Monday, December 21, 2009

The Holidays

The holidays mean so much to so many. This has been a year of many changes, many losses, and many gains. This time of year makes some of those losses so much more poignant. I may miss my Mom every day, but at this time of year she is forever on my mind. How much I would like to have her here, to celebrate with the grandchildren she never got to meet. How much she would have enjoyed my girly girl daughter, when she got stuck with me, a free spirit, who hates dresses etc.. How she would have gotten a kick out of my verbal gerbil son, with his free spirit and stubborn nature. She would see me in male form. I truly believe she hand picked these children for me. My daughter is a treasure, gifted academically and musically and so much my heart. My son is the child of my soul, like me, yet different. I joke with my kids that Grandma April and God both have a very good sense of humor for picking these two souls as my children. I do believe she had a hand in it. I think luck is just too naive an explanation. So at this Holiday Season, I want to thank my Mom for many things. For making me so independent, for being a better Mom then she ever realized, for loving me despite my flaws, and for sending me the family I always wanted. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful Mother and God is lucky to have her among the Angels. He owes me for that though.

I am grateful for the gifts I have been given and continue to receive. I am grateful for the hardships to grow and learn from. I am grateful that I was given the chance to love and be loved intensely, even if it was just for a few years. I always said that I would rather have a few years of amazing then a lifetime of so-so. I got what I asked for. Most of all, I am grateful this ride is not over yet, and that there is still more to come. More joys and sorrows, more of this gift called life. I plan to use it well while I am here. I hope you all do too. Happy Holidays to everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Precious' Addresses Social Stigmas

'Precious' Addresses Social Stigmas
Author: aliciamilan / Published: November 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

'Precious', a Sundance award winner, opened nationwide Friday November 20. The movie is based on Sapphire's novel Push and stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe as the movie's namesake. Precious took three awards at the Sundance film festival and is being produced by Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.

Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe shines in a socially relevant must see role. She plays an obese, illiterate teenager sexually abused by her father and having her second child by him, as well as emotionally and physically abused by her mother and society in general.

In an interview conducted by Oprah with Ms. Sidibe, Oprah relayed a statement made by director Lee Daniels (who also produced Monsters Ball in 2002). Daniels said about Gabby, she is so confident that she is "either in denial about her physicality or from another planet." Her very gracious response to that statement was, "I learned to love myself no matter what my body looked like or what other people thought." It is my great hope, that this was just a poorly worded statement on Mr. Daniels part and not meant to come across as a put down, however, he does go on to say how evolved and special she is, so I will have to leave it open for individual interpretation.

All of that aside, 'Precious' is a movie very much worth seeing. It is a chilling reminder of the kind of inconceivable injustices which still exist in our society. It has a stellar, riveting performance by Ms. Sidibe and a supporting cast which includes, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Paula Patton.

Article Author: aliciamilan
Visit aliciamilan's author page

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Early Morning

It is 4 a.m. and I am awake.

Mind already in overdrive.

Fleeting thoughts, momentary angers, constant worries.

Too early for this all.

My pillow, my reliable friend offers no comfort.

Out of bed for the first cup of coffee.

The house is blissfully quiet.

Turn on the fountains.

Soothing sounds that quiet the mind.

Process out the thoughts.

Thoughts so important that they prevent the wonderments of sleep.

Old hurts revisited, new hurts revisited.

Old ghosts visit, new ghosts visit.

Racing thoughts that like to dwell in places unwell.

The goal is peace.

Easy to intellectualize.

Harder to internalize.

Focus on compassion.

Focus on the the gifts in this life.

Focus on today.

Leave old hurts behind.

Leave old ghosts behind

Walk cleanly into the early morning light, and dwell there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Storm Waiting to Happen

I saw his picture on the internet first. He was eighteen months old, in a medical foster home and released for adoption. His face melted my insides in a way nothing has before or since. I knew immediately that this was to be my son. My very first thought upon staring at his unsmiling picture, was that he looks like a storm waiting to happen. There was no question, no hesitation and I never turned back. I submitted my home study immediately and began a campaign to end all campaigns. I knew I had an advantage. He had some medical issues, and I was an RN with a strong pediatric back round. I used my humor, my intellect and my tenacity. There were hundreds of families that applied for him, and I had the very great fortune to be the one they chose.

On my first visit, his foster mom warned me that her sister had visited from Puerto Rico for a month and he never let her hug him or pick him up. She didn't want me to be discouraged if it took some time for him to warm up to me. On that visit, I sat on the floor, and after initially crying and hiding in his foster mother's arms, he made his way over to me. I gave him the Sesame Street sound board I bought for him and he LOVED that thing (that toy is still in my closet, I will never give it up). Then we started to play. He spent the next two hours in a baby drunk walk going in circles around the house and running into my arms for hugs over and over again. The family and foster care worker were in shock. I got a wet mushy kiss on the lips goodbye and I cried on and off most of the way home for having to leave him there. For me, it confirmed what I already knew instinctively. I knew this soul and he damn well knew me. It was a total of 4 months from first application for him to be on his way to his new permanent home. His room was ready and waiting and a stack of wrapped Holiday presents were awaiting his post holiday arrival. We drove the two hours in a bit of a rush trying to beat a winter storm that was supposed to have already begun. We came off of our exit to home when the snow began. I laughed and decided immediately that this storm waiting to happen that was buckled in his car seat, and the storm that waited to happen until we were home safely confirmed it. He was named Storm, an S name for my Grandfather Saul, and a name that suited him well.

Storm came home at 22 months old. In his foster home he had been receiving weekly; physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy and special education. He did not imitate sounds, he walked like he was drunk, and didn't chew food at all. He looked like a kwashkior kid. Sticks for arms and legs and a big empty pot belly from protein deprivation. He was used to eating corn meal glop with cheese. He would only eat mush from a spoon. I stopped all therapies. I worked with him like any mother would. He had free run of the house instead of spending most of his day in a high chair to keep him contained. We spent time on the enclosed trampoline to build muscles, and just talking to him every day like any mom would got him to start imitating. I very often needed his seven year old sister for interpretive data. "Shu Na" was Storm for fruit snack. You have the idea, but it was all in the right direction.

Food was our biggest issue. He was determined not to chew, and I was unrelenting. It became a test of wills and my goal was to find something that he liked enough to want to chew. Cheerios were a start, very little work and easy success. Then came the two discoveries that changed it all. McDonald's french fries and Dunkin Donuts french crullers. You see the french connection here. Now before the health nuts get on me, let me explain. My goal was getting him to start to chew. The nutrition part would come. I didn't care what it was. And both of these took little jaw strength and were obviously tastes that appealed to him. We made the trip to McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts daily and slowly but surely we made headway. My daughter loves to tell my son of the hour long meals we had consisting of me saying chew, chew, chew, and moving his jaw for him at times. He would pocket food and it was damn hard work but a labor of love.

We never did need those therapies again. When I had him tested for the public school 4 year old pre-school program he was rejected because he had no deficits. He was rejected because he had no deficits. The teacher who tested him said, "you know he's very bright". Damn well I knew. I knew all along the treasure I had. His sense of humor (he gets that from his Mom I must admit, sarcastic as all get out, in a very funny non-offensive way!) was right out there during the testing. I was never so proud of a rejection in my life.

Storm is now 7 years old and as I like to say, he was grossly under named. Tornado or hurricane would have been more appropriate. He puts the energizer bunny to shame. He is tall, slim and very muscular. He is at the top of his class, is bright, verbal and an amazing athlete. He plays the violin, and loves to write in his journal. His favorite food is steak and he has an obsession with bubble gum. OK, I will admit the 5 foot tall professional Seaga spiral gum ball machine in his room may have contributed to that obsession, but maybe not! And we have a bond like I have never experienced in my life.
I call him the child of my soul. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I knew his soul before this life, and it is obvious that this is quite mutual. He is sensitive and tuned in and intuitive, and he is mine. I am not sure what I have done right in this lifetime to be honored with raising this person, not to mention being lucky enough to have a son that I love more then life itself. All I know is that I am grateful. I am grateful each morning and every night and all of the time in between. I am awed that this Storm waited to happen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spandex: An Unwanted View From The Dark Side.

I am revisiting a subject that I thought had been said and done in the 80's and 90's. I can remember back then being in the gym, working out and seeing people wearing spandex in every hue of the rainbow. Many of those people had no business in anything that tight and revealing. It was unsettling and I was uncomfortable for them. Why, not one kind soul, a friend, a parent, any loved one, did not gently guide them away from this unsightly trend, I will never understand.

It is apparent that spandex has entered the realm of every day wear. It is not limited to the gym or working out as it once was. It is in the supermarkets, the malls and nightclubs. I am not sure whether this trend grew naturally out of the gym wear back then, or whether it has taken on an unnatural life of it's own. For the good of mankind it must be stopped. We must all do our parts to end this blight on society.

This is a not so gentle reminder to all. I know I should not have to say it, it should be common sense, but here it is: SPANDEX IS NOT A RIGHT, IT IS A PRIVILEGE. I said it back then, and sadly, and with much regret I must say it again today.

I was walking into Lowe's food store yesterday and exiting directly in front of me was a middle aged woman (age not being a factor here in any form), dressed in pale grey spandex capri's and a midriff t-shirt. I am all for self love. I am all for positive body image. I am all for accepting yourself just as you are. I must say, from the bottom of my heart and with compassion and love, I am not, all for spandex for everyone. There was physical terrain, uncharted, somewhat bizarre, and definitely over exposed in those capri's. My head pulled back of it's own accord in a bit of shock and avoidance, and I quickened my step into the store.

There are some things in life, that need not be put on display for all to see. I (or any other unsuspecting soul), should not have to desperately attempt to avert my eyes to keep an unwanted image from being burned permanently into my retinas.

In the spirit of good will, and wanting to help in an area that obviously still needs work, here are a few rules of thumb that may work for the spandex impaired: If there are lumps and bumps where they were never intended to be on human anatomy, or greatly disproportionate body parts being displayed, reconsider the outfit. If wearing the garment becomes more of a true test of the durability of the fabric, reconsider the outfit. If it appears that people are averting their eyes, or attempting to hide a shocked expression, or in some unspecified discomfort, you may want to reconsider the outfit.

Last but not least, repeat after me; the mirror is my friend, the mirror is my friend, the mirror is my friend. While there are many times I may feel the mirror is my enemy, it always tells the truth. It is a sad fact of life that husbands, boyfriends, wives, girlfriends, friends and family members will very often lie when asked the all too terrifying question, "How do I look?". They may lie out of fear of the possible reaction, or out of some sort of misguided attempt at kindness. Whether viewed as a friend or an enemy, the mirror never lies. Use it, believe it, respect it's truth.

We must band together to help put an end to this unwanted view from the dark side. Work with me people here. Lets look in our own closets and be honest with ourselves. Let's be as kind as possible but truthful when asked, "How do I look?". And most important of all, before a spandex purchase ask yourself; Have I earned this privilege?

I will end this here, hoping that it is taken in the spirit in which it was intended. I will not enter into low cut jeans, muffin top territory, I will leave that for another time, another self help episode.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Serenity's Song

Her name is Serenity and she is 6 years old. She is beautiful, full of life and full of fun. She dresses in her own unique Serenity style, the more colors, the brighter colors the better! She loves play jewelry and brightly colored beads adorning her outfits. She doesn't care what anyone thinks, and she is amazing. She is bright and verbal and when she plays the giggles and screams reverberate throughout the house. She is loving and a snuggler and is a small beautiful gift from god. She is perfect. Her kidney's on the other hand are not.

Serenity is in kidney failure. She has weathered a series of surgeries from the time she was a baby. Surgeries to unblock ureters, place stents, remove stents, place nephrostomy tubes, remove them and replace them again. She had her "pee bags" that were attached to her nephrostomy (kidney) tubes that she refused to hide. She would swing them around and put them in her lap for pictures. All this in her short life and to no avail.

She now waits in MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) still in pediatric ICU after they placed a shunt in her belly for peritoneal dialysis. She has fought fevers and pain and in between bouts, she tries to be "Serenity". She can for short periods but exhaustion kicks in at an alarming rate.

She is on the transplant list. Her relatives are being tested for a potential match. Her Mom and family members take turns staying with her and trying to keep her spirits up and trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. If no family donor is found, she will wait on the transplant list and eventually go home and do peritoneal dialysis at night until a donor is found.

For those who don't know, this means being hooked up at to a machine all night. This machine will do the job of her kidneys and remove the waste from her blood. She is the size of a 3 year old so no one locally will do regular dialysis on her. It is just too scary on such a small person. This is all just too scary for a 6 year old.

Serenity's mom is a nurse, and pregnant with her second child. A high risk pregnancy to boot. Her Mom is a lot like Serenity. She is beautiful and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is young, but so strong and has held up incredibly well through this. This is a parent's worst nightmare come true. To watch this beautiful little soul, your own flesh and blood be tormented is bad enough. But to face the thought of potentially losing her is something that no parent should go through, although so many do.

I pray, and I ask anyone who reads this to pray as well, that a donor is found soon. As long as Serenity is on dialysis she won't be able to go back to 1st grade. The risk of infection, or damaging the shunt in her belly is just too great. How her mom is dealing with all of the expenses of this I don't know. The insurance co-pays are huge, and I know she worries about how she is going to pay for it all. But that has so little importance in the big scheme of things. She keeps her focus where it belongs, on getting her child well.

Serenity has a whole lifetime of things to do and experience. She has to fulfill her job as a big sister in February when the new baby comes. She has to go through adolescence and discover boys and be a rotten sullen teenager. Then she will grow up to be the amazing person I know she is destined to become. I know the beauty of her soul as does anyone who has the good fortune to meet and spend time with her.

Serenity's Song is far from over. I have convinced myself that if I keep repeating this, that my thoughts and words will reach the cosmos and will make it so. And so I do. Serenity's song is far from over. I keep this on my lips, in my head and in my heart. It is her song, with all it's pain and all it's beauty, it is hers. I can't even fathom for that song to not exist and so I am putting this all in writing. It will exist in word for all to see and know. Her name is Serenity and she is 6 years old and full of life, and full of life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Very Great Love

She came to me on my honeymoon riding on a 2 lb bag of puppy kibble. She looked like a little bear cub, with a big round head and a belly so round and legs so short her belly touched the ground when she stood. She was 5 weeks old. I cried when I saw her. And it took approximately one second of looking in those warm brown trusting eyes to fall madly, deeply and passionately in love. Much to my new husbands discontent, I slept the night on the floor with her cuddled next to me. I wouldn't let her for a second miss her litter mates or her birth mom. We developed a bond so intense, that I knew what she was thinking and how she was feeling and she intuitively read me just as well. I watched her grow from that little round ball of fur into a beautiful muscular adult. She protected me and loved me and was my friend and confidant and companion for the next 11 years. Interestingly enough, although she was a gift from my now ex-husband, she took a dislike to him. The damn dog was smarter then I was. If she didn't like how he was acting she would sit in front of me on my feet and bare her teeth and issue a low throaty growl so intense that the devil himself would have hesitated at that moment. I would laugh myself silly because my husband in pure dismay would cry out to her "I bought you"! You may have bought her I thought, but she is mine, heart and soul. She was my comfort through my divorce and constant companion. She was pure of heart and had a beauty that emanated from her soul and cast a glow around her. I would not take a vacation without her and never in her life did she spend but one night apart from me. My baby was born with genetic joint problems. At 5 years old we did a total right knee replacement. She spent one night in the hospital and I ached for her the whole night. When I picked her up the next morning and she heard my voice she started howling. They had to bring her to me immediately. I never heard her howl before or since. And deep down inside, I knew that nothing, no one, would ever howl for want of me but her. I spent 3 months sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor of the living room while she healed, until she was able to walk upstairs to the bedroom and sleep in our bed. She healed well, but eventually all of her joints began to deteriorate. We treated her pain, and the inflammation and as long as she had quality of life we would stick it out together. She traveled with me and I would lift her 105 lbs into and out of the car not to stress her joints. We continued our rides in the car she loved so much until it became more painful for her then enjoyable. She took her post everyday on the end of the couch hunting golfers from her window. That was her self assigned job and she did it well. There was more then one time when I would see a golfer jump and turn to try and see where the furious barking was coming from and I had to laugh. She was my first kiss in the morning and my last kiss at night. She had her own pillows on the bed and at times would snore like a freight train. But she was my freight train and that sound was music to my ears. Finally, there came a point when we couldn't control her pain. After 11 years together on March 18th, 2009 I made the god awful decision to take her out of her pain. I have never done anything so devastating in my life. I held her while it was done, kissing her the whole time. I laid with her on the floor of the vets office and held her until the the gentleman came to take her for cremation. I don't know if I've ever cried that hard in my life. I cried for weeks and still do when my missing her intensifies and I grieve her loss all over again. Her name was Athena. I miss her every day, and long for her with all my being. When it is my time to go and I am cremated our ashes will be put together as they belong. She can never be replaced, not in my heart and not in my home. She was, my very great love and I offer this up to honor her memory.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


" This is my simple religion: There is no need for temples, there is no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is loving kindness and compassion." --The XIVth Dalai Lama

It is the simple and clear wisdom of this and the many other teachings that keeps me rooted in the Buddhist religion and philosophies. I have the utmost respect for any person's choice of religion. I have the utmost respect for anyone who clearly lives the basic tenets of their religion. The intent of religion in it's simplest form is to provide a moral guide and a compass for day to day life. If that is the outcome of that practice then we have success. What I see way to often, is so very many practitioners who make a grand presentation of their religion and the amount of time they spend in church or temple and in bible study, yet they show none of those teachings in their day to day life or behaviors. Truth, morality, compassion and basic human decency rarely make a showing.

More wars, deaths and outright hatred have been rooted in religion. It is the exclusionary piece that is a problem, as well as the fanaticism that all too often comes with it. Any truth, followed to an extreme becomes a fallacy and the follower a fanatic. If you don't accept (take your pick) Jesus, Allah, etc. as your savior then you are not going to heaven. You are evil, a heretic. Well, to be blunt here, if your god would exclude any human being, regardless of how good, moral and compassionate a human being they are, because they don't follow one particular religious edict, then quite frankly, that's not a god I want anything to do with.

I can't count the number of times I have been told, "well I am going to heaven". The implication of course is that I (Alicia) am not. I am okay with that. I am okay with living my life with as much decency as I can muster. I am okay with trying, although I fail countless times, to live compassionately, kindly, truthfully and with simple moral decency. I am not in need of saving, conversion or proselytizing. Nor, do I feel the need to to save, convert or proselytize to anyone else. It would be nice though, to have mutual respect and acceptance. It would be nice though, to see more people truly live the tenets of their religion, not just attend church, post a fish on their car, and feel they are guaranteed one all expense paid trip to heaven in the afterlife.

There are people I meet who do practice their religious teachings in day to day life. They are few and far between, but they do exist out there. They have internalized the teachings and are wonderful proponents not of a particular religion, but of how human beings who study the word, any word, should live. That my friends, is religious success. And that my friends is my simple point here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have to take a moment here to espouse about coffee. It is a love affair I am not necessarily proud of. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning I smack the snooze button as if it has been of great offense. After a few moments, the first thoughts of the morning rush in. The thoughts are not of my children, beautiful and thank the good lord above blissfully still sleeping. My thoughts are not of work, or bills or my chores for the day. My thoughts are of coffee. Hot, fresh, aromatic, welcoming, soothing, delicious and best yet, responsible for the reawakening of my sluggish brain cells. For a liquid to have such amazing powers elevates it to almost saint like status. I for one would like to nominate coffee for sainthood. No offense intended, but we all have our heroes.

My history with coffee is long and not altogether pretty. As a child I used to prepare it for my mother while she slept. Instant nescafe, sweet and low and skim milk, not to mention the singular cockroach that made it's way into the kettle once overnight. I was 5, and thought a lump of nescafe wasn't melting in the cup. It wasn't the coffee that helped to awaken my Mom that morning. It was the scream when she realized what she was mixing. I was 5, what the heck did I know.

Growing up I drank the instant swill as well, with sweet and low and all. As I got older and discovered brewed coffee a whole new world opened up for me. My love for this manna from heaven grew as did my tastes. No more little pink packets or skim milk for me. Organic sugar and organic half and half became the recipe for much happiness.

It was from there that I discovered the variety of coffee options and another whole new world opened up. My confession here, is that on weekends, I skip the organic sugar and add Hershey's syrup instead. It makes a mocha coffee that makes my tongue dance for joy. It also makes damn sure that I am up on the weekends wayyyyyy before the kids for peace and quiet and coffee to die for.

I know the intensity of this relationship may not be healthy. I am aware of the extreme dependence factor. I don't care. I am going to keep and savor my dirty little secret. Hey, at least I didn't say I would trade one of my kids in for a good cup of coffee. Although...there are times... OK, I won't go there. Anyway, my cup is empty and therefore this entry is done!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Valedictory Address Reprisal: Modified

As we sit here today justifiably proud of all we have endured and accomplished to earn the right to wear cap and gown, we must remember that with rights come responsibilities. Education opens the mind to the workings of the world, and the vast possibilities and problems within it. Just as it may take the voice of one professor to open the mind of a student, so too, do you now carry the weighty responsibility to judiciously use your own voice. Develop a social conscience. Develop an environmental conscience. Take an interest and accept some responsibility for what goes on around you. If there is something that needs saying, whether protest, agreement, warning, or celebration, make yourself heard. If no one listens, yell, scream, rage if you must, but be heard! Human beings are murdered as others listen and do nothing. Our rainforests and wildlife are disappearing. Adults and children are homeless and starving. Our youth are killing each other in the streets. The same streets where crime runs rampant. We cannot be afraid to advocate for what we know is right. Damn the repercussions, damn the controversy, and damn the gossip. We cannot accept, ignore or insulate ourselves from reality. In this country so many have put their lives on the line for freedom. We are a country that prizes, cherishes and protects freedom of speech. Why then, do we spend our lives so afraid to speak up, to speak out? It has been said, that life is a series of choices. If this is true, then I beg of you, choose to use the gift that is your voice. Use it as a caress when appropriate, and a sword when necessary. But do not remain one of the silent majority. Silence, is not always golden.
My closing thoughts to you are these:
Challenge the status quo. Go where no person has gone before. Dare to stand in the line of fire. And above all, refuse to be intimidated.

Writers note: This address was appropriate oh so many years ago, and is equally appropriate today. Not only for new college graduates, but for all who inhabit this planet.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Adoption "B" Word

My 12 year old daughter used yesterday for the first time what I have come to call the adoption "B" word. The "B" standing for birth mother. I have to wonder if all adoptive mothers feel the same way. This tug down deep, a pull so strong, an aversion, and yet you smile and address the questions and probings. It is not for lack of appreciation for the womb from which they came. It is the gut wrenching pull of them using the term mother about another person. Looking at this child, that I love with all I have, nurture and fight to raise with morals and compassion, I want to scream you are mine, all mine. But the curiosity is normal and that push pull on my insides makes me feel like small rocks are gathering in the pit of my being and weigh heavier and heavier with each passing moment. She tells me she would like to find her one day even though she knows nothing about her. I fight my own demons and tell her that I have information for her, and when she is old enough I will share it. "How old?" she asks. I tell her 18, or 21, when I think you are mature enough to handle it. There is a silent scream of torment in my mind, a brief futuristic glimpse of a meeting and someone else being called Mom. It brings tears to my eyes that I hide and a sharp visceral pain. She is not old enough yet to know, or be able to comprehend the circumstances of her birth and subsequent adoption. I will not share it on here for that is for her ears and hers alone. She deserves that respect. She asks with surprise, "you'll let me meet her?". It takes all of the strength of my being to answer that I will help you to do that if that is what you want. I can't tell her how desperately I don't want to do this. I can't describe the feeling of panic that washes over me briefly. Her look of surprise and pleasure is shockingly disconcerting. She seems satisfied for the moment and she lets the subject rest. She goes on to watch TV looking peaceful, topic forgotten. I wish it were that easy for me. Once the "B" word is out in the open it is the elephant in the room. For now my 7 year old is content with knowing he was born in my heart. He knows he is adopted but it has little meaning for him. This too will change, and I dread that. You believe you are prepared. You go into adoption knowing the parameters. Knowing that children deserve truth, and that these questions will come. No one though, can prepare for those moments, and the complexity of emotions they stir up. I gather my senses and build up my strength for the next round. It is inevitable. It will come. It will. It will.

Human Nature

It has been an unfortunate week. I have seen some of the worst of humanity and I am trying to process it all through. I have dealt with lies and manipulation to the point of nausea. What makes a person operate at such a level? What makes others join them in their destruction? What makes a soul so damaged and blackened that morality never enters into their day to day operations? Envy and jealousy will blacken your innards and eat you up from the inside out. I wish that others would appreciate the gifts given them. We are all given gifts, different from each other, but equally valuable none the less. Make peace with what you are given, whether they be physical attributes, tangible goods or talents. Perhaps if they can attempt to make peace with these things, and then learn to love and appreciate all that they are and all that they have, the need to destroy will dissipate. If envy and jealousy can be moderated, perhaps morality can surface. Are souls that damaged beyond repair? Do we keep hope alive for these dregs of humanity, that it is possible to change set patterns? I think we have to, because sometimes hope is all that is left. I have to aim at compassion. I have to dig deep into my own psyche and find a way to make my own peace with what I have experienced. It will take time and effort, this I know.