Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Young Womens' Camp song for 2014

This year the Dallas fourth ward young women will be going to camp the first week of June.  They needed a song to present to the stake on song night.  We came up with this idea during a presidency meeting.  It is to the tune of Let it Go from Frozen. I am putting it on my blog so that I can reference it again in the coming years.  At camp the girls have an opportunity for so many spiritual experiences. The title Let it Grow refers to growing our testimonies of Christ.

To let all of you non-Texans in on something, let me tell you, it is stinking hot and humid in the summer here.  Camp is held the first week the girls get out of school.  I wish I could say this helps. I can say that when a thunderstorm blows through, and they always blow through at that time of year, the temps drop a little for a short period of time.  But for the most part, there is no relief.  It feels like the part of the ride in Frog and Toads Adventure in Disneyland when the coaster is in hell. So, when you go to camp, you have to psyche yourself  up to be okay with the heat.

Let it Grow

D4 YW camp song 2014

The stars shine bright out at Langston tonight,
Not a young man to be seen.
We’re okay with perspiration,
And we’ve cleaned out the latrine.

The spirit’s strong here
Like the brightest sunny day,
Sisters in the truth
Never go astray.

Just let it in, just try to see.
Be the good girl you always want to be.
Reveal, just feel, just try to know.
Well, now we know

Let it grow, let it grow,
Can't hold back anymore.
Let it grow, let it grow,
Testimony to the core.

Here we stand                                                                                                                        for the right today,
Anchored in Christ.
The heat never bothered us anyway.

Out here in the fresh clean air,
 We finally can breathe.
Our families are back at home,                                                                                                                                        But we just can’t seem to grieve.

It’s time to see what we can do,
To test our limits and breakthrough.
Do right, not wrong, no guilt for me.
We’re free.

Let it grow, let it grow,
We are one with the wind and sky.
Let it grow, let it grow,
On the Savior we will rely.

Here we stand
For the right today,
Anchored in Christ.

We’re grateful for the YCL’s, both one and two.                                                            Grateful for leaders who are loyal, strong, and oh so true,
And now for all the cooks, let’s give them one big cheer.
In four days we’re goin’ back,
But, come what may, we’re here.

Let it grow, let it grow,
And we'll rise at the break of dawn.
Let it grow, let it grow,
To the rod we will hold on.

Here we stand
for the right today,
Anchored in Christ.
The heat never bothered us anyway.
Note...A YCL is a youth camp leader.  The girls are youth camp leaders for two years, hence, a YCL one and a YCL two. They really do a lot of work for camp and serve as wonderful examples for the younger girls. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed

When my big kids were younger I came up with a plan to help them avoid getting into romantic relationships when they were so tender in age. I told my daughter, Megan, that if she would wait until she was sixteen until she kissed someone I would give her $100.  She thought that would be a great way to score some new clothes, so she kept her lips sealed, and on her sixteenth birthday I handed her an envelope with her money.  She paid her tithing, then went down to the mall to spend the loot. She was a pretty happy girl.

I offered the same deal to Jeff.  He kept himself to himself until the Halloween when he was fifteen. With four months to go until he reached the magical age, he went to a Halloween party in the Lake Highlands area dressed as the Jolly Green Giant.  This must have been a real turn-on to at least one young lady, because before the night was through she had green face paint smeared all over her face and Jeff had a little less on his, and he had given up his one hundred dollars.

What to do? I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that I would give Jeff's money to John if he could hold out. So, if John could be make it until his 16th birthday he would get Jeff's money and his money.  What could a sixteen year old boy do with $200?  Surely he would be motivated to stay pure. Two months before he turned sixteen we sent him to EFY (Especially For Youth- an LDS Youth Retreat) in San Diego, California. The romantic atmosphere proved too much for him.  He met the love of his life and kissed his COW (crush of the week) many times.  He told me about it when I picked him up, claiming that the make-out time was definitely worth the $200 he had given up.  I am pretty sure they broke up about two weeks after EFY.

So, one kid was left.  Joe has had the promised blessing of three hundred dollars hanging over his head since he was seven years old. He promised me that he wouldn't be foolish like his brothers. But I know that the promises a seven year old makes sometimes fall by the way when the hormones start to flow. I came up with an addendum to my plan to make it interesting and fair to Megan who was never in line to reap the reward from her brother's weaknesses. I told Joe that if he kissed anyone before he turned sixteen that I would give the money to Megan, because she truly earned it.  Megan had visions of a new Coach purse. Joe was not going to give her the satisfaction.  When Joe came to stay with her for a few weeks during the past two summers she would introduce him to all of the cute young things in her ward and arrange for Joe to get acquainted with the California beach babes. The temptations were high, but Joe has stayed strong, and today he got his envelope with his hard earned money. His friend Claire agreed to pose for this picture with him.  I think it turned out great!

More good news...Joe has his first date planned for Saturday night.  One of the cheerleaders from RHS has invited him to be her date for dinner and Jump Street party. I am so happy he is going.  He knows several of the kids who will be there and I am sure he will have a good time. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On a Precipice, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I am sitting on top of the world right now.  The Utah State legislature is poised to pass a bill next week that will open the adoption records of those adopted prior to 1941.  In 1941 the legislators in Utah voted to seal all adoption records for one hundred years.  They made the sealing of the records retroactive to all adoptions ever contracted in the state.  Next week they will vote to open the records they had retroactively closed because there was no contract or guarantee to the birth parents prior to 1941 that their names would never be disclosed.

My mother was adopted by a loving family in 1938.  She had an enriched childhood with wonderful parents.  They did all that they could for her.  And they had to do a lot.  My mother would qualify for special education services if she were a child in today’s schools.  She had a severe speech impediment, as well as other learning difficulties.  As I got to be an older child and a teenager I realized that she had problems processing language.  Every time I said anything to her she would ask me to repeat it.  The smarty pants teenager that I was caught on to this, so every time I talked to her I would automatically repeat myself. Then she would ask me to repeat myself again, and I would roll my eyes and say whatever I was saying a third time.  Fortunately, I grew up a little and became kind again.  I trained myself to be patient with her, and I would help her  write letters and I would help her  communicate with other people.

She never wanted to know who her birth mother was.  She was afraid that it would dishonor her mother and father, and somehow, she would lose her rights as their daughter.  My grandmother wasn’t worried about it.  She was okay with her meeting her birth mother.  But they are gone from this earth now. So I am sitting on this precipice.  What could possibly go wrong?

I always knew that I would someday look at the adoption records and that I would make contact with my mother’s natural family. I was under the impression that I would be doing it when I was 78 years old, because that would be 100 years after the adoption.

When you are the child of an adopted parent you really don’t have a lot of answers.  Do I have a history of breast cancer in my family? How about a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, genetic anomalies?  I can tell you about my dad’s side, so I have half of a medical history.  My mother died from complications of osteoporosis.  She had the body of a 100 year old woman when she died at age 70. Was that because of lifestyle, or was that an inherited predisposition?

My sister, Deanna Caringella, took a 23 and Me home DNA test around Christmas and she just got her results last week.  Her results showed many cousins on the east coast so that got my curiosity up again about my birth grandmother.  Why was she in Utah in 1938?  Where was her family?  What did she do after the birth? 

After Deanna told me about her results I put forth another effort.  I called the predecessor of the original adoption agency that handled my mother’s case in Utah on 1938.  I was able to contact the correct person to help me. He was able to look on his computer and to find the file.  He pulled it up and agreed to look for any medical information that he might be able to give me.  As he was reading the file he said things like, “Oh, wow! Oh my goodness.  Well that was an easy adoption.”  I am not sure what he meant by those comments.  I am seriously jealous that he could read the file and that I can’t.  And, to no one’s surprise, there was no non identifying health information available in the file, not even the height, weight, or hair color of the birth mother.  When you think about it, it was 1938. The adoption records were not sealed. There were not extensive medical questioners that the birth parents filled out in preparation for the 100 year dearth of contact or information.  The natural parents were young adults and many health problems don’t present themselves until people get older. I learned from the adoption papers that are in my sister’s possession that the natural father signed the adoption papers and that he attorney had to drive to Weber County from Salt Lake to get the notarized signature of the birth mother. The cost of that errand was and additional ten dollars tacked on to the price of the adoption.

There was only one little glimmer of hope from the conversation. The worker at the adoption agency told me about a bill in the Utah legislature.  He didn’t hold out much hope for it.  So I googled it. It really looks hopeful.  In the few days since I started following house bill 256 it passed committee by a very large margin, and will go up for a vote in the full house late this week.

My imagination is going a little wild.  What will we find when we look in the file? Will there be a joyous reunion, anger, denial, or apathy? Whatever!  The result will be better than not knowing. 

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.