Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Interview: Adoptive Mama, Fit Mama, Admirable Mama


I first met Nick on an online adoption forum and then had the pleasure of meeting her two summers ago in person. She's funny, fit, and smart. Oh yes, and an adoptive mama!
Even though this blog focuses on life as a transracial family, it also focuses on what it means to be (like me) a busy mom. Nick has offered herself as an example to numerous women of the possibilities of LIVING instead of just existing. This is a topic I am passionate about!


Q: Tell me about your family.

I have two sons, Julian who is 18 (bio) and attends West Point Military Academy. Jordan, 15 (bio) a budding Actor..and Dancer (loves to hip hop). Hadley Clover who is 21 months (adopted) who is the little girl that runs this home.

Q: What's it like being a multi-racial family? Any advice for other multi-racial families?

You know I heard someone say once, Only in America do we call any other race, by their race first, African American, Asian, American, Latin American. Not in any other culture in the world do you hear African British, Or Latin French, Or Asian Spanish. So to me, I never have seen my family as anything other than these are my children and they are the best of me and my husband Rick, and Hadley is the best of me and my husband Rick, but with someone else's genetics, who blessed us more than anyone could ever imagine.
My advice is see your children not as society labels them but as your heart as dictated it should be.

Q: Tell me about your business.

Flesh2Fresh is our PT fitness Business. We believe that everyone can have the body they desire, without gimmicks and costly gym memberships, without sending your kids to daycare. Not that there is anything wrong with any of them, but in today's society we are busy people. Transforming your flesh was something that was God inspired. God talks about transforming your Flesh in Romans and we knew this was our confirmation to use the talents that we have been given to help people all over the world reach, achieve and maintain their fitness goals.

Q: What advice do you have for busy moms on how we can take care of ourselves AND our families?

My advice for busy moms, is make yourself a priority. You are the the thread that binds your family together and if you stretch that thread too thin, taking care of everyone else but yourself, you will compromise your health and your sanity.

Q: Tips on how to beat the winter blahs?

Make Exercise part of your everyday routine, Get your children involved, make it fun for them, it will also teach them that being active is important to physical and emotional health. I know my daughter loves it when I do lunges with her in my back pack, its like she is going for a ride.

Learn more at
http://flesh2fresh.com/default.aspx and checkout our FRESH transformations page....They are all busy mothers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Card, A Thought, A Prayer

In January, my favorite aunt sent me an adorable birthday card that read:

(Front cover): Happy Birthday to a niece who is smart and pretty and sweet as can be, but that's not really surprising....

(Inside): That's heredity!


I love being part of two open adoptions. I strongly believe my girls will benefit from knowing and communicating with their biological families. But this card had me thinking, no matter how "good" we are as adoptive parents---being open, honest, and communicative---we cannot erase the pain our children, the adoptees, will face. They have been forever separated from their biological families. They might know things about their parents' backgrounds, they obviously share their genes, but many of the things my girls will "inherit" will come from my husband and me based on how we raise them.

I wonder when, how, and where my girls will first realize this loss. I wonder what I'll say. I wonder what will trigger their questions and comments.

Will I be enough for them? Will I say the right things? Will I really be able to put aside my own feelings and "handle with care"?

My prayer is that even though I am my girls' mother, and even though I am trying with all my heart to make sure they have strong, positive relationships with their biological family members, that God will just work in mighty ways to help me raise strong, confident, dedicated, loving girls who know that having two families isn't a curse, it's a blessing. AND, that God will give me the patience, understanding, and wisdom to listen to my girls' concerns, answer their questions, and accept that adoption can be pretty jacked up sometimes. But God is God, and He can handle whatever comes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Open Adoption

People, in general, have a hard time accepting and understanding open adoption.

I've gotten looks, comments, and negative questions from strangers, friends, and family members. Why in the world would we want contact with our children's biological family members? Aren't we terrified they will want to take the child back? You mean, they actually have our home address? GASP!

Adoption openness isn't generally what it used to be, secretive and silencing, thankfully. (If you haven't ever read The Girls Who Went Away, I highly suggest it. It's captivating, horrifying, and raw). Many adoptions are "very open" or "open" (a 2008 survey by Adoptive Families)---in fact, 37% considered their adoptions "very open" and 28% considered their adoptions to be "open."

Some questions that we are asked:

Why did you choose open adoption?

We entered into adoption wanting only semi-open. We felt it would be a happy medium, a safe avenue. The birth parents could know how the child was doing, but there would be no "knocking on our front door." As we met birth parents, both in real life and online, we learned that they are generally not the druggie, immature, stalker-ish folks that they are portrayed as in the media. Anyone you meet could be a birth parent. He or she could be nearly any age, have various levels of education, hold various jobs, have other kids or not, be married or not, etc. Birth parents are every day people who found themselves in a crisis situation at some point. (And come on, who among us hasn't been in a crisis situation?)

Once we realized that birth parents are real people, which I know sounds silly to say, we knew that open adoption was for us. We realized it could be beneficial for all of us (birth parents, the child---the adoptee, and us, the adoptive parents) to have an open adoption.

To me, after learning more about open adoption and meeting my children's biological families, the question is: Why not have an open adoption? (There are certain circumstances where an open adoption isn't safe or healthy for the people involved or sometimes the biological parents choose not to have an open adoption). The birth parents have entrusted us with the children they bore, and I see no reason to deny my children access to a relationship with their biological family members.

This is especially important, I think, for transracial adoptive families. Brown kids need role models who are of their same race.

Aren't you scared one of your children's birth parents will come knocking on your front door?

Oh, the "front door" question! First, most people don't show up to someone's house unexpectedly. But if for some reason one of our children's birth parents stopped by, I'd open the door and let them in. Seriously. I feel that we know enough about them and have a trusting relationship. Why wouldn't I let them in?

A look I get: Open adoption is weird.

New relationships can be intimidating. Sure. But our relationships with our children's biological parents are forever growing and changing with time, and, I note, becoming more intimate. As with any relationship, it must grow organically in order for trust and love to build. Even though our situation is unique, it isn't wrong, weird, or scary.

What does open mean, really?

Various agencies define open adoption differently, but for us, an open adoption means letters and pictures (via snail mail), e-mail, texts, phone calls, and visits. Yes, sometimes heading to a visit can be a bit nerve-racking because adoptive parents have insecurities! Am I doing a good enough job with the child? Does he or she seem happy? Will I say or do anything to make the birth parents not like me? These questions can come up! But with time and trust, visits become more comfortable.

There are several books on open adoption, but the best education I got was through life experience. Yes, it can be intimidating to put yourself out there and be vulnerable to the unknown possibilities of open adoption, but it's a risk I believe is worth taking.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snow Day!

Good morning, snow! (Or "sch-no," as she says).
Showing her stuffed animals the snow.


Gathering up as much as she can.

Holding hands, traveling to our old garden to say hi.



I love the joy on my daughter's face as she discovered the snow (8 inches) when she woke up and then later, her playing it in---swimming, diving, licking, eating. Beautiful! And I never get over the contrast of my daughter's skin against mine (or shown here, her skin against the snow). Lovely!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spousal Support

Daddy and Baby E
Daddy and Miss E's snowboots after outdoor fun.

My husband is super supportive.


I've tried, failed, and/or succeeded at many things in life...all with my boyfriend turned husband by my side.


We've been together for 12 years now. He knows me well, very well. Scarily well. And he stays. ;)


I can say with 100% certainty that my daughters have the best father in the world. He's present, he's engaged, he's active, he's playful, he's honest, he's loving, he's patient.


He changes poopy diapers, reads bedtime stories, dances silly-style in the kitchen, gives kisses, starts wrestling matches, throws snowballs, builds block towers, washes bottles, dries tears, sings songs.


He is a good dad and a good husband. He juggles working a very full time job and balances that with fatherhood and husbandhood with grace, determination, certainty, and patience. He puts up with my blood sugar swings, my crazy ideas, my insistent and demanding personality, and my vegetarian cooking. ;)


Nothing makes him happier than his girls---all three of us---being happy.


Just like a fine wine, our life gets better with time. I'm blessed beyond words to call him mine.


We joke sometimes that our life looks nothing like we pictured it when we got married. We figured we'd both work up the ladder at our jobs, have a few kids, go on some fab vacations, and live happily ever after.
It all came true. He's doing great at his job, we have a few kids, we do go on fab vacations (to the beach!), and we do plan to live happily ever after. But we never planned on diabetes or adopting. However, both of those road bumps turned out to be blessings. Beautiful, God-given blessings.
I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that I have no doubt my husband will be there giving 100% of himself to his family. And whatever life throws at us, he'll be ready to tackle it with me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parenting + Chronic Disease = Adventure


Many of you may not know that I have type I diabetes. I was diagnosed at age 24 (almost five years ago) after a year and a half of serious symptoms. I was on death's door when I was wheeled into an Emergency Room, was diagnosed, and began to merge into my new life, one with this disease.


I am not ashamed of my diabetes. It has shaped who I am and who I will become. Because of my diagnosis, we decided to adopt, and obviously, we now have two beautiful baby girls.


On top of being a full time mom and part-time college English teacher, I'm also a freelance writer. I have so many passions---and I can't stop talking about them!


If you'd like to learn more, check out my latest article on the Diabetes Health website. I appreciate your readership. You can leave a comment on the article without an account. The articles apply to everyone, not just people with diabetes. You can learn how to live healthier and raise a healthy, happy family. Education is empowering!
Even though this blog is mostly about my family and our transracial, adoptive journey, I believe in whole health (body, mind, and spirit), and I'll be sure to let you know when I have a new publication on a topic that pertains to whole health and family life.
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quit Planning an English Garden and Start Smelling a Few Good Roses

New nursery in progress!
Lovely stripes.


My new home office.

My old home office in conversion to a nursery for Baby E.




Out with the blue, ready for yellow!


My mom and dad's house at Christmas.



My big, snowy backyard





Let me explain.


I grew up on two acres of fun. We had a swimming pool, a custom built treehouse, two barns, a shed, a root cellar (supposed to be just for tornado season...), large trees, grass, hills, and even a tire swing. Behind my parents' house is a national forest, so more playspace. My parents' house is 100+ years old, a beautiful Victorian farmhouse, with lots of space. I shared a room with my little sister (which I used to hate but now, looking back, remember how much fun we had) which was large and had original hardwood floors and four large, sunny windows.

I crave space for my own family even though I no longer live in the country. Nope. We are in an area just outside St. Louis where there is lots of shopping, parks (instead of fields), schools.


As we planned to adopt a second child, I was convinced that our home was going to be too small. We live in a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch with a full, unfinished basement. The upper level is about 1500 sq feet. We do have a lovely, large, lush backyard (about 1/3 of an acre total) complete with a Weeping Willow tree, a veggie garden in the summer, and a roofed-over deck. But anyway, baby stuff takes up space. There's a vibrating chair, a swing, a play mat, a bulky car seat, etc. Plus the baby. Plus a toddler (and all her toys). Ahhhh!

Even though our house is new (only five years old) and nice, I was hung up on the lack of space. I had a running list of complaints in my mind: too small living room, only three bedrooms (where would my office go once baby #2 arrived?), cramped garage (who defines "oversized" for the realtors?), and a tight laundry room/garage entryway.

I spent time browsing homes online that were $200,000 over our budget. I convinced myself that if I worked hard writing more articles and cut back on spending, we could afford one of those homes. Ha! When I say cut back on spending, I mean no vacations, shopping, organic groceries, gym memberships, or anything else. Yeah...right. So basically give up some of the things that are most important to us for a house? Where was my reality check?

But now that we have Baby E, I'm realizing that our home is perfect for our family. With a few changes here and there, I find myself satisfied, if not thankful that we didn't move. How in the world would I clean a bigger house with two babies underfoot? Why would I want to spread my family throughout a house instead of keeping them close for cuddles, projects, and play?

I also realized how ungrateful I was. I spent too much time thinking about possibilities and not enough time being thankful for what I have---a cozy, warm, clean, new home.
I was watching House Hunters the other day, and the twenty-something engineer who was searching for a new home found one she liked that featured a large master bedroom walk-in closet. She laughed and said to her friend, "Now I have to go buy more clothes to fill up that closet!" That remark stuck with me. That's how crazy Americans are sometimes (myself included!). We think more is better. Bigger home equals needing more stuff to fill it. More, more, more, more, more. But more, I think, tends to deplete us of the most important things in life.

To feed my need for change and newness, we make little changes to our home. We recently converted my old home office (bedroom #3) into Baby E's nursery. We hired painters to stripe the room yellow, and we purchased a computer armoire for our dining area which, amazingly, matches our kitchen cabinets almost perfectly and doesn't take up a lot of space. Not that long ago, we converted part of our unfinished basement into a semi-finished play space---complete with carpet, bright yellow walls, butterflies hanging from the ceiling, and lots of toys. And speaking of toys, we rotate Miss E's to keep our living room clutter free but still a fun place to play. I keep a few large shopping bags in my closet at all times, and when I find an item we no longer want or need, I toss it in. Once a month the local children's home comes around and picks up donations. It's great because we get rid of items and get a tax deduction while helping out the community. Ahhh! I love a good purge!


I still want my dream home someday. I picture it in my mind often. I still browse home plans and online listings. I keep a binder of inspirational home pictures for that "someday" house. But, the best things in life are often right in front of my face. And I'm so thankful for the blessings in my life.
---

To read more on "bigger isn't always better," I highly suggest checking out Living Large by Sarah Z Wexler. I'm reading it right now and she talks about everything from homes, to megachurches, to cars, to our landfills. It's fascinating, humbling stuff!
I think the idea of going green ties into this blog post. I spent a lot of 2010 reading and implementing ways to waste less and live healthier on another blog of mine. Feel free to explore by clicking on "healthy living" or "green" tags on the right hand side.

And of course, the Bible has many things to say on the subjects of contentment, thankfulness, etc. Philippians 4:11, "[. . .] I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Today is my 29th birthday. And yeah, it's a big deal. :) My last year in my twenties.

A lot has happened in the past nine years. I got married at 21, started teaching college composition at age 22, got my MA in Teaching of Writing at 23, was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 24, started the adoption process at age 25, started my freelance career and became a mom at age 26, juggled being a mom and working two part-time jobs at age 27, and became a mom for the second time at age 28.

WHEW! Being young is exhausting!

I have no idea what the future holds---but if it's anything like these past 9 years, bring it on!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Heartfelt Blog Post

I had the joy of meeting Amber first online and then in person a few years ago when we took a vacation as a family near her hometown.

Amber has three children, two of whom (twins) are adopted. I was reading Amber's blog and found this post to be incredibly interesting. I wanted to share it with you.

I have no clue what questions I'll have to answer from my girls in the future. I have no idea what "right" and "wrong" answers are.

This goes back to my post from a few days ago on the importance of us staying in communion with God. With HIS strength, HIS wisdom, and HIS Word, hopefully adoptive parents can lead their children in ways that are honest, effective, and godly.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding My Groove

My house is full of girls. There's a lot of pink. A lot of shrieking. A lot of tutus and tiaras. There are tears and smiles, giggles and whining, pretend play and time outs. One might hear me saying, "SHHHHH," or "I love you," or, "That's naughty!", or "Seriously?!?"

Welcome to my world.

We've been a family of four for a month and a half now. I'm finding my groove and making life with two babies (well, one newborn and one toddler) the norm. Getting organized hasn't been easy, especially with a hectic Christmas. On top of trying to get Baby E's nursery ready (which means converting my old home office into a baby's room and moving my home office---an entire room---into a computer armoire in the dining area), attending various holiday events, and of course, the day to day task of parenting to little girls and keeping up with my house, I'm trying to make sure to take care of my diabetes, read the Bible (to stay grounded), and be a good wife.

WHEW.

I realize that I'm in a position of privilege----extreme privilege. I am taking the semester off to hunker down and be a good mommy to my girls. Something, I realized, had to give. I couldn't successfully manage my diabetes, parent my babies, keep up with the house, be a good wife, facilitate the adoptive mama group, AND be a good teacher to 45 students. I chose to lose the income and the part-time job temporarily, creating some calmness in my mind, flexibility in my schedule, and freeing up time in my week. And having the ability to do so only comes from a supportive (financially and emotionally) husband. He was fully supportive of whatever decision I made---and I hope I made the right one by taking some time off work.

I do dread the long winter months ahead---snow, ice, cold, clouds. I much prefer the late spring or mid-fall where I can get out the stroller and walk outdoors for exercise, or spend time in our huge backyard, or use sidewalk chalk on the driveway. I'm slowly generating a list of possibilities for my girls---the library, the Children's Museum, play dates, etc. I'm also figuring out how to keep up with the household---cleaning, cooking, meal planning, laundry. I'm also still going to write part-time for Diabetes Health magazine.

I made the strategic decision to ask Nanny C (who graciously and thankfully accepted) to keep being our nanny for four hours a week. This will give me time to go to the gym alone, run errands, or take Baby E to any doc appointments without Miss E licking the exam room floors or trying to use various medical equipment as ride-on toys. ;)

There's a lot on my plate---but it's all the good stuff.

But, if I go missing from my blog for a few days, it's because I'm literally buried in a laundry pile. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Time for God?

My two girls napping: Miss E on the couch (all covered up) and Baby E in the vibrating chair.



Time is so precious, especially with a growing family.



There is always something on my to-do list ranging from the immediate make-and-feed-Baby E or find-0ut-what-that-THUD-noise-came-from to the less immediate but necessary tasks of dishes, laundry, mopping, running errands, wiping noses or litte butts :), etc.



When I have a spare moment, which usually occurs when (thank God) both girls nap at the same time in the afternoon, all I want to do is flop on the couch, sip some hot tea, and watch my DVR'd episode of Desperate Housewives.



I don't know why/how/when I got it in my head that quiet time with God, which I try to get to Monday-Friday every week, had to be something that I came to with energy, grace, or even a great attitude. I mean really, does God expect me to arrive perfect and pretty? NOPE. He's in the business of changing me, not waiting for me to change myself before I can come to Him.



I do have time for God. I do. I know I can and should carve out some moments to get right---whatever that means for that day. I manage to exercise, make it to appointments on time, and get eight loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away.



Sometimes, my motivation to spend time with God isn't there. One, because I'm so DIM (do it myself!), and I figure on some days, I just don't need God. (Oh, how He is laughing right now!) Other times, I just feel like I have too much on my plate to squeeze in just one more thing. Sometimes, I just don't have the energy. Flipping on a TV show or checking my Facebook account is mindless, where time with God requires energy and heart.



BUT, I know, I KNOW, that when I am communion with God, everything else will fall into place. Matthew 6:33 boils down to this: seek God FIRST. Not last, not later, not think-about-God. It's a verse that screams: JUST DO IT.



I've often felt overwhelmed when I think about parenting two little girls (really, two babies), managing my household, writing articles, making dinner, managing my diabetes well, etc. How can I do it all? How will I be successful? The truth is, I can't do it alone. I know my strength, truly, comes from God. Strength, patience, peace, joy---these are both learned behaviors and gifts. And how can one learn about them? Grow in them? Digest them? How is that possible without time with God?



I'm not going to make some flighty, artificial New Year's resolution. But I am making small changes to make sure I get in some time with God. I know I am the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and diabetic I can be when I do so.



I'm writing this blog post on a Sunday, which I rarely do, because it seems appropriate to reflect on my spiritual life (which should govern my entire life) on the Sabbath. Sundays are holy, special, unique. I'm thankful for them. They are days of worship (church in the morning) and rest (long afternoon naps) and family time (relaxing in our pjs and snacking).



I hope that you, dear reader, have diligently been able to seek and be in communion with God. It does make all the difference.



We create time for the things that matter most to us.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Random Goodness: Pics and Thoughts

Baby E, taking a snooze. I love how infants sleep with their little rears in the air and feet tucked underneath. So sweet!
Miss E and Mommy with matching "Cabana Boy" painted toenails. Who says winter has to be BLAH?


AHHHHHH....Krispy Kreme donuts are so good on a cold winter's night.


Miss E kissing Baby E. SISTERLY LOVE!



More naps for Baby E, this time in front of the fireplace. Warm and cozy! We love our gas fireplace. A flip of the switch and winter becomes bliss. (Check out Miss E's fabulous, homemade, brown-girl stocking in the background).

I found some AA Christmas cards for $1.50 a box after Christmas at Target. I wanted to buy ALL of them, but I settled on one box. :)

Miss E on Christmas Eve---enjoying a White Christmas in our backyard.




Life around here is full. How could it not be? I have two, TWO (!!!), babies. Despite tears and tantrums that come at random times throughout the day, there is so much joy.


On the day we got the phone call from our social worker telling us we had been chosen to be Baby E's parents, I honestly thought, "Why us? Why are we so lucky?" Our wait was VERY short this time, and our adoption journey is going really well so far. We have an open relationship (which I'll talk more about in general in a post this month) with Baby's E's biological parents---which is exactly what we wanted. We only had to stay Baby's E's home state for five days, and we were blessed with the hospitality of Miss E's foster parents. They allowed us to stay with them, meaning we had a "home away from home" instead of a pricey, dingy hotel room.


It all just seems so easy. Too easy. And normally, I'm not a pessimist. But I'm frankly overwhelmed at the reality that we are this blessed.


I don't always get God's plan. Dare I say, I rarely ever get God's plan. I don't know why He does what He does. I don't know why I'm so blessed. Maybe I don't need to know why. Maybe I just need to shut up and enjoy the journey.
Staying at home full time is something I struggle with, if I'm being perfectly honest. I'm a typical type A girl---driven, determined, demanding. I worked my tushy off for my MA degree---and I didn't do it for nothing, I feel. So giving up a semester's worth of work and nesting with my babies this winter wasn't an easy choice. But now that I'm doing it, successfully (I think?), I know I made the right choice. These are moments I can't get back. And I realize now that God's timing was perfect. Baby E arrived with two weeks left of the fall semester, giving me time to carefully weigh the options of staying at home or teaching in the spring. Nanny C, my girls' rockin' nanny, told me, "Whatever you decide, it'll be the best choice." She was right!
I've had to chill out and stop stressing over plans. I really wanted to establish a regime, a set schedule for each week. Split chores among the weekdays. Library visit one day a week. Family reading night. Date night. But I soon realized that life isn't meant to be planned out to a T. The best things can happen when there's no plan.

I wanted to share these pictures with you, my readers, to give you a glimpse of God's glory in my life lately. And, in part, to remind myself that I don't have to figure it all out because God already has. And that's enough.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Profile Books

A reader of mine recently asked me about profile books and referred to them, as some adoptive parents do, a "necessary evil."

Some of you might wonder what's wrong with profile books? The general consensus, from the many adoptive moms and biological moms I know, is that it's another tool (along with YOU TUBE videos, pass along cards, unethical agencies, etc.) that pressures a mom to place her baby for adoption.

For those new to adoption, what is a profile book?

Generally, agencies ask potential adoptive parents to put together a book about themselves which includes pictures, captions, lists/charts (such as "favorite things"), and sometimes a "Dear" letter addressed to expectant mothers and fathers. These books are kept on file at the agency, and when an expectant parent is considering adoption, the profile books are shown (in various ways, according to the agency's rules). Based on the profile books, a mother might choose a family for her baby or ask to meet a family in person before deciding. Or, of course, she can choose to parent her baby.

Besides the dreaded checklist adoptive families fill out (what you will and won't accept in a potential adoption situation), the profile book was very hard for me to put together. I wanted it to be accurate, honest, and ethical.

With our second adoption, our profile book was similar to our first---lots of photos with detailed captions, a long "Dear Expectant Parent(s)" letter, and a section called "What We Believe" which listed our feelings on specific things like discipline, family activities, etc.

Even though I strongly believe in adoption ethics, I had to fight some demons along the way. I had to constantly be on guard to avoid slipping into adoptive-parent-competition-mode: the BEST photos, exaggerated captions, etc. Because ultimately, I do believe God's plan will be done in my life as an adoptive mother, but I am still responsible for my choices in everything adoption-related, including those profile books.

In essence, I wanted to be chosen knowing I am who I said I am in that profile book, not because I had the most flattering photographs and captivating captions.

No doubt, I worked very hard on creating a profile book I was proud of. However, I absolutely balanced that with the truth of our lives.

So reader, I believe that if you have chosen an ethical agency, and if you are assigned a profile book to create, that you do so in honesty, not in competition, persuasion, or manipulation. Matthew 12:36 comes to mind, which states that we will be judged for our every word.
 
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