Well, this is a FIRST for Many Hats Mommy! Remember Bobbi Sheahan, author, from a few weeks ago? She recommended her friend Bobbie for a Wendesday’s Woman spotlight. I confess I’m not much of a pageant girl, but I love her adoption focus, and I also thought it could be a lot of fun. So, here in her own words is Bobbie Padgett.
Hi my name is Bobbie Padgett. I live in Topeka, Kansas and was crowned Mrs. Kansas 2012 on Labor Day 2011. I am excited to be representing the fine married women from the great state ofKansas. I married my high school sweetheart and the love of my life, Barry, over 17 years ago and we have five amazing children; Sylvia (16), Catherine (15), Thomas (13), Anna (11) and Alexander (15 months). Our youngest is adopted.
I am a full-time stay-at-home mom; aka, taxi driver, cook, maid, nurse, teacher, seamstress, personal shopper, therapist, social director, volunteer, laundry service, banker, etc, etc, etc. My family enjoys extensive traveling. Some of our favorite places that we have visited are Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, our Nation’s Capital, New York City and Boston, and of course anywhere in the great state of Kansas. We hope to complete our visits to the lower 48 states in the next year. We have visited 39 states so far. We love to hike, camp, and geocache (Treasure hunting with your GPS).
My favorite job as a mom has been that of a teacher. I have a passion for learning and helping others do the same. I home schooled our four older children for about five years prior to our family’s moving toTopeka. My platform is adoption and fostering to adopt. I am really excited and honored to be able to educate people about the resources available to help them adopt or foster to adopt. My husband and I are currently enrolled in PS-MAPP (Permanence and Safety-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) classes. These classes are required of people wishing to adopt or foster in the State of Kansas. Attending the classes will help me to develop first hand knowledge of the process I hope to encourage others to follow.
I learned early on in our parenting “adventure” that no two children are the same. Our oldest was focused and driven, while our second child was incredibly laid back and playful. When it came to our oldest son, however, he was very inflexible and stressed out. We always knew there was something different about him, but it wasn’t until he was in the fifth grade that he wasn’t able to control his outbursts any longer. He was tested and it was determined that he didn’t qualify for an Aspergers diagnoses, because he had a handful of long-term friends. I read every book out there that dealt with difficult children. I was desperately looking for any answers to our unlimited list of questions. Friends or no friends, we discovered that the same coping strategies that help aspergers children also helped our son. (In fact last night he told me he still uses most of those techniques.) I know there are many families who are confused and scared because they love their children, but they don’t know how to help them cope. I really believe that you are the first and foremost educator of your child. Follow your heart every time, because God talks to you and he knows how much you are struggling.
Now, some of you may be wondering why in the world an intelligent and confident mother of five would enter a beauty pageant. I have had children at home with me for the last seventeen years, either because they were preschoolers or because I was homeschooling them. When we moved I was so excited that they were finally going to be able to go to great parochial schools and that I might have some time to myself. Volunteering has always been a passion, so that was what I thought I would do with my time. God had other plans.
Four weeks after we moved into our new house we got a phone call asking us to adopt a baby that was due in four short weeks. “NO!!!” We were not looking to adopt and we certainly would not have wanted a baby. All of our children could cook and clean and look after themselves. We didn’t want to start over. But we did decide to take this unexpected gift and he is a wonderful blessing. I am, however, back to having children at home. That is exactly why I decided to do the pageant. I wanted to do something that would help motivate me to become more fit and focus on my speaking skills. Nothing motivates one to become fit more than wearing a swim suit on a stage in front of strangers. I also wanted to do something “fun” for myself. It has in fact been fun. I didn’t think about winning the title, because as far as I was concerned I had already accomplished what I set out to do. I am happy to be Mrs. Kansas, and I hope to represent married women with the grace and dignity that our vocation in life deserves.
I have one lesson I want people to learn from me, and that is that God is in control and you need to follow Him. Don’t ever be afraid to take a chance because of what other people might think of you. Always believe in yourself. Sometimes it is easy to forget that you are a wonderful person separate from being a mom. It is also easy to put yourself last on a long list of needy people. Take care of yourself first; then you will have the energy and desire to take care of your family. If you don’t take chances then you will miss out on a lot of great experiences; remember, we always learn something from everything we do.
There is an unlimited amount of grace that you can experience if only you trust in God’s plan for you. Our adopted son is a perfect example of that. We didn’t want a baby, but that is exactly what God sent us. We could have said no, but just think of all the grace we would have missed out on. My hope is that by being Mrs. Kansas for a year I will be able to inspire married women to believe in themselves and embrace all that life brings them.