Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nie Nie Day

One of the women (and her husband) from the many blogs that I read was in a plane crash last week. She and her husband (Christian and Stephanie Nielson) are a young couple with four children under the age of six. They are in critical condition. Stephanie has third degree burns covering 80% of her body and Christian has third degree burns over 30% of his body. The recovery will be very long and very expensive.

Today, several websites right now 165 are auctioning off items for their benefit. Go here to see the comprehensive list  I saw lots of very cool items and many baby things.  

Updates about Stephanie and Christian here:   Shop on bloggers and if you win anything let me know. Baby I says I can't shop (boo hoo), but I can live vicariously through you (or is that shop vicariously through you)?!

Blog Conundrum

I've been blogging now for over a year (where does the time go?).  I've had my ups and downs during the process, but I honestly did not think I would not have Baby I home by this summer or at least not be on the waitlist...neither has happened as you know.  Not because in my heart I don't want to be, but because personal reasons have made my process move so slow.  I have seen many of my blog buddies become parents, I am so happy for them and love reading the blogs, but as for my blog...I don't have much inspiration anymore.  I don't know what to write about.  We all know people really want to hear about life with the little ones and I don't anticipate Baby I coming home until after March 09 at the earliest.  

So, my dilemma is... I don't know what I am going to say for the next however many months.  Heck, I don't even know if anyone is reading this anymore.  I'm thinking about just making the blog private and then creating a new blog at referral.  What do you think?  I'm at a loss.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Zahara is Adopted

I bet you didn't know Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt adopted a daughter named Zahara.  Apparently, the media seems to think no one knows and before they publish or even say Zahara's name (or any of their other kids names that are not the twins or Shiloh) they always preface it with ADOPTED.  How that annoys me big time!  Yesterday, Black Celebrity Kids showed Brad with Zahara and wrote his adopted daughter, I lost it (nicely of course):

Why do you find it necessary to state adopted daughter? Do you feel they love Zahara any less or treat her any differently? Do you think they introduce her as their adopted daughter? Absolutely not! Stop prefacing their children as “adopted.” It is insulting to the parents and especially to the children!

The response I got back from the site was:

Tami:  This is just one of the many posts which doesn’t use the term “adopted”…Do not be so offended Thanks for the comment all the same.

I'm going to monitor this particular site for their adoption "etiquette."  Of course someone who has not walked the many miles in our shoes can say do not be offended, but it is offensive.  This is only one site, but I really hope they do correct the language they use from now on.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Renovating Updates

Do you remember the sunroom and hot tub I got rid of?  Well, I'm still not finished decorating the room, but I've been working on it a little thanks to freecycle!  Man, I love freecycle.  So far, I've gotten lots of baby stuff (toys, 2 pack and plays, a changing table, diaper genie, portable high chair, baby food maker and some other baby items).  As for my room renovations I received the 4 chairs around my table, a wall to wall jute carpet (I'm using half as an area rug and the other half will go wall to wall in my library) and the table lamp in the picture.  I've also gotten other stuff, but no need to brag anymore.  hehee... I've met really cool people and I've gotten rid of so much stuff on freecycle myself.  I'm cleaning house!!!!!  It is the best!  If you haven't tried freecycle in your neighborhood I would say get to it!  It is better than vintage stores because this is FREE!  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CNN and the Anti Climax

So, I’ve finally managed to get out of my world and put together my thoughts on the CNN I Am: Black in America feature. Kudos to CNN for putting together and airing the special however, I was disappointed. After the big build up it was very anticlimactic. I was not the only one who felt this way, this was the sentiment I heard from about 90% of the Black people I came in contact with. I have also waited to see if anyone has posted anything on their blogs about it, but not really…most people speak about it in private and have the attitude of “whatever, it was an attempt, it’s over…moving on.” Me, not so much. I would like to discuss the issue a little further so here I go, being as brief as I can and trust me, I am cutting it as much as I can. Why was I so disappointed?

Supposedly, per CNN’s reason for creating I Am: Black in America was to present a collection of people who may surprise you. They wanted to show people who not only defied their labels, but they’ve done it in very public and dramatic ways. From what I saw during the two days it was just more of the same ‘ole same ‘ole…translation: stereotypes and negativity brought forth. One of my friends asked me if I felt this way because I was a little embarrassed and honestly the answer is yes. I was embarrassed that this was all people would see AGAIN and on CNN. More of the Baby Daddy saga, welfare struggles, jail scenarios and black kids not going to school. Yes, they did show family bonding in between but (IMHO) the negative out weighed the positive. I watched the show wondering did they consult with any Blacks in America when they thought this whole thing out, when they produced these segments? I would venture to say probably not. It was simply more a regurgitation of the negative stuff  some Black Americans live daily and it perpetuated many of the stereotypes even when they were trying to be positive.

For instance, it was great that they showed the “professional” family. The father was a superintendent, the mother was a professional and all children were in school, college graduates or planning to attend college. However they showed that even with the good this family had someone go to jail. WHAT? I’m sorry, not that it doesn’t happen on occasion, but like one of my friends (Tracey) said, was this necessary? She also commented my family has never had anyone go to jail.  She was right.  I have never had anyone go to jail either! As a matter of fact my mother was one of the first “minority” police officers Cleveland hired, my stepfather was a Deputy Sheriff and my 29 year old brother is currently on the SWAT division of the corrections department! Now that is a story for you!

I actually fell asleep on the show. It was a lot of stuff on there that we (black people) tend to laugh about (sarcastically speaking) when we hear it repeated in the media. For instance:
o Black men are pulled over more than white men
o Blacks receive inferior healthcare
o Schools in urban areas do not receive the same quality teachers or levels of funding as those in suburban areas
o Black women are marrying at lower rates
o The quality of food in urban stores is lower or healthy options not available
You don’t say? Now there is a shocker to us all! We tend to get a big kick out of it when it is FINALLY in the media because we know it and say it all the time, but no one hears us until someone like CNN or a Soledad reports it. Until that happens, like someone from the big Ethiopian board said, “It is just anecdotal.” Apparently, we have been living a life of anecdotes this woman thought. Now, there were a few good things about the show, I did appreciate some of the more specific statistics that go with those “anecdotes” I didn’t know such as:
o 45% of black women are not married, twice the number of white women, that number increases to 75% for professional black women
o 70% black women raising children on their own
o 50% of black children vs. 38% of white are raised in poverty
o 1 million more black women are working than men
o Twice as many black women are in college than men

Then there is Soledad...I like her. I think she is finding her voice and place in media and with the Black community, but for many in the black community…not so much. There has been some question as to why she was chosen to lead this series and this is the answer to why it turned out the way it did. I mean, what does she know about being BLACK? Soledad is multi-racial and that includes Black. She does not deny Black is a part of her heritage and her mother (from what I hear) is a very dark Afro Cuban. I think people are questioning because she was not so vocal and because she is married to a white man, but she is trying to bring the issues to the forefront. No, maybe she doesn’t get stopped for driving while black or followed for thinking she was shoplifting or called the “n” word but black is a part of who she is. If she weren’t doing anything and people who didn’t know she was black found out then she would be talked about for not acknowledging she was black (pretty much she is in a catch 22 situation with some people). Now, I don’t believe this was the best attempt, but it was better than no attempt…leave Soledad alone, give her a chance to find her space and voice.

Out of all of the excellent education programs that I believe actually have a chance to work for our young people WHY in the world would CNN only highlight one option (that I believe is just ridiculous). Pay kids to go to school? Give me a break! What are we teaching kids about education, and at such a young age? Now, did CNN and Soledad really think this was a viable option? If they were simply providing options why didn’t they show another program that is not just a pilot so the public can see what is working now. There ARE models that work that don’t require payment.

Sure, the Black community has its challenges BUT there is more good in the community than bad, but I finished the show only remembering the negatives. If I recall the objective was to show Black America and to defy the labels, but I finished with nothing but labels. Where was the substance? I did not see enough of it. It was too surface level and each time they approached an interesting point that could have made for a good storyline, it was cut abruptly…what a lost opportunity. 

What bothers me now is that I am reading on blogs and the Big Ethiopia Board that people think they understand Black America. YIKES!  How Horrible!  I am glad that anyone who was not Black watched in hopes of learning more about being Black In America, but I am saddened that this is the memory he or she was left with.

Girlfriend Chatter

Before I FINALLY comment on the CNN special let me catch you up a little.  I probably don’t have anymore blog readers, but what the hey.  I’ve been pretty inconsistent this summer, but one of my summer resolutions is to do me and that is what I am trying to do.  Unfortunately, my blog has been suffering, but I know all of the others have been holding it down!  

I’ve found trying to do me, takes more energy and time than I thought (who knew?).  I have FINALLY admitted that I cannot do it ALL! This is a major resolution for me so I deserve some kudos for this people! But guess what? I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be superwoman anymore, just the best woman I can be. Hell, superwoman isn’t real anyway and all of those women who say they can do it all (I think) are on Prozac, Xanex or some other drug running around trying to do it all! Not me. I’m going to take my little piece of the pie and move on. Now, I just need to figure out what kind of pie I want! ☺  Too many choices!!!!! 

I’ve let go of several “friendships” this summer that meant no good for Baby I or me. I’ve stopped discussing my plans with everyone because I finally get that not everyone cares about them. If I were pregnant, they would be totally happy with hearing all of my plans and so supportive, but since I’m not they are not interested…too bad for them. I’ve learned to stop justifying who I am and my choices for my life and for Baby I. I mean come on people…I’m almost 40 years old; don’t you think I’ve thought this through?  

On the adoption front…because I was on the slow road I was just told that even though my home study was just approved in March my first home study visit was in October so guess what that means? I have to have my entire home study updated, which essentially means done over!!!!! Can you say MORE $$$$$$ and MORE documentation!!!!!  ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!. One of the new guidelines for Gladney is that we don’t curse on our blogs (and I’m trying to eliminate the use of those words from my vocabulary, but I can’t help but still think them in times of frustration…hey I know them!) so I can’t put any curse words here but please fill in all the ones you know right here $$##@@@@&&&!!!!...this is how I feel. I know it is not Gladney’s fault that I was on the slow road, but what can I do…NADA!  In the end when Baby I is home and in my arms will I really care about the extra everything?  NOPE..OF COURSE NOT, but right now how am I feeling????