Saturday, September 15, 2018

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole.
Trust me.
For when she finds her muchness;
when she gathers all the pieces of herself,
all the pieces you have broken,
it will be too late.
She wont just leave.
She will trample every inch of you on the way out,
Every unkind word you spoke,
every stinging touch
will fuel her wrath.
You want her whole,
for the chaos of her brokenness will make hurricanes seem like a lazy Saturday rain and tornados a gentle breeze.
You want her whole because with her beside you the world is yours for the taking,
and with her beneath the very earth will quake with her tears.
You want her whole because no matter how broken she becomes, eventually those pieces will call to one another
and pull close,
becoming heavier than your angry hands
and bigger than your worth.
You want her whole because her broken pieces will shred your frailty.
You want her whole because anything less is the swift ruin of you.


 -Jessica Lynn Freeman

Monday, September 10, 2018

Were They a Christian and Other Things You Ought Not Ask Grieving People

My Christian friends,

I need to say something, and I pray that you can hear me. If for no other reason than I am in all ways exhausted, I ask that you not comment and will be deleting the comments of anyone who does, regardless of what is said. This isn't one of those times where I'm up for a hearty debate. I'm just not.

For whatever reason, it appears that, over and over again, I get put into a position to be a voice on painful situations. I don't have the gift of ignoring or not caring, though to be quite honest, on most days, I curse that fact. I'm exhausted of testimonies and the awful situations I have survived that have created them, but that is a post for another day.

Back to the topic at hand.

My Christian friends, I know that your faith is important (It's important to me too). I know that you find comfort in believing that you will see your loved ones some day in heaven, that they followed all the steps, and did all the things to get in.

But, please, for the love of all that is holy, when you hear that someone has died, please stop asking their friends and loved ones if they were a Christian or if they had Jesus in their heart.

I get the intent, but, what if the answer is, "No?" Or, "I don't know?" What is the follow up to that?

Take a moment and think about what you have just done to that grieving friend or family member. You have, at a minimum, in what is a heart wrenching time of their life,  made their burden heavier. Please stop.

The reality is, even if you were this person's very best friend, no one knows the heart of another person fully, and really, it isn't your job to. I can point you to all kinds of scripture about this, but I'm tired and honestly, if you are a Christian, you know it, or should know it anyway.

There are lots of comforting things to say to someone who is grieving the loss of someone they love. Please choose something else.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Tyler Perry's Trees Analogy

The following is a quote from Tyler Perry's Movie and stage play, Madea Goes to Jail


"I put everybody that comes into my life in the category of a tree. Some people are like leaves on a tree. When the wind blows, they're over there... wind blow that way they over here... they're unstable. When the seasons change they wither and die, they're gone. That's alright. Most people are like that, they're not there to do anything but take from the tree and give shade every now and then. That's all they can do. But don't get mad at people like that, that's who they are. That's all they were put on this earth to be. A leaf. 

Some people are like a branch on that tree. You have to be careful with those branches too, cause they'll fool you. They'll make you think they're a good friend and they're real strong but the minute you step out there on them, they'll break and leave you high and dry. 

But if you find 2 or 3 people in your life that's like the roots at the bottom of that tree you are blessed. Those are the kind of people that aren't going nowhere. They aren't worried about being seen, nobody has to know that they know you, they don't have to know what they're doing for you but if those roots weren't there, that tree couldn't live. 

A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it... just let it go. Let folks go."

Saturday, June 02, 2018

A Letter to My Adopted Daughters

To my Adopted Daughters,

My wish for you is peace and the ability to understand what love is.

I pray for the day when your smile is genuine and your eyes dance.

I long for the moment you can let go long enough to simply be.

I ache for your freedom.

You have come so far already, many children who experienced what you did died, but not you.

You fought starvation, neglect, abuse.

You survived and for that I am so very grateful, but baby girl, you don't have to survive anymore, it is time to live.

Lay down your weapons sweetheart, you won the war the day I said I will.

You can rest in the knowledge that you have a Mama who loves you as is.

I hope someday you can accept that, even if you never comprehend the significance or how much it cost.

I love you.

I hope to someday see you,

minus all the defenses,

free of all the blockades that keep me so very far from where I want to be.

Until then...

I'll be waiting...

Mom

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thank You Mama

Hey Jessica,

Thank you so much for getting up super early and driving kids to school even though they could take the bus because you know it causes them anxiety. Thank you for doing that even when you havent slept at all and you are exhausted.

Thank you for answering phone call after phone call about situations you cannot help. Thank you for praying about those situations even if you aren't sure God hears you anymore.

Thank you for not flipping out when you saw laundry you just washed and folded thrown on the floor.

Thank you for bleach moping the entire house because it's rainy and you know everyone had drug every kind of grossness in.

Thank you for changing sheets everyday and making sure everyone had clean clothes.

Thank you for being on 58 phone calls in one day to make sure your adopted daughters get what they need, even when it makes your other kids mad at you.

Thank you for taking 4 phone calls from one daughter who is concerned that she won't have a place to go when she leaves the hospital.

Thank you for calling and begging and pleading with any and everyone who will listen so that she does have a place to go.

Thank you for taking the dog out and dealing with the fact that she refuses to pee in the rain. 

Thank you for feeding tiny kittens because their mama died and you know how to do it.

Thank you for washing dishes that will be rewashed as if you did nothing, or left in random places to grow the very best mold.

Thank you for extending grace to others that they cannot be bothered to extend to you.

Thank you for refusing to give up even when your heart is broken.

Thank you for even getting up today when your entire being screamed to stay in bed.

Love All ways and Always,

Jessica and every other Mama she knows

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Darkness and Light

Sometimes while walking through the forest, the darkness encroaches so slowly that you don't notice that it's there. 

Your eyes adjust to the lack of sunlight, you move forward, unaware. You never stumble or falter or realize that there is anything at all wrong with your travels.

And by and by the sun begins to rise, a sun you never noticed was missing. A flicker of light makes it's way between the trees, shininge. You turn around and try to move away from it. It becomes hard to see. 

Your focus is lost. 

You are scared but drawn. 

You can't move or breathe or feel.

And the light gets brighter. . .

Your eyes begin to adjust to the way things should be. You remember what it was once like to see the details in the world around you. 

A familiar joy rises up within in you, beckoning your forward. You move faster and step closer anxious to continue to allow your world to brighten. 

You are chasing the sun, 

terrified of losing it again, 

off getting lost in the darkness, 

unaware.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

No Hope, No Love, No Glory, No Happy Ending

As my adopted children have grown into adulthood and ever more dangerous, I find myself moving farther away in both heart and mind. To quote my friend Jenny, my daughter's have become the walking dead. They are alive but lost to me, though I suppose they were never really "mine" in the first place. Their mental illness and trauma history have reigned supreme as their true mother. That hurts to even type. 

Sometimes I feel like I have lost my daughter's, but the reality is whether close and loving or far away and trying to kill me, I will always be their mother. For me that is both a blessing and never-ending curse. 

Right now my heart is so buried under hurt and fear that most days I wish I had never met these kids. They have, in many ways, ruined what I pictured for my life. And while most days I can convince myself that at least I helped them get to adulthood, or at least I was able to help other mothers, at the end of the day I'm just angry that decisions I made in love have turned into such ugliness for myself and my other children. 

I rest only in knowing that them turning 18 at least removes the constant threat of being charged with neglect on one of the many times the mental health system fails and tries to send a danger person into my home. However, they have still managed to make allegations and bring authorities into my home. The difference is that I can show they have not been here and so me actually being guilty is an impossibility. I seriously got a call last Saturday one of them had ran away and told the officer first that the grouphome assaulted her and then that I had. I said sir, I'm a couple hours away, I have refused to be alone with her since September. Like really? Despite my current anger and bitterness, I know that beneath it lies waves of grieving I can't even begin to to address because I will surely drown in the awfulness of it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Adopting Kids with Mental Illness

Some things I wish I knew or understood as a foster and adoptive parent...please feel free to share.

Don't adopt outside of your understanding.

If you have a child, do NOT adopt a child older than that child.

Educate yourself.

Don't trust the professionals as the final word, investigate!

Always work out post adoption support services (subsidy, insurance, coverage for non insurance covered issues). Do NOT agree to adopt without this.

Look at the child exactly as they are right now. Is this enough? If not, please don't adopt. Change is great but hoping for change in chronic mental illness is beyond what most can handle.

Connect. Connect. Connect. You NEED other foster and adoptive parents.

Have fun! This world is painful. Find something that makes it easier and cling to it.

Understand that you did NOT create your child or their issues. You are just trying to help them overcome.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Common Sense Gun Laws NOW!!!!

With the latest school shooting, I have sat sickened as I have heard people say that it is a people problem, not a gun problem.

Just a side note, my mainly vegetarian self is from a family of hunters. I have NO issue with hunting. I don't do it, but I respect those who do.

I love my family dearly. I know that they hunt, and while I don't, I appreciate the love they have for it. What I have yet to see is any of my gun owning, hunting friends or family use automatic weapons to hunt.

Automatic weapons are absolutely unnecessary for the general public. Admittedly in my own perfect world, where guns have repeatedly been used to threaten me, I would prefer they did not exist at all. I also understand there are some guns that serve a positive purpose for some people.

When the highest and seemingly most important of all constitutional amendments was written (or at least that is how it feels), guns with the capability that we have today did not exist. They were not even dreamed of.

When I was ten years now old my father shot my stepmother and himself. With his history of domestic violence and alcoholism he should have absolutely NOT had a gun, but legally, he did. He had many of them.

And yes, my dad could have used a knife or fork, or stone, or his hands, which he did many times. 

When my father abused my mother or my stepmother, they were able to walk away with broken bones or bruises, but they walked away. If my dad, who I know was intent on killing himself and my step mom, had a fork or knife, a time element that could have saved everyone's lives would have been introduced.

Yes, he may have stabbed her, but she could have ran, or crawled away, maybe she would have still died, but she would have had a chance beyond dying on a set of stairs with gunshot wounds to her back from trying to run away.

If my dad had stabbed himself, with a knife or fork, even if he stabbed himself in the head, he may have been hurt, but he could have had time to get help.

Guns, the immediacy of bullets, they took my father from me. Not his mental illness, not his propensity for violence. If he had not had easy access to guns, he could have had a chance to change his mind from a decision that has broken many of his children and family forever.

Time. That is the difference. That is why gun control matters.

Or at least why it matters to me as I prepare to celebrate another birthday of my dad's without him.

Please work to pass gun legislation that first and foremost limits those with a domestic violence history or mental illness from purchasing guns. You know, currently people who commit acts of domestic violence, even if charged and convicted are able to own guns? You see, it is as simple as them taking a domestic violence class and had their record expunged. This should NEVER happen.

Think long and hard on the cost of allowing citizens to own automatic weapons, especially like an AR 15 with a high kill capacity.

The latest? The lives of seventeen humans.

Is it worth it? For me, it isn't. Even one is not worth it and by the time I am done typing this, more victims of gun violence will already be created.

In reference to the argument that guns don't kill people, try to look at it like this...cars don't kill people, people kill people. Ok, and yet, many laws have been put into place on the responsible use and operation of a vehicle. From training and testing for drivers, vehicle inspections to work the way they should, to a loss of driving privileges for things like diminished capacity or a failure to follow a multitude of other laws which may or may not be driving related. How can we understand the danger of cars and ignore the danger of guns that are used on a daily basis to end the lives of our citizens?

Please do something.

Common sense guns laws NOW!

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole. Trust me. For when she finds her muchness; when she gathers all the pieces of herself, all the pieces you have broke...