Friday, May 31, 2013

Personal Dignity

Last year I was driving and listening to my favorite radio station (KLOVE). At one point someone said something that has lingered in my soul since.

I don't recall the story or the circumstance, but the words still ring in my ears with tremendous importance. The person speaking said: 

"You must be the kind of person your spouse 
and family think you are." ~ Unknown

That resonated because at that time I felt like I was missing the mark in a few different personal relationship areas. It is quite natural to slip into a lull after living on a natural high for so long. 

At some point the human-side takes over for a bit. We all become a bit lax and comfortable when things become "easy." Well I was at that point.

At that moment, I was reminded of a previous blogpost where I addressed this very concept, but from a different vantage point. By the description in that post, I had begun to sink and didn't even know it yet. 

I'm pleased to report that I've picked up my pace and I am now verging on taking my doggie paddle pace into swim-mode again. I know I wouldn't have caught the sinking until much later, had it not been for my personal development efforts keeping me in check.

I know who I am. I know who (I hope) my spouse and family think I am. I sincerely strive to emulate light and courage. I hope that anyone within my reach can come to see just how important and life changing the power of response, visualization, and perspective can be.

Maintaining personal dignity is at the very core of true success. It is about being able to lay your head down at night and rest at ease, knowing you have done your best to stay true to God, your morals, and those closest to you.

When maintaining your personal dignity in this manner, it is much easier to temper and guide your selfish thoughts, passions, and behaviors in the direction of where freedom, love, and honor reside.

This is a little of what I contemplate when I think on the quote: 

"You must be the kind of person your spouse 
and family think you are." ~ Unknown

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Response to A Reader: Adoption, The Financial Side

This entry is a dedicated response to one of my readers who asked me to respond about "the journey of adoption in terms of the process and costs." The comment was posted on It's A Boy! 

Beyond the response below, I would encourage you to contact several different adoption agencies in your area and find the best fit for you. 

Adoption costs are determined by many different factors, just to name a few:

  • Type of agency (church subsidized, private, foster, international).
  • Gender and race of the adopted child.
  • Single or multiple child placement.
  • Adoptive parents annual income.
  • How many lawyers are needed. In our case we actually needed two lawyer offices, because the birth family was in a different state than where we reside.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Birthparent needs.

The process varies as well. I hate to use the phrase "it depends" however, it really does.

I hope this helps in answering your question. Good luck and God bless!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Damn Potato Chips

I was at the store the other day and saw something that made my heart break.

There was a woman. She was about 5'9" and maybe 350lbs. This isn't what made me sad though, it's what I saw next. 

This woman pushed her cart along and at the end cap of the isle she just had walked by, there were a bunch of potato chips on sale. She went from walking resolutely, to an immediate stop. So immediate it made me pay attention to her. It made me wonder what was wrong.

Then with a big inhale, her hands went to her hips. There was an even bigger exhalation as she looked up to the ceiling. The woman's head dropped and her shoulders slouched dramatically. Then she turned to face the wall of chips. 

This woman reached out her hand with a physical emotion of disgust, and then literally threw a bag of chips into her cart. In anger, she walked away.

Standing there, I wanted to cry. 
I know that feeling. I know that surrender. 
I know that fading resolution.

Just a few days later I had my own experience...

There's something wrong about studying a nutrition book and simultaneous feeling a desire to have a danish and a soda. This is what I face though. 

I am an addict. In recovery for sure, but an addict nonetheless. 

In my college days of yesteryear, I was never studying without 32oz of some sort of beverage. If I had a pastry of some kind as well, then I was really on a roll. To me, this action meant I was hunkering down and studying hard.

How many years has it been since then? Oodles! Here I am, after all that time and I still fight these cravings. Now the difference is that I actually care about what I eat and drink. I am more present with my food choices.

Now I study to continue education and improve not just my health, but the health of others. But no sooner did I cracked open my book then did I want a stupid breaded and cream filled delight. Not just one either. It is literally on the level that I should probably have an addiction recovery sponsor to call - absolutely no joke.

I even just read, not many pages ago, that "Americans still drink nearly twice as many carbonated soft drinks per year as either water or milk." (Wardlaw, 6)

The biggest thing I have learned so far is that after all this time and  effort, I am still retraining my brain to a new appetite. My appetites are clearly a textbook "psychological drive to eat" and not an actual physical hunger. (Wardlaw, 7)

As I inhale and exhale, suddenly I wonder if I am slouching. But I am not. I have a choice. I always have and I always will. I do not have to relent to saturated fat, carbonation, and cream filling. 

In fact, I'm shutting down this computer and going for a jog with my little eleven month old buddy, who is currently playing peek-a-boo with the dogs.

Wardlaw, G.M. et al (2013). Contemporary Nutrition A Functional Approach. Third Edition. 6-7.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Overalls After All!

This will be my first Mother's Day. To make it even more awesome, we received our sons amended birth certificate in the mail this week.

I've no doubt that he will struggle with the idea that someone else gave birth to him for us. But he is absolutely ours and for right here and right now, receiving his birth certificate with our names on it completely rocks! 

While I was thinking about this being my first Mother's Day, I remembered buying overalls many years ago. I bought them because I was newly married and excited about the potential to be a mom. I really think that pregnant women look so darn cute in overalls.

My husband and I decided to be married at least a year before trying to have children. However, before that year was done, my husband was deployed with the military. Shortly after he had returned from his deployment I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

After I left the doctors office, I came home and sat fully dressed in an empty bathtub and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. It was a very ugly cry. I still tear up when I think about it. 

I wasn't lamenting the diagnoses, instead I was absolutely crushed because it was at this time that I knew I wouldn't never physically carry a child inside of me.  

The decision to adopt rather than try to carry a child was an overwhelmingly spiritual decision for the benefit of my health. Both my husband and I felt that we shouldn't gamble with how my body would handle pre and post pregnancy.

We do not judge others with how they would have handled the situation. But in our circumstance, the decision was definitely the right move.

So I put my overalls on. I stood and looked at myself in the mirror and then I went outside and pulled some weeds. I wore those darn overalls landscaping our yard. I used the overalls until they were completely worn out. Then I got rid of them.

Just the other day I was getting my son dressed and pulled out some little blue overalls for him that someone gave us. I dressed him up in them and boy did he ever look cute! It was then that I realized I never lost my dream. I got to carry my child wearing overalls.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stopping The Black Hole

I had a communication experience recently that just sucked. It reminded me of a few other similar less effective communication experiences. Sometimes I lose my tact, skill, and timing. Don't we all? 

The most frustrating thing about this is the realization that when I get to a certain level of frustration, I lose my confidence to express myself effectively. I get tongue-tied and typically say the absolute worst and or totally wrong thing

It is at times like this that I revert to the way that the old Diana would respond and I shut down. I withdraw, I hide, I feel discounted and nearly worthless

Then in my isolation I sit in it a bit and let it fester like a sliver that I have no intention of removing, because it might hurt if I do. Great logic, right? 

While dwelling I can actually feel my blood pressure rise. My eyes generally begin to feel moist from tears that are either overflowing or being restrained to a near misting. I don't like this state. 

It is while in this state that the new Diana plays peek-a-boo, by trying to recall that things like this happen and that I should continue to move forward, resolving to do better next time. It is good to understand why it happened and how it happened, but move on.

I'm glad I am no longer the old Diana, because something like this would send me into an isolated melancholy that would take days to emotionally emerge from. Even after that I would have a tip-toe behavior, because of course, it is all my fault and I desperately don't want it to happen again.

I don't like this tap dance of emotions. The dwelling, internal negative splinter, and withdrawal are unhealthy. Combined, it creates nothing but a vacuum of deadly emotions that go no where and fester beyond recognition. 

Like a black hole, this cluster of emotions both pulls, press down, and traps anything within grasp. The emotional black hole creates a burden that is inescapable, if you are too close for too long. This does nothing but create a space that everyone tries to avoid.

The simple truth is that I'm tired. I am bloated. I was feeling a bit selfish and left out. I am physically and emotionally exhausted and uncomfortable. I am human. End result: I let my guard down and said almost all the wrong things. Who hasn't done this?

I am absolutely fine. I really truly am. Misunderstandings and miscommunication happen and I am not a black hole; nor do I need to become one.