Sunday, February 17, 2013

Empowered to Connect- Part 1

 This as you can tell - is  our Valentine's Day :)  A while ago my brilliant and wonderful husband came up with a plan.  He buys flowers and chocolates for me!!  Told you he was brilliant! 
 He also takes a flower for each girl, gives her one flower, and this year he gave them each a tube of M&M's. 
 He gives them their Valentine's gifts with sincerity. 
 Because this is how your future husband should treat you, with love, with kindness, with sincerity of - I love you always!  Not just when I give you flowers or chocolates.  In the day to day too. 
 Hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful!!!  Ours was....more on that later :). hubby and I went on Friday and Saturday to the Empowered To Connect Conference.

I pretty much stirred the pot probably with my comment on FB about the large families.  It was NOT a main point during the "teaching".  It was mostly a caution.  I am not sure why?  Because the point is adoption is costly - whether it is one adopted child or 20+.  HA!  We know that!  I think most people who have adopted know that.  I am not just talking cost as in money of course, but time, efforts, and consistent love and care that can be different, but not always from a biological child. 

I believe the point was- the more children you have that come from hard doesn't necessarily get easier.  Agreed.  If you bring home sibling groups- it can be even harder!  Agreed.  That was really the jest behind the "larger family" comments.  I found it slightly irritating because I have nothing against smaller families, and nothing against bigger families.  I think it is hard.  There are sacrifices.  Enough said.  That is pretty much it.

In the depths of my heart I believe that those of us who have a larger family- we have already sacrificed.  So sacrificing more- comes easily.  We don't think of it that way.  We see the gains!  We see the benefits!  We see God working even more!  So we don't let people convince us otherwise.  So in my opinion- sometimes it is a part of society.  As we know the world around us can be a little more than staring down their noses at larger families.

It is written out clearly in the staring, the rolling of eyes, the counting, the "you have your hands full", "I can't handle my 2", "wow glad it is you", "where did you get them all", "are those kids all yours", comments that we get daily.  I think I have pretty tough skin, and stock answers for that.  I don't let them get to me.  I usually am not offended.  Somehow though the slight undertone in comments- made me uneasy.  Momma bear came on out and I was defensive!

In hearing the rest of the conference- there was soooo much good though that I believe it is like anything else that is not the Bible- you take the things that are great and you say- awesome.  You throw the rest in the trash where it belongs.  You take the things that will help you parent- GOD'S WAY, and you say- ummm.....whatever to the rest.

It is like those comments and stares.  You take the sincere conversation starters and you say- I would love to talk more with you about adoption, large families, GOD, any time.  And those that are sarcastic or overwhelmed----- you just smile and give them a stock answer.  As far as I know there is no where in scriptures that prohibit a large family, whether by birth or I am not going to dwell on this.

However, I will give you some of the main things I really LOVED about this conference that we will be implementing more.  Really the things we have already started using in our home are things that can help each of us to remind ourselves, and our children about the use of connections.  Our connection to God, to our spouse, to our children.  I have already found myself being more at ease in how I handle things because it is actually more stress free in a lot of ways.  So I look forward to sharing a lot more!

Hope you had a great weekend!!!!  :)   

Empowered To Connect Part 2
Empowered To Connect Part 3
Empowered To Connect Part 4
Empowered To Connect Part 5


  1. When people say things like, I don't think I could deal with that many children or I don't think I could adopt, I usually say something like, "Then God probably hasn't called you to do it or he'd give you the heart for it." That's not usually what they want to hear : )

  2. God didn't call me to have children. I say "be it" because I am not meant right now to have children. I may, I may not in the future (a very complicated story and I don't have to justify myself about it).
    Not everyone feels that having children is right for them, God or not God.

    My two cents is that you have children the same way as you embrace a job. The same way as not everyone is meant to be a doctor, a lawyer, a photographer, a pastry chef... whatever job you want, not everyone is meant to parent (or have large families, or adopt).
    Not everyone is meant to adopt, or have many children, for different reasons.
    It has nothing to do with morality, or sin, or whatever you want to call it.

    If I follow your reasoning, does it mean that because someone does not want to be a doctor, nurse, actor, chef... he is heartless, full of sin ?
    So, for you, not feeling that someone cannot deal with adopting/having many children means that the person is heartless ?

    Someone who says that he thinks he cannot deal with many children or does not think that he could adopt does not mean to be hurtful.
    Saying to someone that "Then God probably hasn't called you to do it or he'd give you the heart for it" hurts me because it implies that "so, you are heartless and selfish, you can only be a bad person".
    For me, not only it's offensive without reason, but it's also utter wrong.
    Because if I follow this reasoning, someone who becomes a nun, or gives his life to poor people, or prefers dedicating his life to literature or art... and does not have children/does not adopt is heartless and selfish. Something does not add up then.

    I am very happy that adopting and having a large family is something right for you.
    It does not mean that it's what other people must feel as right.
    And not much for a question of "heart" as you say, but for other circumstances you don't always know. You cannot judge people's moral values based on having children/adopting.

    Answering "Then, God hasn't called you to do it" is largely enough. Because it's true and it does not imply any judgement of value about someone else.

    Because the same way that God didn't call me to be a pastry chef or a dancer, God didn't call me to have children.
    I don't feel "less than" because it is what it means.

    1. I am not passing judgement on anyone.....rather Karen Purvis is in a way saying no one should have "larger adopted families" which is the crux of this post.

      I am not worried if a family has no children, 1 child, or 20+ children. I do believe children to be a BLESSING. I do not worry about whether someone does or does not have children. I just didn't like the undertone of the conference saying I "shouldn't" have a large family.

      I don't think having children or not has to do with sin? Nothing in the Bible says anything about not having children is a sin. If it were not for adoption- I wouldn't have children. You can go to my Birthday Post- July 31st to see my testimony.

      Again....simply said- I was upset because the opposite is also true. Nothing in scripture says that having lots of children is sinful. I don't feel having lots of children is sinful. It is against our society "norm", but it is not against scriptures.

      I am sorry you felt I was passing judgement.

    2. Thank you for your reply. I felt relieved.

      English is not my mother tongue, so misunderstandings can and do happen.

      I know that having children is not in my goals for a near future.
      My health plays a part, but also the fight for adopting where I live and while suffering from ADHD + hearing loss (since birth) is a lot.
      Where I live, there is a lot of stigma attached to ADHD and autism, they blame everything on "incapable mothers who created their child's illness because they want to do so".
      Currently, I already fight to study decently, I cannot fight five things on the row.
      Going to a new doctor is what I dread most. I have been often told that "if her parents terminated her parental rights, she wouldn't have had this so-called illness", or "if she had the willpower to commit into therapy, it wouldn't have happened" and even worse, "she takes Ritalin because she is a junkie in denial and chooses to be a bad person, no wonder she has such a heavy criminal record !". Oddly enough, my criminal record is as clear as water, so they cannot always win !
      The problem is that where I live, all the medical and social system thinks this way.
      Adopting in such conditions, when you have psychologists and SW telling you that "because you have ADHD and hearing loss, you will be an abusive mother and you pretend to love people" is not something you can easily manage.
      I raise my hat to people who can do it.
      I feel that I can't take all that stigma from SW and psychologists. I already am crying when I go to the doctor for a condition X (like I cannot move my elbow) and the doctor does not even watch my elbow because he is completely obsessed by the fact that I take Ritalin for ADHD and blame all my "badness" over my taking Ritalin. For those, I am not a person any more. I could have learnt four languages with a hearing loss and being a student in Law, they don't care, they obsess only about my "being bad because she takes Ritalin".
      I cannot take it any more. I cannot take more stigma.

      And to add some more, the doctor thinks that being pregnant is too risky for my health.
      My ENT doctor, a great man, advised me about the risks. If it means being unable to take care of a child, then, better not to. If I have no health, I cannot be a parent.

    3. Oh wow! So sorry there are people who are so ignorant! I joke all the time about having adhd, although I haven't been mind just sometimes works differently. I am also "type A" if you like which makes it even more crazy sometimes :).

      I would never consider having ADHD or hearing loss as a reason to not be a parent. I am so sorry for that. It seems that sometimes people make so many judgments on others :(.

  3. This weekend I got "Wow - she has the whole neighborhood with her." Comments usually don't bother me too much but this one struck a nerve and I nearly turned my shopping cart around to explain to her why I had "the whole neighborhood" with me - it probably wouldn't have looked pretty. I'm glad God gave me an extra dose of self-control this time :)

  4. Amen, Dawn, amen!

  5. Dawn,
    I found your post today on Sonia's blog. I was at the conference too and had very similar feelings. My husband was not able to go with me... We went out the other night to discuss it and I didn't (still don't) know where to start or how to fully process all that Karyn shared. I value her knowledge greatly, but I took much of it with a grain of salt. I kind of see her like a doctor who is a germ-a-phobe. She is going to be hypersensitive and err on the side of caution because she deals with so much grief and baggage on a daily basis. I understand what she is saying about large families to a degree. I have 6 children, so I am obviously not opposed to it. The Bible actually says that "blessed is the man who's quiver is FULL" and I absolutely believe this to be true, for our family at least. But the more children from hard places we have, the more time we need to spend helping get that child to a place of healing. Her methods are time consuming and somewhat costly. One thing that struck me was her comment about people's motives for adoption... Still chewing on that one...

    1. I think it really hit me when the one couple's testimony they said they adopted several- in wrecklessness......made my stomach churn!!!! Especially when the other mom who also gave her testimony- had only 1 bio and 1 adopted and had equally hard situation!

      It has nothing to do with size of family- it has to do with personality of the child, their coping mechanisms, etc. etc. YES they need healing, but I don't think wreckless is a good adjective when adoption is concerned.

      I know of NO ONE who says well I am doing this for glory, for selfish reasons.....and if they are- good luck because I am pretty sure that will backfire!

      I loved some of the things she brought out that can help our family connect. I have done other posts following this, and will continue with more of the tidbits that really have helped. I can see her mindset behind it.

      Interesting that she said the things she does are not new - they aren't rocket science, just slightly different than what some people do. Simple- not complicated. It's true.....we used to be camp directors and would teach many of these things she uses there!!!

      Just didn't really connect that with my family ;) he he he he.....