Just in case you haven’t been here before, welcome! I think many of you are here because my post on the what we told our kids about Trayvon Martin went viral. Again, welcome. We’re about a lot more than just race here at The Full Plate. Yes, race is a piece of who my children are, something we would never deny, but it’s not ALL of who they are.
This is our family…
Photo credit to FullPlate Bupa (Grandpa) for this cute pic!
We make being a megafamily look pretty good, don’t we?
There aren’t many people who would accuse us of taking the easy road when it comes to parenting. In a country where 2.something kids is the average, we’re rounding the bend to NINE.
People have all kind of opinions about how many kids we have. That was one of the many reasons for this blog, to help people who may only see some of who we are, understand all of who we are. We don’t usually take into account what people think. We do our own thing, and we let our internal voice and faith bolster us when people become all kinds of judgmental.
This week was one where we need that faith.
I don’t discuss specifics of what my kids have lived through. Their stories are theirs to tell. I, however, work my butt off to help them move past some of what they endured because, again, this is some of who they are, but doesn’t need to become all of who they are.
This week I watched a family fracture because of the trauma their child had endured. It hit hard. I know where they are. In my more challenging moments, I think to myself that this is too much. I’ve been where they are, on my knees praying for healing that never.seems.to.come. For us, it’s coming. For them, it didn’t. Did they fail? No. Is it sad that this is where their road has led? It crushes me in ways I can’t explain.
I’m also overextended. Tears flowed this week as I try with everything I have to finish grad school with the bang it deserves, all the while, wondering why I’m even doing it. I have spent five years of my life getting to this moment. Five years. That’s the Diva’s entire life thus far. What did I give up to do this? The guilt hits hard.
Then there was the verdict that rocked my world. I had to think long and hard about what the heck I was going to say to my kids. Ultimately, they took it in stride, but they’re sheltered. The verdict also hit me in ways I can’t explain, because while everyone loves my kids now, they may not always. How the %$*& do I protect them from a world that seems so unfair? It was an emotional conversation to have with myself, and one that someday, I know I’ll have to have with them.
Mighty’s adoption is also going like every other adoption has for us. SLOW. And, sadly, I’m emotionally done. After a decade of doing this, I’m ready to put FPD on a plane and watch him bring our last child home. No more Social Workers. No more forms. No more. Sadly, we’ve got A LOT MORE to go. That’s got me down.
On top of all that, as Ghana closes its doors to adoption, I watched a debate ensue about the ethics of international adoption, about whether Americans want to adopt is ‘creating’ orphans. Sadly, it is. Deny it all you want, but it is. This doesn’t happen to be the situation of any children in the FullPlate House, but a lot of kids come to the U.S. with a story filled with untruths. None of this is easy to navigate for families who are trying to heal from trauma on top of all this.
So, yesterday, when some well-meaning person asked me how many children I had, and I told them and their reply was shock, which resulted in me doing what I always do, and explaining how my eight children came to be called mine, and her reply was “oh, that makes sense, you took the easy road,”
I had to hold my right hand down with my left to stop myself from actually facepalming it.
Are you flippin’ kidding me?!?
This isn’t easy at all. Sometimes, I think we make it look easy, but don’t be fooled…it isn’t.
Never having given birth, I can’t possibly know the pain that comes with that particular process, and I’ve seen several people in my life recently struggle through pregnancy loss. I know that’s not easy either, and I know I would never presume to tell them so.
I don’t need other people telling me that the road I’ve taken is easy. To those people, I say…
You don’t know jack.
who needs other people to start walking a mile in her flip flops.