Monday, November 23, 2009

A Courageous Beauty Interview: Mrs. Kentucky International 2010-Elaine Barnes Bateman

Angie: Elaine and I met over facebook several months ago. We began a friendship and dialogue about our beliefs and work within our communities and it blossomed. After I competed as Mrs. Montana International 2009 in the Mrs. International pageant, I chatted with Elaine about my experience and to encourage her to join and promote her platform. And she did it! I'm cheering her on in this upcoming competition July 2010!

Elaine, how did you learn about pageants?

Elaine: That is an easy one. I am from Venezuela and pageants are our nation’s national pastime.

Angie: What other titles have you held?

Elaine: I was so busy over the years being a wife and mother – that I never pursued pageant titles until now; as the 2010 Mrs. Kentucky International.

Angie: What is your platform?

Elaine: As an Ambassador for a grass roots organization called, “Mother the World”; our platform is the mentoring and adoption of older youth.

Angie: How did you build your platform and promote your work?

Elaine: I and Deanna Jones, the founder of “Mother the World”, are traveling throughout the commonwealth of Kentucky, specifically, and the United States generally; speaking at various venues such as churches, civic groups, youth ranches and community sponsored charitable events related to my platform – the adoption of older youth.

Angie: Why did you decide to compete?

Elaine: I believe that the “Mrs. International Pageant” best represents the ideals of marriage, family and community. Being a part of this particular pageant brings exposure to the plight of abandoned older youth and the need for individuals and families alike; to come to their aid.

Angie: Is competition scary?

Elaine: I am not “scared” of competing in the “Mrs. International Pageant” because of my desire to expose to the world the plight of abandoned older youth. When the actual competition draws closer, then I might become a little more nervous!

Angie: What personal fears did you have to overcome?

Elaine: Because I am not a veteran of pageant competition, and I am probably one of the oldest contestants, it would seem normal to be a little apprehensive. But then again, living life day-to-day can be that way too.

Angie: What did you have to learn to compete?

Elaine: This may sound silly but learning to walk in public in high heels after spending years chasing my kids around the house and taking care of my husband in track shoes!

Angie: Tell us about what you are able to do with your title.

Elaine: Being the 2010 “Mrs. Kentucky International” has already opened the door for my being able to speak to civic groups and leaders, business owners, and politicians such as the Mayor of my city.

Angie: Please tell us about a dream, why it's been a goal, and what it means to you?

Elaine: I have always had a heart and passion for abandoned children and over the years, have been able to open my home and heart to so many of them! That was always my goal and my calling in this life.

Angie: What do you still want to achieve?

Elaine: Now, as Mrs. Kentucky International – my goal is to encourage others to join my effort to help mother the world by doing what I have already done!

Angie: Do you believe you can achieve it?

Elaine: One of the advantages of being an older contestant is that I have already done what most others dream about. I have already achieved my vision of helping older youth and now, I want to help others become part of my burden for them.

Angie: Why or why not?

Elaine: I believe that my own life testimony visibly shows the potential for young people to rise above their dire situations when an older adult begins making a long term investment in their lives. But, I have no control over the hearer’s heart. That is the individual’s decision to act upon what they have heard, or not, and I have no control over that.

Angie: What tips would you give other women wanting to enter the pageant world?

Elaine: Know who you are and not try to be what others think you should be. When your priorities are in proper order: individual faith in Jesus, love for your husband, family and community then with genuine thankfulness you have already become a winner!

Angie: What kind of an education do you have?

Elaine: My father-in-law used to say, “The most expensive, hardest and longest education you will ever be a part of is the “University of Hard Knocks.” How true, because God says in the Book of Ecclesiastes; “For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.” I also spent time at a Christian University but more than three decades as a wife, mother and mentor.

Angie: Do you have other creative talents you pursue?

Elaine: It takes a lot of creativity just to balance life as a wife and mother to a very large adopted family of 22. So, in my spare time, I write for an online Christian women’s magazine, dabble in photography and cook exotic South American dishes Ultimately, I hope to write a book instructing young mothers in the art of baby-raising!

Angie: Is it important for a person to look their best?

Elaine: Yes. My mother taught me a long time ago that, “You never know who you might bump, crash, or run into. Be prepared.” As a wife, I believe that it encourages my husband too.

Angie: I love that you brought your husband into that equation. What do you hope you achieved with your title long term?

Elaine: That other families, exposed to the plight of abandoned older youth, will join me and become mothers to the otherwise motherless.

Angie: Would you share about your fashion favorites, flair, or a tip that makes you feel beautiful?

Elaine: I have always believed that if my hair looked good, everything else will fall into place!

Angie: What compliment do you receive most often?

Elaine: When I am out in public with my daughters, who themselves are in their twenties, I am always asked if I am one of the sisters to the rest of them. At 50 years old, I will take that compliment anytime!

Elaine: My oldest son was once indignant when he was asked whether he was my husband. I never laughed so hard in my life! (After we walked away, of course.) What are you most confident about?

Elaine: I am most confident about my eternal security in Jesus Christ and His never ending love for me. Because of this simple truth within my heart, I know that whatever the outcome of the Mrs. International Pageant, won’t affect who I am as God’s daughter.

Angie: How did you earn that sense of confidence?

Elaine: This confidence that I have is not in anything that I have earned but rather, from what I have learned through God’s promises to me found in His Word.

Angie: What would you like to share?

Elaine: Above everything else in my life, I have determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I love my Lord so much – realizing that every pursuit this side of glory can never be compared to the riches of His glory yet to be revealed!

Secondly, I will continue to live my life in such a way that those who observe it – including the younger pageant contestants - will see my love for my husband, my family, and my community-in that order. I want those whom I meet to know that with conviction, perseverance, sacrifice, and hard work they can go beyond dreaming and actually succeed!

Angie: Please share your links so people can get to know you, become more involved with your platform, and connect.

I Facebook fanpage Search for “Mrs. Kentucky International 2010”

Angie: Elaine, I'm so glad there are passionate and faithful women like you in our world! Thanks for being with us today.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elaine, you sound like such a real person, and that's refreshing. And as a former foster parent who took in only teens, I can understand your passion for that cause.

Anonymous said...

I am truly proud of you Mom! Thank you for adopting me into your unconditional love of our sweet Savior!

Unknown said...

I'm sending over these comments and will ask Elaine if she can come by and reply :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for an opportunity to speak on my platform which is very dear to my heart! Thank you Diane for all the hard work you put in! Thank you Anonymous for your beautiful words!

I look forward to my year as Mrs. Kentucky International 2010! Come and visit as Mrs. Kentucky International 2010 and Mother the World reach out in the Appalachia Mountains!

*Natural Queen* said...

Keep up the great work, Elaine! I was recently educated on the need for adoptive families--even considered this myself. God bless you in your work! :D