Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Get To Be The One

Dear Xiomara,

Today is National Adoption Day! A pretty important day to celebrate if you ask me. It's hard for me to imagine that a little over two years ago, you weren't here. Today, I get to be the one.

Well hello, little baby
Your eyes have never seen the sun
You should know, little baby
That I am the lucky one

The one to nurse you before bed. To hold you tightly in my arms as you drift off to sleep. The one to hear you exclaim you were in your birthmom's tummy. The one to tell you all about her; and the love she had for you.

I get to be the one to hold your hand
I get to be the one
Through birthdays and broken bones
I'll be there to watch you grow
I get to be the one

The one to take you potty for the very first time. To hear your excitement over each chocolate chip earned. The one to hear your soft little voice sing Jesus Loves Me to your dollie when you think no one is listening.

Don't feel alone now, little baby
Do you hear me singing you a song?
I can't wait to show you, little baby
How to crawl, how to walk, and how to run

The one to mourn her loss; yet celebrate mine. To stare at your beauty and play with your curls. To watch your face light up, dimple come out, and hear that full belly laugh.

How does someone so small hold my heart so tightly?
I don't even know you
I love you completely

Photo by: Holly D Photography

Little one, we truly are the lucky ones. To watch you form a bond with your sisters over a pillow fight. To hear you say "I love you". I am so thankful little one, that I get to be the one.

With all my love,


Lyrics are in italics from the song I Get To Be The One by JJ Heller (it is definitely worth a listen)!

Friday, August 17, 2012

An Open Letter To Pat Robertson {Setting The Truth Straight On Adoption}

I've been quiet on here lately. Just soaking up summer, enjoying my girls, and looking on with a bitter sweetness on how my girls are all growing up. I see friends around me having babies or adopting and I'm super happy for them. I just know that we are not in that season right now. However, that does not stop me from supporting adoption 100%. I also am not one to step down when it comes to controversy and misinformation on adoption.

So today, I'm stepping up and blogging a blog post I never thought I would have to write. You see recently Pat Robertson spoke out and said, " never know about adopted children; they might have brain damage and grow up weird.” This was in response to a woman who sent in a question about a man who would not marry her because she has adopted children.

To all of you reading this out there, I want to say, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that someone who represents himself as a Christian can sit there and say such a heartless statement. I'm sorry that this man who has a platform to represent Christ, isn't following God's own example. After all, doesn't God adopt each and every one of us as His sons, His daughters? After all, didn't God show us the perfect example of adoption in sending His son to earth to be adopted into Joseph's family? Please, if you are reading this, know that this is not how God views adoption.

To Pat (if you are reading this, and I hope you do). How dare you use one example, one example to explain away adoption and why no one should do it. Is it hard? Yes. Is there abuse in some cases? Yes. Neglect in others? Yes. Is it always going to be rosy and perfect? No, no, no.

But you know what Pat, someone could have easily said the same situation with a biological child. So maybe, according to your advice, we just shouldn't have any children at all. For after all, you just never know how they might turn out to be.

Pat, take a good look at this little girl. She is mine. Not by blood. She is adopted. We are different in every way possible. But come spend a day with us and you will find that she is not weird, she does not have brain damage just because she is adopted. In fact, I would venture to guess that you could spend a day with any adopted family and find out how very wrong your words are.

If adoption has taught me one thing, it is this; being adopted does not make you who or what you are. Instead adoption is a piece of the larger puzzle that God has designed for us. And if it wasn't for this little girl, our current puzzle would not be complete.

And I can't stay silent. The world needs to hear both sides. Thus, I'm setting the truth straight on adoption.

Friday, July 6, 2012

It's been two years

2 years ago today, you held her and gazed lovingly down at her. Then you made what most likely will be the hardest decision of your whole life; you handed her to me. I can still hear your sobs, still see your hands shaking. Then you walked away for the rest of your life, with your heart in my hands.

I cried for you. I sobbed. I turned to Chris and told him that you could have her back. My heart broke for you. My life was never the same again. Either was yours. Or hers. In fact, the whole world changed.

Two years later, this little girl has forever changed us all. But I want you to know, that I still think of you. I pray for you. I love you.

Thank you for this little piece of sunshine that you allowed in our hearts. We love you and are thinking and praying for you on this day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Decision That Changed Forever

It's been two years. Two years to the day since the phone rang and my life was forever changed. Two years since your firstmom sat in a room with an amazing woman named Clarissa, and a pile of family profiles, and somehow, was drawn to the one that said Christopher & Vanessa. Two years since Clarissa made that call to our social worker, who then phoned me; a busy mom of a just turned three and one year old. Desperately trying to hurry those two girls to nap time. Although incredibly late to naps, I rushed to the phone that day in the hopes that just maybe it was the call we had been waiting close to two years for. Never in a million years did I ever think it really would be.

I remember the tears in my eyes when she told me that we were to have another little girl due on our anniversary, August 9th. I remember calling your daddy and in a rush of breath explaining that "It's a girl! We were chosen again". I remember daddy being so very, very nervous that we would have another heart breaking failed adoption. 

In many ways, it is on this day, my half birthday, that your story with us begins. I always think of your birthmom on this day. I can't help but wonder what was going through her mind the day she first laid eyes on us. Did she dream of me holding you in my arms? Did she dream of daddy spinning you around in the air? Did she ever imagine it would be this hard? This beautiful?

I'm not sure any of us imagined it to be like this. So amazing! So hard! So beautiful! And it all started two years ago today.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Love

Xiomara, today is Mother's Day. A day to celebrate mother's around the world. While today Dada is making the day a special day for me, and you are loving on me with your sweet, wet smooches, I am thinking of your firstmom "J". The mama who gave you life and all her love.

I want you to know "J" as best as you can, whether that is through letters, pictures, or me just telling you about her. So today, on this second mother's day, I want you to know a little bit about her.

First, she is beautiful. No surprise really with how gorgeous you are. But she really is beautiful. You have her little pointed chin, and even though your eyes are a different color than hers, I believe you had the same shape of eyes as her.

She had a sweet disposition and every time we talked on the phone before you were born, I felt as if I could talk to her for hours. If I had known her in real life, I'm pretty sure we could have easily been friends.

I remember on the day we came to pick you up, she was crying just huge tear drops. She shook as she handed you to me. That would be the last time she held you. She told me over and over again how much she loved you. And she truly did. You could see that love shining for you in her eyes. She asked me to take good care of you and to love you as if you were my own. When it was time for her to leave, I asked her if she wanted to hold you again. She told me, she didn't think she could because she wasn't sure she could give you back to me. I realized the depth of her love in that simple statement.

So on this Mother's Day, I think and pray for "J" that she would be loved and comforted, and know how much you love her too. That you would always respect her and love her for that and take joy in knowing the woman who you first called mama in your heart.

We love you "J"! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Nominated As A Top 25 Adoption Blog {Please Vote}

I feel incredibly honored to say that someone nominated my little blog to be a Top 25 Adoption Blog. I'm not sure that words can exactly express how touched I was to receive that e-mail today in my inbox.

I love writing and writing about one of my top passions of adoption is incredibly special to my heart. I don't do it for money, fame, or anything else but to often just write my heart out on "paper". Or it is to help open the eyes of those who have never been open to adoption before. Otherwise, it is even to share the little bit of knowledge I have on adoption with those who are searching for more information on it.

So thank you! If you would like, I'd love for you to vote for my blog by clicking either the logo above or to the right of this post and scrolling until you find my blog: On Our Hearts. All you need to do is click the little thumbs up and you have voted for the day!  You can vote once every 24 hours until April 26, 2012 at 4 p.m. PST.

Thank you and love to you all!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Working Through Some Emotions

I went shopping tonight with the girls. All three of them, by myself. I must have been feeling brave. As I was trying to coral the girls into the cart and down an aisle, I looked up and there you were. Well, not really, but whoever it was looked like you.

My heart did a little flip flop of excitement and then pain followed as I realized how I wish I could see you. It's been close to two years and somehow and for some reason I wish you could be involved in our lives, even just a little bit.

I'm always uncertain if I should continue to send you letters. I know you have only responded to one and so then I question if that is because it is too painful to read more and see more pictures of her? At the same time, when I look at it from a mother's perspective, I would want the letters, even if they are painful.

My heart is sad tonight. For you, and for her. For both of you are missing out on so much it seems and I'm not sure how to fix it. Maybe I'm not ever suppose to fix it?

So many times I look at her and watch her and wish that in that exact moment you could see her, hear her little voice, and feel her chubby arms wrap around your neck. Then I look to her and realize that one day, she too will wish you could have been there. As a mama, it pains my heart to know both of you will or already have experienced pain, just in different ways.

If that would have been you tonight that I met in the aisle of Target, I would have told you to hold her, play with her, snuggle her until your pain subsided just a little as your heart overflowed with love. And I know mine would have too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Every Adoption Has A Story

I can hardly believe that it has been two years since a little boy was born to a woman named "R". A little boy who was meant to be ours, but God had other, more perfect plans. Today that little boy turns two and he is the arms of another mother and father who I know love and cherish the fact that they were picked to be his parents against all odds.

Today I can look back with a bittersweet smile when I think of the little boy who was almost mine. Knowing that God had the perfect plan all along, but I just had to wait for that plan. Writing myself a letter a year later was incredibly healing. Thinking of how much joy I have in Xiomara assures me that this little guy is providing his parents with sweet, sweet smiles and joy. My only regret today is not knowing him or his parents. I wish somehow they could know the full story of how God hand picked them, not us to be his parents. That they would know that I still think of him, pray for him, and pray for them. Maybe they know all that already, but I still pray that one day perhaps God would give me that chance.

Image Source: Pinterest
In the meantime, I hope to help others who are going through that dark, seemingly infinite pain. Anytime I hear of someone going through a failed adoption, my heart aches. Because now I'm one of them. I know that pain. In an odd way I am thankful for that, because now I know how to provide support, love, and prayer. If you know someone close to you going through that pain, I wrote three tips that may help you better understand how to help ease that pain, if only a little.

Today as I go about my day I'm going to be praying for "R", her son, and his adoptive parents. For every adoption has a story, and mine happens to have a failed adoption as part of it. And I'm thankful that it does.

Monday, March 5, 2012

When did...

my teeny,



grow up?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Importance Of One Little Dollar

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it's right. And that is where I stand today and that is where I hope you will continue to stand so we can speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters all over the world and righteousness like a mighty stream." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. January 14, 1968

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to update on everything. I spent a good majority of the last two weeks researching, e-mailing, and working on getting a response from Target. If you are new here and wondering what this is all about, go read here.

My whole point in this is whether or not it is the manufacturer's fault, Target's fault, if it was on purpose, or not on purpose, if the stock was low, if it is a supply and demand issue...all that doesn't matter. It is the fact that for too long many have not seen something as little as $1 important (easy to do when we live in a very white world) and we do become complacent and comfortable in our own lives. We become blind to the hurt that something as little as a dollar can cause (I know I have before many times). Even if as white adults we may not be seeing it as an inequality issue, I know (through my siblings and numerous e-mails, facebook messages, and talks with people) that others of minority races are and it is leaving the impression that they are not as valuable or as important.

Image source via Pinterest

My friend Renee said it best when she said: "Little girls of all races have enough self esteem issues without society devaluing one race over another. If it was an honest mistake, attention still needs to be called to it so it won't happen in the future. It sends the wrong message.

If stores are so cautious to use the words Happy Holidays as to not offend then surely they can rectify this."

Thus I was feeling a bit sad when Target did not follow up with me in a phone call as they said they would. I actually broke down one night, crying and telling Chris that all this was for nothing and that no change would come about despite how hard I tried.

And then something happened.

I began getting facebook messages and e-mails from people who told me that they had gone back to their Target and the price had changed and they were now the same. I smiled a little on the inside and then the more and more messages that came in, the more I became ecstatic.

Last week, I stopped at my local Target, the one that I originally saw the price difference at, and I saw this:

Yes, they may have changed the price only out of fear of a lawsuit or retribution from social media, but in reality it doesn't matter why they changed it. All that matters is that they did because that means that they too recognized the importance that one little dollar can make.

And to me, and others who were working with me on this, it makes all the difference in the world.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dare to make a difference!

“We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. ” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I'm completely astounded by the many friends, family, and people I don't know who care about a $1 difference. That post is quickly becoming my most read post on this blog.

When I first posted it, I never intended to be an activist. All I wanted was an answer from Target on why there was a $1 difference in price between the dolls.

However, I'm realizing more and more that I am an activist and that is ok. I think sometimes we associate activism with a negative connotation. However, not all activism is bad. Someone has to speak up in order for change to happen. If I am that person, then so be it. I will gladly do it for my daughter, my three sisters, and my niece, who are all African American.

I know many think that I am wasting my time and barking up the wrong tree. Corporate America doesn't care about $1 and my little ole' blog post isn't going to change how Target operates. I agree. However, it doesn't change the fact that they should care. And you know what? Social media is mighty powerful nowadays and maybe, just maybe they will care if enough people see this and vow to make a change.

I will also say this, as a white person, raised in a very white world, it is easy for us to go around believing that $1 doesn't matter and that I am making a bigger deal out of this than it is. However, until you see the world just slightly through the eyes of your black daughter, you won't ever realize how much truly needs to change. This is just one thing among many.

Right now I have been in conversation with Target twice. The first time I got nowhere with them as I did not have the exact item numbers of the dolls. However, after having my husband go back and get them, I called and it took them all of five minutes to direct me to corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. After talking to them, I was told it could either be that they are going out of stock or it is a pricing error on their part for my particular Target. I was told that they will have a team look into it and get back to me as soon as possible. I was set to believe that until I started hearing from friends who had read my blog post and checked their local Target. Sure enough, more and more friends are notifying me that the dollar difference is also at their Target. Not only that, I have since found out that some Targets carry a Hispanic doll and that doll too is priced at $10.99. At this point, I am having a hard time believing it is a simple error on Target's part.

Thank you to Sarah from California for providing me with this picture of the Hispanic doll!

It is definitely disappointing to me. Right now, I am asking all of you to visit your local Target, check for these dolls and then report back to me with the city of your Target either here on this blog post in the comments, on my facebook page, or by email at: jewelsntreasures (at) yahoo (dot) com, if your Target has these dolls marked differently in price. I am compiling a list so that when I next talk to Target I have an exact list that I can forward on to them.

So would you please join me in making a difference?? Share this on your Facebook, your Twitter, your Google + accounts, with friends, family, and any others. I truly believe $1 does matter and I firmly believe that on this Martin Luther King, Jr. day, with your help we can make a difference!!

For her sake, for their sake, for all of our sakes, let's dare to have $1 make a difference!!

*To read a follow up on this post and to find out what action Target has taken, click here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Does $1 really make a difference?

Last night I decided on a whim to take my oldest two on a trip to Target. I had a few things to return and also needed to pick a few things up. For Christmas each of the girls got a gift card to Target and while Zoelle had already used hers, Meridian had not, so we ended up in the toy aisles at Target.

I was letting the girls look to their hearts content while reminiscing about my own childhood, when I noticed a certain doll. Nothing was telling about this baby doll. Really it was just a doll with a pacifier and blanket. Marked for $10.99. I told Meridian that if she wanted she could buy it and I would pay the difference (the gift card was for $10).

And then my eyes noticed something sitting right next to this doll.

The same exact doll, except she was Caucasian and when my eyes wandered to the price I was astounded to see it listed at $11.99.

$1 more than the same doll that was African American.

My heart sank. As a mama to an African American daughter, I did not like the message that was being sent out to her, my other daughters, or anyone else.

I sent out a Tweet to Target when I got home that said:

This morning I woke up to a tweet from them asking me to contact them along with their contact info. When I saw that they wanted me to contact them I questioned whether or not $1 was worth it?

I mean, it's only a dollar. Not a big deal, right?

But then I thought what if $1 is a big deal to her?? What if it is a big deal to them?? Those who have been told their whole life that they aren't as important, aren't as needed, aren't as valuable compared to the white people.

And because I vowed to never stay silent and to always fight for my daughter, I called them.

*To read a follow up on this post and how you can make a difference, click HERE.*