The Official Announcement!

By Dr. Sheila Pope

Several women have asked me to share my journey to build my family through the adoption process. I have a working title and a clear vision of wear I am going with my narrative.

adoption

Adopting is a labor of love!

For two years, I said I would write an e-book using iBook Author to create this fantastic e-book filled with videos and photos to document my journey. I tried to get all of the necessary items to make it happen. I am happy to say I scratched that approach. I will share some great photos in the book, but they will be limited.

Change of Plans

Finally, I sat down a couple of months ago and started the book without all of the junk! I have several chapters written. I am proud to announce that I have set a timeline to finish. I am going to publish this book on several formats. It will be published via Apple; then, I am going to have my publisher publish it in paperback. If sales are great, then we will go to hardback.

The Official Announcement

I decided to let my followers know my new book will be released in March! Five years ago, I published “Writing Essentials: Strategies to Master Freshmen English and Writing Placement Exams” (ISBN: 978-1-61549-765-2).  It was a textbook, but this book is not a textbook. I have a new publisher and I know what to expect this time around. Moreover, the new book is a personal story which has been more difficult to write. My fear of sharing its content has been more difficult than I anticipated. I am not comfortable sharing all of my fears, but I am going to release them. I am grateful I adopted three children, but the process took three years to finish.

img_20180123_215051_137439233464.jpgIt took some time to get my thoughts together and to decide what I wanted to share about the process, but I have my direction and I am working consistently on writing. I am being considerate as I write because I was not the only person that went through my journey.  It is important to tell our story correctly and with respect to my children’s privacy.  I will continue to post as the deadline nears on my social media platforms.

Self-care is Required to Conduct Business

by Dr. Sheila Pope

After walking around with my hair looking for a perm, I decided I needed to make adjustments and get a stylist in Pearland. When my hair is not right, I am not right. I do not feel confident. I represent my brand, so my hair must look its best even if I do not feel my best.

Self-care

A hairstylist helps their clients transform inside and out. I needed a new hairstylist. I had one for over 10 years, but she did not value my business. I had a new one for a couple of months but her shop was too far from my home and she was late for appointments. I had put my need for a stylist to the side for almost two months. I normally had my hair styled every two weeks. Due to transportation issues, working from my home office, and a new budget, I put me to the side once again.

I do not like to play with my hair. I am growing it out and I have psoriasis. It is important to have an experienced stylist. So, I do not change stylist quickly. I knew on Thursday morning, I had to make a change. My self-care went to the top of the list again.

Getting Rid of Gray

I realized my gray hair was crawling all around my face. I knew I had tons of new growth, but I could not bring myself to look for a new stylist. I had a client request a meeting for next week and I could not wear a hat to the meeting. Can you see at all that gray around my face? Some folks say gray hair indicates you are wise; I believe it indicates you are getting old.

Before going to the stylist!

On Thursday, I took a leap of faith to find a new hairstylist. I went on google and found Salons by JC in Pearland on Pearland Parkway by Below 5.

I was concerned if there were any African American stylists inside the salon. After reviewing Salons by JC website, I discovered each stylist had their profiles with an individual website. I ran across Rashida’s profile photo and decided she was the one.

Miracle Worker

I went into Salons by JC and it was beautiful and professional. The Salons are all independently leased. Rashida’s suite was #7. Seven means perfection.

Worthing High School Connection

I could not believe she was a Worthing High School graduate with over 20 years of experience in haircare. This was important because I used to teach at Worthing High School. I have been advocating for Worthing students for years. Rashida has worked as a stylist since she graduated from Worthing. Not only was she a graduate of Worthing High School, she knew one of my former students JaMarcus Hebert!

We are Business Women

Look at God! As she worked on my hair, she shared everthing she was doing to my hair. Her suite was zen and peaceful. She is smart, professional, and openly rocks God too! She and I talked business too. We discussed square footage and cost of suites. We exchanged ideas and ways to make money. It was a great experience and I left looking 1000 times better than I did when I entered Suite 7. She is my stylist from this point forward.

Ladies living in Pearland, if you want an excellent hairstylist, go see Rashida, “Ree Ree” at Salon at JC. 713.806.7746. She serves all clients regardless of hair texture or race. Cost of services was on point too!

After the First Year!

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Decision 2

Today, I had the realization that on January 30, 2017, I walked away from a career and job that I loved. My health could not withstand the stress that I encountered from constant harassment on my job as an educator during the last few months of 2016. I am still an educator, but in December of 2016, I knew I needed a RESET. By nature, I am a fighter. If someone attacks me mentally and/or physically, I am going to do everything in my power to stop them. This battle was a not a street fight; it was a spiritual and mental battle. I was able to walk away, but I was traumatized. I never understood WHY the harassment started. I was loyal to the school; I loved the students; I demonstrate I could teach in urban high school in a community with high crime rates; I demonstrated I could raise STAAR ELAR test scores significantly! Yet that was not enough!

Time Lapse

I did not know how bad my wounds were until January 30, 2018. I was looking at my W2 Form asking myself, “Why was my income from my full-time job and my part-time position so low?” I kept counting my time from August to January until a friend said, “You left the job in December 2016 and you resigned in January of 2017.” It finally resonated with me that I was only technically employed for the month of January in 2017 at the school. Although I physically left the job in December of 2016 and resigned in January 2017, I was still THERE mentally. I had healed, but the memories were still painful. I had not realized that I had not worked physically at that job since 2016. I could still see a few scars.

The Leave

In January 2017, I had been on a needed medical leave. My body was failing in multiple areas. I was sick and exhausted. My psoriasis was the worst it had been in years. It was all over my body. My hair was shedding to the point that I was wearing baseball caps to hide the damage. I was ready to launch an all out legal war to fix the issue. Yet one day while seeking legal advise, I heard in my spirit I could not finish what I was about to start. I did not have the mental nor physical capacity to do what it took to WIN. When I fight, I go for the kill. Whatever I do, I give 120%. There was the problem. You cannot continue to give your all in too many areas. You will crash and burn. I crashed, but for GOD, I did not burn. Instead, I took a seat! I walked away and worked on getting my body back on track. I wanted my hair to grow back. I wanted my anger and pain to go away. I love to laugh. I laugh hard. I had stopped laughing due to the harassment. I was crying frequently because I could not continue to withstand the mistreatment that I was dealing with on a daily basis.

The Decision

I had four children to raise. I had a mortgage and a major car payment to continue to make. Yet on January 30, 2017, none of that mattered. What mattered most to me was having a peace of mind. I needed time to heal spiritually, mentally and physically. My return date for work was February 2017. I knew I could not return to the school. I loved the students but I had to love me more. I told God that I would trust Him and move forward in building my company. I always viewed my business as a part-time thing. In January 2017, I said I was going to dedicate all of my energies into it. I was never going to be in the position that someone else could control my destiny. I would never allow myself to get back to the way I felt from October through December 2016. I would never allow myself to be publicly shamed and harassed. I would never allow a man or a women in leadership to abuse me in my place of business or in my personal life.

Anniversary Date

On January 30, 2018, I realize I am laughing hard again. My spirit is strong and I have my fight back. I no longer need to fight my battles. I truly understand and believe God fights all of my battles. I know He will multiple your blessings; He will meet all of your needs. He enlarges your territory. I have three businesses that I have founded; I created a FB group: Boss Ladies. I have a podcast on Sound Cloud: Boss Ladies. I trust my gut about people and decisions I make. I have strong friendships and healthy relationships.

I have moved into the STEM arena. I am the Founder and Superintendent of the nonprofit (501c3), Dr. Pope’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Liberal Arts Academy. Instead of trying to convince others that we need to do something different to educate children in 2018, I have created a school to try new innovative ways to educate all children regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, gender and sexual orientation. As the founder and CEO of a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB), The Resource Center, I use my tech skills, coaching skills, professional develop development skills, and writing/editing skills to serve clients. While working in the school system, I discovered in the current school system there are too many students being prepared for prison; they have criminal records before they earn their diplomas. I am the Founder of the non-profit (501c3), The Next Move Re-entry Program, to help advocate and provide services for those students and other non-violent ex-offenders. On this day, I am grateful for the health issues I experienced in 2016. They made me stop and RESET. I am glad I am reconcile God rescued me and he placed within me a vision for three businesses. I love being a CEO & Founder. I cannot wait to see what God does in 2019.

The Resource Center

https://www.popesresourcecenter.com

Dr. Pope’s STEM and Liberal Arts Academy

https://www.drpopesstemandliberalartsacademy.com

The Next Move Re-entry Program

https://www.nextmovereentryprogram.org

Shocked to See: Slavery in 2017

By Sheila Pope, Ph.D

This morning I was shocked to see Matt Lauer had been fired from the “Today Show”. I was shocked to see so many of my African American political Facebook Friends still support State Representative Ron Reynolds after he was found guilty of stealing his client’s money from settlements. Yes, I question how we can uphold any government officials with serious integrity issues and act as if they need to be in photos with candidates that have yet to prove themselves. It taints their credibility before they get elected.

However, I was more shocked to see that in 2017, we have allowed our people to be sold into slavery in Libya! This image says it all! Black Friday has a whole new meaning in the world. The images of Africans men being hung upside down by their feet should make all Africans and African-Americans living in the USA get up and get active. What about Caucasians you ask? What about them? Our President tells you where he stands on race relations on a daily basis.

We have a responsibility to understand, what happens around the world is a threat to us in America. Dr. King said it best, “Moreover, I am cognizant of the INTERRELATEDNESS of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963).

If we allow this to continue to happen in Libya soon, we will find more of our people missing and being shipped overseas into slavery. While some of us travel internationally, we should consider how easy it would be to become “lost” and “found” in shackles. Sounds like hyperbole, but it is real people. The climate is set for more stuff like this to happen in our backyards. Thanks, Steven Solari for the image.24291751_10215594255517246_4536367000504789490_o

Pushing Your Sons Out of the Nest

by Dr. Sheila Pope

Today, I am happy to announce my oldest son was pushed out of the nest last week and on October 13th, he learned to fly independently! He is moving to Mississippi. He is driving with a few friends to Mississippi and living in his own apartment across from his dad, my ex-husband.

Image Credit: Dr. Sheila Pope

For the single mothers struggling to let go of their adult sons, listen to your inner voice and trust God to help you release them. I held on to Chris out of fear that he would not survive without my help. Yet this last year, I realized I prepared him to become an awesome young man. Last week, I realized I needed to let him go before I killed his spirit and before I killed his motivation to survive. 

When I released him, I had peace. I had no worries. When he returned with his plan, I knew I made the right choice as a mother. His sibilings were happy to see him and to know they could talk with him via the phone. Chris was not angry with me. He had his chest stuck out. He is finally getting his road trip. Now, his father in heaven and his dad can help him become a responsible man. 

When he came to say goodbye last night before leaving, I gave him several hugs, told him I loved him, and gave him his cell phone.  I will admit I was proud of him. I asked if he was sure of his plans and he said yes he was sure. 

I have three more children to raise as a single mom and I am excited to start this new journey. Chris has helped me so much with the children, but they are able to rock and roll with me now. My life changes too! However, I will not let fear and discomfort cause me to hinder Christopher’s ability to become the man of his own home. 

Single moms we have to know when to let go of our baby boys. When they are taller than us, can talk back to us, capable of manipulating us, they  are not paying any bills, they are taking more than they give, they are failing to see you as a blessing, they are a high school graduate, they are intelligent, they are physically able to work, and they are 18 years of age with a car, it is time to push them out of the nest.

Moms don’t let fear hold you hostage and cause you to create a irresponsible man. Let go and let God show you how to support him from a distance.

The Fall 

by Dr. Sheila Pope

On Thursday of last week, I fell down in the mudd. My nails and toes were on point before the fall. I had a French manicure style on my feet. My nails were metallic pink. My hair was fresh and my jeans were starched.

Before the fall, I was literally walking away from a guy I thought would be in my life for sometime. I was feeling good about myself as I walked to my clean SUV. For those of you that know me, my SUV always needs a good shine. Anyway, I was talking to myself about my next step in life and down I go. I stepped off the curve and fell down to my knees.

I catch myself, but not before my fingers and toes were covered in mudd. My toes hurt so bad. The two people walking in front of me quickly turned around and helped me up. I was so embarrassed. The white woman had a look of terror on her face. The white man had my hand in his. I was just trying to gather my thoughts.

My butt was in the air, my body and mind were fighting against each other. I was thinking, ” Dr. Sheila Pope YOU need help! Your behind is in full view of the folks in the restaurant and the people going into the Westin hotel can see you.”

To top it off, I think the person I was walking away from saw me fall. That thought almost ripped my heart into shreds. You never want your ex to see fall or fail at anything! You want your ex to see you with your Super Girl cape on. No, I think my guy saw me in mudd. To be honest, I did not see him, but I thought I  saw his vehicle drive by as I got up. My mind could have played tricks on me in the moment. My thoughts were racing.

I got into my clean SUV and put mudd on the seats, floor, and stering wheel. I needed a moment to grasp what happened. I needed a moment to cry. I did not cry; but, I did say a few expletives. My toes were chipped and scrapped. My nails were nasty. My pride was at zero.

I can laugh now, but Thursday I was filled with shame. I have had to pick myself up from falls before, but this fall hit home. No matter how accomplished you are professionally, you never want people, especially your guy to see you appear weak and helpless. I found out in that moment, it was ok to appear weak and to need help. I thank God for the white couple that helped me. I quickly received the help that was offered. I replayed the incident too many times in my mind and each time the shame was worse.

I shared the story with a few girlfriends and we laughed. I was finally able to laugh at my foolishness. I am resilent; I may fall again. However, I will always get up and find a way to laugh at my crazy!