Friday, May 28, 2010

Legacy of an Adopted Child

I was just sifting through my memory trunk and I came across this poem, which hung in my room when I was growing up. It brought me to tears and I wanted to share it with you.

I have always known I was adopted. When I was little, my parents would ask, "Brandy, what are you?" I would answer in a little chipmunk voice, "I'm adopted and I'm special!"

In part because I've always known, I've always wanted to look for my birth mom. I used to call her Maria (which is now Sadie's middle name) and write to her in my journal. What I didn't realize is that, though it was a closed adoption, when was really little, some paperwork got sent to my parents with my biological mom's name on it. They didn't keep the papers, but they remembered the name. And since they knew I wanted to know, they used that name to track her down for my 18th birthday.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to have both my parents and Cathy, my birth mom, at my graduation. Words can't accurately describe how ridiculously blessed I felt.

~ Legacy Of An Adopted Child ~
Author Unknown

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
The other you call mother.
Two different lives
Shaped to make yours one,
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.
The first gave you life,
And the second taught you to live it.
And the first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality.
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seeds of talent,
The other gave you aim.
One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.
One gave you up,
It was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me through your tears,
The age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment, Which are you a product of?
Neither, my Darling, Neither,
Just two different kinds of love.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bucket List 2005

On 4/6/05 in my journal I wrote:

These are my goals/short & long term/no specific order:

  • pursue a career in rap
  • produce ?/make my own beats
  • learn to skateboard - well & enter a competition
  • learn to snowboard - well & enter a competition
  • learn to surf - well & enter a competition
  • learn to play the guitar
  • learn to break dance
  • learn the drums
  • pursue acting
  • take voice lessons
  • learn to play piano
  • learn to sew
  • learn every single language
  • go to seminary
  • finish college
  • be a missionary
  • get a passport
  • write a book
  • incorporate my daughter into every one of my goals
  • be involved in Sadie's education - regardless of where she goes
  • learn to drive a stick shift well
  • eat healthy & exercise reg.
  • truly overcome all my addictions from the past, & the ones I still struggle w/ (diet coke & cigarettes)
  • save money for Sadie to go to college
  • fall in love w/ & marry a Christian guy who really loves Sadie & I
  • deal with George w/ humility & patience and prayerfully end up w/ Sadie all but every other weekend, one day a week & some holidays
  • pray hard every day
  • read the entire Bible thoroughly
  • do stand up at least once
  • be able to repair my own car

The ones in bold italics are the ones I managed to accomplish thus far. :) 

I think it's time for a revision, tho . . . I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Of Two Minds

I've been thinking about my last post since I wrote it. I felt odd writing it. I had the stuff in my head and I wanted to get it out because, you know, "I write to find out what I'm thinking about."

But I was afraid it would come across as offensive to SAHMs. I didn't mean it to be. :(

I definitely wasn't saying that other moms, those who stay at home, don't have ambition. I think it's just the opposite, in fact! Especially if they home-school. I mean, wowsers!

My last post was attempting to lament the fact that sometimes I feel my ambition* is misplaced. Sometimes I blow Sadie off when I'm in the middle of a project that most definitely could wait. And then yesterday I got a note from her teacher saying that she was having some trouble. I think I blamed myself. And the teacher. It made me feel frustrated and sad. And further instilled this desire I have to home-school.

But then I thought, oh wait, I can't do that. All these negative thoughts flooded into my head. I'm not good with kids. I'm not a good teacher. We definitely don't have the money for me to stay home. And could I even do it if we did?

Sometimes, I think I could. It probably sounds ridiculous to read all this after the last blog I wrote, right? I feel like I'm of two minds when it comes to this stuff. On one hand, I think we do need women leaders and I think God has called me to play that kind of role. And, truly, I want to make money doing something I love. And I want to honest (to myself and to others) about my ambitions because it's easy for me to get caught up saying what I think I am supposed to (as a good Christian) say - and having it all end up being total bs. On the other hand, sometimes, I feel tired of constantly worrying about money. I pray that Jermaine can get a killer job so that I could have the option to pursue my passions without feeling like I'm neglecting my family.

Anyway. I don't know if this clarifies anything. I'm feeling incredibly frustrated with myself right now. Oy. I guess the only thing to say is thank you, for reading my blog. I'll try to be less negative if you come back tomorrow.

*Jermaine pointed out that the word "ambition" could definitely have a negative connotation, also. So, in saying I am ambitious, I was not complimenting myself. Therefore, my last post would not be rendered offensive and this current one is just silly.

Confessions from an Ambitious Mom

I have all this weirdness swirling around in my head. I wanted to share my thoughts with people and receive some feedback. And so, enter blog.

I just graduated. I just graduated! Wow. That's a blog in itself (but one for another time).

I'm trying to focus on two things this summer. First, I'd like to score my dream job or something in the ballpark. And second, I need to raise enough money to cover my India expenses. The first one has my attention at the moment, and so that's sort of the bigger picture focus for this blog. The second one is looming eerily in the background of my mind, but I'll worry about that later.

Can I just say I love to job hunt? I've been researching Guerilla Job Searching. I love the idea - using innovation and creativity and taking risks - it feels overwhelming and scary and so right. I'm sure I'll blog about that later, too. But, that's not really the focus of this one.

So, the twelve dollar question, what is this blog about?

I've been feeling conflicted lately. A LOT of my friends are stay-at-home moms. Some of them even home-school. I have a couple of friends who used to work, or are working now, but have decided to quit their jobs to be at home with their kids.

That's never really been an option for me. If you read my last blog then you know that I've been praying for Jermaine to find a killer career so I could do something similar. Similar, but not exactly the same. If I'm honest with myself I have to admit that even if it was possible for me to stay at home, I probably wouldn't. It's not that I don't want to devote my life to Sadie and our future children, I do - and I hope when they reach adulthood they'll know that.

But, I'm so ambitious. I want to work. And I want that work to yield monetary dividends. I have all of this creativity and passion bubbling up inside of me. I would venture that most moms do. But I don't want to focus all of it on Sadie. Sure, I want to bring her along for the ride. And I pray that my passions help shape her character and enable us to bond. But, a lot of what I aspire to has nothing directly to do with her.

I think that's the heart of this blog - that my work doesn't include her - and that, for the most part, I'm okay with that. It makes me wonder, tho - it encourages the little voice inside my head that is constantly probing - is there something wrong with me?

It's the age old mommy question. And I'm a sociology major - I've studied this exact phenomenon - I should know better. But life so much more complicated than it seems when you're studying it.

There are mommies I look up to - ambitious ones just like me. Phyllis Tickle, Katharine Weymouth, and Keri Wyatt Kent all come to mind.

I think, oddly tho, most of the people I look up to and aspire to emulate are dads - Rob Bell, Bob Goff, Eminem, Cameron Strang, Don Miller (although, he's not technically a dad), and Gary Haugen.

And I when I flip through the executive pages of the companies I want to work for - Relevant, IJMMars Hill, Restore International - I see all these men and I think, wow, we need to do something about this! We need more women to participate in running the show (kudos to Polaris Project, a notable exception) . And I think (I think) that's what I'm supposed to do. I think God has made me aware of this and is inviting me to work toward leadership in some capacity - whether now or in the future. All of my desires and endeavors are leadership related. And I feel thrilled, honored, and excited by my calling.

But, where does that leave Sadie? And how do I deal with the guilt - that little voice that insists I don't measure up as a mother? How do I find balance. And why does this seemingly unachievable balance seem to come so easy for fathers?