The Anger In It All

I itch to be in this space ALL THE TIME.  Words swirl through my head constantly and my sleep is little, but the world is so heavy and hard right now.  I would love to write in this space every single day because I love to write.  I love to hash out feelings and emotions and thoughts on this keyboard and watch the words fill the page, but even though we are still very much quarantined life feels oddly busy & full and as if there is really no extra time right now.  No time to write.  No time to work.  No time to create.  Just time to survive and make it one day at a time.

I am beyond behind on documenting in this space for our family.  I was looking back at photos of Christmas I never shared in this space…and Ethiopian Christmas and Chinese New Year and Solomon, Winter, Amon, Harper and Leo’s birthdays.  Moving.  Quarantine life.  More grief.  Changes.  All of it sits in my head and the photos on my phone.  I wonder if it’s too late to document it all and then I think, what the hell, why not chat about Christmas in July.  Seems fitting.  Maybe I’ll back track soon.  I’d love for this space to still be a place for our family to look back on and remember memories through photos and words.  I hate for there to be missing pieces.

Still being at home while our state has opened up too soon and a large portion of people are not wearing masks & distancing from each other while our COVID cases are on the rise again is pretty disheartening.  I feel like the world is just extra trainwreck-ish right now.  I hate that wearing a mask is now seen as a political statement.  I hate that not wearing a mask is someone’s “right” as an American.  I wish wearing one was seen as simple as it really is…being kind and protective of ourselves, our family, our neighbors and strangers.  It all feels really sad and embarrassing.  It also really pisses me off as we’re staying home and working really hard to keep our own kiddos and others safe.  This isn’t a political move, it’s a kind human being move.

More deaths of so many men and women in the Black community by police brutality has been crushing.  We’ve always been a family that didn’t shy away from hard and much needed racial conversations, but we have upped our listening, learning and educating big time.  We are committed to raising children who are anti-racist.  We are committed to raising Black and Asian kiddos who are prepared for this world which will inevitably unfairly judge them because of their race and ethnicity.  We’re holding Solomon, Amon and Winter…and our Black community…close and ourselves accountable.  We live in a predominately Black neighborhood and we want to work hard at continually checking our own biases, our own white privilege and continuing our anti-racism education for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and our community.  Our country was literally built on land we stole from one race and on the backs of another race we enslaved.  As a white person, I will never arrive…there will always be work to do…my continuing education is a must.  I live in and with my white privilege every single day…I’m submerged in it…I have to hold myself responsible & accountable and continue working on & in myself and our family first.

June was Pride month and so we also upped our education about the history of the LGBTQ+ community.  We talk very openly about sex, sex education and sexuality in general in our family.  Our goal is always open honest conversations & zero shame, but being intentional about learning together the history and important information for the LGBTQ+ community has not been our strong suit.  Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds and that LGBTQ+ teens and young adults are almost 4 times as likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers?  This is such a staggering statistic that we take very seriously in our home.  We are committed to learning & educating our crew better.  We are committed to creating a safe space where all our welcomed and loved and accepted.

**BTW…The kindergarten teacher in me will always love good kids’ books and use them to help educate and make us better people.**

There has been controversy among the adoption community that rattled my bones and made my heart sink.  A very public disrupted adoption by a famous youtube family was made very public on the internet which had me looking at things from 100 different angles.  I shared my thoughts on it HERE.  And most recently Abby Johnson a big pro-lifer came out and said the most disgustingly wrong things about her biracial son who was adopted and Black fathers while feeding racist lies to those who follow her around like she’s Jesus.  Makes me absolutely sick.  Makes my stomach turn.  And it makes me really really angry.  All of it.  Transracial adoptees deserve better.  The Black community deserves better.

Sidenote:  This is my personal little piece of the internet.  I so love that you are here, but if any of this ticks you off and you decide to leave a hateful comment or try shaming me or a group of people, I will delete the comment.  Since sharing more often over the past few weeks on MY INSTAGRAM page about Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ issues I have lost 500+ followers.  The actual number itself does not upset me.  What’s upsetting is what that number represents.  What that number could represent to Solomon, Amon, Winter, Everett and Leo.  I will never forget after taking our kids to their first BLM rally in 2016 I received phone calls from family members criticizing us and our parenting and the BLM movement in general.  It was the beginning of the end in the best & saddest kind of way.

I keep saying it, but our kids are the real MVPs in all of this.  I cannot imagine processing all they have had to process in their childhood years.  June and July are hard months for our grief and as a family we are doing more anti-racism work together. More conversations.  More literature read apart & together.  More journaling of our thoughts & feelings.  More listening & learning. More checking in with their hearts & minds.  All while still quarantined at home.  It has not been easy.  It has not been without tears, sadness, anger & fights.  We have had both really crappy days and really good days.  They miss their family & friends.  They miss all their favorite summer activities.  They miss hugs and people and in-person conversations.  They miss being out in our community.  They miss Everett.  And yet, they carry on making the best of staying home for the safety of each other, our family, our friends, our neighbors and strangers.  They move forward in their learning of how to stand up for each other and how to be a part of the solution & the healing and not a part of the hurt & hate.  I watch their eyes and hear their words and my oh so cautious hope for change becomes more concrete. My hope is they will each be a piece of the healing and kindness and change our world so desperately needs.  One of my favorite things we have been doing together is working through This Book Is Antiracist.  It’s 20 lessons with activities to go with them.  So so so so good and has created the most meaningful conversations with our kids. Cannot recommend it enough.

I process a lot as I write.  I don’t have a neat and tidy way to wrap this all up.  I’ve been incredibly sad about all the insanely unfair and backwards ways of this world, but now I’m just at a really pissed off point.  I’m angry and honestly, I’m not letting it go anytime soon…and that’s okay.  Even Jesus got pissed off.  What I do with my anger is key.  Where it goes.  What it does.  How it shapes and changes me for the better and carries into this world maybe lighting some fires as it goes.  Sometimes hope comes in the form of a flame lighting the way.  And I desperately want to get this part right.  I desperately want to look back on this time and know I held myself accountable first and got to work.

15 Comments

  1. Jan lovich says:

    Thank you. I’ve missed hearing from you and your family! I’m so sorry this has been so especially hard for you all. Please know you’ve been in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Thank you for your words, and for all the teachers and resources you share!

  3. Jen KNopp says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart! Your voice encourages me

  4. Jodi Pyburn says:

    Thank you so much for your support of the LGBTQ+ community. We love our son with all our hearts ❤ As far as racism, I have realized that I have some deep rooted prejudice i didn’t realize until recently. It is ugly and i want it gone. All i know to do is educate myself.

  5. Brooke russell says:

    You are one of my very favorite educators, and I’m so thankful for your words. Your work of raising a family that you have shared with the world has changed my family. Thank you.

  6. So many of these words resonated with how I’ve been feeling over the last few months. I love how you guys are doing the work of listening, educating, and equipping your kids & yourselves to stand up for what’s right. Real change begins in our own hearts and homes. I’m continually praying that God will redeem all of the brokenness in our country right now and to help us to be people that love each other better and treat one another as image bearers. It makes me so sad that the church hasn’t been the first to set this example.

  7. Jane Connell says:

    Thank you. I’m not good with putting my thoughts down so reading your posts, your education, your values, your love, your advocacy, your struggles, your encouragement, your….all. Thank you.

  8. Valencia Canales says:

    Yess!! When George Floyd was calling out for his mommas, it made me think of you and your family. I am so glad you are speaking out. And it is very disheartening for people to not see that racism in this country does exist towards POC. We need more bloggers like you that call it out as it is. Thank you!

  9. MAry ann scanlon says:

    I love this post. It’s been an awful year of anger and sadness. It helps to know we are not alone in the disgust and yes even surprise at how some people we thought we knew have turned their backs on the field.

  10. I love the way you tell your stories, and the why you tell them. I’m grateful for your honesty and your pissed off passion. I’d rejoice over your Christmas pics any day of the week – never too late to fill in the holes! You show others how to seek joy in all things – even if we come up empty. I have started a virtual bookshelf for my maybe-someday-grandkids based on your recommendations. Big fan of your soul work, and your writings. Thank you for being here Laura!

  11. I am so sorry you lost followers because of your interest and devotion to all of your children. Teaching them what life is about is so important and you and your husband do such a wonderful job. Thank you for your dedication, determination and love of family.

  12. I love when a PPA post pops up and this one is no exception. I’m sitting here nodding along with you – I hope you feel that support coming your way <3 It's so hard to wrap my mind around the number of followers you listed that you lost when what you share feels just so true and real and honest. Thank you for sharing, here and IG, and truly inspiring me to push myself even harder for my kiddo and the broader community <3

  13. I’m so glad to see you writing again. I enjoy reading along as you process through things, even when there is no neat and tidy wrap up. You inspire me to start posting again myself. (I like watching your kids grow through pictures, too, Harper is so tall!)
    I have a question for you, though. I agree with your right to moderate comments as you see fit and I agree that hate and shame have no place here. That said, is there a place for respectful disagreement? Or questions asked in an effort to better understand what you’ve said?

    • Honestly, I’m sure there is, but in my personal experience every person who has wanted to ask me a question or better their understanding has only wanted to show me how I’m wrong. I think if we want to better understand & educate ourselves there is google and a million amazing resources, books, online classes, etc out there. It’s really exhausting when someone says they want to better understand or have questions when really all they are doing is baiting you into a conversation where they want to prove to you how you’re wrong. Not that that is what you are saying/wanting to do, but that is my experience so I just encourage people to put in the work and research and learn on their own. There are so many amazing resources out there already.

  14. You are an inspiration.

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