a word about adoption

Ever since I started posting about our upcoming adoption, I’ve been made aware of an entire community out there in blog land of people who feel that adoption is wrong and that the birth-mothers are being manipulated and abused by a system that is designed to rip their babies from their arms and convince them that they are not cut out to take care of a child.

There is a huge community that seems, at first glance, to be built on resentment and they seem to feel that their mission in life is to convince as many natural mothers as possible to keep their babies away from the well meaning (but inherently evil) community of parasites (ie, women who can’t have babies naturally) who are waiting like vultures to swoop in and steal babies from their rightful, loving homes.

Now I’m not going to deny that there have been, and still continue to be young mothers who have been talked into giving up their children.

this. should. not. happen. EVER. No question. It is tragic and sad and horrifying beyond my ability to comprehend.

But, to revile, attack and verbally pummel women who are wanting to shelter and love and raise a child who would otherwise go UN-WANTED, is also wrong.

My husband and I have already been matched with a mother who wants to give us her child to raise. They are a married couple who approached the agency themselves, after mature and careful deliberation. THEY chose US. No one coerced them. No one convinced them that this was best for them or the baby.

And there’s more. Since the time that we committed to this couple, we have received two calls from other agencies. In each instance a pregnant mother walked into a hospital, and AS SHE WAS GOING INTO LABOR AND DELIVERY told the hospital staff “hey, by the way, you guys need to find a couple to take this baby, cause when I leave here, I ain’t taking it with me”

That just blows my mind.

So this is my message to the anti-adoption community:

Please, all the anti-adoption people out there. Please understand, I know that you do have a real beef. I know that there are folks out there who have been fast-talked into giving up their children when they shouldn’t have. they should have been given counseling that encompassed ALL their actual, legal options (even the ones I personally disagree with) But please don’t assume that just because I’m adopting that I condone the coercion of young mothers. Because I don’t.

That doesn’t change the fact that I am glad that my husband I were the ones in line when this particular couple decided to come looking for a family for their child. I believe that God made sure we were in the right place at the right time so that we could be there for this baby. Because God knew they were going to give him/her up. I don’t believe that God hurt them to make them give up a baby for my sake, but I do believe he put us in a position to be available to help this family and love this baby.

I know there are people who will disagree with me. and as long as we all disagree politely and rationally, I’d love to talk about it. If I’ve said something here that you don’t agree with, or you feel is just plain wrong, go ahead and ask me about it. let’s discuss it. I love discussion.

****addendum****

even though this match did not end up working out, I STILL believe that God had us in their lives for a season for a reason.  Perhaps it was just to be loving and kind to them and to be a good witness.  Perhaps we planted a seed that will eventually grow in their hearts.  Who knows.  But the failure of the match to result in a “gain” for us does not mean that it was a failure in God’s eyes.

Night at the Museum

Martin wanted to watch a movie with dinner last night. I had just enough brain for something entertaining, but didn’t want to see anything that was going to tax me emotionally or mentally.

So he suggested “Night at the Museum”

I’m thinking, ummmm Ben Stiller ???? I don’t really think much of him, but it’s bound to be stupid humor and that’s kinda what I’m in the mood for.

Boy was I wrong.

I enjoyed the movie immensely. The part I was wrong about was in selling Ben Stiller short. He was good. The humor was varied, but never the sophomoric dross that I was frankly expecting. And his acting (yes I said ACTING) had nuances to it that I definitely was not prepared to witness.  To say I was surprised by the quality of the movie, the story, the directing and the acting would be an understatement.

I guess it’s time for me to re-evaluate Ben Stiller. Or at least to admit that he CAN do good work when given an actual script.

occasionally.

flashback

first off I have a question.

How the blazes did my sweet little niece go from this

Ivey at age 3

to this:

Ivey at 15

What on earth happened? did I sleep for a dozen years? Help!

for the record she doesn’t normally wear that much makeup. This was for a 60s party for her best bud Carly.

Martin and I were invited too. Actually mother and I made the cake, so she sorta HAD to invite us, but she also made a point of saying that she adores us and wanted us there with or without the cake. Sweet kid.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting much.  I mean it’s a theme party for teenagers.  Some of the most selfconcious beings on the planet, right?   and it’s the 60s.  a VERY SILLY season in the fashion world.   But my word these kids got INTO it, therefore we did too. Martin went all out:

Including jeans with hand drawn art by yours truly. I’ve never really drawn on jeans before, but wow it was fun! Look out world, I think I’ve found my new calling. Wearable ART!

Here are some samples:

the Mermayde one got better later as I colored it in and added shading. I’ll post a photo of it in more detail some other time.

The birthday girl is in a band and she got to rock out for all her friends. Child’s got skilz ya’ll. Look out Joan Jet this little bit of a thang can wail.

So here we were, in full Peace-Time party gear

I know, I know. I really needed a flower in my hair. Sorry. I’ll do better next time.

tobogganing down memory lane

I think I may have been 4 or 5 years old the time my dad and I got lost together. Apparently my father had the distractability of a five-year-old, even back then. So we can’t blame it on the alzheimers.

Back when we lived in Black Mountain, NC my family loved to take picnics up to LookOut Mountain. We ususally went with another family of kids. There were three of them and two of us and our ages and interests blended perfectly. The two families did everything together. By the way, I think every state with any mountains at all must have one peak named “lookout mountain” but for me, the one just outside of Montreat, NC is THE REAL LookOut Mountain.

It is not too hard a mountain to climb. I remember it being just a hard enough climb to keep my small, energetic four-year-old body interested but not daunted, so it couldn’t have been all that bad. At the time, I thought it was rugged and wonderful. There was even a perfect “canyon” to climb through for the final ascent. It had really steep sides that went up “really high” on each side and I remember that there were berries hanging over the edge. Of course the edge couldn’t have been too high, because I also recall my dad taking off his hat, picking the berries and putting them in his hat to carry to the top. Once there he would rinse them in a little brook and we would eat them with lunch.

Then on the way back down he would pick more and take them home where we would talk my mom into making fresh vanilla ice cream to put the berries in.

But that was all on the main trail. Once you got to the top you could find all kinds of other trails down. Most came out on the logging road that went around the mountain at about the halfway level. Some just went no-where, some went in a loop and would come back out on the top of the mountain. Us kids played in the shorter loops while the adults sat looking out at the view and chatting. The whole top of the mountain was covered in rhododendron bushes, so from our height perspective we had a canopy and lots of cave-like rooms to explore. And everything was lit in a leaf-green twilight.

One day my daddy and I went off exploring. I guess, looking back, he must not have told anybody we were wandering off. We just….well….wandered off.

From my perspective we were exploring. We were adventuring, climbing under trees and over rocks and around small outcroppings. Were we following a trail? maybe, I really don’t recall. We had a blast. I chattered constantly. We looked at rocks and bugs (this was back before I developed a terror of spiders and other creepy crawlies) and watching for small animals. We kept this up for hours and hours. Eventually we came to a place where daddy could see down a long avenue under the rhododendron bushes to where the logging road cut across the mountain. (looking back, I know now that we were already lost. Had been lost, probably for at least an hour or two. Daddy spent a long time looking for the trail down before we found our toboggan run. But never once did he let me know that he was lost.)

At this point he proposed that I sit on his lap and we would toboggan down the slope to the road. Would I like to do that? YES! I get to ride my daddy like he’s a sled! Of COURSE I would love this. How fun!

So we did. My daddy sat down in the wet leaves, put his tiny five-year-old on his lap and pushed off. Down the mountain we flew! zipping past bush after bush, all the time covered by a canopy of rhododendrons. It was gorgeous. and I’ll never forget it.

When we got to the logging road, I wanted to do it all over again. But of course we couldn’t. We had come a long way down the mountain and now we were on the boring old logging road. I was a bit nonplussed by that as I recall. And for the first time I realized I was tired. Yes dear readers, I’m afraid I got a bit cranky at this point. Nay, even bratty. Daddy eventually let me crawl up on his back and he set off walking along the road.

Eventually we met the search party…or rather ONE of the search parties.

Apparently my mother had freaked out when she realized Daddy and I were gone (this was before the cell phone era) and she had called out the police force and park ranger types to help find us. She was very angry with me for wandering off and she has never let my daddy forget that he “endangered” me.

But honestly, that is one of my favorite memories of my daddy.

front page news

Ever had a day when you feel like your life really should have been front page news?

It’s not that I want the whole world to know the mess my life is right now, but I’m almost afraid to check the paper this morning for fear that someone may have splashed it all over the front page.

Each piece is not that big a deal, but in the aggregate, it is almost overwhelming. It has been one of those weeks where if someone asks you the simple question “hey, how’s it going?” you just stare blankly at them. You don’t know where to start. You know they can’t possibly be interested in all of it…..

But you dear reader are here because you are interested, so get ready.  Here’s the story of the last five days:

First we visited the hospital room of a very dear old friend. My teacher from 4th and 6th grades. She just had a major surgery and the prognosis isn’t great. It’s not total doomsday, but it’s not great either. I’ve always needed approval from this lovely lady and it finally came. After Martin and I left the room, she told her daughter (who is one of my dearest friends) “Wow, that is one very different girl” given her previous known opinion of me, this was a compliment of the highest order. Janna told me this over a pitcher of Sangria later that night. We had to get Janna out of the stress filled hospital environment for just a little while. And of course that involved a fairly fun trip down memory lane. that was Wednesday evening.

On Thursday we spoke to our birth-parents (the parents of the still gestating infant we hope to adopt in late October) and they have invited us to come out and meet them over the 4th of July weekend. We’ve also been invited to stay for a doctors’ appointment that will hopefully include a sonogram!!!!!!! Talk about overwhelming news. My brain and heart are still reeling.

Then we had to put Toni (Martin’s dog companion of 16+ years) down on Friday morning. That was almost over whelming. Especially for poor Martin.

Then Friday night I did the cake for a “sweet 16 in the Sixties” party which was a huge success. The highlight of the night for me though was the jeans art I did. Neither Martin nor I have any sixties attire, so we had to fake it. Loose shirts, beads, headband and the requisite faded jeans with peace symbols, mermaydes and various other Aquarian symbols drawn on them. My triumph for the evening was a large mermayde I did on the back of Martin’s jeans, with him in them, during the party. I had teenagers asking me if I could do that on their jeans as well. YEAH!! I’m popular! okay, it’s 20 plus years too late, but hey. Better late than never!….right?

The next morning we woke to the news that Martin’s one remaining Aunt had died.

ah perspective is restored.

So now I’m at work today planning a whirlwind trip to Dallas tomorrow for a funeral that wasn’t supposed to be in the plan.

I’m trying to find God in all this. But my head is just too full. I’m actually looking forward to the flight as Martin and I will have time to just reflect, sit still. Maybe even do Bible study.

There is something so restful to me about being on a plane in the air. The schedule of the plane is so completely out of my hands that I don’t have to think for a while.   Planning, scheduling, and being in control is a MAJOR “false god” for me and I sometimes think God takes delight in putting me in situations where I am utterly unable to control things just so I can learn to depend on Him.

I guess I REALLY need to learn this lesson thoroughly BEFORE we come home with a baby, eh?

good bye Toni

Martin’s sweet old cocker spaniel died today.

Well, actually we had to have her put to sleep, but she was very close to going on her own anyway and we just couldn’t stand to have her be so confused and she wasn’t eating and…okay, you know what, let’s not dwell on this.

later on I’ll dig through boxes of photos and come up with some young spry puppy portraits of Toni, but for now, here is the last ever photos of Toni and her loving daddy (These are from two Sundays ago BTW. We were NOT snapping photos of her on the way to the vet’s this morning. That would be creepy)

Toni

Martin is really deeply upset by this. He cried so hard and so loud that it alarmed some patrons and the desk clerk out front. So much so that the vet actually came back in and asked me if he was going to be okay. He got a laugh out of that in the car later as we went to go take our other two dogs to play in the park.

so the answer is, yes, he will be alright. eventually.

until then though….I’m driving

rats

with all apologies to Remy (of Ratatouille) and Karen’s daughter over at “surviving motherhood”

I Don’t Like Rats

And now, through no fault of my own I have an attic full of them.

But before you judge me or my housekeeping skills, let me assure you that the professionals said this is NOT an issue of how clean we keep our house. Unlike bugs, rats (apparently) do NOT eat the food in your house. They do their shopping out of doors, at night. They just use your attic (and all that fluffy insulation) for a nice secure nest.

I pride myself on being a good hostess, but not to rats. ick!

This whole thing has just turned my stomach.

The first clue was a horrid smell when one of the little beasties died in the attic. Martin got rid of it quickly, but in the process we discovered that we needed a professional. Most houses (unless you live in an impregnable castle made of metal) are built with a certain amount of easy access to pests. It’s just the nature of how America builds houses these days. So the professionals have to come and basically armor the house (close all the rat-sized doorways) then make all the others leave (before they expire inside) and to keep them from coming back EVER.

I’m still a bit creeped out by the whole thing.

Anyway, I was debating whether my blog should be a sanitized version of my life, or an accurate reflection of my life and my experiences.   And therefore whether or not to post anything at all about this, cause I know it is going to seriously bring me down in the eyes of some of my readers (all four of you).

But there is a temporal lesson to be learned here: get your house armored against rodent type pests BEFORE you notice any evidence of them. You REALLY don’t want to have to go through what I’ve been through the last few days.  The money is NOTHING compared to the humiliation and stigma attached to having to tell your boss that you need the day off to deal with a rat infestation in your attic.

Then I started thinking about how there is also a spiritual lesson in this. Sometimes, no matter how clean we keep our spirit, rats do enter our lives. We are just built that way. Like our homes, we are not impregnable castles, but GOD can protect us. Ask HIM, everyday to keep the rats out of your life………the four legged fuzzy ones as well as the two legged slimy type.