All Other Things

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

I am childless, but I love kids.

I have worked with them since I can remember.

I plan to have plenty when I’m married.

In the meantime, I claim the children of my friends.

Here is a video featuring some of my kids.

Please keep in mind that this really has absolutely nothing to do with Obama. Even though his name is mentioned, this post is in no way used to advance his name or cause or whatever. He seems like a stellar guy in real life. He may or may not be the change that the world needs. Right now, I do not care about that. Frankly, politics are not my thing. So, before people write me about what they think of Obama, please reread this last paragraph. This is not about him.

There.

Enjoy.

(Sorry it is not the clearest. Mobile videos will do that. But I think it is enjoyable nonetheless.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Kids are awesome!

I think it is only appropriate to start this series at the beginning. To start it with the reason I was able to go to Nigeria for the first time in my 27 years of life. Ideally, my whole family would have gone, but lack of finances did not allow it to be so. Therefore, exactly half of my family was able to go: My dad, my sister and me.

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Visiting family, was obviously a major reason for our trip. However, it was not the only reason. See, my dad is a pastor and he was invited to preach at a conference in one of the biggest churches in Nigeria: The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM). This conference ran from November 17th-23rd and featured special guests from all over the Africa and the world. The theme of the conference was “A God Said…” For my first week in Nigeria, I went to church basically all day every day. And athough I suffered from jetlag, it was an enjoyable experience. God was evident everywhere.

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The other reason we went to Nigeria was for my Dad’s charity: REST International Ministries. The last time my dad traveled to Nigeria was in 2006. While he was there, he visited various schools and was amazed at their conditions. One such school was Ozar Secondary School in Abia State. This is a government school and many government schools are in deplorable states. Living in Canada, it is so obvious that we take school for granted. We expect to have doors on our buildings. They do not. We expect to have desks to sit in and equipment to use. They are thankful if they do. We expect to use a functioning bathroom at least once per day. They do not even have a functioning bathroom on the premises. This is what my dad saw in 2006.

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So he took it upon himself to help make a difference. Upon returning to Canada, he started fundraising for desks. My Dad ended up raising enough money to make 100 three-seater desks for the school (there are 400 students) and 8 desks for the principal and teachers.

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My dad is a humble man. He did not think that what he did was a big deal. He thought that he would just go to the school and hand over the desks. Many had to convince him that his act of philanthropy was, in fact, a big deal. It turned out that there was a whole big ceremony.

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They welcomed him with singing:

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They welcomed him with dancing.

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They even presented him with a chief’s hat and outfit. Government officials were also invited, although I do not remember who they were.

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The students and the administrators were so thankful. It was a very amazing and humbling experience. It just puts into perspective what we take for granted here every day. These kids were happy to get desks. Can you imagine?

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So, that is the back-story explaining why I went to Nigeria.

nigeria3Stay tuned for more!

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I am back from, as my friend so eloquently put it, my OHMYGOSHHOWLONGWASTHISVACATION six week Nigeria trip. And let me tell you, it was unbelievable. First time to Nigeria and first time meeting the majority of my family. Before this trip, I had only met one Auntie and one Uncle on my dad’s side and then my maternal grandma. I have now met everyone which includes my mom’s 2 sisters and one brother, their spouses, and my 9 cousins. And I saw my grandma again. On my dad’s side, I finally got to meet my dad’s step mom, my youngest uncle (a mere 10 years my senior), my uncle’s fiance, my dad’s brother in law and my cousin. I also got to see my dad’s sister again after 18 years.

My dad and I stayed in Nigeria for six weeks and my sister was there for three. Yes, we took plenty of pictures. And when I say plenty, multiply that number in your head by 1000. Because my sister is studying photography and has a Nikon D300, most of the pictures that I will be using in my upcoming posts will be hers. Because they’re brilliant. And we also have tons of video.

So please, let me jetlag detox, but keep your eyes open for many upcoming posts chronicling my adventures.

(haha, a picture of a boy, not related. Just lived in the apartment below my Auntie and Uncle, where we stayed the majority of the time in Lagos. Loved him. Don’t even know his name…)

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God is Good.

Sometimes I am an impatient person.

Ok, let me rephrase that: I am sometimes impatient when it comes to getting something I want.

I am patient when it comes to everything else, including taking care of kids. I get that from my dad.

Anyway, in this post, I am talking about owning a house and having children.

My brother is 15 months younger than I and has just bought his first house.

I am jealous.

Yes, I know, I went to school longer. I have not been settled. I have no job. I have NO money. Blah blah blah… I know all that stuff. It still does not stop me from being extremely jealous. I love houses. I don’t mind going out with my dad to open houses, even with no chance of buying (although my dad and mom are looking into purchasing. They believe they have outgrown our current home and so do I… believe they have…but that’s another story).

My brother’s house has six bedrooms. It’s two years old. Here is a picture. I am jealous…oh and proud:

As for the kids part, I keep torturing myself by reading some many adoption blogs. Grace is leaving to pick up her child. She now has two. Carlos and Heather have three children. And I just found this stunning family.

I love kids. I also get that from my dad.

When people ask me how many children I want, I say 12. Some ask me to repeat, stunned, sure they misheard. Others laugh in disbelief. Few accept without reaction. But that’s it. 12. Actually the number increased since the beginning of July, but then I decided on another country I wanted to adopt from. You want to witness my family structure? Ok. Here goes (in no particular order):

  • 4 children by personal pregnancy
  • Nigeria
  • Ethiopia
  • Philippines
  • Korea
  • India
  • Guatemala
  • Kazakhstan
  • Haiti

Now, the thing is, that is my plan today, but it might change. Because I also plan to foster children and will most likely do that before I begin adopting. Therefore, things might happen to lead me to adopt from the foster system, which I am open to. One family that I love to read about is this family because they show me it can be done.

So, I would not mind having a house and kids today. Perhaps, not the full 12 while I am single, but I would not be adverse to fostering now. Actually, I am looking into becoming certified or whatever the term is, so that I can foster once I gain employment and find another place to live. It will happen, I know. But the impatient part of me wants it to happen now. The realistic part of me knows I have to wait. *sigh*

Now, to find a hot Christian man who will not be scared off. Hmmm….

Well, I just woke up from a nightmare and now I can’t sleep. So I decided that it was a fantastic opportunity to blog. So I give you Things I Don’t Understand (Perhaps it will be Part I, as there are bound to be more things in the future). Oh, and keep in mind that these will be random. They are in no particular order. Come on now, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning.

Ok…

1. How people can snore so loudly.

2. Why I can’t fall asleep when I hear a person snoring, even in the other room.

3. Why people, especially in LA, suffer from the “false sense of power” syndrome.

4. How I have texted over 1100 messages this month (well, incoming are counted, but still…).

5. How it can be nearly 2009.

6. Why I have been single for almost 27 years.

7. Why I can’t find an awesome Christian man who LOVES the Lord, loves kids, is athletic, is responsible, is respectful and plays the cello (haha, jk…or am I?)… (see, I’m not picky). 🙂

8. Why an awesome Christian man who LOVES the Lord, loves kids, is athletic, is responsible, is respectful and plays the cello (haha, jk) can’t find me.

9. Why people always compare black people, especially children, to edible items, namely, chocolate.

10. Why people think black people enjoy being compared to edible things, namely chocolate.

11. Why I can spend so much time on the internet.

12. Why I can’t speak another language.

13. Why I’m told, “you’re beautiful” by other girls, gay guys and my parents, but never aforementioned Christian guys.

14. Why it’s so friggin (pardon my language) expensive to fly to Nigeria.

15. Why countries in Africa are always referred to simply as Africa.

16. Why my family is so awesome!

17. Why it’s so expensive for a black girl to get her hair done.

18. Why I’m sometimes still afraid of the dark.

19. How God is so good!

20. Why God is still so good to me!

Phew. There! That’s 20. Now I think I will attempt to go back to sleep. The nightmare is gone and the snoring has stopped. 🙂

What are some things you don’t understand?

Last night I had an argument with my roommate and my good friend. We were watching the American Idol results shows (how the heck is Carly gone?!?!?) and somehow the topic of celebrity adoptions came up. For some reason, for the last few weeks I have been so angry every time I read an article about Angelina or Nicole Kidman. Now, we argued about my pet peeve: when articles write such things as, “Angelina Jolie is pregnant with her second child.” What we were fighting discussing was an article about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s son’s movie debut. Now, I will admit, I either read the article wrong, or read another version, but I was arguing (so passionately) about the fact that the article wrote that Nicole Kidman was expecting her first child. After pulling up an article about this again, I realized that it actually said that “Kidman is pregnant with her first child with hubby singer Keith Urban.” In my opinion, the word with justifies the sentence. It is her first child with Urban.

Nevertheless, my friends argued with me about the fact that the writer was justified by writing that she is pregnant with her first child. Perhaps it’s just semantics because they emphasized the word pregnant. Sure she (Kidman) has two children but has never been pregnant. Still I compare this to articles written about pregnant individuals who have never adopted. Writers will write that she is pregnant with her second child and we emphasize the “second child” part and never even comment on the fact this the second time that she has been pregnant. Who cares right?

Again, I think that this is discrimination towards adoptees and their parents. When you disregard the number of children an individual has and focus on her “second pregnancy” it sends the message that the other children are Plan B. It makes it seem like they are worth less than their “biologically born” siblings.

In my opinion, if they must have a sentence that includes the word “pregnant” and the number of children the star has, perhaps it should read like this:

“Pregnant, Angelina is expecting her fifth child.”

I don’t know. Perhaps I am too passionate about this. Perhaps I am making too big of a deal about it. But I’m not going to change. I don’t want my children to be treated differently (when I have them).

Why should adoption always be passively disregarded?

Emmanuel

Posted on: March 27, 2008

Just look at my first baby brother.

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Ummm… yeah…