The Childless Father

A while ago I was so infuriated over a personal situation that I took to Facebook to voice my grievance over the situation.  For those who don't know, I have a blended household, meaning I have two daughters from a previous marriage and my husband has two sons from a previous marriage (just two short of a Brady Bunch, for those who can remember the show). 
Well his ex also has two more children by another relationship.  Are you confused yet?  
Well around the holidays my husband received a text from his ex requesting that he get the boys this past Christmas due to the fact that she didn't have money or the resources to give them a Christmas this year. My husband, a man who loves any additional time he can get with his sons, immediately purchased the plane tickets for them to come visit for the holiday.  Meanwhile, I again questioned why didn't she just give him custody of the boys already, a battle that we have been trying to win for the last 5 years, hence this is not the first time she has found herself down and out. 

Which brings me to our current topic of discussion.  

Why is it that women would rather let pride, money, jealousy, and a host of other reasons become more important than insuring their children best interests are taken care of regardless of what parent is able to provide that assurance.  Yes, I know this is not a new discussion amongst fathers and mothers whom have had children from a failed relationship.  We have many children who because of the tradition of keeping the children with their mothers are not necessarily with the parent who can best provide for them. 
Why aren't children's best interest always put first in circumstances like this?  Why is the assumption always that the mother is the one who can best provide for the children?
In this situation you have a father who is able to provide for his children both emotionally and financially whereas on the other hand you have a mother whom who can't.  Unless I am missing something here is it the parents whom bare the responsibility of insuring that their children's needs are met and if for whatever reason they can't, doesn't the courts now bare that obligation? What happens when the courts and the parents have failed in their responsibilities? 

Many women let jealousy over an ex's new relationship or marriage cause them to sacrifice the happiness of their children.  One women wrote It was as though she had gone to sleep and woken up in a different life her ex-husbands new wife had become mother to her children.  Instead of facing her own insecurities she chose to take on the role of the angry baby momma. Instead of embracing the fact that she still had her child's father in their life she chose to wallow in the fact that she no longer had a husband in hers.  

Sigh.....
When will it stop?


GySgt Monica Plank, You Will be Missed!

Please share especially all my friends and residents of Ohio. Early Sunday morning a little after midnight the Marine Corps lost a great Marine. GySgt Monica Plank was a Marine, mother of three, loving wife, and a wonderful friend to all who knew her. Her life was taken by a hit and run driver as her and her husband were leaving the 68 Grill in Bellevontaine, Ohio. I am praying that anyone who saw or heard anything will come forward so that her family may find closure. I am asking for my Ohio network to please help assist in this by reposting so that we can get the word out to others.
Anyone with information about the incident or anyone who may have been traveling in the area at that time is asked to contact the Bellefontaine Police Department at 937-599-1010 or by email at police@ci.bellefontaine.oh.us.

A Night of Extraordinary People!!

It was truly night of excitement.  This year I was invited as a guest to attend the 2014 BET Honors Awards. Attending my first BET awards show was humbling to say the least. The opportunity to be entertained by such singing sensations as Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and others was something that was not lost on this city girl. Remembering how my mother use to jam to some Smokey and Aretha on the Hi-five brought back so many memories and made the experience even that much more surreal. Humbled to have been in such company as Nelson Mandela's children, Berry Gordy, and Ms Deborah Lee (CEO of BET), and with so many extraordinary people under one roof, it is impossible not to have been affected by it.....
#FeelingLifted #BETHonors

Pictured with CEO of BET Deborah Lee




Pictured with Ginger Miller CEO of Women's Veterans Interactive. All proceeds from the night's event will be donated to Mrs Miller's organization.

Inspire!


...and this is how Operation Heroes Connect was created. My biggest pain was growing up a foster child and later being adopted and never truly fitting in or knowing who I was. Now that pain has turned into helping and inspire youth to reach their full potential just as others have helped me. The moral to this story is to never let your current pain consume you, use it as a platform to reach your greatest calling!

Restart

  In the last few months I've come to realize that we live in a changing but unchanging world. We live in a world where many are still filled with hate and racism.  A world that no matter what random acts of violence occur,  we are hard pressed to take a stand against because money continues to motivates those in a position to take that stand.

Is this the world that will be left to my daughter's and one day to my grandchildren?  Is this the country that I will one day say I defended against all enemies foreign and domestic?

Or is there still hope? Is there still time to preess that infamous restart button? Can we once again make this world a better one? Can we once again call our country home of the free? Free for our elders to walk the streets of what is known as little "ChIraq" and to once again have it just be known as The Windy City?

Can we rewind to the times of not being afraid of attending sporting events or for our children to go off to school without the fear of a madmen never letting them kiss their mothers again or hug their daddies again? Can we?

Can we hit the Restart?

Say Goodbye.....

Growing up, my biggest concern was whether or not my mom was going to give me extra money for the ice cream truck, or whether I could have an extra piece of cake for desert. Now as I sit back and reminisce about how carefree my life use to be, I’m forced to take a good hard look at the struggles I’m faced with now. Gone are the days of being carefree and only having to worry about pint sized issues. Those days have been replaced with days of being a mother, a wife, a Marine, and still having to find time to be a writer. The days of kicking back and eating ice cream cones on the front porch are instead replaced with doctor visits, parent teacher conferences and office mayhem.
But what happens when the normalcy of our problems become abnormal? What happens when what should only be minor pebbles in our everyday life instead become huge boulders that we try to take on?
As we mature our problems mature, this we all know. But how do we cope with these maturing problems when they grow to become bigger than the average headaches? The saying “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is often said in times when we feel as if we’ve reached our limit. The problem though, is that we are the ones giving ourselves much more than we can handle, not God. We are the ones that instead of walking away from the drama that sometimes plague our lives embrace it and wallow in it. We continue to give that drama life and even feed into it, nourishing it and helping it grow. When this happens, it’s sad to say but we have no one to blame but ourselves. We must take ownership over what is going on in our lives. When drama rings our door bell, we have the choice of saying “No thank you” or “I’m not interested” but instead we offer it a seat on our couch and tell it to make itself at home. With as short time as we all have in this world why spend it entertaining an unwanted guest?

Un-pretty

As women, how many of us try to epitomize the image that society says we should look like? How many of us run out every two months to purchase that Yaki, Wet &Wavy, or Silky hair weave, in hopes that our stylists are able to give us the look that Beyoncé or Gabrielle Union is currently sporting? Why do we feel un-pretty unless we have these enhancements? Why do we let society dictate what the perfect size is?Aren’t we society?

In 2003, Teen magazine reported that 35 percent of girls 6 to 12-years-old have been on at least one diet and that 50 to 70 percent of normal weight girls believe they are overweight. I shudder to think what those numbers are now. I remember as I was growing up, being skinny meant you weren’t getting enough to eat at home, and you needed some meat on your bones. Nowadays, being a size 0 is “In,” and being a healthy weight is equivalent to being overweight. As young girls grow up with such high standards of beauty on television, the need to be beautiful is often times dangerous and mentally damaging. When will we learn to embrace our hips, our thighs and our natural hair? What happened to that “Phenomenal Woman”?

As a teenager, like many other young girls, I wanted to be the image that was “In,” the image displayed on all the music videos, the image that every other black girl in my neighborhood was striving for. The Microwave Ponytails, glue-in tracks, and asymmetrical hair designs are what determined who was hot and who were not. Therefore, I was convinced that those were the looks I needed to have. Whatever extra money I could get my hands on was turned over to the beauty supply to get my pack of 12-inch number 4. In those days, the Asian guy behind the counter was my supplier, and I was his loyal client. Heck, even at age of 15, I was addicted. Now even years later as an adult, I still find myself being pulled into the falsehoods of what supposedly defines beauty. This time around though, I’m more prepared. I know now that no matter what magazines and television tells me, beauty comes in abundance. From her shapely hips, to my full lips, from your voluptuous curves to her short hair, beauty is in us. Beauty isn’t just what we view on television. Beauty isn’t about being a size 0 with long, flowing hair. It isn’t about having that easy, breezy Cover Girl look. Beauty is within all of us. I just wish it hadn’t taken me all those trips to the beauty supply to find this out.

Give Back!!

I can remember having my mom and my sisters by my side as I stayed up all night working on a science project that was due the next day. I sit and reminisce and think back to warm summer days of begging my dad for money for the ice cream truck. Over millions of children in the United States don’t have a parent in the household to pass these memories down to them, instead they have a childhood that is missing someone to guide them and mentor them. There are many children that have no one to give them words of encouragement or guide them to the greatness that they are capable of achieving.
There are many situations and circumstances within the home that prevents prevent children from being given the opportunity to have having an adult role model in their lives to mentor and guide them. Many children have a one parent household which may prevent children prevents them from having someone there with them most of the time. Because of these circumstances Also single parents may miss many activities are missed by single parents because of due to work and other obligations. With the support of volunteer mentors and mentorship programs who donate their time to children in need can provide children with the guidance that they need. There are a lot of children who come from broken households and adult mentors and role models can help to offset the negativity that may be present in that home. Through continued involvement, the adult offers support, guidance, and assistance as the younger person goes through a difficult period, faces new challenges, or works to correct earlier problems.

The dangers of not having a role model or someone in their life could be something that is detrimental to a child growing up. I was raised by parents who were foster parents to many children who needed guidance and stability in their lives. Had it not been for their time and patience I shudder to think of where those children might otherwise have ended up.  I shudder to think where I might have ended up had not those same parents who were foster parents to so many became the adoptive parents that my brother and I so dearly needed. In today’s society we see the violence and heartache that occur on the streets every day by adolescents with no real adult supervision at home. Coming home to an empty home turns many children to seek companionship in the streets. "Children are lacking guidance. A lot of them, they're looking to gangs because they seek belonging, and because it provides some kind of direction," said Mulitalo, a recent Willamette University graduate. (Gangs feed on troubled teens' need for a feeling of belonging, 2008). Having someone to teach them morals and helping them believe in themselves is something that keeps a child from turning down the wrong path.

There are many ways to become a mentor in a child’s life and it can bring joy to both you and the child. As of 1993, there were over 495 different mentorship programs available today the number triple that! There are many ways to help out in a community by donating and help building recreation centers for children to have some where constructive to spend their time. Organizing block parties, volunteering in local schools and churches, and helping out in your community can also help contribute to becoming a positive role model in a child’s life. Volunteering can help you give back to the community as well as help a child feel that someone cares about them. National research has shown that positive relationships between youth and their mentors have a direct and measurable impact on children's lives. In today’s society we see the violence and heartache that occur on the streets every day by adolescents with no real adult supervision at home. How many of those crimes could have been prevented had those children had someone to turn to or someone to listen to. You mentoring a child could mean the difference between a better chance of that child turning to a life of crime or that child becoming a leader of our country tomorrow. You should become a mentor so that we can give children the encouragement and the guidance that is so desperately needed.

Tee Marie...