Change is One Thing We Can Rely On

Change.  It’s the one thing that we all have in common.  It’s the very thing that either pulls us together, or tears us apart.

Change is inevitable and uncontrollable.  The only thing we can do is secure any loose items, hang on to the handle bars, and remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop… or slows down enough for you to tuck and roll and get the hell out of there!  Either way, it’s usually better to adapt to change than to try to stop it.  Trying to stop it would be like trying to paddle a raft up stream on the Amazon River.  It’s just not going to happen.  You’re arms will cramp up and you’ll probably get eaten by snakes and piranhas in the process.  Not a great plan of action…. not to mention very messy.

Change brings ups and downs and both are necessary.  You can’t go way up high without experiencing the lows…. and what go up, must come down.

Mid 2014 to mid 2016 was on the low end for me.  I was living in Georgia at the time.  In the two years I lived there I had three different jobs, three different apartments, I went into debt, drained my savings, and was battling with myself about whether I was doing what I was made to do in life.

Gosh.  It was a tough two years.  I did a lot of growing.  I think my skin got a little tougher, maybe with a few new wrinkles.  I got a little smarter and a little wiser.  I made some great friends, but I probably made some great enemies.  Yes, there were a few highlights and a handful of people I met in GA that I still hold dear to my heart.  I also met my boyfriend while I was in GA.  He is one of the silver linings.  Though those two years were my lowest of lows, they propelled me into the beginning of a major upswing.

I moved to Illinois back in May.    At that point, my life was not secured, I wasn’t hanging on, nor was I sitting down and I was thrown for a loop!  I’m just now getting myself together.  I’m finding a routine in my new environment, the dust is settling, and I finally bought a hair brush.  I mean, if my life can’t be tamed, at least my hair will be!

I keep wanting to find a comfortable groove, but I keep wondering if that is what change is really about?  If it propels us into greater versions of ourselves, then is finding a comfort zone a smart move?  I think welcoming change and the challenges it brings… good or bad… is SO vital.

Life isn’t about becoming comfortable with what changes may come, but becoming comfortable with change itself.

FREE Crochet Pattern: Flower Ear Warmer

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This is the pattern I created back in 2008 when I first started selling my little creations.  This is a SUPER basic pattern, very easy, and super quick!  If it’s not quick enough for you or you lack the skills, you can purchase a little something from my Etsy shop.

Remember, this is a free pattern for you to use personally and to give away as gifts and/or charity.   Don’t be a meany by using my pattern to make money :-(

Supplies need: crochet hook size H/8 – 5.00MM; two skeins of yarn of the color(s) of your choice.  For this tutorial, I used Desert Glaze by “I Love this Yarn.”

Techniques needed – single crochet (sc), increase and decrease stitches.  I use a different decrease technique for this pattern that will be in the instructions below.

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Free Crochet Ear Warmer

CH 5
ROW 1:  sk first ch; sc in each ch (total of 4 stitches); ch 1
ROW 2: sc in each st; increase 1 (this means you add a second sc in the last st); (total of 5 stitches)
ROW 3: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 6 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 4: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 7 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 5: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 8 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 6: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 9 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 7: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 10 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 8: sc in each st; increase 1 (total of 11 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROWS 9-34: sc in each st (total of 11 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 35 (begin decrease):  sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 10 stiches); ch 1; turn
ROW 36: sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 9 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 37: sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 8 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 38: sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 7 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 39: sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 6 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 40: sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 5 stitches); ch 1; turn
ROW 41:  sk 1st st and sc in each stitch (total of 4 stitches); ch 1; turn

FINISH IT OFF: Put your two ends together and sew it up!  I match my ends and use a single crochet stitch to secure the ends together.

Now stick it on your head or give it away to your friend!

Make a Cowl!

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I just set up my Etsy shop and I’m in the process of filling it with wonderful things like….

This

crochet cowl

And This

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And These too!

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Since I think selling a basic pattern is robbery, I’m going to post my cowl pattern that I use!

Basic Cowl Crochet Pattern

Pick 2 different colored skeins or take 2 skeins of the same color.  You will use both skeins simultaneously  to make the cowl.

  • Ch 40
  • Row 1: skip first two chains, dc in each st, ch 2
  • Rows 2-22: dc in each st; ch 2
  • You should now have a rectangle.  You can even check the length by wrapping it around your neck to make sure it fits.  If it does, fold your rectangle in half, meet up the edges (hamburger style)
  • Half stitch the two sides together to form the rectangle into a loop.

BAM!  That’s it!  You’re done!  Now stick it around your neck!

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9 Things Not to Say or Ask an Adopted Child

Me and my dad!
Me and my dad!

I’m adopted and over the years I’ve been asked so many questions concerning it.  I’m pretty open about my adoption and I love educating people about adoption.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on what not to say to adoptive parents and was inspired to put my own twist on the topic.  It’s important to know how to lovingly interact with the people around us.  So I’ve come up with 9 things that people commonly say or ask.  People are curious and that’s great, but let’s tweak a few words and phrases ;-)

9 Things Not to Say or Ask an Adopted Child

1.   “So, have you met your real mom?” or “Do you ever want to find your real mom?”

My adoptive mom is my real mom.  It says so on my birth certificate as well as by the judge who legalize my adoption.

Do you mean biological mother?  Yes, I have met her.  I had the opportunity to meet her earlier this year.

2.   “You’re adopted?!  That makes sense, you look nothing like your mom and dad.”

Way to state the obvious!  I would also like to remind you that there are plenty of biological children who look very different from their biological parents.  They might look like that long lost great uncle.  Genetics is the luck of the draw.

3.  “Do you have any real siblings?”

My sister, Laura, and I being carted around by Dad
My sister, Laura, and I being carted around by Dad

I’m never sure how to answer this, but yes, I have a sister named Laura.  She is very much real.  We grew up together, fought together, plotted against our “real” parents together, got in trouble together, played together, and the list goes on.  I also have a biological half-brother named Lee.  Since I just met him earlier this year, I don’t have a history with him… but so far, he seems pretty cool ;-)

This question is usually followed up with, “Are you other siblings adopted too?”  This is a fair question since there are adoptive couples who are unable to have children, but this isn’t every family.  Some people see a need for adoption and then adopt.  AND the answer is yes and no, my sister is not adopted, but I do have two step brothers who are both adopted.

4.  “When you say ‘mom’ do you mean your adoptive mother or your biological mother?”

“Mother” is a special word.  It’s given to the woman who raised you, cried with you and for you, taught you the ways of life, took care of when you were sick, encouraged you, protected you, disciplined you, fed you, clothed you, and you get the point.  There is a special place in my heart for my biological mother because she gave me life, but I call her by her name, Joy.  To me, she is a woman who gave me a tremendous gift.  It would be weird if I called anyone who gave me a huge gift “mom.”  Awkward.

I also want to tag on to this topic that every family is different.  Sometimes a mom or a dad may not be present in a child’s life.  A mentor, step-mom or a step-dad might be the bearer of the title “mother” or “father.”  My adoptive dad is my dad, but I also have another father figure in my life, Tom, who I consider a father.  Family isn’t always blood.  Sometimes A lot of times, family is found.

5.  “Do you remember your mom?”

I really hate this question.  I tell people that I was adopted at birth and 9 times out of 10 people still ask this.  I have no clue why!  I want to look at them and say, “I was a baby.  Do you really think I have the ability to remember her?”  The answer is no.  However, I do understand the question.  If you are speaking with a child from the foster care system, then this is still not a good question ask!  If the child remembers his/her parents, they may not want to bring up subject pending the circumstances.  It’s best to let them bring it up if they want to share with you.

Joy (my biological mother) and me striking a pose!
Joy (my biological mother) and me striking a pose!

6.  “Do you know why she gave you up?”

First of all, let’s rephrase this question.  How about asking, “Do you know why she made an adoption plan?”  The words, “gave you up,” makes it sound that I’m undesirable and/or I’m just some disposable thing.

But to humor you…. I do know.  However, this is a very sensitive and often a private subject for a birth mother.  My birth mother didn’t tell anyone that she “gave me up” until 27 years later when I first contacted her.  I understand your curiosity, but keep in mind that you are asking for the intimate details of a birth mother that you don’t personally know.  If an adopted child knows the story and feels comfortable telling you, then they will.

7.  “I don’t know what I would do if I found out that I was adopted.”

I know exactly what you would do.  You would just keep living.  Being adopted would be your norm!   I’ve lived a normal life with ups and downs and everything in between just like everyone else.  The only difference is that I’m not biologically related my mom.

Adoption seems like such a life altering thing.  In a sense, it is, but it’s not as life altering as you my think.  My parents are still my parents.  My sister is still my sister.  It doesn’t change anything about who I am.  My life was not built on a fortress of lies.

Most people say this statement because not being adopted is their norm.  Being adopted is mine.  I know nothing else.

8.  “Where are you from?” or “What’s your heritage?”

For a long time I never knew how to answer this because I didn’t know.  I have very dark hair and eyes and sport olive skin, so my family thought I was Italian or Greek.

I, personally, don’t really care about this question.  However, it does elude to a clear distinction that the child doesn’t belong within their family history.  I don’t really have a suggestion on how to ask this.   I suppose it’s a suggestion to judge the depth of your friendship of the adopted before asking this.

Oh, and it turns out I’m Irish and Native American.  Crazy mix, eh?

9.  “I bet you feel lucky that you were adopted.”

Yeah... I was pretty cute.
Yeah… I was pretty cute.

First of all, I don’t believe in luck.

Second of all, “lucky” compared to what?  Having the life that I currently have is all I know!  I would have to go back in time, live life as a biological child, and compare and contrast which life would be better in order for me to answer this question.  Keep in mind that no family is perfect.  Maybe rephrase this into a statement from your point of view such as, “I’m glad your were adopted because I couldn’t imagine my life with your friendship.”  This not only edifies them, but also gives them a chance to comment.

***BONUS***This one gets asked a lot.  It’s not a bad question, I actually love this question because I get to share my thoughts concerning telling a child that they are adopted.

“How old were you when you found out you were adopted?”

I don’t remember a time when my parents sat me down and had “the talk” with me.

Not that talk!

That one was a very awkward conversation between dad and me after bed time prayers when I was twelve… hat’s off to Dad for powering through that talk.

Little Jess
Little Jess

I grew up knowing that I was adopted.  I was taught what adoption meant and I was taught what the word “biological” meant.  Both were equally special in their own and unique ways.  My parents reinforced that there was no difference between my sister and I.  I was told that it didn’t matter how I became apart of the Wright family, but what mattered was that I was in their family.

So, there you have it.  Those are the most common phrases and questions that I hear from people.  I love talking to people about adoption, so I welcome the awkward questions and phrases.  People are just curious, I totally get it.  I’m glad to have the opportunity to bring clarity on the subject.

-J