Monthly Archives: November 2008

God, Adoption, and PB&J

Today is the last day of November (Holy Crap! Where did the month go?). That means that it is also the last day of Adoption Awareness Month. I didn’t want to let this month pass without some discussion of adoption here, so I’m going for a last minute adoption post.

It never ceases to amaze me when I see someone angrily lament about some stupid adoptive parent who thinks God put their family together. Or an adoptive parent who proudly proclaims that they believe in God, but don’t think He played a role in the creation of their family. They argue that, by believing that God played a part in bringing a family together, you have to effectively believe that God caused the birthmother to become pregnant. Or that God gave one person pain in order to cause another happiness.

This perplexes me. It is so counter to everything that I believe about a loving God.

First, let me say that I do not believe in the concept of predestination. I believe that one of the main reasons that we are placed on this earth is to experience agency–the idea that we are given choices, but have to accept the consequences of those choices. I don’t believe that God “makes” anyone get pregnant. Pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex. By making the choice, a woman risks the consequence.

So, how does that play into the concept of God bringing families together?

To explain that, let me tell you about lunchtime around my house. Every day, I ask my kids what they want for lunch. I may offer suggestions like a turkey sandwich, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese. Regardless, every day, N~ will tell me that he wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know that he is going to answer this way because he is my son and I know him very, very well. That doesn’t stop me from giving him the choice. I always ask. But I also make sure that I always have peanut butter and jelly in the house.

I believe that we are children of a loving God who knows us very, very well. He always gives us choices. But he knows us well enough to predict the kinds of choices that we will make. And he is prepared.

Sometimes, that preparation means having the right family in the right place at the right time for the right person who is making a terribly difficult decision. He’s not forcing things to happen, just preparing for them to. And that is no less of a miracle for the families it affects.

**************************************

While on the subject of adoption, I want to encourage you to read a post by an adult adoptee. So many of the adoptee blogs out there are people writing about how they feel that adoption had a negative impact on their lives. I don’t frequently see things written by the adoptees who are happy with how things are (let’s face it, that kind of goes against human nature, to write about when things feel normal and right with the world). That’s why I was so glad to see a friend of mine write about her feelings about her own adoption this month. I always enjoy her perspective when we discuss different hot button adoption topics that come up on the internet, and I’m so glad that she wrote some of her thoughts out.

I’m sure that there are those who will disagree with her positive views on adoption, but that’s what makes hearing her say it so important. We need to remember that the negative opinions and theories about adoption that are thrown around are not held by all. I can’t think of a better way to end National Adoption Month than with the positive thoughts of a wonderful woman who just happens to also have been adopted.

 

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. The hand of the Lord in bringing my son into our family. And, yes, I see it there. This doesn’t mean that I don’t grieve for the pain that his birthmother went through (and still goes through). It doesn’t mean that I think that I deserved him and she didn’t. It just means that I know that God brought us together in a time when it was right for all of us. And something wonderful has come from that.
  2. Kids who listen and are thoughtful in matters of compassion. Today, W~ had a new little girl in his class at church–a friend’s new four-year-old daughter who just came home a couple of weeks ago after living her life in a Ukrainian orphanage. As W~ told us how class went today, we discussed what it must be like to be in a primary class for the first time after leaving everything that you have always known, and not knowing what anyone was saying (or having anyone understand what you are saying). My kids really listened, asked questions, and tried to understand. I really hope that W~ will use that knowledge to find ways to be a friend to her and help her feel comfortable in class.
  3. The cute things that my kids say. Today, W~ asked Sean if he has a girlfriend. Sean told him that Mommy is his girlfriend. Not being able to resist the chance to gross my kids out, I chimed in, “That’s why Daddy kisses me.” W~ rolled his eyes and said, “Oh brother, why did you have to tell me that?” Priceless.
  4. C’s decision this evening to go to the potty on his own because he needed to! More than once!!! Each time, he giggled and grinned as he proudly told us that the tires were still on his pull-up (truck theme–the tires disappear when the pull-up gets wet). Major breakthrough. I’m praying it continues.
  5. The return of normalcy after a long holiday weekend. Of course, it would have been nice to have a couple of days to recover from all of the cooking and puking before having to go back to the daily grind tomorrow, but I’ll survive. At least until it sinks in that Christmas is less than a month away and I need to decorate a tree, make photo albums, buy presents…sigh.
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Filed under adoption, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Potty Training, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Weird Science

I mentioned last night that I was watching Mythbusters as I was blogging and getting ready for bed. Seriously, if you have never seen the show, you should make an effort to. I was never fond of science as a kid. These guys, however, have to have one of the most entertaining jobs I have ever seen.

So, for your enjoyment, Adam and Jamie busting the myth that “you can’t polish a turd.”

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Filed under Just for Fun, just plain bizarre, NaBloPoMo

And Now, I Go to Bed

First, let me start by saying that, no, your password doesn’t work on the post below. That is intentional. I’m not ready to have those particular thoughts public at this point–even to those of you with a password. I just have things going on that I feel the need to get down, but not the urge to actually share. Yet. Eventually, I will probably take the password off. Until then, though, it is what it is.

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. A second chance at Thanksgiving dinner. And the blessed lack of vomit this time around.
  2. A weekend in a great family environment, where my kids got to play with their cousins and visit with their great-grandparents. Even with all of the noise, it was such a pleasant environment and a great time.
  3. Safe travels to and from our visit.
  4. The chance to sleep in my own bed again. Two hotel rooms, three adults, and six kids doesn’t a restful night make.
  5. Quality television. OK, maybe my brain is done for the night and I’m just reaching for anything to finish my list. But, really, who can’t appreciate a Mythbusters episode? Especially when said episode is about whether or not you really can polish a turd? Now that’s educational.

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Acceptance

When we got back from our trip this evening, one of the first things that I did was go into my bathroom and look on the sink. It was still there. It still had lines on it. Two of them.

You know those lines. The ones that tell you that your life is never going to be the same again.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was feeling a bit queasy. Sean made a teasing comment about it being the morning, and I gave him the obligatory, “ha, ha.” Having just dealt with two puking kids in as many days, feeling ill wasn’t any surprise. Breakfast and a shower improved how I felt, and I commenced with the rest of my day. I did some laundry. I packed for our overnight trip. When the time came, we packed up the kids, tromped around in the cold, and cut down a huge, bushy Christmas tree.

We came home with the plan to quickly get the tree in its holder, put the suitcases in the car, and leave.

I’m not sure exactly why I decided to do it. Maybe I just felt like wasting money. I had just done it a couple of weeks ago when I wasn’t feeling well, and nothing happened then. For whatever reason, though, I decided to pee on a stick.

And that’s when those lines showed up.

Yes, I’m pregnant. I don’t know exactly how far along, since I hadn’t started having periods since E~ was born. That’s right–it happened the first possible time. For people who aren’t supposed to have any chance at all of conceiving children, we have developed a talent for this. Based on when I (supposedly) wasn’t pregnant, I’m guessing that I’m due around the end of July or beginning of August. Or not. I’ve had false negatives on pregnancy tests before.

After making sure that the Christmas tree was secure, I asked Sean to come check something out. I led him to the bathroom and showed him the stick on the sink.

Processing…Processing…

He started to laugh. He asked me if we should warn the couple at church who also have four kids, all of whom were born within months of my kids. He called his brother (who was over) back to give us a “second opinion.” Other than Patrick, though, we aren’t telling anyone yet. I’m thinking about waiting for Christmas and making it a surprise.

Or, maybe, I’m just putting off the inevitable eye rolling. Both of my parents made comments this weekend before I knew I was pregnant. My mother acted surprised when I mentioned that we would probably have at least one more child. Later, when someone asked how old E~ was  now, my father said something about it being “about that time” for us. Yes, 8 1/2 months seems to be some sort of magic time–we only missed it between C~ and E~.

And how do I feel about it?

Well, I had planned on waiting longer than this before getting pregnant again. But, after all of the years of not being able to have kids, I won’t complain about my blessings. Obviously, I am in a bit of denial. Hence, double-checking the stick when I came home. The truth is, though, I can’t deny the signs, even if I could deny the stick. I have been queasy (more than just yesterday morning). I’m feeling tired. My back problems have been acting up more than usual. When I was putting cooked bacon on the yam boats I made for Thanksgiving, it smelled like rancid fat to me. Oh, and the other day, I ended up tearing up at the end of a cartoon. That is never a good sign. And, of course, there is the matter of the teeny-tiny gold baby bracelet that I seriously considered buying (and hiding from Sean!) the other day, but didn’t because it was just a ridiculous idea. Was that nutty craving a result of my hormones telling me what I didn’t yet know?

In short, I’m starting to accept the idea. I love my children, and I will love having another. I am also scared, though. Scared of having five kids in six and a half years. Scared of starting the school year next year with a kindergartner, first grader, and newborn (not to mention two who won’t be in school yet). And, while not scared, at least a little less than enthusiastic about going through all of the aches and pains and waddling again so soon.

Not that any of that matters.

Those lines are still there.

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Just a Quick One

We are currently out of town, visiting Sean’s Grandfather and his wife (because we apparently like the idea of playing Vomit Roullet), so I’ll get right to the point.

 

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. Cut-your-own Christmas tree farms. I love going out every year on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. This year’s doesn’t have the long needles that I prefer, but it is a wonderful, bushy tree.
  2. A three hour car ride with napping children.
  3. A three hour car ride during which no one vomited.
  4. The chance to do a second Thanksgiving with more family. It is such a great thing to be with those you love.
  5. My cell phone, which allows me to read all of your blogs, no matter where I am.

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Filed under Daily Life, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

A Day to Remember (Even if I Want to Forget)

So, yesterday was ridiculously stressful. Fairness dictates that I got a nice, relaxing holiday, right? RIGHT?

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Well, the morning went well enough. I got to sleep in a bit. E~ was doing much better today; our worst issue at this point is diaper rash. I even felt under control enough to finally try out Guitar Hero (apparently, Barracuda is not a good song for a brand new beginner). I got showered and ready for my day at a leisurely pace. The weather was nice, so my kids spent a lot of time playing outside with their cousins.

I decided to go next door and visit with family for an hour or so before doing my final prep on the sweet potatoes and corn pudding. As soon as I walked in the door, I was told that the button had already popped on the turkey–two hours before expected. I went right back out the door and started the mad dash that was supposed to be easy and stress-free cooking. Thank heavens I did all that I did yesterday.

With everything finished, we loaded up the tables, said a blessing, got plates together for the kids, then started to fill our own plates.

That’s when W~ threw up. Twice.

Miraculously, he missed the cousin next to him (as well as all of the plates of food surrounding him). Needless to say, I was running a carpet cleaner while  everyone else was eating dinner. Sean took W~ home, and I had to bring a plate of food to him.

Good times.

And, while W~ seems to be heading in the right direction (after throwing up a third time later in the day), N~ went to bed complaining of an upset tummy. The poor kid is currently sleeping with his head in a bucket. OK, not really. It is actually a large bowl. But he has positioned it to catch the puke if he starts vomiting in his sleep. Never mind the rebound barf spatter that would end up on his face. Or the potential to choke and drown.

We will be moving it before we go to bed. I’d rather him be mad at us for letting him puke on himself (truly, he was terrified of that happening), than dead from sleeping with his head in a bowl. That might be a tough one to explain to Children’s Services.

 

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. Pumpkin cheesecake. Mmmmm. I think this one was the best I’ve managed to make.
  2. The fact that W~ and E~ are both past the puking phase. Two down, two (most likely) to go. Yay.
  3. The time my kids got to spend playing with cousins and raking leaves (voluntarily!). They love getting to play, I love getting the break (and easy bedtime).
  4. Living in a land of such amazing abundance. Even the poor of our country are frequently so much better of than people in most other countries. We really do take for granted just how much we have.
  5. The time I got to spend with my little brother and his family today. They haven’t been back in the area for that long, so we haven’t been close for years. I really enjoyed going on walks, talking, and hanging out with them for a big portion of the day today. It’s nice to have him in the same state again.

Happy (and vomit-free) Thanksgiving to you all!

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Filed under Daily Life, I think my head might explode, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness

Go Ahead, Ask Me How My Day’s Been

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you are living in a sitcom? Like your life has just turned into some screwed up Truman Show spin-off?

Yeah, it’s been one of those days.

It started with one of those nights where the baby tossed, turned, wanted to nurse constantly, and was just a general malcontent. Of course, there is nothing unusual about me getting a crappy night’s sleep. So, just to keep things fresh, he decided to throw up at 5:30 this morning.

Baby’s first puke is not a milestone you want to hit on the day before Thanksgiving, when you have crazy amounts of things to get accomplished.

And, while the vomiting ceased after that first rumbling spew, we still went through numerous outfits today while dealing with issues on the other end. Between the blowouts and the fact that C~ developed an actual excitement over the concept of potty training when I allowed forced him to put on some underwear yesterday, well, my laundry pile grew significantly today. And I washed all of it.

Being the day before Thanksgiving, I decided that I wanted to do as much of my meal preparation today as I possibly could, so I could actually enjoy the holiday instead of being stressed out of my mind trying to get everything done on time. I’m not doing the whole dinner (by a long shot), but the stuff I am making takes time.

Since I am making twice-baked sweet potato boats (hours of work, and worth every second), I decided to start those first. I put the potatoes in the oven for their first baking around lunch time today. Shortly after I took them out over an hour later, my big dog wanted let in the house. As she walked by, I noticed something odd-looking about her shoulder. I called her back and took a look.

She had a gaping wound.

I don’t know if some dog wandered into our yard and got a good chomp in, or if she caught it on something and ripped herself open, but her skin was hanging open. I called Sean, and he agreed to come home since he was having a slow day anyhow, and there was no way I was dragging four kids and a bloody dog to the vet’s together.

Knowing that he would be home in about forty minutes, I called the vet to get us in. I was informed that if I wanted my dog stitched up, I would have her there in thirty minutes or less (ok, I don’t blame them–they do have appointments). I had to make my sick mother watch my kids so I could take off right then.

An hour later, as I was paying $141 (choke, cough, cough) to get my dog out of hock, my cell phone rang. It was two-year-old C~.

“Mommy, guess what I did!”

Given the aforementioned potty interest and my knowledge of what had and had not happened so far today, I was pretty sure I knew.

“Did you go poo poo in the potty?” I asked him.

“Yeah!”

I celebrated his great accomplishment with him. Then I hung up and cursed my luck. You see, I have been promising him for weeks that the first time he poops on the potty, I would make him a cake. One more thing was added to the list of things to chain me to the kitchen this evening.

As busy as it has been, my progress has been good. The dog is sewn up (and wearing a t-shirt since the wound still bleeds a bit and I don’t want dog blood all over my house). Dinner was made. The cake was baked and decorated (where’s a Mr. Hanky candle when you need one?). My sweet potatoes have been baked, scooped, mixed, stuffed, and are ready for their second baking tomorrow. The pumpkin cheesecake is chilling in the refrigerator.

With all of the prep-work for tomorrow’s food taken care of, I decided to turn my attention to some housekeeping matters. I needed to clean the ferret’s cage and put clean sheets on the the bed in the guest dungeon since my brother-in-law is spending the night here tonight.

As I was putting the bottom sheet on, I brushed past an antique sewing machine sitting close to the bed. I felt a poke. I quickly became aware of the unfortunate reality that my satin pajama pants were now stuck to my cellulite.

Seriously.

I couldn’t make this stuff up–nor would I want to. Have you ever tried to remove a splinter from the back of your own leg? Not fun.

I’m almost afraid of going to bed. Who knows what could go wrong with my eyes closed.

 

Today, I am Thankful For:

  1. Being able to get Scarlet in with the regular vet. Because, holy crap, if I had to got to the emergency vet for that, I may have had to sever a limb or promise my fifth-born for payment. And I really wasn’t interested in spending my holiday looking at exposed dog meat.
  2. That Sean folded a large portion of the laundry that I washed today. More still needs to be folded, but he definitely lightened the load significantly.
  3. C’s sudden momentum with potty training. I have now been changing diapers for five and a half years solid. Not that getting him out of them would mean that I was done–E’s got quite awhile to go. Still, only having to diaper one butt would be a welcome change.
  4. The fact that my brother-in-law brought his Guitar Hero game over (which I have still not played). The kids loved playing it with the men (bodes well for Christmas!), and Sean and his brother are still playing it right now. And I’m sitting here thinking that it is suddenly not so hard to imagine the days when they were both sporting mullets and heavy metal t-shirts (a hilarious image on my clean-cut husband).
  5. The twenty minutes I spent on the couch watching Scooby Doo with W~ when everyone else went to the store and he decided to stay behind with me. It is so rare that he and I get time alone together. He sat and told me the entire plot line of the show, snuggled into me, held my hand, laid his head on my lap, and told me he loved me. Later, I told him that it was the best part of my entire day. And I meant it. He is such a great kid.

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Filed under Daily Life, food, I think my head might explode, Kids, NaBloPoMo, Thirty Days of Thankfulness