Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Secret About Women

Looking around at the world, my little world, where I live, I find that it is hard to know what a woman should be.  There is a pull to be so many things, and expectations can be daunting.  There is a demand to be married while simultaneously not losing yourself or compromising any goals you have set. The expectation to be a mom rings loud and clear, but the expectation to be a career woman and make your mark in society rings just as loudly.  The pull to serve others and be a part of community tugs at a woman’s heart, while trying to balance serving her family.  There is a call to be fit and healthy while managing a budget and time schedule that serves everyone best. The list goes on.  Just as women are known for being multi-taskers, the expectations on women are multi-faceted. 
There is a secret about women, something I’m not sure many people realize.  They are strong.  Women are strong.  They have that daily, in the little things, get the job done kind of strength. Theirs is a strength that can go unnoticed or unseen, but is a force that shakes the world all around them.  Two of my friends are starting a business while raising kids and loving their husbands and seeking to honor God.  Another friend is working full time, from home, while her baby is there with her.  She is balancing full time work and full time stay at home mom so she can support her husband while he is in school.  Another friend is a teacher that is rocking the lives of the students God places in her class.  Another  friend is a single mom, fighting to turn from a life that has been tragic and hard and full of unhealthy habits.  She is fighting to give her daughter a better life, a life that honors the Father who pulled her from the pit.  One of the strongest people I know is my mom.  She began motherhood as an eighteen year old and has raised four children in a way that exudes strength and love.  She has supported my dad and helped run his business.  She has been a stay-at-home mom for as long as I can remember.  That job gets little respect most of the time, but she has shown such strength in being a steady foundation for her family.  She has four children who respect her and turn to her.  She has been our mom, our friend, our counselor, our doctor, our taxi driver, our fashion consultant and so much more.  The thing I see in common with all of these women is strength. 
Strength takes many forms.  I am always amazed at the physical strength women can have when they put their mind to it.  If you don’t believe me, think about all those times you came home or to a friend’s house and the furniture was all in a different place.  Yep, she did all of that, by herself.  Even more amazing is the strength I see inside the women I know.  Somewhere deep inside of women there is a well of strength that never seems to run out.  The hits keep coming, the voices keep calling out, the phone keeps ringing, and there she is standing or kneeling, in the middle of the storm, making her world a better place.  Her kids cling to her.  Her husband relies on her.  Her friends turn to her.   She kneels before her Heavenly Father asking to be filled, asking for strength and patience and wisdom and joy.  Then she immediately turns to the world around her and pours every bit of what the Father has given her back out.  She loves well and serves well and, at the end of the day, falls into bed asking God for the strength to do it all again tomorrow.

God created women in His image, and they are beautiful.    

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Color Blind

A friend shared the link above with me, and it really struck a chord.  The wheels began to turn, and I realized something deep within me was moved.  I realized that there was something that has bothered me for a long time:  The phrase color blind.  We are not color blind.  We should not be color blind.

The article is about adult, transracial adoptees sharing their story of how hard it can be to grow up in a white family and not be white.  Well, as you can see in the picture above, we are now a transracial family.  I have a little one who will grow up in a white family and not be white. What does this mean for him?  What does this mean for us?

It means we have been given and unique gift and challenge by God.  I have zero doubt that Aiden was meant for our family, regardless of the color of his skin or the color of my skin.  I am not saying that I don't see the color of his skin.  I do!  I see it every time I look at him and every time I think about him.  He has this creamy chocolate skin.  I don't know how to explain it, but he is shaded perfectly with lights and darks.  It is warm and inviting and compliments his big, shining, brown eyes.  I see his brown skin, and I see beauty.  I love it.

Now, that is my mama's heart speaking up there.  All of those things are true.  When I see brown skin or white skin, I do not see one as better than the other or that skin color is even the most important defining thing about a person. It is just a brush stroke in the design of God.  Unfortunately, not all people have this view.  We live in a world where some people view skin color as THE defining thing about a person, and they view darker skin as less than.  This is the world where my kids will grow up.  This is the world that my children will enter when they leave my home.  This is the world that they will need to know how to survive in when I am not around.  So, no I will not be teaching my children to be color blind.

As a transracial family, it is our job to acknowledge and educate every person in our family.  That means a lot of different things, and we understand that we may not always be able to provide all our kids need in this journey.  We are committed to surrounding ourselves with people to help us along the way.  We are a family, and we love each other very much. But we understand that that love will not be all our kids need.  We will strive to instill in them a confidence that comes from knowing that their ultimate identity comes from God and God alone.  We will also try our best to prepare them for the world that is outside of our house and our embrace.

We are not a color blind family.  We embrace all the shades that God has and will use to make our family.  We love them.  We also understand the responsibility that comes with this beautiful color-filled life God has given us.  We understand it and we welcome it.