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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I woke up this morning and my eyes felt like Josie's eyes look. For some reason they were swollen and I hardly had the energy to get out of bed. The clock read 6:05 am and I knew that my oldest two had to be out the door by reguardless how I "felt" I had to hit the floor running. The first two were gone before I could even get my first cup of java down. The second two were awake and eating breakfast before I knew it....and then one by one, Joshua came down the stairs sleepy eyed and then my babies started hollering "mama mama" from their cribs. I sent the second shift out the door with Mike and as I watched them drive away in the pouring rain, I very quickly decided that we were going to have a "pajama day."

My friend Courtney had called and said she would bring lunch to me. She wanted to see Josie Love before she delivers her 2nd baby next week and out of commission for awhile. While watching four preschoolers interact with each other, we did our best to "catch up" on life. At one point, she looked at my hearth, with all of the stockings hanging, and said "just think, when you ONLY had Grace and were expecting Michael, if someone had said to you that you would have seven children...would you have believed it?!" I know she was thinking...."might THAT happen to me one day?!"

The time that I spend with Courtney is so sweet. She was one of the first friends that came alongside me when we started the adoption journey with Joshua and I KNEW without doubt that she was "in it" for the long haul. She is steadfast and is going to encourage me until the day that I die. She "gets" my life, and these days I am feeling that is rare. What a blessing.

As she left, I started thinking back to my life when I just had Grace and Michael. I am so glad that I can look back on that season of our lives and have fond memories that bring a smile to my face. SO much has changed through the years. As I look around my house, I never dreamed that my hearth would look like this....

After Mike and I adopted our first child, we started looking around and VERY FEW people in our lives had a lot of melanin in their skin. Actually, I could count on one hand the amount of people that we interacted with on a DAILY basis that have a lot of melanin. FYI, melanin is what makes your skin dark. Basically, it is the "stuff" in your skin that keeps you from getting sunburned. It is always fun at our house at bath time. We compare the melanin in Annabelle's skin to MillerAnne's. Annabelle is much more olive, so God gave her an extra tablespoon full of melanin when He was creating her. Caleb is much darker than Joshua so when God was creating him, he got an extra tablespoon of melanin. While cooking cakes we use tablespoons to spoon in cocoa (cause we know how much the Mayernick's LOVE chocolate) We talk about the tablespoons and teaspoons and in their minds it takes us back to melanin and makes PERFECT sense!
Our church has quite a few people with a lot of melanin.(haha) Our leading pastor is African American. I have heard him speak several times about growing up reading the bible, and the only children that he ever saw in the bible were white. either! I've never seen a bible with black children in it. With the exception of the one pic with the scripture that says"let the little children come to me" and in that picture, they tend to be "red, yellow, black, and white!" Many things have been brought to my mind (and heart) in this way. My sweet mom-in-law knows how this burdens my heart, so she has helped me with my Christmas decor the past few years.

I never knew any different than this.......
It is such a blessing that now I KNOW this.....

Those of you that have adopted transracially, are in process, or hoping to adopt one day....PLEASE look around your life and make sure that there is PLENTY of melanin to go around.
Those of you that have white skin and your "world" is white, pray about how you can incorporate more color in your life and home for your children's sake. We do not want them to be shocked one day when they enter the gates of heaven and everyone there doesn't look like them!

On a side note....check out josie's new stocking! Amy, one of my best friends from High School and her mother have made all of my family's stockings. I mean, REALLY? could it be ANY MORE perfect? Look how excited Josie is! AND she has NO IDEA the goodies that will be left inside of it on december 25th! Thrills my soul to the core!


florence said...

What a magical Christmas you will have! It looks like Josie is not missing a beat getting in on the Christmas spirit!

Thank you for your words on melanin. My world is way too white. I pray for opportunities to change this.

Merry Christmas!

Karen Phillips said...

suzanne...i LOVE the pic of all the stockings!! thrills my heart:) glad you guys had a pj day...good call...will pray for rest and rejuvenation for you!! much love...hope to see you soon! kp

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

I've been following your blog for only a lil while. my husband and I hope to adopt one day soon - leaning towards Ethiopia but still praying for guidance. this whole melanin business is at the top of my list, I'm already worried for how my future children will be received and accepted.

thank you for being such a beautiful example!!

mayhem said...

You mentioned looking for a Bible with plenty of brown people in it... If you haven't seen it already, you might try "The Jesus Storybook Bible" I think the subtitle is "Every story whispers His name." We love this Bible for so many, many reasons but one reason is that the illustrations show people of many skin colors.

I've been reading your blog for a few months, but never commented before. Congratulations to your whole family on the wonderful addition of Josie Love! Have a wonderful Christmas season together!

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Dear Suzanne,

I just love your blog and your family. It makes me smile to see Josie Love finally home with her precious stocking.

I love your analogy about the cocoa/melanin. I only got a dash of it and we are adopting a beautiful boy from Guatemala who got a full tablespoon. I can't wait to do some cooking with love when we finally come home.

I hope you're feeling better soon to enjoy this special season with your special family.

God Bless,
Kathie (currently living in Guatemala)

julie said...

Hi Suzanne! I have been following your blog for awhile... I am totally in love with your Josie. We have just started the process to adopt from Ethiopia..... My husband and I have known we would have kids of different races since before we were married, and have tried to incorporate that into our bio kids lives day to day. Thanks for the tip on explaing it to little ones. I would love some advice... what do you say to people in public who ask you totally rude, ignorant questions about your kids who obiously do not share your DNA? Keep the pictures of sweet Love coming....maybe she send us to Uganda one day!

Renee Click said...

Love it, love it! And I love the stocking, the beads are perfect of course! Glad things are going well. Talk to you soon!
Love ya,

Amy said...

Love the stocking and I agree- add some color into your world! ;0)

sallee said...

Josie Love's stocking matches her POPPY DIP!!
such a blessing to follow your journey!

Shannon said...

Thank you for those words. This is something that's been on my heart so much lately. We have four kids with very little melanin that I want to grow up loving and appreciating all the colors God made us. One thing I'm doing this Christmas is giving our two little girls brown baby dolls. When I was at the store picking them out it was so funny because I just naturally gravitated to the brown ones. Maybe because my eyes have been opened by Josie and Katie or maybe because the Lord is working something in me....probably all of the above.

Your family is such an inspiration and I love checking in to see sweet Josie smiles!
Merry Christmas to your family!
PS I have a Josie too!

Charlene said...

Hi Suzanne! Josie looks adorable and very happy! Her stocking is gorgeous too :) Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skitkat19 said...

Hi :) I have been following your blog since a friend asked me to pray for you and your journey to bring your adorable Josie Love home. I am adopted myself and rejoiced with you the day you and Josie came home! :) Tonight I kept running across sad/bad stories from the news and couldn't end my evening on a note like that. I decided to check your blog and was uplifted as I knew I would be. I love, love that your mantle has so many stockings! I hope mine will have at least that many one day! Ok, now my heart is happy again and I can go to bed! :}
Joyfully, Kathryn

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wright Family said...

Thank you for this post. My prayer recently has been for diversity in our community. I love keeping up with your blog and seeing precious Josie Love. You always encourage me and challenge me. Thank you!!
rebekah wright

Teri Driver said...

Love sees no color. Josie looks so happy. I love it. Blessings to your wonderful, colorful family this season of Advent. I am going to go out and look for myself a Santa who was blessed with a little extra melanin. Merry Christmas!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Love it!!!! Josie is just soo adorable! Your family and mine need to get together someday. Hey that would be....hmmmm.....15 children! WooHooo!!!! Wouldn't that be great!
Hey, living in Louisiana has been great for the melanin thing :)

Brian said...

Don't understand why my post was removed.... is this not a blog in which dialogue is important? Do you only post encouraging words?

Feel free to email me if you wish.

For His Kingdom...


Joe and Melissa said...

josie looks great! so fun to see pictures of her in "the america"! : )

Hope you all are well!

The Milner Family said...

Love the stocking! Love the post! I love seeing brown skin next mine. God has used so many amazing colors throughout His creation why would He stop at just one color for His most treasured creations. I am grateful that God has shown me how beautiful the world is when you see it throug His eyes. I love color and I love that each one of us has our own special hue.

Stacy Barrett said...

I love this post. I have been following your blog and our family has been praying SERIOUSLY about adopting. I wanted to pass on the link to an etsy store with handmade items by a dear friend of mine (which include ethnic baby dolls) that she sells, among other things, to fund their adoption, which will be their second child from Ethiopia. Precious. I passed on your info to her, as well, as she and her husband (as pastors) are always looking for more ideas to fundraise. God bless you and your family!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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