PAINTING, MOVING, BEING A MAN
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I've been rather absent-minded lately. I am in the process of moving out of my apartment and into a house with two of my best friends. The problem lies in the fact that we have to be out of our apartment by August 7th and we can't move into the house until August 10th. Bummer. We'll be homeless for approximately 3 days. Does anyone know of a decent soup kitchen? Bad joke. On top of that, we have to paint all of the walls back to white in our apartment before we move out. Did I mention I'll be on the annual Hutton family vacation in Florida next week? To break it down for you, that means my move-out-of-the-apartment date is now bumped up to Friday. Yes, Friday as in today. My life is pure and utter chaos and I'm in full stress mode. Anyway, I spent the entire night painting my bedroom, dining room, and kitchen walls back to white. Five hours and a million coats of paint later, my roommate Katy and I had paint everywhere. We lost alot of good clothing items out there. Finally, when my arm was on the cusp of falling off and I could paint no longer, I passed out on my bed. When I woke up this morning, I realized that I had slept in a room full of paint fumes. Indeed, I had not even thought to crack a window. I'm feeling a bit silly this morning and I'm thinking it may have something to do with paint fumes. Gooooood thing. So I've had a few things I've been meaning to address. Lunch with birthmom Leah was awesome! It was so great to meet somebody who understood where I've been and what I've gone through. She was just the sweetest person and we had so much to talk about. You may recall that Leah is a 22-year-old birthmom whose daughter was also placed in an open adoption. We met at Panera on Saturday, and she told me about an organization called Birthmom Buds that connects birthmoms in a social network. They even have a special celebration for Birthmother's Day every year. How cool is that? I contacted the woman in charge and I'm now officially a Birthmom Bud. Sweet. Here's a quote from the Birthmom Buds website that I thought was very fitting for finally having the opportunity to meet with Leah: "Friendship is born at the moment when one says to the other, "What, you too? I thought I was the only one." -http://www.birthmombuds.com Moving right along. A blog follower recently made a comment inquiring whether Robbie, Deanna's birthfather, and I are still together. The answer to that questions is no, Robbie and I are not dating anymore. We are both happily dating other people, but Robbie is still my best friend and I have such an incredible respect for him after everything we have been through together. When I started writing this blog, I wanted it to include as much detail as possible about open adoption without invading anybody's privacy. I usually shy away from mentioning alot about Robbie in my blog because I definitely want to respect his privacy, but I realized that it might translate into readers thinking that Robbie is not involved in our open adoption situation as much as I am. And that's simply not the case at all! Robbie is just as involved in Deanna's life as I am--and possibly even more. He loves that little girl more than life itself, and it's amazing to see the connection he has with Deanna. Robbie could have simply walked away when we found out that I was pregnant, but he didn't. He stuck by me through the entire experience, and I think that speaks volumes about his character. A few months ago, a friend asked me to speak to the freshman in his resident hall on campus about crisis pregnancy and open adoption. (They have to have a certain amount of educational programs planned for their residents) I was all for it...until I heard that it was going to be a mostly male audience and I became hesitant. "These freshman guys aren't going to listen to an older girl talk about pregnancy and adoption," I thought. So I asked Robbie to accompany me to help me talk to the men. I knew he would have a bigger impact than I could. Sure enough, he came through for me and he did an amazing job. He spoke from his heart about his personal experience with crisis pregnancy and open adoption, and I could see how much of an impact he had. The guys could not believe that Robbie Leonard, the starting linebacker for NC State football team, was standing in the same room, having a personal conversation with them, and they were hanging onto every single word he said. My favorite part was when Robbie expressed the importance in "being a man" and taking responsibility for his actions. I think it's a very common occurrence for men to run when they find out that their girlfriend is pregnant. And it's really sad to think that women feel forced to have abortions for this very reason. So when I think about the way that Robbie has handled the entire situation, I feel so blessed that I had such a strong person to support me through it all. I think that men everywhere should take some time to reflect on how they would have handled the same situation. Would you stick around and take responsibility for your actions? Or would you run? If every man took the same responsibility that Robbie Leonard has, I think the world would be a much better place.