chosen scenery.  Looking from outside it appears like all the fish are swimming around content in their little compartment. We create these beautiful underwater scenes, but are they really happy?

When I was in my early twenties, raising two little boys on my own, I was barely making ends meet.  I would go to their school functions alone whenever I could take off from work and always felt like I wasn’t giving enough.  I was defining my parental skills based on the perceptions I saw of the P.T.A. moms (their underwater scenery always looked perfect).  They had the bake sales, the fund raisers, chaperoning trips, and so on.  A lot of them didn’t work and were always at the school supporting their children.  I could barely make it out the door with both of them without forgetting my keys.  They were two years apart and extremely opposite personalities. I was trying to survive on little income, a stressful job, traveling outside of the state for work training, and having two little ones in a town an hour away from my immediate family.  I was basically in a reality show like “Survivor” without cameras following me around.  I was too young to understand that things aren’t perfect when you measure others up to your own life.  The tanks and fish bowls are all man-made!

I realized once I had six children that those perfect packages of being the P.T.A. mom are illusions.  I gave them all I had with love, patience (not so much at times), understanding and constant assurance for their safety.  I worked full time, kept a household and a business running, and tended to all their doctor appointments, therapists, and activities.  The four kids from Romania needed to feel as if they weren’t going to be abandoned again.   This is still a full-time job with some of them.  The scars left from childhood are deep.

I don’t know much after twenty-three years of raising children that can be passed down to anyone else.  What worked for me might not work for the next person.  Each child is different and there are no set rules for any of them.  Every relationship that comes into our lives plays its own part in our stories and drama.

Now, with the two youngest ones about to turn seventeen I feel tired.  I am depleted of all parental guidance at times, constantly reminding myself that I am doing the best I can.  I don’t know how anyone starts a family in their forties.  My oldest son always tells his younger siblings that the woman they have as their mother was not the same one he had growing up.  I pick and choose my battles now.  I don’t pay attention to the smallest details of irritation.  I allow them to find their way and give them more room to make mistakes without the fear of them getting hurt.   It’s hard to watch those we love go through any kind of pain and being a mother seems to magnify this anxiety even more.

We are all two waves away from finding the ocean treasure that best suits us. Relationships are challenging.  I guess we are all swimming in one giant fish bowl trying to find ourselves, searching for the perfect little Nemo who lives in a Disney fantasy.  Some days I feel just like Dory swimming with the flow without a clue to where I am going!