"I will," JoJo solemnly promised, " I have 2 and a half more years to mature."
I think he can do it. He has maintained this desire to join the military for many years. He's shown huge improvement over the last couple of years. I really do have hope for him.
Now 30, he's spent more time in the Navy, more time married (8 years) than he did here living at home with us, our emotional bond is very strong though, and I thank God I'm his mom.
To have him sitting here in our kitchen last night with everyone for supper, this after the man's been to Iraq twice, to listen to him talking about places I've never been such as Greece, Italy and Spain, just made my heart swell with pride.
One of my teenage sons here at home, emotionally distant even on good days, has cut a fairly wide berth around Jesse this week, yet I've noticed he is always taking in what's going on. To see an older son of mine, one he never lived with, home now for a week has spoken volumes to this other son about family connections.
How cool is this? Locally produced honey in jars to commemorate the occasion.
I'd kept Mae that morning with me, as Yolie helped her mother-in-law and others set up for the shower. I can't do my own hair, much less Mae's hair, so when this Bita is babysitting, there's not much girl stuff involved.
A lady at Dawn's baby shower wanted to talk adoption, I don't wanna talk anyone out of it, yet I do cringe when I think of parents with young children, with an intact family, venturing into this sometimes way too dangerous arena. There's so much more of necessary, yet now sorely lacking, support systems that need to be put into place before I'd encourage others.
When Jesse and Sergi came home from Iraq about five or so years ago they found me in worse condition than they were in, my PTSD flaming. And I still maintain I'm one of the strongest women I know.
I remember one dark, dark day when our wonderful elementary school principal had sent Ms Carr out here to check on me, or when my longtime pastors had gingerly approached Preston and Chuck, concerned about my well being in light of all I'd endured. I'm not very easy to help, mainly because I don't know the answers either. I don't know what it would take to calm righteously, yet deeply angry, traumatized and violent teenagers who just want to hurt someone, almost as a cathartic release action.
I lived with, and attempted to maintain, the behaviors of more than a few kids who later couldn't even be maintained by a professional staff - assaults still happened. I lived with inherently violent guys who liked to fight, two in particular who ended up with multiple arrests, one a felon, an ex-con now. They loved the adrenaline rush provided by violent actions - how could these behaviors be helped? We tried everything with all kinds of resources and professional help.
I can't, in good conscience, promote that kind of danger via adoption. This should be a wake-up call in the adoption world. I know many such families like our family. Can things change now? Can there be more help and less condemnation placed on folks who only tried to help?
I'm still fighting bitterness and inner stress, still searching for peace and tranquility, very glad now that I live with a dozen children who know they are safe at this point, who don't fret that mom will get hurt.
Deep breathing right now.
My gardens look right good, they're still producing, I'm reading cool blogs like this one and that one, detailing refinishing or repurposing furniture, or I'm in my vegan world reading up on everything.
I'm slowing evolving into Bita from Mama, and I like it a lot.
Tonight I wanna run watch CJ play baseball, then Allen, Scotty and JoJo have a soccer game.
I'm surprised at how much Jesse misses Georgia and our rural, but way pretty county. There's neither SEC football, nor sweet tea way up in upstate New York where he lives with his lovely family. I've been up there before and found it to be very beautiful as well, but there really is no place like The South.
"I flew out of there wearing a sweater and Danny picks me up at the airport that night wearing shorts," Jesse exclaimed.
Only one of the thousand things I like about the South.