"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not what a Mama wants to see...

....but, it is what makes his crazy heart happy. And mine? Well, it makes mine rapidly palpitate have a heart attack.

I don't often get to post about my biggest baby, Tito. He's 27 years old, lives in another city and although we talk weekly, he's got his own life with a new bride. I guess I could admit that he's grown up.

From as far back as I could remember, Tito has always had lots of dreams. One of those dreams is one that I chose to ignore as he was getting older and would talk about it. I would nod and just say, "That's nice, honey." That was the extent of my encouragement of said dreams.

But, having a very similar personality to his Mama, he's no quitter. He perseveres. He's a fighter, literally. You may be asking, "So, what is this dream?"

My Tito has always wanted to be in the ring, either boxing, or worse yet, something more extreme like MMA (mixed martial arts) or UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). And while this is not my idea of fun or even a sport (and yes, I know it is), I support his dream and do the only thing I can....pray.

Tito's been training at a gym with a Sensei for this type of sport for a while now. Last week, when I got into the car after church I saw I had three consecutive missed calls from him. That surprised me. He usually calls me on the way to work during the week, which he already had. Three calls immediately drew a red flag. What was wrong?

I called him back and he answered with, "Mom, where have you been? I've been trying to get a hold of you?" I said, "Sorry, I was in church. What's wrong?" I could tell he was weighing his words carefully. There was a tone of excitement in his voice, mixed with a bit of caution.

He said, "Mom! I was invited to tryout for UFC." There was silence on my end. He said, "Can you hear me?" I said, after taking a deep breath, "You were? What do you mean?" Hoping that invite was to go watch a fight or something safe like that. He said, "The UFC is putting on a seminar that normally cost over $1500. to attend. I was INVITED to go and fight!"

I said, "So, this means you're going to actually fight, as in another person?", sounding dumb but hoping I had heard wrong. He said, "Yes. In the heavy weight division." After I reminded him about his beautiful teeth, his nose, his face, his brain possibly getting crushed, Mohammad Ali's illness attributed to being hit so many times in the head, etc., he said, "Mom, this is like a dream. Not many people get this chance." So, I bit my lip and said, "I really am happy for you. I will support your dream and pray for your safety. I love you and I want you to be happy and if this is what makes you happy....so be it." He seemed relieved, not that anything else I would have said would have changed his mind, but he seemed relieved.

So, this past Saturday was the big fight in central Florida. He went up with his trainer. I asked him if his wife was going and he said he asked her not to because he wasn't sure of what it would be like and if for some reason "it got ugly", he wanted his full concentration on what he was doing. So, to this Mama's ears, he was going at this alone. I prayed most of the day Saturday.

He called me early the next morning and told me all about the fight. He was a bit bruised, but said overall he was repeatedly told by the experts there that he did very well and they see him having a future in the ring. He was even told this by someone (sorry fighting fans I have no idea who this is) named Jeff Monson, a professional UFC fighter, who gave him some tips.

The fight consisted of 4 minutes of standing up fighting and 4 minutes of "grapling" on the ground. Tito is on the right and has the small tattoo on his back.

Warning: The person recording, does on a couple of occasions use foul words.

Tito, my precious first-born son, if this is truly your hearts desire and you want to follow your dream, your Mama will be standing there, albeit eyes closed, on the sidelines, holding on to her rosary and cheering you on. I love you, baby!

Monday, September 27, 2010


I don't know if many of you have heard about this case, but as I watched the video, my heart shriveled up and tears ran down my face. I believe this scenario is the reason why many adoptive parents choose to adopt internationally. I know for us, it was very high on the list.

If you have read our AJ's story , who was adopted domestically, you'd know that our initial reaction when asked about adopting domestically was "No". Besides the cost, compared to an international adoption, one of our biggest reasons was just that, we knew that the possibility that we might ever lose a child was more than our hearts could bear.

That said, I am so incredibly thankful that God laid out the plans perfectly and that we were obedient to His calling. We not only had a wonderful attorney who informed us of the importance of both biological parents agreeing to terminate their rights, but we were immensely blessed to able to meet both of AJ's biological parents. Then, and only then, after it was clear that everyone was on the same page, did the attorneys go forward with the process.

My heart just goes out to this family. I cannot fathom the thought of one of my children being taken from me after 3 years. While I feel the biological father in this case is legally entitled to raise his son, I think that it would only be common sense on everyone's part, beginning with the judge, to put the child first and give this sweet boy a transitional period, instead of ripping him away from the only parents he's ever known and placing him with a total stranger who lives in a completely different state.

When I see cases like this happening, I sometimes wonder, "Are we in the U.S.?"

I do know that adoption is not for the faint of heart. What do you think?

(Please remember to scroll to the bottom to pause the music player.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sweetness - Sunday Snapshot

These were pictures I took of the Triple-Trouble-Trio back in 2008.

I love seeing the look of wonder and curiosity on their faces.

I love their soft, rounded, baby cheeks.

I love the shape of their full, rosebud lips.

But most of all, I love their beautiful, expressive eyes. It's almost as if you can look into their souls, if you stare into them long enough.

Sometimes those little eyes are filled with sadness, sometimes with surprise, but most of the time, they are filled with joy and love.

No doubt enough love to fill this Mama's heart to the brim!

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Ni Hao Y'all

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