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F2C's much needed place to unwind!!!
January 20, 2008
8:55 am
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free2choose
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O my GOD in Heaven.

(and that was a figure of speach for all u militant athiests out there, LOL. *WINK*)

I am sooooooo tired.

I am working my 7th day straight. I have a 12 hour today, an 8 tomorrow, then I FINALLY have a day to rest.

IF, and that is a BIG GIANT FLAMING IF.... IF you call tending to every single need of a 12 day old baby resting!!!!

Thats right ma peeps, your eyes did not decieve you... I said 12 DAYS OLD!!!

OMG!!!!!! RIGHT!!!!

Hence the extended absence!!

We got a BABY!!!!!!

I can hear the whoops and hollers and feel the hugs now. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

🙂 That little smiley face is just not big enough to represent the one on my face right now!!!!!! I am SOOOOOOOO excited!!!!

Her name is Rickel, pronounced Ri-Kell.

They called us Friday, Jan. 11 and asked if we could take her. She came to us straight from the hospital.

I swear to God, I wish I could post pictures, I show em off to everyone, because she is THE MOST GORGEOUS BABY on the face of the PLANET!!!!

I AM SOOOOO IN LOVE!!!

I am SOOOO TERIFIED!!!!

LOL.

As of now, the status is we are her "foster" parents.

She was taken from her bio-mom for reasons still not totally clear, but the story is that the bio-mom and the bio-dad already have a 2 y/o son in custody, he has been there for 6 months, placed in foster care with relatives. The bio-mom and bio-dad have done nothing that they are supposed to be doing to get him back, so they took Ricki at birth.

We already had one hearing and the judge kept her in care, the next hearing is in Feb, then again in March. If we make it through those the next would not be for 6 months. In that time, bio-mom and bio-dad would be gived a "plan" that they have to comply with and work toward getting her back. This is what they have not been doing for the son already in care, and OCS considers Ricki's case to be "poor-prognosis" because they have already proven with the other child in care that they are not doing as needed for re-unification.

So far, in 9 days, OCS has attempted to schedule 2 visits, the first after court, and they said the "had other plans" and they they called back and scheduled for Thursday, then called 1 hour before visitation and they cancelled saying thier "transportation fell through."

WTF????? I'd WALK to see my baby, right!?!?!?

Anyways... so if they continue to not do right by her, their rights will be terminated and we will then be able to ADOPT her!!!!!!!!!

This has been one hell of a ride so far!!! Physicaly, I am drained and exhausted. It is HARD caring for a newborn!!! But it is SOOOO worth it just being able to hold her and love her.

Emotionally, I am a mess. I am all over the map. I am in love with her, I want to keep her forever, and I am so confused because, for her sake, I want her parents to give a damn about her, but if they do, then we will have to give her back. It is a double-edged sword, such a paradox of emotion.

When they cancelled that second visitation, I was relieved and happy but at the same time I wanted to wring their necks for giving up on thier daughter because she DESERVES better!!!

It is a wierd place to be in.

Not to mention how much I miss J. Ricki takes up ALL of our time and energy. I am not used to sharing J. I miss her so much. Hopefully we can get some kind of routine down. I mean, I am not complaining, and I know the baby comes first, it just takes getting used to.

OH...AND I am probly gonna be disowned by most, if not all of my extended family because Ricki is African American. Well, actually, we just found out her mom is white, so technically she is bi-racial, but origionally they told me African American, so that is what I told my family, and all hell has broken loose.

My grandmother, grandfather, and my aunt and cousins are all pissed off at me, BIG-TIME!!!

They are racist. They still use "the N-word" in normal conversation.

When I told my grandmother, a year ago, that we were thinking about doing foster/adoption, she made me promise I would not accept "a black baby". At the time, although I did not want to, it was so nice to just have her listen to me and seem interested in what me and my "lesbian' partner were doing, I would have told her ANYTHING, just to have her approval and her acceptance. So I made that promise, which I should not have done.

But when they called me and told me about Ricki, there was NO WAY I was gonna tell her I wouldn't take her, just because she is not "the right color" for my family. I just don't think and work that way.

So now the whole family is angry at me. My mom said my grandmother has been crying for the past 9 days straight. She said even my grandfather, manly man that he is,broke down when they were talking about it Friday night.

My grandma feels betrayed. I tried to write her a letter and to explain and aplogize. She told my mom I sounded angry and "dark".

They think my "choices" are bad and wrong, that I am "destoying" the whole family.

They aren't saying this to me, just my parents. They are not even taking to me right now.

I taked to my aunt on the phone. SHe was a MAJOR bitch, which, she has ALWAYS acted "holier-than-thou" but She was REALLY being mean.

She said I am being SELFISH and that I just do whatever I want to do without considering how my family fells about it or how it affects those around me. SHe said I was killing my grandmother, I had broken her heart, and I was a selfish person for doing it. She said I could not adopt a "black" baby because that was against the "rules" of my family and how could I just throw "all of it" in thier face and just expect them to accept it all.

She was not just talking about Ricki's race, she was talking about me being gay too.

I told her that I made a mistake promising what I did to my Mamaw. (I could not explain why at the time because I was so under attack that I could not even think straight to gather my thoughts!!!) I told her that although she disagreed with my "choices" that I had to live my life by being true to myself, and if that made me selfish then I was sorry.

She said, "Well you just do whatever you please and you don;t think about who it hurts or what the consequences are".

I said that she was wrong, that living my life like I do does not just hurt them, that I am hurt too, and that I have been dealing with the consequenses for 10 years, since coming out, and that I have been living as an outsider in my own family for 2 years when NO ONE came to my wedding.

And she had the nerve to say, "That wasn't a wedding Erica. You may think it was, but it wasn't, that is why it is not legal. Because it is wrong. A wedding is between a man and a woman in the Catholic Church. That is what a marriage is."

I said, "That is what YOUR religion tells you, not mine."

She said, "Well you grew up catholic, u werte baptised and confirmed catholic, u are catholic."

I said, "well u know what aunt Bcky, the Catholic church tells me I am going to hell for being who I am and that My own God Hates me, so I don;t think I can be a Catholic anymore."

SHe said, "well, I don't want to get in this with you right now Erica, but let me tell you this, I am not perfect and it is not right for me to judge. And my kids are not perfect either, but I can tell you this, I will NEVER have to worry about inter-racial relationdhips or little black babies!"

After that, the conversation pretty much ended.

What could I say to that.

I WANTED to say, "God have mercy on you, you judgemental, homophobic, racist, self-righteous BITCH. You have NO RIGHT to call yourself a Christian if you hate my baby because of what COLOR she is!!!!"

Instead I said, "Well, I appreciate youR honesty and I am sorry that you feel that way."

UGHHHHHHHH!!!! I would scream but I dont want to mess up the formating!!! LOL!

Sooooooo... once again, here I am, at one of the most amazing, important, beautifull times in my life, and again I am abandoned by my angry, dissapointed family members.

It hurts.

But what hurts worse, is that I am used to it. And although I am angry and hurt, I am taking it, astonishingly, with what feels to be mute resignation.

And I don't usually go down without a fight.

But honestly, I don't think I can win this one, and I really don't have the physical or emotional stregnth to fight this losing battle.

I wrote my grandparents a letter. I was honest, I apologized, I poured my heart out, I challenged them to grow with me...

My mom said the letter only made my grandmother madder. (more mad??)

What am I supposed to do, just give them time and pray???? That is what my dad says. He is being so great and so supportive, more so now than EVER in my life, and it is so great to have him on my side. But I feel bad because it is not just me that is facing the anger and ostracism of my family...he has to face it too, and I don't want him to suffer because of me.

Ohhhhh, yi.

No matter what they think, I HAVE TO BE TRUE TO MYSELF, right!?!?!

I mean, I GUESS it is a FREE country and they have a right to thier beliefs, homophobic and racist as they may be, I have to respect them.

But I am not the selfish one, RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!

January 20, 2008
10:01 am
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sleepless in uk
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Yes Erica

Very very very very very right. More right than you have ever been. You are not the selfish one.

First of all...Congratulations Mummy! I can understand how much confusion this must be causing; wanting the little one to have parents who give a damn but hoping that you can keep her forever...wow, what a dilema. ((((Erica)))

Broken sleep? Exhaustion? 24 hr anxiety? Welcome to the world of parenthood Mrs 2Choose!

Erica, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I am once again amazed at your capacity to try to understand and accept the limitations of the family you were born into. Such overt prejudices are rare in my country and I am always shocked when reminded that there are still communities in which this is the norm. I'm not saying those prejudices don't exist here, but it would be very unusual and scandalous to hear them voiced.

But you have made such herculean efforts to have a relationship with people who cause you pain. You forgive them and accept their viewpoints whilst vehemently disagreeing with them. You show such maturity and love and I am saddened that they really don't seem to realise what a special daughter/grandaughter/niece/cousin they have.

I know you want to have a relationship with them but as you say so eloquently, you have to live your life being true to you. They will accept or they won't, if they don't they will be big time losers.

Stand proud Mrs2Choose...you chose good!!

(((Erica; J; and baby 2Choose))))

Oh yeah, and about that missing sex life...don't worry, you will get it back when baby goes off to college :o)

much love

January 20, 2008
11:47 am
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free2choose
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Sleepless,

O man, I love you!!! You rock!!!

Thank you for your words of support, understanding and encouragement.

Sleepless, I love my family. None of us are perfect. They are racist and they are homophobic, but they are MINE and I love them.

I just wish they could love ME, for who I am, with all of my "faults" and all of my "wrong choices", I wish they could love me and support me and understand me and forgive me, the way that I try so hard to do for them, because in my opinion, that is what families DO, they love eachother, and LOVE IS support and understanding and forgiveness!

That is what I wrote to my grandmother in the letter. I said that I hope they can find it in thier hearts to forgive me and understand me, just like I did for them when they did not come to my wedding.

She did not respond to the letter, but my mom said she told her the letter was "dark and angry" and that she is very very angry at me.

I think they are so angry at me because I FORCE them to WAKE UP and look at themselves.

I rock the boat.

It's just who I am.

But they don't want to be forced into looking at their faults, thier prejudices. They want to exist in thier lives, tinking they are right, calling themselves "good Christians", all the while being racist and prejudice and justifying it by thier own prejudice beliefs.

I do not truly believe I am selfish. Not by taking in Ricki.

It was selfish to promise my Grandmother something I did not mean, and I apologized for that and admitted I was wrong.

But for loving that baby for who she is...that is not selfish. It is what I wish my own BLOOD family could do for me!! It is SELFLESS!!

Ahhhhhhh, Sleepy, I am so sad. The little girl in me just wants them to love and accept me. The fighter in me wants to scream at them and tell them how selfish I think THEY are.

The ADULT in me says "Wait, wait. Just give it time."

My dad said, "Erica, you dropped another bomb on them. I think right now that they are just trying to deal with the aftershocks. Give em time."

Ahhhh...time.

My grandparents are in their mid-70's.

This is the first time I have EVER considered that there may not BE enough time for this one to heal.

I love my family. I just want them to love me back the way that I love them.

On a happier note:

"Broken sleep? Exhaustion? 24 hr anxiety? Welcome to the world of parenthood Mrs 2Choose! "

Ahhhh, and what a wonderfully exhausting world it is, Sleepy!!! Thanks for the warm welcome, it feels GREAT to be here, FINALLY!!!

Yes, it is quite a dilema. An emotional "pickle", lol.

I just keep reminding myself that what is most important is what is best for RICKI, not me. If being re-united with bio-parents that are CAPABLE of giving her the life she deserves, and our role is to just keep her safe and loved until that happens...if that is what is best for her, well, losing her will SUCK, but I want what is BEST FOR HER.

If that is living the rest of her life as our daughter, well I'll be so happy I could pee my pants.

But that is all up in the air now. It is just a waiting game.

Until we know for sure, I'm gonna try my best to love her and keep her safe.

Oh yeah, about that sex life...LOL. I was ROFL @ that comment about college.....OHHHHH yi!!!

But to be honest, it is not just the sex, not even close... it is the TIME. The cuddling on the couch, the falling asleep together (one of us is usually up with the baby), the long talks we have in bed before drifting off to sleep... It's not just the sex at all. I just miss HER.

If anyone who is reading this has any suggestions as to how to BALANCE the kids AND the relationship...I'd be appreciative!!!

Thanks Sleepless. I love ya girl!

January 20, 2008
12:52 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Aw this sucks...I wrote a big long post, pushed send and now when I log back on it's not there...sorry Erica...hey it was good too.... :o)

Ill do another one..but the gist was that I think you have to accept that for a little while at least, life will be topsy turvy and chaotic. But the really important bit was that if you have a good relationship pre-children, you have a much better chance of getting back that special time together you are used to sharing. Honestly.

Babies do settle into routines and life is different but there are ways to have 'couple' time...

Ill try to re write my long post again...damn it.

You will be ok Erica...you and J communicate well....and you love each other. Be patient and take turns fairly.....you will get there friend.

You rock too.....keep rockin' little Ricki...you will be great

love and stuff

January 20, 2008
1:18 pm
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

Wonderful, wonderful news ((((((f2c))))) + (((((J))))) + (((((baby2choose)))))

I'm dashing out of the house to choir practice.... write more later..... sending you all a huge virtual bouquet of early spring flowers.

You are doing a beautiful thing and I will pray, in my own agnostic way, that your blood-family's hearts will be won over in time. You're leading the way.... let your grandma cry, hopefully it will do her good and melt away some of those prejudices that have held sway over her heart for so long.

lots of love to you :o)
smiles and hugs, kroiks

January 20, 2008
1:34 pm
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((((((((((Free2choose)))))))))))))

This is AWESOME. I am so blessed for you and J. AND for baby Free2 as well.

I am sorry for the way that your family is treating you...but, it will subside, I hope.

I KNOW you will be good parents to that baby.

I am blessed for you.

Thank you for sharing your EXCELLENT news.

Love you....give that baby a kiss for me.

(((((Free2Choose)))))) (((((J and Baby))))))

This is so awesome.

January 20, 2008
2:40 pm
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Congratulations sweetheart. That is so wonderful. I bet you are going to make an excellent parent. (((Free2choose)) I am so so sorry to hear that your family is giving you such a hard time. They have no right to judge you at all. I am a christian and I think its a wonderful thing that you are doing by attempting to adopt this child. I dont care if the child is blue a child is a child and needs love no matter the color. And no matter the choices my children make in life. If something is important to them I will be there. I am so sorry that your family is so absorptive. Were here for you though. Oh and I can totally sympathize with those long nights. My baby is just over a year and he still doesn't sleep through the night. Sometimes it feels like you will never get sleep. But it will come eventually. Congratulations again sweetheart. This is wonderful news. (((Free2choose))

January 20, 2008
3:28 pm
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free2choose
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Oi vey, Sleepy...I hate when I write big long wonderfull posts and then I loose em!

Well, right now Ricki is having gas problems, so she gets kinda fussy, but we are gonna call the pedi on Monday and see if we can change the formula.

I know it'll take a bit to get into a routine, a groove. It'll be OK. I'm not complaining in a bad way, just saying it takes some adjustment!!!

Kroikster!!!! Hey my buddy. Sorry I missed Kings day!

Thanks for the flowers, the prayers and the support. It is hard to think about my Mamaw crying because of me. It hurts me to think I am hurting my family.

My mom said it is good, that all this stuff needed to get out in the open about how my parents and I feel about their racism and how they all feel about my being gay and how I feel about them not coming to the wedding. It is good that it is coming out, it just feels horrible and chaotic and I am scared I am gonna really loose my family!

I love u too, man!

((((MICHY))))

Thanks for the hugs and love and support. I hope u and Austin are feeling better. I am gonna go read that thread now.

Random,

Thanks for the support!

"I dont care if the child is blue a child is a child and needs love no matter the color."

That is how I feel, I just wish they felt the same!!

All I can do is be me.

I love u guys!! Thanks to you all.

((((((((my AAC Friends)))))))))

January 21, 2008
5:05 am
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sleepless in uk
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Hey F2C

I was thinking about what you were saying about missing J and the together times you are so used to.

OK, here's what I think.

Each new baby brings with it a whole set of chaos and disturbance. Every new parent finds that difficult to deal with, your whole life and way of doing things turns upside down. But many of us have the luxury of knowing for 9 months or so that at some point in the very near future we will bringing this little person home. We go to classes and learn stuff, and more importantly we have some time before the baby is born to bond with it. I used to talk to my unborn children all the time. I felt them kick and hiccup, turn around, stretch etc. So when they came along maybe I had a bit of a head start. I had everything in place, cots, baby carriers, and all the other paraphenalia waiting for this little person to inhabit.

But nothing could prepare me for the huge change in my life from the day I brought my eldest daughter home. With subsequent children it got easier but the first one really shook my life up. It is the same for every new parent, it takes a while to get used to the way things have changed.And it can be a very testing time for any parental relationship.

To start with, you can't believe how much stuff they need, how little they sleep, how tired you are, how demanding and frightening it is.

But as they get a little older, they do usually settle into a routine and sleep for some of the time at least. You get used to taking advantage of the times they do and you become expert at doing a million things at once, juggling lots of balls at the same time. And you also learn to really appreciate the times when they do give you a little respite!

It isn't easy and your life does change, but it doesn't stay quite as chaotic as you learn about each other, as you get to know what your baby needs and you can relax into the role of being a parent.

And as I said, if your relationship pre-children is good, and you can communicate well, and you take turns and give each other time off, the couple type closeness can return better than ever. Ricki's needs have to come first, it's true. But if you both accept that and make allowances for each other you will find that having that common desire to do right by Ricki will bring you even closer.

Accept that you will both be tired and grouchy sometimes, and understand that this is natural and very common. Don't stress about unimportant things like housework or what time dinner is ready; allow an extra hour every time you need to leave the house. And have a bit of fun together, laugh and keep talking to each other.

My husband was never able to understand that his needs would be secondary to the children's for a time. That built resentment in me and a reluctance to enjoy the time we did have off with him. I know that won't happen to you because your relationship is solid to begin with. Mine was shaky even then.

It will get easier, even if right now you can't imagine that day coming. If Ricky stays with you she is going to be one lucky little lady. She is going to be loved and accepted for who she is and there is no greater gift that any child could have.

Now, if I push send...will it come through???? Hope so

:o)

January 21, 2008
7:33 pm
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free2choose
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Hey Sleepy,

Thanks for the advice and support.

You are totally right about all of it.

I think right now itis just a HUGE adjustment period.

Going from a couple to a family.

I guess I just have to grow into it.

But I wouldn't change it for the world. I love that little baby so much already!!!

And you are right about J and myrelationship. It is strong, and we will find a place wherthere will be balance between being parents and being partners. I love J so much and there is nothing I want more than to share this experience with her and her only.

Well, rightnow I am exhausted. I just finished my 8th day straight working and I need to go bathe the baby and get her set up. I'll try to come on tomorrow while she is asleep at some point. I need to talk more about what I am going to do about the shit going on with my family, but rightnow I don't have thetime, the energy, or the emotional capacity to do it.

Thanks Sleep. You ROCK, girl.

Love ya,
E

January 22, 2008
7:47 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Hey Mummy...hope you are getting some rest on your days off....gotta keep that strength up!

Love and hugs

January 22, 2008
9:58 pm
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free
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Lots of people are racist. Homophobic. Religiously fanatic. Fear manifests itself in many ways. So people are lots of things.

But Ricki-

she's just damn lucky.

how cool!

free

January 23, 2008
12:55 am
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red blonde
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F2C ---- I wish I could print this is letters 12 feet tall...but this will have to do:

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!!!!!

Just give her your love! That is what she needs and she will give that love back to you!

I hope you don't think me bad for saying this....but some people do not deserve to have children and it sounds like her bio-parents are in the 'some'. And I am sorry to hear that your family is the way that they are....they are missing out on really knowing, loving and enjoying you because of such family rules and dramas and dynamics. Be true to yourself...no matter what!

CONGRATULATIONS! I am SO happy for you and J!

red

January 25, 2008
10:56 am
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free2choose
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Hey ma peeps!

Free, Red, Sleepy....thanks for the love and supportive encouragemnt!

Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner, we had to take Ricki to the doctor. Sheis not sick, just really gassy, seemed like the beginings of colic. The doc changer her formula, said she is intolerantto the milk so he put her on the soy stuff. She's doing a bit better now, but hesaid it would take a few days to a few weeks to really help.

We are going this weekend tomymom and daddy's.Mymom's birthday is on Monday so we are going in for her birthday. It's gnna be nice.

Mygrandparents have told us theyare NOT coming by forthe birthday gathering.They just can't handle it right now and need time.

I had a short talk with my grandmother. I asked if I could go by their place, alone, so that we could talk things out. Shewas reallyavoidantandsaid theyhadother plans, she'd letme know, blahblahblah. Ijust said, "I love you, I'm sorry you are hurting, I REALLY would like to talk this out with you, youknow where I am, call me Friday if you change your mind, if not, call me when you are ready." I guess all I can do is respect her feelings and tryto giveherthe time and space she needs to accept what is happening. Hopefully, God willing, she will come aroundand call me so we can at least talk face to face.

Uhhhhh. It hurtsand it is sad, but after talking to her, I could hear the confusion and pain in her voice, but also I could hear that same love that has always been there. I know she loves me. She told me she does. Ithink she is just being forced into a very uncomfortable position and once againshe is being forced to grow past her comfort zone. That is a tough position to be in, I know it is. But I have HOPE, love will see us through this.

All of yall, THANKS!! Forlistening, for supporting, for loving. Thanks.

Well, I gotta go pack some more and give Ricki her bath.

Ilove you guys.

E

January 25, 2008
11:23 am
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(((((Erica)))))

Very classy, my friend. And very wise and very charitable of you to recognize that your grandmother is going through "growing pains". And you know what? I believe that love *will* see you through it.

It sounds like you are doing things exactly right.... persistenly letting her know you want to be close and share your life and your daughter with her, while not pushing against her boundaries so hard that she gets defensive and freaks out.

And of course, by the time she is ready to meet Ricki it's a pretty good bet that she will fall under the spell of the adorable little babe.

I hope you have a great weekend with your folks.... and that it won't be long before your grandmother is able to join the fun. Good luck with the soy formula and everything too:o)

lots of love, kroiks

January 27, 2008
4:16 pm
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Erica...I haven't been here, but saw the news and wanted to say Congratulations!!! Now, I know you didn't find that little bebe in a King Cake, did ya?

January 28, 2008
6:39 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Hello Mummy 2choose....hope things are going well with you and J an Ricki

I agree with Kroik...very klassy...(ok..wrong thread!!) very classy and much much kudos friend.

You know Erica, you really are very gracious and far more understanding than most of us would be. I hope at some point that your grandparents and aunts realise that...and I am glad that your parents understand your perspective, even if they don't fully agree with it.

You are doing all the right things. People like you make everything better....even if you are a hick!

Much love friend

February 2, 2008
8:09 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Hey you..how goes it???

Love and stuff

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