Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This post could take awhile and end up being sort of painful to read. You see I have all these thoughts floating around in my head and I am not sure how they are going to come out. Also I am not taking the time to keep this hanging around in rough draft form until it’s ready for public viewing.

This past weekend, after Brenna’s soccer game, I stopped at The Children’s Place. I had a $20 gift certificate from Place Points that I wanted to use to get Alainna some pants. This store is in one of our HUGE! Malls about 45 min. from my house, I don’t make it out there very often, but we were passing right by on our way home. So I stopped. It was 4:30 Sunday afternoon.

My first clue should have been how full the parking lot was. But nope I was really excited to be able to use my free $20. Brenna and I walked into the store and it was insane. The store was packed, we are talking day after Thanksgiving packed, there were people EVERYWHERE! Remember this is a children’s clothing store. Within 30 min I had located 2 shirts for Max, 2 outfits for Alainna and an outfit for Emersyn. Which, because I have to say it, I spent at total of $19.51 on.

Brenna and I worked our way over to the line. The line which had, OVER 40 people in it. I started to get that feeling you know the one where you know you are about to think profound thoughts but they haven’t quite worked their way to the front of your brain yet. I was looking around and what I saw was parents with children who were dressed no better than my kids in their pajamas. These parents were taking things off of the racks and shelves in piles, I am not kidding PILES. Shirts, pants, shoes all getting one glance and then carried off on a quest to find more. Little ones are sitting in strollers sipping on sodas, and ices, eating pretzels sticks or cookies, while mothers and grandmothers and sometimes fathers hurry around in a spending frenzy. I watched one young mother walk back and forth about a dozen times looking for just the right shirt to go with a pair of stretchy pants for her infant daughter.

And my heart hurt. This is me. All about the status, who can have more, who can spend more, who can beat out the person standing next time them. Does the average person think about what the spending sprees are doing to their finances? Nope. Does the average person know what it is like outside of this country? Nope. Do they care? Nope. How do I stand in the middle of this store seeing what I have seen, knowing what I know and not FEEL this? Am I guilty of being American and believe I deserve it. Yes!

Everyday it’s a struggle to change. Everyday it’s a war within me to be different. Everyday I look in my daughter’s face and my son’s face and REMEMBER! Most days I work hard to be different, but let’s be honest here, some nights I dream of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Venti) @ $4.51 a pop. And some days I cave. I am not talking about giving up all my worldly possessions and making my own clothes. But being smarter, caring more. Does my 6 year old really need a pair of $40 boots? Where is the line? I am embarassed with how many times I said, “My children will only wear name brand clothes.” Instead Though I will still admit that they do wear many name brands, I most often, but not always, buy them for what I would pay at a resale shop. Because it doesn’t really matter, oh my head hurts, I am growing up!

I NEVER set out to feel this way. I NEVER wanted to become this person. I am not strong enough or articulate enough. I LIKED my little bubble. I LIKED my name brand clothing. I LIKED (LIKE) being selfish. Now people laugh at us. And they make comments behind our backs and I know that. Most we know don’t understand us. But in turn I don’t understand them, how can you look at my kids sweet faces and not want to fix the world for them. I could fill this post with pictures and statistics and descriptions of the things that I have seen. But I won’t . If you know you know, and if you don’t I am not going to change your mind with this post.

I am confused how I got here, all I wanted was another baby. Instead my life changed. I am not the person for this. People don’t look up to me, I am not the type to start a foundation, the words don’t come when I need them to and most days I can’t even shower let alone volunteer. If anything, I am as average as they come, not at all the type to change the world. I can’t even stop the people at the Mall.


  1. Funny how those changes happen...

  2. I love to hear your heart. I feel the same way. I feel so helpless and yet I want to do something. My heart breaks for the poverty in Ethiopia. I often feel like I am doing hardly anything by adopting two kids. I wish I could do more.
    It's overwhelming, isn't it?!??

  3. I felt like I could have 20 kids when I was in the orphanage. I just wanted to take them all home. A crazy busy Mom that loved them would be better than no Mom, right? But then reality sinks in when you get home. It's hard to find a balance. We recently took a vacation and as we were budgeting I couldn't help but think of all those little orphans in Ethiopia. It's so tough because we LIVE in America, not Ethiopia. It is different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We are so blessed.

  4. i really relate to this. "everyday there's a war within me to be different". yes and amen. somedays i remember what we saw. other days i totally forget and i'm the girl in the mall. i feel like the accidental activist. i never meant to be torn like this inside. i just wanted to be happy. but god intended for me to struggle like this. i'm glad to know there are others in it with me.

  5. I thought you did great.

    I struggle too. I think most of us do. You can't see what we've seen and not hurt. Sometimes it catches me unaware. Sometimes I feel sick, other times angry. Most often a mix of emotions.

    People will always make comments and laugh behind your back - if they don't, they might have to admit you are right and they are selfish.

    And who wants to be ousted from that bubble?

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I hear ya. Just set the example for your kids and help them be better people to. They're the only ones that really matter anyway.

  7. I am right there with you and have a hard time not judging myself daily. I also really, really have a hard time with all of what you blogged about. I didn't know I'd be changed this much either, I am glad I am....and like christy said, we can only set examples for our children and hope that we are changing the world one small step at a time!

  8. Oh Jillienne

    Let me just assure you that I too, have gone through similiar emotions since we brought the twins home. Its hard to explain or put in to words all the images that I hold in my head and heart after spending time on the streets of Addis, in orphanages and and HIV clinic. All I know, is that it does forever change you...and how you view the world. In short - I understand.