Dr. King’s Dream UNrealized…

Dr. King’s Dream UNrealized…

I think one of the more frustrating things about celebrating Martin Luther King Jr day is watching as many white people who had terrible things to say about the protestors in Baltimore and Chicago share some of Dr. King’s more famous quotes on social media. It’s always the more comfortable ones, the ones that don’t push or pull at any of their preconceived notions about what it’s like to be black in America. “The time is always right to do what is right.”  “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

I haven’t seen anyone post some more controversial but ultimately more timely of his quotes. Allow me.

It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.

I think it is good and right that we are celebrating the life and legacy of a man who disrupted the national language on race. He was not the first and he won’t be the last but he is certainly the most widely acknowledged and for that, I am forever grateful. Of course my current life and roll as mom to my five humans wouldn’t have been possible without his and so many others who sacrificed. And yet…

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

I can’t help but believe there is no way Martin Luther King Jr would have been okay with the current status of our racial relations in this country. I can’t believe that when he penned his Letter from Birmingham Jail (excerpts in italicized bold throughout this post) that he would see a boy like Donald Trump who openly espouses racist ideology leading the polls of an entire party as progress. And what of the confederate flag still waving above state capitals? Would he not see the unjust irony in the same state capitals waving the confederate flag taking the day off of work to commemorate his life?

But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society…There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

And yet people point to having a black President of the United States and many other black Americans in positions of power. Steps forward, to be sure, but Dr. King never talked about allowing a few African Americans to be let in to the benefits of society that white Americans were naturally allowed because of the color of their skin, he was talking about all Americans being afforded the opportunity. I’m sure King would’ve celebrated Obama’s victory but also challenged Americans who believed it was a symbol of the death of racism. Particularly when faced with the reality that in 2010, 27.4 percent of blacks were still stuck in the airtight cage of poverty, compared to just 9 percent of non-hispanic whites.

A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law… Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

53 years after King wrote the above, there are states in America that are passing Voter ID laws that place an undue burden on mostly poor and disproportionally black and latino Americans. Every bit of research proves election fraud is a nonissue and in that rare case that it happens, it’s mostly by mail-in absentee ballots (and thus not weeded out by the Voter ID law). 53 years and and the call to lift the obstacles in the way for black Americans and their right to vote remains.

I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys…

And what of the incarceration rate of black men in America in 2016? Can we honestly say King’s dream has been realized when African Americans are imprisoned at nearly six times the rate of whites? Even though 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites. 53 years later and black Americans are still being slapped, kicked and killed by police with impunity. How do we celebrate the man but okay the status quo?

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice… Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I admit to being for many years one of those moderates to which King references. I had no idea what white privilege meant or how I could possess it without ever having asked for it. I think because of that I find myself not in a position of pointing fingers and accusing other moderate whites of being terrible people or outright racists because they aren’t out joining protests. What I am saying is that I understand how the moderate whites who say nothing do more harm than the outright racists who spout such terrible rhetoric only other terrible people will agree. We whites who are kind, thoughtful, smart, considerate, community and business leaders who are not doing our part to educate ourselves and the people we love about what America is actually like for people of color hurt the cause more by turning a blind eye and encouraging others to do the same. We can no longer claim we are ignorant of the plight of people of color because we have access to their stories at our fingertips. Our ignorance is no longer bliss it’s poison and I believe King knew that even then-years before the Internet.

I felt we would be supported by the white church felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leader era; an too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

The church. King writes in his Letter from Birmingham Jail that he has wept for the laxity of the church. “But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church.” Man do those words hit home for me as well. I’ve blogged before about my issues with the church and it seems King’s words are more prophetic than ever in that regard. It turns out I’m not nearly as forgiving as Dr. King because the church’s silence on matters of race is one big reason I still haven’t walked through the hollowed doors of a church in awhile. The deafening silence of my fellow christian when black life after black life is taken is enough to make me wonder if God is listening at all. And yet, I believe He is and I believe in the church-that she will come again to walk alongside the oppressed as Jesus once did. I know enough church leaders who are doing their part to call their congregation to come alongside their African American peers and to fight the injustice that pulses through the veins of our country to have hope. Dr. King taught me that.

Why I celebrate Dr. King today is because he is proof that a completely fallible human can carry out a revolution. Anyone who has done their homework knows that Dr. King wasn’t a perfect man and yet he became the voice of a generation who had been oppressed for too long. He is proof that you can do big things with your one big life no matter your past and no matter your current shortcomings.

Let today be a reminder of how far we’ve come, thanks in part to Dr. King, for sure. But let it also be a reminder of just how far we have to go.

Let it remind you that our current justice system is the exact same justice system that was in place in Dr. King’s time. It is currently working exactly how it was intended. This means we don’t need an updated justice system, we need to tear the current one completely down and start from scratch. We cannot possibly expect equality in our prison system when the system began on the backs of African Americans.

Let it remind you that current housing policies and racial bias in the workforce continue to keep people of color smothering in the airtight cage of poverty at far greater rates than whites just as they did 53 years ago.

Let it remind you that the school to prison pipeline is taking our children of color and setting them on the same paths of imprisonment that Dr. King abhorred. We can claim to have come so far but when we are stacking the cards from such a young age we can longer be surprised when the lives of people of color crumble under such weight.

And let today remind you that you are capable and have the moral obligation to act on behalf of those still oppressed. That you have a moral obligation to listen to their stories and not count them as false just because they differ from your own. Yes, the moral arc of the universe is long and bends towards justice but we have to be the ones to bend it. Let today remind you that no matter who you are, how little you think you matter or how many mistakes you make that you can make a difference. That your voice matters. It’s time we stop whitewashing Dr. King’s legacy and start taking up the cross that burdened him and continues to burden America. Because even though part of Dr. King’s dream has been realized there is far more that has been unrealized and it is that part that needs your voice. Lend it.

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On Raising Children of Color

Last night during Trysten’s basketball game I received a phone call from one of my babe’s teachers. I didn’t answer it as I didn’t recognize the number but she went on to leave a lengthy voice message about how bad of a day this babe of mine had had. She sounded frustrated and over him. The message was left at 6pm, it had been a long day for her.

Normally I get angry, we have consequences at home and it’s kind of over. But with this situation in particular the phone call hit me hard because there’s been a subtle boiling of rage within my cherub lately. I wasn’t sure if it was his way of dealing with impending puberty, his wrestling with the independence he feels a right to and the dependence on us that comes with being his young age-a fact for which he really dislikes-but I knew it was a matter of time before the bubbling brook became a river of rage. I could feel it more succinctly than Zach because often the rage that presents itself in signs of disrespect is directed at me. Women. It’s a thing for my guy. It was no surprise that the teacher calling was the female teacher and not the male teacher who takes up the other 50% of his day.

The truth is there was no big thing he did yesterday that warranted the phone call. I could hear in her voice that yesterday was the proverbial straw that broke her back. That 3 months of letting the small things go had led to this moment wherein she undoubtedly felt like she would do anything to get him out of her class and he felt like she hated him. I could feel the tension between the two of them at conferences and I did my best to build a bridge but the bridge was burning in my babe’s eyes and I had a feeling it was too late. When this sweet child of mine has decided he’s done with you there is no possible way to come back from that.

The male teacher of his ended up calling us last night to touch base and reassure us that we can all work together to get him back on the right track. This morning he sent a follow up text, “I just want to encourage you as well that I really do love having x in class. He has such a great sense of humor, he is so bright and does so well academically and his peers look at him as a leader. He has all the potential in the world. I know some of this can be discouraging but there is so much good here too.”

After a night tossing and turning and being equal parts overwhelmed and scared about my babe’s future that text was a salve to my soul. It still makes me cry just reading it.

The truth is I’m scared for my babe. I’m so scared that the parts in him that need to be right all of the time, that gets so personally offended when confronted with any reminder to behave better will get him killed. I’ve written before about how terrifying it can be to raise black sons and I wasn’t exaggerating. When raising a defiant, young, black man there are nights where you’ll lose sleep thinking about the ways in which he might use his obstinate nature on the wrong kind of person and the lights will be out. This is a very real possibility for my son and it sends me into a cold sweat every time I think about it.

There’s a phrase “School to prison pipeline” that surely haunts the night hours of anyone raising black youth. Children of color face harsher discipline than white children in schools and are more likely to be pushed out of school than their white peers. There is no doubt in my mind that my son did exactly what the teachers said he did, my fear is that when he gets into middle school and high school the teachers won’t know him as well as these teachers do and will punish him more harshly for doing exactly what he did yesterday-something his white peers have also done. (Go here for more information on the school to prison pipeline-the graph is all you need to see to understand the epidemic.) Though he has 2 parents who will have his back no matter what, the fact that he’s not as free to make mistakes as his oldest brother is infuriating.

Then there’s a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of our “great” country spouting lies and racist rhetoric about African-Americans. The educational system is a petri dish full of ways in which it will be a tougher road for 3 of my boys, there is no denying that. When I add one of my son’s inclination to disrespect in moments of tense conversation to the petri dish the narrow window for him to get into a great college and land a great job gets narrower. Land of opportunity my ass.

I am overwhelmed at raising my young, black sons because I have never been a boy and have never been black. Though I’m a woman, which can feel “other” in certain circles, there is no denying a good percentage of our country sees black not just as “other” but as a specific kind of threatening “other” so I’ve never felt the same weight my boys do/will. I don’t know if some of my son’s anger has to do with the heaviness of adoption related trauma or the burden of this country’s claim on his black body. Maybe it’s just pre-teen hormones or anger at a girl choosing a different boy. Odds are there’s a little bit of all of that pulsing through his beautiful veins.

What I do know is that though I can be immeasurably frustrated when he’s being disrespectful to me, his transgressions are not what I think of when I picture this boy in my mind. Because he’s also light and love. That teacher was right about all the ways in which he holds in his small body the ability to do big, beautiful things with his one big life. Even though he and I both went to bed crying last night, this morning he asked me if I needed help with anything before he went to get in the car before school. The way he treats his younger cousins is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen from a boy his age and his tenderness with animals is truly something to behold. The list continues ad infinitum and yet…

I know if the worst happens and his disrespect gets him killed the news will focus on that time in elementary when he threw a paper at his teacher and not the time that he brought in a stray cat during winter and tried to hide it in the garage to nurse it back to health. They might focus on all of the pictures I have of him half frowning-a head full of emotion swirling behind his dark eyes rather than the ones I have of him in moments uninhibited where his head is cocked to the side and his eyes are almost closed because he’s laughing so hard.

I know for those not raising brown or black sons this may sound alarmist but it’s a reality for so many people in our country. Tamir Rice wasn’t just a 12-year-old boy gunned down in his youth, he represented how easily my boys could do everything right and still die at the hands of those meant to protect him. Just as the mass shooting at Sandy Hook had all of my white friends raising white babies terrified at the thought that it could’ve been their child; the names of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald and Michael Brown haunt our nightmares because they represent a daily occurrence of black bodies being taken for no reason and with no justice. I’m just getting around to feeling it now that my sons have turned from chubby cheeked little brown boys to man-boys with facial hair and sculpted deltoids.

I didn’t sleep last night because as I was washing his bedding yesterday I was overcome with love for my son. When I pushed his sheets into the wash the smell of his hair and stale coconut oil washed over me and I just sat and cried. We’ve come a long way he and I and I’m proud in so many ways of where we are. I just don’t want my failings as a mom to get in the way of his future. I don’t want our failings as a country to handicap him in any way and I don’t want his own personal failings to be anything other than what they are for the rest of us-a stepping stone to be better and do better the next day.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color but I do know what it feels like to be a mom. I know there is no limit to what I will do to encourage him to be a better man and take ownership for the times in which he really messes up. But today the realization that it might not be enough is hitting just a little too hard. Raising a black son amidst so much fear mongering and anti-everything means that no matter how great of a kid he is-and dammit he’s one of the best-it just might not be enough. What a heartbreaking reality.

On Baltimore

On Baltimore

On last week’s episode of the podcast This American Life they were talking about how studies show posting news articles or constantly making your opinion known on social media does nothing in the way of convincing someone from opposing viewpoints to change his/her mind. What does work, though, is when we get to know people with opposing viewpoints and can learn just enough to pull down the-relateively small-walls that separate us. TAL gave the example of people in California who were canvassing for the same sex marriage bill. It was proven through results of the canvassing that if the canvasser was gay/lesbian and was able to just enter into a conversation with someone who was against same sex marriage, more than likely that opposer would change his/her mind. Because now there was a face to the issue. (You can find the podcast here or just search “This American Life” in iTunes.)

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I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week as Baltimore has erupted in what has become a common scene in America. I see my white friends who do not have black children mostly silent other than a few posts celebrating the woman who beat on her son who was rioting or a post encouraging the police. I see the adoptive contingency being pretty vocal-at least numerous posts a day about really poignant pictures or prose that speaks to the racism still so prevalent in these United States. Many of my black friends are relatively silent on the issue, perhaps because it feels like the story they’ve been told for as long as they can remember continues to play out.

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I just want to take this moment to remind us all of one thing: you can say whatever you want about a situation, but that does not make it true. You can even believe it to be true, but that doesn’t make it so. You can say the sky is gray, but that doesn’t make it true. Just like you can say that we don’t have a racial problem in America, but that doesn’t make it true. You can say we don’t have a police problem in America, but that doesn’t make it true. We can say any number of things and yet, just because we want them to be true or we were told they were true-does. not. make. them. so.

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One of our dear, dear friends is an amazing Lt on a police force. He works his ass off to do the right thing by the citizens he protects and, of all of my kids, he’s quite partial to Binyam. I know him, I love him, I believe him to be “one of the good best guys.” This doesn’t mean I believe all police are like him. I can love and celebrate my friend while still demanding we take a long, hard look at why we’re throwing men of color in prison at much higher rates than white men. It’s taken me a long time to realize the two ideas (loving a police officer while demanding an overhaul of the system in which he works) are not mutually exclusive.

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I love America. I have been to other countries so the luxury of living in a country where I’m free to blog about this topic does not escape me. Not for one minute. But because I love America, I refuse to let this be part of our story. Zach loves me more than he loves anyone else and because of that love, I’ll sometimes get a text that reads, “For the love of everything holy when you drive my car will you please put the seat back before you get out so I don’t castrate myself when I try to get in?” He refuses to let me continue on any path that isn’t directly leading to me being the person I was made to be. If we don’t wrestle with our policies and our politics as a nation how in the hell do we expect to be the best in the world (as many Americans believe we are)? It’s impossible. Those two ARE mutually exclusive. If you want to be the best, you have to shine the light on your dark places and work. them. out.

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Now is when you start changing the conversation to the riots, right? Because that’s how these things go. Listen, no one wants property damaged. No one. I’m sure no one in Seattle wanted their property damaged when they won the Super Bowl and yet, it happened. Only this time they were celebrating a sports victory instead of protesting another life lost in police custody. The media coverage of the Baltimore riots is a smokescreen. They’ve not been showing the daily protest of Donte Hamilton’s family in Milwaukee who was killed by police 1 year ago. Peaceful protests with prophetic signs don’t sell-the destruction of property, the fires, the rage-it all sells. Do yourself a favor and be better than making this about the riots. If you take nothing from this blog take that, do not let the rioting enter into your conversations, it only goes to show you’ve taken your talking points from less than awesome media outlets (I know many of you will assume I’m talking about one media outlet but rest assured, our 24 hours news cycle has made it so there are handfuls of media outlets to which I’m referring.)

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The other night I walked downstairs to grab something from Trysten and Tomas’s room and Tomas was standing there shirtless with shorts on. Something about the way he was standing made him look like a teenager. He was obviously mid-thought so his brow was furrowed and his mouth, normally fixed in a gigantic smile, was downturned. I quietly closed the door so that he wouldn’t see me panic.

Every day I notice just a bit more facial hair on Tomas and Tariku. Every day closer to adolescence is another day their childlike, cartoonish expressions give way to more somber ones. Not because they aren’t the happy, loving boys they’ve always been but because they are seeing the world in a whole new way-they are going through everything we all did at their age.

But seeing Tomas in his room like that or having Tariku point out his mustache only works to take the Baltimore protests and bring them to my back door. For those who are not trying to raise black men and women in America undoubtedly you don’t feel the urgency or the weight of that truth but man is it heavy-particularly as a white woman who feels so incredibly ill-equipped to navigate the treacherous waters.

1 in 3 black men in America will spend time in prison. 1 in 3. Most of them for small drug related charges that Trysten is more likely to be guilty of (statistically speaking, not because he seems to have a proclivity for it at 12). I think you can understand why the weight of the 1 in 3 statistic weighs heavily on me.

I’m putting this out into my tiny corner of the internet with no expectation. I’m putting it out there because this blog started as a way for me to process the journey of adoption and motherhood. And though dossiers are in my rearview mirror, I find the actual mothering of these boys for which I prayed and cried is infinitely more complex.

I love my children the way you love yours. In our messy, complicated, probably overbearing way. I want to believe that if your child was facing some insurmountable obstacle I would come alongside you and, at the very least, say, “I don’t understand it but I hear you and I’m next to you and we’ll figure out a way to get your child through to the other side.”

Maybe for today we can just get there. Maybe for today we can speak out in grace, peace and love and let those be our guiding emotions instead of fear or self righteousness. Of course I know this can’t happen everywhere but I believe strongly in creating small ripples that lead to revolution.

Peace and love,

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On Trayvon

There are far too many well written things already done on the George Zimmerman case out there. The truth is, they are written by people who write for a living and/or people who have a much higher stake in this “game” (i.e. people of color) and so I defer mostly to them. Take a look at some of the links here or friend me on Facebook where I’ve linked to a few great posts as well.

On Monday when we were riding in the car listening to NPR the kids started asking me questions. Having always been open and honest with them on every topic, race included, I stayed the course and tried to answer their questions with every bit of honesty I could. At one point Tariku asked something to the effect of, “But why did George Zimmerman think Trayvon was suspicious?” God help me I started crying. Because I was looking at the face of my gorgeous black son and had to tell him, “Because he’s black.”

Of course I saw it on his face, and the face of Dailah who started crying too. I went on to explain I was crying because the thought of someone finding my sons-my brilliant, kind, generous, loving sons-threatening scares the ever lovin’ shit out of me. I was crying because Tariku, of all of my kids, would be the 17-year-old out buying his little brother skittles and iced tea wearing a hoodie in the rain. I was crying because the reality was, until I adopted my 3 boys I had no idea just how bad our system is in protecting people of color, I had no idea just how deep my white privilege was/is.

As much as I want to feel badly about the years in which I definitely said racist things and perpetuated racial stereotypes, it does nothing in the way of furthering my commitment to to stop doing that. So many of the people I grew up with, people also born in white suburbia, don’t have to acknowledge racism because it isn’t a part of their reality. But I want to challenge all people not to deny something exists just because it doesn’t happen to them.

I will raise my 3 black sons to live in a world that will treat them differently than it treats their white brother. I will raise them that way because I have to. And I say that knowing it might not freaking matter. I say that knowing there is still a chance a man with a gun might confront them and “stand his ground” all while not allowing my sons to “stand their ground”.

I also know this is true. My 3 black sons have 2 white parents. My umbrella of white privilege will most definitely cover them when they are with me, and will undoubtedly cover them a little more while they are out in a community in which we are known. But that will not stop me from acting on every racist thing I hear anymore, it won’t stop me from acting in any way possible. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet, but I have a feeling in the coming months and years there will be opportunities for me to reveal my true character on racism and I will not be found wanting.

The stakes are too high, not just for my boys but for millions more just like them. Cute little afro-ed boys who turn out to be strong, black men.

So please, educate yourself. Set aside your politics or your pride and just. freaking. do. it. Open your ears and your heart, let your mind burst wide open with the possibility that things might not be the way you’ve always seen them. And read. Read like crazy. Start with blogs and then go get this book. The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the time of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander is one of the best books I’ve ever read about race and our country’s really, really terrible justice system.

Thank you, thank you.

What have you read about the case that speaks to you?

To Haiti I Go

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

I’m going to Haiti on Wednesday. It’s nearly impossible to imagine as I sit here in my living room watching the Today show and drinking my coffee. Still in my sweatpants, I can hear my kids playing and laughing together. I’m already starting to feel that separation in my mind. How do you rectify the two worlds? 

I remember this feeling before we left to go to Ethiopia to pick up Tomas and Binyam. Having been there once before I knew what was about to hit me and so I struggled the week leading up to our trip with staying present. When you know your whole world is about to be rocked how do you stay focused on enjoying the present day? 

I started with the Martin Luther King Jr quote for a few reasons. Obviously today is the day we celebrate his life and legacy but also because that quote kind of stood out today. 

So many times in the last few weeks I’ve felt the urge to back out of the trip. I kept thinking that a sane person wouldn’t be going to Haiti. Of course I feel safe there, but as safe as I feel now in my sweatpants on my couch? Well no of course not. Because there are so many unknowns. 

And I’ve done all but begged my Facebook followers to donate money to buy stoves. $20 for one stove. That’s a coffee date with your best friend, a movie with your husband OR a stove that doesn’t make a family sick in Haiti. A job for someone in Haiti. Donating $60 will enter your name in a drawing to have your chance to go to Haiti AND give 3 families stoves. Every time I went to post I hesitated for just a second and asked, “Is this popular? Will they get sick of me?” It lasted for a minute but I admittedly still thought it. 

But then of course, to combat the doubts I ask “is it right”? Not the actual going to Haiti but the act of annoying my friends and family for donations, the act of putting myself in a position to be moved, to be broken and to see heaven meet earth. And of course the answer is a resounding “yes”. 

I think the tension I feel in my stomach is simply God working. He’s preparing me to not only see the brokenness of of the world but also in me. Trips like these have a way of holding a big ole’ mirror in front of you and revealing all the areas you fall short. 

So I’m going to Haiti. I’m going to see for my own eyes the amazing work The Adventure Project is doing there. I’m going to see how they use local partners to empower their own people. I’m going to see brothers helping brothers and sisters helping sisters. I’m going to see healthy kids who were once sick. I’m going to see so. much. more. And I can’t wait to share it with you. 

Will you pray for me? Will you send positive vibes, light candles or dedicate your meditation to the trip? Will you donate? While there, we are drawing the name of the person who wins the next trip to Haiti (remember all it takes is you donating $60 OR you encouraging enough people to total $60). I want to pull out your name. Because you blog readers have been with me for so long and through so much. I want you to get your chance to be changed as well. 

So donate today. It’s said constantly where our money goes, so too goes our heart. Let your money and your heart go to the Haitian people still reeling 3 years later. I’ll be able to tell you all about it in a few short days. 

Off to work really hard at that staying present deal. On a day like today, I’m constantly reminded how blessed I am by my life. To have the kids that I do and the family that I do. To have the opportunities I do. So, so thankful.