jueves, septiembre 19, 2019

A Return to Normalcy

Donny will be 4 mos. tomorrow.  I took him for his first walk in the front facing baby carrier yesterday.  Today, I took him for another front facing walk, and brought Renee along, too.  She hadn't been for a walk in, oh, about 4 mos.  It was fun.  A good time was had by all.  I got home and took Renee's leash off, had a cup of tea, and Donny had some tummy time.  After my tea, and after Donny's tummy time had become back time, I did some stretches and floor exercises that would have made Jane Fonda proud.  I used my lightest weights, the ones I've had since I was a kid.  I think they came in a little kit called, "You Go, Girl!" or something like that.  Judge if you want, but walking around carrying a 15 pound baby, and carrying a big, fat diaper bag on your back, and having to carry and fold and unfold a stroller and then find some way to get it into your car, is all quite a workout.  I feel adjusted to this new life as a mom . . . for now.  I hear there are constant changes, but I feel good about today (and yesterday.)

martes, septiembre 17, 2019

Our Midlife Miracle, Our New Song

At some point within the last year, Mr. M and I decided that, as good and pleasant as our life was, a baby would truly complete our family and allow us to live the rest of our lives with no regrets of what might have been.  So, we started the process.  The first step was to study and look into the different types of adoption and foster care and to talk to each other and decide which was right for us.  Once we decided that domestic infant adoption would be the best route for us, we started working on a home study.  That included running all over town, getting fingerprints and driving records, copies of our marriage and birth certificates, blueprints of our home, watching webinars and writing essays summarizing them, reading some required material, and much more.  We met with a social worker several times.  Then, on Jan.2, the social worker called us to tell us she was sending our home study to her boss for approval.  We had an adoption law firm chosen.  We had met with them, and liked them and their excellent reviews.  However, their popularity worked against us--although in hindsight, it worked for our good.  They couldn't sign us on until March.  In February, the lawyer called us to tell us it would likely take several years before a birth mom chose us because of a neurological condition I have.  That was a tough time, so I got busy.  I started looking into alternative ways to adopt.  I found a match maker on the internet, who was very kind, but ultimately no help to us--although again, she was a help to us in hindsight.  In a very circuitous way, God did use her in our story.  She found us an agency in Ohio who represented a birth mom in Riverside.  So we spoke with this birth mom, and it seemed like this was going to happen.  We were cautiously excited.  Then, a lawyer from Riverside, with whom we had previous dealings-we knew and trusted him-well, he is the lawyer for this agency in Ohio, and he called us to tell us that the birth mom we had talked to had actually chosen another family, and she had actually given birth earlier that day (2 months early), and the other family had taken the baby home.  So that was another "no."  However, as I said, we had had previous dealings with this Riverside lawyer-specifically, we had talked to him about adopting a baby girl whose mother was schizophrenic and bipolar and incapable of raising a child.  Some time went by, and the woman had a manic episode and was deemed incapable of making the decision to place her baby.  We waited, but she didn't recover in time.  So that was another "no."  At that point, Mr. M and I just thought it would never happen for us.  So we looked into embryo adoption.  It was risky, very risky due to my age and my neurological condition.  But we decided it was worth the risk, so we started the process.  We met with doctors, and we worked with the original adoption agency to take the necessary steps.  Since they had done our home study, the process would be fast for us.  However, weaning myself off the necessary neurological meds I need proved too much for my body.  So we were at the bottom of the barrel, hopeless.  Then, one magnificent May afternoon, I was sitting on the porch reading, and the Riverside lawyer called and said that he had taken the liberty of sending our profile book to an agency he works with in WA, who was representing a birth mom due at the end of the month.  And that is the story of Donny.  I got a phone call one morning in May, and the voice on the other end of the line said, "You're a mom.  It's a boy."  I wept like I never had before, and we found a flight to Seattle that day, and were holding our son that night.  It was so good of God to give us our precious and perfect son.  He had said "no" a couple times, but in faith we believe both those "nos" were for our good.  Maybe both of those situations-a premature baby, and a baby with a schizophrenic and bipolar mother-would have been more than we could handle.

lunes, septiembre 02, 2019

Hasgtag Blessed

I am glad so many people are feeling blessed lately.  I'm glad people are recognizing their blessings, and being grateful for them.  I just hope all the blessed people acknowledge that all true blessings come from God, from fearing and obeying Him.  I know He gives good gifts to all, both to those who live according to His will, and to those who don't, (Matt. 5:45), but the blessings He gives to those who don't fear Him or live according to His will are just temporary.  Unbelievers may be very blessed in this life, only to be separated from God and all His mercy and goodness in death.  (Luke 16:25.)  Jesus came to give abundant life, (John 10:10), and this abundant life consists in knowing God. (John 17:3.)  Therefore, let Christians take heart, knowing that they are truly blessed-regardless of their circumstances-because they know God.  And let all who are blessed acknowledge and praise God, the giver of all good gifts,

martes, agosto 20, 2019

Toxic Felinity

I think we are all familiar with the reputation of cats:  mean, scary, aloof, completely unloyal, basically heartless.  This must change.  Even though this commonly held stereotype is the absolute truth, it is nothing more than a social construct.  With some coaxing and re-training, a cat will gladly greet its owner just like Dino from The Flintstones.  It won't take much to get cats to go out and get the morning paper.  With a minimal amount of therapy, cats would love to be put on leashes and taken for walks.  It is our culture that is the problem, and the impersonal and selfish attitudes we have pushed onto cats; the problem is not them-it's us.  We all need to be more open.  We cannot afford, as a culture, to show surprise at a dog who just sits in a window enjoying the sun and completely oblivious to its owners, nor can we betray any surprise when and if we see a cat playing Frisbee with its owner in the park.  The two may practically act, look, and think totally differently, but that is really just because of arbitrary stereotypes culture has imposed on the two animals.  It is high time we as a culture stand up and acknowledge that the differences are all in our heads.  Being the best, most evolved humans means denying the most real and obvious differences between species and genders.

jueves, agosto 15, 2019

Paying it Forward, In Church

I have mentioned here many times how very generous our church family has been to Mr. M and I, giving us clothes, a crib, breastmilk, blankets, formula . . . so many things we needed for our new baby.  Our little baby is now a very big baby, so we have the privilege of passing on the clothes that no longer fit him.  It does feel really good-and fair and satisfying and right-to be able to give back to those who gave so generously to us. 
A more intangible thing generously and lovingly given to us was the gift of time and talent.  Our dear friend came to our house to take our first family photos, photos we will cherish, and also photos to give to our son's birth parents, which will go into a nice book for them, along with a note telling them how precious the boy is to us and how greatly God has blessed us through them.

lunes, agosto 12, 2019

The Life of a Writer

I spent a lot of time cleaning out a closet today, and putting up some current pictures to replace old ones.  This is simple enough, but being of a contemplative and pensive turn of mind, I immediately found great meaning and significance in these small chores.  I was cleaning the closet to make room for the newest member of our family . . . well, not for him, but for his stuff.  I replaced an old photo of a close group of friends of mine (it was about 20 years old) with a photo of our son.  It was a very significant and meaningful little chore, with all sorts of feelings of "out with the old, in with the new."  I've never seen so close up how much life can change.  The old photo shows some dear friends who have since moved across the country, and also some friends who are still both near and dear to us.  Nearer and dearer to us now, though, is our son, and he is now the one in the frame.  Things were the same for a long time, but sometimes when change comes, it comes all at once.

lunes, agosto 05, 2019

Annual Relational Review

I've never thought of myself as a people-pleaser, and apparently even if I am one, I'm not very good at it because plenty of people aren't pleased with me.  I have seen in myself the need to get to the root of why in the world someone might not like me.  I am, after all, very nice.  I am fun, and I am funny; in fact, one might even say I am a HOOT!  Facts must be faced, though, and the fact is that some people just don't like me-and that is OK--and I need to be OK with it.  I need to not obsess over the reason.  I just need to face the fact and accept it.  I did some spring cleaning on my phone today.  I deleted a few contacts who haven't called or returned my calls for years.  I don't give up easily on friendships.  I am well aware that we can't properly come before God in worship if a brother or sister has something against us.  (Matt. 5:23,24.)  But we also can't expect everyone to like us-even if we think we are eminently likable and pleasant . . . even if we are a HOOT.