dreaming of adopting……

On the way to work this morning I start telling my loving wonderful husband about a dream I had last night.

It was all about adoption. We were allowed to bring first one, then the other of these kids home and play with them and take photos with them.

The girl had black hair but something had scarred her forehead right at the hair line so she had a white streak in her bangs. I knew her name: it was Victorianna

The little boy, Bryan, had curly blonde hair and dirty feet. He loved to stand on my hip and bounce.

So I’m telling this sweet dream to my husband and he starts laughing at me.

What?

How is this funny? I’m dreaming about adoption for goodness sake. This is not funny, it was sweet and serious and joyful (and sad because we were going to have to pick between the two kids) and…….

He’s still laughing.

Alright. WHAT is so funny?

so then he says “Remember when we adopted our dogs? Kirby and Lucy?”

um….yeah. so?

“Well, we thought we were going to have to pick between them, but we ended up taking both. And we got to play with them and walk them all around and take pictures with them…..and the girl is black with a white spot on her forehead and the boy is a dirty blonde who likes to dig, so his paws are always dirty….”

oh. well that explains why Victorianna was licking my fingers in the dream.

*sigh*

driving to heaven

I generally have a lead foot on the highway. I think it’s cause I’m visually bored. I mean there’s just not much to look at.

the long ribbon of asphalt (or pavement)

the median

the trees on each side

the little yellow dashes that go tripping by

only the occasional billboard.

yup. driving during the day is the most boring thing imaginable.

Now night driving, on the other hand, is exciting. First off I’m getting to stay up all night. It appeals to my inner twelve-year-old. I must not have gotten to go to enough lock-ins and “sleep-overs” as a kid.

Secondly driving at night is more stimulating. I arrive at my destination absolutely wired and ready for anything. Whereas if I were to do the exact same trip during the day I would arrive wiped out and ready for a nap.

Night driving didn’t become a part of my life until I was out on my own though. My parents definitely didn’t like driving at night. We always drove during the day unless it was an emergency. Maybe that’s why night driving still makes me feel like I’m on an adventure?

Anyway, I recall this one time we were heading back from North Carolina to our town. Interstate 85 goes sort of west-southwest at that point so I am driving almost straight into the sun. Or sun-set actually.

It was stunning. The clouds were structured just right so that when the sun dipped below them the sunset colors spread all across the whole sky. And I do mean the whole sky. The colors were an amazing range from neon pinks and golds all the way to fluffy pastel wisps. It looked like the gates of heaven. Or at least what the gates of heaven might look like if they were made out of clouds….

I think my brother and my dad were both asleep so mother and I just oooooooed and ahhhhhed for a while. Enjoying the moment. Then my mother leaned over (to check the gas gauge maybe?) and noticed something:

“um, DeeDee….you are going over 100 mph”

ooops!

We decided that if a cop did stop us I’d have to tell him I’d been trying to get to heaven…….by car.

thanks. I needed that.

I was just over on the Christian Women Online website reading the daily devotional (that I haven’t read for a few days) and there was one about “Un-limiting God”

Go enjoy it. But if you don’t, here’s the crux of it:

Ephesians 3:20(NLT):
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely, immeasurably, and abundantly more than we might ask or think.

Yup. I needed that. I so needed that.

I am so blessed

Martin and I were reading a devotional on grief. One of the questions we were supposed to think about was of the “record your feelings from a time when you lost someone dear to you” order. And that’s when it occurred to me:

I’ve never had someone I’m really really close to die.

I’ve never been in a serious accident.

I’ve never had a life threatening illness.

I’ve never been robbed.

I’ve never been hit or physically abused.

I’ve never gone hungry or without shelter.

Is my life perfect? no of course not.

Yes, okay, I’ve had a few surgeries. I’ve lost Grandparents and an Uncle (but I hadn’t seen him in years and never really knew him very well) and few friends (but never anyone I was really really close to at the time).   The last time I remember being grieved enough to howl out my pain was a boy-friend dumping me in my early 20s.  But that outpouring of grief frightened my mother so badly I’ve never let go that way again.

I’ve had a few pets die, but I was too young to really be attached to them the way I am to the pets I have now. Alright, I’ve been through divorce.  But that was a slow, quiet pain.

No I don’t have kids yet. And will probably never have a child of my own body.  and that is it’s own kind of slow creeping grief process.

But, comparatively speaking, I have had an incredibly good, low stress existence.

The rest of my family is another story.   Last week I got a call from my brother who, amongst his other myriad difficulties, now has developed Bell’s Palsy. This is where one side of your face stops working. Your eye doesn’t blink, you don’t control anything on one side of your face. If there is any traceable cause they don’t call it Bell’s Palsy, it’s something else. If the doctor’s can’t figure it out, they call it Bell’s Palsy. *sigh* It sometimes goes away and sometimes stays with you for life. You just have to wait and see which way it’s going to go.

Why Lord? Why on top of everything else that has happened to my brother (in addition to his less than stellar life decisions) why did this have to happen?

Why am I so blessed?

chocolate… or suffering. your pick.

I didn’t used to like chocolate. At all.

yup.

You heard me right. I didn’t like chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, chocolate bunnies at Easter or little chocolate pumpkins at Halloween.  I’d trade them for caramels, or those bit-o-honey things, or an orange, or even Brazil nuts.  Can you imagine seeing your kids on Christmas morning and one of your children is offering to sell her chocolates to the highest bidder…..of oranges and nuts?

Eventually I gained some appearance of normalcy when I discovered fudge popsicles. And I learned that I loved chocolate covered cherries.

It’s not that I hated chocolate, it’s just that given a choice between chocolate ice cream and coffee ice cream I was going to pick the coffee every time. Even as a little kid. I went for the black cherry while everyone else dove straight for the chocolate.

My mom says it is her fault. She apparently ate a lot of popcorn and chocolate when she was pregnant with me and it took me years to develop an appreciation for either food. weird.

Anyway…..about 8 or 9 years ago somebody, I forget who, mentioned that chocolate was a great comfort food for them when they were….um….experiencing the monthly visit from Aunt Flo. They said that was the one time of the month when they really liked chocolate.

So I tried it…and they were right. For this one week of every month,

I WANT CHOCOLATE

I’ve even discovered that I seem to stay in a better mood during this physically messed up week if I have a fairly constant supply of chocolate. It doesn’t do anything for the pain, but it does wonders for my frame of mind.

weird. So if you know I’m in *that* week and you have any favors to ask of me, just feed me chocolate, wait ten minutes or so, and then ask away.

If you don’t follow the procedure, you will be made to suffer.

To ensure the safety of my co-workers I have at my desk a box of home made fudge that my mother made. So until that runs out………….the world is a safe place to be.

not really the picture I was looking for….

I don’t know how many of my readers have wanted children and not been able to have them. So I don’t know if this will have meaning for you.

The consulting agency that we are probably going to go with to help us with our adoption is a really nice group of people, but in their requests for photos of both myself and Martin they ask for something that just floors me:

They want photos of both myself and my husband…………..

with kids.

And if you don’t have any of your own, you can borrow someone else’s.

great. lovely. perfect.

Now I do understand the request. Really. They want to have a visual of how we “are” with children. How we look holding a baby or playing with a child so that the birth mother has a comfortable image of us to relate to.

But let’s think about this. I mean really process it.

How many people do you know who are experiencing the pain of infertility who regularly seek opportunities to hang out with little walking reminders of their greatest personal failure?……….Never mind taking a photo of this “warm fuzzy” event.

I know I don’t look right around kids right now. I know this because I don’t FEEL right around kids right now.

When I see a three-year-old I freeze. I’m caught between the desire for emotional retreat and the opportunity to enjoy the cuteness. The pain-avoidance instinct which says to turn away from this little walking reminder and the need to pick her up and hold her close.   I’m terrified of the pain if I hold my arms out and the child laughs and runs the other way.  There’s already enough pain floating around in my heart….why invite more?

Consequently I tend to just sit there and adore kids, not interact with them. Who wants to see a photo of that?

My husband doesn’t seem to have this problem, by the way. He’s comfortable with kids of all ages. I used to be fine too. I used to teach nursery school and spend loads of time with small kids. All that stopped when we started realizing how hard it was going to be to have kids of our own. I sort of….withdrew.

I just touched a young child for the first time in …years? I held a friend’s beautiful four-month-old a few weekends ago. I can tell you that the last thing on my mind was “hey, somebody get a photo of this moment please”

I was holding her, kissing the top of her head, breathing in the warm clean scent of her. I was enjoying the moment…..sort of in the same way one enjoys probing a sore tooth with one’s tongue. If anybody had happened to be handy with a camera and had asked me to look up, the expression on my face would have been one of wistful pain.

Not a comforting photo. And not really the picture I was looking for.

Photographing my life

Most of you (all four of my readers) know that my husband and I are looking toward adoption. One of the things we have to do when applying is put together a portfolio of photos and information about ourselves and our life.

So I’m looking at this list of photos that the agency wants us to submit so they can go through them and pick out the ones to go in the portfolio.

They want “between 80 and 100 pictures” Some of the suggested photos are

  • 8 or more shots of husband & wife (posed and un posed)
  • 15 or more active pictures of the couple(riding bikes, playing tennis, opening presents, wedding pictures, on vacation etc)
  • 4 or more photos of husband with children (does not have to be your own children)
  • 4 or more photos of wife with children (does not have to be our own kids)****it’s good that they don’t require that it be our kids……..since we don’t have any!****
  • 10 or more photos of the husband alone
  • 10 or more photos of the wife alone
  • 8 or more photos of extended family
  • 5 or more photos of house

Okay, maybe I’m just weird, but I don’t live with a camera in my hand. The best, most recent photos of us were at the wedding, which was two and half years ago!!!!!

Does ANYONE have this number of photos just hanging around waiting to be sent in? I’m going to have to stage half this stuff! I mean, is it weird that we take pictures of our Christmas tree but we don’t take pictures of each other in front of it? I think people with no kids generally don’t wander around taking photos of every event in their lives. But maybe I’m wrong.

The other problem of course is that Martin and I are involved in a historical recreation group, so the over whelming majority of our photos with friends and action photos (camping etc….) are going to be in funny clothes.

Tormod & Emma

If you are interested you can go here or here to find out more about what we do with our spare time.

This is going to be sooo much fun to explain to the agency, but I’m NOT going to fake our recreational activities! I’m not going to go out and buy a tennis outfit to set up shots (haha) of us doing something that we just don’t do!

We sing in our church choir, we work and we do historical re-enactment. None of which are activities that generally involve holding a camera.

So there you are. That’s where my head is today.

deal with it.