4.30.2009

Reunion- the original

About 10 years ago, my parents (those who adopted me and my siblings) sat me down with some big news. To say I was shocked is an understatement.


I thought I had been left behind, unwanted. The news was devastating to that belief, and it took me awhile to see how I had been impacted by the false belief about myself and my family. The more I learn about myself, the more I am able to accept God's love and see myself as He sees me. I believe my post-high school journey would have been more difficult, were it not for the love of these people who were about to enter my life.


The news was from my Aunt Nene, a step-sister to my biological mother. She was offering a different perspective to my adoption story.


Here's the perspective I grew up with:
Our mother, a single mother, struggling to support, realizing she couldn't do it on her own, sought help from a private adoption agency meets older couple with one teenage son, struggling with infertility, desiring more children. Match made in heaven, right?


Aunt Nene ( I was seven when I was adopted and remembered her well) alternative version: Mother had been struggling. Grandpa had just helped her move into an apartment and get settled. One day, Aunt Nene's mom delivers cookies to an empty apartment. Family struggles to find us for weeks. Grandpa hires PI, takes new parents to court to gain custody of us. Court awards custody to new parents. Finally, she says she has waited 10 years to see me again and asks them to talk to me about it.

Shocked by this new perspective, I quickly embrace my new old family. Soon after reuniting with Aunt Nene, I meet uncles and their families and Grandpa and Grandma and cousins!

It was a beautiful day in the park where we picnicked. I remember how my uncle just stared at me throughout the entire initial meeting, while I talked about myself and what I was doing and what I had been doing the past 10 years. You know, general small talk stuff!

Grandpa and I formed a bond founded on the shared love of Christ. We all did really, but it was this relationship that began to transform the way I viewed myself. It was this relationship that brought me through some of the toughest years I have experienced. I do love my Grandpa.

I went to see my Aunt Nene as much as I possibly good while working my way through college. Now I live too far away to drive up for the weekend, and that makes me sad. But our bond is tight and it transcends the miles and the times. Whether we talked last week or last month, we understand and love one another and it is a really good thing. I love her.

Now, it's been more than 10 years since that reunion. I am continually encouraged by this family of faith. I see that God brought them right into my life at a time when I needed. I see that God worked out all the details, because He loves me and because I love Him.

Come back for more bits of the story!

4.29.2009

WFMW fresh produce!


First fruits of my labor are in. I planted spring mix lettuce about 3 weeks ago and last night we enjoyed it for dinner. Very yummy salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing: dash of olive oil, dash of balsamic vinaigrette and a clove of garlic! The flavor of the fresh lettuce is amazing. My kids have been pinching off pieces and eating it straight from the garden- it's THAT good! For more tips, go to We are THAT family and see the Works for Me Wednesday Carnival.

WFMW sex education

It is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Last week, I wrote about Child Abuse Prevention.

Later that day,

In the midst of a diaper change, big sister (age almost 4) notices that baby brother and little brother have 'matching bottoms.' Pausing to be thankful that I was paying attention to her every word and my brain wasn't in the land of make believe, I embraced the teachable moment. Last week, you may have caught on that this topic is important to me. Anyhow...

Darkness to Light explains that it is best to teach our children age appropriate language for body parts:

I explained to her that we all have 'matching bottoms'. I told her the anatomically correct names for boy and girl parts. I told her that God made girls and boys different and that our parts are very special and 'just for you.' She identified that Daddy had the same parts as the brothers and that she and I had the same parts. We've previously talked about strangers, so I introduced them to this topic. I asked her if she thought it would be OK to let strangers see her parts or touch them, and she gave a strong NO, and then my heart leaped with joy! She said sometimes she touches there to wash, and I told her that was OK. We talked a little more about this. Then, she came over and gave me the biggest hug she has ever given to me. And I was grateful.

Can I just tell you people out there something? I was so completely dreading ever having to have this talk, but I knew it was REALLY important, so I was really thankful that it happened, but I was scared out of my mind that I would say something wrong or that she would see how extremely uncomfortable it made me. But, it turned out fine. Better than that. I'd say it turned out wonderfully.

I am here to say, you can talk to your kids about this and you must! And it isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. So, look for your teachable moment and prevent child abuse in your family!

To learn more about Child Abuse, visit Darkness to Light.
For more great tips, visit the carnival at We are THAT family.

Thank you and come again!

4.27.2009

My reunion

The first parent reunion took place over Easter weekend. It was the second reuion with the biological family, but that is another post. So, be sure to come back for that! And coming soon... another reunion!

I was adopted when I was seven. Prior to that, I lived with my biological parents. Those years are another post or posts.

Around Christmas last year, our biological mother contacted my sister and I. Shortly after that she contacted our brother too. We began a series of phone conversations and emailing to get to know one another, to work out the questions, the conflicts, the fears and anxieties.

Because my brother will be living abroad for a few years, and because we are all spread across this great nation, we wanted to get together before he left. It worked out that we would meet her at that time. Our grandfather (her father) has been a part of my life for the past 10 years (that's another post, remember?), so we invited him to come along too. He was like a security blanket for me, and I think for her too.

I have put this post off for awhile, because I really struggle with the words to work out what transpired. There's the facts (We had 6 adults and 4 children in a 1000 sq foot home for 3 days) and there's the emotions (I just wanted one more hug).

But how do I tell about meeting the woman who brought me into the world, the woman who walked away from me and left me vulnerable to strangers? How do I share my wedding photos with the one who I wished had been there while I tried on wedding gowns? How do I welcome her as a guest, when she could have been there to help me settle into a new life with my newly wed? How do I enjoy the moments that are fleeting when I have all these thoughts haunting my heart?

I lean on the one who loves me, who gave His life that I might have this one. I lean on Him, because even though I think I could have worked it out better, He can work it out to be better.
For I know I love God, and He will work out the details of my life, according to His purposes.

And it helps to have Grandpa.

4.24.2009

stories

I am working on my story... Which will have to be a series of posts! There's birth stories- mine and my children's. There's an adoption story. There's a husband story. There's reunion stories. So much to write about!

There's a lot going on in my life right now, less time to write. But, there is so much going on, there's a driving desire to write, to work it out. So many times, this exercise of writing has been an exercise of working out my emotions. I think of this one time, especially.

I'd like to add schedule to my life and routine and to my children too. Am I crazy? Is anybody out there? Do you have an answer?

Well then. I have a lot on my to do list to write. So come back. It's going to get interesting.

Fight Back Friday. Whole Food Cheeze Crackers


When you have little ones underfoot, you tend to get creative. And making a controlled mess in the kitchen is preferred to an uncontrolled mess all over the house. Especially when it's rainy.

A few weeks back, I made a recipe for cheese crackers. I think they taste so much better than the kind you get in a box. And it was fun to make too.

Here's the recipe:

2 cups grated cheese
6 T whole grain wheat flour
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 T cold water
paprika

Mix the ingredients to a stiff dough. Roll out very very thin and bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees.

I'd like to try using rice flour to make them gluten free, and I think experimenting with the cheeses would be fun too. You could get really creative with the extra seasoning too...herbs, spices. Yum!



For more food tips, check out Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

4.21.2009

Must Write.... No Time!

Too much going on right now. I have to focus on family and get back to routine... whatever that is. I have a list of things to write about. I have SO much on my mind. Will be back soon!

4.17.2009

Fight Back Friday. Whole Grain Soft Pretzels.




The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. ~ Dr. Suess

Oh. We've had rain. I love the rain. It waters my garden.

But, it makes it difficult to play outside. And I have a 2 year old boy, who loves to play outside.

So, we made pretzels. Awesome recipe there. Honey instead of sugar, whole grain wheat flour. Quick to make, Fun to play. No added junk. I like that in a pretzel.
More food tips at Food Renegade on Fight Back Friday!

4.16.2009

Another reunion

Have you read about this reunion? While my story is very different, it is a story about a father and a daughter coming together.

My Dad is coming to visit. It's a year of change for me. God has brought me out of my comfort zone by bringing my biological parents back into my life, but I am SO GLAD it has happened. My Dad's visit is still a couple months away, but here's a few things I am looking forward to:

Sharing a hug.

Sharing a walk.

Sharing my children.

Sharing a rootbeer float w/ chocolate ice cream. Mmm Hmmm!



4.15.2009

Chickens and Horses

Reading this story, made me think of my dear little girl. She loves animals. That's an understatement.

This past summer, while at the fair, she saw the show horses. She loved it. She also saw the horses in their stables.
She promptly informed us the state of the horse. He is sad. He doesn't like to be in a cage.

I think she just wanted us to let him out so she could go for a ride. But, seriously, I am not ready for that. She had just turned 3!

It's the compassion that gets me. She really loves animals. I hope she never stops. I also hope she'd have a little compassion for her brother.

4.14.2009

Works for Me Wednesday- Child Abuse Prevention Month

Updated with new links:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. ~ Benjamin Franklin

This month is Child Abuse Prevention Month. And, Prevention Works For Me. Check out other great tips at We are THAT Family.

Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children in seven steps:

1. Learn the facts: 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted as children. Sexual predators are known and trusted by 90% of victims' families.

2. Minimize opportunity: Don't put your child in a one adult- one child situations. One reason we love our church is that they don't allow one adult to be in the nursery/child care rooms. It's not only for the child's protection, but also for the adult's protection.

3. Talk about it: Teach your child correct names for body parts. Don't keep 'secrets' in a family. We have a No secret policy. We only keep 'surprises'. Teach your child about their body and about boundaries in an age -appropriate fashion.

4. Stay alert: Learn the warning signs. There may be no warning signs, but if there are signs and you don't know them, you'll regret it later.

5. Have a plan: If your child confides in you that he/she has been abused, an angry response will be damaging. Praise him/her for sharing this very difficult news. Seek help immediately. Child Sexual abuse is a crime. Report suspected cases to Child Protective Services or Law Enforcement immediately.

6. Act on Suspicions: If you aren't sure, call for help. Darkness to Light has a helpline.
Call: 1-866-FOR LIGHT

7. Get involved in prevention: If you've been affected, break the silence! Ask your child's school to implement prevention programs and policies. Donate your time and resources to prevention programs.

I put this list together based on a list provided by Darkness to Light and a research report I wrote in college. Check out their website for a more complete list.

I am a survivor. The memories of the year I was abused have been mostly blocked. The trauma of abuse wounds a soul so deeply that many people never recover completely. Look around our world. There are many hurting people. Only the power of the love of God has healed my wound.

Prevention is the answer. You can help.

UPDATED:
Go read this post for another point of veiw at It feels like chaos.

UPDATED: I just noticed the links didn't work, so I changed them. They should work now. Thanks and Sorry!

Just one more hug...

This past weekend, my sibs and I were reunited with our biological mother. I want to remember every moment. But, that would be a long post. So, the highlights will be posted on day at a time. Starting with the end.

The day my mother and my grandpa left, the left at 5a.m. My baby chose that night to sleep through the night. So, I was really snoozin' and didn't hear them as they prepared to leave. I did hear my front door open and close. I knew as I instantly woke up, that my guests were leaving. As I stumbled out of bed, I got to the front room as I saw the car pulling away.

The design of the enemy is to separate us from the ones we love. He uses sin to separate us from God. He uses hurtful events, hurtful words, distance, even death to separate us from the ones we love, the ones who love us.

The good news of the resurrection is that in Christ's power over death, there is power over separation. We no longer are separated from God by sin. There is forgiveness. When Christ comes again to call us to our new home, we no longer will be separated by hurts, by miles, or even by death. And that is good news indeed.

I told my dear husband that I just wanted one more hug. He kindly told me, even if I had been there for one more hug, I still would have wanted one more hug. In my new home, there always will be one more hug.

Peace, Charlotte

4.13.2009

100th Post!

In honor of my 100th post, 100 random facts about me.


1. I love Jesus.

2. I love my husband.

3. I have birthed three children since 2005.

4. They share the initials, TLC.

5. I took piano lessons until college.

6. I am looking forward to getting back to it. Maybe it's like riding a bike?

7. I have a college degree in elementary education.

8. I taught in a real true school for three years.

9. Now, I teach at home. It's much more difficult.

10. My children have five sets of grandparents.

11. I was adopted when I was seven.

12. Three sets come from me. Two sets are from my husband.

13. We are determined, with the help of God, to break the cycle of divorce for our children.

14. I like to be barefoot. Even in winter, but it's okay, I live in the south.

15. I've breastfed my baby on Folly.

16. I've played in the sand at sunrise at Isle of Palms. It's the best because no one is out there at that hour!

17. I like to have root beer floats made with chocolate ice cream.

18. I pretty much like chocolate.

19. I don't watch tv. Except Jack Bauer and American Idol and probably a couple others.

20. I like to have fried eggs for breakfast, but I am fasting from them, because I suspect my baby boy is allergic.

21. I like to knit.

22. I don't know how to crochet.

23. For my first date, I went to the movies with a 'friend'. I got busted when my mom's coworker was also waiting in line.

24. I hope my daughter doesn't feel the need to sneak and lie.

25.I don't like scary movies.

26.I like Jane Austen.

27. Mr. Darcy is my favorite.

28. I listen to southern gospel music.

29. And Christian music from the 90's.

30. Mostly, I listen to Pandora.

31. Jennifer Knapp is my favorite.

32. I am a butterfly.

33. I started writing a blog after reading BooMama and Rocks in My Dryer for a year!

34. In high school, my mom made me wear a skirt to school once per week.

35. I hated it.

36. I would put extra clothes in my backpack for changing.

37. I worked in a conservative Christian school, and I had to wear dresses or skirts every day.

38. Now, in the summer time, I mostly wear skirts.

39. I struggle with feelings of insecurity.

40. I remind myself, my security is in Christ Alone.

41. I want to home school my children.

42. I am afraid I am not organized or strong enough.

43. My husband thinks they'll be socially awkward.

44. I've been able to travel a lot as a child, not so much as an adult. I've been to:

45. New York

46. Grand Canyon

47. Yellowstone

48. Mt Rushmore

49. the top of the arch in St. Louis

50. the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago

51. Gatlinburg

52. Falcon's training camp (on my honeymoon)!

53. California (and stayed next to an avocado farm and still LOVE avocados)

54. I don't like to drive. I much prefer to be a passenger.

55. I once had free flight (stand-by) privileges.

56. I only ever flew to Indiana to see family.

57. I like to memorize scripture.

58. I can't ever remember the 'address' of the scripture I memorize.

59. I like the one that says 'we know God works out everything for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

60. It's been true for me in my life.

61. I am a survivor.

62. But only by His Love and Grace.

63. I love my church.

64. They can't be held responsible for my ramblings.

65. I like to eat frozen grapes.

66. I heart Burt's Bees products.

67. My all time favorite shoe is the Birkenstock Arizona.

68. I like purple. So did my great grandmother, but I just found that out recently.

69. Chocolate is my comfort food.

70. I just planted my first veggie garden.

71. I am really exciting about.

72. And a little nervous that it may fail.

73. I am most excited about the tomatos.

74. And the peppers.

75. And the onions.

76. And the cilantro.

77. So, I can make SALSA!

78. I am really quite shy.

79. This blog helps me figure things out.

80. I like to write.

81. This blog is about relationships.

82. I was thinking about doing a series on meaningful relationships from my past.

83. I like to do Beth Moore studies. She makes the Bible real to me.

84. Actually, Jesus does that. He just uses her really well.

85. Spring is my favorite season.

86. I really like the fresh fruits.

87. My birthday is in the spring.

88. And I really like the warmer weather

89. and the cool weather

90. and having the windows open.

91. On 9/11, I woke up to the frantic broadcast on my clock radio. I immediately and frantically called my brother who's a member of the Air Force to see if he was OK. He calmed me down.

92. My brother is my hero. He serves in the US military.

93. But the real reason Spring is my favorite is because Easter is my favorite holiday (holy day).

94. My Jesus is alive! and he reigns!

95. My children have, from time to time, been known to say/sing He Reigns!

96. I like real fresh made lemonade. Like you get at Chick-fil-A.

97. Sometimes, I am completely random. It's how my mind works.

98. I used to be paid to teach.

99. Did I mention I like chocolate? Real good chocolate too- not the cheap stuff.

100. Did I mention I love Jesus?

PS I am recovering from my weekend. I'll update about my reunion soon!

4.12.2009

Sunday Hymn Pondering Easter Sunday

Every Morning is Easter Morning...

Every Morning is Easter Morning
Every morning is Easter morning from now on
Every day is resurrection day
The past is over and gone
Good by guilt, good by fear, good riddance
Hello Lord, hello sun!
I am one of the Easter people
My new life has begun
Every morning is Easter morning from now on
Every day is resurrection day
The past is over and gone
(Repeat 3Xs getting softer with each line)
Every morning is Easter morning
Every morning is Easter morning
Every morning is Easter morning
(Back to normal volume)
FROM NOW ON

As a child, I sang in the church's children's choir. One Easter we sang this song and had a little dance to go with it too. Every year, just like Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday, I sing this song.

Think about it. Think about the words. Yesterday doesn't matter. It's forgiven and gone. Christ is ALIVE. Here. Now. This is the day to live each moment to the fullest for Him.

Hallelujah! Hosanna in the Highest!

4.10.2009

Hymn Pondering Good Friday

Jesus walked this lonesome valley


What is Good Friday all about?

This year, it's about a reunion. Today my siblings and I will be reuniting with our biological mother. We haven't seen her in over 20 years. I really love this song. Though my life has had plenty of good, there were large parts of sadness and loneliness. It was always good to remember the valley that Jesus walked.

Say a prayer for us, will you?

Jesus walked this lonesome valley.
He had to walk it by Himself;
O, nobody else could walk it for Him,
He had to walk it by Himself.
We must walk this lonesome valley,
We have to walk it by ourselves;
O, nobody else can walk it for us,
We have to walk it by ourselves.
You must go and stand your trial,
You have to stand it by yourself,
O, nobody else can stand it for you,
You have to stand it by yourself.

4.08.2009

Holy Week Hymn Pondering Wednesday


The Wonderful Cross


This is one of my favorites. Thank you Chris Tomlin.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

4.06.2009

Holy Week Hymn Pondering Monday


All Glory, Laud and Honor


Look for the Biblical truths presented. See the words that connect us, the one offering praise, to the ones who followed Him first with their feet, the first ones to offer Hosannas to our King.


Refrain
All glory, laud and honor, To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,The King and Bless├Ęd One.
Refrain
The company of angels Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things Created make reply.
Refrain
The people of the Hebrews With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.
Refrain
To Thee, before Thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.
Refrain
Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,Thou good and gracious King.
Refrain

4.05.2009

Sunday Hymn Pondering Happy Palm Sunday!


Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
The youtube link is a little longer this week, but it is a fantastic organ arrangement. As I have previously mentioned here, I grew to know and love Jesus in singing these hymns. It was by a magnificent pipe organ that I learned them, so I especially like this video.

Easter has long been my favorite time of year. Good things happen in the spring. My birthday, for one.

It's these Easter hymns though, that taught me the most about the Christian faith. That Christ would willingly suffer, sacrifice himself because He loves us. My husband has commented before that true love is sacrificial love. Christ showed us the example of this love. That is what this week holds.

Before that could happen, an 'exultant crowd,' the author writes, reigned him King. He is Lord. Lord of heaven, Lord of hearts, and Praise Him today, this special day with all your heart and voice.

I have pre-written posts this week. A hymn each day for this holy week. I'll keep the anecdotes to myself and put my focus, my voice, my heart solely on Him. Join me.

The lyrics:

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, Who had blessed them close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.
From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state,
Nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.
“Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing,
For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
And in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!

4.02.2009

This and That

I have prewritten posts for the next week. I will be having family here and can I just say. I am SO excited. So, I will be taking a break from this here blog.

My upcoming posts are Easter related hymn ponderings. Some of my favorites. I just love Spring, but I really love it because Easter is so special to me.

This year, it gets even more special as I get to enjoy having my family with me. My siblings and I will be reuniting with our biological mother in one week.

The next post I write will be my 100th! I haven't started that yet, but I am thinking about it. It will probably include some updates about our reunion.

Thanks for reading!

4.01.2009

So Help Me!

Post subtitles:
So Help me God
aka Nursing a baby with food allergies
aka Works for me Wednesday Backward Edition hosted be We are THAT Family

Let's just cut straight to it today...no funny business.

I have a 7month old baby boy and I am nursing him. I hope to continue to his first birthday. He has food allergies. I have already eliminated dairy from my diet because his older brother had a dairy allergy. For the past two weeks, I have also eliminated wheat and eggs. In the past week, I have also eliminated corn. Over the weekend, I consumed much too much corn tortillas and black beans and he seemed to worsen. And, I eliminated oats, because I guess they are contaminated with wheat gluten. But, he is still breaking out in little splotchy rashes which dry up and cause flaky skin. We use allergen free detergent.

Help me! Should I give up? What can I eat? Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comments!