Category Archives: Allenah Manzanagrano

Love Plain and Simple

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is September 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

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I had been told when I received the first call about these two little boys that they were foster children, not foster-to-adopt. The difference is with a foster-to-adopt child, the legal rights of the parents have already been terminated. For a foster child, they are in the system because they have been removed from their biological parents for reasons that are unique to each case. Reasons for removal can ranger from neglect all the way to actual physical or sexual abuse.

With the case of these two little boys, I was told that they could be in our home anywhere from 6 months to a year. It was not my ideal dream, because I didn’t want to ever have to let go of any child that we would have placed with us, but there was always the possibility that the rights of the biological parents would be terminated. If they were in our home, we would be the first to have the option of adopting them.

I am sure from the outside, reading this, that this sounds so harsh. How can I hope that someone’s rights for their biological child are terminated? Please let me make myself very clear before I go any further. It is my absolute belief that the absolute best place for a child is with their biological parents- IF, AND ONLY IF the child is in a healthy, safe and secure environment. If those three things- health, safety and security- are not the priority of the home- it is NOT in the best interest of that child to be with their biological parents just because they share the same DNA. It is not at all a biological argument, it is child’s well-being argument. If a child is in an unhealthy, unsafe or insecure place, they should be removed- biological, foster, adopted, day care, school, extra-curricular activity. This is just basic common sense- or, should I say, I would assume that this would be basic common sense. As I have stated throughout many of my articles it appears that common sense is a thing of the past! I have learned through our experiences in the Foster Care System that common sense is most definitely missing in regards to the rights of a child. More often than not, the “rights” of the biological parents are put before the rights of the child in the eyes of the law! It is absolutely appalling, but as you will see as our journey unfolds, the proof glaringly obvious!

Back to our story.

Within just a few days of the boys arriving to our home, the oldest one had a birthday. He was turning 4-years-old. Of course we planned a birthday party for him. He was so overwhelmed! Though we had invited just our closest friends, he received an abundance of birthday presents! We did not realize until later that he had probably never had a real birthday party. While I was so excited at the thought that we had the honor of giving him what was more than likely his very first birthday party, I was also overwhelmed with sadness- and anger- to realize that he had never had this joy given to him. Even if you are not wealthy you should be able to save up enough through the year for a very small birthday party! How much is a package of cupcakes? Kids do not expect extravagance!

It was the most amazing feeling in the world to be a mommy! While the youngest little boy could not talk yet, and the oldest little boy did not call me mommy, but chose instead to call me “Ms. ‘Llenah”, I was in fact their mommy at this point in their lives. This is not something that I took lightly. This was the most amazing honor, to know that I had been entrusted with these little lives.

There is a detail in this story that I have left out up to this point that I must add. For me and my husband it was not an issue at all. The only reason I am going to share this detail with you now is because it is something that I must bring to light, and to tell this part of the story, this detail must be shared.

These two little boys- our first two foster children- are black. For the record, my husband and I are very white!  I was told in the initial phone call their race, and it never fazed me. I did not care what color their skin was! I just wanted to love them!

It now becomes an important part of the story because it saddens me to realize that racism still runs so deep in the veins of our country. We can deny it all we want, but the reality is that there is racism that runs deep in all races. It is not just in the white community, racism exists in every community. Just as I, as a Caucasian (“white”) woman, am not racist, there are white people that are racist. There are black people that are not racists. There are black people that are racist. There are Hispanics that are not racists. There are Hispanics that are racists. There are Asians that are not racist. There are Asians that are racist. We cannot put a label on any one group because of a select group within that group.

I believe that the breeding of racism is actually fueled by every facet of our government. If it were not, why is it a question that is asked on every single legal and government form? The color of my skin does not determine my character, just as it does not determine yours.

I have taken a detour on this issue because it is another passion that is dear to my heart, as I am sure you can see by now. In fact, with our current President, it seems that anyone who opposes him is a “racist”.  I laugh- a very sad and ridiculous laugh- when I am called a racist or a bigot, which actually happens more than you probably would imagine due to the fact that I am heavily involved in political conversations online. If they only knew half of my views and actual life choices they would realize how ridiculous their words are. If they only knew the truth! But then again- most of these people who want to throw the race card around wouldn’t know truth if it jumped up and hit them in the face! Oh well. They are the ones with egg on their face, not me!

While I am very passionate about my convictions on this topic, I also realize that there are many who choose to live in ignorance. That is their prerogative. They will never know the many wonderful people they are missing out on knowing because they cannot see past the color of their skin.

I have tried to deal with this passionate conviction of mine by ignoring the ignorance of others. There are just some people that refuse to admit they may be wrong about something.

One Saturday, we took the boys to eat pizza. I was oblivious to everything and everyone around me. I was a mommy, and I was enjoying every single moment of it! As we were leaving, I could feel my husband’s tension. I asked him what was wrong. He said nothing was wrong, but I knew better. Something was just not right with him! I knew that there were no conflicts between the two of us; the boys had been perfect little angels; and there had not been any conflict that I could see while we were eating.  As I continued to question him, he told me we just needed to leave.

I finished wiping up the boys, and we headed out the door. My husband told me he would tell me what was going on when we got in the car.

Once we got the boys buckled into their car seats, and were driving away, he told me that there was an older white man in the restaurant that seemed to be appalled that we- a white couple- had two black children. My husband said every time I would wipe one of the boy’s faces, or give them a kiss, or tickle them, or whatever else I would do with them, he would grumble and scowl at me. He said it was all he could do to keep his mouth shut and not tell the man off.

I began to chuckle. My husband turned quickly and asked me what was so funny. I told him how sad it was that this man could not see past his own insecurities. He had to pass judgment on us, knowing nothing of our situation. I am by no means saying we deserve, need or want special attention or accolades for the call that has been placed on our hearts. It is actually quite the opposite. We are doing this because we have been called by God for a purpose. But this man has no idea the joy he is missing out on! All he could see is two very dark black little boys receiving love and affection, hugs and kisses from a very white couple. How could that be?

Love. Plain and simple. Love does now know the boundary of colors. Love is love. And strangely enough, it was not until my 30’s that I truly understood what love is. It is not at all what our society defines it as. I will have to write an article on this later, because I believe it is an intrinsic part of our journey. Love. Such a beautiful thing that is so misunderstood!

One of the most interesting details to this story is that overall, my husband is usually the very calm side of our marriage. I tend to be the irrational, impetuous, spout-off-at-the-mouth side of our marriage. In this instance, our roles were reversed. It took everything in him to remain calm and quiet, while in my obliviousness to this man’s racism, I was very calm, even after knowing the situation.

His ignorance did not matter the least to me. He was the one missing out. Not me!

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The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Our True Battle Begins

The previous chapter in this series: Finally! The Pitter Patter of Little Feet!

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

FINALLY! The Pitter Patter of Little Feet!

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is September 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

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We had gone to all of our classes and received all of our certifications. We had all of our inspections completed. We had our medical exam. We had our TB Test. We had received our FBI background check and fingerprint check back. My husband had received his driving record. Still we waited for my driving record!

FINALLY it came in! Everything was completed! We had graduated and were now officially certified by the state of Texas to be Foster Parents! Now we just needed the children!

One of the first decisions we had already had to make was how many children were we going to get licensed for. This is asked on your original application. I wanted to start with one child. I was still very apprehensive about everything, so thinking about more than one child in the very beginning was unimaginable to me. However, my husband pointed out that by agreeing to take two, our chances of getting children quicker would increase, because we would be available to take sibling groups. This made sense to me, but I still was not so sure about it. I just did not know if I was going to be a good Mommy! And I would be all alone during the day with the child…errrrr… children! In the end, we agreed that we would get licensed to have two children in our home.

Within just a few days of getting my driving record in, we received our first call. I did not even wait to hear the entire situation before I was saying, “yes!” The very next day we would have children! Two little boys!

What should have been the most joyous day of our lives at this point was clouded over by a family crisis. We had been over to my in-laws visiting with them, filling them in on everything that was going on. We left, excited that in just a couple of hours the children would be with us.

On the way home, we had to stop by a friend’s house to pick up a car seat that she was loaning us. We had such short notice that we had not had time to go purchase one.  

As we were getting in the car to head home, my husband’s phone rang. I immediately knew something was wrong. I heard him say, “Don’t wait for an ambulance, get him to the hospital now, I’ll meet you there!”

It was my mother-in-law calling to tell my husband that his dad had collapsed and could not talk, and they were rushing him to the emergency room. I was devastated for several different reasons. Obviously, you never wish that anyone has health issues. I love my father-in-law dearly. I am very close to him. I did not want anything to happen to him. This was my first thought. Then came the realization that the case workers were literally on their way to bring us the children!

I asked my husband if he wanted me to call and cancel the child placement, and he almost screamed, “No!” My friend assured my husband that she would come to the house with me to help me with the paperwork and other particulars in the process of receiving the children.

We raced home, my husband dropped me off, and he took off to the hospital. My friend was right behind me.

The next hour was one of the most nerve-wracking hours of my life.

Child Protective Services (CPS) and our Agency Caseworker arrived with the children. They were two little boys- brothers- 2-years-old and 3-years-old.

Thankfully, our house was only about 3 miles or so from the hospital. My husband ran home from the hospital to sign paperwork, meet the boys, and head back to the hospital to be with his dad. At t his point, things were very touch and go. They had determined that he had suffered a stroke. The outcome would not be known for 24 hours.

They had to make a decision whether or not to give him a drug to counter-act the stroke. There was risk of sudden death with this medication, but this was the only hope of him recovering to any sense of normalcy. Otherwise, if he did not take the drug, it was very unlikely that he would recover, and there was still the possibility of death. The family decided to give him the medication.

Thankfully, his dad has made an excellent recovery. I know this is not something he would have ever wanted to happen, but one thing I have learned through my life is that we are in control of nothing outside of the choices we make. Things happen. The real test of character is how you deal with the things that happen.

Later that night, when things were looking more stable with his dad, my husband came home to spend time with our new children. This was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

As I have written in previous articles, I still tease my husband to this day that he wanted to be a father before he wanted to be a husband. In many ways, though I am teasing him, I do believe that is partially true. His youngest sister was born when he was 14-years-old, so he was a very big part of caring for her as a baby.

My husband was 28-years-old when we got married. He has never been married before, and has no children from previous relationships. So his dream was finally being fulfilled after almost 19 years in the making.

Watching my husband play with these two little boys warmed my heart beyond words. I was enjoying them, and thankfully, my friend had been there to help me with the legal side of things- coordinating the search for marks on their bodies so that could be documented, getting them bathed,  and getting them  settled in for their first night in their new home. As much as I love my friend, she is not my husband. She had been there with me for so much of the process of our fertility journey, but your friend is not the same as your husband. So when my husband got home and joined us, my friend went home. And it was just our little family. Finally!

The thought was almost overwhelming!  In many ways it had been a whirlwind! Though our journey had spanned the course of several years, this process had taken us to the deepest depths of darkness in so many ways. Even tonight- the very first time we were to be called “parents”-  we had a crisis to face. And yet, the bright light shining on my husband’s face and in his eyes as he played with his two sons was absolutely amazing! The most beautiful sound I believe I had ever heard up to this point was the pitter-patter of four little fun running around our home. The giggles were infectious! Finally! Our dream had been realized.

Maybe!

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The Purpose Of  This Series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Love Plain and Simple

The previous chapter in this series: Fostering Hope

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

Syllabus To Be A Parent

 

So what does it take to be a Foster Parent, you ask? This is just the basic information of the courses you have to take and be “certified in” to become a Foster Parent. I will refer back to this document from time to time during my ongoing series on the Broken System of Foster Care.

In addition To the course list below, you are required to have:

  • Home Health Inspection
  • Home Fire Inspection
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Test
  • FBI Background/Fingerprint Check
  • Medical Checkup

Is there anything on the above list of requirements that seems to be missing to you? I find it odd that Foster Parents are NOT required to take a drug test! To date I know of only one local private Foster Care agency that requires their Foster Parents to take a drug test. Considering the fact that drugs are a major contributing factor in the lives of children in Foster Care, I would assume this would be a requirement.

A Tuberculosis test is required, but an HIV test is not required. There are no other medical test/drug tests that are required.

I. PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION COURSE
Basic Medication Information
                Five Rights
                Infection Control
                Classification of Medications
Side Effects vs. Adverse Reactions
When To Call The Doctor
What Medications Can Be Cut
When Medication Should Be Given
Who Can I Contact With Questions?

Where Do I Store Medication?

Look At Medications With A Child’s Eye


II. POLICIES & PROCEDURES COURSE
III. UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS COURSE
 
IV. PREP COURSE 1  (Parenting Resourced and Education for Permanency Training for Foster/Adoptive Parents)  ALL DAY COURSE
Lunch Break, with 1 small bathroom break in the morning, 1 small bathroom break in the afternoon

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
                Increase knowledge of children in foster care
                Increase parenting skills to nurture and protect children
                Develop Abilities as part of a professional team; support permanency for children
                Help you decide on commitment to be a foster or adoptive parent
History of Foster Care In The U.S.
AFCARS Report- Statistics- Adoption & Foster Care Analysis & reporting System (as of September 2005)
AFCARS Report- Statistics
Agency Expectations
Child Abuse & Neglect
Child Abuse & Neglect Statistics
Reporting Child Abuse
How The Brain Develops- Neurobiology
Attachment Theory
Child Development Theories
Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development
Hierarchy of Human Needs
Stages of Grief
Discipline vs. Punishment
Role of Families
Resiliency
Teamwork
End of Prep 1

V.  PREP COURSE 2 (Parenting Resourced and Education for Permanency Training for Foster/Adoptive Parents)   ALL DAY COURSE
1 Morning Break, Lunch Break, 1 Afternoon Break

Sexual Abuse
Types of Sexual Abuse
Effects of Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse Outcry Procedure
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Cycle

Effects of Domestic Violence

Drugs and Alcohol

Effects of Parental Use of Alcohol & Drugs on Children

Parental Incarceration

Effects of Parental Incarceration

Parenting Traumatized Children

Six Core Strengths

                Attachment

                Self-Regulation

                Affiliation

                Attunement

                Tolerance

                Respect

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Reducing SIDS Risk

Cultural Diversity

Adoption and Safe Families Act

Permanency

Additional Information to Foster/Adopt

                Communication

                New Perspective on Anger

                Anger/Stress Management

                TEAMWORK Foster/Adopt Parents & Children         

PREP Completed

VI.SAMA  (SATORI Alternatives To Managing Aggression)

VII. SAMA COURSE 2 (SATORI Alternatives To Managing Aggression)

VIII. CPR/FIRST AID COURSE

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The Purpose Of  This Series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

America Dances In The Streets

 

“God Bless America! Land that I love!”

Just a warning to anyone who reads this. Prepare yourself for sudden outbursts of song!

No, this is not a musical, and just a warning- I do not have a beautiful singing voice at all! So, close your ears if you don’t want to hear my grateful voice of celebration!

Tonight is a good night in America! Americans all over the country are dancing in the streets celebrating the good news! We’ve waited so long for this good news! Ten long years!

It is my hope and prayer that this will unite us once again. If only for “one moment in time!”

Usually I do not celebrate the death of someone. However, Osama Bin Laden-

“I bet it felt like the WHOLE WIDE WORLD WAS raining down on youuuu! Brought to you, courtesy of the RED, WHITE & BLUE!!!”

Ahhhhh, yes! Justice has indeed been served!  That is, if the news we are hearing is correct! Yes, unfortunately, I have my doubts. As I’ve written about before, I don’t trust any of our politicians. I will not apologize for my skepticism- they’ve all brought it on themselves!

God forgive me if it is wrong, but I do hope that it is true. This man was nothing but pure evil incarnate. I will never forget “when the world stopped turning on that September day”. 

My heart sings, yet at the same time weeps for the families and friends of those who lost their lives almost 10 years ago. Ten long years. Finally they have some semblance of justice.

“And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.”

Tonight, I thank God Almighty for the blessings of living in America- Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. I dedicate this article to all of the military men and women throughout history who have given their life, their blood, their sweat and their tears so that I might be free! You always do your duty, no matter what it cost you. You and your families and friends make sacrifices. You count the cost and know what you are sacrificing. I pray that you do not die… but if you do, may God rest your soul. No, freedom don’t come free, and indeed, you all bear that cross with honor. Please know that you are greatly appreciated, forever loved and completely cherished. Though I have not personally served, I have many family members and friends who have fought beside you. Thank you, and God bless you all! Tonight, America dances in the streets to honor you! Please be extra careful out there! Just because Osama is <most likely> dead does not mean this war is over. In fact, in many ways it is just beginning! May God Almighty keep each of you safe in the shadow of His wings! (Psalm 91)

And I will always do my duty no matter what the price
I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice
Oh and I don’t want to die for you, but if dyin’s asked of me
I’ll bear that cross with honor, cause freedom don’t come free.

I’m an American Soldier an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters, I will proudly take a stand
When liberty’s in jeopardy, I will always do what’s right

I’m out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight
American Soldier, I’m an American, Soldier.”

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Credits:
“God Bless America” by Irving Berlin
“One Moment In Time”
by Whitney Houston
“Courtesy of The Red, White and Blue”  by Toby Keith
“Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson
“God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood
“American Soldier” by Toby Keith

Fostering Hope

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is March-September 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

____________________

During the 8 weeks of our training, we met another couple who were going through the process to be foster parents. We got to know them quite well, and shared with them why we were going through the process.

Their goal was different from ours. They had a daughter who was already grown and had her own son, but they knew that had a big house with a lot of room, and plenty of love in their hearts to share with kids who needed love.

We never would have imagined when we first met them how quickly we would all become so close. I am so thankful that this was the case, because this process is not a walk in the park. It is a very long and enduring journey. You need someone to help you cope with everything you are experiencing. If they are experiencing the same process, it helps, I believe.

It did not take long for us to realize that there were many people that did not have the same intentions that we did. I was appalled at some of the questions that we heard during our classes.

How would we be paid?

When are we paid?

How do they determine what children are placed in what home- do they look at race?

Money seemed to be the main goal for many of these people! Yes, it is an added bonus that the State pays you to be a foster parent. In most cases, you are even compensated in adoptions as well. But to know that the only questions these people had was in regards to the money just infuriated me! Not only were they here seeking a way to make money, but they were doing it at the expense of children who had already been abused! These children were nothing but pawns- a way to make an extra buck- for these people!

For others, to know that they would not accept a child into their home that was a different race just sickened me. I am by no means trying to judge, but a child- any child, no matter what color their skin is, should be loved and cherished.

If you are not wanting to adopt a child of a different race, I can somewhat see through those lenses. I do not agree with it at all, but I can accept that. But to know that you will not even hug a child, provide them with shelter because their skin is a different color, this is just absolutely disgusting to me. However, I am sure it is better that this be made known rather than have a child of a different race be placed in that home and then that child becomes a victim of abuse at the hands of someone who is supposed to be protecting them from the abuse they have already endured.

At times, it was very difficult to sit through our classes that were required for our certifications. It was not at all because the information was too difficult. It was because of the other people who were there to be certified.

After going through this process, I believe one of the first steps in the process should be a complete drug screening and psychological check. Many of these children in foster care are removed because the biological parents are using illegal substances in the home. The State does not require that foster parents be drug tested. This is just amazing me to me. We had to have a TB test taken, but we never once had to give a urine or blood specimen.

I believe a psychological exam should also be required, because some of the people that were in our classes definitely would not have passed. How in the world can you entrust a child to people like this? They have already been taken from one home, at the very least, if not many homes. Putting them in yet another home where there is psychological issues of any kind is asking for trouble.

You are required to have a home study. I would assume that a lot of information comes out in these home studies. Having gone through one, I know the questions that are asked. However, if you decide to be dishonest, and there is nothing on your legal record, then there is no way of really knowing the truth. I believe this is how many people slip past the approval process who should never be allowed to have a child in their home. A psychological exam would prevent some of these issues. I am sure that some would slip by still, because no system is perfect. However, if just one foster parent who had ill-intentions or psychological issues was prevented from going through the system, then all the money that is required to implement this process would be worth it- for just one single person.

We finally completed our classes, obtained all the licenses we needed, had our fingerprints taken and our backgrounds checked, and had our TB test taken. All we were waiting on was my driving record. My husband’s driving record had arrived, but mine had been lost in the mail somewhere. By the time it was all said and done, we had to request my driving record four times before we actually received it.

It truly is amazing how God works. Even when you do not understand something, there is always a purpose and a reason for things happening. Every day that I live, this is concreted more securely in my mind and heart. Everything happens for a reason! Even if we do not understand what that reason is, there is still a reason.

We were getting very anxious. The only thing we needed was one piece of paper, and we could have children in our home.

I had already resigned my position at work so I could stay at home with the children. We had the rooms ready and waiting.

And we sat waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

It was almost a month after I quit my job before we were actually able to bring children home. Looking back, I realize now that God was giving me a vacation. It was already much needed, but I could have never imagined that this almost month of vacation was going to be something I would have to draw from in the years to come. 

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The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Love Plain and Simple

The previous chapter in this series: Finally! The Pitter Patter of Little Feet!

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

Facing My Fears

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is January-March 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

____________________

We finally decided we had reached the end of the fertility journey. We would not try again. It was just too painful. Not necessarily physically, though that was painful. The emotional and mental pain was unbearable at this point.

We had discussed adoption, and were both very willing to adopt, but we also knew that we did not have the financial resources to pursue this option. So at this point we were going to have to just accept that we were not going to have children.

We had talked about trying to move closer to my family. My brother lives in the Dallas area, and we live in the San Antonio area. While we are in the same state, we are still about 3 ½ hours apart. We began to pray about it and left it in God’s hands.

My husband began searching for a job in the area. If this was what God wanted, He would have to open the doors necessary for us to move.

Within just a few days he got a response from his resume, and had a phone interview that went very well. They asked him to come up for an interview in-person. We made the arrangements and went to Dallas for his interview. He was offered the position.

We gave our notices at work, gave our notice to our landlords, and began to make preparations for the move. However, I never packed a single box. Usually, that is the first thing I do if we are preparing for a move.

We made arrangements for my brother and his family to help us move some things to their house temporarily. My husband would go on and start working while I stayed behind to finalize the packing and moving preparations. My brother and his family came down to take a bed back with them. My husband was to leave on Sunday to start work on Monday.

Saturday night we were both very restless. We lay in bed, talking. Neither of us were at peace. Why was this? We had prayed for God’s direction, He had answered. All of the doors were thrown wide open for us. We had not received any bumps along the way. So why were we not at peace? 

We did not go to sleep until 4am Sunday morning. He was supposed to leave around noon. After an entire night of talking and praying, we decided that he was not going to go to Dallas. We did not understand why this had all happened, but we knew very clearly that he was not supposed to go. None of this made sense to either of us. Why would all of this have happened if we were not supposed to move?

My husband had no problem at all rescinding his notice at his job. He did not know it at the time, but another co-worker had given their notice the same week he had given his. This left his company with only one systems analyst in the field. His boss had asked him if he would reconsider the move, and my husband told him this was the decision we had to make. Friday- his last day of work, his boss offered him a considerable raise to reconsider.

We have often wondered if this was the reason this all happened. Was this God’s way of providing more income for us? I do believe this is part of the reason. But the real reason- or should I say reasons- were yet to be realized.

Around this time we had friends who had become foster parents through the State. They told us about the program, and suggested that we check it out. We were not sure how it all worked, but needless to say, our interest was piqued.

I was in a discussion with two of my dear friends who knew the fertility process we were going through. I told them about our other friends who were becoming foster parents, and suggested that we check into it. I told them that I did not know if I wanted to do it. One of the ladies turned to me and said, “You are being selfish.” She told me that I was being selfish in many ways, none of the least of which was that I was depriving a child the love of a good home. Wow! Talk about hitting you below the belt! That took a lot to digest.

That day she shared something with me that I had never known about her- she was adopted. I knew she had a very difficult childhood, but I did not know that she had left home at an early age and was taken in by friends’ family. At the age of 18 they adopted her. She said if it were not for the lady that adopted her, she would not know Christ today.

She made me stop and think. The reality of the situation was that I was scared. We had gone through so many procedures, jumped through so many hoops, had our hearts hurt so many times; the thought of more pain was just unbearable. I was letting fear prevent me from moving forward.

That day I faced my fears. I realized that my friend was right. I was being selfish. At this point I could not even acknowledge to myself, much less voice to someone else that her arguments had been right.

Over the next couple of weeks I thought a lot about our conversation. I talked to my husband about everything, and he was completely ready to find out what we needed to know to get started in the foster-to-adopt program.

In March of 2007 we attended the informational meeting. The thought alone was overwhelming to me. We could go through these classes, get our certifications, get our background checks, have our home inspected, and we could have kids. And it would cost us very little money! The only out-of-pocket expenses we would have would be the fees necessary for background checks, licensing fees, and the other miscellaneous items. With a quick calculation, we were estimating less than $300 total and we would be able to be parents! Why was this not made known to more people who are struggling to have children?

It would not be long before I understood that it’s not really that simple.

We took an application home and filled it out. Within a week we were sitting in our first class.

____________________

The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Fostering Hope

The previous chapter in this series: A Missed Message

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

Liberal Personal Attack On A Special Needs Child Backfires!

It took a lot of prayer for me to write an email to a fellow journalist yesterday. I had read a post by Jack Stuef at the liberal site wonkette.com unabashedly attack little Trig Palin. I refuse to post anything that was said on the site, but I can assure you it was beyond hateful.

Tonight, on our radio show The Plain Hard Truth , we discussed this issue and how it has backfired! At the time of the writing of this article, there have now been 11 sponsors to pull their ads from the liberal website.  Hats off to each of these sponsors!

When I read this attack on Trig Palin, I could not believe that this was supposed to be a news website. What I read was not news. It was not an opinion. It was a disgrace!

I finished the email, prayed before I sent it, hoping that I had remained professional and to the point. I tried to stay as detached as possible, but that was impossible! I am a Mama before I am a journalist! The Mama Grizzly came out in me, and it took everything within me to keep my claws in my paws!

This is the email I sent to Jack Stuef:

It was my intention to give Jack Stuef exactly 24 hours to respond. I had serious doubt that I would get any response from him at all, but I wanted to give him the opportunity to …..  try to explain himself. I could not imagine how any explanation would make the situation better, but I believe in offering the opportunity.

It did not take 24 hours, and it was not a personal response, but this afternoon I read that the article had been removed. Tonight, on The Plain Hard Truth , Rich Mitchell said that originally there was an “apology” that came up instead of the article, stating that the attempt at “satire” was in poor taste. Ya think?!

Tonight, the attempt at an apology that sounds like it came across as an excuse or justification for what was said, has been removed, and this is all that comes up (Notice the address bar):

Tonight, we discussed on our radio show that many of the sponsors have pulled their ads thanks to a twitter campaign with the hashtag #trigscrew. Hats off to ANY AND ALL who participated in the tireless Twitter campaign! This is a victory!

I hope that ALL CONSERVATIVES will patronize the businesses that pulled their ads from this website in protest to this heartless attack on an innocent child. Papa Johns Pizza is one of those sponsors that pulled their ad! How does a Papa John’s pizza sound for Friday night or Saturday? Be sure to let them know you are specifically ordering to support them in pulling their ad from wonkette.com!

And a hearty hats off to all the sponsors who have pulled their ads from wonkette.com!

If you are reading this article, I encourage you to visit the sites of these businesses who pulled their ads from wonkette.com . Buy their products, send them emails thanking them for standing up to this heartless attack on an innocent child, and let all of your friends know to do the same!

http://www.bobevans.com/

http://www.coldwellbanker.com/

http://www.dealswarm.com

http://www.hollandamerica.com

http://www.huggies.com

http://www.jjill.com

http://www.metropcs.com/

http://shop.nordstrom.com/

http://www.papajohns.com

http://www.reliant.com

http://www.vanguard.com

A Missed Message

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is 2002-2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

____________________

I hate tests. It does not matter what kind of test it is or how well I know the information. For some strange reason, I become a bundle of nerves when I have to take a test. So it should not have surprised me when time after time after time I failed this test too! How in the world do you fail a pregnancy test? Well, I figured out how!

You may be wondering how in the world I seem to be making a joke about something so serious. I have learned through this whole process that you have to find humor in all situations. I have not been able to do that in every step of this journey, but when I find something that is remotely funny, I hold on to it for dear life. I guess in some small way this is how I hold on to my sanity. Well, there would be some that would argue that point as well, but it helps me cope!

When we decided that we would go down the road of fertility treatments, we sat down and discussed where we would stop. We knew that we had to have a line firmly drawn in the sand before we ever got started. Just as with anything, if you do not know where you stand before you get into the situation; it is way too easy to keep moving the line for which you say you will not cross. For each couple that line is different. For us, we decided together that we would go no further than the IUI (Inter Uterine Injection). We knew that IVF was out of the question for us. Financially, there was just no way IVF was an option for us. But aside from the financial decision, in our research throughout this journey, we have found out that this procedure is very painful. They actually harvest the eggs from the woman’s ovaries.

My body had already endured so many procedures at this point that I was in pain all the time. I refrained from voicing this to anyone outside of my husband. I tried not to tell him, because I knew that he was very torn. While he wanted children, he did not like to see me going through so much pain. I already had weight issues before we started this process, but the continual medications and hormonal changes sent my weight into overdrive. This was the last thing we needed.  I had to have so many blood tests that I was virtually a walking bruise. I had to have so many sonograms that just seeing a sonogram machine in the hallway made my body tense up.

Early on in our procedures, they discovered that my Estrogen level was extremely low. What this means is that if I did become pregnant, the risk of miscarrying was huge. My body would not be able to carry a baby to term with my Estrogen level so low. So I had to take Estrogen suppositories vaginally after every attempt to get pregnant, just in case the attempt was successful. This process was very messy and felt disgusting. And I had to make sure it was left in as long as possible. So once again, I had to make sure my buttock was elevated for an extended period of time. I started out with one suppository a day, and then increased to two a day. So I was going to bed with a treatment and waking up with a treatment. Remaining graceful during this part of the process was impossible.

I do not give these explicit details for sympathy or shock value. As much detail as I am giving, it does not fully depict the actual experience. For the sake of some semblance of privacy for us, as well as decorum with my readers, I am trying to be as vague as possible. However, to get the real picture, you have to hear some details.

And again, you may be asking yourself, as my friend asked me, why would I go through so much pain? Because we wanted a child. We wanted to be parents.

My friend, though I am quite sure she had the best of intentions, hurt me more than words can say. In the conversation where she was berating my husband for “making” me go through all of this, she told me that I did not need to go through all of this for kids, I could enjoy her kids. While, again, I realize she was trying to help the situation, she had no idea that she was making it so much worse.

We had gotten to the pinnacle of our fertility journey. This was the last procedure. We were at the IUI point. We had decided we would not do more than two IUI procedures. If neither were successful, that was the end of the road for us.

We went in for the procedure.

Unfortunately, this is not at all what I had envisioned as a little girl when I dreamed of becoming a mommy. Going into a doctor’s office, having my temperature taken time and time again, having blood drawn time and time again, having sonograms done time and time again, taking numerous medications time and time again- well, that does not make for the most romantic movie scene.

This experience was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of our journey. First, I had to go through the entire procedure of having a sonogram done to make sure the follicles were the right size to proceed. They were. So on to the next step.

My husband had to make a “deposit” in a cup. Again, not the most romantic experience that you dream of. Add that to the fact that the office was in the middle of moving to another location, so there were boxes stacked all through the halls, examining tables moved out into the hall, people milling around everywhere- all of this while we are in the private “room” (a large restroom with a chair, a TV/VCR combination, and a diverse collection of adult movies and magazines). While we were nervously trying to do what was necessary, there was a very loud bump at the door of our “room”. An examining table had inadvertently been shoved into the door. By this point, we were both ready to get this over with.

After the “deposit” was made, we had to give it to the nurse in the lab. She had to run tests on the “deposit” to make sure everything was good with that side of the procedure. It would take an hour to know if it was or not. So we went to lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the office, and yes, that side was good as well. So off to the examining room we go. My legs go up in the stir-ups yet again. A syringe is inserted into me, and my husband’s sperm is injected straight into my cervix. While it was by no means the most comfortable thing in the world, definitely not romantic or pleasurable, by any stretch of the imagination, but neither was it the most painful experience. After the injection, I had to lift my buttocks off the examining table as long as possible. Then I had to turn on my side, all the while, keeping my buttocks elevated. By the end of the procedure I was sure that I was qualified to join the circus!

After the procedure was completed, we were free to leave. Thank you very much, ma’am! Gives new meaning to the term Wham! Bam! Thank you, Ma’am!

So now the waiting begins. We had become quite accustomed to waiting.

And then it arrived. It was one of those dreaded mornings. It was time to pee on a stick yet again.

I went to the bathroom and peed on the stick. And we sat waiting and watching the clock. The five minutes you have to wait for the test results to show on the stick seems more like five hours. But finally the wait was over. We held hands and walked over to the bathroom counter. I am sure we looked like we were taking the walk to the death chamber. Negative.

So we try one more time.

My husband asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through another procedure. At this point I could not even answer him. I ran a bath, and crawled in the hot water. I was hurt. I was angry. And I had to get ready to go to work. I cried. I got angry. I got angry with God and I told Him all about it.

Very few times have I known that God has spoken directly to me. But this day, I knew God had spoken. But I did not like what He said at all! “Be still and know that I Am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

This sent me into a rage. I was having a full conversation- out loud- with God. No, I was not praying. I was ranting. My husband came around the corner of the bathroom and asked me what in the world was going on. I told him I was talking to God.  The look on his face spoke volumes. He knew that I was angry. I told him that God had spoken to me, and what He had said. But when I spoke the words, they came out more as a curse than an acknowledgment or praise of God Almighty. There was heavy sarcasm in my voice as I spat out, “Be still and know that I Am God. What does He mean? Does He think I don’t know Who He Is?” At this point, my husband is almost literally backing away from me. He has no idea why in the world this has upset me. It did not stop there. I was in a very foul mood as I got dressed. At this point, we only had one vehicle, so he drove me to work. As I got out of the car, he kissed me goodbye and wished me  good day. I started up once again, my voice full of sarcasm as I repeated what God had told me that morning.

Did He really not think I knew Who He Is? This truly boggled my mind. And it made me angry. While I have not always lived my life in a Godly manner, I have never doubted the existence of God. For many years of my life I felt that I could never measure up to God’s standards. I knew I could not be good enough. I had tried and failed too many times. I did not know all of those years as I continued to run from God that this is exactly the point. I can never be good enough. None of us can ever be good enough. That is why Jesus had to become our Sacrificial Lamb on the cross. But it was never shown to me in this way, so I did not understand it. But by this point in my life, I did get it. I knew that I knew that I knew Who God Is.

Knowing that I had already gone through the excruciating painful, yet very beautiful journey of discovery God in all of His majesty, glory, mercy, love, and forgiveness, I did not understand why God would be telling me this. Especially on a day like today, when we had yet another let-down in trying to have a child. I know Who God Is. Where is His message of hope and love? Where is His message of encouragement and promises? There was nothing. There was only the reminder that He Is God.

I totally missed the message that day. It was not until many months later, if not a couple of years later that I actually understood what God was telling me that day. Now, this verse of Scripture is one of my favorite. It is one that I hold on to in my desperate hours. It is so important to me that it is posted in two different places in our home.

God IS God. Yes, I understood that. But I did not get the being still part. I am a person who is always on the go. My brother jokes with me that I need to start a “Flutter-ers Anonymous” Group. “Hello, my name is Allenah, and I am a flutter-er. It is a struggle for me to sit and watch a 30-minute TV show. To watch a movie without getting up is next to impossible. I absolutely hate going to the movie theatre. To be confined in one place for so long is excruciating for me.

To me, telling me to be still meant to sit still, physically. While yes, I do believe that is part of the meaning of the Scripture, there is so much more depth that is there. It is not just to be still physically, but to be still spiritually. Do not fret. Do not worry. Know that God IS in control. He knows what He is doing. He has a plan. (Jeremiah 29:11)

To this day, Psalm 46:10 brings a smile to my face. It is a peaceful smile. If my husband and I are together and this Scripture is quoted, there is a knowing glance between us. God did give me a promise that day. I just did not understand it at the time.

____________________

The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Facing My Fears

The previous chapter in this series: Dreams Of A Little Girl Shattered…Or Are They?

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

A Common Sense Approach To The National Debt

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this article to my Dad. I ask you to indulge me for just a moment as I give you some “behind-the-scene” information before I address the title issue of this article, the National Debt.

For many years, my Dad and I had a strained relationship. Over the years we have determined that there were two main factors that contributed to this:

     1. I am like him in many different ways, yet it seemed as though we had very little in common;
     2. As is typical with many fathers and daughters, he did not want to let me grow up, and I was anxious to grow up.

When I was about 34-years-old, there finally came a point in time where I sat him down for what I called a “come to Jesus meeting”. This meeting was the best thing that has ever happened in our relationship. I was very respectful to him, but told him he had to accept the fact that I was a grown woman, a wife, and a mother with my own thoughts and ways of doing things. I told him I never expected that he would agree with everything I did, thought or said, however, if we were ever going to have any semblance of a healthy relationship he was going to have to respect me as an adult, not just his daughter.

My Dad did not realize that he was making me feel this way in our relationship, and I am very grateful that he was receptive to what I had to say. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not have this talk with him many years before. We wasted many years of a very good relationship because I avoided having that difficult discussion with him.

I thought I had addressed the issues with him, and made my feelings known to him, but obviously I had not. Was it that I had an attitude with him that, “I’m a grown woman, you can’t tell me what to do”? Possibly. And that statement is true. However, looking back, I think I probably went about it in the wrong way. I had quite an attitude with him, trying to prove that I was an adult.

Before this conversation my dad and I would get into arguments frequently. I felt like I was walking on eggshells because I never knew what was going to set off the tinderbox between us. Because of this, phone conversations with him were very limited, and focused mainly on surface issues.

Now, my dad and I talk on the phone almost every single day, if not 2, 3, or 4 times a day. We talk about anything and everything. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING is off limits when it comes to our conversations now. Things that I thought I would never be able to talk to my dad about we now have lengthy conversations on those topics.

One of the topics we talk about frequently is politics. This is unusual, in and of itself, because as I have mentioned in previous articles, I absolutely detest politics! I know, I know… very strange, since I am now writing for a Conservative Political news site.

I believe he enjoys the fact that this is actually something we can talk about a great deal more than I do, because he sees that I am taking an active interest in what is going on in this country and trying to do something to change it. This is also one of my greatest regrets- that previously I was like so many other people out there who could care less when it comes to politics. Because this attitude is so prevalent, we now have elected officials who have not been held accountable and feel they are the elite and should be able to make the rules for all of us “commoners”.

In discussing what is going on with our nation, one topic that is almost a daily part of our agenda is the National Debt.

He told me a couple of weeks ago that he has had enough of these politicians not listening to those who elect them, so he was going to write a letter to them to just lay the facts on the table. He told me he wanted me to help him get the letter out to every single member of Congress, and of course, I agreed. I am going to do something I absolutely hate, now- I am going to be “politically correct”. My dad is what we call “technologically challenged”.

He and my mom are actually visiting us this week, and he actually had the computer in front of him doing research! I was so proud of him! We have vowed to bring him into the 21st Century if it’s the last thing we do! But since we have not accomplished that goal with him, I am going to use the remainder of my article to post his “Common Sense Approach to the National Debt” here in my column. These are not my ideas, they are his. These are not my words, they are his. But with one very small exception, I agree a million percent with him!

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THE NATIONAL DEBT CRISIS

Personal – You have a budget.  You don’t spend more than you bring home or disaster!!!!!!

Locals, States and Federal Government need to do the same.

As to the Debt Commission Suggestions:  Social Security recipients have paid their “Debt to Society”.  Government officials need to live accordingly.  We have not received Cost of Living Adjustments for the last 3 years but government officials have had salaries, budgets, and etc. raised.

*SSI needs to be trimmed deeply.  Most of the people on this program could be retrained for a job that they could do, taken off the payment rolls.

*”Crazy Check” recipients need to be taken off the system. This part of the program is nothing but a joke!

*Welfare recipients should be drug tested and if they test positive then taken off the Welfare Rolls and they lose their checks.

 Welfare recipients should do work in Environmental Services (cleaning offices, streets, parks, etc.) or child care for those that have children (which is most of them), therefore they are doing something for society to receive the money; food stamps, housing, etc.  This would give them more incentive to get out and find a better job.  The way it is now they are able to do whatever they want all day and depend on taxpayers to support them.  A woman should not be allowed to have more than 2 children on welfare before having the option to sterilization or any other children would be paid for by them including birth; medical; food; WIC, etc. this from birth to age of 18.  A baby under the age of 1 year should not be allowed Food Stamps if they are on the WIC Program.  WIC provides everything that it would need for nutrition. 

*Unemployment recipients only receive unemployment checks up to 6 months. This has been the standard in the past, and has worked, there is no reason to pay people to sit home, all the while they are turning down jobs because the job “does not pay as much as unemployment.”

Taxpayer money should be used for defense and government operations ONLY-  NOT for: Grants; subsides; studies; projects groups; bailouts; unions; pensions, etc.

Our taxpaying money should stay in the United States and not giving foreign aid to almost every country in the world, since most of the countries don’t help us and some take our money then protest against us.  We give aid to other countries for drilling when our drilling program is neglected.

*Redesign the Tax System
Do away with the current tax system and tax 10% across the board – Welfare Recipients to government officials and tax corporations 15%.

*Do away with several government departments (i.e.; Education – our young people are not getting quality education due to modern education (math), etc., Political correctness, etc. Labor Department –  Cost of Living adjustments don’t consider food and energy, so what does the taxpayer should survive on?   Also, unemployment figures do not consider people not working but are off the unemployment rolls.  These are very important factors but yet this Department does not consider these important, so we do not need the Department of Labor.  These are just 2 examples of government departments not needed.  All of the other departments and agencies need to meet the strict criteria’s, also.

*Do away with Obama’s: Czars, Commissions, etc. 

*Limit Obama’s budget as to travel, etc.  However if the mileage tax is made law then Obama could pay off the National Debt since he never spends any complete days at the White House.

The term  “Tax the Rich” should never be spoken because:  Tim Geithner; Charlie Rangel; Jeff Immelt; Jesse Jackson; Al Sharpton; Reverend Wright; Louis Farrakhan; Black Panthers; AARP; ACLU and Labor Unions have proved that the government tax people (IRS) do not go after the “big guys.” 

*Do away with Obama Care since this was a very illegal transaction and was highly misrepresented; elected officials did not read before passing, etc., which is their JOB!  Mortgage Foreclosures had to redo their procedures, so should not Obama Care have to the same? 

*Do away with the Congressional Budget Office since they cannot be objective with figures (they are supposed to be neutral but have proven several times lately that the CBO is very tainted).

FOOTNOTE:
*Tax Payers Rights
not: ACLU; Labor Unions; Foreign Countries, etc.  The ACLU, Labor Unions and other groups should not “trump” the average taxpayer of the United States.  These groups have caused the United States to go from #1 in many fields of opportunity down toward the bottom of even some of the 3rd World countries.  If these groups think they are needed in the United States then why don’t they go to the 3rd World countries and reform them.  These groups should leave us taxpayers alone and go overseas with their idiotic ideas.

P. S.  I personally challenge the Federal Government to try these mentioned measures and then tell me that I am wrong.

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The points my Dad made are just basic, common sense. He is not college educated. He is life educated! Real world experience allows you to fail, which gives you the opportunity to pick yourself back up, allowing for success. It’s quite obvious that common sense is non-existent in Washington and State governments, or you would have seen these common sense, basic concepts implemented years ago!

I believe a lot could be accomplished if the things my Dad took a common sense approach to in his notes above were to be implemented in addressing our National Budget crisis. As my Dad stated in the beginning of his notes, in our personal budgets we do not spend more than we bring home or we have disaster! This is one of the first, basic lessons my parents taught me. I am very grateful that they did, because for me, this is just the way things are done.

If this concept would have been implemented in our National Budget, things would most certainly be different today. We have proof of this in the housing market. Many people signed papers to purchase a house that was way out of their price range, and now they cannot afford it. A very good friend of mine was pre-approved for a mortgage almost twice what they were comfortable paying. They planned their budget out, knew what they were comfortable paying, and were quite shocked to find out how much they were pre-approved for. Thankfully, they had common sense and did not get into a house that was way more than they could afford. 

I also believe a lot could be learned from mine and my Dad’s relationship. If I had sat down with him years ago and addressed him matter-of-factly, with respect, rather than with a “know-it-all” attitude, maybe he would have realized how he was making me feel. On his part, it would have been a bit more difficult to sit down and address things, because this is one area where we clashed. But if he could have approached things with me from an adult approach rather than a Father-Daughter approach, I believe we could have “nipped things in the bud”, as Barney Fife used to say, a lot quicker! However, as a Mom I see how that could be quite difficult, especially if your child is not approaching things from a mature, respectful point of view. By both of us being stubborn in each of our approaches, rather than building on our relationship, we were both actively pushing each other further away.

Just one side-note, where his notes are concerned. The one small area I disagree with him on is where he says that a woman should be limited to just 2 children receiving benefits on welfare. You may be surprised to know that I believe that there should be a limit of 1 child on welfare. If you have another child when you are on welfare, you do not qualify for further assistance. If you are following my articles in the Broken System: Foster Care  section on this website, you will start to see in my news few articles why I say this. Am I being heartless? When it comes to the irresponsibility of so-called parents, yes, I am heartless! These countless innocent children are the ones that are paying the price for the adults irresponsibility!  Someone, somewhere, somehow, someway HAS to stand up for these children! It’s called tough love! My parents had to apply tough love to me when they were raising me- and even as a young adult- and at the risk of sounding conceited, I believe I turned out quite well!

Dreams Of A Little Girl Shattered.. Or Are They?

This begins the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is pre-2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

____________________

You were created for a purpose. In fact, each of us was created for a special, unique purpose. Sadly, many of us go through many years of our lives not having a clue what our unique purpose in life is. Unfortunately, too many people never seem to find their unique purpose in life.

If you had told me as little as 4 years ago that my purpose in life was to become intertwined in politics I would have laughed in your face and probably had a few “not so nice” words for you. I absolutely, positively despise politics. I am not a game player, and I see politics as nothing but a huge game at the expense of other people.

I also believe that everything in life that happens, happens for a reason. We may never know why some things happen, but there are other times I believe that it becomes quite evident why something or a series of events happen.

I view my entire life through the lens of believing that every single thing serves a purpose for my specific purpose in life. If I had not lived through the things I have lived through I would not be the person I am. While I am by no means perfect, I am very happy with the woman I have become.

However, it has not always been that way.

I will tell you how it all began… me becoming so intertwined in the very thing I detest so much- politics. This is a very personal and painful story that has spun into what has now become a life-long commitment to shed light on and change a system that is completely broken.

There are a couple of things that most every little girl dreams of. The first is her wedding day. Before she learns to walk in high heels, it is quite likely that she has planned her wedding down to the tiniest detail. She knows what her color scheme will be.  She knows what her cake will look like. She knows what her brides maids dresses will look like. And most importantly, she knows what her wedding gown will look like.

It is not important to her at this point that she has no way of knowing the most important detail- who her groom will be.

Nor is it important to her that she has not given this man, who she has most likely not even met at this point in her young little life, the opportunity to make choices on their very special day.

The wedding day is, of course, all about what the bride wants, right?

Another day that most every little girl dreams of is the day she becomes a mommy. From the earliest age we are given baby dolls so we can prepare to be the best little mother in the entire world!

As a child, my favorite toy was my baby dolls. I was never one to play with Barbie Dolls. In fact, I do not believe I ever owned a Barbie. However, I had countless baby dolls. My dollies and I would play for hours, lost in our little world of make-believe.

I was an odd mixture of a child. I was one who always wanted to be grown up way before my time. And yet, I was perfectly content to play with my dolls, lost in a world that disappears from us way too quickly- childhood.

I crossed over the bridge from being a child to a lady way too young. From the very beginning I had numerous problems that have lasted me my entire lifetime.

When I was about 20-years-old I first heard about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I read a magazine article, and they listed all of the symptoms. I had every single symptom! I copied the article and took it to my doctor. She tested me, and told me that no, I did not have it. At the time, very little was known about PCOS. I thought I had the answer, only to be shot down again.

Over the years, I honestly cannot tell you how many doctors I have seen. I am what some would call an anomaly. If there’s a strange health issue, more than likely, I have it. I do exaggerate here, and honestly, I do thank God for my good health. Though I have many issues, I know I could have it a lot worse. So, though I have seen many different doctors, for various different reasons over my lifetime, most of the time my doctor visits centered around the parts of my body that define me as a woman rather than simply a human.

When I was in my early 20’s I was diagnosed with Human Papaloma Virus (HPV). At the time, I was mortified! It is a sexually transmitted disease. It was not until many years later that I would discover that nearly 80% of the population has HPV- and many do not even know they have it.

After it was discovered that I had HPV I began the treatment. There are no words to express the pain involved in the treatment of HPV. I’ve had several different procedures over the years. The first treatment was freezing. They froze my cervix. And then they thawed it out. And then froze it again. And then they thawed it out again. Quite honestly, I cannot tell you what else is involved in the procedure. I know there is something else, but I do not remember. I believe I’ve had the freezing procedure done twice. This procedure is not only painful during the process of the procedure, but the aftermath is almost as bad.

Later, I had the CONE Procedure. This procedure requires that they cut a cone-shaped piece of your cervix out. You only have a local anesthesia. As with the freezing, not only is it very painful during the procedure, but it is also very painful during the healing process as well.

I ended up moving to another state, and had to find another doctor. So the search began yet again.

I went to see a doctor that had been recommended to me. I had such a bad experience with her that I swore I would never go back to another gynecologist.

By this point in my life, I have had so many bad experiences with doctors that I cannot recount them all. This last was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as the saying goes. I finally said enough. No more. I refuse to put my legs up in stir-ups for anyone else! Man or woman, it didn’t matter.

But with the issues I have had over the years, I should have known I would never be able to stick to my word.

When I was in my early 30’s I began having severe pains in my abdomen. I tried to dismiss the pains, but eventually they got so bad that a friend and my husband ganged up on me and insisted that I go to the doctor. I am very thankful that they did, because this doctor diagnosed me with endometriosis. I had to have surgery to address that issue.

After the surgery, I had to be put on medication to put me in chemical menopause for 6 months. I was told exactly what to expect. But in reality, there is no way you can fully grasp what is going to happen. Thankfully, I was prescribed what we called “Happy Pills” during this time. If not, my already bald husband would have been pulling out the stubble. It was no fun at all- for either of us, or anyone that spent any time at all around me.

It was probably around this time in my life where I began to truly feel less of a ________.

You can fill in the blank with many different words. The first word was “woman”. I felt like I was not truly a woman. Not only had I never had children, but now I was going through menopause. Keep in mind I was well informed that the treatment would only last for 6 months, and then I would be off of the medication and have a normal cycle again. I felt less of a person because I could not lose the weight that I needed to lose. 

I am sure at this point you are wondering where my rational thinking was. That’s the point. I was not rational at all.

 I have spoken to other women who have gone through chemical menopause, and the reaction is wide and varied. Mine seems to be one of the most extreme experiences. One of my friends had very little change mentally or emotionally when she had to have the same treatment.

After completing the 6 months of chemical menopause, we began to try to have children. Previously, we had not tried to prevent pregnancy, but it had not been a consistent calendaring of events.

This is where the real fun begins.

After several months of actively trying to conceive, with no results, I went back to the doctor. My doctor told me there was nothing more he could do to help me, I had to help myself. He told me that the endometriosis was taken care of, so the only problem I was having in conceiving was that I needed to lose weight. This would solve the problem.

Almost in tears, I asked him how to do that. His next words infuriated me beyond words. “Just don’t eat so much”. I had to clamp my mouth shut before I went off right there in the office. Sure, he had no problems. He was very fit and slender. It was quite obvious he had not struggled a day in his life with weight issues. And not only that, my husband is very slender and eats twice as much as I do, if not more!

Since he did not feel that he could help me any further, he referred me to his colleague, who is a fertility specialist. Thankfully, I did not open my mouth and say the things that were on the tip of my tongue, because the referral was the beginning of a lot of answers for me.

I was very leery to go to my first appointment with yet another doctor. I could not tell you what number this one was.

When I met the new doctor, at once I was put at ease. He was not slender. He is a plump little man with a smile that warms the room and my heart. He has the bedside manner that I have always dreamt of. During the very first visit, I told him exactly what his colleague had told me and how I felt about him. His response was not at all what I imagined. He said, “Well, yes, losing weight may definitely help- not in just conceiving a child, but in a healthier life. But that may not be the complete answer. As you can see, I need to lose weight too. So, I’ll lose 10 pounds if you’ll lose 10 pounds.” Immediately I was at ease.

Now, honestly, neither of us lost the 10 pounds. But to have him treat me as a person with feelings rather than him ridiculing me made all the difference in the world.

The first thing he did was run a complete battery of blood test. I had told him that I had all the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), but they had told me for years that I do not. He looked over my information and agreed that yes, I had every single symptom. When the test results came back, it showed up as negative for PCOS. I started crying, right there on the examining table as he talked to me. He immediately started patting my hand. He assured me that he was going to do the test again. He saw the issues, and was not giving up. So, when the second set of test results came back negative, he told me not to worry, he was going to treat me for PCOS no matter the test results. By this time, he had performed a vaginal sonogram and could actually physically see the cysts on my ovaries with the sonogram. So he diagnosed me, even though the blood test was saying I didn’t have it. This is what makes the difference between a doctor and a good doctor. He actually listened to me! I cannot tell you how many doctors over the years have just shoved me out of the office with a more nutritious eating plan.

I will not tell you I eat the healthiest. But, over the years, numerous times I have made many concerted efforts to eat right, exercise, and lose the weight. Every single time I failed. If I actually lost weight, I would gain it back almost immediately if I ate anything not on the plan. Or, there were even times when I gained weight rather than lost weight, while eating healthier and exercising. Yes, I do realize that muscle weighs more than fat, but I did not gain that much muscle mass in that small period of time. After a while, it becomes very discouraging. You see the scales going up. You are making better decisions in what you eat. And you have no real success. So why try? And you go ahead and eat the unhealthy stuff anyways. It becomes a vicious cycle.

To have someone listen to me, to know that maybe, just maybe, after all these years, there may be some answers, I was excited beyond belief! Yes, it means I am sick. Yes, it means I will have to take medication- possibly for the rest of my life- but hey, it is answers! I’ve gone 15 years or more with absolutely no answers and more frustrations.

It was interesting to find out that the medication that is used to treat PCOS is diabetes medication. Though I am not diabetic, PCOS affects the amount of insulin that is absorbed by your body. When I started the medication, I had a few small side effects but nothing major. It was during this time that my husband and I decided we wanted to go full-scale in trying to conceive a child. So in addition to the PCOS medication, I also started taking fertility medication. Once again, we got on a merry-go-around ride of up-and-down emotions.

After about a year on my medication for PCOS, it suddenly started making me violently ill. My doctor changed my medication and I was on this medication with no problems at all for almost 2 years. Then I started having problems again. I was still taking the fertility drugs as well.

The fertility medication had to be taken at a certain time each month- depending on when your cycle starts. After you finish the medication, you have to go into the doctor’s office to have a sonogram. Depending on what the sonogram shows depends on what you do next. If the follicles are a certain size, you are ready to proceed. If they are not to a certain size, you have to wait a day or so, and go have another sonogram done.

Add to this that your sex-life is no longer determined by when the mood strikes you and your spouse, you now watch the calendar. You count days. You know when you “have” to have sex in order to conceive. It does not make for a romantic setting, to say the least.  While my husband and I have always had a very healthy sex life with no complaints on either side, it became a dreaded thing when we had to schedule sex for the sole purpose of having a child. The enjoyment seems to disappear when you both know that in the back of your mind you are wondering if this is going to be the time you are finally successful.

Studies have proven that the most sexual organ of our body is our mind. If our mind is not there, then you are simply going through the motions. I never truly understood this until we had to schedule our love life. While previously, a phone-call inviting a noon-time rendezvous was very exciting, it now became a burden for both of us. It was not at all that we did not enjoy being with each other anymore. We both just knew that the purpose of our love-making was very specific during these appointments.

Needles to say, this process becomes quite expensive very quickly. Most health insurance policies do not cover fertility treatments, so this comes out of your pocket. In less than 6 months we spent almost $10,000.

I have had people ask me why we have gone through so much to have children. If you are one of those people who are very blessed, and you can conceive without any difficulty, then there is no possible way you can understand. If you have not walked in these shoes, there is no way you can know the emotional agony.

When my husband proposed to me I told him there was no way I could marry him, because I knew there was a big possibility I would not be able to have children due to all my medical problems. He is the most genuine, most matter-of-fact, most black-and-white view of things people I’ve ever met. I had seen him interact with children, and I had heard him talk about spending time with his nieces and nephews, so I knew he loved children. I still tease him to this day that I think he wanted to be a father before he wanted to be a husband.

When I told him that I did not know if I could have children, his response was that there is always adoption. That thought had never occurred to me with him, because it was not an option at all in my first marriage.

Even with the thought that we could adopt a child, I still saw it as impossible because we are not wealthy people. By this point we had spent well over $12,000 or more in our quest to become parents. I knew that adoptions were not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

One of every little girl’s dreams for me had been shattered. I was not going to be a mommy. Or… was I? Sometimes things are not always as they seem.

Little did I know that lives were about to take a dramatic turn.

____________________

The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: A Missed Message

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

Exposing Obama For The Liar He Is

I just read an article in The Wall Street Journal reporting on President Obama’s response to Representative Paul Ryan’s budget. Here is a quote from the article:

“The speech he chose to deliver was dishonest even by modern political standards”.

It is pretty much a “given” that politicians cannot be trusted. However, for a major news source to go on record with the quote above I would have to say that Obama pretty much takes the cake in the deceit category!

I literally get sick to my stomach when Obama comes on TV. Oh, laugh if you will- I am not exaggerating! One thing that I absolutely detest is a liar! I know from personal experience how it can- and will- destroy a person!

When he makes what has become almost a daily appearance on TV I cannot get to the remote fast enough to change the channel! By the way- a little side note/question- what is up with this narcissistic man? He’s on TV more than the paid news anchors that are supposedly reporting the news!

All too often, before I can get to the remote to get his smug face off of my TV, I am subjected to his lies. It has gotten to the point that his voice literally makes me cringe! So it is in these moments that I have to vent my frustration- my mouth flies open, and I cannot help but yell out at the TV- “You LIE!” Over time, it’s become, “Liar, liar pants on fire!”

When I saw this article today in The Wall Street Journal I started laughing. No, not a hysterical, funny laugh…. But instead, a sad, disturbed laugh.

What is the point? Do they honestly believe the lies they spew? Not just Obama, but all of these politicians? And the next question- the most important question- why do so many still believe anything that comes out of Washington?

I looked up the term “Liar, liar pants on fire” in the event that I needed to give credit to someone. While it is a well-known saying, I wanted to see if there was a “behind the saying story” that would hit the nail on the head, so to speak, in my thoughts.

There is no dispute where the paraphrase comes from- a poem, which was written in  1810 titled “The Liar” by William Blake.

What I found is quite amusing- again, not in a funny way, but in a sad and disturbing way. It’s funny how something written 200 years ago can be so fitting today!

I am not going to quote the entire thing, but you if you like to read it, you can find it here.

What red devil of mendacity
Grips your soul with such tenacity?”

“What internal serpent

Has lent you his forked tongue?

From what pit of foul deceit

Are all these whoppers sprung?

Deceiver, dissembler.”

I am sure you have heard the rumblings and questions of, “Could Obama possibly be the Antichrist?” While I do not personally believe that he is the Antichrist, I have to say reading these lines from the poem really made me stop and think for a second or two. Without a doubt I believe there is a quality of evil that surrounds him. Now, I know- there will be leftists who will attack me on this. So be it. It is what it is. I cannot change the way I perceive something. His actions are all the proof I need!

From the very beginning of him stepping onto the scene I have sensed something about him. There are many pictures of him that just look plain evil! I am a firm believer that the eyes are the window to the soul. I believe who you truly are is reflected in the depths- or shallowness- of your eyes.

There are a few pictures of Obama that have given me the most eerie feeling. It’s as if there is nothing but darkness behind his eyes- the window to Obama’s soul.

Satan is the Father of Lies (John 8:44). Anyone who is entangled in the sin of lying is following Satan. So for those of you who want to cast stones at me- I will make no apologies. The Bible is my reference for everything in life. So I speak not only of President Obama, but of any and all people who speak lies. Lies are from the pits of hell!

Interesting that this poem that was written 200 years ago speaks of liars having a devil gripping their soul [there we go again with the soul]; it speaks of the internal serpent with a forked tongue from the pits of deceit; and the final explanation of a deceiver.  Very interesting indeed, when you look at the parallels between this poem and President Obama!

While I disbelieve almost everything from our elected officials in Washington- Democrats and Republicans alike- I do most assuredly believe that President Obama takes the cake! I find it very interesting that now, The Wall Street Journal, one of the most respected newspapers in print, is coming out and publicly saying it.

At the very bottom of the source I quoted above for the origin of the saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire”, it says that it is recommended that the phrase be shouted when someone has said something with insufficient truth value. Without a doubt this applies to President Obama! I cannot think of a single thing that has come out of his mouth that I actually believe! So it is with great anger and sadness that I shout, “Mr. Obama- Liar, liar, pants on fire!!!!!”

With a noteworthy source such as The Wall Street Journal shining the light of truth on the enormity of the lies coming out of President Obama’s mouth- the article even stated that his speech was “toxic”- I wonder how long it is going to take for the main stream media to wake up! Oh, wait a minute! Never mind. I know that will never happen! They have bought into his lies and believe the great illusion that is now the President of The United States of America! God help us all! Seriously, God- please help us all! You truly are the ONLY Hope we have! The toxicity of this man is unparalleled in the history of this great nation! He is bent on destroying all that we represent and stand for as a nation! Barack Obama’s words truly are vile, destructive… and yes, toxic!

Bible Scripture References on Satan:
Genesis 3:1-7
Genesis 3:14-15
Job 1:6-12
Job 2:1-7
Isaiah 14:12-15
John 8:44
2 Corinthians 4:4
2 Corinthians 11:3
Ephesians 6:11-18
James 4:7
1 Peter 5:8-9 Revelation 12:9-10
Revelation 20:10

Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

To say that our Foster Care system is broken is a gross understatement. Whether it is the actual Child Protective Service agency, the individual case workers, the judges deciding the cases, foster parents, or the law itself is hard to pinpoint. I would venture to say it is most likely all of these factors combined.

My main question is this: who hears the voice of the children? Or more especially, who speaks for the children? It should be all of the people above: CPS, case workers, foster parents, judges and the law.

But more often than not, no one is taking that position.

We have judges that care more about the rights of the “parents” than the rights of the voiceless children.

You are probably asking yourself why the Foster Care system is something I care so much about. Am I a product of “The System”? No, I was never in Foster Care. However, all five of my children were. Please note that I said “were”. Thankfully, we have made it to the other side of the Foster Care system and our adoptions were finalized on all 5 of our children the summer of 2009.

Through our journey to have a family, my husband and I learned more than I ever would have imagined about the Foster Care System. When we started the process I wanted one child. My husband talked me into committing to adopting two children. One day in prayer God spoke to my heart and told me He was preparing us to have five children. I literally laughed out loud at God. Just a note of warning for you…. Don’t ever laugh at God!

Our journey is amazing- one I would not change for anything in this world! Yes, there have been many tears shed through this process. There have been many broken hearts. But there have also been countless blessings on this journey.

We have been asked if we plan to adopt any more. I do not have plans for that, but I leave that decision to God. He knows the plans He has for me and my husband (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have also been told that I cannot save the world.

I agree. I can’t save the world- only Jesus can do that! However, I know that I can change the world! I believe God has a plan to use me and my husband- our journey- His story lived out through our lives- to shine the light of truth on the atrocities that go on in the Foster Care System.

I am committed to giving a voice to the voiceless. These children have no one to be their voice. Oh yes, there are the occasional CPS Case Workers, judges, foster parents, teachers, or other people who have come into the lives of these children. But all too often these children “slip through the cracks” of the system.

One day it is my goal to stand before Congress and be the voice for these children. Laws need to be changed. Accountability needs to be set in place for anyone who has contact with these children that have been entrusted to the care of the state. This system is broken and someone MUST stand up and demand that it be fixed!

As of September 30, 2009, there were 423,773 children in foster care. This is the latest official number available. (Source: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report17.htm )

Currently, there are approximately 115,000 children in the United States Foster Care system waiting to be adopted. (Source: http://www.adoptuskids.org/resourceCenter/aboutTheChildren.aspx )

These statistics are astounding to me!

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So through the pain and anguish, heartache and anger of our journey, the joy is most definitely worth it! And in the process a passion has been lit inside my soul to be a voice for the hundreds of thousands of children who I cannot bring home and adopt.

As a Conservative leaning Libertarian I am often disgusted and appalled at the Liberal agenda. The common argument is that Conservatives have no heart for the poor and needy. Liberals argue that because as a Conservative I want to cut the Federal Budget to the barest minimum I have no heart. I would challenge anyone who says these things to stop expecting the government to help the needy and step up and help them yourself! If you truly care so much about those in need, show them you care, do not “trust” the government to take care of the needy! And as you can see from the statistics there are many lives that need help! Where are all those bleeding heart liberals? These children need all of us to speak up for them and take action! This is our future we are talking about! 

I invite you to come along on this journey with me. It does not matter to me if you are Conservative, Liberal, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, straight or gay. If you dare to follow me on this journey, prepare yourself. At times you will be angry. Other times you will cry. Occasionally, you will smile, or even laugh. However, those times are rare in “The System”.

I will share our family story so that you will have a small glimpse into the darkness that truly exists. I pray that God will allow His Light to shine through me- our story- to change the world for these voiceless children. My prayer is that through our lives you will add your voice to mine. These children need to be heard!

Will you join me? Together, we can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children!

____________________

The story begins: Dreams Of A Little Girl Shattered… Or Are They?

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

An Open Letter To All Senators, Congressmen and Governors

It’s The Simple Things In Life

I never imagined that a simple morning adventure with my 3-year-old would send me into such a whirlwind of nostalgia and fear for our country all at the same time. But this morning, that is exactly what happened.

I walked downstairs, went into the kitchen, and what I saw made my heart skip a beat. Then two beats. I vaguely remember telling myself to just breathe. In the middle of my kitchen floor was the carton of eggs.

I had just run upstairs for just a minute. Literally, I had only been upstairs for about one minute. I was in the middle of making brunch for the family while my husband ran to the store to get a few items. I was making pancakes, and had cracked the eggs I needed, dropped them into the bowl, and ran upstairs. One minute later, upon returning downstairs to complete my task, my routine was shattered.

I knew it was my 3-year-old who had put the carton of eggs on the floor because the older children were upstairs doing chores. He had been watching cartoons when I ran upstairs, and when I came back downstairs, he was still in the living room watching cartoons. That means that in a very short amount of time, he was in the kitchen, eggs were on the floor, he had heard me coming back downstairs and had high-tailed it back to where he was “supposed” to be all along!

Now, honestly- the fact that the carton of eggs was on the floor was no big deal. That’s just a fact of life with a 3-year-old. They are going to get into things. I was also quite astonished to realize not a single egg was cracked! They were still neatly in the carton, sitting all nice and pretty in the middle of the kitchen floor. Well- that is, the eggs that were still there!

Upon quickly counting, I realized that there were 5 eggs missing from the carton. I had opened a brand new carton, used 2 eggs, there were 5 eggs sitting very nice and pretty in the carton. This is what made me panic! Where were the eggs? I don’t think he remembers the Easter egg hunt from the last 2 years, but hey, how do we know what those little minds remember?

We’ve been talking about Easter- the Real Meaning of Easter, Passover- and we’ve talked about the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs. Does he remember? Did he hide the eggs- raw eggs- all over the house?

I start searching for the eggs. I ask him- very sweetly- where he had put them. He told me all about it. The only problem is I have no idea what he said! He talks fairly well on some things, but when he goes into a “long story”- you get a word here or there, maybe!

I asked him to show me where he put the eggs. He just continued his beautiful little baby babble. Oh, how I love that baby babble! I really do! But…. I can’t find the eggs!

Now, if you are wondering why in the world I was so upset that the eggs were missing, I promise you it has nothing to do with the cost of the eggs. If that were the only issue I would have laughed it off and gone on with cooking brunch.

Have you ever smelled a rotten egg? If you have, you know without even asking why this was a very big deal! If you have not, let me just say a rotten egg is the worst smell you can ever smell. And that’s ONE egg! Now, imagine FIVE rotten eggs! If I didn’t find these eggs we would have to end up moving out of the house when they started rotting!

I searched in his little shopping cart, thinking maybe he decided to “go shopping” and put the eggs in his basket.

I searched the trash can.

I searched the bathroom.

I searched the corners of the kitchen.

I searched in the refrigerator.

I searched in the sink.

I saw no evidence- anywhere- of broken eggs. I couldn’t imagine how in the world my little rambunctious, all-boy could have put eggs somewhere without leaving a drop of evidence trailed behind him. But he had.

I decided to just go about my task of making brunch, and when my husband got home we would search together. So I went back to the kitchen, praying the entire way. I picked up my spatula to start stirring my pancake batter. That’s when I saw them. Sitting very nice and neatly in the bowl of other ingredients were five eggs. I heard my son behind me just babbling away. I turned around and saw the sweetest smile I have ever seen looking back at me! Through his babbles I heard, “See, mommy, I help!”

And my heart melted!

I picked him up, snuggled him close, giggled with him, and thanked him for his help. I reminded him that Mommy should always be with him if he is going to help with the cooking. He smiled again, said ok, and wanted down to be along with his day.

If you are a parent you know that kids grow up way too fast. My oldest is 9-years-old now, and my heart aches with how fast she is growing up. Her childhood is slipping away too quickly for me, and not fast enough for her. I cling to every single simple moment in life with my children. Too much of our time is spent on homework, doing “new math” that makes absolutely no sense at all. Kids are no longer allowed to just be kids. By the time they enter Kindergarten they want them to know how to read! When I was a child we had a 20 minute recess, twice a day, in addition to our lunch time. Now, my children have a 15 minute recess- one recess a day.  My… how times have changed, and not so much for the better!

My heart aches, not only because I want to keep my kids as young as possible, as long as possible, but also because I do not know what their future holds. Oh, I know… none of us know what the future holds on anything! However, I never imagined that I would have to worry for my children’s future in regards to the country I know and love.

If you had told me that the country I grew up in would change so drastically in my lifetime I would have told you there was no way in hell that would ever happen! I would have told you that too many people love this country and all she stands for to allow that to happen! But I would have been wrong. I see now how complacent so many of us have been over the years. Yes, I said us!

I cannot point fingers as anyone around me without having 4 pointing back at me. I never imagined that my complacency with the way things were would come back to haunt me as it is now. As I said in the beginning of this article, I never imagined that a simple morning adventure with my 3-year-old would send me into such a whirlwind of nostalgia and fear for this country all at the same time. How long will our few moments of care-free life on a Sunday morning be possible when things are moving so rapidly to bring about “change” that so few of us want?

I wasted so many years with my head stuck in the sand. I hated politics. In fact, I still hate politics! My husband is a Political-Science major and tries to “educate” me all the time about the ways of politics. I could care less, honestly! I am sick and tired of the games that these people play- on all sides! Where is the common sense? It certainly does not reside in Washington!  I am involved now because I know I have to be involved! However, I still absolutely detest the games that politicians play!

While I did not agree with a lot of things that President Bush did in office, I honestly was not involved enough to know what was going on. I am sure had I been more involved and aware I would have liked less than what I know now. I do know that President Bush’s education plan of “No Child Left Behind” is an absolute and complete failure! “New Math” is just the tip of the iceberg of this epic fail program/slogan/farce!

However, when President Obama was elected the entire world changed. Literally! No longer were we seen as a country that commanded respect by our very existence. Now, the so-called leader of the Free World bowed to every other leader. No, I have absolutely no problem with showing respect to other leaders, but bowing before them? Now, rather than speaking of the greatness of America, our “leader” apologizes for our exceptionalism, and even denies that we are exceptional! Now, do I see us- as a people- better than others? Absolutely, positively not! However, with every fiber of my being, from the very depths of my soul, I know that God has shed His grace on America, The Beautiful! I will not apologize for God’s grace and blessings! However, I am very sad that I have been complacent with how blessed I am to live in a land so very blessed by the hand of God Almighty! I am ashamed that I have wasted so much time protecting the ideals and values that I hold so dear because “politics” did not interest me. Now I fight- night and day- every waking moment- to protect the blessings that God has bestowed on this nation. Our freedoms are slipping away more and more every day.

But in the words of William Wallace- “They may take my life, but they will NEVER take my FREEDOM!”

I will not just lie down and allow this nation to be overtaken by people who do not see America as the beautiful land of opportunity that she is. I look at my five children and my heart aches to know that they already live in a mere shadow of the beautiful nation I grew up in.

Yes, it was simply a carton of eggs in the middle of the kitchen floor with 5 missing eggs that brought on this emotional, nostalgic piece. It truly is the simple things in life that mean the most. It is for my children’s future that I fight night and day for the country I know and love. I remember her well- and I will not give her up without a fight to the death! Too much is at stake.

Tired of Having To Choose The Lesser of Two Evils

I believe we are living in a very unique time in history. Yes, I believe every point in history has its unique purpose, but I believe that there are certain times that stand out more than others.

A great example of a time in our history that stands out more than other times is the years leading up to the Civil War and the actual war itself. Events happened in those years that truly define much of who we are as a nation. Many lives were lost, much blood was shed and many tears were cried, but the painfulness of the events of the time is not without a reason.

While it is completely different circumstances, I believe current times are going to be just as defining. While many have predicted that we very well may end up in another Civil War, it is my fervent prayer that this does not happen. I hope and pray we are able to get our country back on the road to recovery without a war between our fellow citizens.

Our nation is a unique situation among other countries in the way our government is established. The idea is that if we are not happy with the way things are going in our government we simply vote out those that are not listening to the voice of We The People.  Unfortunately, there are several contributing factors that are threatening this process.

We have heard countless situations of what I consider “questionable” results. Whether it is reports of electronic voting booth fraud or dead people voting it is obvious that we must be vigilant to ensure the voting process is not corrupted. Unfortunately, I believe it may be too late in some cases.

Then there is the issue of the political parties. The Democrats and Republicans have become nothing more than opposite sides of the same coin. Its politics as usual, no matter what party is in control. This beautiful nation has been sold out from under us- the citizens of America- at the hands of the Democrat and Republican leaders who have been elected to office to represent We The People- not the special interest of the month!

Because of the same ole politics as usual game, many people are challenging the typical two-party system of Republican and Democrats. Hence, the Tea Party.

I believe the upcoming 2012 election is going to be one of the most defining moments in the history of America. If the Republicans and Independent/Tea Party leaders who were elected to office in this past elected start compromising the values of Conservative Americans they are going to find that there is a force to be reckoned with in the Tea Party. We The People have had enough of being told one thing during campaign speeches and then seeing a completely different scene play out before us when these candidates are elected to represent us!

There was a time in recent history that many people would not have voted for a third party candidate because they felt their vote would be wasted, thus splitting the votes for the Republican or Democrat they would have voted for as an alternative.

I believe we are living in much different times, now. I believe we have reached a point in time that requires we forget about strategy. We must vote our convictions and let the vote’s fall where they may. Voting by strategy instead of convictions of our heart and principles is the reason we are at the point we are at. We have to stand up for what we believe in. Even if we do not win, we have to face ourselves in the mirror.

I do not like being in the position to have to vote for “the lesser of two evils”. I am absolutely done with that! In the 2008 Presidential election I was very seriously considering not voting. This goes against absolutely everything I stand for and believe in! However, God had begun to deal with me on compromising my beliefs and principles.

When John McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his Vice-Presidential candidate I got excited! Though she was in politics, she was not the typical politician. She went up against her own party to get rid of the unethical things going on. So, yes, I did vote in the 2008 election. I had to pull the lever for John McCain, but I was not voting for him. In reality, I was voting for Sarah Palin. She was the only reason I could votes with peace in my heart and not feel like I had compromised my values and principles.

Of course they lost, and we have President Barack Obama.

My prayer is that the Republican Party will wise up. But they have sold out the American people that they supposedly represent. I had high hopes when several Tea Party candidates were elected in the 2010 elections. I am still hopeful that they will prove strong and solid in their values and principles, but unfortunately, history has not given me much to hope in.
In reality, I am more disgusted with the Republican Party than I am with the Democratic Party. With the Democratic Party, they do not claim to be Conservative. They are up-front with who they are and what they stand for, on some level (don’t get me wrong, I am not at all saying that I trust them!). But the Republican Party claims to stand for Conservative Values, but they vote and live their lives in a totally different way. This is hypocritical!

And then there is the Tea Party movement. While the main stream media and the White House and other Democrats downplay the movement, there is a fire storm brewing in this nation. We are tired of corrupt politicians- on both sides of the fence. We The People are tired of having to vote for “the lesser of two evils”!
Each day that passes We The People are growing more and more weary. Some who were elected say they have heard our voice. Others have discounted us. And yet, others mock us.
Make no mistake- we WILL NOT be silenced!

REMEMBERING THE AMERICA I KNOW AND LOVE

While in a discussion this morning on Twitter, some very deep, real and haunting realizations hit me. Many people may disagree, but I honestly believe the generation of today has it much worse off than we had it as kids. The strange thing is that, being not even 38 years old, I am not what I would consider old.

I chuckle to myself when I think back to the age-old stories of parents telling their kids, “You think you have it bad? When I was your age I had to walk five miles to school- uphill both ways!” And for added kicks and giggles, there was the occasional, “…. and in the snow!”.  Now, I am sure there are people out there that this was indeed true for, but for the majority of people who have told similar stories this is a drastic exaggeration.

I’m sure it was a stern, yet loving reminder to us that we should be grateful for the blessings of the life we have had.

Yes indeed, I was truly blessed beyond measure in my childhood! While I experienced many adversities – many more, the older I got- I still knew that I was indeed very blessed! Oh, this does not mean that I did not complain about my life! But I am sure most children have!

Oh, what I would give for my children to know the America I grew up in! It was not perfect by any means, but I never doubted that I was safe. Yes, as adults, we realize that the definition of “safe” is very subjective. We can walk outside tomorrow and be hit by a car. But in the overall realm of things, as a child, I had the strongest of confidences that I was safe.

Throughout the history of this nation there have been wars and the threat of war. During the “Cold War” specifically, the fear of a nuclear bomb compelled “Duck and Cover” drills. What I find odd is if a nuclear bomb goes off, what in the world is that flimsy little desk going to protect the children from? There we go again with the meanderings of my mind!

Strangely enough, I do not ever recall saying to my children, “You think you have it bad?! When I was growing up……”

What I have said, instead, is, “Oh how I wish you knew the America I knew and love from when I was growing up!”

There is a distinct difference in my tone and meaning from the other statement that we chuckle about.

When I was a child, The Pledge of Allegiance was part of our everyday life. Just last week I saw this news article:
Pledge of Allegiance Returns To NYC School After Parents Complain Daughter Has No Idea What It Is

Now, thankfully, I know for certain that my children do say The Pledge of Allegiance every morning at their school. However, to know that it has become common and acceptable to not say The Pledge of Allegiance every day saddens me greatly! To know that there are children today who have no clue what The Pledge of Allegiance is not only saddens me, but angers me as well!

As I sit here reminiscing about my childhood, I remember going outside to play, riding my bike around the neighborhood, going over to my friend’s house to play or them coming to my house to play. Things are just not the same in today’s society. The America we live in today is so drastically different! In today’s America, though my family lives in a gated community, there is absolutely no way I would allow my children to be out in the front playing without my supervision as we did when we were kids. I do see kids out playing with no adults around, but there is no way I would allow my children to freely roam the neighborhood- even in our gated community- where the crime rate is relatively low compared to many other areas. This is not the America I knew and love. Times are just too different from when I grew up!

Some will say that because of modern conveniences, our children have no idea how good they have it. In one sense, maybe this is the case. However, for me, I see it the opposite way. I believe that because of the modern conveniences our children have no idea how good it used to be!

When I was a child people could actually escape the “rat race” of life. Since there were no cell phones, if you were having a relaxing day with the family away from home, you could not be reached. Now, family outings are regularly interrupted by the chirping of a cell phone- or in many cases- several cell phones! We wonder how we ever made it without these “luxuries”, yet I look back fondly on these times. This is the America I knew and love!  Yes, it does make life “easier” to be able to contact someone at the touch of a button no matter where you are at. But what have we have sacrificed to have that convenience?

This generation has the sum of human knowledge at their fingertips with the internet. They have access to anything their hearts desire. But at what expense do they have these things? The accepted definition of a “family” has been so distorted that it really means nothing to so many these days. Or, if it does mean something it is a negative definition rather than a positive, loving definition in their life.

Because this generation has life “so much easier” with modern technology, the very sad thing is that in reality their lives have become so much harder because they do not know the true meaning of sacrifice. They do not know the true meaning of saving up for something that they want. The majority of today’s kids see something they want and it is theirs. We have sacrificed our children in the process of trying to make life easier for them.

Life is not easy. We learn life’s lessons through the rough times. If all of life was a breeze and beautiful and happy how are we to ever grow?

Our children’s generation- the kids of today- are overwhelming spoiled and rude. Does this mean there is no hope for us or that I do not see many kids with positive things going for them in their lives? No, not at all!  What I do find sad, however, is how often my children are complimented on how very well behaved they are. I am sure you are wondering why this would make me sad. Most parents would be extremely happy that the good behavior of their children is noticed. Yes… I am very proud of my children! While they are by no means perfectly behaved, they do know that they have expectations of how they should act- both in public, and at home. If they do not abide by the boundaries set for them, there are consequences.  But what makes me sad about the fact that my children are so often complimented on their good behavior is that this is no longer considered “normal”. For me, this is just what was expected of me as a child. Did I always obey my rules and boundaries? Absolutely not! But when I disobeyed I knew there would be consequences! This was the way it was for almost everyone I knew.  This is the America I knew and love. Too often in today’s society children have no consequences for their bad behavior. We are teaching them that bad behavior is rewarded. And we wonder why this nation is in the condition it is in? Teaching starts in the home. Unlike what Hillary Clinton’s book touts, it does not take a village to raise a child! It takes loving, involved, disciplined parents! Yes, many other people are involved, but it does not take an entire village to raise that child. That is the responsibility of the parents alone. Now, so many people expect that the government is going to take care of their children. So they do see that it takes the village to raise their children. The government is their village.

It makes me wonder how, with all of the modern medical knowledge and psychological knowledge and advances that have been made, why are we so backwards in our thinking? Why have we not corrected this wrong way of viewing things? But rather than correcting things we tend to be going to the more extreme as a nation. We do not want to hurt the little feelings of a child, so we give everyone who signs up for an activity a trophy whether they participated or not. If you notice I did not say anything about the winners and losers getting a trophy. We have now moved past that. If the kids name is on the list they have to be included in awards so they feel good about themselves!

We are not supposed to tell our children no when they want something because that will also hurt their feelings! And what in the world would we ever do with children who are not happy about something? I mean, come on! They might throw a temper tantrum or something!

So our children now grow up thinking that anything they want they can have and everyone is rewarded no matter how hard they try.

That makes me so very sad. I can’t complain about how hard life was for me, because in the hands of God, those hard times helped to make me the woman I am today. I can only pray that my husband and I are able to raise our children with enough of the view of the America we knew and love rather than what America is becoming.

Too often we do not realize the truth in the cliché, “What does not kill me makes me stronger.” While this is a cliché it is so very true. Our adversities are what teach us. Our hard times teach us to be thankful for the good times in our life. Doing without and sacrificing makes us appreciate the many blessings we have in our life. And even for those who have fallen on hard times, we all have blessings we can be thankful for! There is always someone out there who has it harder than we do.

My kids have no idea of the America I grew up in. They have no idea of the America I knew and love. Though I teach them to have pride in their country, that we, as a nation are exceptionally blessed, the attitude of the America they grow up in today is vastly different than the America I grew up in. So many people take for granted the freedoms we are afforded here every day. Yes, it is very true that our freedoms are being eroded away. However, we are still offered opportunities in this country that are not offered anywhere else in the world. My heart aches, not only for the complacency of our nation today, but also for the disdain that so many people have for this beautifully blessed nation. My question for these people who have such disdain for America is this: If you despise her so much, why are you still here? There are many other countries around the world where you can live under socialism or any other form of government you choose.

The reality is those who despise her have no idea what they are doing. They have the freedom to disagree with the government of this nation or people with opposing views. In many other countries you would be killed for much less!

I truly miss the America I grew up in! Until my dying breath I will cling bitterly to my sweet memories of days gone by. I will teach my children to love this country, imperfect as she is! Maybe one day the America I remember and love will be restored once again! I can assure you… I will do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN MY POWER to make that happen-so help me God!

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