Yolie's World

Friday, September 30, 2005


Is this a Bubba (JoJo maybe?)??
Carlos Alexander...so cute!
CJ is a very happy baby!
Carolina and her daughter (twins or what?)
Sarah happy as a clam with Ray and Tommie
CJ lying on Abuelita's stomach (doesn't he look comfy?)
I think my old boss understands why I left work for this little bundle of joy
CJ didn't like his new church outfit

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Adopted children are often very suspicious of their adoptive parents (or any adult for that matter). I bring this up because I have spent the last couple of days at my mom's house, just hanging out and watching my family (as I often do). It occurred to me that Mama hardly ever goes one day without someone acting out, whether it be her two year old's utter disregard for her rules (like "Tabby, for the MILLIONTH time, do not touch that) or her three year old's need to make toast ALL DAY LONG, regardless of Mama's request for him to stop, or her teenage daughter's need (?) to get into a fistfight at school. Why is Mama's life so filled with children who seem to thrive in a state of uneasiness all the time? The answer, in my humble opinion, is simply trust. It takes years for true trust to be developed between an adoptive parent and their child. The children are all too often suspicious of everything the adoptive parent does. I can remember times as a young teenager, just looking to find something my Mom did that would cause me to go "Yep! I told you so (speaking to myself), she can't be trusted either!" When she didn't do anything, like lie to me or ignore me, then I would make something up in my head. I would just assume that her need to go get groceries meant that she would rather do that than spend time with me. This is how the mind of an adopted child works. If we can find a reason to discredit the parent, then we have won. What have we won, you ask? Sadly, we have won the battle not to attach to another adult who will hurt us. It is easier for an adopted child to find something wrong with their adopted parents and therefore continue to keep up their walls of defense around their heart, than to admit that they are indeed loved and that their new parents can indeed be trusted. Remember, it takes bulldozers to bring walls down, and bulldozers no doubt hurt. So, it's easier for an adopted child to keep those walls up, you see. A good example of this is Mom's recent encounter with Edgar, my seventeen year old brother. As she's coming home from picking up our sisters, he hollers out the window, accusingly, to ask where she had been. I bet he was having a panic attack, thinking, "I let this woman into my heart, where the heck is she?? I KNEW I COULDN'T TRUST HER!" And then, of course, since Mom wasn't out dancing the night away, I can just imagine the big sigh of relief on his part (of course, he'll never admit to this...he's way too cool). Another example is when Mama's bubbas complain that she is ALWAYS gone. Mom NEVER leaves the house, unless she's picking someone up or doing something like visiting another child in residential treatment. Again, we make things up in our heads in order not to trust. If Mom is ALWAYS gone, then it's okay for us to assume that she will someday leave us for good. Yes, it's warped thinking, but it's what keeps most foster children alive. If we "hurt" children allowed every new adult into our hearts, imagine the pain when the majority of them let you down. That's what RAD is, people. It's a kid who's had enough, and whose mind decides it's just not worth the effort to love anymore. Sad, sad position for a child to be in, but a position they are put in nonetheless. So, my lesson for today is simple. Understand that adopted children's walls are harder to break down than anything you can imagine. Then, make sure you mean what you say, because any deviation from your tongue (whether by words or actions) will be taken as a betrayal of our trust in you.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Aging Out

My life is so good. I am thankful to God every day for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me and my family. As I think of all the terrible things that could have happened to me, I have to stop and pause for a minute, because I know that I was spared so much more pain and hurt. When I was eleven, I came to live with my family. Before then, I spent time in foster care and with my bio mother, who put drugs, alcohol and men before her children. Even through all the horrible things that did happen to me, I know that God always had a plan for my life. With that said, it breaks my heart to think about all the kids who don't make it out of the system. I wonder what it feels like not to have a mom to call when exciting things happen, or somewhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner. So many kids age out of the foster care system, without so much as a leg to stand on. They truly have nobody. How do we allow that to happen? As a society, we hardly allow abandoned pets to go without shelter and love. It breaks our hearts to see mistreated animals (and it should), but my question is, where is all the outpouring of concern for those kids who have spent their entire lives wishing they had just one person reach out to them? I think allowing children to age out of the foster care system is one of the tragedies of our time. We put them out to die. Perhaps not a physical death (although I suspect those numbers are high), but an emotional one. Of course these kids end up on the welfare or prison rolls, they have to eat. How do kids stay in foster care for ten years? That's just wrong, no matter which way you slice it. Again, it's all about the parent's rights to finish their caseplan. What about the children's rights????? Shouldn't they at least get a chance to see if another family is willing to adopt them? It just really bothers me. We treat children like they don't matter, and then we spend millions of dollars doing studies on why the newer generations are messed up. Uh, I can tell you...we don't invest in them nearly as much as we do our cars, pets, homes, or even our lawns. I beleive that God weeps over the way we treat the world's children. And I believe that the time will come when our country will have to answer for the pitiful way our kids are tossed around and mistreated.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

"Big Al"

Alyssa's Jealousy

Is it me, or is CJ laughing in Alyssa's face?
Alyssa couldn't take it anymore. Her mama BETTER give CJ to HIS mama and pick HER up!
CJ loves his Grandpa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Stuck in the cabinet

While Joe was cooking us enchiladas, Alyssa got stuck in the cabinet.

Happy Anniversary, Mom!

I am twenty five years old. Fourteen years ago this week, I met my mother for the first time. It was a terrifying experience, holding nothing but sadness and fear for me. I was eleven years old at the time, and I thought I had the world figured out. I thought that all adults were liars and would hurt us, so I had made it very clear to anyone who would listen that I DID NOT want to be adopted, and especially not outside of my home state of Texas. Thank God my caseworker did not listen to me. As an adoption worker, I heard over and over again other workers tell me that a certain child would not be adopted because "they said they didn't want to be." I have a hard time with this. What do you mean they don't want to be adopted? It's not a choice a child can make, even a "grown-up" mature eleven year old like me. Of course an older child will say they don't want to be adopted. They have no concept of what a decent family life is like, all they know is that parents hurt you, and why in the world would they opt for that again if given a choice? Been there, done that. As adoption workers, we have to be very careful not to allow traumatized children to make choices like that. So am I saying to totally disregard a child's wishes? No. I'm saying to take into account that children do not have the ability to look past their pain and see that something really good, like a family to come home to for Christmas, is really something they do want. Heck, DFCS often disregards children's wishes, often placing them back with parents who hurt them even though they are screaming that they don't want to go back. Why do they do that? Because they feel that they have made an informed decision, and that the child is better off with their family than in foster care, and they know the child isn't capable of making that choice. So, what's the difference between that and sending a screaming 11 year old to an adoptive placement? We make choices for children's lives every day. At least the choice to try an adoptive placement before saying "they just don't want it" could turn out to be great for the child.

When I came to Georgia, my caseworker literally had to pry me off of the seats in the El Paso airport and drag me into the plane crying and screaming. I did not want to be adopted. I was so sad that first year in my adoptive home. Thank God that my mom didn't send me back because "I wasn't bonding." She stuck with me and my brothers, even as she was having a very difficult time in her own personal life. She loved us through our fear that first year and I am so grateful she is my mom. Now, fourteen years later, you'd have to pry me off of the Atlanta airport seats kicking and screaming to get me to go back to my old life. I am so glad that my caseworker didn't listen to me when I said I didn't want to be adopted. It would have made her job so much easier, as my two cuter and younger siblings were very "adoptable" without their parentified older sister in the picture. But, she kept us together, all the while searching for a home for all three of us, knowing that if one didn't come soon, she'd have to split us up and ruin our lives. Of course, then my mom called. She had seen a grainy picture of us (actually, it was a black and white copy of a picture and she couldn't see what we looked like at all) and had read our description, and she was interested. She kept at it, and FINALLY, after way too long, we came home. I am so thankful for my family. I am proud to be a part of it and I am proud to be my mom's daughter. And I am so glad that I have somewhere to go for Christmas dinner...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Carlos Alexander

Deysi had to have a C-section, due to Baby Carlos being too big for her to push out of her tiny pelvis. Here are some pics of him right after he was born. Deysi and Carlos are ecstatic.
The proud parents
Check out those LONG fingers!
Little Carlos was trying to get his head through his mama's little pelvis! It'll be all nice and round tomorrow!
Love at first sight
Sweet Baby

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Coolest Gift Ever...

Check out what my darling husband ordered for me! Now I have no excuse for non-gourmet meals every day! I can't wait until it gets here!

Birthday Boy

Today is my little brother's birthday. He is 20 years old. It's so hard to believe that he is that old. I can remember the day he was born, the day he came home, the day he had surgery on his throat and I had to take care of him. Although I was only five when he came into this world, I automatically knew that he was my responsibility. I loved him from the moment I laid eyes on him. Not like a typical older sister, who thinks he's cute and plays with him until she gets bored, but as a caretaker. I wanted to protect him from everything around us, and I spent the next six years doing just that. I cannot say enough about my baby brother. He makes me so proud every day. He is very intelligent, good-looking, athletic and funny. He is caring and loving and giving. He loves his family and he loves God, and I am so grateful that God thought enough of me to make me his sister. He's so cool.

The only good memories I have of my early childhood include my brothers. And the majority of my good memories as an adult include my brothers. This brother in particular means so much to me, and he knows it. I know when he reads this, he will probably shrug it off, as he's not much into the emotional stuff I tend to lean towards, but I want him to know that he means the world to me. I want to thank him for making me so proud and for making such a success out of himself. I want him to know that I admire and look up to him. He is one of my heroes. So, Happy Birthday Little Brother...I love you more than you'll ever know.

Not up to blogging...

I'm not feeling very well. As soon as I'm better, I will blog some more.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Why are you taking my picture, mama?
playing with a new toy My sister Deysi and her husband, Carlos

Deysi three days from her due date!


I am so blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mother. I find it to be the most rewarding "job" in the world. I am glad that I get the early morning snuggles, without having to worry about getting out the door in time. I am glad that I am experiencing all the "firsts" with CJ. For example, he just started reaching for my face when I am nursing him. It is so sweet. I know that not everyone can be a stay-at-home mom (although I do believe MANY can, but the sacrifices in budget living is not something they want to do), and I thank God every day that I can.

I know that one of my biggest reasons for wanting to be a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) has to do with my intense need to be a good mother. I want to give CJ all the advantages I didn't have as a young child. I want him to feel secure and loved all the time. People have asked me if I miss work yet. The truth is, I hardly think about it. At some point, I am sure I'll want to get involved somehow with adoption (as I do have a passion for it) but right now, I feel that my duty is to raise a child who will be a productive member of society. If everyone made that their priority, then there would be no need for adoption workers or DFCS offices.

Now, I know that many people think that I am just "lucky" to stay home. That statement is one of my biggest pet peeves. I am not lucky. Chuck and I worked hard to get to this point. We started dating our senior year in high school, and continued dating all the way through my Masters Degree and his Bachelors Degree. We made a conscious decision not to live together until after we were married, and we always tried to keep our heads on straight. Right from the time we knew we'd get married, we discussed our dreams. One of mine was to be a SAHM. Chuck was in total agreement, so we waited until we were financially able to begin trying to have children. Yes, it is a sacrifice. Sometimes, Chuck works from 8am to 8pm in order for us to have everything we need. I am so proud to be his wife. He often tells me that while he's at work, he thinks about us at home and he's glad to work extra hours so that CJ and I can be comfortable. So, you see, it is not luck my any means. It is hard work and sacrifice that will allow me to see my son's first steps (and not a babysitter). As he sleeps now, I look at him and wonder how I could ever drop him off somewhere and go to work. Thank God that He has blessed us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Loss Issues

Jeffrey, our gineau pig, died yesterday morning. It's amazing how sad I felt about it when Chuck told me. We've had him pretty much the entire time we've lived in this house. Now, with Zeus (our beautiful Great Pyrenees) and Jeffrey both gone, the house seems very quiet. Thank God that CJ has already been born, because if I was in this house alone, without Zeus or Jeffrey, I'd feel weird. I am sad to know that CJ will not know either of these pets that Chuck and I loved so much. I do find it odd that we lost both our pets in less than three months time. Chuck wants to get an American Mastiff now. We're both dog people and it doesn't feel right not to have a dog.

As I said, I was surprised at how sad the loss was for me. I guess any loss is hard for me, since I have "issues" with saying good-bye and anything that has to do with loss. It's important for adoptive parents to understand this. Even as an adult, I have difficulty (I believe above "normal" people) saying goodbye. It just brings back so many sad memories. Oftentimes, it's the goodbyes that adoptive parents don't even see that can raise intense fears in their children. Like the end of the school year or when a school friend moves away. The kids act out their fears of losing yet another piece of their lives, and the adoptive parents only see a kid being "bad." Loss is such a fundamental fear in adopted kids, and I've found myself dealing with it twice in a short period of time, both times with pets that I loved. Again, thank God for CJ...he brightens up my life!

Just another day at Abuelita's House

CJ gets so much loving at Mama's house! Here's him with his Aunt Sarah. They had a good 'ol time walking around the house. As Mama often says, babies in our family are "pass-around kids" who don't see the ground for their first year of life! I'm so blessed my son is growing up with so much love!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I hit the send button...
No huge weight off my shoulders yet...
It's just sad all the way around.

CJ's New Swing & Alyssa's Big Girl Bath

Someone had a big dinner!
What's this?
What does this do?
Caught red handed!
Eating Rubber Ducky
I'm a big girl, now!
CJ loves his new swing Nana & Papa bought him!
Too sweet!
Mac Daddy Swing!!
Is being this cute legal?

Pressing "Send"

So, I still haven't sent that e-mail to my birth sister. I have written and re-written it, I've had my mom proofread it, and still, I haven't managed to hit the "send" button. I've been thinking alot about it, and I'm really not sure why I haven't sent it. My mom told me not to hit that button if I "had a check in my spirit" about it. Well, I guess that's what's going on. I'm just not feeling settled about it yet. It's not the decision I'm concerenced with, I know that I do not want to have a relationship. I think it's the notion that it's yet another finality in my life. You know, just another unfair thing I'm being asked to do. Now, it is very rare you hear me moan and groan and complain about my lot in life. I prefer to "assign meaning to my suffering" as Dr. Phil puts it (yes, too much daytime tv!). I almost always try to help others with what I've learned through my life experiences. But, for some reason, this e-mail thing has be thinking alot about the unfairness of it all. The "whys" are enough to kill someone, but I wouldn't be human if I did not struggle with them...still. Maybe that's what's bothering me. Why is it still so difficult for me to face these things. No matter how "healed" I think I am, when unexpected things happen that deal with my past, they automatically knock me off balance and I inevitably spend too much time dwelling on it. It's like ripping the scab off again, as my mother puts it. Whis is exactly why I know that a relationship with these people is the last thing I need. My son doesn't need a mom who is absorbed in past drama, and my husband doesn't need a wife like that either. And God did not bless me with the BEST husband and son for me to dwell on the past. My priority is them and my family now. But, how do I say that so someone who went through many of the same terrible things I did, but never got out? Yes, she is not the type of person I want or need in my life, but she is that way because she was made to be, through years and years of abuse from our birth mother. Thank God, I was only a part of that for around ten years. Again, I go back to the unfairness of it all, or as one of my younger sibs once said when he was mad at mom for something, "that's too fair!" Nobody should have to make choices based on what other people did to them. I know that my decision will make me look like a cold, heartless person to my birth sister. If only I could get her to understand that we were all put in these situations by our birth mother, and I am only trying to do the best I can with a difficult situation. But, she won't see that because she is still held hostage by my birth mother's antics. She actually (along with birth mom) tried to convince me and my brother that things "weren't that bad" and the authorities "just had it out for them." Yeah, right. People don't go to prison for criminal child endangerment if things "really aren't that bad." Our birth mother hurt us terribly, and for some reason, she is still able to reach across time and space and continue to wreak havoc in my life. I know that is power that I give her, and I am working on that, with God's help. I've come a long way...she no longer scares me and that was a big step. Now, I could only get to a point where she doesn't make me mad...
Maybe I'll hit that send button now, since my gut tells me that she's more behind the contact than my birth sister anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


A couple of days ago, I was put in a difficult position. I have written before about my older birth sister, Ronnie. Well, I also have another birth sister, who is older than me but younger than Ronnie. Due to some very good reasons, I chose not to have a relationship with her or my birth mother when we were all "reunited" a couple of years ago. I made myself very clear abut this. My reasons include that fact that they are both still involved in drama that I just don't need. They are still stuck in the dysfunctional chaos that caused me so much pain in my early years. Anyway, while opening my e-mail, I found a letter from my birth sister, asking me to please give her a chance. She went on to tell me that she "remembers the good times we had as sisters," which only proves my theory that she lives in denial-land. If we had had very good times, then odds are we wouldn't have been in foster care, where she was abusive to me. Now, I know the reasons behind her aggressiveness...she was abused as well. And, when we were "reunited" I had not completely made up my mind about a relationship with her. It wasn't until she began forcing our birth mother on me (who I had made my mind up ) that I started having second thoughts. Also, when I found out that she did not protect her own children from our birth father (who abused us), instead allowing him to move in with her and her children (again, he abused us!). These are just not the type of people I need in my life. With that said, it is very difficult for me to be "mean." It took all I had to tell her over the phone about a year ago that I did not want her to call me or contact me again. See, I deal with lots of issues surrounding guilt. It's one of my "issues." So, when I received the e-mail, I felt like I should somehow respond. But, do I just say, "Thanks, but no thanks," "I'm just not ready right now," or do I give her an explanation about why? Mind you, I not only have myself to think about. I now have a son, and I made a promise I would not expose him to such things. These people did nothing but re-hurt us when they came back into the picture. Why, then, am I having such a hard time responding to the e-mail? My guess is that somehow, I feel guilty that I made it out and she didn't. It was by God's grace that I learned how to live in a family and be surrounded by love. Should I now then show her grace? Many people would probably say yes. But, take into account that if I do, I am guaranteed more hurt and pain. I was talking this out with my mom, and she asked me what I wanted her to say. Did I want her to "give me permission" to say no and be done with it, or did I want her to "give me permission" to open that door. The answer is easy, I do not want to open that door. Except, nothing like this is easy in the heart of an adopted child. So, I will work on the e-mail, somehow telling her"no," but not without a great sense of sadness at the entire situation we have been put in by someone who was supposed to be a mother.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Charity and Missions

Like most, I have been glued to the television coverage of Hurriacane Katrina and all the devastation left behind. My heart has been heavy for all the people, especially the children, who are having to endure such horrific journeys. At the same time, I have been torn between how to best help. Our church has various outreaches going on right now, and I have been trying to figure out which one to participate in. I have gone through my closet and pulled out all the nice clothes that I will never wear again (mostly because I can't imagine ever being that small again, and also because some of if is very teeny-bopper and now that I'm a mom it would just look stupid). Anyway, my struggle with all of this has been what to give to the Hurricane survivors and what to give to my family members. For example, I have leftover diapers that CJ outgrew before I even opened the package. I know the survivors need diapers. I also know that I have siblings who are about to give birth, who would be very grateful for the help. I view my family as a mission field that is often overlooked. While many people go to third world countries and spend two weeks ministering (which is awesome, I've done it and it's very needed), my family is a twenty-four hour mission trip, complete with wounded and needy children. I spend alot of my time and energy on my family. I love it, and wouldn't change that for the world, but it does put in me in a spot every time a new charity needs help. My mom pointed out that it was just in my nature to give, and I do believe that's true. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it is often hard to figure out where to best put my energy. I truly feel that my contributions to my family are extremely important (as are all my family members' contributions). Our family simply would not work if we all didn't play a role. Chuck and I often give to various charities, usually through the church. But, we cannot give to everything. Yes, I could volunteer to feed the Hurricane survivors at our local shelter, or I could volunteer to babysit for mom when she needs to go to the grocery store so she can feed the birth family/foster care survivors. I do not know the answer. I have prayed that God show me clearly what He wants my contribution to be.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More CJ...

CJ with Aunt Gina
CJ & Alyssa
My mummy boy (after his bath)



Alyssa with her Daddy on the Beach
CJ practicing walking!
CJ with his Aunt Tara
CJ with his Papa
Such a cute smile...-
Alyssa walking the beach