Yolie's World

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I don't even know what to write. One of my best friends (actually, I blogged about her befo9re...the one who works for DFCS and has a heart of gold) just let me know that her house burned down over the weekend. I, much liker her, have no words to express the sadness of this. Thank God she is alive and healthy, number one. Besides that, which is the most important thing, she has lost everything. I can remember just last year when she called me so excited about the house she was buying. I so admired her, because she chose not to wait around for anyone else, she bought a house as a single woman and tackled all the do-it-yourself projects with enthusiasm and glee. I can remember Chuck and I helping her paint the bedrooms, tear up carpet and plan her front yard (well, that was Chuck). She was so proud of her house. At Christmas, she put up one of those ten foot tall inflatable Grinch dolls in her yard, prouldy announcing to everyone that tackiness was fun. My friend is a gem. She pours her heart into others, often working with her foster kids until eight or nine at night, unless she has to work at the homeless shelter that night. How could this happen to her? The scariest part is that her and her roomates (also DFCS caseworkers) were all asleep when the fire began, and it was only by the grace of God that a neighbor (who was out at eight am on a saturday morning) noticed flames coming out of the roof and garage and ran over and began banging on all the windows and doors to get them out. Audrey and her roomates got out, but sadly, one of the animals did not make it. Also, they are all left with nothing but the PJ's they ran out in. Obvioiusly, this has really upset me. My mom told me I had to calm down about it, and she's right. I know Audrey wouldn't want me upset, because she's more excited about this baby than any of us. She actually has my ultrasound pictures up on her wall at work, along with belly shots of me throughout the pregnancy. Wow, now I'm about to cry. I was just at her house...she threw me a wonderful baby shower. I think the hardest thing is the realization that we nevere know what life will bring. I am so glad that I end every conversation with her with an "I love you, girl!" It's not often you find a person as amazing and genuine as Audrey. I thank God she's okay, and I pray that all the love she has shown to others will be poured back on her during this time.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Little Man

Found out today that my son could be here in as little as ten days....I'm not ready. I thought I was, but I'm not. Everyone keeps telling me it's the hormones, I'm just scared of the labor part, and "everything is fine," but I am not ready. It seems so soon. I want nothing more than to hold my son, to love him and give him the life I wish I had as a baby. But, somehow, my heart stops every time I think about him actually being here. I want him more than anything in the world, and yet I am scared right now. I guess that's a better way of putting it...I am scared. What am I scared of? I don't know. Will I be a good mom, can I get through labor (the exam today almost killed me!), will the nurses resent me if I do end up inducing on the 4th of July(because that means they are at work and not watching the fireworks!)? Logically, I know the answers to those questions. I WILL BE A GOOD MOTHER (if I yell it loud enough, it will be true!), I have no choice but to get through labor, and labor and delivery nurses are usually sweet and kind. But, heck, since when does logic prevail in the mind of a pregnant woman? So, yes, I am scared. But, I am also VERY excited. I can't believe I could be meeting my son in as little as ten days. Who will he look like? Who will he act like? Just how spoiled will he be? How much more fulfilled will he make my life? How can my heart hold the amount of love I already have for him? When will he smile at me, blow me kisses, snuggle, and crawl? How excited will he be when his daddy comes home from work every day? Okay, now ten days seems like too far away. I'm telling you, this logic things escapes me! So, for what it's worth, my little man will be here soon, and my heart is about to explode!

Thursday, June 23, 2005


So, I'm talking to one of my best friends, who works for DFCS and who I can always count on to make my life seem easy compared to the CONSTANT drama from her job. She begins by telling met that they had just taken in a sibling group of three Hispanic kids in, ages eight months to five years. So naturally, my question is "are they together?" Her answer? "We didn't have anybody to take all three." Now, I know my friend. I know that she tried everything in her power to find the three kids a place together. So, what's the problem? She goes on to explain to me that one county over, there are ten to fifteen EMPTY foster homes, just waiting to take foster kids in. The problem? The county will not share! Come to find out, this is not uncommon. So of course, we start talking about the sad, sad state of foster care. She goes on to tell me that she has two Caucasian kids, under age three, that she cannot get into a stable foster placement. They are separated, of course, and the people that have them constantly call her and remind her that "they don't want little kids...this is not what they signed up for." Now, I know that finding homes for teenagers is impossible, so WHAT IS GOING ON here?? She goes on to tell me that there is a HUGE need for foster parents. What she is really telling me is that as soon as my baby is born, and Chuck and I feel ready, we have to help. You know what? I totally agree. If God has made it possible for me to stay home and be a mom, and since God has blessed me with a husband who gets it, why not? Now, here's the part that angers me, though. If and when we become foster parents, it will be through our county. Our county has a MUCH smaller Hispanic and African-American population than our neighboring county. Now, wouldn't it make too much sense to put scared, non-English speaking kids into a bi-lingual foster home? Well, according to my friend, if those kids are from another county, we'd better get ready for the fight of our lives. Now that is just plain ridiculous. How can something like that happen? How can three kids be separated, only because that neighboring county won't share? This is only one of many pitfalls of the foster care system. I sit back and think of my friend, slaving away every single day for these kids, often working until eight or nine at night, just because she loves "her kids." And then I am saddened, because I know that even someone with a heart of gold, who fights like a lion every day for foster kids (like she does) gets burned out on constantly being pushed into corners where kids are concerned. Can you imagine, she actually told me that she keeps a carseat in her car for transporting all the infants she has to take into custody, or to appointments. But, that's not the crazy part. She had the audacity to ask her DFCS office for one of those little head protectors that goes inside the carseat (you know, so the baby's head won't go all over the place). You know what they told her? They said, "No." When she asked why, they said, "It's not a mandatory piece of equipment!" Can you imagine? We give drugged up parents chance after chance, we provide them with parenting classes, drug rehab, bus tickets, jobs, and anything else they might need to "get back on their feet" but we can't provide an infant with a head and neck protector. It just makes me want to scream...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Okay, let me start by saying that this is a tricky subject for me. And also, let me apologize for the references to the Oprah show, but nowadays, my days are spent with many Dr.'s (Dr. Phil), judges (Judge Joe Brown and Judge Judy), cooks (Emeril and Barefoot Contessa) and yes...Oprah. On a recent Oprah show, the subject of forgiveness came up. On the show were women who had been sexually molested as children. As I watched the show, I began to jot down some of the statements being made regarding forgiveness. I was fascinated by them. For example, "Anger is the umbilical cord that keeps us connected to our abuser (or person that hurt you)." Wow. Maybe it's the fact that I'm pregnant that made me jolt when I heard that one. As beautiful as the connection is between my son (who is still inside me) and myself is, I cannot imagine the umbilical cord being anything but life giving and life sustaining. Yet, in hearing this, it made perfect sense to me that without forgiveness, that cord cannot be cut. Another statement was, "Forgiveness allows me to let go of the life he/she forced upon me so that I can get on to the life God intended for me." Double Wow. Yet another..."Forgiveness is not about exonerating them, it's about empowering you." This one is my favorite, probably because one of my biggest struggles has been me not wanting to forgive because then it means "what she did was okay." I have learned in the past couple of years that this is NOT the case. A very wise pastor in my church told me that "God expects us to forgive, but He does not expect us to be doormats and allow further damage to be done to us by the same person." He gave me the example of a man being conned out of money on a shabby business venture. For years, the man could not forgive the one who conned him. Eventually, he worked through his anger and forgave the conman. What he didn't do was go out and give the man any more of his money. Makes sense to me. Anyway, I have found that forgiveness is a process. I feel that I am at a point now that I no longer hold on to the hope that my past could be any different, instead, I choose to look forward and get excited about the life I am living now. Besides, all my unforgiveness and anger never hurt anyone but myself. So, that's my two cents worth on forgiveness. Forgive me if it made no sense to anyone but myself.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Weekend in Review

My feet are still swollen, although now, to accompany them and my blood pressure issues, I am walking around like an old lady, with my hand on my lower back and a scowl on my face. Both my mom and mother-in-law have stated "you have really dropped!" Well, when there is only twelve inches available in your body for a baby to squish in to, that "dropping" has meant a killer case of sciatica. While at my in-law's home yesterday for Father's Day, I managed to sob into my dear husband, as his father sat hopelessly watching, saying over and over again how I reminded him of my monther-in-law when she was pregnant with Chuck. I guess since she's only five feet tall, that makes sense. As much as I know Chuck's daddy was worried about me, I could see the glances he was sending Chuck's way. They said, "It's only the beginning, son...get ready!" Needless to say, after thirty minutes of trying to get off the sofa to leave last night (I'm not joking, it tool me thirty minutes of trying to get up with what felt like a hot knife stabbing me in the butt and radiating down my leg), I apologized to Chuck's daddy for the fun Father's Day I had created and left nearly in tears. Of course, being the father-in-law that he is, he just gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. Then I came home and had Chuck help me put on an XL ThermaCare heating pad, which barely fits around me now. It looked like I was wearing a diaper, since I have to wear it low, low, low on my backside to get any relief. So, that's how my weekend went. Although the highlight was on Saturday (before my pain hit), as I sat up at the pool with my mom, Joe and Daniel, Sarah, Tameshia and of course, the babies. Alyssa and Ray were too cute at the pool, although when Chuck got there and unintentionally spoke to Alyssa before he spoke to Ray, it got a little ugly. Ray was not gonna put up with that, and well he shouldn't! Before it was all over, though, Ray gave Uncle Chuck five, and everything was cool.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Here in Georgia we have the Atlanta Journal Constitution (or AJC) newspaper. In it, comes a daily "Vent" section where people can write in their opinions, thoughts, etc. Well, my mom decided to forward a pretty funny one about our local University football players, which referred to them all being criminals. Well, my brother, Daniel, responded with such passion that it made me very proud. Not to mention, he ended his rebuttal with "blog this, women!" So, I am. What makes it all so interesting is not that he said more than two words (which in itself is pretty impressive...it's usually "that's awesome" or "I already showed you how to do that, Mom!"), but rather the thought he put into saying them. So, I am posting his e-mail in my blog...he did say "blog this women!" at the end of it, so I am assuming it's ok.

"the uga vent is not funny it's a classless act itself. Don't want to see punks play, don't come to the games, i'm sure 92,000 people won't miss you but they'll miss any dismissed linebackers when a fullback is running up and down the field on us. So when did people decide that giving these players in this day and age was actually giving them an education? No, it's a chance for the NFL a chance to do the only thing they know how. So the majority of kids have never disciplined in their lives, is that their fault? Never been taught right from wrong, taken to church, they have only been put on a pedestal for playing football. So we blame them for mistakes when there is little if no supervision. Richt however tries to be a father like figure as well as head coach in one of the most competitive conferences in that nation. Are we asking too much from him? we are asking him to ruin the lives of kids who view him as much more than a coach, but a man who spends time with them and cares about them, leading them towards God, and yes disciplining them with suspensions for games. Asking him to turn his back completely on kids who may be more lost than the average person would be against his values. However, if these kids are to learn a lesson, extra laps after practice may or may not do the trick. Each one is different, obviously if kids are dismissed from the team it is because of repeat offenses and yea their priorities about football and having fun are screwed up and it is Richt's only way of making them finally responsible for their actions. But to doesn't not cut them off, he helps them find somewhere to play ball, because of these kids are disruptive with something to lose, what are they capable of when they have nothing to lose? So yes, if I had these God given abilities my college football career would most likely be flawless like David Pollack, David Greene, and kids like that. I was raised right, i was taught right from wrong, i was taken to church at an early age that so that I could make my own decision to follow the lord and let him lead my life, i had a mentors, and role models to look up to, I had others to learn from their mistakes, I was shown how having faith makes life easier to live. These "troublemakers" have had no guidance, whose fault is that? So maybe next time you read about some football player get arrested ask yourself "I wonder if their parents are proud?" or even better, "if their one parent is proud?" Because chances are maybe they don't care enough to know what's going on. All the momma's boys in football will be successful no matter what, because they have been taught to. What is the first thing athletes do when they make the big bucks? They buy their momma's new houses and move their families out of the ghetto, and if they are already home-grown kids they make lives for the families even better. Anyways, I don't blame the kids for making mistakes when they were never guided growing up. Go Dawgs! i will not miss a game this season, because the more criminal these guys are the harder they hit haha. Take care everyone, put this on your blog woman/women!"

So, now you see why I am so proud to have a brother like Daniel. I love him so much, and am grateful every day that he chose never to allow any excuse to hold him down. He's smart, handsome, hardworking, respectful and he never fails to amaze me. Mom often says I married a combination of herself and Daniel. She's right. I don't think Daniel will ever understand how precious he is to me. I cannot tell you the number of times my heart almost burst with pride as I watched Daniel play football, baseball, earn awards, and just make us all proud. But, really, what makes me happiest is when he plops down on the sofa between me and mom and gets his laptop out. He hardly says a word, instead he is just absorbed ordering something from Ebay to fix something in mom's house. Mom and I talk around him, each of us silently praying he won't get up, because his mere presence makes us happy. Now THAT is a great little brother.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Genetics Suck

Yep, that's right. Instead of enjoying the health benefits of being born to someone who is health conscious, I, instead, am stuck with the genetics of a woman I'd rather not talk about. Ugh! And my mom so delicately tells me, after my trip to the ER & Labor & Delivery for high blood pressure in my eighth month of pregnancy that "you didn't get it from my side of the family." Very funny. Apparently, high blood pressure during pregnancy runs in my biological family. As my husband pointed out in the hospital room, "no wonder ya'll have high blood pressure, look at who and what you had to put up with (when still with bio. family)." So now, I am more useless than ever. The Dr. put me on "modified bedrest" which means he didn't want to put me on full bedrest, but I'm not supposed to shop, do housework, excercise, walk around the mall (or Wal-Mart), etc. The nurse pretty much told me to "find some really good books and get as much rest as possible...we want to keep him in there a little longer." So, that's that. I guess it makes sense, since my feet look like they've been taken over by the Marshmallow Man, along with my hands and face. Ahh, the joys of pregnancy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Today is my brother's birthday. Which brother? Well, the one whose smile can make my day, or whose tears can break my heart. My brother, in every sense of the word...Joe. What makes him so special? I've often asked myself that same question. The truth is, without him, I would not be here. He and Daniel (the other peice of my heart) saved my life. Without them, I would most certainly not have made it. Let me tell you a little about Joe. He was born when I was only three years old. I can barely remember it, being so young and all, although I do remember the sense of responsibility that came over me even at three years old. Here was this innocent little baby, unfairly born into the destructive life we were being forced to live in. And so, on June 15, 1983, my journey into adulthood began. Joe has always had the ability to capture my heart. His personality makes him such that even when you are so angry at him you can't see straight, you can't help but love him. And boy, has he made me prove it. Joe has had many struggles in his life. Like many of us who are adopted, issues of rejection, loss and inner doubt tortured him for years. He chose to act out these issues in very destructive ways. I spent years sobbing over my brother Joe. Why didn't he understand how important and precious he really is? Why can't he realize that NOTHING that happened to him was his fault? Why couldn't I protect him from the hurt, and why couldn't I heal his heart? Why? Because I myself was just a child, dealing with the exact same issues...being tormented by the exact same self-doubt, rejection and loss. There have been times when Joe has questioned everything. I know, because I could see the confusion in his face, and I could feel the hurt in his heart...and it cut through me like a knife. The times when he called me from jail, crying, and begging me to bail him out almost killed me. But I didn't, because I knew that he had to understand consequences. All the while, though, I was comforted by one thought. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that Joe understood what it was to be loved. He knew that his big sister Yolie, no matter what happened, loved him from the bottom of her heart. He has told me this. He has told me that even when he shouted at me in despair that I didn't love him, he knew. He knew that my love for him wasn't going anywhere. And when our past came back to haunt us, not so long ago, even through the confusion and deception of others, he knew. And so, it is with great joy that I celebrate the birth of my brother, Joe. A brother who is now a fantastic father to a beautiful baby girl. A brother who has grown up so much in the last year that I hardly recognize him sometimes. A brother who makes me so proud. A brother who can still make my day with his smile, and who, thank God, no longer makes me cry. I love my brother Joe with so much of my heart that sometimes I wonder how there is room for so many others. But, then I realize that had it not been for my brother Joe (and Daniel), that capacity might have been crushed by the reality of my first eleven years of life. So, really, I am indebted to Joe. Without him...well, let's not even go there. Happy Birthday, Joe. You know I love you. -

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My Sweet Husband

So, I made mention of my sweet husband yesterday and how he has put up with so much over the years. It often amazes me how much he "gets it" while others don't. Here's someone who came from an intact, wonderful family with two parents (military, nonetheless), two sisters and a dog. He attended the same school system since kindergarten (which I now have little brothers and sisters going to), and his life was wonderful. You can just imagine when he brought me home to meet his parents. I'm sure thier dreams of him marrying a sweet, no-issues girl were dashed the minute they realized I was a disaster inside. At eighteen, I was running away from love, believing that not only was I not worth loving, but worse, I was unlovable. By that time, I had only had a real mom in my life for seven years. Even now, that sounds crazy to me. Seven years of having a family, and then BOOM, I was eighteen and scared to death. It was one of the hardest times of my life. Oh, yes, and my sweet husband, he must have been scared to death as well. Here he had fallen in love with a bruised and battered soul, having had NO experience with the type of grief and loss that was pouring out of me. Even now, I sit back sometimes and wonder how he was able to put up with me. There were times when I cried from such a deep place that all he could do was say, "call your mom" and if you knew him, you'd know how heartbreaking that must have been to him, Mr. Fix It All. He's often begged me to "let him fix it," and when I tell him I don't know what needs to be fixed, he simply states "then let me love you." Last year, one of the hardest things in my life happened. I was forced to face my birth family, head on. To say it was difficult would be the understatement of the century. I was crushed. I remember crying into my mom's chest for what seems like hours, which eventually tunred out to be months. And all the while, my sweet husband patiently stood by, undoubtedly praying that THIS would be the event that healed my heart. Guess what? His prayers worked. It was the event that helped me regain control of my broken heart. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. My sweet husband, who proudly wears his "I love Adoption" t-shirt, has not only earned a first-hand education in foster care, adoption, grief and loss, raging, etc...he has eanred my undying love and admiration. And coming from someone who once beleived she didn't have it in her...that's an accomplishment. So, I thank God every day for Chuck. And I thank God every day for blessing me with such a stable rock. Just last night, as I was whining about what movie to watch with him (we had a choice between "Be Cool" and "Something the Lord Made") I said, "Baby, why don't you watch "Something the Lord Made"??? He lovingly looked over at me and said, "I'm already doing that." My sweet, sweet husband.

Monday, June 13, 2005

My First Blog

So, my mom has convinced me that I have lots to say that should be heard. Here I was thinking my loud self could already be heard round the world! So, here I am, wondering what my first blog should be about. Do I rant about important stuff, like our sorry system which allows kids to rot in foster care while their birth parents "give it one more shot" and all too often ignorant adoption workers who would rather split uo sib groups than pick up the phone and attempt to find them a family? Or do I talk about my sweet husband who has put up with nearly eight years of emotional highs and lows as well as my wild family (which is often the cause of the highs and lows)? Well, I guess as I really think about it, I may as well be talking about the same thing. Welcome to Yolie's World...where two seemingly distinct aspect of life are so interconnected that even I have to step back and figure it all out, all of the time. Let me apologize in advance if my blogs become the rantings of a former foster child, who was then adopted, but not before living a hellish existence with only my two brothers to keep me sane...who then became an adult (sort of) who went to college, became a social worker, worked in special needs adoption, and is now waiting to be a mom (well, not for the "first" time, but that's another blog...Joe and Daniel). But, hey, life is good.