First of all, thank you very much Heart Mommy from Heart Mommy’s Strawberry Shortcake for nominating me for a Liebster Award. As Heart Mommy discussed in her own post, I had to run off and see what the Liebster was all about! It is a great way to spread the word about great blogs out there with relatively small followings. I’m touched that someone thinks my little ramblings are worthy of the attention. So thanks very much Heart Mommy.
So, for newbies to my blog, I’m a Black new adoptive mother to a soon to be 13 year old. My adoption journey started in January of 2013, and Hope and I just finalized our deal in early June 2014. Yep, we were speedy, so we’ve compressed a lot into a short period of time. Somehow during all of this I managed to finish my dissertation and graduate in May of this year. I’m single and Hope and I have a geriatric pup known as The Furry One—yeah, he’s special like that. Hope and I are just figuring this whole thing out, the ups and downs of life.
So, here are the questions my fellow blogger suggested I answer.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in life?
Oh, without a doubt becoming a mom. Geesch I can barely have a conversation without gushing about becoming a mom. Even at my recent graduation, having Hope, my daughter, there just made me tear up. Sometimes I just look at her and think to myself how frigging awesome it is that this person is in my life and that she chose me and that she is proud to bear my last name. Mad, mad cool.
If you could change anything in your life what would it be?
Well, the easy answers would be to be rich and healthy slim, but meh…more realistically, it would be to have more time to nurture my relationships with friends and family. The last few years in school I pulled back on so many things and the last few months I feel like I’ve barely seen anyone. I thirst for those relationships; so I would change things so I had more time and opportunity to just hang out with friends and family.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
There is a whole constellation of folks who inspire me to push forward. Each person plays a unique role. Some are great role models, others are cheerleaders, still others are motivators and still others practice tough love. I find them individually and collectively to be fascinating and they give me the fire to get ‘er done!
I’m not sure if saying that the Holy Homeboy is an inspiration as much a major force in my life, but I will say that I’ve learned more about grace in the last few months than almost any other time in my life, save one or two. I am mindful that the strength and the gumption and the at times reckless ambition that I have stems from knowing He’s got my back. There’s a peacefulness in knowing this that allows me to be the total badass (ironically) that I believe I’m called to be.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I’ve been working on a fantasy to move to a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for years. I would travel there or to Madrid—a city that dwells in my heart—in a NYC minute!
What is the best piece of advice that you could give a foster/adoptive parent?
I’m beginning to work on a piece about what I wish I had done differently. I would say to folks considering adoption–get that inner circle around you to support you and do your best to educate them in ways that help them help you. I regret not doing more of that prep work and I think the end result has been tougher than I imagined. Having friends and family support you is important, but there is type of nuanced support that is needed to grapple with the need for different expectations and different realities inherent in adoption stories. I think adoptive parents may feel under a lot more unintended pressure because we also get put on absurd pedestals for being such “good people” (emphasis on the air quotes). Pedestal falls hurt.
Other advice would be get and go to your own therapist, buy wine by the case and not the bottle, and try to reflect a lot so that you can keep track of progress. Progress can often get lost in the mayhem.
If you were to be granted three wishes, what would they be and why?
Wish 1: I wish I didn’t have the need to work for a living. I have little desire to live an extravagant life, but I’m finding other passions that I’d like to devote time to. Time constructs are pretty finite and I need to finance my and Hope’s lives. I wish I was at a point where I could monetize those other passions so that I could devote myself to them without restraint.
Wish 2: I wish the compound retreat that some of my best girlfriends and I often joke that we are going to start was real. Sometimes you just need to get away to a special place and shut the world completely out; you just need days or weeks to breathe deeply and rest, rather than just simply a few moments gasping for oxygen.
Wish 3: I wish there was a quick fix for Hope’s emotional healing. I wish I had one of those gadgets in the movies where I could just zap away all the bad stuff and replace it with good stuff. Healing take an enormous amount of energy, and it’s great to watch her blossom. But sometimes it’s just a painful, really painful process that I wish I could speed us through.
Describe your blog in three words.
Transparent. Irreverent. Emotional.
So, the Google tells me I should nominate a few other blogs to keep this thing moving along. So here are a few blogs that I follow and read with great anticipation.
Complicated Melodi: Melodi is a new adoptive mom to darling Nana. I see similarities in our experiences as people of color in the adoption community. I appreciate how Melodi talks about her own story and how it influences her adoption journey.
FosterWee: This blog chronicles Carrie Ann and Andrew’s experiences as foster parents to Blitzen. Blitzen and my Hope are similar in age and this blog has really helped me understand that the wacky things going on in my home are normal for older foster/adopted kids. I would hug these folks if I could.
Minuit262 AKA AdoptiveNYMomma: Awesome blog by an amazing single mom who juggles a lot and has this huge heart. She has encouraged me on many days, but she inspires me every day. Definitely swing by and check her out.
So here are my questions:
Why did you start blogging?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your adoption journey?
How do you practice self-care?
If you could be doing anything else right now in your life, what would it be?
What are your predictions for the next year on your journey?