Because of balance

…two heavy bags are easier than one, if you distribute the weight. 

We are starting the year with passion and focused energy. We’re laying the foundation for two different platforms, one has already been incorporated as an Association called and has a clear vision, and resourceful people involved with drive and experience. The other is a community, a movement of creating awareness, encouragement and support in the adoption process. It’s called Both platforms are work in progress. Next weekend we are attending a planning-retreat, hosted by diligent, humble and successful forerunners in the field, who stared ARFO many years ago. 

Half the work is already done by commencing. And these two passions for helping others, to make a difference in society, in our community, are what makes us come alive. They align with our core beliefs. Over time we’ve polished many gifts and skills; every acquired knowledge and experience is not wasted in the grand scheme of things. 

There is a time to plan and a time to act. A time to serve and a time to speak up. There is a lot we don’t know yet, about the challenges up-ahead, but somehow, the inevitable growing pains are not intimidating. 

Last week I got to read a brilliant book, just up my alley, called “Quiet. The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.” By Susan Cain. A new friend in the neighborhood let me borrow it. Actually, after a rich conversation over tea, as we connected, she recommended I read it. Now I can’t stop talking about it… because it changed me. Unexpectedly so. It put me at ease when I didn’t even know I needed that. It helped me see clearer myself and those around me in the context of present life. 

I have taken numerous self-assessment tests and had many conversations about personality types. I am an INTJ. And I did the Enneagram too, a few years after we got married, and realized Conrad and I are very similar core style 5 (wise), except he resorts to humor under stressful circumstances, and I dig my heels deeper into wisdom. Meanwhile, we are both powerful 8 under relaxed conditions. At Apple I did the Strengths Finder which validated my natural abilities and offered cautionary advise to steer clear from the common pitfalls of these gifts. I’m a Developer, Responsible, Positive, Creative and my top strength is Belief.

All these tests were fascinating and useful at the time and I reaped the (bountiful over time) benefits of knowing and understanding myself. 

Given all this self-knowledge, how did I not see this? Jackie is an extrovert. And we are not . At the very least we are on the cusp 50/50. This creates tension in parenting at times, though in her formatives years (all of them so far) we, the adults have intentionally adapted. But she did too, mostly out of genuine love, the intrinsic desire of children to please their parents, and wonderful malleability. 

Due to her innocent wisdom and clarity of mind, I must praise the gifts of a naturally extroverted person. J speaks her mind. She asks questions. She doesn’t give up. Her voice is heard loud and clear. Her heart opens courageously to us. She is so eloquent and I always know where she stands. What a gift she is for new parents, adoptive parents no less, who want to learn and understand.