proud mama

(null)

You know when you don’t have kids, people always talking about their kids is annoying. Really annoying.
And, I get that because until you’re a parent you just don’t get it.

You don’t.

And, that’s completely okay because I wouldn’t want anyone to ever understand what it’s like to be a mama until they’re a mama. Until you have sweet babies in your arms that you care for at all times and that you watch grow in ways most other people won’t think twice about. Until you see them respond to your voice initially with blinking eyes, then turning their head, smiles, then laughs. The joyful response at your voice will certainly turn to annoyance at some point, but for now their responses warm every piece of your heart and cause you to beam from the inside out. You’ll never know what it’s like to see your personality come out of another person until it does. It’s hilarious and you want to laugh and share it with everyone- it’s the other mamas (and, daddies too) who will laugh along with you and share stories of their own.(null)The fact that I love these little people more and more everyday isn’t surprising because that kinda thing happens when you truly like AND love a person…… But how big can that love get?

I’m grateful. I can never say that enough. These girls understanding WHY they are so special is what I hope to teach them. That they’re amazing not only because their mama believes that they are, not only because they’re created by a perfect God, but also because they are real life examples of God answering prayers and giving your heart exceedingly and abundantly more than you prayed for and exactly what your heart desired.(null)I’m having a blast raising them – teaching them everyday that they matter and that they are important, that I can be depended on, and that they are loved. I love playing with them. I love how they teach me to laugh and not take things so seriously. That shirts get stained, that things get lost, and mistakes are made; there’s a lesson in getting past things that aren’t FUN while still remaining joyful.

My hope is to continue to raise young ladies I can respect, enjoy, learn from, be corrected & challenged by, and proud of throughout their lifetime and mine. And, vice versa. Because, if we can’t do life together like that, I’ve missed the mark.(null)
“Here’s to strong
(Godly, courageous, loving, kind, fashionable, beautiful, friendly, gentle, productive, encouraging, inspiring, humble, intelligent, classy, funny, wise)
women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.”

Signature

… join the movement and let your voice be heard

niaw logo

This has been an amazing week of support and banning together for many women in our communities who struggle with infertility across the country.

And, I am glad to be apart!

I believe and will forever stand on the fact that infertility has made me who I am. I am not ashamed of my diagnosis. I’m grateful for the opportunity to publicly share my experiences and what I’ve learned through this chapter in my life with other women who walking the same path as I am. It’s given me a confidence in who I am and how I was created, as well as the realization that there is power in my voice. In my words. And, how I choose to use my words and voice to encourage and support others.

My husband and I were told that there could be issues with our fertility as newlyweds as we were talking to our doctor and planning to expand our family the next year. We didn’t think much of it for another 8 months or so. When we felt it was time to move forward with baby planning, we followed the advice of a friend and began working with an endocrinologist in the spring of the next year. My doctor’s concerns were confirmed and I was crushed.

At that point, I began blogging. I wanted to document our journey through infertility for myself. I took a deep breath, launched my blog, and posted my “coming out” on Facebook. For the next months, I poured my heart out on the pages of this blog … telling each step of our fertility treatments, how I felt in each stage, and where my heart was. There were some pretty dark and detailed moments written on those pages and at times I thought that I was stuck in one place. I thought that we would always dance in the same circle. Same motions. Same song.

The more I wrote, the more support poured in. Women I knew and didn’t know, alike, would email and comment telling me of their difficulties and struggles. Women I went to high school and college with who struggled with infertility and the possibility of never being able to conceive children due to other medical situations they endured. The stories I’ve heard are heart wrenching. I realized that there are so many women who are struggling with such pain privately and alone. I realized how taboo it was. How socially unacceptable it is. I understood why no one talks about infertility. Why no one discusses how it affects you over lunch. I understand the pain of wincing and coiling at comments, the awkwardness of dodging questions, and heaviness of bearing your roughest days alone.

Now that my husband and I have chosen to adopt, we’ve taken on another socially “strange” journey! There aren’t many people we know who have chosen to adopt children in order to expand their families, so we have an amazing opportunity to expand the thoughts and preconceptions many have about adoption, those who adopt, and the adopted. It’s exciting and I’m enjoying the process, the amazing families I’m meeting, and hearing all these stories.

{{ I adore the communities we’re apart of and bask in the strength of these families and women. }}

I’ve learned that discussing adoption (and, infertility) can be quite difficult but I take on the task of informing with a protective, yet patient and understanding tone because I understand the real ignorance (by definition) that leads to bias and offensive questions. I know that many people aren’t exposed to adoption and aren’t open to it, therefore they have questions, comments, and notions that are misguided and very random at times. lol. I don’t believe anyone means harm …. the majority  of people just don’t know. They don’t know what’s appropriate or inappropriate, they don’t understand the mental and emotional anguish that you endure through this process. They don’t know how hurtful their questions and comments can be.

…. All because they are unaware.

Remaining silent is not an option for me. I know that the more I speak out, kindly educate those who unintentionally offend, and just live my life without allowing my diagnosis to define me, the easier it will be for other women to confidently stand alongside me. Battling with me. Struggling, laughing, crying, celebrating, and rejoicing with me as we travel this road together.

I realize that not everyone is driven to write and bear their life and soul in such a public way. I also know that there isn’t just one way to go about educating our families, coworkers, and communties about infertility, treatments, and adoption. For that, I am grateful. I am glad to be apart of such a large community of women who believe that it’s worthwhile to discuss our issues, support each other, and educate the public on issues that will at some point affect someone they know.

I am even more grateful for the friends, family, and the friends that became family who show their unwavering love and support throughout such difficult times. It makes the successes and celebratory moments that much sweeter.

Ah! So I encourage you to join the movement. Educate yourself so that you can be a benefit to others. Use your voice to advocate, support, and encourage those around you.

We need you.

… here’s to dancing in thedownpour and loving every minute of it! There is good in everything… if we are open enough to receive it.

//click these links to learn more about infertility and National Infertility Awareness Week!!! //
***** http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  *****
***** http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html *****

Signature

… pass it on

20120828-204854.jpg

We’re about halfway into the second week of school and so far, so good.
This year, I took special effort in teaching my students a little bit of our school’s history. I thought it would be fun for them to connect what they knew of the school and it’s owners with what they didn’t know. Kinda like filling in the blanks! I told (and, WE wrote) a very short story on how our school began.

I told them how my mother and late father in law began a school in 1966. The school is now called Beatrice Mayes Institute Charter School (BMI) though it began as Wonderland & is now the oldest consistently running private school in Houston. Wonderland began as a private school but in 2001 became a charter. I told my kids that my in-laws were very proud of their school and every child who attended was quite proud, too. It’s always CRAZY funny to me to see the reactions of people I meet or know people who find out I work at the school; their eyes light up and they literally almost start jumping up and down asking about random things that went on at the school when they were there. They’ll start talking about certain teachers (who are STILL at the school) and how they did devotion in the mornings (yes, the kids still stand in the hallway) and how they had to wear white dresses to Coronation Ball (yup… We still do that, too). Their stories are hilarious and it’s really neat to see how many people attended this school. To see how they are apart of my family’s legacy. How proud they are of their educational foundation.

I explained how much of our family work at the school- a teacher, a CFO, an admin assistant. My brother in law is Superintendent, my husband the Chief of Staff. I think it’s neat that after attending BMI, they’ve come back to sow into our kids’ lives. My sister in law joined the Mayes family & became the school’s nurse…. I came along and now I teach….. Before my brother left to coach college football in Colorado, he taught.
After I broke down how everyone is related and connected, I took them on a little mini field trip around the school to “meet” the nurse, Thomas, and Mrs. Mayes! Even though most of the students knew who everyone was, it was different in that they understood how everyone was related to each other and the history of the school. It was funny to hear them tell them about their history. For more reason than one! They enjoyed it!

My family is a family. The best part – we actually like each other. To be apart of a family that works together during the week and still doesn’t mind seeing each other on the weekend is pretty amazing to me. And, to see their children running around and being brought up in such an environment is quite nice, too. Not to mention the fact that they’re incredibly well behaved, polite, and quite sharp!! Lol

As promised, a little info on this….

20120828-211423.jpg

I was interviewed, along with another coworker and one of my cheerleaders, for our a piece in our Convocation event. We basically gave our different perspectives on our role at the school and how we push our mission – Expanding minds, building character, and inspiring community action. Convocation went incredibly well – our friends Benjamin and Tamara Floyd of Be Socially Savvy and James and Alysia Roberson of Greater Houston Media Group really helped us present our goals and standards for the new year in an exciting way! We were able to have Seven recite poems that spoke to each of the 3 parts of our mission and an amazing dancer from Urban Souls preformed 3 pieces, as well. After working on the project most of the summer and witnessing it evolve from ideas to paper to real life was incredible. Especially since everything went so well!!!

I am really looking forward to a great year… Excited about having a part in preparing and building children who are well rounded and productive….
Looking forward to continuing to build on this pretty steadfast foundation…

BMI is ranked as top 7% in Texas, we’ve been exemplary, and have such an incredible passing rate for all standardized tests. Proud of the legacy. Proud of my family.

Though we may not always agree on how things should function at the school, we are on always on one accord about prioritizing and serving our children and families.

… Here’s to all of us leaving legacies and making our mark in our little section of the world… To making a difference in the lives of our co-workers, families, and friends.
…. To mattering and making a difference in someone’s life beside our own.

Signature