Thursday, June 24, 2010

this oughtta be good

Ask me any question, anonymously! (As if my life weren't already an open book.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

things i'm thinking.

my husband is cool.

asher just had to decide to go potty, on his own time. (ohmygoshijustsaidpotty. whatsnextaminivan?) i was feeling pressure from lots of people and i started pressuring him to do it, but GUESS WHAT I WAS RIGHT. i know my kid. you ever hate that, when someone tells you to do this or do that, but you know your kid?

there is braille on band aids now.

oh, and speaking of knowing your own mind, i've been asking lots of people their opinions about a white family raising a black child. i mean, white mom and dad, white older brother and sister. i've heard, "it doesn't matter at all," i've heard, "not a good idea", i've heard, "this baby needs a home," and lately i've heard, "quit overthinking it, and just *jump*". that last one was my own self telling me that. sometimes too many opinions can make a head explode. even the people at the adoption agencies have different opinions, like, if you are going to adopt a child of a different race, you should adopt two so they have each other as confidantes. but what if their personalities are such that they hate each other anyway? aren't we making it about skin color then, too?

 it does not matter to me. my child is my child. what is the right answer?

i think i already know.

sometimes i wish God would give us overt signs. or maybe we just don't look for them? or look too hard for them?

do you ever have those moments where you just want to stop talking and disappear into the floor but you don't, because your mouth won't stop going? happened to me on sunday. "shut up, mouth! YOU CAN STOP TALKING NOW!" and you're looking at the horrified faces of the people watching you talk.

that happened to me once at a grocery store. and again, i was the creepy talker. i walked up to this lady and started talking to her kids and it was the weirdest exchange ever. later, i realized i came across really creepy.

my in real life friend anonymouse has blogged every day for the last 6 months. i'm going to try that. i also think it's strange that i'm surrounded by so many friends who have adopting children/are adopting children.

coincidence?

p.s. check out her latest post. SO great.

diet coke is what has been making me voraciously hungry.

i don't think the people who say, "just keep trying!" understand the hell the last 18 months have put me through. it isn't helpful when these people are people who pop out children like they are gumballs at the auto store.

i suppose that is one of those instances where i have to just make my own decisions instead of asking everyone else their opinions.

you know what they say about opinions...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

parts of an email to a friend that explain what I'm feeling well...

****I was going to start a new blog post, but after writing this email to a friend (all traces of who she is have been removed, to protect the innocent), I realized that this writing in itself sums up where I am right now. I've added a few things just to make it make more sense.***

Friend,

I was re-reading my password protected blog and am just amazed at how far God has brought me, really. I mean, the ups and downs and ups and downs of it all...and through it all, He's been the same, just wanting me to rest. But of course, I keep bucking that idea off and thinking that I can do it on my own, that I know what's best. I know other people see it too when they read what I write, but I really feel like I had to come to that conclusion on my own. I obviously still don't have it figured out...

There is a book called "All I need is Jesus and a Good pair of Jeans" by a friend of Angie Smith (Audrey Caroline's blog)...and in it, she writes about jealousy as basically telling God, "Um, God? You have me on the wrong path. You should have given me x, y, or z...whether x, y, or z is another child, a bigger house, a husband who is home more, wanting to repair at any cost old relationships, a kid with functioning parts, etc., etc., etc... and in doing that, you are basically insulting God by telling Him that His grand plan for your life is not good enough.

Um...talk about majorly stopping me in my tracks. I act as though my emotions are really the most important thing...but emotions are just emotions until I give them power to become more.

I get you on the house thing. I keep thinking we should have gotten granite instead of corian countertops, that we bought the wrong house, that I don't really like our neighbors on one side. But then I think and think about that stuff and then think, "Gee, it's all gonna burn eventually, so who cares?" My mom was saying one day that satan loves to distract us with that stuff...and in America, it's so easy.

Familial relationships are so complicated aren't they? Really, human relationships are. I get nervous at other people's reactions when we tell them we are thinking adoption. Really, it's true...opinions are like, well, you know...everyone has one. We've mentioned adoption with some people (which is a story in itself), I've been researching and researching and researching and after talking to 3 different adoption agencies and myriads of friends (including L's sister K, who's adopted two kiddos), that everyone has their own opinion and though it IS something to think about, sometimes you CAN overthink things, especially when everyone's opinion is thrown in. The lady at the adoption agency that K and her husband used told me that. She said it's great I'm thinking all of these things and wanting to be thorough, but at a certain point, you know you're giving a child a loving, stable home. You're giving your children a sibling. You're embarking on an adventure that is bigger than anything you've ever known before.

When I re-read all of my journals from the past 18 months, I realize "it's time to move on." It is, it's just time to move on. I don't like the person I am when pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss robs me of the joy of life. It does so on a DNA level...and when a friend talked about all of her losses before I had my pregnancy losses I thought to myself, "Seriously, maybe you should just get over it."

But it's not that simple, and now I realize that. There comes a certain point when you just can't keep allowing yourself to be beat up over and over and over again. After the ectopic in August I had a crazy peace...knowing that I probably would never be pregnant again, having only one tube...I was good...feeling like I was interacting with the kids more, enjoying my time with them more, cooking great meals for Scott, getting out of the pity party.

Then, with the pregnancy in November, it's like the whole grieving process started again. "Really, God? Another pregnancy? Well, this must be it for sure, because the timing of this whole thing is crazy, and we weren't even trying!" After finding out the heartbeat was slow, the ensuing panic attack at the McDonald's drive through window where everything I was trying to say was coming out as babble, and my sobbing the minute I saw my husband's face, well, it was horrible. Frightening. Back at square one. Numb.

Angry.

And then that night, later, mad at God, mad at myself for putting my family in this situation AGAIN, etc., etc... and honestly, I think the psyche can only handle so much loss before bitterness takes hold. And it's by the grace of God that I've gotten through...but I don't WANT to be the person who is jealous when dear friends have babies or announce pregnancies. That part of me is over.

Done.

Dead.

Another friend of mine who had 3 miscarriages and decided, "enough is enough," said the same thing. "I just knew. I just knew, knew, knew it was time to move on. To open ourselves to the possibility of raising a child we adopted. Other people told us we could keep trying, but I knew. I couldn't take the loss any more.
I feel like I'm getting the happiness back, the "let's pick out a baby gift for this baby and that baby and that baby," and truly feel excited for friends that are having babies. I've had an idea for your baby that I just need to get off my butt and do. Then I saw that you'd already gotten that, so I do have another idea up my sleeve. I'm excited about it.

I want to be filled with joy again, with expectancy. But the expectancy I am feeling now is a completely different type, a type I never thought I would feel because I didn't think it was "for" our family. Now I get that this is probably what God had in mind all along...even though I was stuck in the mire of sadness and loss, he was already painting my story, painting the beautiful picture on the next page...giddy at the thought of his beloved daughter turning the page, shakily sucking in her breath, sobbing with delight at what He had in store for her.

I just want to be the person that is full of joy and contentment and I think God is brining it to me, one step at a time. The process has been terribly painful and refining.

Human condition, right?

This turned into a book. When I read your blog there is an underlying tone of "I am not enough." "just being me is not enough." and it resonates with me, because i am constantly looking at outward things to make me happy...when my identity in Christ is enough...it IS enough, even if I don't feel it.

Even after all those days growing up in church, I feel like I never really got that message until the past few years...

that being loved by Him is enough.

ENOUGH.

Earth shattering, when you start to let that sink into your heart.

Love you.

Rach

Sunday, June 13, 2010

23 degrees

There are places I've been that wind themselves around my heart and whisper to me.

They are places that speak of desolation, of heartache, of broken dreams.

There are places I'm going that tug at the four corners of a heart still listening to the lies of past heartache.

They are places that, if I focus on, lift me up out of the mire and tell me life will change. Something big is coming.

Something bigger than me, or Scott, our family.

Something only God could ordain, to spin into motion as effortlessly as a finger setting into motion the spinning of a cobwebbed globe on an office desk. Dust mites fly, sun sparkles on tiny pastel countries it never thought it'd see again.

The whole world in motion, at the perfect angle, effortless. One seventh of a degree more and the world burns up. One seventh less, and ice silently overtakes.

I envision myself, gawky 7th grader with a bad perm sitting in Mrs. Dukek's science class. Marvelling at the attention to detail of a God who could design a planet to such precision.

"I'm here," He whispers, His voice coming to me while I lie on my bed in the late afternoon and marvel at perfect slant of sun on wall.

 "I'm here in the design, and you know it. Do you believe?"

Last night I was frozen before I drifted off to sleep. Frozen with the usual fear that on that day that I meet God, He will ask me why I didn't do more. Why I am 31 years and 3 months old and still don't seem to have my shit together. Why I didn't love more, fear less. Why I never opened my Bible when I was scared. Why I didn't share all I had with those who didn't. Why I worried so much about things that would be dust mites in 100 years' time.

I panicked, and then I calmed as I realized that the panic was brought upon by a basic lie, a lie I like to believe. I AM IN CONTROL.

And then I said to God, "You are in control."

Lies are so much easier to believe in the dark.

After that, I slept dreamlessly.

I always try to find that fine line of sharing too much and sharing enough so that you know my heart. That whoever is reading and trudging through their own brokenness understands that I feel it too, but it wasn't meant to be this way and we're going up.

This situation isn't permanent. There is a design, and the designer is weaving us in.

And the design is just like that, a perfect, symmetrical, breathtaking fusion of power and grace.

Anything more, we are burnt.

Anthing less, we are frozen.

23 degrees, and we are refined.

Monday, June 7, 2010

CONTROL

I feel good, you all. Introspective, but in a good way.

I've been reading this book and the author describes depression as "ink spots at the side of my vision, determined to bow me over."

Yep. How it is for me, and I never know when it's going to hit. It also seems like anxiety is that way, too.

This morning I woke up, heart pounding, not knowing quite why. Last night at my parents' swimming pool Scott was watching Lucy, and my dad and I were talking about life insurance policies and watching Asher. I looked down to read my car license tag renewal form I'd brought along (can't just enjoy the pool, you know, always gotta be doing something), and the thing that caused me to look up was a woman saying, "Is he OK?"

Looked up, saw my son, all 3 years of him, a mass of flailing arms and legs, underneath the water.

OH MY GOD! Yes, that is what I screamed.

And then I crossed that water so fast in my favorite pants and grabbed that little boy from the woman's arms who had pointed out that he was, in fact, having a problem in the water.

My heart was going a mile a minute and I thought of my boy and how my heart is his heart and his breath is my breath and I started to cry.

People were gathered around so I sucked it in and knew Scott was going to say, "You need to watch him more carefully."

but he didn't.

He knew I already felt it, in my bones.

I nearly drowned when I was four and I hate swimming pools. I hate standing bodies of water, I hate running bodies of water. I hate water. I wish I didn't have to drink it.

I've been thinking today about my friend Rachael, whose little girl drowned. Quick as that, she was gone.

It rattled me, it made me realize, a shoulder-shake from God, that really, I am not in control.

I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

Crap happens. It happens to the best of us, those of us always trying to be on guard against the "bad" happening.

It still happens.

Perhaps this is why I woke up this morning, heart racing, not wanting to leave my bed.

Perhaps this is why I've been cleaning and painting and talking on the phone and all those things I normally don't like to do, because it keeps the anxiety at bay.

Perhaps this is why I hold

hands a little tighter,

kiss mouths a little longer,

love the mess in the kitchen a little more.

the mess, the hands, the mouths - these are things I cannot, much as I would love to, control. I want them to be safe.

The true beauty lies in realizing that the mess, the hands, the mouths...these are mine, today. Freedom calls to me, yellow megaphone crackling: "You are not in control! This is your life! LIVE IT, BY GOLLY!"

And you'd better damn believe I'm going to squeeze out

every

last

drop.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

like that

written one week ago:

I had a meltdown this morning that involved lots of unintelligible words and lots of tears. It all started with trying to schedule an appointment for Lucy, and trying to figure out whether or not she was going to have a certain procedure done today. I got all flustered because I'm supposed to be giving her a laxative for the last 5 days and I hadn't been, because a kid who's got diahrrea all the time is really, really hard to catheterize.

I had to admit this to the nurse this morning, who, listening to me cry the ugly cry, told me it would be all right.

I dreamt about my grandmother last night, and the scent of her old nubby white comforter hanging on the line at my grandparents' farm nearly did me in. I woke with such a hollow in my chest. An ache.

I called my mom and asked if I could come along to visit my grandmother this summer, and then I cried and cried and cried and cried.

"I try to never complain about Lucy's istuation, I do. But today I just need to cry. I don't even know if we're doing this $9,000 test tomorrow and I"m tired of trying to get ahold of the doctor."

Then she started crying, telling me it's hard to watch me struggle with Lucy's "issues".

"I just need to cry, Mom. I'm fine."

"I know."

and we cried.

***********

So, that's why I'm sitting here at swimming lessons with tears in my eyes and a big fat lump in my throat. It's not just that, really, it's everything. It's change.

My grandmother getting older; missing childhood summers at the farm.
A negative pregnancy test; a dream deferred.
My baby going to kindergarten in the fall; time running quickly. And trying to catch the tatters of two little childhoods determined to run full speed ahead leaves me breathless.

Tired.

I want to remember every single thing.

I'm sitting far away from the other mothers because a simple "hello" would push me over the edge.

"Being antisocial today?" the mother who I usually sit by just asked.

"No," as I gesture apologetically at the heaps of piled kid clothing around me. "This is just where I ended up."

Had I allowed myself the luxury of honesty I would have said, "Yes. I spent the morning crying because my kid's parts are jacked up and I'm her mother and I can't fix it. My love can't fix it."

But then I would also have to explain why Asher is wearing eyeshadow in the swimming pool and also why he's wearing cotton shorts instead of swimming trunks and how, if I were covering both children with my love so much, I missed these parenting slights.

I'd tell her how I imagined Lucy's rap sheet as a child waiting to be adopted, stuck in the foster care system.

It would say, "Lucy is a sweet, intelligent child with big brown eyes and an inquisitive nature. (I cringe a little here, feeling like I am describing a dog instead of a child.) She would require intensive care from one parent who is familiar with colorectal birth defects. Her problems will be lifelong. Lucy is open for adoption."

I imagine a couple talking together, saying, "No, we can't take her. We can't take her because that would be too much to handle."

And I think of thousands of little hands, and little eyes, and little smiles and some mouths that are not smiling because they have seen too much. I imagine hundreds of little people, little people who are waiting and little people with dreams and hurts and stories, complicated stories. In them, I see her.

Something hollow inside me begins to fill.

And like that,

like that,

a dream is born.