It Takes a Village

January 19, 2010 at 4:43 am | Posted in Adoption, Megan's Blogs, Our Love Story | Leave a comment
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Yesterday after church, I had a coffee with our neighbors from when we were living in an apartment, just after we moved to Raleigh, NC. We just recently began attending this church because it is within walking distance from our house, has great accessibility, and has been so open and welcoming.

Barton and I have always known that having a family was an important part of our vision together. While we don’t know the exact timeline or method (medical, adoption, foster care), in the end, it doesn’t matter. It has been a long journey coming to an understanding of not being able to have children naturally, right away. We each processed the loss of the natural process and looked at what we felt comfortable/uncomfortable with as we moved forward. In a sense, it was very much like after my mother’s death. It put us in this place that was different and unspeakable to others. How do you even explain all of the spiritual, biological, relationship questions that we began to wade through. How difficult when we heard comments such as why would you want to take care of another woman’s child or you know you can’t give a child back. It has taken a long time to block all of the voices out and trust the path we are on.

Fishing with the Zaytowns

Barton fishing with our neighbors.

 

My neighbor talked about the need for community support, no matter what the situation. That we all need to rely on those around us for support whether it’s carpool, driving kids to school or a night off to themselves.

While many of our friends had concerns over how we would handle expanding our family, no one talked about the solutions. This last year, we’ve taken a good look at the missing pieces, what we can do ourselves to actively fill in the holes and where we need help. This last year, we’ve made drastic changes that hopefully will help us in sustaining a family later on down the road. These changes haven’t been easy, as it has meant that I spend time away from close friends outside of Raleigh to concentrate on building relationships closer to where we are.

It’s a very humbling experience to admit that we can’t do everything ourselves. Between Barton’s fire of independence and my stubbornness (in Alabama I was nicknamed Rhino at training), it’s hard for us to say we can’t do it all on our own.

Adaptive equipment

A wheelchair stroller.

We’ve identified three areas that we need assistance with when we expand our family: an accessible vehicle, adaptable devices for taking care of a child (for example an attachment for a baby carriage to a wheelchair), and additional assistance for Barton and myself.

For 2010, we’ve organized Family For Us Fundraisers, community fundraisers that we hope will strengthen our relationship to our community, and let’s face it, are fun! On February 9, 2010, we are having a Pizza Party at Zpizza at their Raleigh location. We’ll be there from 5-8pm. Mention Family for US and 20% of your total bill will be donated.

In addition, the first NCWN open Mic on February 26th will support Family For Us as well. Join us from 7:30-9:30pm at Calm & Sense in Raleigh.

As Barton and I think about expanding our family, we are also looking at ways to strengthen our relationship to the community. If Barton and I rely on the community for support, than it is our commitment to support events, activities and businesses within our local community as well.

Visit our website for more information & updates!

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Clearing Out Space

January 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings | Leave a comment
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This holiday season, we traveled more than we thought we would, and we were busy seeing family, we got our Christmas tree just in the nick of time, and to be honest, we didn’t even make it to 9pm before we were fast asleep on New Year’s Eve. With all of the unexpected events this fall and winter, we needed some time to recover. In addition, we began clearing out space.

While Barton’s father and stepmother were here, we went through our closets to take advantage of the last donations of the year. Just after the left, I spent much time clearing out the backroom, that had gotten stagnant, not only with my own piles, but of papers and pictures from my grandparents. While I’m not finished, and I’m still working on how to archive material, organize my photography, and clear this space. We also looked at the blocks we still had, and began clearing, not just physical space but mind space as well. We began meditating together, holding hands.

Clearing space allows a better flow, to allow other things to come in. As we reflected on 2009 and began gearing up for the New Year, we began to look at what we wanted to accomplish, our goals and dreams for the next year. We looked at ways we could take steps to accomplish them.

Yesterday afternoon, for an hour, Barton and I wrote on our manuscript. Mind you, it had taken us four months to sit down together, get over the block that had arisen. At first, we sat on the couch, computer in hand, with two dogs beside us. Once they began getting rowdy, we had to kick them out and put the baby gate up. While we only wrote four paragraphs, it was an enriching experience, light, fun. And we are four paragraphs ahead of where we were four months ago or the day before.

Clearing out the space implies movement, movement to where, maybe the known, maybe the unknown. Taking this first step is the most important and the most courageous. It means letting go of what we know and allowing the flow to pull us along.


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New Year’s Excitement

January 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Work | Leave a comment
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 The New Year is always a time to start over, take a good look at your life, find areas that need attention, and do what’s needed to move toward balance. For some, it’s a great time to clean out and let unnecessary distractions drop away. For others, it may be the perfect time to take action around what they feel is lacking and change it. For me, it seems to be a bit of both in terms of figuring out how I can best serve others, both in my family and community, in a way that brings out my best.

With this, I’m very excited to announce the opening of Blooming Lotus Coaching, a life coaching practice dedicated to working with families touched by disability to enhance the independence of each member while encouraging alignment within the family as a whole. The mission for the practice is to enable people, with and without disabilities, to connect with, listen to, and act upon their innate wisdom and experiences in order to bring about a life of greater fulfillment for themselves. 

Here families will have the opportunity to learn positive self-expression tools, plan for the future, develop self advocacy skills, find way to approach a fulfilling life, and build community connections and other supports. Parents can focus on prioritizing the best support for your child, lean how and when to seek Early Intervention and find additional assessments, and interventions if they have young children while parents of older children may  choose to explore identifying underlying issues to find creative solutions, balancing personal and family needs, Differentiate between parenting and caregiving roles, determining when good intentions for support inhibit growth and independence, Finding confidence in your child’s abilities, and discerning how and when to let your child soar.

I invite you and those you know to visit http://www.cuttersword.com/blooming-lotus-coaching.html for more information.


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Driving on Thin Ice

January 4, 2010 at 11:02 am | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, Wild Stories You Just Wouldn't Believe | 2 Comments
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A few days before we drove down to Alabama for my grandmother’s memorial service, we watched the weather intently as the threat of possible wintery weather was all over the airwaves. We knew that we would need to get out, before the bad weather hit. We rearranged our schedule for Friday, though it was still noon before we pulled out onto the highway.

Once we hit Charlotte, the snow began falling in big fluffy flakes. However, once we passed the city, the roads began to feel slippery and icy. Though the reports claimed the roads were treated, we slowed to a 10 mph pace and still, I felt the car slipping on the roads.

What made matters worse was I had to stop to go to the bathroom. Now Barton & I have jokes about our bladders- he is the camelback and I, I am a pea. So we’re driving through a coating of ice on the roads, huge flakes of snow, and we have to stop. Once I get out of the car, I realize how slippery the street is. Cautiously, we make it through this patch of snow and ice in North and South Carolina and finally make it down to Atlanta, after eight hours on the road, for the night.

Once we arrived, I had to print out a few items that I had literally dropped once the weather was going to be so bad. The rest of the travel legs went off without as much excitement.

This New Years Eve, we crashed at home. I was determined not to get in a car and drive. Although I did venture out to the grocery store, fighting last minute New Year’s Eve traffic, I have to say I was much relieved we were not trying to drive anywhere as our travel adventures seem to find us.


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