Tag Archives: love

Jane’s Plea: For God’s Sake. Sometimes We Need To Ignore the Squeaky Wheel!

There is a man in Florida. He happens to be a pastor of a very small church. Tiny. As in, 35 members. And he has received lots of press, world-wide, about the little stunt he was supposed to pull tomorrow.

A teeny, tiny church, getting loads and loads of attention because on 9/11 they planned to burn a bunch of Qurans. Evangelical radicalism at it’s finest.

This reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw and loved.

This is America. He has every right to his opinion. He has every right to preach his opinion to his congregation. He has every right to hate whomever he wants to hate and he can ignore teachings he disagrees with.

And I have every right to tune him out. And so do you.

Let’s ignore the teeny, tiny, squeaky wheel in Florida. I’m asking you to change the channel any time his story or any other story that promotes hatred comes on the telly. Switch the station if you hear someone talking about hate on the radio. Change the subject if you hear someone else speaking ill of others.

This teeny, tiny pastor has a right to his opinion and we have a right to not give a flip what he thinks.

Especially on a day when we should be honoring the fallen heroes of that day.  A day when we should be praying for a greater understanding of our fellow neighbors. Praying for tolerance and peace, world-wide. Promoting constructive change and acceptance of differences. Living proudly, as positive examples to our children.

I’ll even give you something else to watch instead.

Thank you to Katybeth at My Odd Family for alerting me to this video, Hero Dogs of 911.

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Filed under Be-Causes, Soapbox

A Must See !!!

I know time is precious. But take the four minutes to watch this video. You WILL see your life differently after this.

Here’s to all the precious !!! in YOUR life.

Today and every day.

For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.

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Filed under The !!!

For My Sweet Adia – Wherever You Are

About a week ago, I began listening to the songs on my iPod in alphabetical order. I came across a song I hadn’t listened to in a long time.

Adia by Sarah McLachlan.

It was released about 5 years after we gave up our foster daughters. The first time I heard it on the radio I had to pull over into a parking lot. I was sobbing and couldn’t drive. It was about my “Adia” – that sweet, innocent and damaged 6-year-old girl who lived in my home for almost a year.

She still lives in my heart. And this song is for her.

“Adia I do believe I failed you
Adia I know I’ve let you down
don’t you know I tried so hard
to love you in my way” – We tried. We really, really tried. And you and your sister seemed so happy with us. But court date after court date after court date – the judge would not sever your biological mother’s rights. Even though she was still turning tricks. Even though she was still using. Even though she bounced from apartment to apartment. He kept giving her another chance. And while he was giving your mother chances you were being held in limbo. Wanting to attach to us, wanting to know that you were safely where you belonged.

“Adia I’m empty since you left me
trying to find a way to carry on
I search myself and everyone
to see where we went wrong” – We held on as long as we could. Yet, I still feel guilty. I still feel as if I should have done more to keep you safe. At the last court date, when the judge gave your mom another 3 months (again) to get her act together I burst into his chambers. I shouted, “We’re offering to pay for their college education and you’re telling me I’m going to be paying for their prison term. ‘Cause that’s were these girls are headed if we don’t find them a safe, healthy, permanent home!” He told me if I didn’t leave I’d be held in contempt. I sulked out of the room, defeated.

“there’s no one left to finger
there’s no one here to blame
there’s no one left to talk to, honey
and there ain’t no one to buy our innocence” – But he didn’t live with us. He didn’t see the night terrors. He wasn’t missing steak knives and scissors. He didn’t find the food you hoarded and hid in your pillow case or your backpack. He wasn’t there to clean the feces off the bathroom wall after every supervised visit with your mother. And he wasn’t there when all of that behavior died down about a week after that mandatory, monthly visit. He couldn’t hear the laughter and silliness return. Those three glorious weeks when you and your sister almost magically turned into two lovable, normal, happy little girls again.

“Adia I thought that we could make it
I know I can’t change the way you feel
I leave you with your misery
a friend who won’t betray
pull you from your tower
take away your pain
show you all the beauty you possess” – I want you to know – sweet, amazing girl – that at the time we accepted you in our home I thought it was the perfect decision. I thought that we could make it. And then, when we had to let you go, I thought that was the right decision, too. I’m crying, now, as I write this – even though you left almost 17 years ago. I still think about you. I still wonder how you are. I still pray that you feel more joy than pain. And I hope you know how beautiful, how lovely, how amazing you are.

“’cause we are born innocent
believe me Adia
we are still innocent
it’s easy, we all FALTER,
but does it matter” – And I still get angry that such an innocent, amazing, sweet  little you was abused by your mother’s boyfriends, discarded by your mother and tossed about the court system. Property. Because of biology. When what you really needed was love and caring. And there are plenty of people out there willing to give it.

But humans aren’t perfect.

Our system isn’t perfect.

And you. Innocent you – who didn’t ask to be born in the first place – had to suffer for it.

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Filed under Be-Causes, children, Music

Jane Agrees. Give Peace A Chance. Now, Why Can’t We Get Everyone Else On Board?

I just finished watching most of a documentary called “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.” I say “most” because the dvd kept skipping at about 2/3 of the way in so I gave up trying to finish it.

It was fascinating. What I saw of it, anyway. It covered history at a time when I was alive but not very aware.

No, I wasn’t a pothead. I wasn’t tripping on  acid.

I was 3.

As in, years old.

But that period of our history has always fascinated me. So much so, that when I was in high school (wearing tie dye and walking around barefoot and protesting the god-awful hot lunches) my friends would often say I was born in the wrong era.

At various times of my life and for various issues, I have swung both sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes more left, sometimes more right. Usually hovering somewhere in the middle.

I love peace. I want peace. I pray for peace.

Make love, not war.

Wrapping my head around why war is necessary? Very difficult for me.

For ME.

And for some of you.

But not everyone. There are bullies out there. And the self-righteous. People afflicted with severe tunnel vision. And people who will think their way is the only way until the day they die. And they’re even willing to die trying to make you and me think the way they think.

History has taught us that.

I remember a recent discussion with my husband about the wars around the world. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Mexican drug wars. I said, “If we could just declare peace why can’t the killing just stop? What if we truly did practice the non-violence messages of Ghandi, King and Lennon?” My husband shook his head, “That would mean everyone would have to agree with you. And they won’t. You have to defend yourself. Look where it got the Tibetans.”

All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

A beautiful, amazing, wonderful, glorious message. The problem is, everyone has to be on board. Everyone has to be willing to compromise. And compromise is difficult. Because then no one is happy. Each involved has given up something for the greater good. Leaving the perfect opening, the perfect opportunity for dissent to rear its ugly head and stir up conflict again.

As short-sighted as I believe some peace-loving, political activists can be – their message is perfect, simple and pure. And their efforts to swing everyone their way is difficult but, oh, so admirable.

What saddens me, is how futile their efforts seem 40 years later.

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Filed under Be-Causes, Ponderings

Al And Tipper. John and Jane. We’re All Fighting Some Kind Of Battle.

 I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been married before. I hesitate to call my first marriage a mistake because an amazing daughter came of it. And if it hadn’t have been for my first marriage, I wouldn’t be the seasoned wife that I am today. (You’re welcome, Honey!)

Since I am in a second marriage, I feel I make an extra effort to make it work. I am more than committed to my husband. I am also keenly aware that the grass isn’t greener, just different.

So it disheartens, discourages, just plain disappoints when I hear of long marriages dissolving.

Al and Tipper Gore, after 40 years of marriage, are separating.

I don’t know Al and Tipper. Never been invited to their home. Never attended the same social gathering. All I know about them is what I’ve seen, heard or read in the media. They’ve passed the two typical milestones when couples divorce: seven-year-itch and when the youngest child goes off to college.

Hearing of their separation makes me sad. According to their email to friends and family they “grew apart.” After 40 years.

I suppose I’m a romantic. I’d like to think that after 40 years of marriage a married couple has weathered the worst. Found ways to make the-once-endearing-but-now-annoying-habits tolerable. Discovered new joys about each partner.

When I divorced, I lost friends. Phone calls and invitations slowed. As if divorce were contagious. The shift in friendships bothered me. Still bothers me. Which is why I’m hyper-sensitive when someone is going through similar struggles.

“Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

Al and Tipper. John and Jane. The teacher and the artist. The lawyer and stay at home mom.

Struggling. Battling. Some winning, some losing.

All of you are in my heart today.

Holding you close.

Hoping for peace and strength.

(On a lighter note: Answers from yesterday’s music challenge: 1. “Spare him his life from this monstrosity” – Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen 2. “Shake it like a Polaroid Picture” – Hey Ya, Outkast 3. “Smoke on the water, fire in the sky” Smoke On The Water, Deep Purple 4. “A loaded God complex” – Sugar, We’re Going Down, Fall Out Boy 5. “It’s too late to apologize” – Apologize, OneRepublic 6. “See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen” – Dancing Queen, ABBA 7. “Hold me closer, tiny dancer” – Tiny Dancer, Elton John. 8. “Hit me with your best shot” – Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar 9. “Got my mind set on you” – Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison 10. “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not” – Livin’ On A Prayer, Bon Jovi. — Just an observation. For a girl who says she doesn’t like Bon Jovi, her blog sure mentions them a lot. Just sayin’.)

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Lust. It Does A Body Good.

Lust.

Seriously? I’m supposed to write about lust?

My heart is beating in overdrive right now. I’m about as shy as they come. I blush VERY easily. And I don’t kiss-and-tell.

How am I going to write about lust?

So I did what I do best.

I Googled lust.

(51,300,000 results in .25 seconds)

Wikipedia has a definition for lust that includes: “Lust, or a desire for the flesh of another, is considered a sin in the three major Abrahamic religions when indulged outside of marriage.”

Which made me smile, remembering Jimmy Carter’s “lust in his heart” comment.

The Urban Dictionary has 29 definitions. But they’re all essentially the same and many of them use words in their examples that I don’t use….well, that I don’t use here.  And don’t forget. At Urban Dictionary dot com you can buy mugs, magnets and t-shirts about lust.

The third Google result is a quiz. “Is it Lust or Love?” For teens! Really? Well, I suppose that’s good. Teens can discern whether it’s lust or love in on the privacy of their own computer. I remember THAT conversation with my daughter very well. We’re whizzing done the Interstate at 70 miles per hour (so she can’t jump out) and I’m explaining alternatives to sexual intercourse. She’s so embarrassed that she’s curled up in a ball, face pressed against the window, saying, “Mom! Please! Stop!”

Dictionary.com and Yahoo! Answers have definitions on lust. The Catholic church has something to say about lust (I’ll bet they do!). Yada, yada, yada….

And then I found: Book Lust. “A Community For People Who Love Books” with Nancy Pearl. OMG. My kind of woman! Discussion groups. Online reading groups. Recommendations. Reviews. Contests and interviews. (You know where to find me as soon as I finish writing this post!)

There were lots of religious sites talking about lust. Dante’s Inferno covers lust. But honestly, I didn’t research all 51 million hits. I was too afraid I’d come across porn.

(Real conversation that just happened!   Me: Can you please go watch TV or something? I really need to finish this post. #2son: No. I wanna play with my imagination. Me: Then can you play with your imagination somewhere else, please? #2son: Fine. (stomping off) Boy, SOMEONE has issues! — Boy-oh-boy, he ain’t kiddin’!)

Lust. It may do a body good. It may be a sin. It may be the greatest temptation. And like Jimmy, I have lust in my heart. But I can’t write about it.

But you can be darned sure that I’ll be reading all of your posts about lust.

Hey, I said I was shy. I didn’t say I wasn’t curious!

(This post is part of the Five For Ten project at Momalom. Please visit their site for more wonderful posts on Lust. Or click the button below to find out how YOU can participate!)

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Filed under funny, Ponderings

Still Walking On Sunshine

Writing about my divorce yesterday stirred up memories.

And then my blog friend Leslie at Five To Nine  wrote about her courageous announcement to her parents when she became engaged at a young age, like me.

I noticed the calendar.

Gasp!

25 years ago today.

Yes, I was a child bride. Well, not a child. 21. But too young to know what I was choosing. Too young for me.

He was 10 years older than me. He had a successful career. He knew what he wanted. Who he was. I was still stifled by my parents. I wanted out. Out from their control. Away from my childhood.

And I was in love. I was following my heart. On that May 11th, 25 years ago, just before going out the door to arrive at the church, Katrina and the Waves came on MTV singing “Walking On Sunshine.”

“Wait,” I said to my sister, “I love this song!”

“We’re going to be late,” my sister said.

“I don’t care. I want this song in my heart today.”

So I sat there, with my hair and make-up expertly done, veil already attached. Wearing blue jeans, t-shirt and flip-flops. Soaking up the song. Singing along. Smiling like a fool.

I was so happy that day. So excited to start my new life.

As soon as it was over we raced to the church to get properly dressed, humming that song, dancing with my sister in the courtyard while we sang.

Every time after, whenever I’d hear that song I’d remember that beautiful day. My wedding day was like a fairytale. I have no bad memories. Nothing went wrong. Not that I can remember, anyway.

And then. Eleven years later. We divorced.

Not that popular of a song anymore, I rarely heard it. But when I did, I would fall into a sad little funk. What was I thinking? How could I have been so blind? I was so stupid.

Slowly, gradually, I’d hear the catchy refrain and I’d catch myself humming along. And I realized, it no longer reminded me of something I’d lost. It reminded me of what I was living now.

“Walking on sunshine. I feel alive. And it’s time to feel good!”

Always the optimist, always glass half full, “Walking On Sunshine” still has a power over me. If it comes on the radio I have to turn it up. If I’m home, I have to dance around the room with a child in hand. I grin like a fool every time I hear it.

Yes, 25 years ago today I took a chance on something that failed.

No. Not failed.

Ended.

And today I’m experiencing a new chapter – dancing, laughing, singing, crying. I have no idea where this chapter is taking me.

But I’m having a blast while I’m in it!

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Filed under Growing Up, Hey! That Reminds Me!, Music

My Water Broke With The Call

We had been waiting for three months. Pregnant since we first applied over a year ago. Then patiently waiting for the elusive due date.

That is the limbo you flounder in when you choose to adopt. The pregnancy lasts about as long as an elephant’s (which is 22 months for those with inquiring minds). And then, you go into labor with “The Call.”

You hold onto a picture. Your only glimpse of your daughter. You treasure it. You talk to it. You put it in a frame by your bedside table. You pray to it. You cry, holding it. It is all you have.

Until The Call. Then you go into labor.

I was working as an administrator and part-time teacher at a small, private college prep school. I was in my office and my secretary said I had a call from the adoption agency. Thinking something had gone wrong I quickly picked up the phone.

My water broke.

She was arriving two days later, on Friday, April 30th at 10:45pm.

I stuttered. I stammered. I had no idea what to say. I stood there in shock. I thanked our social worker and hung up the phone. I walked out of my office, dazed.

“How soon do we have to take her to the vet?” I asked our school nurse.

My babies, before human children, were my dogs and my cat. My world was reeling. My vocabulary (and doctors it seemed) had to change.

I called the social worker back. I could hear her grin over the phone.

“I thought I’d be hearing back from you,” she said.

This time I asked all the proper questions: Flight #? Airline? Airport? How soon we’d have to take her to the pediatrician. (I’m a quick learner.)

My boss heard all of the commotion and told me to go home. Get ready. Time the contractions.

When you’re in labor it’s hard to sleep. The anticipation. The discomfort. We had nothing ready. She wasn’t due for another month. Our baby was premature. We had no crib. No stroller. No car seat.

The next 48 hours were a whirlwind. Racing to Sears and K-Mart. Grabbing whatever supplies we could find. I found out later that the hostesses of my shower (scheduled in two weeks) were thrown for a loop. They made many returns and exchanges. We were buying all the things they were going to present to us at the shower.

Seventeen years ago today and I remember it like yesterday. I’m sorry. I can’t avoid using a cliché. It’s true. Who knew seventeen years later I’d have this beautiful, smart, caring, witty, fun, amazing young lady sharing pieces of herself with me? Teaching me about love, commitment, responsibility and patience. Daring me to be a better human being. Testing my limits. Pushing my boundaries.

Forcing my heart to grow three sizes that day.

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Filed under children, Motherhood

The Adoption Triangle of Love

When I was searching for ideas for my 100th post my friend, LLCoolJoe, asked about my experience with adoption. First of all, I could probably start a whole new blog and have plenty of material on adoption alone. I can go on and on about how adoption has touched my life. Today I’m going to share with you this nifty little piece of jewelry I found years ago.

It’s called the adoption triangle of love. Just after we adopted our daughter my husband had it made for me from a picture he saw in an adoption magazine. The premise is that each person involved (the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the child) are all joined in love. I loved this idea. I loved wearing this symbol of my part in the adoption process. And then, one day, while teaching my incredible students, one of them asked why I was wearing a Star of David. I laughed. Yes, it did look a bit like the Star of David. But I explained what the symbol meant and he scoffed, “There’s no love in adoption!”

I was stunned. He said, “The only person that gains from adoption is the adoptive parent. The birth parent is just a selfish (fill in the blank) who was too lazy to care for her own child and the child is just another piece of unwanted garbage tossed aside.” I was at a loss for words.

Ever since I was a little girl my mother said I’ve wanted to adopt. She said when I was very young I would say, “I’m going to have one on my own first and then adopt the rest.” I pictured a house full of children. All colors. All genders. All abilities. I have no idea how I created this vision for my life. Fast forward twenty years and I received the news that I was infertile. No big deal, I thought. We’ll just adopt. I’ve never been one of those women who needed to experience pregnancy.

Selfishly, I chose to go the route of international adoption. Selfish because I was not willing to take the risk of a failed adoption here in the U.S. I had heard too many stories of birth fathers suddenly coming into the picture, or the birth mother changing her mind after the baby has been placed. Do you remember the Baby Jessica case back in the 90’s? A 2 1/2-year-old girl, ripped from her adoptive parents arms because the birth mother (who a year after choosing adoption for her baby ended up married to the birth father after all) changed her mind. It was heart wrenching. DNA does not determine who the parent is, in my book. It’s who steps up to the plate to take care of the child.

The mountain of paper work is daunting. The hoops you have to jump through (psychological tests, physical exams, letters of recommendation, fingerprints filed, financial records verified, parenting classes) are many. The expense is a fair amount. And I mean that in every sense of the word. No one gets rich off of adoption – unless, of course, you’re dealing with unscrupulous people. But that can happen in any financial transaction. Once everything is all said and done, the expense (in our experience anyway) was about the amount we’d need for a biological birth. I wasn’t able to be covered for insurance for a birth anyway because of my infertility – so the cost would be the same if I got pregnant. (Which actually happened years later but that’s for another post)

It took a little over a year for us to complete the process. And during that time I’d sit at the OB/GYN for my annual exam and see teenagers complaining about how uncomfortable they were, being 8 months pregnant. Unmarried. Planning on keeping their child  – with grandma’s help, that is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that choice, as long it provides a strong, stable home for the child. But many times, it doesn’t. I would sit there remembering that line from the movie Parenthood; “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.” Or mother, for that matter.

Having been raised Catholic, I struggle with the issue of abortion. For me, hopefully for my daughter, abortion is not an option. But when I see all those protestors lining the streets with their signs outside Planned Parenthood clinics I want to shout, “How many children have you adopted?” It’s easy for me to tell someone else you shouldn’t abort. I have a job. A home. Supportive family and friends. But do I have a plan for her if she chooses to give birth? I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes. I have no idea what her personal struggle is.

But choosing adoption for your child when you know you can’t provide the life your baby deserves? Heroic. Amazing. A decision – especially now that I’ve been able to experience the miracle of birth – that is made completely and totally with love. Absolutely. Without any doubt in my mind. 

I have two children through adoption. Two birth mothers that made the most difficult, yet loving decision for their child. I am incredibly honored that they touched my life by entrusting the care of their biological child with me. They could have chosen an easier route. But they didn’t. They chose the difficult path because that was in the best interest of their child. I believe that God entrusts us, as parents, with children to raise. He loans them to us -through biology or adoption – to care for their needs as only we can do in the physical world. Biological or not, they are children that need shelter and guidance until they are on their own.

But maybe my former student was right. Maybe I am the only one who “gained” anything from the process. From my perspective I have gained so much. I have two beautiful children through adoption that I cherish and love. I’d like to think that they gained something too, having a stable, loving home to be nurtured in until they are ready to take charge of their own lives. And the birth parents of my children dug deep in their hearts to make the most difficult, best choice for their child. An adoption triangle. Complicated. Complex. But definitely connected in love. No doubt in my mind.

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Filed under Be-Causes, children, Soapbox

Almost Wordless Wednesday

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Filed under funny, Marriage