A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Time of Wanting

Last time I added to my blog, I gave our reasons for adoption. But, I guess the biggest reason is the one that is so hard to talk (write) about. It's that deep down desire an ache to hold and love and cherish a child of your own. When I say of your own here I don't mean biologically. Although if I'm completely honest, there is a part of me that still prays and dreams for this headache to go away and that even though I'm already dealing with the power surges of menopause, I'd love to have the experience of carrying a baby. I've told my little man that I didn't carry him under my heart but in it. We've now shortened that and we tell each other that he's my heart and I'm his. When we were preparing for his birth mother's visit last fall. He looked over at me from his seat in the car (It seems to always happen that he asks me some of the most difficult questions riding down the road when my attention needs to be on where we're going) and asked me if his birth mother could be his heart too.
I told him "YES" that one of the best gifts God gives us is our ability to love more than just a few people in our lives. In fact, the more we love it seems the more room we have to love. He was satisfied with that quick answer. I praise God for giving me the right words to say then. So many times I have foot in mouth disease and totally mess up.
Now that you've dealt with my rambling I'll get back to where I was actually headed with this. If I can feel such a strong desire an aching in my soul for a child I've not yet seen but only dream of, I marvel at what our heavenly Father deals with on a daily (eternal) basis, He gives us a choice to join His family. His desire to hold us close to his heart in his heart far out reaches my desire for a baby. Yet He waits... He waits for us to realize we need Him. He waits for us to choose Him as He has already chosen us. How His arms must ache when He watches us make choices that send us further from him instead of closer. Truly He is patient, He wants us to be His. He wants us to step into his arm and accept His love. Yet like in all families, there are steps to take to get there. Here in this world to adopt a child there is the paperwork, the homestudies, the interviews, Dr. check ups, and the fingerprinting. Have we done everything that's required so that we can bring that sweet baby/child into our home. God expects the same from us, we have steps to take to become a part of His eternal family, all must be complete and then we begin to work and love and grow together in God's family knowing He chose us to be His son/daughter. What joy, peace, and love comes from knowing we are chosen.
We know that we are loved with a love so great that our Father was willing to sacrifice His only Son so that we through Christs blood could be adopted into God's eternal family. The joy that comes when all the steps have been taken and the judge bangs his gavel and you know that the child you've been loving and caring for is now a part of your forever family is an awesome thing. But I'm sure that it pales in comparison to the joy that heaven rings with when God's children finally accept and follow the path set before us and become a part of His eternal family!
In adoption, the baby/child has done nothing deserving of the family he/she is placed with. It's the love and desire of the parents that bring him/her into the family. This is God's grace and mercy, I'm not deserving, there are no works I can do to earn my eternal home, yet God's grace His love opens wide the gate and invites me in...I just have to choose to accept His invitation

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why We Chose to Adopt

I've been working at how to write this post in my head for weeks now. It's so personal, so emotional, and yet at times both the most difficult and easiest thing to discuss. I guess I should begin withthe statement that adoptionwas not a foreign idea to us, but it was something that we considered would happen after we had our biological children. You know, we plan our lives out and even when we think we have God's will at it's center many times He moves us in unexpected directions.
When we first got married, I had a dream I carried in my heart and didn't even share with my sweetheart. It was my dream to walk accross the stage at graduation from college and receive my degree in my Math Ed. and be pregnant. It was a dream that almost really happened. I was doing my internship at a Jr. H.S., and every morning I would get soo sick at my stomache on the wayto school, smells in the cafeteria would bother me, etc. I really thought it was just nerves. But then I was late, and the excitement in my heart grew. In fact I was right at a month late, I'd bought the home pregnancy test, but didn't get the chance to use it. I know I miscarried that baby. At the time, I convinced my self that it was all for the best. (We didn't have health insurance andI'd just spent four years getting my degree and I needed to use it.) So we continued to work our plan, I taught for 6 years in the public school system to repay my scholarship loans and then we were going to try to get pregnant.
During that time, we lost my sister and cousin and almost every weekend was spent out of town to be with mama. The docs. agree that the stress of that year was probably the trigger that began the migraine. (They've also agreed that it's not that stress that has made this a continuous thing for the last 11 years. The therapists can agree that I'm dealing with the loss in a healthy manner). We spent 3 years searching for answers and medical solutions to the headache. I spent weeks at a time in the hospital being used as a guinnea pig. I've had more IV med "coctails" than I care to remember. We finally found a combonation that worked. I could once again make plans and pretty much do what I wanted. It was then, our dream of growing our family began to take root in our hearts again. We talked to my headache speacialist about what we'd need to do for me to be able to handle a pregnancy, and his answer was heartbreaking. I'd have to come off all the meds, be off them for 6 months and then during the pregnancy. It was not something we could do.(The prayers and tears encompassed in that one short sentence are unspeakable).So we decided to adopt. I can't begin to explain both the joy and heartache in that decision. It's a decision I would never go back and undo. My little man is one of God's most precious gifts to me. But in making that decision, I had to grieve the babies that I wanted to carry. The experience of feeling that little life growing inside and the joy of holding him/her close and nursing.
It's still a dream we (the three of us) carry in our hearts. My little man prays for the headache to go away because he wants a baby brother/sister so badly. Yet once again, we wait. We wait for God to show us what path we walk down. We wait to see the joy and the blessings that come with each new day. And maybe, just maybe we wait for the child God's chosen to be a part of our forever family, and my little man can know the joy (and frustrations)that come with siblings.
There is still so much to tell of our story but this is the beginning. And my little man is why I can be thankful for a 24/7 headache. For without it, I wouldn't have had the priveldge of loving him and his birth mother. God bless you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting Stuck

I found myself this weekend saying several times that you couldn't pay me enough to go back and redo high school (and you couldn't),but given the opprotunity I'd go back and redo college over and over again. But that got me thinking would I really want to go back to those days,with only the life experiences I had then,etc...
There's a part of me that immediately says yes, because I'd get to relive some of the best times Jenny and I had as sisters. It was a time when we went from sibling rivalry to friendship. Those are days I treasure and pull outwhen I get to missing her and the memory of just what her voice sounded like begins to fade. But, I'm so thankful to have those first four rocky, learning years of my marriage behind me. A lot of those days were hard. My sweetheart worked very hard to help keep me in school, so he was tired and grouchy (not to mentionhe dealt with an uptight wife whofelt like perfection was the key at home and at school). So I'm thankful to have those rough years behind us and move into these last years were while all is not perfect, we can read each others moods, have some idea of what needs to be done for each other, and have the confidence that in the face of life's storms we'll weather them together.
Mama made a comment not to long ago that has made me sit and examine my heart. She said, "It seems like we're stuck in 1998." I've spent some time thinking about that and I agree. It's almost as if there are times when we can't give ouselves permission to keep moving forward. It's such the opposite of how Jenny and Willard lived their lives. They were always busy,looking for the next opprotunity, or thenext trip to go sit at the bookstore :-). So we've continued to live we've had children, watched mama and daddy play with the grandkids, continued to be artistic and create beautiful pieces of art. This is what shewould have wanted us to do. But there are days when I feel like I'm flung back to Jan. 1998. What a blessing it is to know that God keeps this old world moving even when I feel like it comes to a stand stiil. That time continues to pass and the joy found in remembering the funny stories outweighs the pain of the loss more often than it used to. I'm so thankful that I'm not in control of where I am in time but that God has that control. What wonderful blessings I would have missied out on for the fear of the pain that would come at the end. God is good,His love endures forever!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Growing in the Lord

My little man who is 7 is braver than I would have ever been. I was extremely shy and Mama and Daddy got me involved in Scouting to help with that, But I digress. Sunday night my sweet boy got up and led a song during our evening worship and then presented a short lesson on the faith of Abraham. The thoughts were all his. He read the scriptures for himself and drew conclusions from them. Between our preacher giving pointers and Daddy recording him as he spoke. His daddy was able to type of his lesson for him. What joy there is in watching God answer prayers we've been praying and continue to pray for him. He has a sweet tender heart and his ability to reason out God's word amazes me. (And I know I'm mama and I'm biased but he is amazing)
My sweetheart and I have loved and wanted to work with children even before we were married. We had it all planned out, we would have our own children almost grown at this point and we would have begun to foster newborns. We then would begin to foster younger children, and then teens after our children had left home. Well so far God has other plans, and we'll walk the path we've been given.
A prayer that both of us prayed was that if God would give us a baby we would do our best to return him to the Father. I'm so thankful that I don't have to do as Hannah did and literally leave hi at the temple to serve and see him only a few times. I've been blessed with a stubborn, mule-headed husband. You either love him or hate him. Once he makes his mind up it's rare to change it. But it's that determination I see growing in my little man. He wants to serve God with the same stubbornness and mule headedness that his Daddy has.
It's a special treat to see my little man stand in the pulpit to lead a song all by himself. He was 3 weeks old when his daddy took him to the front with him on a singing night to lead a song. I've been so blessed to watch my two boys lead songs from that point on. People in our area would comment on how my baby was growing based on how daddy held him for those singings. He eventually stood on the pulpit or a table down front with daddy holding those little legs. Now my big boy gets up all by himself, blows the note, starts the song, and sings out so the congregation can follow him, and once he's comfortable and his knees quit knocking he even beats time.
I'm blessed to be the wife of a man who takes his job as spiritual leader of our home seriously, and the mother of a son who loves both his earthly and heavenly father.
God is good, His love endures forever!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Throwing A Pity Party for Yourself.

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but any time I do something "good" the next day for me headache wise is basically a wash. The weather here was absolutely gorgeous and it was perfect for making a stop by the park on the way home. But -and I really do hate that word- the sun is so bright that I can't handle being out in it for long at a time. So that meant no trip to the park. For those of you who knew before the headache, you know I was someone who was constantly busy and loved it. The hardest part for me with headache is having to say no to the simple fun things that I used to do and so want to do now. So yesterday afternoon, as I sat in the pick-up line in my car with tinted windows and dark sunglasses with the sun shining in like a football field with all the lights on shining directly into my window I held a pity party for myself. I even stopped and picked up a vanilla steamer (wishing it could be hot chocolate but that's another thing the headache has taken from me) and went to sit in the pick up line waiting for my little man to get out of school. I gave myself permission to sit and cry and be pitiful for a while. Then spent sometime getting rid of the tears and working on pulling out my happy face. My baby deserves to see a happy mommy, and when he jumps in my car with his big sweet smile the joy rolls in. I guess the point I'm trying to make (if there really is a point today other than therapy for me)is it's OK to "mourn" the person you used to be, but try not to stay at the party too long. Find something or someone to do or take care of, even if it means just running through the drive-thru at McDonald's and picking up a Star Wars happy meal. May God bless you with a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Chronic Pain Affects the Family

I so totally intended to start this blog business with our adoption story, but God seems to be steering me in another direction. When one person in a family deals with chronic pain, then the whole family does. It's important for the member dealing with pain to remember that all the emotions we feel about dealing with pain the rest of our family does to.
My sweet son is so tender hearted and does not like to see anyone hurt. He tends to befriend the underdog and will cry just looking at pictures of children who live w/o mommies and daddies and basic needs. I've said all that to say, that I have to remember to give him the room to be angry at the headache and sad when after all his praying and begging God for the headache to go away that it's still here.
He's had a tough time on both fronts over the last week. He wants mama to get in the floor and play and there are times I just can't bend over and get down on the floor to play (yes, we've offered the alternative of moving to the kitchen table but a Galactic Battle is just better in your own room with multiple places to hide your warriors :). After me telling him no and I had left the room, we heard him say "I hate that stupid headache." Daddy ever my protector, was ready to go take care of business and this was one of the few times I caught him and asked him to pretend we didn't hear. I hate this headache to and my Knight in Shining Armor has been working to slay that dragon with me for 11 years. Anger is a part of chronic pain it doesn't allow us to do what we want when we want.
Bedtime prayers is both my favorite and hardest part of he day. Since my little man turned three every night he prays for God to take away my headache really,really ....really soon. Sunday night, we came home from church and I made the off comment that my head was screaming at me. He was really tired to begin with, but he began to cry, then weep, and to mourn because he doesn't like seeing mama hurt (I promise I do my best to keep it out of conversation and to keep it from messing with my boys lives too much). He cried, I cried, and daddy cried, and we prayed. It's so hard to answer the why won't God take the headache away question. I struggle with that question as an adult. I guess our biggest challenge is to teach that this life really isn't that long when compared to eternity and to make the best of the good days, hours, and moments.To find the joy in all things and to find a way to use it all for God's glory.
This blog today is probably more therapy for me than any thing else. Thanks for allowing me to share with you. Please remember us in your prayers, we know that that is where the power is. Love to all.