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.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flashback Friday: Prom

I thought it might be fun to do a prom picture flashback today. The local high school has prom tomorrow (not tonight as I said on my Instagram...duh Lauren! Prom is on Saturday!) and it's making me all reminiscent. I'm still in disbelief that it was ten years ago that I was a freshman in high school. It's been almost six years since I graduated high school. No way. I just don't feel old enough! :)

Let's start with Junior Prom. 2007. I wore a pink dress and to this day, it's my favorite dress I own. I went to David's Bridal with my mom and best friend and picked the first dress I tried on. It was pink and sparkly and just *perfect* for me. I loved it. I went to prom with a friend of my best friend, someone who I didn't know at all, but it was still fun.

We took a limo to and from prom, but our parents rode around in it while we were at prom. Which means that we were the last ones to leave...because they were still in town getting Starbucks with their friends!

Yes. I wore a cardigan to prom. What do you expect?
Post prom, we had a pancake breakfast!
And now, senior prom. Senior prom was the year that most of my friends went to prom, so that was obviously exciting. I'm not the most exciting person at the party, I'm not really a dancing queen, so Senior prom was more exciting because I had more friends like this at my prom with me. Once again, I went to David's Bridal with my mom and my friend to find a prom dress. Once again, I chose the first dress I tried on. It was tagged as costing $180, but when we got to the register, it ended up being $25...$32.99 with taxes and fees and stuff. So that was exciting! I planned on going to my senior prom solo, but I had a friend get involved and set me up with someone a week before prom. 

Post-prom, we went bowling. Because why not?

When I look back, I really did have some happy memories. Maybe everything didn't always work out how I'd always dreamed or planned, but I did have some happy memories from high school, and it's fun to look back every once and awhile!