Tag Archives: adoption

Aaron Judge and the other side of the coin

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I love the coverage the media is giving to Aaron Judge’s adoption story. As an adoptive parent, it is a beautiful moment to show my son that adoption IS a beautiful thing and there are others like him. As a parent, it gives me hope that adopted children can be grounded, well rounded and content with not knowing all their bological roots-and happy with their childhood despite not knowing all the details. I know all adoption stories are different, but this one gives me hope.

But I must share, on the other side of the coin, is a biological mother that gets no name, photo or acknowledgement for her gift of life. She carried him 40 weeks to create a plan for his future. She chose opportunities for him that she could not provide and God blessed the mess.

I remember waiting those 48 hours, unsure of our future, but trusting in God’s plan for creating our family. So here is a shout out to the birthmother that gifted Aaron to all of us and turned 9 months into a lifetime. Dear birtmother, your selfless sacrifice made history.

I hope stories like these shine the light on the beauty of adoption and how much God loves creating families in all kinds of unique and magnificent ways.

Lupus/Health Journey 4 and Adoption Day

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Happy Adoption Day to Callen! 9 years ago yesterday we made his Adoption official in a courthouse in Houston!

Had another appointment with a Rheumatologist and it is getting expensive with co-pays! Found more protein in the urine so now we do a 24 hour Urine test which is gross and kinda tedious. Holing to find more answers!

Never Count out Creativity

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My son has autism.

My son has ADHD.

My son has epilepsy.

My son’s IQ is too low to be considered having a learning disability.

True story. Too low to have a learning disability. If my son, did not have the other health impairment a public school system would not qualify him for special education because he does not have enough strengths to receive services.

Let that sink in. “Not enough strengths”. As a teacher this breaks my heart. My students that get this information are basically being told find a good trade or marry a rich spouse because according to the SPED system you are too low to receive our help. We cannot help you.

Low IQ is 70-79- my son has a 54. But if you ever met him then you would know something is different but 54 does not describe him- autism and distractedness make a difference on these tests. Combine that with lack of motivation and in his world “these tests suck”. STAAR is a joke for him-he cannot logically reason or read those words (mind you in a home with two parents with a masters degrees)…he is below grade level with an other health impairment. The test does not fit him.

The state should differentiate their testing. Supports are not enough for some kids.

But God.

God knew what this kid would need. God knew what our education and finances could offer that he was not born into. God knew what faith, hope, love, early intervention and stubbornness could provide. God chose us to adopt him…a hard calling, but an important one.

You see my child thinks outside the box. He sees things not for what they are, but what they can become. He sees a rinse cup and creates false teeth (it works). He sees a happy meal can be turned into a computer. He sees foil can create 101 different toys. He will make the world better….mark my words….by creating something so simple, but no one saw it.

Someday public education will rethink their testing and accountability but until then…

Never count out creativity.

Tracking the Memories

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I count having my first child in my mid-thirties a blessing because I had a lot of time to think about cool things I wanted to do as a parent. One cool thing is dressing a baby up like a man.

That hat was my grandfather’s so that look is extra special to my heart.

Another fave thing was taking the month to month pics the first year. This process was super hard and only got harder each month but love looking at the 12 months all together.

Poor kid endured big dress ups on every holiday! Here are some faves:

But two more cool things that I only do because I had lots of time to think about kids is….1. I have a Dr Seuss book that each of his teachers sign and I will give it to him at graduation. It is a great reminder of all the teachers that poured into him each year. I keep a school picture from each year so we can see how he grows. 2. Keep a frame with those school pictures as art on the wall.

I want this to be a daily reminder the time goes fast so make the memories and track them for the future. Thankfully I started these early so I have the keepsakes needed.

I am sure there are so many other ways to track the memories. Do you have any special ones you do?

The Creative Kid

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I am a teacher and I worry often about the education of my son. He struggles academically with reading and math. He has documented disabilities and sensory issues. He has ADHD…but this kid is SO creative!

He is a kid that sees things not as what they are, but what they could be. He was created by God and gifted to us through adoption. I was made to parent him, but his academic struggles stress me out since creativity is not tested.

I wish they tested being awesome because he would score off the charts! I wish school would focus on the creative mind…the mind you cannot teach-it is just there and it is valuable and priceless and will change the world. Until then, I will be his biggest fan and prepare him for a education that is narrow focused, but he is more than that.

So.much.more.

Adopting in a Pandemic

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As we restart our adoption journey, but this time through foster care, one major difference is all the courses available online. We lose the community…we loved our adoption community and still keep in touch with those families…but learning in your pajamas is pretty awesome too. In fact, doing the courses online is one of the big reasons the fire was lit to start. I learned today even CPR was online so that is pretty amazing also! I say all this to say if you have been praying about adoption then now is the time!

On another note, Happy Law Enforcement Day!

The biggest reason my husband got out of police work, is we adopted our son. Now we had a baby to care for and working nights, weekends, holidays just would not work anymore. He struggled that he was missing all the good stuff needing to sleep so he could go to work. He also realized the reality that he could be hurt or killed while on the job and there were other things he could do…so he resigned and started a new career.

Staying married while doing that job was hard, so I will always have respect for those that serve others and risk their lives for strangers.

Happy Adoption Day!

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The best part about being adopted is you get TWO days to celebrate YOU!  Obviously we celebrate Callen’s birthday, but every year in June (exactly six months from his birth) we get to celebrate the day he became officially ours forever.  Since his birthday falls around Christmas, I think we really enjoy Adoption Day a little more…the only setback is his cousin’s birthday is on the same date so we have to share that day…but that just means more cake and more parties!  We never want to forget that feeling when we had official access to his records and he no longer belonged to an adoption agency…he was ours!  No more home visits, no more paperwork, no more proving we were fit to be his parents…no more hurdles to jump through.  It is crazy how having a child biologically is SO MUCH EASIER than adoption.  We had to really prove that we could handle this versus just showing that our DNA matches…but he was worth it!

Here are a couple of pics of Callen at six months in the court room:

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Then here is one on the first anniversary of his Adoption Day at a year and a half…

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Finally this year as he waits for cake…hard to believe it has been TWO years!!

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The Good news is:  On June 14th, 2013 Callen became an heir to the Tyndall throne.  We give God the glory for leading us to our child and making our family of three.  I know that every moment of my life led me to parent him and for that I am thankful.

Brother Bio Visit

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Through our open adoption, we are so blessed that we get to stay in touch with Callen’s biological family.  We connect with his birthparents through Facebook, letters, text messages etc. which is great for us both.  They love getting immediate updates and are so supportive to us…we are able to ask them any questions that we need to ask and I love that openness.  We can thank them daily for this gift and share God’s love with each other.

But, we also get to stay in contact with his biological brother as well.  He is adopted by a family near Houston and at least twice a year we get together to let them play and interact.  This June, we connected at the AIM picnic where both boys were adopted.  Our son is two and his older brother is six, so they have great connection in their age difference.  Callen loves being the little brother, getting help from him, doing big boy stuff with his help etc and M gets to be a big brother, be in charge and set the example.  It is a perfect mix.  By the end, they were hugging, high fiving, rough housing and talking up a storm.  It is a strong relationship that right now is simple and I pray it always will be.  I know there will be questions down the road, but I pray that they will understand this is their normal and all families are different.  They are fortunate to have each other and God’s hand is over this situation.  We know Callen will likely be an only child which bums us out at times, but thankful due to adoption, we have contact with his bio brother.  We plan to keep them close so they will have each other in the future and can navigate this life together.  Open adoption provides that gift!

The good news is:  Here are some pics from their meetings in the past

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Romans 12:15

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The Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, but what if both emotions occur at the same time? Which side do you join?

Mother’s Day presents this challenge. For the first 29 years of my life I lived in Mother’s Day ignorance. This day was about celebrating my mom and the world was great. It was a happy day no questions asked. Cue six years later and I have learned for some this is the hardest day of the year. Now that I have seen and experienced this pain, I can never go back to ignorance.

I struggle with this because many are celebrating: a first time mom, a mom that has come home, an older mom still here, grandmothers that are like moms, foster moms, women that are like moms, a mom of many children, an adoptive mom that never thought she would be called mom (me).

But I also know the extreme sadness: an infertile woman that should have been pregnant by now, a mom that just miscarried, a mom to an angel baby gone too soon, a woman that is old enough to be a mom but is still single and fears she may never get the chance, a birth mom that experienced the life for nine months then chose a better future for the child, a woman that is content choosing not to have kids but then is judged on this day as others assume she wanted to, a mom that just passed away or a mom that is far from home, a mom that does not remember she is a mom.

For the first time ever I did not make a big deal of Mother’s Day at school because I have two students that lost their moms…one four months ago…this is the hardest day for him-ever!

With all this sadness, it seems rude to celebrate except there are those that have earned this celebration and they deserve to get it. Moms everywhere need their ONE day to feel important, to be appreciated, to honor the sacrifice and generosity, to be treated like a queen and decide lunch or get a hug or get time off. We deserve our day…we do a lot that goes unpaid and unnoticed and this day solves that problem!

Both sides win and both sides are right and both sides matter. So do we rejoice or mourn?

I say both! God gives and He takes away and there is a time for everything. I think it is only important that you understand there is both happening simultaneously. I was that girl that almost lost it at the restaurant when the hostess handed me a flower after I had just started my cycle after the 24th month of trying (seriously I almost threw the flower in her face but that would have been awkward). I am also the girl that realizes my son was carried by someone else only to choose me to get to receive his card on this day. Her sadness today is my joy. Celebrating my first Mother’s Day was surreal; felt like a huge victory where I could say or do anything I wanted(I left the diaper bag at home on the way to church and was not fussed at…score!) I would not have wanted anyone to tell me I should not celebrate in honor of another’s pain…I think as sisters we can do both. Hug and dance in celebration and cry and console in pain. We as women need to lift each other up in whatever stage and just appreciate that as women we have that bond of understanding. Having ovaries ain’t easy!!

The good news: sorrow endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. Death has been conquered by Christ and your loved one is home where we all belong! If this is your season of mourning then believe sister that seasons change! Your smile is coming!image

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