The adoption process is not for the faint of heart. It requires big things of ordinary people. Running that gauntlet caused me to develop three new abilities, each which would eventually come in handy years later.
Lesson 1: Calm the Chatter
The Wait. I found all the doing of the adoption process to be the easy part. Get those fingerprints. Write those essays. Clean the house and host the homestudy appointments. Attend the classes and work up that adoption profile.
But when all the doing was over, the harder part started: doing nothing. Just waiting. Just sitting with all that anxiety over all the unknowns. Would it happen? How would it happen? Would something go wrong? How many things could go wrong? LET ME ENVISION ALL OF THEM.
My frantic mind, locked on a goal, got really good at conceiving of every possible thing that could go awry, monkey-chatter taking over as I moved through my days.
Continue reading 3 Things I Learned from the Adoption Process
That sounds really mean, doesn’t it? Hear me out as I make that case that sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.
“Children Are Anti-Fragile”
In a broader discussion of what he calls the vindictive attack culture on college campuses, Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist and professor of business ethics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says:
A carton of eggs is fragile, if you bang it around it breaks. But bone is anti-fragile. If you bang it around it gets stronger, and if you don’t bang it around it gets weaker. Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. [bold added by me]
I’ve been thinking about this in terms of parenting, adoptive parenting and modern culture.
Continue reading I Want My Kids to Struggle
Consistency in Sports and Politics
It’s not easy for a human to be completely consistent in their views. I wonder if we all have a hint of hypocrisy in us, no matter how much we try to arrange our beliefs into a cohesive schema.
We notice this in sports when we are hyper-vigilant and hyper-verbal about referee calls against our team, but we accept without question calls against the other team.
We notice this during election time, when we excuse behavior of the candidate from our party even though we excoriated the person from the OTHER side for doing something similar just a few years ago. Which we my have conveniently forgotten.
We find ways to justify.
(UPDATE: Witness your position on the recent Supreme Court vacancy. Would your stance on what the President/Senate should do remain consistent if the tables were turned?)
I got to thinking about consistency in the realm of reproduction. Let’s take, say, abortion (nothing like a little light banter to start a post!). Continue reading How Consistent Are Your Views?
One might think that Julian Lennon would have a heart filled with envy for his half-brother. Sean got the full-time dad, the intact family, paternal love and attention — so many vital relationship elements denied Julian while his father lived.
As with the biblical Esau vs Jacob and Joseph vs his 11 brothers, Julian had reason to see Sean as competition — or worse, the WINNER in the competition, through no fault or merit on either son’s part. After all, John Lennon left Julian and his mother behind, favoring Sean and showering his fatherly love on his younger son.
But somehow, Julian Lennon skipped emotions of murderous envy and stayed steadily on love and conciliation.
Not only that, but in later years, Julian had to resort to buying back his father’s memorabilia (including postcards from John to Julian) which had been auctioned by Yoko Ono.
(Watch from where it’ queued up to at least 6:15 — about a minute).
Later in the same CBS interview, Julian explains why he chooses to not be angry with Yoko Ono in spite of past difficulties over his father’s estate. Continue reading Julian Lennon Gets this Crucial Piece of Open Adoption