Saturday, December 24, 2011

Keep your eyes open...

Several weeks ago we were told by our minister to keep our eyes open for God's presence in our lives. That is not hard for me to do. I see His hand daily in the lives of my children, the sun rising, or a short conversation with my mom or a close friend. What I specifically wanted to see was a sign from God that we are still on the right path in regards to our adoption. That we haven't been forgotten.

I know that 2 months is not a long time to wait in regards to adopting a child with a family who has their own children. I know that our homestudy has just been completed a few weeks. We have our license hanging in the house and we are officially, official. :) But through the quiet of nothingness, one begins to doubt. Is this right? Will it happen? And since you are not physically pregnant, there is really no one who wants to listen to your concerns. I think it's because of the unknown. When will she comes? Who knows. What will she look like? Who knows. What will her birthmom be like? Who knows. What will that relationship develop into? Who knows. Why don't you just get pregnant or find a surrogate and have a real baby? Um....well, I guess because adoption has always been on my heart. Even since a young child. And she will be a "real" child and we will be her "real" parents and her "real" family.

At Christmas, we remember those we love. We buy gifts to let them know we are thinking of them. We love to surprise others and see the fleeting look of joy upon their face. Twice this season our baby girl has been remembered. Even though none of the above questions can be answered. These people love her, just because we love her already. It's not the size of the token, its the act of acknowleging that we are going through our own type of pregnancy. It's the gift card to Babies R Us to use when we know she is coming. It's the family ornament that adds one more person to our snowman family. It's the fact that so many people are praying for this sweet baby, her momma, and her daddy so that thier footsteps lead to our door.

I'm sorry to those two people who gifted me huge gifts of hope that our baby will come. There was no joy that crossed my face as I burst into tears. For their tiny gifts mean more to me than words can describe. As we are paper pregnant, and not "really" pregnant, no one knows how to take me. I'm expecting but I don't know when. I'm having a girl, but I don't know what season. I don't know what she will look like. I don't know what state she will be born in. I don't know if I will know her birthparents or not, but I have two wonderful families standing with me as we hope for her. As we pray for her.

And through them, I see my sign from God. He is still with us. We are still where we should be. And we will continue to walk by Faith, not by Sight, with Hope that our daughter will find her way to us.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What was I thinking???

For years I heard about this crazy Elf on the Shelf. Mostly it was in the Georgia schools. The elf messed up the classrooms and the kids had to put things back into order. I never thought about having one for our home. Some of my friends did and their elf did naughty things. Why would I want one of those? Well, this year I totally caved in a momen of weakness. We now have Jack Frost at our house. But he is boring! While others take pictures of their elf in flour on the counter, painting noses, shaving cream everywhere, fishing or getting into glitter and feathers, our elf simply pops up from place to place. And honestly, I find it a total pain in the butt. I cannot tell you the nights I have bolted from the bed in the wee hours of the morning to slam Jack Frost into a different location before my sweet 5 year old comes down the stairs. One day I totally forgot to move him but was able to use the excuse that he was in love with the girl statues he was sitting next to. The next day, Kadin had to distract Liam as I thrust Jack into a candle holder. He couldn't hang out with the girls for THREE days, that would have been suspicious! Why did I cave? I only have one child that believes in Santa at this point. I could have held out and been less stressed at Christmas. I cannot wait for this elf to LEAVE! So, if you do not have one of those creepy elves with no feet, no hands, and a creepy smile that reminds you of Chucky, stear clear at the after Christmas sale and DO NOT GIVE IN!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The road rises to meet you

Do you ever sit back and reflect on the road that God has placed you on? Or just look at where you started and see where you sit today? I know I should probably use my brain cells on concentrating on how to make money for my family, better meals, a cleaner house, outreach programs, feed the poor...ect, instead of selfishly always reflecting on my own life and those around me. Guess I'm just self centered that way. ;)

I grew up in a small foundry town. Along the Ohio River where there were no shopping malls, not a lot chain restaurants. There was a church on each corner, and a bar on the opposite one. No one wore name brand clothes, carried expensive purses, or worried about the size of the diamond on their finger. Simply because many didn't even have one.

We were tillers of the land. Workers in dirty, hot jobs. We played over acreage of land with no worries. We drove 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store where we could buy things on credit. We went to 4H meetings and the fair in the summer. Everyone knew everything about everybody, so they thought. Many would never leave that small town. Some did and returned. Others left and seldom go back. I'm one of the later.

I went to college. I went to graduate school. I went back home and worked in our local mental health facility. I dated local guys. Egads, I was boring. I never broke out of the box. Although I was never a conformist (my friends can attest to that!), I still did not eat food I did not recognize. I sought everyone's opinion before I bought a car or rented a place. I still went home and did my laundry. I never stretched my wings, although I ached to do so.

In 1996 I moved to NC. It felt like half way across the world. To a new town where I only knew one person, Dave. I got a new job. Went to a new church. Made new friends. And realized no one knew my past. No one knew what I was like as a child. No one knew what mistakes I had made, or what wonderful things I had accomplished. I could be any part of my life story I wanted to be! I could cloak myself in the successes and ditch the bad parts and no one would be the wiser. What a freeing world! I tried new foods. I shopped in different places. I got in my car alone for 8 plus hour car trips and I was unafraid. I took new roads (without a GPS or a car phone mind you!) and explored. I swam further out into the ocean. I walked more. I listened more. I became, more.

When I think of that young girl who cried as her parents pulled away with the uhaul and compare her to the woman I am now, I don't recognize her much. Yes, innately, I'm the same. I stand up for the underdog. I love deeply. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. My life is an open book no matter how uncomfortable that makes others, or at times, myself. But as I have aged, my life has become more, well, my own.

Dave and I now make decisions together. We don't always ask for outside opinions. We discuss it and move forward. We have moved several times with the weight of each move purely on my shoulders. We have had children without consulting others. We bought a dog and asked everyone if we should. We got a new cat on a whim. We agonize over what tv stand we want in the living room, but jump into adoption with our eyes wide open and our feet firmly on the ground. There is no rhyme or reason, but we do it together.

Once I was a young girl from a small town who needed other people to accept me. I needed to exceed and succeed. I needed to prove something to others. Now, I'm a grown woman who lives in a small town by choice. Because I love it. I love seeing things change, truly knowing my neighbor (love you Meg!), and having those same small town eyes watching my sons play in the neighborhood that I now know watched me when I was small.

Where did you start? Are you still the same, or has life made you different? Are there lifelong dreams you wish you had reached for and ultimately grasped? Are there things left in your bucket list? Have you always wanted to run a marathon? Sing in front of millions? Write a poem? Help the helpless? Hold an orphaned child? Offer comfort to people that live across the ocean from you? What is stopping you from doing those things? Look closely, the only wall in the way, is yourself. Share with me, what are your things left undone???

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So Hard

So the home study is complete. Our paper portfolio has gone out one time. Now we wait. This is the part I do not like. How to get through this part of waiting. It reminds me of being a young child lined up to be chosen for a team in gym class. I wasn't the best, but I wasn't the worst, just in the middle...waiting. Which team would pick me? Would I get picked or would the teacher have to place me? The anxiety in the pit of my stomach would grow and grow. For what? Gym class?!?!

Now it's something more serious. Life altering. Forever. Now I wait for a daughter. Who will come with another mother and a slew of relatives. Some people look at me like I have two heads. "How can you raise a child not your own? With her mother involved? And all of her relatives? I could never do that??" I guess due to the fact that I have lived hours and hours away from my own family for years may help in the fact that those that are close to me and love me and my boys are like family to us. My husband has lived most of his life this way. Friends are like family. So adding a birthmom and her family and possibly a birth dad and his family to our extended family is not scary at all. The more the merrier. The more my daughter knows she is loved, the better she will be. The more her mom and dad are involved in her life, the less questions she will have. The more secure she will feel with us all.

My mom was not there as I planned my wedding. My family was not there as I gave birth to my oldest son. As we laid our cat of 18 years in the ground, my family was six hours away. I have not lived close to my family for over 15 years. That does not mean I don't love them, or them me, we simply do not live close geographically. That said, I drove myself to the hospital when I gave birth. I had a close friend take pre wedding pictures. I had friends step in when I had post partum depression and my mom and sister had left the state I lived in with my second son. I had friends I turned to when my father was diagnosed with cancer.

So, as with many things, I am left alone to wait this through. To try not to talk too much about it with my friends in case I drive them as batty as I feel. To not burden my husband with my daily fears. To not cause my family anxiety with the fact that our daughter is a "maybe baby" to them. What to do? I do what I usually do in stressful situations. I write. Our baby will have a journal of our journey. I call our adoption counselor who patiently listens to me lose my mind and gently guides me back. I read everything I can get my hands on about adoption. I day dream about a birthmom calling me out of the blue, ready to hand her baby to my family and wanting to walk the next 18 plus years with us. But mostly, I pray.

I pray that I am following the path that God has laid on my heart many years ago. I pray that I am being a good mother to my boys. A good wife to my husband. A loving daughter, a caring friend. I pray for God's guidance. I pray for our birthmother, wherever she is. That she will feel His gentle hand upon her, comforting her in this decision that is heartwrenching. That she will be held close by him, and know that the family she chooses for her daughter will always cherish her. Love her. Because we wanted her and her mother.

But the waiting is hard. The daily grind keeps me busy, but I am always wondering....will today be the day? Will we know something more today???? But so far, we don't.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Total Ramblings....

This is the Christmas season. When people are nicer, family reaches out to other members that they haven't spoken to for the rest of the year, we reconnect with friends with annual Christmas cards, the joy in children's eyes, the surprise of gifts and elves, the mystery of Santa, and the all consuming gift that God gave to us in the form of a small babe.

Which reminds me of the three not so small babes in my own house. To which sounds right now I am reminded I will have to call a painter in for my basement walls soon as well as an electrician for my microwave shorting out. Christmas is a magical time in our house. From the advent wreath, to Christmas card opening, gifts, and this year the appearance of Jack Frost our elf (who does not do anything mischievous, only switches from place to place each day....). I am reminded of the wonderment of Christmas in my own family. Our hand picked tree decorated in the basement where Santa could easily hide gifts without little eyes and ears hearing. The lights outside the house all aglow. Our handmade by Grandma stockings that hung with care. It still feels the same to watch my boys come down the stairs on Christmas Day and see the joy and excitement on their faces. Next year, I hope there is an additional gift under our tree. In a pink bundle.

Now that our home study is finished, my mind begins to wander. Will we get chosen? When will we get chosen? What will she look like? How will we adjust to having a baby in the house again. Everyone is so self sufficient now. I'm just trusting God to pull all of this magic together just as only He can. But this waiting period may do me in. And it's only officially been one day that I've known everything was complete! ACK!

So, I guess I am grateful for the distraction of the holidays. For the reminder that God gave his only son to this Earth for me. For my salvation. So that in times like this that I will lean on him. Depend on him. Trust him. And continue to look to him every day as we raise our boys.

Merry CHRISTmas, my friends. May the blessings of the season be with you all.