Remember this

Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are among the most beautiful places on this planet. Anybody who has been there will tell you. They are beautiful because of the exotic plant and animal life, and also because of their insanely gorgeous landscapes. They are fascinating because of their history overcoming challenges and strife. 


But - as anybody who’s been there will tell you - these African nations are deeply exquisite because of the sweet people within. Women who are mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger than any American politician could ever hope to be, children who rise above more hardship before breakfast than most of us do our whole lives, and men who are fighting in every way for their families to have hope and a future. 

Our family had experienced the greatest hospitality, warmth, and love in these African nations. We have taken boats on the Nile River, experienced The Great Migration on the Masai Mara, and stood in an endless field of 4-foot grass admiring how God perfectly provides for His creatures. We have had the most extraordinary experiences of our existence in some of the African countries our President just insulted, because it is in one of these that we met our beautiful Pearl Girl.  


We met her, and we fell in love with her birth country. We were represented by an African attorney who helped us stand in front of an African judge and commit our lives to parenting her. A significant part of that commitment is giving of our time, attention, resources, and love to this place we hold so dear. We deeply love her country of birth, and we honor it in every way we can conceive.


Today, we honor it by speaking up to say - African nations are NOT “$h!th0le” places. 

Pearl’s home country and all the nations of color our “President” has spoken so poorly about are precious treasures in our world, and our both lives as Wilsons and our collective life in this nation as Americans would be so, so dull without them.   


Any dim-witted, racist politician who calls these - and any other nations in our world - a “$h!th0le,” speaks out of ignorance. He should ask someone who has been there. Or better yet, make an effort to see these amazing countries for himself, and try it through eyes of understanding and love rather than fear and disdain. 


To all our African friends: We love you dearly. We are embarrassed by and wholly condemn President Trump’s remarks about your nations, and we want you to know that this is not the heart of America. We are a country made of loving people, just like you. My hope is that it is our voices and not his that you remember. 


Ethics in Adoption

Well, now. See, what had happened was...I've had this post on adoption ethics brewing for some time. It's such a tricky subject, with complexities within every single layer. I wrote and researched and tweaked but it never seemed to come together just the right way. Just the best way. Just the perfect balance of truth and grace.

But the good news is, these ladies have accomplished what I couldn't seem to at this moment in time. Check out their posts on this essential and sadly overlooked topic in much of the adoption world.

Rachel Goode (Heirs with Christ)

Jen Hatmaker (Part 1)

Know before you click that these are not "feel good" kinds of posts. They are brimming with piercing truth, and it might sting a bit. For many, even many adoptive parents, the questions sparked in these posts are completely new. Frankly, I believe that among the many reasons for this, on a practical and basic philosophical level, analyzing the ethics of any given topic comes only after an individual understands the nuts and bolts of the issue itself.

What I applaud these brave ladies for is bringing these truths to light and inviting the adoption world (particularly the Christian adoption movement) to take great care in asking the right questions of ourselves and of agencies/attorneys/facilitators before and during the adoption process.

Way Back Wednesday

Adoption blog, star date March 2009

What's Way Back Wednesday?

The Wilsons are going where?

Yep, that's right. We're going to Africa. Before you start start flipping out, let me clarify by saying that we are going to Africa only temporarily, and we are going to adopt a beautiful little baby girl.

Why beautiful? Because God made (will make) her.

Why a little baby? Because we feel like maintaining natural birth order is important to both Sassafras and Pearl. We wouldn't have a problem with bringing home a big beautiful girl, but Sassafras would and that's enough for us.

Why a girl? Because kids in almost any country in Africa are suffering, but girls are REALLY suffering because there is such little respect for women. The US Representative in Pearl's country has even spoken out to the African people about violence against women.

Now the big question that's on most of your minds...WHY AFRICA? Because God said so, that's why.

We have talked casually about adoption for a long time, even before we got married. Only two people knew this before I posted it here, but it took us so long to get pregnant with Sassafras that we had actually already received and partially completed an application for adoption right before we finally saw a positive sign on a preg test!

Once (years ago), there was a little kindergartener at my school whose foster family was mistreating him and DHR was involved. It broke my heart and I wanted to bring him home. We even tried, but because at that time we were only 24, we were ineligible to act as foster parents.

Again (about a year before Sassafras), we were talking with a family about the possibility of adopting a very unexpected baby they were struggling to care for. All that to say this...adopting is not a big deal to us.

Some people say they couldn't do it and treat the child exactly as though they were biological. Don't get me wrong, we know this is going to be no walk in the park, but we also know that this is clearly something the Lord has for us in His plan for our lives, therefore, we are going to be obedient!

At this point, we are trying to gather our plan of attack, so to say. We've talked with the international social worker at our agency several times, and have been to at least one informational meeting. Don't even ask me how much time we have put into our own independent research for this thing.

However, it does seem to be that with every question we get answered, there come about 3 more in its place, so this (from the get-go) is going to be both an educational process and a faith journey for our family.

You may be wondering what we need. I'll tell you. We need you to pray for us. Pray already for a smooth process, for Pearl's health and safety, for Sass to be the best big sister in the world, and for safe travels while we are in Africa.

Please continue to check back here for updates, and strap yourselves's gonna be quite a ride!

*Oh my, was it ever. Worth it, though. Worth every single bit.


Let's talk hair

The most important thing I could and want to pass along on this topic is the incredible significance of truly loving your child's hair. 

Second to that is, without question, that moisturizing is essential. Pearl's hair is the tightest, most coarse texture of hair that God makes. At 4C, her curls need intensive moisture to remain healthy and vibrant.

Moisturizing is bigger than just one step in the process. Pearl's hair is very, very thirsty, and we moisturize (and re-moisturize) a few times throughout the day.

The Products

Now, the conversation about moisturizing products can be a lengthy one. Every black woman I have engaged in a discussion with (or been approached by) regarding products has essentially told me something different than the last woman or the next. Every single woman, regardless of her ethnicity or hair type, has her very own unique opinion about which products are the best. No one's hair is exactly alike (props, Creator), and no one's favorite products are the same either. Having said that, realize that everyone thinks the stuff they use is the best and only answer to whatever issue you may be facing with your kid's hair.

The reality is that you are going to spend a small fortune in hair products.

To find out YOUR favorite products, you'll have to experiment...try different types of moisturizers/cleansers/styling goos and varying combinations of it all. The smart thing is to connect with other mamas in the same boat and pool your resources. I guarantee you that I have bottles and bottles of stuff that I've bought and hated over the past few years. Hit me up if you want to borrow some of it. Likewise, share and share alike.

Keeping that in mind, below are some of the moisturizing products that I have come to rely on as the best nourishment for my sweet Pearl's curls. They're all Amazon affiliate links, which is where I tend to find the best prices. Sally Beauty Supply carries all but the Carol's Daughter line, but even with a membership card the prices are almost always better on Amazon. Locally, you can only get Carol's Daughter from Ulta or Belk. Target will occasionally run a B1G1 sale on the Shea Moisture brand (I've yet to determine a pattern on that but if you know the secret, please do tell), which is a huge help in building your collection of products you love as well as stuff you want to try.

Remember that these items are just for moisturizing; cleaners, conditioners, detanglers, tools, styling aids...all of those are entirely separate categories.

Questions? Comments?