When It Rains, It Pours

Last week I applied for a job.

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a job opening for an Enrichment Program Coordinator. Basically, this person creates and executes after school programs that are fun and educational but not ‘child-care’.

It sounds amazing.

I applied to the job assuming I would never hear from them. I don’t have a B.A. in Education, but one in Biology. I do have some experience planning children’s programs because I have been the VBS Director at our church for 2 years and I help with Sunday School, but that’s about the only experience I have.

To my surprise, they actually emailed me back yesterday and they want to interview me on March 20th. I’m super excited about the idea of this job, but I have next to no information. This is the sort of thing I want to do. I want to create programs that help change childrens’ lives. But I still might not get the job.

Today, a different friend (Bronwyn) sent me a message saying that a friend of hers is looking for a nanny. I talked to the friend (Sara) and we are going to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the job further. To start, I would be watching their 6 month old, and then in the summer I would be caring for their 2 older daughters as well.

I am so happy that I seem to be in a “When it rains, it pours” situation, as Bronwyn called it when I told her I had an interview and now this nanny opportunity. I’ve been praying the “Bronwyn Prayer” for guidance.

Side Note: At GIRL Time, we were talking about prayer, and Bronwyn said that when she is struggling with a decision she prays the same prayer. Basically, she asks God to open doors that need opened, close doors that need closed, and to turn on the light to illuminate the door she is meant to go through because (as she put it) she’s a little dense and needs the help.

And I know that I can’t control what happens, and I am (trying to be) okay with that. I know I can’t control the future, and I can only do the best I can and things will happen the way they happen. I have thought about the situation and decided a few things though

  1. I want the Program Coordinator job more than the nanny job
  2. I don’t want to turn down the nanny job if they offer it based solely on the chance that I might get the Program Coordinator job
  3. I am going to tell Sara the truth about the Program Coordinator job and the fact that I am still considering it

I am really hoping that I can tell Sara about the Program Coordinator job interview and she will still want to hire me, and if I get the PC job then great, I can just be a sort of short-term nanny for them, and if I don’t then I will stay on with the kids as their nanny. I feel like that is a lot to ask though, but I will never know unless I ask.

I do wish I had more information on the PC job. I don’t know the hours, pay, or duties. There are just so many unknowns. I really feel like it could be a wonderful place for me, but like I said, I don’t want to turn down the nanny job if they offer it to me because the PC job isn’t a sure thing.

Also, it’s odd to think that in a week I have gone from thinking ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for a job at all’ to this point. It’s almost more ‘where would I be happiest’ not ‘what am I getting myself into’.

Well, when it rains, it pours.

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How Much Do I Share?

For so long I never shared anything with anybody, and to be honest I didn’t want to. But now I’m starting to want to share. To bond. When I first started wanting to share with my friends, I was terrified. I had no idea how to share. That was actually part of why I started this blog. I wanted to share myself but from a distance. Sharing myself through a blog with people I didn’t know just felt safer. It was a medium I could control.

Since starting EMDR I have been wanting more and more to share myself with the people in my life, but I haven’t known how. I’ve bonded with a few new people and told them the truth about my past. I’ve even shared pieces of my past at GIRL Time, but I’ve remained guarded. I’ve had the constant fear that sharing myself will cause someone to reject me, judge me or even use it as a reason to be against me. I’ve been afraid of meeting the same reactions I got when I was a child and not having the strength to withstand it, just like I couldn’t back then.

You see, I’m still developing my sense of self. When those kids rejected me, I couldn’t see that their reaction wasn’t because of who I was, and so I absorbed it. I took all the hate, judgement, and blame and turned it inside myself. I truly believed that I caused their reactions. That their reactions were an indicator of who I was, and they were simply reacting to that. Since they treated me like a dirty unworthy person, I believed that that was who I was. And I carried that with me. For years, I truly believed that I was an unworthy person. Unworthy of love. Unworthy of praise. Unworthy of any positive reaction from anybody. I still struggle with the idea that I deserve praise for my achievements, even when I know–on some level–that I truly have done a good job.

But through the EMDR I have started to get to know myself. I have started to strip away the words those children thrust onto me and I’m starting to see the person that has been trapped all these years. But I’m still growing in myself. Instead of being a young woman, confident in who she is, I am still learning who I am. I am still protecting myself, learning to be proud of who I am, be sure of who I am. Because I want to share. I want to open up. I know that not everyone I open up to is going to love me, or even like me, and that is okay. I don’t need that. I don’t need their approval. All I need is to have the confidence to stand firm in who I am, and if a day comes when someone reacts poorly to what I share, I won’t backslide and lose myself. Instead, I will have the strength, the knowledge, and the self-confidence to know that their reaction belongs to them alone.

It does not define me.

Realizing God’s Love

Last night the GIRL friends group that I’ve written about before began their winter session. And again, I went mostly for fellowship, not really expecting to get much out of the study, since I had already done a study on Ephesians. Boy was I wrong.

Our meeting leader, Kathy, explained how the book of Ephesians was laid out and we started by reading Ephesians 1:3-14, where Paul is listing the spiritual blessings that are ours simply by accepting God. Then Kathy went back to verse 4.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

She asked us what it meant to be chosen, and for a while the room was silent.

To me it is such an abstract idea. It has nothing to do with you, you have no control over it. You don’t get to decide if you are chosen or not, it is just something that happens or doesn’t. Some women said that, to them, being chosen was a feeling. I know that God loves me and has chosen to love me, but sometimes I don’t feel the love. How can you feel loved when something horrible happens? How do you reconcile the abuse? Losing a child? I know I still hold a lot of anger and confusion about things that have happened, and I know that those are issues I have to work through, but I hadn’t realized how greatly those issues had impacted my relationship with God until I sat there listening to these women extol their feelings of being chosen, and all I could think of was the struggle inside of me.

The conversation eventually dwindled and we moved on. Ephesians 1:5 says this:

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Kathy asked if anyone had any experience with adoption and my hand shot into the air. Having 5 adopted sisters, I tend to be the go-to adoption expert in most rooms. Kathy asked me to describe the relationship between my parents and my adopted sisters and to compare that to the verse and the idea that God has adopted us.

Why did I raise my hand?

I knew what she was asking, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what to say, so I just started talking in the hopes that my words would lead me down the right path.

My sisters know that they are adopted. It’s kind of obvious because they are Asian and my parents aren’t, but it’s always been talked about in my family. They know they were born in China or Taiwan. They know they were adopted. And it’s funny, because my parents get the same reaction from so many people. People are always coming up to my parents and saying things like “Oh, God bless you for adopting them. They are so lucky!” But my parents always respond the same way “We are the lucky ones”

It was around here that the light started to come on. I was starting to see what this verse really meant. But it wasn’t until I finished speaking that I truly ‘got it’.

And my sisters know. My parents tell the girls how three sets of parents have been blessed by them, have gotten to love them. They’ve brought joy to their birth parents, their foster parents, and their forever parents. And it’s funny because we always think of how blessed we are to be loved by God, how lucky we are, but if we are adopted by him, then it’s amazing to think that God looks at us and thinks that He is the lucky one, for getting to love us.

And when you adopt a child, you love them before you know them. When you have a biological child you know them a little before they are born. You know their background, you know their movements inside of you. But in adoption you don’t know anything until you are handed that file. But you love that child long before then. It’s just like the Bible says in some versions ‘even before the world was made, he decided to adopt us’. He loves us that much. I don’t think I truly understood that until just now.

Isn’t it amazing? God, the creator of everything, Master of the universe, loves us so much that He thinks He is the lucky one, simply because he gets to love us.

And no, it doesn’t make the bad things okay. Just like we get mad at our parents for reasons they don’t deserve, it’s okay if I sometimes get mad at God for things He doesn’t deserve. But when I think about how much I love my sisters–how much I will love a baby if we adopt–it helps me remember that God is not The Bad Guy, He is the Comforting Arms when the bad things happens.

Who Would You Be?

This is Jamie's heartbeat. Jamie's actual heartbeat. We had an ultrasound done a week before we lost Jamie, and it had the heartbeat on the print out. Now I have a little piece of Jamie with me forever.

This is Jamie’s heartbeat. Jamie’s actual heartbeat. We had an ultrasound done a week before we lost Jamie, and it had the heartbeat on the print out. Now I have a little piece of Jamie with me forever.

It’s been a year since we got our memorial tattoos. Tomorrow will be a year since your due date. We still miss you so much. Sometimes I try not to think about you because it hurts too much, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder, who would you be?

Would you have my big brown eyes or your daddy’s reddish curls? Would you have freckles on your nose? When I held you for the first time, would you have felt tiny in my arms? Or would I be amazed at how big you were already, and how you perfectly filled my arms? Would your first cries have made us cry, or laugh in sweet relief? Would seeing you in your daddy’s arms have been my greatest joy, making the 9 long months I never had, worth every stretch mark?

Would you crawl, or roll? Would you be walking yet? I’ve always wondered how you would have liked your first swim. You know, I was going to take you as soon as I could. Your daddy and I talked about it just days after we found out about you. I wonder if you would like refried beans instead of normal baby food. And I would give almost anything just to watch you sleep.

Would you have a favorite food? Would you love on both the cats? We were really wondering how they would react to you. I wonder if you would have a favorite book, or song. Would I have sung you the same lullaby my mom sang to me? For Halloween what would you have been, and how would we have chosen? Would you have picked your favorite animal, or would we have chosen for you? I know that for Thanksgiving you would have been our greatest blessing. And I wonder how you would have been meeting Santa Claus. Waiting in the line with all my little sisters at the mall, it really hit me just how much I missed you. I didn’t get to pick your clothes for meeting Santa. Christmas Eve was even harder. My favorite part of Christmas has always been the candle light service, and as your daddy and I sang ‘Silent Night’ tears ran down my face because you weren’t there. At a time when I normally feel so full of God’s love and the love of my family, there was a hole where you should have been. An emptiness in my arms.

There’s already been so much we’ve missed without you in our lives, and it’s only been a year. Jamie, we love you and we wish that you were here.