Thursday, February 26, 2015

In His Time

I've made it.

I've fought battles and come out on the other side. These past few years have been rough. It's been a struggle to hang on and not give up and give in. I was in a terrible place, a terrible, horrible, dark place. I was lost. But now, by the grace of God (and grace alone- there's nothing I could have done to fix my state)- I feel like I've made it. I am a survivor. I think I get why all the cancer people do cancer walks every year. They want to look back and celebrate all of the wonderful things that God has done, how God has healed them of their infirmities. They want to scream it out from the rooftops, "HEY! I am a brand-spanking-new person! I was lost, but now I'm found. I was blind, but now I see. Amazing grace, my chains are gone!" I get it. I totally want to scream the message of hope and redemption from the rooftops, too, y'all. :)

Since I first heard the song "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North, I've been praying it as a prayer. I've written it in journals. I've screamed it out to God, begging for him to heal me. In his his time. These are the words I would pray:
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

Cause I’m worn
It hit me yesterday as I was driving in my car that he has shown me all of this and even more. I had to stop and cry a was quite an emotional moment. Redemption has won, the struggle is ending, and my heart is mended. The ashes inside of my broken life have risen into a glorious song, and the dead inside has been reborn. I think back to a year ago. Had you told me a year ago that I'd be getting married in 16 days, I would have laughed in your face. I had begun to believe that I was hopeless, that I was beyond help, that I would never live the life I dreamed of.

But, here I am.
I am getting married in a mere 16 days. I am getting to spend forever with the one whom my soul dearly loves, the man I've prayed for since I was a small girl in middle school. My dreams are slowly, but surely coming true. In his his time. I am recovering. I don't know when I'll really consider myself "recovered"- but I feel like I'm practically there. I still have thoughts sometimes, but I don't act on them, and I'm able to process them with others. I still battle anxiety- but, what bride doesn't? I feel like by taking things day by day and step by step, he is leading me. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. The Great I AM provides enough for each and every day.

I wrote a journal entry last summer. It's one of my absolute favorites to look back on, because even though I was struggling so hard, so was like a moment of clarity came through just long enough for me to write this. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and to encourage those still fighting this awful disease, I wanted to share it with you on the blog today.
July 13, 2014


I am running hard and fast into the cold, hard ground. My face is slamming against the pavement. I am so frustrated. Here I am, sitting at twenty three years old, a college degree under my belt, and I’m unemployed and will most likely be underemployed for my entire life. My light is going dim. I am so depressed right now. My motivation is lacking. I find it hard to conceive complete sentences and coherent thoughts. The days run into each other like a freight train flying fast down the tracks. I am frustrated. This is not how I imagined my life to be. I always imagined I’d be happy. I’d be either employed or married with children. I always imagined my life to be so much different than this. It does not seem fair that mental illness has stolen so much from me.

Some days I get mad. I scream at God as I drive down the road. How could he make me this way? How could there be purpose in all of this pain? Things are not supposed to be like this. I am a good little Christian girl. I did everything right. I didn’t drink, do drugs, have sex, use bad words or hang with people like that. I went to church on Sunday and Wednesday and any time the doors were open. I gave my life to Christ at the tender age of eight and I was baptized at twelve and I know the ten commandments like some people sing the songs on the radio. I can tell you my favorite bible verse and I can bring you down the Roman Road and lead you to Christ. I got a degree in religion with the idea of working at discipling children. I have a passion for the gospel. I can sing all the songs from Veggie Tales. I spend my free time reading theology, always yearning to know more. I work with the babies, the children, I mentor the girls. I do all the *right* things…and yet I end up here again. Lost and dazed and confused about how things got so messed up.

Things weren’t supposed to turn out like this. Doesn’t the verse say “All things work together for GOOD for those who love God”? Where is the good in all of this? Where is the good when I’m crying and screaming at my mother that I just want to kill myself? Where is the good when I’m so depressed I can’t function? Where is the good in the midst of the mania when I spend all the money that I don’t have on useless things? Where is the good in the middle of the meal when all I want to do is starve myself, hide the pain, purge away all the bad feelings? Where’s the good when the psychiatrist is talking about hospitals and psych wards and medications? Where is the good when all I want to do is take a razor blade to my skin? Where is the good? People send you flowers when you have cancer. They tell you should have been better and you should stop sinning when you have a mental illness. I scream at the unfairness of the situation. Where is the good in all of this? Where is God?

He’s there in the quiet. The stillness. He’s there as I whisper to myself “Work brain, work.” He’s there offering strength when I feel weak and grace when I falter. He’s there in the smiles of the girls that I do a bible study with. He’s there in a sweet note from a friend. He’s there as my mother, encouraging me to keep eating, keep fighting the voices. He’s there as my psychiatrist says that it’s going to be okay…and he’s even there in the psych ward. He’s there on the cold hard bed with the scratchy pink blanket. He’s there as an old man tells me how “they’ve gone off and drugged the coffee again”. He’s there in the giggles and the laughter. He’s there in the silence. He’s still there, even in the pain. He’s there in the man in the waiting room. He’s there in the little boy that giggles and smiles from the buggy in the supermarket. He’s there in the good book that I’m reading, the ability to focus for just a moment. He’s there on the lazy days in the hammock. He’s there in a cute shirt, a tiny burst of self confidence, blooming and blossoming. He’s there and he’s there and he’s never really left even though it seemed like it. He’s there and he’s real and maybe he didn’t give up on me after all.

Every single day, he gives me just enough. Just enough manna for the day. Its hard and it’s a struggle, but he gives me just enough strength to push through and fight another day. He gives me enough for today, and he tells me that he will provide for tomorrow tomorrow. I don’t need to store up enough strength, enough muster to fight for another week, another month, another year, another decade…God will provide my manna for me step by step, day by day. I don’t need to struggle and fight to store up ALL THE GOOD THINGS or ALL THE GOOD ACTS or ALL THE GOOD FEELINGS, I just need enough strength to fight for today. I can do hard things for one day. One day isn’t so overwhelming. Just for today. Just enough manna to feed my soul for the day. He will provide for tomorrow and the next days as they come. Life seems a little less overwhelming when you take it day by day. I feel a little less like a failure when I think of all of the great things I accomplished today, rather than focusing on the things that I didn’t do today or that I need to do tomorrow.
  • Today I went on a trip with my parents.
  • Today, my body digested yummy Cracker Barrel and took a nap.
  • Today I journaled.
  • Today I fought through urges.
  • Today I ate pizza with my parents and drank a slushy with my Daddy.
  • Today I snuggled with my doggie.
I didn’t have to do ALL THE THINGS…he gave me enough for the day. Sure, there have been tough spots, but God gave me enough manna to sustain me. Today, I am thankful for that. I am thankful for enough. I don’t need an abundance, I just need enough.
Enough strength for the day, he will always provide. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help and there is hope. Reach out, dig into the Word, and pray. There is life beyond your eating disorder and it is bright and beautiful out there! Don't give up. Don't stop fighting. Fight with every fiber of your being, and then fight some more. Reach out for professional help- therapists are great and nice people. If you need someone to talk to, find me on Twitter or Instagram (@laurenadam, until the wedding, at least!) or email me at 

I've made it. And you can, too.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm engaged!

This past month and a few days has been a whirlwind. On September 27th, I went on my first date with T. We met at a Cici's, then we went bowling, and then we walked around the mall. I never wanted the date to end. When I went home that night, I told my family that I had met the man I was going to marry. A week and a half later, we were at the mall again looking at engagement rings. We were both so set on that we were going to do this thing. I know that ring shopping may seem like a weird thing to do in the first two weeks that you are dating, but it was so us. I fell hard and fast for this boy. He loves me for who I am. I don't have to pretend that I'm something that I'm not around him. I knew that it would take roughly two weeks for the ring to come in, plus T had some scheming to do around the proposal, so I honestly didn't know when I was going to get a ring on my finger. T had a business trip coming up in Texas, so he asked me to come along and said we could stop by Houston on the way so that I could meet his family. I said yes, very excitedly. 

About a week ago, I started getting impatient and started bugging T about the ring. He fed me some story about the ring having to be sent back for quality concern issues, so I wouldn't be getting the ring for ANOTHER two weeks at least. I didn't totally believe the story, but I went with it. It seemed like too good of a lie. Over the next few days, T met with my dad for lunch to ask for his permission to marry me and unbeknownst to me, picked up the ring. We got ready for our trip and on Tuesday, we departed for Houston. I knew that T was scheming something, because he kept texting someone and wouldn't let me see his phone. I bugged him about it, but he refused to tell me. I became convinced that he was going to propose, but then he said something about not wanting me to be disappointed when it wasn't what I expected, so I began to think a proposal was not forthcoming. 9 hours later, we arrived at his parents' house where we had dinner with his parents, sister, brother in law, and nieces. We made plans to go ice skating at the Galleria the next day.

Wednesday, October 29th, we went into Houston to go to the Galleria. It took us about 30 minutes to find a parking spot, which was weird, because it's not that close to Christmas or anything. We walked down to a little park with a water wall, where we met T's father. Then, we walked over to the wall to get a closer look.

I started to get misted on and kind of wanted to leave, but then I saw my very best friend drop to one knee.

He pulled our three empty ring boxes first and tossed them aside, so I began to suspect that something was up and he was playing a very mean joke on me. Then he pulled out a ring pop and that just made me mad. I almost walked away, but he very quickly pulled out the fourth and final ring box, holding the ring that I'll wear on my left hand forever and ever. He asked me "Will you?", I said "Yes!" and that was that.

Then, I noticed his mom and sister taking pictures and I knew that this had been the plan all along. He told me about how his brother propsed in this very same spot, and I thought that was really neat. I love little traditions and I'm happy that we have some special places in Houston now. We did go ice skating (which was disasterous! I'm horrible!), and then we went to the Lego store for him to buy some Legos. Overall, I couldn't be happier. My life is in a wonderful place. I have a wonderful fiancé. I have hope that there is something bigger and better out there than living in my eating disorder.

And that's my engagement story!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Hi. My name is Lauren and I'm one very bad blogger.
Blogging used to be such a part of my life. I'd check up on my favorite blogs daily, blog weekly and I had a ton of "blog friends" that lived inside my computer. But somehow in the hustle and bustle of daily life, the isolating, and the trying to simplify, I've lost this art. It makes me sad. I remember the days that I loved blogging, but now it is kind of starting to feel like a chore. It feels like something I have to do, something I feel obligated to do...and I don't want it to be like that. I think the hard part about blogging for me right now is that I don't have a niche. There's not a whole lot of other blogs out there about being a 24 year old, living at home, and unemployed. I've found myself distancing myself from blog friends, mostly because of intense jealousy in my heart. I know that blogging is full of highlight reels and everyone has struggles, but somedays, it is HARD to read about others successes. It's hard to see people young and in love and having babies and teaching children and to think that I could have all of that, but I don't because I'm super messed up. It's hard to read about people working out and eating yummy foods when all I want to do is lose weight, exercise obsessively, and restrict my intake. It just makes it hard to relate.

But, I'm wanting to jump back on the blogging train. I know, I know, I've said it before. I'm probably going to fail a few more times before I pull myself together, but I think this could be a good thing. I'm currently in the process of trying to put my life back together and things are coming along quite nicely. I'm dating a wonderful guy. I'm almost a month in solid recovery. Good things are happening. I want to get back to the days when I blogged pictures and baked apple pies and did fun blog things. I want to get back to the days when my life didn't revolve around an eating disorder. So, while the eating disorder thing may be mentioned some, I'm going to try to keep my rants to a separate blog that is more private and keep this blog about me and who I am outside of that. I think I'm going to start by sharing 15 facts about myself at the moment. Yes, that sounds fun.

  1. I like doing word searches and logic puzzles in my free time.
  2. I need to get back into the reading groove. Currently, I'm not reading anything, but the boyfriend is trying to get me into Game of Thrones.
  3. I spent the summer in Georgia two summers back and I miss that place. That internship was really fun and a great growing experience.
  4. I'm doing laundry for the first time in forever today.
  5. I sleep with a teddy bear (Allie), a puppy (Puppy), and a flamingo (Flammy).
  6. I'm currently watching my way through the Star Wars series with my boyfriend and we've decided that I make an awful fangirl. Jar Jar Binks is my fave, but I do get why everyone hates him.
  7. I really want to work on another quilt (it would be my third) and make one for my future child's nursery. Yes, I'm already planning out the nursery.
  8. On the topic of future children, I really like the names Eloise, Annie, and Mary Catherine. I don't know about future boy children yet.
  9. I have some things that I want to sell on ebay but I'm too lazy to take pictures. I just want more money out of these items than Plato's Closet will give me.
  10. Even though I have a Mac, iPad, and iPhone, I really don't like Apple.
  11. Leggings are still my most favorite item.
  12. I got super excited that it was getting cold and I really wanted to pull out my long sleeve things, but then it got warm again.
  13. I think I'm going to start working on my Christmas list soon. I'm really excited about this Christmas!
  14. I really want to bake some cupcakes right now, but I don't want to make 24 of them and have that many staring at me all weekend.
  15. I have a kitty named Fitz that is super cute. 
And that's 15 facts about me! Yay blogging!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

thanks mom.

For when I was zero, thank you for birthing me. Thank you for going through months of pregnancy and hours and hours of labor- all so that I could have life.
For when I was one, thank you for quitting your job to stay home with me o that I could always know that I had/have a mommy who loves me. Thank you for spending time with me. Thank you for sacrificing so that I could have time with you.
For when I was two and three, thank you for loving me and teaching me songs about Jesus. Thanks for watching The Jungle Book a million and two times with me and for listening to Copycats of the King a million and seven times with me.
For when I was four, thank you uprooting everything and moving to Alabama so that we could be closer to family and live in a better environment. Thank you for the trips to the library to pick out fun books to read. Thank you for letting me get something from the ice cream truck one time.
For when I was five, thank you for holding my hand and walking my crying self into school each morning- even when I yelled and screamed and didn't want you to leave me.

For when I was six, thank you for volunteering in my classroom and helping my teachers and going on field trips. Thank you for teaching me how to read and encouraging the love of books that I still have today.

For when I was seven, I guess I can thank you for giving me a little brother. :)

For when I was eight, thank you for being my girl scout leader and going camping with me. Thank you for the time we stayed up late getting the head lice out of my hair so that I could go to camp with the rest of my troop, and thanks for reassuring me that even though I forgot my socks that day- the snakes wouldn't really bite my ankles.
For when I was nine and ten, thank you for being a friend and a listening ear. Thanks for being someone who always loved me, was always on my side, and someone who was always there when I needed someone. Thank you for encouraging me to use my voice and to speak up for what I believed in.

For when I was eleven, thank you for teaching me about how to love those who don't love you back. Thank you for teaching me that I was more than what a mean girl or mean teacher said to me.
For when I was twelve, thank you for introducing me to the miracle of adoption. Thank you for being willing to open up my home so that I could have a temporary sister that I had always wanted. Thank you for teaching me that being a mom doesn't just come from giving birth- but rather a place of love in the heart.
For when I was thirteen and fourteen and socially awkward, thank you for standing by me and letting me spread my wings to fly. Thanks for being a Band chaperone so that I could go on the fun trips without getting homesick. Thanks for bringing me to practice and school and everything else. Thank you for encouraging me to stick things out when they got hard.
For when I was fifteen, thanks for not leaving me. Thanks for sticking with me even though I didn't always want to be around you and I was a moody teenage girl. Thanks for not sticking me out on the side of the road when I threatened to call DHR on you because I was mad.
For when I was sixteen, thank you for giving me independence and space when I needed it, but not pushing it on me quicker than I could handle.
For when I was seventeen, thank you for standing beside me as I waded through the mess of scholarship and college applications and trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. Thank you for being my advocate when I needed you. Thank you for letting me make my own choices on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. Thanks for hemming my prom dress.

When I was eighteen, thank you for not abandoning me. Thank you for coming to visit me on Thursdays in Auburn so that we could have lunch together. Thank you for driving me to and from college because the interstate and driving freaked me out. Thank you for embracing my quirks and not making them seem abnormal- but rather accepting me for who I was, even if it meant massive sacrifice on your part.
When I was nineteen, thanks for letting me change my major for the second time. Thanks for letting me move back home. Thanks for encouraging me to never give up on my dreams. Thank you for telling me to speak up when something wasn't right.

When I was twenty and wanted to move off to Chicago, thanks for letting me go and then rescuing me. Some of my sweetest memories are of you and me walking in downtown Chicago, sharing a crepe, exploring Navy Pier on our last morning together. Thanks for letting me take the leap of faith. But thanks for coming to get me a week later too. Thanks for being there when I needed you.

When I was twenty one and still unsure of what to do with my life, thank you for encouraging me to follow my heart and my dreams. Thanks for letting me change my major a third and a fourth time. Thank you for instilling a love of children's ministry in my heart. Thanks for listening to me whine about how much I hated HC and the childish drama there. Thanks for rescuing me when I needed rescuing. 
When I was twenty two, I came to you crying about how I had an eating disorder and you did your best to do whatever you could to fix it. Thank you for listening. Thanks for the hugs. Thanks for taking me to doctor's visits and therapy appointments and treatment centers while we tried to figure out what to do. You drove me back and forth from Birmingham every weekend. You drove me to appointments two days a week in Birmingham. You became knowledgeable about treatment centers and models that you never knew of before. We didn't have a clue what we were doing and sometimes you messed up, but that's okay because you were trying your hardest to get me the help I needed. 
Now I'm twenty three. Since last year, you've held my hand countless times. You were there when I when I yelled and screamed and got manic and mean. You were there in the messy times. You were there to pick me up when I fell. You have always been there for me and I am so so so thankful for that. I'm grateful to call you my mom. Thank you for being there for me when my brain gets weird and I want to do bad things. Thank you for holding me as I scream at you. Thank you for never leaving me. I'm thankful that I have you to hold my hand when I'm getting blood drawn or a hard therapy session, and I'm thankful that we get to smile and laugh over lunch. I'm thankful that I have this season to learn from you. Thank you for accepting my messy beautiful life- even though it's not what we always expected it would be.
Thanks Mom.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Reading List

Every so often, I like to share what I'm reading. What's on my shelf, what's caught my eye. I realized the other day that I haven't shared what I've been reading in awhile....probably because I'm not reading too much! I feel like I read many more interesting books when I was in college, because I had to for classes (that was definitely the good part of being a religion major- all the fun books to read!). As I'm finding myself find a routine again, I find the urge to relax and curl up with a book. It's just the "safe and comfortable" thing for me. It's comforting to curl up under a quilt and read before bed. It's comforting to lie in a bubble bath while reading. Anyways, long story short- I'm back on the book reading train.

I've been prayerfully considering leading a bible study/small group this summer on healthy self esteem and body image and what God has to say about all of that. It's funny. I planned for things to work out one way, but God works in funny ways and things work out differently- but still really good. I'm at a peace about the study, which will be for 3rd-5th grade girls- but I'm kind of nervous about writing my own curriculum. There's just nothing out there on the market like what I want to do, which is incorporating art and creating projects while discussing the themes of the study. I've found two books that I plan on reading to hopefully inspire the curriculum.

Perfectly Unique was written by Annie Downs. I haven't read too many of her blogs, but I've heard good things about this book and it's author! The description reads as follows,
Your body is an instrument. No, it’s not a flute, or a guitar (I hope). It is a sacred and original design by a master craftsman with a specific plan and purpose. That’s a pretty big deal. From head to foot, the way you view your body is directly connected to how you serve God. Seriously. From the thoughts you think to the steps you take, every part of you is linked to the divine. Perhaps you are struggling with your body image or are trying to make sense of why God made you as you are. Maybe you are looking for new ways to understand Scripture or to love God more fully. Either way, this book will take you on a thoughtful, funny, and spirit-filled exploration of the way you were designed and will help you better honor the Creator by learning to value his perfectly unique creation (yourself!).

The second book I plan on using is Graceful, by Emily Freeman. I just love Emily and her blog. I used her book Grace for the Good Girl in some papers I wrote for college. It's one of my absolute favorite books, so I thought that getting the companion written for girls would be a great idea! Here's the description:
You know her--the good girl. She's the reliable one who shows up every week at youth group wearing a purity ring and a smile. She gets good grades, makes the team, and doesn't need to be told to come home on time. But deep down she is crushed by the weight of the responsibility to be the good one, the smart one, the one who never messes up.
With the same candor and gentle spirit she showed women in Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman now gives young women what they need to be free on the inside, no matter what's going on outside. Through an honest look at the roles girls play, she helps them learn to stop trying and start trusting that the Jesus who came to save them also comes to live with them, right here and now.
Freefall to Fly is the third book on my list. I've been wanting to read it for awhile, so it seemed like a good time. It's not necessarily tied to the study I'm doing, more just for personal growth and development. 
Women today are fading. In a female culture built on Photoshopped perfection and Pinterest fantasies, we’ve lost the ability to dream our own big dreams. So busy trying to do it all and have it all, we’ve missed the life we were really designed for. And we are paying the price. The rise of loneliness, depression, and anxiety among the female population in Western cultures is at an all-time high. Overall, women are two and a half times more likely to take antidepressants than men. What is it about our culture, the expectations, and our way of life that is breaking women down in unprecedented ways?
In this vulnerable memoir of transformation, Rebekah Lyons shares her journey from Atlanta, Georgia, to the heart of Manhattan, where she found herself blindsided by crippling depression and anxiety. Overwhelmed by the pressure to be domestically efficient, professionally astute, and physically attractive, Rebekah finally realized that freedom can come only by facing our greatest fears and fully surrendering to God’s call on our lives. This book is an invitation for all women to take that first step toward freedom. For it is only when we free-fall that we can truly fly.
So that's what's on my list! What's on yours?

Friday, April 25, 2014

For the first time in forever...

So, a common theme around here is honesty. I'm trying to be more honest and open about my life. I'm trying to remember to blog in the good times and the bad times. I'm trying to remember to blog at all, actually. Something happened yesterday that I wasn't going to blog about. I went to an intake evaluation for a treatment program that I was at last year. I went into the appointment feeling very defeated and very nervous. My brain was telling me that I wasn't "sick enough" and that I needed to do certain things to get sick again (silly, I know. Brains work that way sometimes). And then I got some "bad" news....I really wasn't sick enough. Actually, maybe it was "good" news?!

When I did my assessment today with my former therapist, I might have cried a bit in her office when she told me that she didn’t think I needed a HLOC. But, I’m starting to understand what she meant and how its really a good thing. We spent an hour and a half doing my assessment and then comparing it to my previous two assessments at EDCA. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I AM progressing. I'm beginning to realize that it's really a good thing that I’m not sick enough. I’m no longer the girl I was a year ago- and I don’t really want to be her again. My relationship with my parents is better and more supportive. I’m not using behaviors as much. My weight isn’t at a critical level. While I need some additional support (like groups and stuff), there isn’t really a reason to give up everything good that is going on in my life (leading a small group, volunteering at my church) to put life off again and go to treatment. It would kind of be a backwards step. Actually, it would be a major backwards step. It was totally a God thing that Bryn was the one to do my assessment yesterday. As we looked back at my previous two intake evaluations, I was able to see that I really am progressing, I'm changing, I'm finding free. I'm not the girl that ate a piece of ham on a bagel thin and called it lunch. I've gone a whole month without purging. I'm more open and honest than ever about my feelings and what I'm thinking. Am I struggling? Yes. Are the thoughts still there? Yes. But, I'm slowly learning to deal with the thoughts and not act out on my behaviors. I'm eating things like pizza and hamburgers and candy bars. I'm doing the next right thing when I slip up. Am I totally and completely recovered? No! But, I am getting better. I am healing. I am reaching a state of wholeness and completeness. 

So, for the first time in forever...I'm choosing to make goals and dreams. For the first time in forever, I think I understand. It's not about what I'm going to be doing a year from now or five years from now, or a month from now. It's about living in this moment, dealing with the hand life has dealt me, and sticking to it. I'm learning that my life doesn't have to be "Excel Spreadsheet" perfect. I was created for so much more than I could ever think of, dream of, or imagine! I'm figuring out who God made me to be, and it's okay if my life looks a little different right now. I may be living at home with my family, but this just gives me more sweet moments and snuggles with them. I may be unemployed, but I get to volunteer at my church and learn from a godly woman about how to be a children's director, mom, and wife. I may not be where I always thought I would be at 23, but that's okay. When the right thing comes along, I'll know.

I also fully believe that we are perfectly positioned in certain places. I was born now and positioned where I am, for SUCH A TIME AS THIS. I'm taking a leap of faith and starting the process of starting up an EDA group (Eating Disorders Anonymous). It's kind of like AA, but for eating disorders. While talking with Bryn, I realized how few resources there are in my community for recovering people. There are no eating disorders support groups in my area. I have to go to Tuscaloosa to attend the closest group. It's also a group that just started...and it's literally one of three in my state. Three support groups. For a disorder that affects . There's nothing. This makes me really sad, because I want support so badly. So, I'm taking that leap and starting up a group. Right now, I don't know where we'll meet or when it will start...but I'm going to be a light in my community. I'm excited, nervous about logistics and if anyone else will show up, but I'm trusting that God will provide. He always has, he always will, and I know that if he placed this on my heart, he's going to work out the details (even if it's in an unexpected way). 

I was a slave to my eating disorder and depression and anxiety, but now I'm finding free. For the first time in forever...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adding the Paprika

About a month ago, a lawmaker in my state made some comments about race and adoption. The subject of race is no stranger to my state. Alabama is known for having archaic and outdated laws still on our books. Section 256 of our state constitution (which, by the way, is the longest constitution in the world) still demands racial segregation in schools (which obviously doesn't still happen thanks to Brown vs. The Board of Education and other legislation). It wasn't until 2000 that interracial marriage was "legalized". We have some problems. Racism is rampant. I get it. Lawmakers making comments about race isn't uncommon, and to some extent...I get it. But sometimes, things just don't add up. In this particular case, Representative Alvin Holmes was in a debate over a new abortion bill that Alabama was trying to pass. He made some comments about how white daddies wouldn't want their daughters having black babies and how most of his fellow lawmakers would make their daughters have an abortion if that happened in their lineage (I'm paraphrasing, but you get the point). I get where this thought process comes from, somewhat agree, but we are in 2014 and Alabama IS making strides. Give us a little credit, Holmes. Then, he made the big oopsey.

He got into transracial adoption. He made the comment that not enough white families adopted black children. He even went as far to say that ""I will bring you $100,000 cash tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama. I will go down there and mortgage my house and get it cash in 20 dollar bills and bring it to you in a little briefcase." Well, Mr. Holmes stirred up quite a racket in Alabama. Hundreds of adoptive families and thousands supporting the adoptive families have joined forces in a Facebook group called Faces of Families in Alabama. I'm super excited about this movement. I'm super excited that adoption is getting out there in the news and that maybe more families will consider adding to their families through foster care and/or adoption. Maybe this can bring about awareness of all the kids that are waiting for their forever families. Maybe another family can add some "paprika" to their life!

Here's the deal. I have a brother that adds paprika to my life! I remember the day that we went to DHR to pick him up. He was 9 months old. I remember discussing nicknames with my mom- should we call him Desi or Mondo? (We settled on Desimondo and it stuck for a bit. Then he got old and nicknames got embarassing). 
Through the years, we've grown together. I can't imagine life without my baby brother. Even though he's really annoying at times, I feel like something would be missing in my life without him. In 2007, when Des was 5, my parents signed the papers and the adoption became official. My brother was now "officially" a part of the family that he had joined many years before. In our hearts, he's been an Adam since the beginning. Mom even kept his baby toys and coloring pages, just like the rest of us.
 Just because he's a different skin color, it doesn't mean he's any less of a brother to me. Yes, the repetitive questions and awkward answers sometimes get annoying. Explaining that he's adopted (which you would think was obvious!) gets old. He gets tired sometimes of people asking him why he has a white family. But, I'd pick this life with him over a life without him...most days at least. :)

 Des is now 12 years old. He's a character. He's charming and hilarious. He makes me laugh. I love running to his different sports events. I love the fact that he can have a sweet personality, when he wants to. I love his smile and his laugh. I love when he gets in trouble and Mom gets mad at him (Hey! I'm a sister! That's what sisters do!). :)
We like to say that Des adds the paprika to our lives. The rest of us are pretty boring, but there's never a dull moment with Desmond around! He adds spice to our lives. His extrovertedness brings us out of our introverted cages. He makes us smile and laugh. I love fighting with him about who gets to cuddle with our dog. I can honestly say that my life wouldn't be the same without transracial adoption....and I'm not even sure who or what I'd be without Des. This charming, witty, funny boy has charmed my heart....and he's here to stay.