Mother posts video of daughter being bullied on to Facebook

As another year of school is ending, a story of a bully has surfaced in Belgium. This most shocking story made the news.

On the 26th of June 2012, Kayleigh who is 13 years old, was the victim of bullying while she was waiting for her bus in Roeselare, Belgium. Two of the bullies have filmed the poor girl’s ordeal with their mobile phone and have uploaded it to YouTube. The film has been removed but you can still see it on Facebook, where it has been shared over a 65,000 times. It is Kayleigh who wanted to keep this video in circulation with the help of her mother, so she could start a petition against bullying. I, as a parent and as a victim of bullying in the past , am appalled! Take a look for yourself on Facebook.

Kayleigh’s mom posted it to Facebook to raise bullying awerness

Now, did you watch it? Did anything catch your eye? No one was helping the girl. Kids were staring, adults were passing by, yet nobody made it stop, they all just watched and let it happen.

If you are like the average person you neither encourage nor act to stop bullying when you see it happening.

A small percentage of people will jump in and join the bullying or will cheer the bully on. An even smaller percentage of people will actively get involved to stop the bullying. But the most common response people have when they see bullying is to do nothing.

Inaction is like adding fuel to the bullying fire. A bully likes an audience because the bully can control those who watch by creating the fear that they could be next. The people who join in with a bully may seem to be offering a bully the most positive reinforcement but in reality it is the vast majority of people who do nothing that keep that bully bullying.

Now as a Christian, I believe that we are called to play an unusual role in dealing with bullies. It is not a role the world plays—filled with anger and vengeance. It is not a role of passivity. It is not a role of hate. In other words, it’s not easy.

We are called to love our enemies, to pray for them, but to stand firm against unrighteousness and injustice. We are called to draw a line in the sand about our beliefs. We aren’t aggressive, but we are assertive. We aren’t boastful, but we are confident about our God’s wishes for His people. Most importantly, we can’t ignore the problem. remember that Jesus did not stand back and simply watch others being bullied. He had the courage to step in and stop it. Do you remember the story of the adulterous woman who was brought before him in John 8? The Pharisees thought they would trap Jesus with a little “holy bullying.”  They dragged the adulteress before Him. The woman had even been caught in the act. The Pharisees were ready to stone her. With stones in hand, they confronted Jesus. Even at the risk of physical harm, Jesus did not back down. He defended the woman until one by one, her accusers left. Then he offered her words of love and hope.

Ignoring a true bully doesn’t make the bullying stop. It just fuels his or her need for power. So what does help? First, pray for God’s wisdom in the situation. Understand that God loves you, and all His people, and wants not one of His children to be victimized in any way. Then, if there are physical threats or violence, get to somewhere safe and tell someone in authority. If the bullying is of an emotional nature, determine to respectfully take a stand on what you believe God is calling you to do. If it’s important enough, then be strong.

While that’s not a guarantee a bully will back down, it’s a start to developing a bully-proof life. Really, it’s a start to building moral courage in your heart. And bullies can’t stand that.

I believe God calls us to a life of passion for His people, and sometimes that takes moral courage. In fact, it’s going to take a lot of moral courage to address the injustices in this world. And it’s going to take a righteous indignation like Jesus had about the temple money changers. And it just might start with facing the bully in your life.

My POV on 8 different Photography iPhone Apps

I’m going to get a bit tech-savvy today. I have an iPhone addiction you see (is there a an iPhone addiction anonymous group somewhere?) I just adore my iPhone! I mean, really, really love it. When I hear the sweet sound of an alert that I have customized to the heavens, I get all giddy. Makes my husband jealous sometimes I think. I equally love to try out new apps and that’s why I will be sharing with you the apps that I have, love or am not quite sure about of yet.
I will be breaking down my posts to : Social, Photography, God stuff and Miscellaneous apps.
So here we go , today : Photography apps.

My Photography Folder

1. Instagram (Free) : If you are an iPhone or Android owner, you will probably know what Instagram is by now. Even if it’s only due to the fact that Facebook has dished out1 billion dollars cash for it.

What can Instagram do ? Photo sharing, Photo manipulation and it has it’s very own Social Network. I love it for all of those reasons.

You have all sorts of different kinds of filters that you can use to give it that “Vintage Look” that we all love. Plus you can use other enhancement apps to give it that extra touch. I use the next apps on my list for that main purpose.

Instagram

2. Grid Lens ($0.99/0.79 €) : Grid Lens is an app created by Bucket Labs, It automatically let’s you create a photo grid, taking multiple photos at once, or allowing you to manually fill in each frame as you like. You can take photos in each frame to essentially create your own story. I love playing around with this one and once I’m happy with the end result, I post it to Instagram or I’ll just send it by email to the grandparents.

Grid Lens

3. Snapseed ($4.99/3.99 €) : My opinion? Best editing app E-V-E-R! I especially love using this on my iPad as well as on my iPhone.Best  79 cents spent on an app. Snapseed isn’t the Apple-designated best iPad app of 2011 for nothing you know. It can do amazing things with your photos. This guy here over at Xposurepro is the one who won me over. Go have a look at his review.

Snapseed

4. Marblecam (free) : Hmpf, The only thing that you can do with this app is put a large digitalised drop in the middle of your pic, reflecting the pic underneath, reversed. Euh, understood? If you are willing to give up 2.6 MB of space on your phone for an app that you’ll probably just try out once or twice…go ahead. It’s free anyway, maybe your more creative than me.

Marblecam

5. Pix (Free) :  This is another editing app. It has 30 filters, 24 film layers and 16 frames. What I like about his app is that you can choose random filters,layers and frames and then save your favourite combination for the next time. I recommend this app as one to complement the Snapseed app but not as an alternative to it. However, this app is free…

Pix

6. Camera Professional Effects ($0.99/0.79 €) : I actually had to recheck my billing information because I couldn’t believe that I had spent money on this app. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it should be up there with the free apps. The only thing you can actually do with it is change the hues of a pic. But to be honest, I only got it yesterday and I’ve been reading some reviews from users who have said that this app is great for solving those pics with bad lighting issues. My advice, if you don’t have good lighting, don’t take the pic. It’s just a waste of time and space.

Camera Professional Effects

7. Comic Touch Lite (Free) : This is just a funny app. It adds comic text balloons to your pics. I’ve only used it once but probably use it again in the future. Just for a laugh.

Comic Touch Lite

8. Oldbooth ($1.99/1.59 €) : Again, another app that I have paid for and am left wondering why. It is funny and I have been able to irritate my husband with the pics I have made of him. My teenage son likes using it more than me, so maybe it’s more for that kind of crowd?

OldBooth works by using a new photo you’ve shot with the iPhone’s camera or an existing one from your library, and merging just the face with the rest of the image. I’ve merged my husbands face to a 1940’s pic of a sailor. But not all the images are free. So you pay the $1.99 but still need to upgrade…Don’t think that I will be doing that. Sorry Oldbooth, you have been given me some laughs.

OldBooth

So these where a few of my photography apps. I’m far from a professional photographer but I love taking pics and playing with them. You could have a bazillion apps, yet for me, I only use Instagram and Snapseed on a daily basis. But sometimes a bad picture is just a bad picture.

Did you disagree with some of my point of views? Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Maybe there is another app that I just-need-to try out? Let me know!

My POV on 8 different Social iPhone apps

I’m going to get a bit tech-savvy today. I have an iPhone addiction you see (is there a an iPhone addiction anonymous group somewhere?) I just adore my iPhone! I mean, really, really love it. When I hear the sweet sound of an alert that I have customized to the heavens, I get all giddy. Makes my husband jealous sometimes I think. I equally love to try out new apps and that’s why I will be sharing with you the apps that I have, love or am not quite sure about of yet. My POV on 8 different Social iPhone apps.
I will be breaking down my posts to : Social, Photography, God stuff and Miscellaneous apps.
So here we go , today : social apps.

Social

This is my social app folder

1.Facebook (free): Is there someone out there who hasn’t have the Facebook app on their phone? It’s a must have app for someone who’s a social addict. Unfortunately Facebook still needs to do some work on this app. I often have to keep on refreshing the screen to get the latest feeds plus it often will give me notifications that I’ve already seen on the phone or it won’t notify me at all. Plus I’ve heard of some security problems? Still, wouldn’t go without and so I guess Facebook knows that and isn’t making it’s number one priority to optimize the app.

2.Twitter (free): Love it, no complaints. I’ve tried out Hootsuite app for awhile and just removed it the other day. I rather use the Twitter app instead.

3.Whatsapp ($0.99/0.79 €): This app is normally down there next to my mail app on the home screenof my iPhone. It’s probably one of the apps that I use the most. Living in Europe and having my family living all in North America, this app is a must have for me so I can stay in touch daily and for free.

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other.

What I don’t like about the app are the regular bugs. However Whatsapp does do a lot of updates, so That shows that they at least are trying.

4.Skype (free): Another great must have app. Text for free and call for free. The only issue I have is the connection, but that will probably be due to my provider. Grr.

5.Hookt (free): I’ve only downloaded this one yesterday because my dad sent me an invite after my sister told him to. My first opinion, it does what whatsapp has done for me for years. So, I’m pretty skeptical. But ok, I’ll give it a try, just because my sister says so.

6.Smartr (free): It’s basically an app that makes a database of all your contacts. Pretty useful if you want to play Big Brother. I’ve discovered naughty people who have neglected to tell me that they also have a Twitter account or an extra email address as an example. Yes daughter, I know about that now! Will I be using it regularly? Probably not. Only to maybe keep an eye on the kids. Whoehahaha.

7.Find Friends (free): This is another Big Brother app. I like the graphics, but to be honest, would you really want people to know where you are? At all times? Considering the non-existent acceptations of my invites to Find Friends, I guess not.

8.Pinterest (free): To actually write about this app I had to open it on my iPhone. That’s how often I use it. Maybe it’s because I use the other apps so frequently that I don’t actually get around to this app, unless I’m hanging out in the doctor’s waiting room. However, I do LOVE Pinterest, so , it’s not personal. I just prefer using it on my desktop, while I ‘m supposed to be blogging.

So this is my list and comments on the social apps that I have personally. My next post will be about my favorite Photography apps.

Please share with me your absolutely fav social apps! Or tell me what you think of the ones I mentioned. Or if you can maybe recommend me some other apps that I can try out let me know.We can all learn something new each day!

Let’s socialize!

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The one year anniversary of meeting my birth parents.

It’s been a year now since I have met my birth parents with the help of a Belgian tv station/show, they heard about my story and suggested to pay for our trip; mine, husband and the kids, to Canada to meet them and of course station would film it.

Since then I’ve been in daily contact with my b-dad over whatapps and on a weekly basis with my b-mom. After we met them in Canada, they flew over to Belgium for my wedding and got to see how we lived, spend time with their grandchildren and got to meet those dearest to me here.

Our meeting falls into that category of significant and life-changing events that I will never forget:  being told that I was adopted, the birth of my children, my moving to Belgium, my wedding day,. All of these events, in fact, were crucial in the timing of my meeting my birthmother. But let me start at the beginning.

I was adopted as a two week old baby in what is called a closed adoption. I was not supposed to meet my birthmother. She was supposed to forget me and get on with her life. We were supposed to ignore the fact that something out of the ordinary had taken place.

What is it like being adopted? Being adopted means being different. Different is not bad, it is just different. To deny my difference would be to deny who I am. I started out in this world differently. My conception, prenatal experience, and birth were different. My birthmother was not joyfully pregnant. No one gave her a baby shower. She never saw the infant she gave birth to. Or at least that’s was what I thought.

Losing the mother who gave you life is traumatic. I wanted to keep a part of her in my soul. I thought about her a lot. My fantasy life about my birthmother was that she was a famous singer. Celine Dion maybe… I didn’t have a lot of facts about her. Only that she too, like myself was a teen mom and I knew her blood type. That’s it. I wondered if she ever thought of me. Did she remember my birthday? I had lots of questions that I wanted to ask her. I wanted to see her. I wondered if I looked like her. I wondered if I looked like anyone.

I was very tall and people would ask me how I got so tall. I didn’t know. They were brunette. I was blonde. People would even say that I looked like my a-dad but I couldn’t help but thinking each time I looked in the mirror; “Whose eyes are those “?

I began to search for my birthmother when I was 18 years old, just shortly after having my second child, my son Jaimy. I was totally a computer illiterate at that time and so I self-educated myself. I created my first e-mail address; I joined support groups, forums and wrote letters to try to obtain information that would help me locate her. I even created groups in Facebook. There were a lot of dead ends and a recurring voice in my head that said I shouldn’t be trying to find her. I would be intruding on her life if I showed up now. It wasn’t fair to her and in the end; I had to admit that she might just not want to be found.

My searching took many routes and I have had many disappointments. I had been searching for thirteen years when I decided to stop. It really consumed me. I let it define my happiness, I let in define who I was and so. At the age of 27 I had given my life back to the Lord and decided to just put it into His hands.  I didn’t want it to take over my life anymore, I wanted to just be happy with who I was.

A couple of months after that, coming home after work and having finished my mumly duties, I sat down in my couch and flipped open my laptop to find an email that would change my life forever. It went something like this:

“Hello Miriam!
My name is Leah . I am responding to a post I just found on the Quebec Query Board.
My mother’s name is Lynn . She had a daughter when she was very young on April 6th 1978. She named her Brenna.
I have been thinking about searching for my possible sister my whole life. Since my mom told me about her when I was 12.
Today..I made the decision to start the search. I sifted through pages and pages online and contacted a company called Batshaw (who was NOT very helpful).
Then..I stumbled upon this page..scrolled down..reading all of posts from people in the adoption world looking to find family and answers. I didn’t think anything would come of it..but I felt compelled to continue reading on..until I saw an entry that made me forget how to breathe for a few moments.
Posted May 14, 2009
Birth daughter looking for birthmother or relatives. I was born on the (date removed), in Montreal, giving name at birth was Brenna.

Is there a chance that this is a coincidence??? I’m not sure. But I would love to speak with you.
You can contact me whenever you like. My fingers are crossed it will be soon!”

What more can I say? I am blessed to have such a caring and wonderful  sister  who finally looked for me. I also now have father, brother and of course birthmother and we are fortunate indeed to all know each other. Even if it did take thirty-one years to meet.

Image

I’m the one in white. Sorry, but the blury is for privacy reason’s. I looked awful.

How to make your kid “unfriend” you on Facebook.

I came by this motivational whilst “Stubbling” and felt immediately connected to this mother.  When I sometimes see my son’s status it surprises me. He never talks or acts like that at home. Teens, weird.

So I was telling my son about this funny pic on top and he looked at me with dread in his eyes. “That’s sooooo not cool mom, I’m going to have to unfriend you if you post it or do the same.”

OK then, I’m not posting it to my status but posting it on my blog where thousands of others can see it. Hey, it’s not about him and it’s not on my Facebook. Win-Win!

Ready to start looking for your birth relatives ? Tips to help you on your way.

I decided to start looking for my birth family after the birth of my second child. This will be 15 years ago now. I didn’t really know how to start because I was living in Europe, while I was born in Canada.  

I had NO knowledge of the internet and I didn’t even own an email. I quickly instructed myself in the hows of the web and now I find it pretty inconceivable nowadays trying to find anyone, let alone the birth family you have never met before without the World Wide Web.

After looking for almost 14 years and having done all that I could do to put myself out there, I almost gave up. But because of the grace of God and because of all the basic information I had I was able to be found threw a forum. I was found in November 2009 by my sister who had only spent 30 minutes looking for me before she found me.

We have since then reunited and I’m saving up money to finally meet my parents, brother and the rest of the family. This is a happy ending and miracles do happen.

By starting your search you must prepare yourself for any eventuality. Starting the search for your birth parents is half the battle. The other half is dealing with the outcome. There are many outcomes that can either provide you with disappointment or happiness. It is vital that you prepare yourself for any result. You might never find them, or you will but they will not want to meet.  Whether your search provides no positive results or whether you find your birth parents only to learn that they did not really care for you and gave you up, you must anticipate this and make sure that if it happens, you can deal with it.

But if you are here reading this, you might be an adoptee  like me and I know how you feel. You want to know why, you want to know who and you maybe want to know from whom you inherited some things that you wished you hadn’t. However you remember a reunion is not a magical cure for life’s problems, but it does have many benefits. There may be disappointments and difficulties along the way, but most who wander into reunion territory are glad they did. I am one of them and that’s why I would very much like to share with you what I have found helpful along the way.

  1. Talk to your adoption parents. First of all, they should know. You wouldn’t want them to find out from someone else, that would hurt them much more I think then just telling them that you would like to know more about your birth relatives. Plus, they might even be able to help you. With which agency have adopted you,? Where? Which hospital. Anything that could help!
  2. Search the web for some good adoption forumsor/and a Adoption reunion registry. Register and put as much info on it as possible, without giving out too much information about your current situation. Make a nickname that you find describes yourself the best. Like “boyToronto89” to describe that you’re male, born in 1989 and in Toronto. I do suggest you making a special email address for this purpose only and to never disclose online your real name, residence or stuff like that. You have mean people out there who would do anything for a bit of money.
  3. Join or make a group on Facebook. You have many groups on there. Just type adoption in the search space and maybe the town you were born in and voilà! Choose a couple and start posting your info.
  4. Contact the adoption agency. Personally, this hasn’t helped me. I first of all had to fill in forms, and then I received a letter asking me for what I considered a silly amount of money. Plus they couldn’t give me any guarantees. In the end, I think it’s best to just do it all yourself. I have though heard others whom agencies have helped.
  5. Google. It’s your best friend at times like these. Ok, I’ve spent hours typing my birth date, birthplace, birth name for hours without any result besides coming across all the forums where I posted my birth info on and that’s not bad thing. If I can find me, they can too.

 

These are all things that I have done and so I feel safe to post them here and obviously, it has helped but it all depends on where you live and where you were born.

Here are some helpful sites:

–          Adoption.com : This is a very helpful site. It’s for adoptees, adopting parents, birthmother, birth family, foster family! This site provides you with forums for everyone’s needs, information, blogs, reunion registers. This is a great way to start. And I found it a great way to find others like me to share our stories and find comfort.

–          CANADIAN ADOPTEES REGISTRY INC.: The name says it for itself. It’s a free searchable registry for anybody looking for anybody concerning adoption.

 

 

–         Find my Family: Another searchable registry but only for in United States.

–          Origins Canada : There is no register here, but you can find a lot of useful information helping you prepare the search and to guide you threw it.

–         The International Soundex Reunion Registry: It’s a reunion registry. The ISRR uses the Soundex Coding System which takes the information off of the applications and translates it into a single line of code. This line of code enables the registrar to check over 1000 entries in approximately 5 minutes. Matches are confirmed by human registrars who are capable of comparing the fine details of an application, which a computer might miss or misinterpret. ISRR does not perform adoption searches, but will notify you if a match has been made from your application, so remember to keep your information current with ISRR’s change of information form.

 

I hope that this will help anyone who wants to start the search. There are no guarantees for finding someone and it could take a very long time if or when you will. Don’t despair and have a lot of patience.  In the end, you have done all you could and if someone out there is really looking for you, they will! Once they decide to start, it might even take them just 30 minutes.

I would love to pray for you if you would like, just send me a note. Good luck!

 

 

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