#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving moved by the power of social media and collaboration. It is a day to celebrate and encourage the idea of giving back. I will support NOAH this #GivingTuesday by donating some money on behalf of the Campbell family. I will also continue to write about albinism in the hopes I can continue to spread awareness.  NOAH’s mission is to act as a conduit for accurate and authoritative information about all aspects of living with albinism and to provide a place where people with albinism and their families, in the United States and Canada, can find acceptance, support, and fellowship. My husband and I were so grateful to have found NOAH, knowing there was somewhere we could go to connect and find information automatically took away a lot of the anxiety we were feeling about Nash’s diagnosis.

The idea of giving back is simple and has a BIG impact, donate or volunteer and then tell others about how you are giving back. Here is a link to the Giving Tuesday website for those who are interested in Giving Back. They have provided a directory of organizations, events, charities and you can search by your location.

NOAH has asked we take a pic, tag it #UNSELFIE & #GivingTuesday and share it with you all. So not to disappoint Nash and I took a ‘beautiful’ selfie this morning to share with the world, enjoy!

Something to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, this holiday doesn’t hold much meaning to me being a Brit by birth. I do however enjoy taking time out to be thankful, so despite my misgiving about celebrating this day, it is still a day that stands out. It is a day where I can intentionally take a breath, be aware and be grateful for all the love and family I have in my life.

I was talking to my brother on the long drive back from seeing a friend the other day, we talked politics, his life, my life, my kids, religion, economics, and probably many more topics.  One of the most important things we talked about was being the change you want to see. When I moved to Houston and into our neighborhood a position opened up on the HOA for a safety chair committee member. I gladly put myself up for it, firstly because I felt like people from my age group needed to be involved in our community and secondly I just wanted to help and get to know more people. People don’t end up where they end up by starting big, most people start small. So if this thanksgiving you feel discontent with the way the world is, look at your community, your neighbors, local organizations and see how you can help and how you can get involved.

I am so thankful for this wonderful community I live in, I know a large percentage of my neighbors, the kids in the neighborhood and the dogs for that matter. I have had a neighbor give away a piano to us, help jump-start my car, offer to watch my kids and organize a way for the neighborhood to participate in the Houston food bank drive, to name a few things. Just the other day a bunch of us were gathered spontaneously on the street with the kids. Nash was trying to catch up with the big kids and nearly face planted the steps several times (good old depth perception issues); however, he didn’t as there was always one of my neighbors ready to help me. For the first time in my adult life, I finally understand what community is about and I am incredibly thankful for that. This new-found knowledge couldn’t have found me at a better time.

Happy Thanksgiving fellow residents of America and for the non-residents well happy Thursday when it comes, your one day closer to the weekend.

(Featured image – Jack in red embracing Nash in Blue.)

Election Day

 

It is election day today, it is the day you get to voice your opinions about those in power and choose a candidate who speaks to you.

Many people my age or younger are abstaining from voting as they don’t like the candidates or they don’t think it will make a difference.  I looked at many articles trying to find out why voting is important besides the obvious. Some talked about self-interest being the only purpose, that the most important part of voting was that your friends and family could see you voting. Others said that one vote doesn’t make a difference, forever the idealist I refuse to believe that we as individuals cannot make a difference. I did find this article from the Huffington Post that sums up 7 reasons you should vote. The most powerful point for me is point six “Voting is a right generation of Americans struggled to win ― and people in other countries are still fighting for.” I, unfortunately, do not get to vote, I am just a lowly green card holder.

This election has me seriously debating whether to go through with the process of gaining citizenship. I had been considering citizenship for a while as I want all the members of my family to have at least one country we are all citizens of, traveling is a pain in the ass with multiple passport holders. I am torn though, I am of mixed race with half my family living in Asia, that half are Muslim. There are many things I love about America but the animosity to other religions and cultures right now is not one of them.  Ideally one day soon I would like my mum to come here permanently to be closer to her grandkids and yet I can’t help wondering what this country will look like then.

I will be sitting on the edge of my seat hoping that the people of this country chose love not hate.

The beauty of adoption

Once upon a time in a land long ago a little girl told her fairy godmother that she would never ever give birth to a child, the thought horrified her and she felt no real connection or yearning to be a mother one day. Okay so this isn’t some fairy tale, the girl was me and the godmother was actually my mother. As a kid, I was adamant I would never have kids and if I really felt the need I would adopt, I was sure of this. Fast forward  15 years and here I am, married with two kids of my own. Who would have thought? Certainly not me.

I still think about adoption and whether that is something I seriously could have undertaken.  Over the summer we visited with some friends and a discussion about adoption came up. We discussed whether we could adopt and introduce a new child into our family with our own biological children. I liked to think that I could do this, that if I desired another child that rather than add another human being to this planet I could help one that is already here  They say the proof is in the pudding and since I realistically plan to keep my family as it is I will never be able to answer those questions.

Adoption is defined as the process whereby a person/family assumes the parenting of another from that person’s biological or legal parent and in doing so permanently transfers all right and responsibility from the biological parent or parents. Let’s face it that is no small undertaking. However many people do it and it is not just about having a child of their own it is about adding a child to their already existing family unit. Recently I saw this article about the Catoe family who adopted two girls with albinism, this isn’t the first time I have seen or heard of people purposely choosing to adopt children with albinism.

Why do people adopt a child with disabilities when they could adopt a non-disabled child? From what I have researched it is usually because they have other goals and characteristics.  The parents tend to have biological children of their own or they have previously adopted or fostered. They may perceive themselves to be successful parents with unique skills required to parent a child with a disability. They may have experience in working with school systems, health care providers and have a level of awareness concerning how to advocate for a child with a form of disability. Parents of adopted children with a disability speak with incredible amounts of joy the children they have adopted bring into their lives. And they talk about the how enriching the children are to the family.

Whatever their reasoning behind the act of adoption I am thankful those people exist. I have great admiration for anyone who chooses to adopt whether it be out of necessity, charity, love. It is those people who really make you want to do better and be better. With all the unrest that is occurring across the planet right now, it is always refreshing to see a willingness to help others, to see kindness and compassion and to feel hopeful. As Martin Luther King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Featured image –  black and white image of Nash facing the camera, eyes downcast with fingers to his mouth, in the background is his brother with brown hair facing away from the camera.