Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I'm still here...coming up for air, from the depths of beautiful chaos...chaos made up of school, painting, renovation, spray paint, cooking on an element that I've unearthed from the piles of kitchen boxes, mauve and country blue wallpapers, flooded hallways, empty boxes, school books, exams, errands, umpteen trips to the Home Depot, drills, furniture, a new family dining table that I'm certain we will still be sitting down to when I'm 80 years old...and did I mention the country wall paper borders?...mothering, wife-ing, sleeping, finding my old stuff, remembering why I picked all that old stuff, wondering how some things escaped the great Journey to Real purge of Spring 2010, planning to purge them in the fall cycle, and being really, really...REALLY... grateful.
This house was a God thing. He knew just what we needed...and gave it to us, despite my insatiable need to belly ache all along the way.
There will be a post on the house very soon. For now, I just need to let you all know that I'm still here, and that I can't wait to be back every day as soon as possible!
Until then...I'll be nesting my happy socks off!
Happy Fall, Ya'll!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I love trees...
...and I REALLY love the beach...
...a beach, by the way, that I jogged on, & had some praise and worship time with the Designer and Manufacturer of that magnificent beach & the ocean that crashed over those sands. But yesterday, when we were driving to a campsite...in some mountains and trees...let's just say they had, at that moment, lost their charm. The car started to crumple in on me, I got nauseous, and I burst into tears...demanding to be out of the woods and the car, immediately!
So, in the light of yesterday, I was bound to have a day of illumination. If there is one thing I know...transformation is never easy, and just because you're near the ocean, doesn't mean you all of a sudden lose all your vapid character flaws...just ask the residents of Los Angeles:) What I do know is this...Wherever you go, there you ARE. The issues that created the life I didn't want back home are the same ones that live inside me, out here on the road. The key is...the issues are IN me...not around me. All that changes, if I don't work to change myself, is I pitch fits in more beautiful surroundings. But...my wise, God-given sister-friend, Heather reminded me today...that yes, wherever I go, there I am. But, wherever I go, there my Lord IS, also.
I don't know how people live without Him...because, there's no such thing as just coasting...
Friday, November 5, 2010
Well, I was re-reading my post from yesterday, and I saw the line when I referred to this world as a cesspool...well, I'm sorry about that. If I really thought this world was a cesspool, I wouldn't care less about what we do to it, and I wouldn't think it was possible that we could change things. I do, however, believe that our country's hub is a cesspool, but D.C. ...well, that is home to one of my very most favorite people in the world, so it can't all be a toxic waste dump. I believe that distinction is localized to a small area of the city...like maybe the size of a mall. *cough*
Thursday, November 4, 2010
As of late, I have been feeling VERY stagnant. I feel blah all the time...and not just physically. I have this unprecedented (for me) feeling of apathy, but my heart wants passion and joy, and I want desperately to be one of those women that rolls with the punches, that keeps her chin up, and maintains her ability to keep going at all costs. I'm not one of those women...at least not yet. I am more the throw-me-a-curveball-I'm-gonna-shut-down-an-not-do-anything, types of women.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Here's the thing. I keep asking myself what I want out of this "whole" project. The issue with going whole in this society, is that you are at constant odds with the world around you. Those of us who believe in natural healing, whole food, getting back to basics...we live as antitheses to the relentless pressing to live conveniently, to keep up...to keep consuming all they have to give.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I had great things planned for this, the day that was to mark the beginning of my illustrious career as a semi-pro blogger. Everything was laid out in type A, list maker fashion. I had topics for each and every day of the week, and was even going to write this morning's article last night, so that all I had to do this morning was wake up, brush my teeth, push the button on my coffee maker, and VOILA!...an article about the importance of sleep that was to change the life of some reader, like I was some messiah of the web. Enter a NASTY wave of self doubt, and an hours long case of writer's block. You know the drill..."this is dumb", "look at you...you have no business writing a blog about making your family whole...you're in mix-matched pajamas with hairy legs, dry feet, and you don't follow through on anything.", "you're definitely going to fail at this", "this is completely irrelevant...you have no idea what you're doing." Yada, yada, yada. I had a good cry, I called all the usual suspects for reassurance...husband, sister, mom. I even dragged myself to the gym, to see if a good cardio session would help to blow the cobwebs out. It helped for a little bit, but the waves of doubt kept sweeping over me. I was either having a serious case of spiritual attack, because what I want to do really is going to be worth something to people, or I was just realizing I'm not cut out to do this.
Oprah often says "doubt means don't." I think I may have to call BS on that one. (Sorry, Oprah) Truth is, that I've been told countless times that I need to write for people, that I have a gift, and that I'm robbing God by not using it. As I pondered this, it hit me that this is a chronic issue with me. I have all these things to offer, but for some reason, something keeps me from putting myself out there. So, it occurred to me that this doubt may not mean "don't" at all, but rather push through and DO IT!! Not to sound vain, but I've been given lots of gifts. What makes it sad, is that they are wasted. I believe that someone down there is pretty certain that if I were to move forward with confidence, and be free of the distraction and paralysis of self-doubt, then I might just be a force to be reckoned with for my family, my community, and my world. I don't think that we can be MADE to do things. I do, however, believe that we can be KEPT FROM doing things. Like an emotional and mental veil that's thrown up in front of us to keep us from realizing our true power. So, this is me...pressing onward...in spite of my doubts. So again, sorry, Oprah.
As a woman, a wife, a mom, and a writer, there is so much opportunity for self-doubt to rear it's ugly head...weight (I'll never actually get it done, why try?), financial freedom (there's always going to be something come up, why try?), marital strife (It's never going to change, why try?), blogging (It's completely irrelevant, why try?). Self doubt has the potential to single-handedly derail us from the path to wholeness...in all areas. So, my commitment to you is this: this week, I will write every day, no matter what I feel. My articles may not be life-changing or even poignant or funny...they may be irrelevant. But, and excuse my french...I'll be damned if I will allow self-doubt to make ME irrelevant ANY LONGER! Pick something that is holding you back, and do this WITH ME. I believe we need partners in this project! I believe we need people who know how we feel, who relate to us, who agree with us.
My life lesson today? God allowed me to experience what I did today, because He needed me to write THIS article...not the one I was planning. I'll get to the posts about sleep, exercise, eating well, etc. I just think that He needed me to go deeper...think bigger than my limited plans on the topics I wanted to address...to let this be His blog, and not mine. He's good at that...not letting me fall flat on my face BECAUSE of me, but taking me to higher ground IN SPITE of me.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Well, we FINALLY FOUND A HOUSE!!!!
I have been absolutely slammed with stuff going on in the past week or so, and it's clearly not going to be slowing down this week, either! No worries...you won't hear me complaining about this one!
I have decided to repost some of my favorite blogs from the past 100+ that I have posted. Albeit, I don't think that a greatest hits series does a measly 100 posts warrant...but, I need to post this week, and I have a whole bunch of people who haven't been reading since the beginning. So...I'm scheduling some old turned new posts. Hope you enjoy!
Next week...I'll be blogging from my new house:) Pictures to follow!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I feel like I need to unplug. I need room to breathe. I need poetry...not information. I need expression, not conversation. I need to poke an air hole in this box I'm in, right now.
There's this part of me that doesn't get out much any more...I usually call her my inner beatnik.
Whatever it is...she needs out,
in a Thoreau-esque,
fall to my knees,
bathe in tears,
come home to the music,
scream at trains,
get lost in guitar strings,
get a tattoo,
dance in the moonlight,
pray until sweating,
worship with abandon,
get stuck in the rain,
breathe in the beauty, drink the morning,
dissolve. into. being.,
let it all come down on me............
kind of way.
I'll be back. Don't worry.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Susan went to high school with all involved, so this is a fun and personal win;) (Albeit not a long stretch...tehee!)
Congratulations on your free copy of KEEP DREAMING, Susan...I know your kids will love it! Jaxen is already asking me to read him the dream book. (and, of course, his favorite picture is the one with the car on the earth:)
I'll send you a message, and get it sent out to you, asap!
Thanks for entering, and I hope to do another one very soon!
Friday, October 22, 2010
I keep asking myself..."How did we get here, again?" "How are we back here, in Concrete Consumerville, and worse off than when we left?
Since we got home from the trip, we have been proverbially bumping up against everything we ever wanted to get away from, like we're living with a bad roommate in an efficiency apartment. (OK...I have a flair for the analogy.) But seriously!!
I didn't even really understand that I was going through anything...much less what I was going through.
This is where I am.
Where are you?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
We went to high school together, and today, we're all parents...inspired to give our children more than this world will readily offer...driven to give them the gift of understanding their full potential...walking through this world with the weight of how to guide them to that understanding. So, we search, and we express our journeys...each in different ways.
It was really important to me that I do this review, not as someone who knows the creators, but as a mother, who is passionate about her kid. So, I read, and now review it, through that lens...out of that heart.
I have the great honor of introducing you all to Keep Dreaming, a collaborative effort, written by Jake Brittain and illustrated by Scott Dykema, centered around encouraging kids to dream...and dream BIG. It is a beautifully crafted poem, that pays homage to the dreamers that have made our world what it is, today. It's a delicious reminder, even to adults, that making dreams a reality is a tangible endeavor. The message goes even deeper with the CD included, that features the words set to different music, all written by Jake.
That message is brought to life by Scott's unique and visionary art. I'm not overstating when I say that! I was immediately transported by his use of deep colors and dreamy scenes. It was like going on a journey. Add to that, Scott's wife, Anna designed the layout of the book! (Talented family, no?)
This book is so RICH...the message, the colors, the pictures, and the motivation.
Let me tell you why it moved me to tears:
First of all, my son turned 4 on Sunday. He has reached that age, where he dreams like crazy. He's constantly regaling me with wild tales of how there was a monster on the roof, and how he turned on the jets in his shoes to fly up and punch him in the eye...and how he wasn't scared at all! My heart jumps for these stories...because, I know the imagination behind them is world-changing! I know that, if he lives his life with the kind of drive that moves him around right now...he will be a force to be reckoned with. It's my job to foster and cultivate that spirit in him...and paramount to that is...protecting and encouraging his dreams! What better gift could I give him?
Secondly, I am all too aware of the fact that there are countless children out there who do not have the opportunity to hold on to their dreams...much less receive encouragement to bring those dreams into the world. I am heart-sick for the children whose life circumstances squelch their dreams all too early. So, when I read Keep Dreaming, I also read it from the heart of an adoptive mother. My heart aches for children who don't have the same chances, and so I prayed the message would reach as many kids as possible.
Well, prayer answered! I found out that this book is to be marketed under the One for One model...you know...like TOMS Shoes?
(*Scott, Jake, and I went to jr. high and high school with Blake Mycoskie, the founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS.)
Keep Dreaming sells for $15, and for every book that they sell, a book will be given to a child in need! Not only did they bring the world a gift...they're making sure it gets to the kids that need it most!
So, now I want to offer you...A GIVEAWAY! I bought a copy of the book, solely for the purpose of giving it away to one of my readers. However, I wanted the book that was given away to have contributed to the One for One thing, so you could know it's fulfilling it's purpose. This will be a great gift for any parent or child!
There are several ways you can enter for this giveaway!
- go to www.newdreamstudio.com, look around and then come leave a comment back here, on whole family project, telling me what you think:)
- leave a comment, on this blog, telling me your biggest dream for your child
- follow the whole family project blog
- follow whole family project on twitter
- "like" whole family project on Facebook
Monday, October 18, 2010
I love having a way to reflect on what I'm passionate about. If you are writing for other people's information...it requires you to articulate your thoughts and feelings on things. I have a way to tell people about what I know...a way make my voice heard about Real Food, swimming against the current, and keeping families whole, in this world that seeks to rip them apart. While sometimes creating an "information overload" situation, blogging has been one of the best things to happen to me...because, while it celebrates my role as wife and mother...it more accentuates my role as a woman who is passionate about something, who is taking the time to educate herself, who is muscling her way out of the hum-drum and trying to make a difference.
Blogging has lit my way to shore...given me direction and safe haven when I feel like quitting. It was my connection to home for 9 weeks on the road, and now it's my memory book for the adventure that we had. It is a constant source of inspiration as we embark on this life...and I love the gifts it's given me. I'm going to leave you with a poem that had me crying on my keyboard a couple of days ago. I found it on another blog...so, inspiration in action. Have you found YOUR inspiration, yet?
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Friday, October 15, 2010
A man went to pick up a friend from the airport. (This was back in the day, when you could go through to the gate, to receive your loved ones from the tunnel). As he sat waiting, he watched a man come out of the tunnel. With tears in his eyes, he approached a woman and 3 children. He walked straight to the first child, picked them up, and told them how much he loved and had missed them. He closed his eyes and gave a sigh as he gave them each a long, engulfing hug.
When he got to the woman, he looked at her, in her eyes, and said "I saved the best for last". He kissed her, and swept her up in a long embrace, telling her over and over how happy he was to be back home with her.
The onlooker was very moved, and surprised himself by saying..."Wow! You must have been gone a long time!" The family turned around, and the returning father smiled at him and said..."Yes. 3 days is such a long time to be away from those I love the most!" The man stared in wonderment and said, "Three days? I thought it would have been longer than that!.....I hope I have a marriage and a family like that, someday". The father, with his arms around his family, looked intently into the man's eyes and said...
"Don't hope, friend. Decide."
Thursday, October 14, 2010
So...now that we have that taken care of...
There were a couple of problems, though. First and foremost...those deodorants aren't cheap! I mean, they are certainly worth paying for, if your only other option is an antiperspirant...but, if you're on a family budget, it can be painful to pass that thing over the scanner.
Second problem...one day toward the end of our trip...
my deodorant stopped working!
...dun, dun, duuuuun...
I kid you not! This was no ordinary problem...ladies and gentlemen...I STANK. I literally couldn't stand myself on some days.
I was fairly annoyed, because I really liked what I'd been using, and I was NOT going to go back to that stuff that begins with an S and ends in a CRET...because, for pete's sake...I don't need to give my body any more reason than it already has. Little did I know...it would be the best thing that has ever happened to my armpits:)
Enter: homemade deodorant!!!
What you need:
1/3 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/3 cup baking soda
5-6 tablespoons coconut oil
few drops of lavender or tea tree oil (optional)
container of your choice (you can even re-use an empty deodorant stick)
Add the coconut oil one tablespoon at a time, until your mixture is the desired consistency.
I placed a few drops of a lavender/tea tree oil in the mixture.
(It should be very similar to store-bought)
Place in your old stick dispenser, or put into a small jar.
I've been using this deodorant for about a month, now. There is absolutely no smell...nada, zip, zilch, nyet...we're talking completely neutralized odor zone under those arms! I absolutely love everything about it...it's easy, it's cheap, it's quick, I know EXACTLY what's in it, it absolutely works, and I used the lavender/tea tree oil, and it smells wonderful!
Bonus: My underarms are softer, because of the coconut oil:)
Monday, October 11, 2010
So, we're watching this show on Saturday, where Giada roams around the Isle of Capri, showing off all the most wonderful parts, and taking us to restaurants, shops where Jackie O used to shop, etc. She arrived on the island, and immediately went to a place that roughly translated into "people rejoice". I immediately started crying. I. want. that. Are you kidding me?...a place called "people rejoice?!" I'm jealous.
I find it very difficult to be just happy, here. Going back to school has brought back a cynicism that I wasn't fully prepared for. People that are in the school I go to are bankrupt. Forget joy...decency is a delicacy. Joy is something that doesn't even register in that atmosphere. I know that, for now, this is where I'm supposed to be. Believe me...I've tried to talk my way out of on more than a bunch of occasions. However, my heart longs and aches for something else. I don't even know what it is...except for I know it's what I saw in that show. Can you imagine, in our culture, to have an entire aspect of our defining traits to be "joyful people?"
You want to know the truth...I'm kinda mad that I'm not Italian or Greek. I really feel that I should have been. I think it's the rich enjoyment of life. For heaven's sake...they have dinner for hours. They talk, laugh...heck, there's even a patio that's famous, because people sit there quietly, and people watch...as in don't do anything, or look at their phones, or anything like that...they sit around and soak in the atmosphere, and reflect on how interesting and beautiful people are. Can you imagine?
It seemed pretty silly to be crying over that show...but, it speaks to something deeper. I want that! The joie de vivre...the rich culture of enjoyment...the marinated feeling of gratefulness...I want that. I feel that...but, I want to share it with other people. I want it to be celebrated in my culture.
Do you think I need to defect?
Saturday, October 9, 2010
...and make a face scrub!!!
In all seriousness, I am at extremely high risks for breast cancer. If there is a risk factor, I have it to an extreme degree. Regardless, I want to end the industrial wasting away of my body. So, to that end, I am doing everything I can to rid my life of anything I can't make myself. This is actually a tough one for me...because I'm a cosmetics junkie. It's weird, because I don't wear makeup every day, and I don't put much effort into getting ready...but, I could wander around Ulta for days. It's getting easier to envision, but I hold onto the hope that I'll most likely never give up my Bare Minerals, i.e. have a reason to go to Ulta, occasionally:)
So, coffee on your face. What a concept. I'm pretty much tired all the time, so this was extra intriguing to me. The wet grounds, when mixed with a tablespoon of honey, and a teaspoon of cocoa powder...and, you have an amazing facial scrub! I applied it to my face, and between the smell and the exfoliation properties of the coffee, and the moisturizing affects of the honey...even though I looked like this, for a few minutes...
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
To top it off, after we cooked it, they were so excited to be eating the corn they had worked so hard to prepare for us!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I did pretty well at getting up early last week, but this week, I'm actually going to DO something with that time, instead of sitting on the couch, willing myself not to go back to bed.
I'm starting a whole body cleanse tomorrow (Garden of Life), because I feel like my feet are made of lead, and that's generally a good indication that I need to do a liver detox. In a couple of days, I'm going to feel like crap...but, the day after that...I'll be ROCKIN'! If you've never done one, I highly recommend it...it's easy, necessary, and you'll feel amazing.
I had a great workout this morning, and a few of them last week! In trying to be more faithful to the things I need to do for myself...that one's a doozie! Good new is...my knees are holding up remarkably well...no pain, no weakness! Thank GOD! The runs are every other day, right now, and Heather and I have scheduled a 5k for October 24 in Houston. Wish me luck!
Well, that's just a few updates. I have more profound posts up my sleeve, but for today, since I'm short on time, I need to go to bed, and I'm putting several things into practice before I write about them...I decided it would be fun to just post about small victories, for once.
Sometimes, you just have to pat yourself on the back a little:)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
An acoustic guitar played softly in the background, while I melted into my husband's side...tears streaming down my face.
What a beautiful moment we had at the end of the marriage conference this afternoon. It was just a quiet moment to marinate in each other, and feel roots winding ever deeper into our life together.
As I listened to the soft rain and Brandon's heartbeat, I was overwhelmed by the gratitude...that I am in a marriage that is rich, that I am in love with the man that I partnered with for this lifetime...
...that God cares enough about me to give me this space to reach my full potential, to be protected and holy; a man willing to be the chisel to the sculpture that is me, and the security to let go and have fun with him, while we walk this world together.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Marriage is like a garden. It needs to be cultivated...tended, protected, watered, and fed.
It's not enough to just get married. That marriage needs to be grown.
So often, people's marriages fall apart, and it's not hard to understand why. More effort is putting into what to wear in the morning, or cleaning out the car, than is put into the care of relationship...especially a marriage relationship. I've seen this over and over...people feeling like their marriages are over, because they don't understand this very simple fact. It cannot be overstated that continuing to live in the same set of behaviors, the same mentalities, is in no way "trying". Trying implies action. Do something!
Brandon and I have a pretty solid marriage...but, that's as a result of some regular maintenance. We continue those efforts tonight...we're going to a marriage conference at our church called "loveFORlife." We like to feed our relationship in this way...we go to about 2 of these types of conferences a year. It's such a refreshing experience...and one that is about re-centering your relationship...nothing else. Division of labor, parenting, financial partnership, careers...these things mean nothing if your marriage is falling apart...and synergystically, all those things tend to flourish if your relationship is solid. It's so unbelievably important to give your relationship some undivided attention...
Resources we use:
Marriage Today - we've been to 3 of these conferences, and they are worth every single minute!
Pantego Bible Church - this is our church, and the marriage conference is tonight and tomorrow morning:) I can't wait!
Power of a Praying Wife/Husband by Stormie O'Martian
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
...so, I'll be spending my weekend tending my marriage.
What will you be doing?
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I keep getting asked the question "Why whole food?" That question is so loaded...and the answer is even heavier. So, I've decided that I'm going to begin with presenting everyone with the same thing that got me interested...information from outside sources...people who have been doing this a long time, and are more adept at bringing the information down to a concise and efficient form. I will be exploring my answer further...but, until then, I will be posting as much educational material as I can, so that all of you can have access to what I'm seeing.
One Last Thing!...
I am now a full-fledged member of Slow Food USA. This is the best organization in the world for the Real Food Effort...heck! They STARTED it!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
That actually brings me to my topic, today.
Have you ever had one of those days, when you catch a glimpse of yourself, in the mirror, and you ask the reflection..."where have you been?" I am having one of those long stretches where I get out of the shower, run a brush through my wet hair, put moisturizer on my face, and don't look at myself again, until the next morning. Even then, it's only to check that I'm actually brushing my teeth, and not shoving a toothbrush in my ear, and then it's disheveled ponytail, dusting of baking soda under the arms, and clothing...that I may or may not wear once a week. I don't really have an excuse for this, either. I wish I could tell you that I have mountains of children to get dressed every day...but, the truth is, lately...I'm doing good to get my ONE kid dressed. I'm pretty sure there was a day last week that he never got out of his pajamas. School isn't really kicking my hiney, yet...although, I do anticipate it getting more difficult as the semester progresses. Honestly, I think it's the lack of a house thing.
I am a creature of habit. Scratch that...I'm a creature of system. I have an order and a "way" to almost everything. I am hard pressed to believe that if done in any other way than the way I do things...they just won't be done as well. My husband will tell you, I have thought through every single detail...and there is a method to all of my madness...which actually means that everyone else's haphazard way of living is the actual madness...I'm just, well... right. *Getting the picture? I know...it's a personality thing. However...here's the kicker: When drawn out of my system...I'm lost. I like to think of it as my "Rain Man-ism". Sounds funny...but, I seriously don't know what to do sometimes...so, I just don't do anything. Before I know it...I haven't gone to bed at a purposeful time...haven't planned meals, haven't been intentional with training my son, spending time with my husband, spending quality time in prayer...in short, I a oily, frumpy mess running around begging God to just get me through this ONE DAY! And, there's not really anything going on, that's any big deal! Sheesh! I get tired of myself, sometimes.
Our way of life has been very strange for the past 5 1/2 months. However, I am realizing that I have just surrendered to the circumstances...instead of leaning on my Father to guide me out. It's a strange and ridiculous phenomenon when we get so lost inside our own lives that one of the first good habits to go is looking to the One who holds our futures in His hands, on a daily basis. That's like being so hungry that you forget to eat your daily bread. Brilliant.
Does anyone else get weary of having to learn the same lesson time and again? I'm starting to feel like my (almost) 4 year old...just not nearly as cute.
I'm so glad He loves me!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Adoption is a scary and unsure thing. It is something that not everyone can relate to. For me, it was a time in my life, where, if I asked someone for some reassurance, I could tell that they couldn't give me any that was genuine...because they had never been there...they actually didn't KNOW if everything was going to be OK. I treasure the time, now...because, it taught me my first and greatest lesson in trusting God. I had to learn that one for real! However, at the time, it was terrifying, and there were few I could turn to. There was one person, however, who knew exactly how I felt... and she came to be a mentor and God-given comfort for me. Her son and daughter-in-law are 2 of our most treasured friends in this life...more like family, really. A while back, I asked her to share her feelings and thoughts on our particular journey to motherhood, to be published on this blog. Her name is Kay...and at long last...these are her thoughts:
When Aleisha asked me to share something on adoption and gave me complete freedom, I really couldn’t decide where to start. As the adoptive mother of two, who are both now adults, I have had plenty of thoughts on adoption over the years.
First of all, to me adoption is a miracle of the most special kind. No, there is no physical labor. But is there labor?-- yes there is. When you are having a baby the natural way, you have a pretty good idea you’ll be a mother in approximately nine months. When you are having a baby by adoption, you may know nine months ahead of time, or you may wait for several years. Then when you finally get “the call”, you are in what I call emotional labor, which believe me can be pretty intense, and just a step away from insanity at times.
And the moment each of my children were placed in my arms, I can honestly say they were mine. Bonding doesn’t happen instantly with everyone, there are no rules about it.
I just know when I have been asked by well-meaning friends and sometimes by well-meaning strangers, “ Are you going to let them meet their real mother?” I want to remind them of the children’s story about the Velveteen Rabbit and what it means to be real. For the rabbit, it meant that his fur got rubbed off and he looked pretty ratty looking. His eyes might have been rubbed off (I don’t remember all the story), and he got awfully tattered. It’s kind of the same way with an adoptive mother. I got made real by getting thrown up on, spit up on, staying up 24 hours at a time to be the comforter to my sick child, etc. etc. –you get the idea. So I always tell whoever asks me, “ I am the real mother.” Being an adoptive mom is not being some kind of very special baby sitter, until the real mother comes back. Being an adoptive mother is being GIVEN the privilege of being a real mom. So what does that leave for the birth mother? For me, it meant an incredible sense of gratefulness and thankfulness to each of two young ladies who made what had to be an almost unbearably painful, yet exquisitely loving decision to give the gift of motherhood to someone like me. The story in the Bible ( King Solomon) of how the real mother was willing to give up her child so he could live tells it so much better than I can. I have had the opportunity to meet my son’s birth mother and to do what I longed to do for years--- say “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Those words seem so inadequate, but they were all I had. And as we hugged and cried, she honored me by saying those same words back to me—“Thank you for being my son’s mother.” I hope one day to get to meet my daughter’s birth mother and tell her thank you too. I always think of her on my daughter’s birthday and know she is wondering how the tiny little girl she gave birth to twenty-eight years ago is doing. And I long to tell her, “ She is doing great, she is an incredible person, and I am so, so blessed to be her mother. Thank you.” Maybe one day, I will get that chance.
The other question that well-meaning friends and sometimes well-meaning strangers would ask me was the most puzzling of all. When my children were small they would say( in whispered tones), “ Are you going to TELL them they are ADOPTED?” My answer always was, “ I never thought there was anything so terrible or dark about the truth. Yes, they will be told.” And they were. When they were each about two years old, I made each of them a little story book about how much Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby, how we prayed, and how God chose the very baby we were supposed to have through adoption.” Is that just a children’s story? Not to me, it’s not, it is God’s truth. Each one of my children was chosen for me as surely as if they had grown inside me.
Hope that my random thoughts have encouraged or blessed someone today.
Thank you, Kay...for everything...this beautiful post, your amazing heart...for raising an amazing man, so that he would marry an amazing woman; for being an ear and a comfort during our adoption; for making us one of those sweet books, so that we would also be able to share our experience with our son...and for being a vessel of God's love...what a wonderful legacy.
Monday, September 6, 2010
First of all...Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day is always pretty cool for me, because it always comes around my birthday. Actually, every few years, my birthday is ON Labor Day. If you want to get technical...the actual day of my birth was ON Labor Day. Yeah...so, if someone saw my mom on Labor Day 1977, and said "Happy Labor Day, to you, madame!" She'd be like...."seriously! You have no idea. Labor? Yes, as a matter of fact! Happy?...I don't know...check with me in a few hours!"
This brings me to my next point. This year, my birthday was on the day BEFORE Labor Day. You won't find me complaining, though...I love having a birthday smack dab in the middle of a long weekend! Ah, the birthday. I've never been one who's too hung up on the getting older thing, or worried about another birthday. I like them...and, this year was no exception. I turned 33, yesterday, and I have to say...I feel just fine about it. There are, however, some irksome things happening...such as the insatiable gray hair issue that I adopted during my 33rd trip around the sun. Seriously...couldn't we have an Aging Counsel meeting, and ban the start of gray hairs until 37 or 38? I don't take kindly to facing the music about my vow to grow old gracefully, this early in the game. I think I may have to reconsider my position on hair color. Especially since the chick who cuts my son's hair told me I looked old and drab the other day...Yowza!! She's hilarious...and right...so, I suppose I have highlights on the horizon:) Oh well...NO BOTOX, though! Good grief...if I have a post in 5 years that states a new position on that...well, you have my full permission to come and give me a good slap upside the head! So...thirty-three...
It's when I started school, again. There are good things and bad things about that one. I realize that my fears about being old in school are really no big deal. However, I find it infinitely more difficult to stomach attitudes and ridiculous fashion trends. I just see everything from another perspective, now. I realize how much cooler it is to buck trends than it is to just swim in a sea of sameness...especially when that "sameness" is ghastly!
*Let it be said that "skinny jeans" should only be worn by "skinny" people. If you happen to be a size 18-20, and you are wearing jeans that are extremely tight around your ankles...the only fashion statement you are making is a clear cut understanding about the width of your rear-end. It might even be more flattering to paint all your measurements on a sandwich board and wear that around the school. Please. STOP!! YOU LOOK LIKE AN ICE CREAM CONE!!!
I beg your pardons.
Anyway - I have completely messed up my illustrious and regular running streak...but, have not given up. I realize that this is the point at which I've always stopped...when I have "too much" going on in my life. There is never going to be a point when I say..."yep. Looks like this is about when everything will magically start falling right in line with my schedule and my energy level...guess I'll start doing what I need to do to make myself healthy." Heather and I talked about the fact that this is the actual training...the actual lesson to be learned, here. We will be masters at time stewardship and follow through by the time this is all said and done...I just know it:)
Speaking of...now that I know what to expect from my school work load...I am hoping to be more regular with my posts. As I've stated before...this is what I actually WANT to do...so, I will do my very best to do it every day. However, if I don't...well, I forgive myself ahead of time:)
I hope you do, too!
Happy Labor Day....can't you feel the fall coming?
Friday, August 20, 2010
Try something totally out of the blue, and way out of character with your spouse, today. Try to break the monotony. Find a way to connect on a level that you may not have connected on in years. Ideas:
- start a pillow fight
- big kiss in the kitchen for no reason
- splash fight at the sink
- climb in the shower with them
- have a staring contest
- write them a note on the bathroom mirror
- scavenger hunt
Brandon, thank you that when I need to find myself, I never picture doing that without you. Thank you for encouraging and challenging me to do that, every day. Thank you for giving me the room and the support. Thank you for being by my side when we adopted, and while we raise our son. You're important to me...and, I'm on your side. I love you.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If you'd like to form your own opinion...you should read here.
Update: As I stated above...they DID know. There were several cases back in June and July. Oh! and by the way...the count is now up to 380 million! I think I'll be heading to my nearest farm, today:)