🌟TONIGHT🌟

ASK YOUR QUESTIONS BELOW! THEY MAY BE ANSWERED LIVE ON AIR!
SUNDAY NIGHT 9/17/17

SEASON 1 EPISODE 5 @InspirationWithE Radio Show! 7PM EST

During this episode “E” (of Authenticitee Speaks) Interviews Guest Co-Host & Husband of 19 1/2 years – Grammy Award nominated, Stellar Award winning; music producer, composer & musician, Kevin Arthur @kevindarthur:

Entrepreneurs & married couple of 22 years; Edward and Ri Laws of http://www.jonbrioche.com (facebook.com/JonBrioche) @jonbrioche:

and Entrepreneurs married 2 years; Waleed & Quiana Shamsid-Deen of facebook.com/SupremeBurgerUS @thesupremeburger:


HOW TO TUNE IN:
1- LIVE & ON DEMAND Shows available at BLOGTALK RADIO – http://www.grindhardradio.com 

2- Call in LIVE on air to listen: 323-693-3043 (Press 1 to speak with my guests and I!) 

3- ON DEMAND via Podcasts on iTUNES, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio: Search “Grindhardradio” then look for “Inspiration With E”! .


OR CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Meet me there!đŸ’«e .
#InspirationWithE #RadioHost

#Marriage 

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits – Property of original owners. No copyright infringement intended.


GOD CAN…I CAN’T



When I first launched “Inspiration with E” I was surrounded by people who only knew one fragment of my mosaic. They either saw me as ONLY a love poet @authenticiteespeaks, or ONLY a blogger at http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com or ONLY a mother or ONLY a singer/songwriter/speaker. A few still ONLY see me as the bass player’s wife. Wondering how I pulled the Worship Pastor’s youngest son or how he pulled the Grad student from Brooklyn. I have had MORE than my share of those who ONLY try to get close to me because of the artists my husband works with. Caught off guard by my down to earth-ness & even turned off when I don’t name drop or “take advantage” of connections. In my mind, they’re great people who I admire/respect but they’re HIS coworkers…not mine. They too, deserve people in their lives who don’t want anything from them. Imagine that.

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Then there came @grindhardradio. “What? My own radio show? Nah. Not ready”. I wanted everything to be just right. I used to be smaller. Had a perfect smile. Skin was clearer and life hadn’t beaten the freakin’ hell outta me yet. I didn’t want to be in debt. I didn’t want to be overweight. I didn’t want to have a shattered heart in recovery & a brain with glitches. I didn’t want trust issues. I didn’t want health problems that interrupted my life. How could I inspire people when I STILL need inspiration?!

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And then GOD began to encourage me to encourage others
right from where I was. ALL PEOPLE. To share what makes me smile, gives me hope, and breathes LIFE into me.

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Yes. I’m glad you’re here. Nope. I don’t have all the answers but GOD can handle your questions. I say WE encourage as many people as possible and remind them that they matter too. No NOT RELIGION OR JUDGMENT. Just good old fashioned LOVEđŸ’«e
PS: It can still be a good day!
Background Photo Credit: Text2Pic 
8/26/17
Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee
Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

HOW TO TUNE IN:


1- LIVE & ON DEMAND Shows available at BLOGTALK RADIO – http://www.grindhardradio.com 

2- Call in LIVE on air to listen: 323-693-3043 (Press 1 to speak with my guests and I!) 

3- ON DEMAND via Podcasts on iTUNES: Search “Grindhardradio” then look for “Inspiration With E”! .

.


#InspirationWithE #Radio #RadioHost

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Uncut Video Below: Be encouraged & PLEASE encourage another!!!

Happy Mother’s Day! I love you Mommy! Thank you for your incredible support of every facet of who I am, strive to be and never want to be again!
​


WHEN MOTHER’S DAY ISN’T SO HAPPY

Background song via B Slade – God Has Not Forgot – NO copyright infringement intended. Much love & welcome new facesđŸ’«e
Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks
LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE
Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration
Remember YOU MATTER!
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Google Images. No copyright kinfringement intended. 
Video: Ericka “e” Arthur for Authenticitee Speaks


I’ve been wearing blue lipstick at times and with pretty good reason!

I shared in this space a couple of years ago, about our then 10 yr old daughter’s battle with sudden hair loss as a result of Alopecia. Blue is the awareness color for the condition and our daughter; now a 15 yr old HS student, shares her story every chance she gets.

She’s courageous. Courageous because no one would ever have to know. See she was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata where there are patches of hair loss. Her remaining hair is thick so depending on the hairstyle, bald spots can be hidden. But now she’s getting older and experimenting with different hairstyles so newly formed bald spots are visible. As a creative being, she’s discovered that blue lipgloss and strategically painting only one nail blue; sparks a conversation she’s ready to have.

I never shared photos of the bald spots on her scalp. Not only because they were the size of the palm of my hand, it was just too overwhelming to do so. The hair loss…it seemed to happen overnight.

LIFE BEFORE ALOPECIA AREATA…

PONYTAILS AND BEHIND HER EARS…

Sometimes You See It..

AND SOMETIMES YOU DON’T…

Our Daughter And Son February 2017…

It’s been difficult when I watch her struggling with her hair. I want to jump in and help her figure out the parts; literally and figuratively – but I would be doing her a disservice at this stage of her development. She talks about going away to college one day and wanting to “feel comfortable doing her hair without Mommy’s help”. As a parent however, it’s painful to watch her sweep up piles of hair after washing or combing it. But even with that going on behind closed doors, she still has a full head of hair. This has served as a tempting deterrent to be silent and understandably so. Either classmates did not understand because they couldn’t see her condition and the monthly scalp injections; or she had serious tinges of survivors guilt about the hair she did have. After all we are taught to not judge books by their cover
but we all have at one time or another, wouldn’t you say? 

As a matter of fact, I came across an article years ago written by Ohio journalist Jona Ison raising awareness about her son’s Alopecia Universalis. She said strangers would pay for her son’s meal at restaurants because they assumed he was a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. Attempting to seize those moments as teaching opportunities to educate others often ended in frustration. Kind strangers mistook her response as a modest refusal of their generosity and wouldn’t hear another word.

I remember reaching out to her back then because it was all so new for us and she was extremely gracious. I credit Jona’s bold transparency coupled with God’s undergirding, in empowering me to do the same.  
Listen. We all have something.

To this day, I’m accused of lazily slouching and having horrible posture. The accusation of having horrible posture is correct, but the reason is scoliosis; something else God decided that I should genetically pass a hint of to our daughter as well!😉

Though she is determined to help raise awareness, there are those who will never see her as a person dealing with hair loss or qualified to discuss it. Those who in their smug haste would ignorantly deem our determination to raise awareness as a cry for unmerited pity. But we are not alone. Afterall, there are those who will never see you as a person dealing with any type of loss…simply because of how well you wear your survival too.

Would you consider sharing this post? There are several ways to do it just by clicking the various social media icons below. Maybe we can help someone else today who may think they’re the only one dealing with invisible loss.

Little do they know….

💙

e
I wear blue for our daughter. You can find her story in the piece shared with her permission called “A Smile Big Enough To Cover The Pain“. To connect with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation visit http://www.naaf.org.
Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits – Ericka Arthur

CULTURES

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s so much beauty in diversity; in learning about and appreciating different cultures. I am captivated by the mosaic of all faces, languages and nations. However as an African American woman living in the States, there are times others send hidden signals that I need to stick with my own kind. I wasn’t raised that way. I have a problem with that. And though I have no one in my immediate circle that ignorant or narrow minded; I notice the larger my sphere of influence gets; the more I am expected to choose. Yeah, not the kid. Culture…I love it all.

If you’re not new to Authenticitee Speaks, you know I’m a native New Yorker; born and raised in Brooklyn all my life. In one of my earlier blogs, Barbra, Bob and Black Gospel, I poured my heart out about loving all genres of music. Everything from fellow Brooklyn native, Barbra Streisand to Reggae superstar, Bob Marley. Even at my all African American junior high school in the hood, I was taught Broadway show tunes. It was rough there. Loved the school, really loved the people; but hated the violence that would jump off at times. It was there that I first learned to despise Halloween with an intense passion. The neighborhood “welcome committee” wouldn’t just throw eggs at us; at times the eggs were boiled and the tomatoes that flew across scurrying crowds would have straight pins in them.

Fast forward to my culturally diverse and academically challenging high school. It was there that in addition to Spanish; I was required to take two years of Classical Latin for the Humanities program I was in. I however being an overachiever, took three years of Classical Latin. Well, that’s my way of explaining the second year being…let’s just say, less than stellar. Ah..talk about diversity! It was so well mixed. I loved it there. Hands down, a true representation of Brooklyn NY. Hands down, still one of the best memories of my childhood. Culture…I love it all.

Though the high school itself was a safe haven, violence still found its way around the school. During the winter break of our freshman year in college all of my friends met at the McDonald’s a few blocks away. We were meeting to catch up on old times before going to the Winter Concert at the alma mater we loved so much. At the last minute I was unable to meet them early and decided to go directly to the school. One of my closest classmates never made it to the concert. Tondelayo Nikita Alfred, who shared a limo with me on prom night, was murdered when some (insert explicative here) thought it was a good idea to spray a hail of bullets into a crowded McDonald’s. Two strays hit her chest ending her life yet my life I assure you, has never been the same.

In a day and age of disgusting, and in my opinion, satanically energized racism; its disheartening to see division everywhere. I am a woman who loves my heritage and culture as a proud African American. I adore my people and our varied shades, styles and hues. But I love and appreciate all cultures. I love learning about other points of view. I can’t stand being limited and I feel racism does just that. It divides and limits. You know, if you allow that to permeate your world, its a dangerous disservice to yourself and others. Its amazing to me how many feel that I should only love my own. Its a concept as a woman of faith, that I refuse to embrace.

You know whats funny (not funny)? My African American husband and I have two children together who look different from each other at first glance. My beautiful daughter is fair skin with hazel eyes and when she was younger, I was sorely offended when referred to as her nanny by strangers on several occasions. Two years later I gave birth to a handsome son with dark brown skin and people had comments about that from afar. Chosen by God to raise children in this wicked hour of nearsightedness, we are not in denial. We know that the pervasiveness of evil and the exposure to and of it is prevailing; however so is the love of people like myself. Culture…here’s to those of us who love it all.

 

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit:cultureshock.scripts.mit.edu. No copyright infringement intended.


My mother tells me I was a good child. A “joy to raise”.  Of course as a toddler I thought it was genius to clean my shoes with Pond’s Cold Cream and a few years later ask a Deacon at church with missing teeth; if the tooth fairy had come to him too. However those would be minor offenses, all things considered. Or would they?

Temptation is everywhere. The temptation to do wrong or the temptation to not do the right thing. There are times we give in because we are too weak to fight. Other times we just don’t give a flying fig newton. We just don’t care. We feel as though we are tough enough to handle the consequences. 


Then there are times we are tempted to take risks. Risks we would never have taken before that happenened. You know the thing that pushed you as an adult beyond the flashbacks of parental discipline and gentle childhood restraints. The thing that drove you to test boundaries; plummeting you in the middle of awkward self discovery at warped speed. The thing that made you ask, “And what if I did?“.

Where is that part of you today? The part of you that wasn’t afraid to try something new, learn something new or better yet meet someone new. What changed you? Who changed you

How we were raised and disciplined as a child affects how we look at things. It also affects our creativity and ability to think outside the box. The environment we were in either cultivated individuality or encouraged uniformity. There are moments that some children were punished for biting, taking someone else’s toy, kicking, not sharing, throwing tantrums, hair pulling and the like. However there are those who were punished just for marching to the beat of their own drum. They weren’t disobedient or disrespectful. They were just different


Perhaps the inner child in you is bucking against the system today. Tempted to wear pajamas at work on Casual Fridays. Sing a little louder from the pews during the Congregational Hymn. Dine alone. Take swimming lessons. Take a vacation. Exercise. Wear makeup. Rollerblade through Walmart. Dip in that 401K before age 59 1/2. Color outside the lines. Sunbathe on someone else’s roof. Change your cologne.  Learn Karate. Not wear a girdle. Go back to the buffet for seconds. Change your hairstyle. Try love again. Write that book. Write that song. Start that business. Patent that idea. Be yourself


Love. Breathe.  Laugh. Dance. Create. Live. Write. 

After all, what if you did?

I dare you. 


© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Photo Credits (In order): YouTube, parentingpractically.wordpress.com (via Google), sg.theasianparent.com, tsdmemphis.com. No copyright infringement intended. 

  
I PRAY

Mommy prays that you always make each other laugh. That you always look out for your little brother & that you always look out for your big sister.

 
I pray you always feel comfortable in your shade of melanin skin as you endure the insidiously frustrating questions as to whether or not you have the same parents ’cause one’s eyes are hazel & the other’s dark brown.

I pray you stay strong & hold your ground when they reach for your Locs & Afro out of ignorance & curiosity.

I pray you remain humble & walk worthy of your calling, even when Mommy & Daddy aren’t looking.

 
We not only love you, we respect, admire & like you; our miracles.

Be blessed beyond measure & strengthened for every mile of your journeyđŸŒčMommy

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks 

  
THREEFOLD CORD

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”.

Often quoted at weddings in reference to the threefold union between husband and wife, implying God is at the helm; Biblical scholars differ on the exegetical context of this scripture. 

Although equipped to discuss said matters theologically, I intentionally refrain from such debates. As a woman who has dedicated the last 22 years of her life to the man holding my hand in the photo above; I can’t help but notice how wide our smiles were the day we exchanged vows 18 years ago, on March 7, 1998. 

Generally speaking, one’s smile can be altered by a myriad of factors. Sabotage from within could include neglect stemming from a self inflicted poor diet, to a lack of daily care and regular checkups. Often smiles are damaged by the impact of unwelcome catastrophic injuries caused by external hits. 

Weddings are big business and Black Love is a great hashtag but there is real life to be done after “I Do”. Yes, being married to a professional musician is a unique life song all its own but incredible sacrifice is required in any relationship, no matter what field the spouse works in. 

In order for a gift, offering or decision to be considered a sacrifice it has to COST the giver something greater than themselves. As it pertains to marriages of faith, ALL components of the THREEFOLD CORD must be selflessly present and working synergistically even when no one is looking. Not the feigned, photo op appearance of putting in the work. Not 50/50 but 100/100. Anything less can cause the ends of the cords to become frayed. If discord arises however, it would be a fair assessment that one or more of the cords is not on one accord with God because He is the immutable cord. 

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s to not speak for anyone but myself. There’s a low key haughtiness that comes with experiencing new love, good love or with what you’re under the impression is, exclusive love. Unforeseen life lessons teach you very quickly to temper the language of “we” and adjust your sails in the realm of humility accordingly. 

I’ve also learned that you have no control over how someone responds to the weight of your love. A savory, mouthwatering, tailor-made meal can be prepared to perfection but if it’s served to one who lacks interest and an appetite for that meal, it will be shunned for empty calories every time.

While Spring cleaning, I came across this picture and other nostalgic items including a copy of the “How Well Do You Know Kevin & Ericka?” Trivia Quiz we played with our guests at our 10th Wedding Anniversary party! About 80 of our closest, many who traveled from out of town, their families, tons of hugs, food, lots of laughter and a banging Live DJ packed an Art gallery back in Philly and it was a night like NO other. 

Tears rolling down my sentimental eyes, falling on the quiz I thought aloud, “I have not surrendered my love to any man more deeply than I have Kevin Arthur”. Not Kevin Arthur the musician, producer or indie artist. Just. Kevin. You see…serving unconditional Love in the trenches with boots on the ground, nose deep in life and perpetually dodging fiery darts at eye level, with no cameras around; is not for the feeble.

I’ve discovered it can be hard for a partner to receive unconditional love in this performance driven society we live in. But that is the type of love I have for him. In sickness, health, richer or poorer, gigs no gigs, onstage, offstage, tour, no tour. Spot date, no spot date, endorsements or not. Whether he was getting paid serious coin a week or in gas money, it mattered not. Whether he was holding my hand on the red carpet at the MTV Awards or holding my hand walking to the corner store in the hood, it mattered not. I just loved him for him. 

Like pain, the thing about LOVE is it demands to be felt. You don’t love someone that deeply without a deep pain to match when things go awry. The amazing thing about LOVE however is it’s an indelible healing entity. The idea of someone not only having your back but standing back to back WITH you conquering ANYTHING is an extraordinary image. But it takes work and both partners working together, giving it their all. 

Grateful for every tender moment we’ve ever shared. Grateful for kisses in the rain without an umbrella. Grateful for him taking me to and from work back in the day. Grateful for how he took care of me during horrible morning sickness with our 6 week early preemie baby girl, rubbed my back when carrying our full term 10lb 7oz baby boy; and wiped my eyes when the Dr. explained our youngest boy wouldn’t seen the light of day. Thank you Kevin Arthur. I’ve learned more about the intricacies of music and nuances of life from you than any class I’ve sat in or stage I’ve performed on. 

Love. Been hurt by it. Love. Been healed by it. God’s love. Absolutely nothing like it. Writing is so therapeutic. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but God holds me and I’ll be holding a pen. 

Love. Yeah. I absolutely still believeđŸŒče

iWrite 3.14.16 @authenticiteespeaks on Instagram | Meet Me There
iBlog http://www.authenticitee.wordpress.com
iTweet @ IndigoInterlude

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Photo Credit Our wedding day captured by Glenn Derricotte. 

  

 

“Enslaved to our uncertainties, help us with our unbeliefs..oh oh God forgive us…” Having family devotion every morning is NOT easy because life isn’t. It’s hard to teach children what you’re still learning. When you’re gifted with alert, spiritually gifted, astute children it’s hard to hide HELL both inside and outside the home. As parents we wipe our children’s tears but I promise you if you pour the Word of God into your children there will come a time when they will wipe yours. 

Our firstborn and I bonding afterwards💞 Praying your tears are only tears of joy todayđŸŒș

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credit: Unknown. No copyright infringement intended

#ForKingAndCountry #CCM #Music #MusicFamily #Acapella #Prayer #Video #Hug #Smile #MusicVideo #GoodMorning #Thankful #Grateful #BrandNewDay #Mother #Daughter #God #Faith #Inspiration #MorningGlory #MotherDaughter #TeamNatural #Singer #MusicIsMyLife #trainupachild

 



Her presence
? Regal. I remember the first time I heard her sing. I had never heard a voice like hers before. Ever. I stood up in the pew, as is custom when hearing someone singing their face off. Indescribably superb. Gritty. And her range..smh. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Tasha M. is a beast on vocals. It’s an honor to call her friend, sister…roadie.

More than that, it’s an honor to watch her use that same God voice endued with power and purpose; speak life into the princess divinely assigned to her. A princess named *Malisa.

If you’re just tuning in, click here to read Part One of Tasha’s story. Her life changed overnight when she unexpectedly became a single mom. Though she thought it was temporary, two years later her niece is now her daughter. Perhaps a dissonant chord at first, their journey has evolved into a song I’d like to call… Beautiful.

Tasha: “Here we are two years later… Not because the situation has gotten any easier. But Malisa and I have come to an understanding. We have each other now”.

e: Sis, let me say again that you are to be commended. It’s understood that you’re adjusting but how are you coping?

Tasha: A lot of prayer. Tears. Having friends I can vent to and get great sound advice.

e: Your story is often compared to the show Raising Whitley, because the circumstances are so similar. Have you ever seen the show?
Tasha: I’ve never seen the show, though I’ve heard about it.

e: Do you find yourself embracing her belief that “it takes a village to raise a child”?

Tasha: I don’t even know how I’d do this without my village! I’m always on the go. Suddenly having a child to raise didn’t change any of that. Plus I don’t trust complete strangers to keep her. At least not at this stage, where her understanding and communication skills are delayed.

e: What does your support network or village look like?

Tasha: My network consists of my family and very close friends. These are people I trust and who loves her like their own.

e: Have you have found any stigma associated with being a single parent in the faith community? Do you find people assuming what your story is?

Tasha: Fortunately for me, my church family is small and we are close. I was able to share my situation with them, they are very supportive. As far as outside of my church home, I couldn’t say if anyone else felt any type of way because I am oblivious to the opinions of those I don’t know or who are not close to me.

e: Is this an indefinite decision or can her Mom/Dad get her back anytime?

Tasha: This is it! Both parents no longer have their rights. Even if I couldn’t do it, they would not be able to.

e: Is there any bitterness towards your brother and Malisa’s mother?

Tasha: At first I was very angry. I was mad that they could keep making children and leaving it to everybody else to care for them. How they hurt and cause damage to these kids that didn’t ask to be here. I was angry that my life and the lives of everybody connected to me had to turn upside-down while they lived free of any responsibility. I had to find a way not to despise them. Only God. Now I don’t focus on them, but on her and what she needs from me.

e: Does Malisa have any siblings and if so how often does she interact with them?

Tasha: Yes, she has siblings. She sees them on a weekly basis.

e: Does she have regular interaction with her parents at all even if they are scheduled visits?

Tasha: She sees her Dad occasionally. In the past two years, she’s seen her Mom maybe 4 times.

e: Do you feel any pressure for them to be a regular part of her life or do you find yourself wanting to shield her in a way?

Tasha: I know she craves her parents, so whenever she is able to be around them, I allow it. I make the boundaries clear to them. They can see her so long as they don’t undo any progress we’ve made.
e: Also she appears to be thriving under your care. Any hesitation in returning her to her parents if they showed vast improvement over a period of time?

Tasha: We are making strides. So if her parents were not capable of doing at least what I do, if not more, I would never let her go back to them. She will be allowed to see and talk to them, but they relinquished the right to raise her.

e: You mentioned that you knew as a child that you didn’t want to have children; where did that come from?

Tasha: I’m not sure. I just knew I didn’t want to be tied down. I always imagined a life of going and doing absolutely everything I wanted to do, without limits. I knew the family unit required all of your attention. Sure it’s possible to do it all with a family, but something at some point will take a backseat.

e: Sounds as though you’ve resolved that you’re going to see this through till 18+ yrs of age!

Tasha: Yup, I have to help her to adulthood. Prayerfully all of this will make her a better/stronger person.

e: Has your idea of parenting changed as a result of this responsibility or has your hesitation only been confirmed?

Tasha: Ya know, at one point maybe a year before all of this happened, I came down with a case of what some refer to as “baby fever”. That passed about six months later! The closer I got to marriage, the more certain I became. I really didn’t want that life. The settled down life. If I get married, I want someone who wants what I want. Travel the world, spontaneity.
I love my niece to life. I wouldn’t trade her for anything, however I am more certain than ever that I made the right choice for me. I’m not really ‘me’ anymore. I am in mommy mode all the time. Some may say that’s a good thing. Maybe it is? But for me, I’m always aware of it. Just because someone does something really well, doesn’t mean it fulfills them. I love that she is thriving, I’m still not sure where I will land in all of this. That’s what being a parent means right? Sacrificing your wants/needs for those of your child. How did I get on a list for something I never signed up for? Lol!

I know this is all God’s will, since He has never steered me wrong, I trust it will all work out for the good of us all.

e: Yeah. Somehow it always does…

*Name changed

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits
: American Deluxe Band & Tasha M.