24.10.14

TRUE STORIES // I have brown skin, brown eyes and brown hair.

TRUE STORIES is a guest post series sharing honestly about adoption and foster care. My hope is to create a culture of support for the adoption/foster community.  If you would like to share your story, click hereToday’s post is written by Ranee Gorgans


"I have brown skin, brown eyes, brown hair and tall.  My parents have blonde hair, blue eyes, white skin, and short.  But yet these are my parents and this is my story, my adoption story.


On a Sunday night in December a phone rang, what was on the other end of that phone was a scared 19-year-old girl.  Teresa had a 3 year old son, an abusive relationship and a daughter on the way.  She knew she had 2 options, the first an abortion, and the second to give her little girl away to a life she knew she could provide.  She decided that she would talk to her community college teacher, and if she didn’t have the answer she would make an appointment at Planned Parenthood. 

Her teacher listened to her story and knew what she had to do, she had to find a home for that baby.   After talking and praying to some people she heard of a couple, didn’t know them personally and only had a phone number.  She gave the phone number to Teresa, and when someone answered she blurted out, “Do you want my baby?” 

Sam and Bonnie couldn’t have kids and believed that that was their fate, to devote themselves to teaching and pastoring other peoples children and that’s how they would leave their legacy in this world.  But when that phone rang, Bonnie felt the tug on her heart that this was her moment to become a mom.  And after a couple days of prayer, counseling sessions and talking to their families they said yes. 

On their 8th wedding anniversary, Bonnie came home from shopping for Sam to another phone call that said it was time.  Waiting in the hospital hallways they paced until finally the doctor came out and took them to a room where I was waiting.  I never saw my birthmother and to my knowledge she never saw me.

Growing up I was read those books “You are adopted and loved” and it was never a secret that I didn’t come from “mommy’s tummy.”  Of course I didn’t fully understand it, I knew that I was different from them but I never got it until 1 morning before kindergarten when I was shown a picture of a woman that looked exactly like me.  I didn’t understand why she wasn’t there, I didn’t understand why she was never coming to get me, all I had was 2 pictures and a letter that I was read.

As time went on I struggled a lot with my situation, I was never fully told the real story, all I knew was that my parents said yes to a phone call and that was it.  When I turned 21 I decided it was time to find the answers out for myself.  I called the lawyer that handled my case and he sent me everything he had.  I sat in a room with my mentors and we read and cried.  I learned that Teresa was being abused, was addicted to drugs and knew that she couldn’t support herself let alone a new baby.  I learned that she loved me with every fiber of her being  and she wasn’t given me away, she was giving me a life that she never had.  It was at that moment my perspective changed, I no longer was stuck with these people that I thought were obligated to take me.  I was loved by not only 1 family but another one out there somewhere. 


Everyone has a family, everyone has a story and this was mine.  It took a long hard road to accept mine but now I proudly can say these are my parents, this is my family and only God could have written this story."


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Thank you, Ranee for sharing your perspective. Too often we only hear from the voice of the one doing the adopting and it is very important to hear from those who have been adopted. I appreciate your honesty in telling your story.

Much can be gained from hearing, valuing and seeking to understand what it feels like to not know who or where a birth family is and how isolating it can be to look different from an adopted family. Adopted families need to hear these realities and work to be better at giving their adopted kids a safe place to talk about these concerns.




Would you like to contribute your own adoption/foster story
It can be humorous, heart warming or an honest struggle. 
Submit your story here.
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22.10.14

OCTOBER DRESS PROJECT : YEAR 5 // DAY 13-19

The October Dress Project is halfway over!

This dress has held up the best of all the dresses I have worn over the years. There is no piling or visible signs of wear on the fabric. The interior lining has required some repair and a couple of seams have come undone, but I have been wearing it for 20 days in a row. Nothing a little needle and thread can't fix!

One of the problems I have discovered is if I tuck the dress into a pair of pants, I can't wear it as a dress the next day unless I iron or wash it. Because the fabric is light and breathable, it creases easily. I'll take that every day over a thick, hot fabric though!

I've taken the time to link all of the clothing, jewelry and shoes I wear with every outfit so you can get an idea of where my wardrobe comes from. Mostly, it is thrifted with several staple fair trade items and a couple locally bought things. Please take time to click through!



Day 14

Dress: Symbology
Jacket: Thrifted (similar)
Necklace: Amazima beads
Bracelet: Hunger Site
Shoes: Payless (similar)


Day 15

Dress: Symbology
Cardigan: Thrifted (similar)
Broach: Handmade from Jones Design Company tutorial
Belt: Thrifted (similar)
Shoes: Bali Elf


Day 16

Dress: Symbology
Shirt: Thrifted Ralph Lauren (similar)
Necklace: Thrifted (similar)
Bracelets: Uganda (similar)
Shoes: Bali Elf


Day 17

Dress: Symbology
Jacket: Gap (similar)
Necklace: Mata Trader
Ring: Boutique (similar)
Shoes: Payless (similar)



Day 18

Dress: Symbology
Sweater: No idea! (similar)
Hat: Target (similar)
Shoes: Bali Elf


Day 19

Dress: Symbology
Scarf: Uganda (similar)
Pants: New York & Company (similar)
Shoes: Thrifted (similar)


P.S. Check out day 1-5 and day 6-12.

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17.10.14

to upgrade [ OR ] make do

On Facebook this week I became really transparent about my discontentment of our small home and larger family. Here is what I said:


The constant discussion in our house: 
UPGRADE [ or ] MAKE DO

We live in a 1,200 square foot home with 6 people. Four of whom are of the male persuasion and three that are very active little boys. The noise in my house is sometimes deafening and we often feel like we can't escape from what everyone else in the house is doing. Privacy is hard to come by.

More land, more bedroom space for the kids and
 a much larger kitchen/dining area for feeding the brood/entertaining are our main reasons to want to move.

But as we look at our single income, the housing market and our life goals, we can't reconcile it all to make it happen. We are stuck.

So, I've been praying for contentment and creativity to make our small-to-us space work for all of our whole food cooking, homeschooling, homesteading, and living. And I would love any input you have! I'm pinning like crazy over on Pinterest and trying to think outside of the box to make our house my dream home.

SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING MY HOUSE MY DREAM HOME?



The response back was overwhelming. People offered ideas, blogs to read and encouragement from their own small quarters. It was just what I needed to garner new enthusiasm to make this house work for our family.

We bought it before we knew what kind of family we would become. I was 8 months preggo with my second kid and a 10 month old baby under foot. We had no idea we would adopt two more kids at the same time, that we would want to homeschool or move towards homesteading. We bought a stereotypical house for a stereotypical family. Little did we know it was all about to change.



Now, I am ready to tackle this house with new vigor and enthusiasm to make it my dream home. My Pinterest board is filled with ideas of triple hanging bunk beds and hammock lofts. It's getting exciting around here as I dream and search for the perfect, budget-friendly ideas. My oldest was even getting giddy when I showed him some of my ideas.


And who knows, there might even be some DIY/home improvement posts to come out of it...


P.S. Did you know we thought about downsizing our home?

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