Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Strength and Power Within...

I give up. That whole posting everyday thing is for the birds. By the time I think about the fact I haven't posted for the day, I am in bed half unconscious and am NOT getting up again to post.

In other news, I have two stories of two friends. Both have extraordinary strength and courage and deserve to have that noted for posterity.

First is a story of sadness, but within that sadness is strength and a future free of fear and pain. I have known this woman, L, for more than 10 years, and for all that time up until 2 years ago, she was a single person who lived her life fully. She is a runner, she has a life full of family and friends who love her. She is one of the most positive and joyful people I have ever met. It remained a mystery to many of us that she continued to be single, but then she finally met a guy. It was a long distance relationship, as she lives here and he lives in a more southern state. But eventually they decided to marry, and had a beautiful wedding in Hawaii.

Last week I saw her and noted that she did not wear what most would consider a traditional wedding band. I couldn't even recall if I ever noticed her wearing something more traditional. I asked if what she was wearing was her wedding ring. She paused, and in that moment I knew I would hear that she was getting divorced. What I wasn't prepared for was the rest of the story. The short version is he was an incredibly abusive man, who was vastly insecure and would belittle her, verbally assault her, and even went as far as to abandon her in another state, without any ID, cell phone or money during a road race they were running in. She ended up having to go to the police to find her way back to where they were staying.

It is an all too familiar story, how she didn't see it before they got married, and I am sure the long distance relationship helped hide any flaws, and then after they were wed the demons surfaced.

Fortunately for her, they own no property together, they have no children, and getting divorced will be relatively easy, especially since they live in separate states and he is not contesting it. I give her so much credit for standing up for herself and saying she is worth more, she deserved more. She feels humiliated and embarrassed, but that will pass. No one I know will judge her, we all care too much about her and want her to be happy and safe. Having been through a very amicable divorce, but still feeling a little bit of a failure, I know it is hard. But she is strong and positive and will survive.

The other story is completely different. There is a man I know who is gay and has been in a long term relationship with his partner and they have just adopted a little boy. Adoption is crazy on many levels, and most people attempt to adopt an infant, either privately, domestically or abroad. This couple decided to go through the Department of Social Services, and have adopted a 3 year old boy.

As a mother of a 3 year old, I think this is heroic and amazing and they deserve some sort of serious award. With sparkles and flowers. Sure they are skipping all of the infancy crap - no midnight feedings, no colic, no projectile vomit or diarrhea, but they are getting a fully formed personality handed to them, that they had no hand in shaping. They are getting a kid smack in the middle of the "WHY" stage. The "But I HAVE TO" stage. They are taking a child who has spent most of his short life in foster care. No matter how good a foster family is, that comes with baggage. They have chosen to do something that is hard to begin with, adopt, and adopt as a same sex couple. As advanced as we are as a society, we still seem to have issues with a few things. And they are adopting an older child. If that isn't love and commitment, I don't know what is.

I am so proud of these two people. Well three if you count M's partner. But these two individuals are examples of how to persevere, to stand for what you believe in. Don't let other people define you, be the best you you can be. And I am grateful for knowing them and having this example in my life.


Dproudmama said...

These comments were worth the wait. Such a tribute to your friends is beautiful.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Those are stories worth telling.

Tillybud said...

Inspirational stories - thank you!

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Inspirational and thought provoking; and thank you for sharing.

Oz said...

Such strength and courage

Sam said...

You're awesome. Thank you for sharing these stories.