Adoption: It Takes a Special Person

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I have officially read the first chapter of the textbook for my current course. Exciting, isn’t it? Surprisingly, I have yet to have my freak-out session abut my course. No worries, it will come in due time.

If it does not happen by the time this post is public, it will surely happen this weekend. Nevertheless, that is not what I plan on discussing this week. In fact, truth be told, I didn’t think I would ever write this post. But, God had different plans, friends.

First and foremost, for those of you do not know, I was adopted when I was five and a half years old. As I grow older, I continually have experiences that help me process the event. This is one of them.

Earlier this week while at a doctor’s appointment, I overheard a conversation between a patient and an employee. The two had a discussion about the employee’s parents, who adopted a few of their children, including the employee.

During said discussion, the patient mentioned how wonderful it was that the employee’s parents adopted him and others in his family. The employee promptly responded, “Yes, it is. But, it takes a special person to adopt.”

Guys, that comment floored me. Much like my thoughts about a contestant on The Bachelor, who helped me not feel alone in my beliefs about my adoption, hearing the employee say that brought me great peace.

Honestly, this was the first time I’d ever heard someone else say, “It takes a special person to adopt.” For years, I’ve walked around telling people that exact statement.  I often wondered if I was alone in those thoughts.

It seems like I am not. It is extra comforting to know I heard it from someone who is in a similar stage of life as me. The introvert in me didn’t have the gumption to interrupt and say, “Yes, I was adopted, too. I completely agree! Thanks for saying that.”

Perhaps, this is my way of doing that.

Because he’s right. I firmly believe it takes a special person.

Even if you don’t know anyone who’s been adopted, it only takes a quick Google search to find a myriad of adoption stories. Some are wonderful, and some are downright horrifying.

As someone who has and continues to experience the highs and lows of adoption, I can assure you, the process is not for everyone. It takes a God-given desire and ability to choose to take someone into your home who is not your own and love him or her well.

The keywords of that sentence are: love him or her well. Getting the child into the home is one thing, but choosing to love him or her, despite all of their trauma and baggage, is a completely different story.

That is what takes a special person.

And that is what I think a lot of people miss. Yes, it is awesome that people choose to bring children into their home. Yes, it is wonderful that kids get to have a family because of said people.

But, the story doesn’t stop there. That’s only the beginning, especially for the adopted individual. For, just because a person is adopted, does not mean he or she has forgotten their past. The adoption is simply a new chapter their life story.

If adoption was only about providing a roof over someone’s head and food on the table, it wouldn’t be any different than being in an orphanage or foster care.

Adoption is about unconditional love.

It is about understanding those who are adopted are constantly hurting on the inside as they process the trauma they’ve been through—despite all the wonderful blessings that come with having a family.

It is about the quality of life and love within the home, not the physical house itself.

Therefore, it is important to realize that to be adopted in a home that sees the process as nothing more than physical well-being can do more than harm than good.

Adoption is messy. It is a lifelong battle of being grateful for the chance at life and a family, yet constantly wondering what it is the adopted person did to be given up in the first place (in most, but not all scenarios).

So, I tell you: Indeed, it does take a special person to adopt. Take it from me and the complete stranger at my doctor’s office.

May you mindful of this truth if and when you consider adopting a child. For, as wonderful as the feat may be for the parents, it means innumerably more to the children, especially when done well.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

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This Time Around: I Don’t Want it to End

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I don’t want this week to end.

I wouldn’t say this week has been great. It’s definitely had its highs and lows.

However, I don’t want this week to end because I don’t want to go back to school. Usually, I am mostly okay with going to back to school after a little break.

But, not this time around.

This time around, I long to not have to go back to school at all.

This time around, I desperately wish the last course I finished was my final one toward my degree.

I originally took this break due to life and health circumstances. About halfway through my break, I thought, “I’ll be ready to go back in four weeks. This break has been nice. I’ll be ready.”

As life goes, though, the closer I get to going back to class, the more stressed I am. The more things keep coming up that make me question whether I should take another break instead of a class.

In fact, the very reasons why I took my break in the first place have not gone away. Instead, they persist and flare even more.

For a few weeks, I thought they were manageable. Yet, I find myself just as stressed as I was when I decided to take the break in the first place…and I am not even in class yet!

Just imagine how much more stressful I’ll be when I do return to class and life keeps kicking me.

Truth be told, guys, I don’t have anything grand to write this week. I truly don’t. I simply find myself afraid of my future and the course that lies ahead of me. And that’s coming from someone who generally likes school!

I know, in the grand schemes of things, I will be just fine. I truly do.  But, because I am human, fear creeps in, even in the most familiar places.

This post is your reminder that life isn’t always easy. That some parts of life are never really going to be okay. They are simply something you have to live with.

Here’s to hoping, by this time next week, I’ve got my preliminary nerves about my course out of the way and I am able to tackle it head-on. But, if I don’t, that’s okay, too. Because, believe me, whether or not I am ready or want it, life will continue to hit me.

And that’s the truth.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

 

Present Day: Underweight and Insecure

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There is something I’ve wanted to discuss on this platform that is coffee soothes the soul, but I didn’t know how. It is a topic that is difficult for me to address in real life, let alone online.

Nevertheless, I have had numerous events happen in the last few months that have made me realize it is time to discuss said topic. Before I do, I must say, it is not my intention to offend anyone in any way in this post. I send you my sincerest apologies if I do.

I merely want to show a different side of a stigma-ridden aspect of society. So, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Let’s talk about weight.

As my “About” page photograph suggests and/or shows, I am a thin person. I have been skinny my whole life. I think there are multiple constant factors that contribute to this: my Russian heritage, my cerebral palsy, and my youth. Nevertheless, there is a good chance I will be skinny even past youth because of my heritage and disability.

Also, for those of you who don’t know, I used to struggle with anorexia. I praise God I do not struggle with it anymore. If you want to read more about my journey to recovery, read this post. Needless to say, my former struggle with anorexia doesn’t make talking about weight easier.

Furthermore, as I’ve mentioned throughout this platform, I found myself in a pit a few years ago. That pit caused me to lose weight simply due to the strain and stress I experienced. It wasn’t until a health professional addressed the weight loss that I realized I had lost any to begin with.

That is how natural the stresses of life got to me. I didn’t intend to make them affect my weight, yet they did.

The last and final factor of my weight for this particular post is, as I’ve mentioned before, I have some unresolved issues with my gallbladder. One of the symptoms of gallbladder issues is weight loss. My husband lost about 10 pounds before he got his gallbladder removed. I lost about 12-15 pounds before I realized I had an issue with my gallbladder.

All those factors and variables combined, you find me at present day: You find me underweight. You find me struggling to gain weight healthily. You find me insecure about my body image and weight.

And that is the topic I’ve been so afraid to talk about.

I cannot tell you how many people have made sly and not-so-sly comments to me when they see how much I weigh. Some of them include:

“Wow, have you lost weight? You look really thin.”

“I haven’t been that skinny since high school!”

“If I were you, I would stuff my face with chocolate!”

“I’d be more than happy to give you twenty pounds!”

The list could go on. You get my point. Regardless, each additional comment only makes me feel worse about my circumstance.

We live in a society where people are “fat-shamed” and praised for being thin. However, we also live in a society where people get shamed for being “too thin.” There appears to be this fine line in today’s society of what is and is not a healthy weight on both ends of the spectrum.

I cannot speak for all sides of the spectrum. But, I can speak for those who are generally thinner—whether it be by choice or due to health, life, and/or other circumstances.

I am not going to beat around the bush—it is difficult to gain weight. It may or may not be as difficult as losing weight. I don’t know.

But, it is much harder than one may believe, especially to do so in a healthy way. Yes, I could eat all the junk food I want and maybe gain weight. However, in the process, I’d deprive my body of vital nutrients, thus not helping myself in the long-run.

Additionally, in my opinion, society has created this stigma for those who are thin. I’ve grown-up having people think I LOVE being thin, that I ought to feel honored to be quite thin, that I have no reason to complain, that I shouldn’t struggle to find proper clothing.

But, to be completely honest, being rather thin is not always fun. In fact, it can be extremely discouraging some days.

For instance, I am almost always cold. I still have to get certain articles of clothing in the children’s section simply because I never find the right size in the women’s section.

Truthfully, buying nearly any article of clothing can be challenging, but especially jeans. In fact, I only buy jeans at thrift shops now because if the pants don’t fit or don’t last long, I can be at ease knowing I did not spend a fortune on them.

I could honestly wear anything from a size extra-small to a medium, or a 00 to a 2, depending on the brand or style. That alone makes me abhor shopping, especially online.

Let me give you an example. Two summers ago, I was in search of a modest, moderately-priced one-piece swimsuit. I literally spent nearly three months diligently looking for a swimsuit that met my criteria.

I cried more tears over finding that swimsuit than I have any other article of clothing. I either found a suit I loved that was not available in my size once I had the funds to purchase it. Or, it was not modest, or it was out of my price-range, or it was a little too girly for me.

I wanted something that was fun or classy yet did not scream “12-year-old girl.” Yeah, it was nearly impossible to find.

Thankfully, with mere weeks left of summer, I finally found a swimsuit that met all the criteria. In fact, when I did, my husband told me to buy it that very moment. We couldn’t wait to get it later. He knew how stressful the journey had been.

Truth be told, the longer it took, the more ashamed I felt about being thin. Just like now, the more people make comments about my weight loss, the worse I feel.

I did not ask to find myself in a pit a few years ago. I did not ask to have gallbladder issues. It is just as rude to ask if someone has lost an unhealthy amount of weight as it is to ask if someone has gained it.

Weight is a touchy subject on all ends of the spectrum. That is why I only share my struggles to gain weight with those I trust. That is why I don’t seek everyone’s advice about gaining weight—only a select few.

And that is why I have waited so long to mention it on this platform.

Nevertheless, I think I have had enough difficult situations to know it was time. If anything, I needed the outlet. Besides, I know I am not alone in this struggle that is being thin, yet not too thin.

My call to you is this: Be mindful of what you say, to who, how, and when, regarding their weight. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean he or she isn’t self-conscious of their weight.

Everyone struggles with their weight in some way, shape, or form. No one group does more than another.

May we learn to look beyond the stigmas society creates and encourages.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Newness in Life: The Little Things

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I’ve recently experienced quite a bit of newness in life. It hasn’t been anything huge, per se. But, there has been some new.

For instance, I recently started watching a “new” show on Netflix. It’s a show I’ve wanted to watch for quite some time, but I never got around to it. But, now that I’ve started it and find myself in the second season, I am hooked. Yet again, in true Netflix fashion, it is way too easy to unhealthily binge.

Plus, it is a show just for me.  It is very much a show a group of gals watches together. As much as I enjoy being married, it is fun to have a little something just for me to enjoy. No worries, my husband also has his fair share of manly, gory television to watch by his lonesome.

The fact that I will be back in school by the end of this month does not concern me. In fact, it helps me. For, when I took summer courses four years ago, I treated myself to watching an episode of a show on Netflix each time I completed an assignment.

Therefore, Netflix binging became my reward for difficult, time-consuming work. Looking back now, I’d say it paid off. So, I guarantee you, I will use the same method with this new show.

Another “new” part of life is I asked for a vegetarian cookbook for my birthday. Much like the master’s degree I’ve considered getting, I did not think I would ever ask for, let alone, decently enjoy vegetarian food. I was convinced the only way I would become a vegetarian is by doctor’s orders, which is still somewhat true.

I don’t think I could ever fully give up meat. I love bacon and burgers way too much. However, I am more than willing to venture in that direction, thus the cookbook.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I will get the cookbook for my birthday, but I do have my reasons asking for it. In fact, my reasons asking for it are strong enough that I may end up getting it myself if I don’t get it for my birthday.

For, I asked for the cookbook because we are trying a sort of half-vegetarian diet, due to my husband’s ongoing health issues. Although no one has point-blank told him, “You ought to try a vegetarian diet,” in our small efforts in that direction, we’ve noticed a difference in his overall well-being and comfort.

So, unofficially and loosely, I am a half-vegetarian. Between my recent gallbladder issues, which are not entirely resolved, yet manageable, and my husband’s gastritis, we’ve been more mindful of what we put in our bodies. Plus, it helps that we know people who are in a similar place of life. We have people we can reach out to for advice and whatnot.

The last bit of “new” in my life is a little something to show a different side of my personality. I am rather quirky and weird. It is a girly realization I came to. I’ve discovered my love for midi-dresses!

I am a short person, so I didn’t think I would ever be able to pull off a maxi dress. Although, in my heart of hearts, I desperately wanted to. In all seriousness, I’ve told numerous people that, if I was taller, I would wear a maxi dress every single day. I am not kidding!

As I experience more adulthood, the more I realize I love wearing dresses. So, it is always exciting when I realize another style of dress can fit into my wardrobe. I guess, in a way, it helps me live my maxi dress dream—yet in a quirky way. The midi dress may be my maxi dream in full bloom! Who knows, friends. Who knows.

Again, I know that was rather girly and not for everyone. Honestly, I am sure most of you don’t care to hear that. But, I thought it was worth sharing.

For, as I grow older, the more I realize the little things in life are often the ones that make all of the not so fun parts of adulthood bearable—whether it be a new show on Netflix, a vegetarian cookbook, or a dress style.

My call to you is this: Make a list of quirky parts of life that make adulthood worth it, that make life fun. It could be something like a new laundry hamper or a special recipe you swear by! List those things. Get in the habit of appreciating the little bits of life that may go unnoticed.

Those little things are gifts from God, no matter how small. And they are a constant reminder that God is always shaping us into His perfect image. He created us to be individuals who are constantly changing. Take it from me. I just told you I am on a somewhat vegetarian diet.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).