Everything Must Change

April 18, 2020

People are saying they’ll be glad when this Corona Virus is over and  things go back to “Normal” It is projected by some that it will happen in two weeks, four weeks, or  months and even years.

I personally believe things will never be the same, and contrary to popular belief, in many ways that could be a good thing! Yet things WILL inevitably change.

Have you ever thought of how different things are now than they were for our parents and grandparents? Some things changed gradually; and others may have been abrupt, though not in our lifetime. Just remember generations after generations have adapted and so will we.

I’m reminded of the song made popular in the late 70’s by jazz guitarist George Benson, and recorded by many others:
(Check out many other wonderful rendition
s on Youtube)


Everything must change,
Nothing stays the same.
Everyone must change
Nothing stays the same.

The young become the old,
Mysteries do unfold.

‘Cause that’s the way of time

Nothing and no one goes unchanged.

There are not many things In life you can be sure of.
Rain comes from the clouds,
And sun lights up the sky,
And humming birds do fly.

Winter turns to spring.
Wounded hearts will heal.

Never much too soon

Everything must change
The young become the old,
Mysteries do unfold.
‘Cause that’s the way of time

I’m sure even as you read this e-mail there’s SOMEthing which has changed with, around, for, and/or within YOU over the past 4-5 weeks.

Pause for a minute and see, just off the top of your head, how many things
you can think of.

Then answer the following questions:
How many would you consider negative and want to change?
What are you fearful of?

How many would you consider positive and want to continue?
How would life be different for you then?

Could you have even thought about or imagined this before now?

Sometimes change is good.
Embrace it by keeping an open mind and heart

The “T” Principle of Living With Heart

October 19, 2019

Wow! It’s been an even longer time than before, since I’ve been here! AND since I even “recycled” one of my blog messages! I have no one reason–not even forgetting my password (which I guessed and got right the second time) 🙂
You probably thought I’d “Lost Heart” and was gone forever huh? No Way!

I do realize, however that I’ve been writing most of my thoughts/reflections on Facebook, rather than placing them here.
Anyway, that’s what brought me here today. I was reflecting and sharing something on my Facebook and realized how long it was, and thought about how long it’s been since I actually blogged.

So here it is! 😀
Have you heard me share my signature message “Living with HEART”? (If you haven’t book ,me to speak at one of your motivational/inspirational events) 😉

Each letter in the world “HEART” represents a principle or action for living life fully and as stress-free as possible. The last letter “T” is for Trust (in the the process of things working out).
I know because my life has been and is continually filled with “T”-light! 😀

So this morning I awakened to a notification from my bank that during the dark hours of the night/morning, a large sum of fraudulent activity had taken place on my business account–mind you I’d just recouped from my low balance alert of $10.00–and now it was beyond low by a significantly larger amount.:)

After speaking with a bank representative, I was assured the money would be replaced in my account, but possibly not until 3-5 days. Because I’ve been waiting for a replacement debit card linked to my personal account, this week I used my business card for personal purchases and to purchase groceries and re-gas my car yesterday.

When I picked up the mail for my business yesterday there was a check there in which I was expecting a small amount. I didn’t open it and decided to bring it home to deposit next week.
Today I opened it and imagine my surprise when I saw that a client had decided to prepay for NEXT month’s sessions! 😮 Had I opened and deposited the check yesterday, IT would’ve been gone too!| 😀

Although financially STRE—TCHED for several weeks now, and “fighting” with major health insurance companies to be paid monies I’ve provided services and submitted claims for over a course of months, I trust GOD, (or if you refer to the universe, spirit, or higher power) to handle the process of these situations being handled in my favor. It’s the trust of creditors which create the greatest challenge! 😀

Living with HEART can be hard! and is truly a continued work in progress. However, I just want to encourage you when things seem to be in needless, unwarranted and undeserved turmoil, remember to TRUST!

So, that’s the message from my heart for today! 😊
If you have a topic you’d like to hear my heart talk on, let me know and I will search my heart and see what’s there. 🙂

Please share with others; and if you haven’t already, please follow me on Facebook:
Ms. Evelyn “The Heart Lady” “Talk to ME/Let ME-Speak

The “Heart Work” of Resuscitation When Life Knocks The Breath out of You

September 19, 2016

I’m now recovering from a “Prozac” week–or two.
Even healers need to “resuscitate and breathe” to heal and re-heal for optimal health when it feels like the wind has been knocked out of you and like you’re suffocating.

Experiencing both human and non-human losses (relative and pet), while witnessing others maneuvering through their losses as well as fighting not to lose themselves and their own lives can at times be, and has been, overwhelming. Each loss we experience  accumulates on top of others.

Not only are there the loss of lives, but the the loss of connectedness with friends and family; loss of value, quality and security of life amongst our children and youth, our families, our communities, our leaders, etc.

Sometimes it’s necessary to just shut it down for a bit–which I’ve pretty much done over the past couple of weeks.

This morning I awakened to the sun shining and a warm breeze from the oscillating fan which remained on throughout the night.  Many don’t appreciate the higher temperatures, especially this time of year, and long for Winter to come, but this is like a warm embrace to me in what can sometimes be experienced a cold world–both literally and figuratively.

As I started my day today I discovered some previously unseen messages in my FB inbox.
In them were messages from total strangers commenting on the positive impact my online presence and audio messages had on them; and an invitation to speak to a parent organization–all breaths of fresh air.

Then I read an OWN article written by Glennon Doyle Melton, which contained so many nuggets, however the following paragraphs spoke directly to me about who and what has come and gone from my life:

“Who do I love? but also What do I love? What feeds my soul? What is beauty to me and when do I take the time to fill up with it? Who is the woman underneath all these roles? What does she need?  [This applies to men too]

I want every woman to answer those questions now, before the tide comes. Building sand castles is beautiful. We just can’t live inside of them, because the tide rises. That’s what the tide does.

When it rises for you, remember—you are not the sand castle. You are the builder. I am not, at the end of the day, a mother, a wife, a writer, an activist, a friend. I am a Child of God. That’s who I was when I came into this world and who I’ll be when I leave it. No one can take that from me. ”

And so I continue the heart work:  breathe in, breathe out…
Who is the person underneath YOUR roles?


Mothers, Foster Care, and Mental Health

May 8, 2016

Brave Heart Lioness-Reduced

Having not blogged in quite some time, I decided to “recycle/re-purpose” a previous blog. 🙂
Happy Mothers’ Day to all who nurture and mother. (l)


October 14, 2013

Image     Image     Image

October being National DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS Month is extra special for me this year having recently published my fourth book “Entertaining Angels Aware: I AM My Sister’s Keeper”.   Entertaining Angels… is about growing up with and now caring for my only sibling who was born with Down Syndrome. I never get tired of celebrating her being in my life, and others who have touched our lives with a special love.  To learn more about my Angel and Me, visit our facebook page “Entertaining Angels Aware”


Another cause which is celebrated during the month of October is that of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS   During my early years in practice as a licensed Marriage, Family & Child Therapist, the idea of a man putting his hands on, or mistreating a woman, was so foreign and distasteful to me, I had difficulty conjuring up enough compassion and patience to work with women who refused to leave their abusive spouses/partners.  However, my love for and work with children—especially those in the foster care system, and my tenure of watching more than one generation evolve, have caused me to become much more understanding and compassionate in working with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.  I now know that, as with most any other expression of powerlessness, “hurt people hurt people”.

In addition to my ongoing clinical work with those who are broken (or doing the breaking) I see the signs and symptoms of violence, not only domestically but through the verbal, emotional and physical abuse depicted throughout societal “norms” in professional workplaces, educational settings, and morphing throughout all avenues of entertainment in comedic, dramatic and reality TV shows, films and music. How can it NOT be in our homes?!

Being “The Heart Lady” I am constantly appalled by the negative and hurtful things I see even in comments posted in response to articles which were intended to be heart-warming stories—revealing a widespread attitude of anger and violence.  Where is the LOVE?

I’ve learned that LOVE means different things to different people, which when it all boils down, really has nothing to do with love at.  LOVE doesn’t hurt.  That’s all I have to say about that for now.


Last but not least, the biggest cause acknowledged during the month of October is National BREAST CANCER AWARENESS Month.  This is a cause I’ve been pretty “mum” about. For the past six years I’ve both consciously, and subconsciously chosen not to speak about it because it was 8 years ago that my “bestest” friend Val, began her battle with, as she referred to it “the pink ribbon thing”.

For two years we talked about and explored complementary treatment which included Western as well as Holistic medicine.  We even laughed about the day during testimonial service when she was going to hang her bra on the wall of the church like those who had been healed of other maladies had placed their canes and crutches!  🙂

Unfortunately, Val passed three days following my own mother’s funeral, which she’d argued with her doctor to be able to attend just prior to her final hospitalization, and two and  half weeks before my 50th birthday.

Since then I’ve not worn, posted, or displayed the pink ribbon symbol of breast cancer, because just seeing it has only triggered feelings of loss for me.  I also think of the children who have been “orphaned” by ‘the pink ribbon” This year, however, although I still miss my sister-friend sorely, I’m making the choice to acknowledge the friends and associates who have SURVIVED breast cancer and am working on consciously celebrating their lives.

Statistics at some point indicated that one in four women would be diagnosed with breast cancer; and I recall looking at attendees of my 40th birthday celebration and realizing that FOUR of my friends in attendance either had already, or have since been a survivor of breast cancer.  I’ve also learned of childhood friends whose lives have also been affected.

Today I post a pink ribbon in celebration of the lives of Bernadette, Antoinette, Signe, Thelma, Debra, Lauren, Michelle, Gloria, and others who have and WILL have survived!

P.S. – Ironically, while going through a container of old key chains yesterday, guess what I came across?– a pink ribbon key chain with hearts.  I guess it time to open my heart and new doors.


It’s Not In Vain

July 27, 2013

While excitedly looking forward to picking up the first copies of my latest book today, and celebrating its release along with my Angel Sister’s 45th birthday tomorrow, I am also saddened to learn the news of the passing of one of the young men I worked with as a youth. He passed a few months ago and no one informed until last night–via e-mail.

I’d just spoken of him in an interview I had on Thursday evening, not even knowing he’s no longer here. He was full of laughs which often masked a broken heart. Although he didn’t always make the best life choices he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me–he always treated me with the upmost respect and wouldn’t tolerate anyone else even looking like they were going to clown me.   He told me once “Dang, I can’t do nothing wrong, cause you’re just like the Holy Ghost, you’re always there!”   He called me his “Fairy Godmother”.  🙂

 I’ve been thinking about the last time he visited and some of the last conversations we had, including him asking me why he hadn’t been  included in my first book  🙂  Then I remembered some of the texts he’d sent me, a couple of which I saved.  Here are a couple:

“Jus checking on you.  My number is stiill the same.  Getting my life back together.  Love you super very much.  Later”

“Hey godmother I just wanted 2 say thank u4 help saving my life as a teen.  There ain’t enuff money 2 repay u.  It’s sad tho when I think about the traps satan put out there 4 me but I rejoice cuz God sent people llike you when I had  nuthing 2 offer but a microphone, a drum machine, and a dream.  You were one of the people that pushed me out of that statistic box.  Your boys got a wonderful mom–I mean great!  Thanx.”

I’m reminded of the old gospel hymnal “My Living Shall Not Be in Vain” and receiving these words I know my living has not been in vain, and I am grateful to even be able to HEAR it before going to my own grave. I’m still, however saddened to not be able to see this young man reach his peak potential.  In my sadness though, I can’t help but think I now have another “angel” above rooting for me as I continue to work at  making a difference in the lives of many more young men and women.

In light of all that is happening around us at the point in time, it’s just a reminder that our children, youth and even young adults need us.  They’re ALL our children–so please take the time to nurture and be present for the sons and daughters in our communities.  Help them to recognize the value of their lives as well as others.  In the words of Ms. Mamie Brown’s Baby Boy (and mine) Les Brown:  “It’s possible, it’s necessary, it’s hard and it’s worth it!” ❤

No Kim & ME-Glasses-Reduced

Mothers, Foster Care, and Mental Health

May 21, 2013

Brave Heart Lioness-Reduced Heart Work Photos of Bryant & Branden4

The Month of May recognizes and celebrates three important events and causes which are close to my heart: Mothers’ Day, National Foster Care Awareness Month, and National Mental Health Awareness Month. Already more than half way through the month of May, I’ve had ample opportunity to reflect upon personal experiences each of these brings  as both Mothers’ Day and Foster Care have each had a significant impact my Mental Health. Let me count the ways!

One of my earliest memories of Mothers’ Day, sheds a prevenient look at my sensitivity, as well as the temperamental relationship I had with my mother, even at an early age.  When I was about 9 years old I walked the couple of blocks to the neighborhood five and dime variety store to purchase my mother a gift for Mother’s Day. With my two or three dollars I selected a box of beautifully decorated and arranged handkerchiefs.  Somewhere between my purchase and Mothers’ Day my mother did something which made me angry (I don’t even recall what) and I decided that I wasn’t going to give her the gift so I hid it inside my room.  The details are blurry but I do recall that she demanded that I find it and give it to her. I felt entitled to give on my own terms just as she had ‘taught me’ when she withheld my gifts at Christmas because she thought I’d been behaving badly.

Most Mothers’ Days after that weren’t as noteworthy except for the sense that most times she didn’t seem to be as happy as I’d like for her to have been in my giving. Then there was MY first Mothers’ Day as a mom to my 9 year old adopted son. Dressed up in coordinating colors we drove the 50 miles to join her for Mothers’ Day service at her church. I knew it would surprise her and make her proud to have us there with her. The look on her face was priceless! This was the best Mothers’ Day ever for me, until…the minister asked for all grandmothers to stand.  My mother did not stand.  I waited for it to “click” for her that she was now a grandmother, but it didn’t. I looked at her and looked at my son and my heart sank. The gift of grandparenting wasn’t acknowledged and/or accepted by her. I felt hurt and angry and sad for my son.

As I share in my memoir, it was “Heart Work” being a Foster/Adoptive Mom myself as it was exciting, heart-warming, and challenging. Inasmuch as dealing with my now, TWO sons, dealing with the Child Welfare, Mental Health and Social Services took a toll on my own Mental Health.  Understanding that many of the behaviors exhibited by my sons were an expression of the impact of emotional and physical abuse and separation and losses experienced in their early childhoods, I found it difficult to get both the intervention and support needed to meet their needs while at the same time provide them with consistency, stability, and opportunities of a “normal” childhood. I even fought to keep my youngest son from being “medicated” for behaviors which I felt were unreasonably labeled as being “pathological”. Any of us would have acted the way he did if we’d been through all he’d been through. What did they expect?!

Feeling attacked, unsupported, and pathologized myself, depression set in and took me down a path I’d not experienced before as intensely.  I’d experienced bouts of depression before but not at this level. For the first time ever in my life, my sleep pattern was “off”, my desire to socialize with others was none, and rather than overeating, I stopped eating and began to lose weight.  I sought out my own therapist, going through a few until I found one I felt comfortable with, and who was a huge support during this time in my life. My feelings were validated, which in itself was major, as no one else seemed to understand; and I was encouraged to continue being my authentic self—which I’d begun to question.

I’d always wanted to be a mom, and thought I’d be a good one, having learned from both the good and the not so good characteristics of my own mother, who was an excellent provider but lacked in the area of “emotional nurturing”. Even in the midst of this extremely painful period in my own parenting she voiced that I’d brought it upon myself and that she didn’t think it made sense for me to invest my time and energy into them. Her advice was “let them go and go on with your life”. Of course this did not improve our relationship at all because I stopped sharing with her any of the details of my parenting struggles.

Feeling like a “motherless child” and a “childless mother” the depression deepened. My therapist explained that my depression was situational, however being in a prolonged negative situation had a significant impact on my body and brain chemistry. We also explored the correlation between my relationships as a daughter and a mother, and how my fear of becoming like my mother was a strong factor.  It was during this time the notion occurred that perhaps my mother had been depressed during my childhood. and that perhaps I was even biologically predisposed to depression myself. That made a lot of sense to me!

He recommended that I try a low dosage antidepressant, which I initially rejected but eventually decided to try.  Although I don’t recall feeling much different, I was able to get out the bed and as I look in retrospect, do some amazing things. I do know that my and others’ prayers and faith in God were all a part of it.

I’d tried to get my mother to join me in counseling previously, however was told “I don’t need counseling, you’re the one that’s crazy!”  When I shared with her my thoughts that perhaps our relationship struggles could be related to her relationship with her own mother, who died before I was born, she was in total denial, forgetting some of the stories she’d told me before about growing up. However, when I shared with her about the discussion and prescription for depression, surprisingly she was open to it and followed through with her doctor.  She later reported that she did indeed feel a difference.  Wow, who KNEW?!

My mother passed away six years ago at the age of 82.  During the later years of her life she experienced depression and anxiety attacks, which as a practicing therapist myself, I was able to recognize and discuss with her doctors.

As I’ve gotten older and experienced many losses and stressors of life as a single woman and caregiver, I have continued to battle cycles of depression which, though not as frequent, have seemed to intensify the older I become.   Being both a therapist and a Christian I’ve found myself again struggling with the idea of taking antidepressants or not.  In my journaling I frequently quote the phrase “Physican heal thyself”; and have questioned myself:  “Am I placing judgment on being depressed?” and/or “Am I placing judgment on how to HANDLE” the depression?” My conscious conclusion (which was subconsciously present all along) was that I  FEARED that others would think I was not a “good enough” Christian or Therapist if I needed to take medication myself.

My thinking is that like hypertension and many other physical conditions, there are certain biological as well as lifestyle factors which contribute to both, and even medical doctors receive diagnoses of conditions they treat patients for.  However it does no good, and can potentially become fatal, to refrain from treating those conditions—whether through Westernized or alternative medicine. We all have choices to be and feel better.

So in the midst of a recent “dark hole” of depression, the triggers of which I was very much aware and which were beyond my control, I made the choice to return to Western medicine,  in addition to prayer, reaching out others and making some changes in my daily practices. I’m glad to say I’m feeling more like my old (or should I say younger) self now!

I realize this may not be the choice for everyone, but the main thing is to choose to DO SOMETHING!  Just as with other areas of my life I’ve decided that “what you see (and don’t see) is what you get”!  Take it or leave it–no poll necessary!   The most important thing is that we make a choice that makes us feel better and stronger to fulfill our purpose and dreams—as long as it is not at the cost of the well-being of ourselves and others.

As far as my “mothering” and foster care, my boys are now grown and not necessarily making the life choices nor as close as I would like for them to, I did speak to my oldest by phone on Mothers’ Day this year–I called him.  I remind myself that although I may not always feel celebrated, neither do all biological parents, and that my purpose is fulfilled in having given them the gift of being two less “motherless children” in the foster care system.
I remain passionate about the hearts of youth in the foster care system; and  through the texts and couple of cards I received in the mail from those I’ve loved as an advocate and mentor, it was confirmed that I will never really be “childless” because they’re ALL “my children”.
Ending on a funny note, my favorite Mothers’ Day card read:

“If it takes a village to raise a child…
…where the HELL did EVERYBODY ELSE sneak off to?”!!

Don’t sneak away—hang in there, the children and village need us! 🙂






February 25, 2013

Amazingly the new year has taken off without skipping a beat; and Valentine’s Day, my most cherished holiday being “The Heart Lady”, came and went without much more than a faint heartbeat.  As a matter of fact my heart tank has been on “E”—and that’s not for Evelyn this time.

 Not by coincidence, I’ve been recently re-introduced to “The Five Love Languages” written by Gary Chapman who identifies the 5 Love Languages as being:

            Words of Affirmation

            Physical Touch

            Receiving Gifts

            Acts of Service

            Quality Time

Re-taking the Profile Survey I realized that during the months leading up to and throughout the holidays (in addition of a physical condition which significantly altered my daily activities), my heart communication had been pretty much mute–there being little to no communication in either of my primary love languages.  

Contributing much of the effectiveness of my work in the healing profession to the genuine and authentic empathy gained from my own personal experiences and emotional pains, I often refer to myself as a “wounded healer”.  However, it’s one thing to draw upon and share one’s wounds from past experiences but quite another to share those being experienced in the present. 

Acknowledging and healing one’s emotional wounds can be very difficult because generally when others don’t see any physical evidence of pain, they either totally miss it; ignore or dismiss it, giving simplistic and superficial advice; or just back off and avoid it waiting for you to get through or “over it”.  This is even more difficult when you’re the “go to” person for others when they are in pain and/or need.

Through my prayers and introspection I have been reminded of one of my most recent inspirations to speak on the topic of “Healing Your Heart & Following It”.  I also recall a colleague’s question after reading the manuscript of my memoir “It’s Heart Work…”  “Have you healed yet?” Wow…

A firm believer of “walking one’s talk” I recognize and embrace this most recent experience as the bridge to effectively delivering that message I’ve chosen or been chosen to share. 

Oftentimes we feel unqualified to declare any sense of authority or expertise in the areas through which we may struggle, and we back away.  However, I believe in my heart that when we receive these challenges and trials as gifts and tools with which to work, they are actually the stepping stones to following our hearts and fulfilling our purpose. 

Are you ready to follow your heart? Are there areas in which you recognize a desire and need to heal in order to move forward?  Do you trust someone who knows and walks the talk?

I’d like to offer you an opportunity to be the first to take advantage of my “Speak To My Heart” coaching series and begin healing and filling the receptive and expressive love tanks of your heart.    

If you will send me an e-mail with “Speak To My Heart” in the Subject Box to ME@TalktoMsE.com I will send you information about the outline and registration options to take part in this 8-10 week series. 

I look forward to walking along side you in learning and practicing the steps to better speak to and from the heart and follow it. 

Hearts & Blessings,

Ms. E “The Heart Lady”

REFLECTIONS OF 2012: God Laughed

December 31, 2012

On this last day of 2012, as many probably are, I’m reflecting upon my life over the past year as I prepare for the the new year.

With the upheaval of tragedy and discord of the last couple of months it’s easy to become distracted and focused on the sadness, anger, and pain in the world, and possibly our own lives; and to quickly discard of the old year for the new.

I’ve taken the last few days to “Unplug” from the world of telephone and internet to just “be”.   I think sometimes we just need to do that to reconnect with ourselves and The One whom we believe to be the true source of our lives.

I’m a goal and action-oriented person (when “D” elements—depression and disconnectedness– aren’t wreaking havoc with my emotions).  I enjoy and am energized by setting goals, planning, and taking account of where I am in light of where I’ve been and where I desire to be.

Many of my goals and expectations weren’t met this year.  However, when I think about it,  in many ways, in lieu of some of my stated goals many of the events of 2012 exceeded my own expectations.  I can’t help but think of the scripture which says “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, and above what you can think or imagine”.   I use to say that God would have to be doing an awful lot because I have a pretty big imagination”.

My mentor and friend Michael Pritchard says “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.  Well I must say, God “do be” doing a lot; and I think He really did laugh over my life in 2012.

A year ago today, little did I know that in less than 90 days I would be spending my birthday in the rainforest of Sao Paulo, Brazil as part of an International Symposium on reducing trauma to children, before, during, and after birth; and a few days later visiting an orphanage where I’d meet and fall in love with a precious little boy who shared my birthday.

Neither did I know that on Mothers’ Day, one of the most depressing holidays of the year for me, that I would be served breakfast, along with flowers and card, and spend the day with my youngest son who has spent most of the Mothers’ Days of his adulthood incarcerated, and most times my having no idea where.

Thinking about ending my bi-weekly internet radio program in October, I had no idea that the more than 3,000 listeners to my September program would be beyond any of the programs of the previous two years.

Nowhere in my conscious dreams did I see myself appearing in a “2013 Calendar of Alopecian Beauties” after watching a Sistah on PBS* who literally “flipped her wig” and released me to finally triumph in my challenge with Alopecia and “bare it all” myself, with the support of a network of sisters online who shared the challenge as well.
*God bless you Ms. Sonya Renee Taylor.

Then in November, National Adoption Month, I found myself sitting on the set of a San Francisco affiliate of  a major network, baring my heart (and feeling  no shame, my head) about the joys and pains of being a mentor and foster and adoptive parent to many youth who had/have been written off.

Just imagine…none of these were even a part of my goal plans for 2012!!! Well let me reframe that: My “objectives” may have been slightly different, but overall I believe my primary goal –to fulfill my life purpose—actually was met.

Looking at this overview of my year, one might think “Wow, what a wonderful year!”  Yes, it has been; but it has also included heartache and tears, loss, grief, feelings of disappointment, rejection,  aloneness, loneliness, fear, financial gaps and sinkholes, and sometimes even doubt.  However, even in these times, I believe the purpose of my life was/is being even more clearly fine tuned, and my goal being met.

You might wonder if I will even bother to set goals for the New Year? and if so, why??? The answer is a resounding “YES”!  Because, if for no other reason, I want to make God laugh –some more!  Because when He laughs I eventually laugh too!  😀

Looking forward to laughing with you and God in the New Year!

National Adoption Month Cont’d: “Nice Looking Kid”

November 29, 2012

As National Adoption Month comes to a close I will share with you another excerpt from my book “It’s Heart Work: Being The Village That Raises A Child”.
Last time, I shared with you the chapter about meeting my first and oldest son, Bryant.  This time I’ll share about meeting my younger son, Branden.

Although Bryant and Branden are now adults, I still remember these days as if they were only yesterday.  And even having experienced the rollercoaster ride of being a single adoptive mom, they still bring a smile to my face.  I hope they will for you too.

Chapter 13 

Nice Looking Kid

 Approaching two years together as mother and son, Bryant and I agreed that neither of us really liked being an only child.  He wanted to be the oldest, and of course wanted a brother rather than a sister.  That was just fine with me, because being a single parent, and based upon the history of my relationship with my mother during adolescence, I was concerned that there would definitely need to be more male energy in the house.  I stressed to him the importance of showing me that he was capable of being a good role model for a little brother.  

Still actively involved with the Bay Area’s Annual Black Adoption Fair, I participated in the planning, set-up and facilitation of activities for the event which was being held at a local Junior College and Bryant accompanied me. 

Busily running around all day there were hundreds of children of all ages with whom I came into contact however there was one child that captured my eye and heart off and on throughout the day.  He’d stood out in my mind as a quiet, yet spirited child whose sweet milk-chocolate skin and kissable forehead pulled at my heartstrings; and although, as I recall, we never spoke a word to one another verbally, the eyes of our souls spoke volumes. We all went home tired at the end of the day. 

 Several weeks later the fair photographer developed the photos, which a colleague and co-worker with the fair brought by my office for me to take a look at.   Guess what big brown eyes jumped out of the photos to speak to my heart once again?  I laughed as I viewed one of the photos of him posing with the “Sylvester The Cat” character.   I was told that I could not have it because she had to make sure that he got the photo which he himself had requested, sought out, and waited to have his picture taken with Sylvester- -a child after my own heart!   

I noticed his nametag, and saw that his birthdate was the same as my father’s- -interesting.  What was even more interesting was when I got home I laid the stack of approximately a hundred photos on the dining table at home while I began to prepare dinner.  Bryant decided to browse through them, and out of the hundreds of photographs, when he came to one photo, he paused and commented “nice looking kid”.  I stopped and walked over to see which kid he was speaking of, and imagine my shock when I saw that it was the same child who had caused my heart to swell! 

Following  a series of phone calls, conversations, and paperwork, I was finally on my way to my first “date” with the “nice looking kid” who’d already made an indelible imprint upon the hearts and minds of Bryant and me.

For the initial visit to meet Branden, I went alone and didn’t tell Bryant that I was going. However, he somehow instinctively knew and had told my friend “Auntie Gloria” whom he’d spent the day with while I was away, “My mom is going to meet my new brother”.   

In my excitement there was a profound sadness which began to overtake me as I arrived to pick Branden up from his current foster home, which was located in an impoverished neighborhood of Oakland.  The home was dark and cool, as was the foster mother.  She opened the door to the house, which in my memory seemed colorless, with a very flat tone and expressionless face and told me to come in.  She called Branden to come downstairs and showed very little interest in my reason for being there. 

Down the stairs came that little face we’d looked at time after time over the past several months.Though still as cute as a button, there was a sense of dimness and deprivation to his countenance.

In my attempts to interact with and help him to feel comfortable with me, I him asked him what I he liked to do and what were his favorite toys to play with.  He named off some things, and when I asked if I could see them, and he said “I don’t have any”.  Not really believing that to be true I turned to asked the foster mother if he did have any in his room and  I was told that he did not- -. period.  I looked up the long, dark foreboding stairway to what I assumed were the bedrooms, but decided to not even ask to see his room. 

Branden and I left for our “date” and when we got into the car his energy immediately ignited Within a block away we were chatting like popcorn.  He asked if we were going to get on the freeway.  I told him “no” and he wanted to know why.  We continued to talk. However, when we passed the freeway entrance he blurted “Hey! Back up lady and get on the freeway!”  I laughed so hard and I’m sure he probably wondered what was SO funny!  This would be just the FIRST of the many laughs I would hold in my heart and memories during my budding relationship with my new son-to-be.

 When we arrived at the “4-star restaurant” of the children’s eateries, McDonald’s, there was the usual Saturday flurry of kids all over the place.  While we were waiting in line to place our order, a man asked, “Are those all your kids?”  I looked around and pondered the thought “they’re all our kids’ but before I could say anything, the child who had already implanted himself in my heart proclaimed “I am!” and we both knew it!

 After hamburgers and all the “trimmings” we went to play at a local park and took pictures before I returned him to the foster home. 

I arranged to pick Branden up the following day for a Sunday outing to church and dinner so he and Bryant could meet.  We were all excited! 

On Sunday morning Branden greeted me warmly with a hug and held my hand as we walked to the vehicle.  I introduced him “Branden, this is my son Bryant; Bryant this is Branden”.  “Hi”,  “What’s up?”  We were riding in the van with my friend “Auntie Emelda” so I sat in the front passenger seat and allowed Bryant and Branden to sit in the seat behind us.  “Where are we going?” Branden asked.  “To church” I replied.  “Oh” he said, unenthusiastically. 

As Emelda and I talked on the way to church, I had one ear tuned in to the seat behind us. All I could hear was Branden chatting away.  He commented on everything he saw outside the windows as we passed down the street. Bryant seemed slightly amused by him but didn’t say much.  At church Branden loved the music, clapping his hands and even dancing with a little smile on his face.  He talked out loud during the service, needing to be directed to several times to be quiet and sit down.  He decided he wanted to sit in my lap.  After church we went and got something to eat and we were all tired.   

After we dropped Branden off at the end of the visit I asked Bryant what he thought of Branden.  With a smile, he said “he talks a lot, but he’s funny” (that would be the ongoing consensus and theme of their relationship).  When I asked if he thought we should consider having him for his brother he said “yeah”.

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