Tuesday, September 25, 2012

totally off my rocker

like most of you, i love fall. i love everything about it.
this month has been quite a whirlwind and has gotten away from me.
i have neglected to take pictures of anything.
i feel restless and undone.
quite honestly, i feel completely off my rocker.

if you don't know much about adoption, let me fill you in on one tiny detail:
it will make you go crazy or close to it.
the only thing keeping me grounded right now is my faith.
we are sad.
we are frustrated.
we are confused.
we are hurting.
we did not sign up for this.

let me make it clear to you that we still 100% feel called to adopt.
what we did not sign up for was the 2 1/2 year wait.
we didn't sign up for our children being this far apart in age.
we are aching for another child.
remember that we started the paperwork almost 3 years ago.
i want to scream.
it is completely out of our control.
i have to trust you God, that you have a plan.
a plan for our family that is far better than mine.
a plan for our daughter.

thanks for letting me get that out of my head.
in the meantime, i've been reading.
a lot.
you MUST read the book 7 by jen hatmaker.
or any of her books for that matter.
she is phenomenally talented.
and a wonderful speaker (i heard her).
and a very sweet person (i met her).
and in the adoption club (from ethiopia).
this book completely ruined me (in a good way).
get you a copy (but not my signed one :-).

website HERE

also, we think it's cool that jason's grandfather wrote a book.
so check it out too.
he has his own website and everything.

 website HERE

enjoy fall!
the weather, the decor, the food and the fun.
everything about it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

a last first

 yesterday was judah's last first day of preschool.
he is in the 4 year old class this year and will be in kinder next year. :-(
that means that i started back to work as well!
here we are on our first day of school together!

at his desk

and by his cubby

with his sweet teachers, ms liz and ms terri

and here is my classroom. it's a circus theme this year and i can hardly take any credit for it. my co-teacher ashley is very creative and i think it looks great!

the first day went great! judah had a fun day and i have a very sweet class.
but i was EXHAUSTED at the end of the day.
i forgot how much energy i need for 13 four year olds!

Monday, September 03, 2012

weekend wrap-up

our labor day weekend was spent...
seeing a $ movie with the kids,
grilling out,
looking for a "new" car,
updating adoption paperwork,
doing some internet research,
going to church,
boys staying one night with grandparents,
having a date night,
shopping at 1/2 price books,
and miniature golfing.
what did you do?

he was mad cause he's "bad" at golf. typical. :-)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

twenty-six months

I am going to copy and paste part of a blog post directly from Jen Hatmaker's blog because I like it, it's my blog and I want to. :-) Please don't take it personally if you have said any of these things to me because believe me, I know your heart is in the right place. We are just not in a good place with the adoption right now. I thought it might be beneficial for all of you wonderful people who support us to know what we need to hear at this point. This is me helping you out here, people...for reals! I understand that if you haven't adopted before you can't possibly know how we are feeling...this will tell you! Thanks for being our village.

Your friends are adopting. They’re in the middle of dossiers and home studies, and most of them are somewhere in the middle of Waiting Purgatory. Please let me explain something about WP: It sucks in every way. Oh sure, we try to make it sound better than it feels by using phrases like “We’re trusting in God’s plan” and “God is refining me” and “Sovereignty trumps my feelings” and crazy bidness like that. But we are crying and aching and getting angry and going bonkers when you’re not watching. It’s hard. It hurts. It feels like an eternity even though you can see that it is not. It is harder for us to see that, because many of us have pictures on our refrigerators of these beautiful darlings stuck in an orphanage somewhere while we’re bogged down in bureaucracy and delays.

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things:

1. “God’s timing is perfect!” (Could also insert: “This is all God’s plan!” “God is in charge!”) As exactly true as this may be, when you say it to a waiting parent, we want to scratch your eyebrows off and make you eat them with a spoon. Any trite answer that minimizes the struggle is as welcomed as a sack of dirty diapers. You are voicing something we probably already believe while not acknowledging that we are hurting and that somewhere a child is going to bed without a mother again. Please never say this again. Thank you.

2. “Are you going to have your own kids?” (Also in this category: “You’ll probably get pregnant the minute your adoption clears!” “Since this is so hard, why don’t you just try to have your own kids?” “Well, at least you have your own kids.”) The subtle message here is: You can always have legitimate biological kids if this thing tanks. It places adoption in the Back-up Plan Category,
where it does not belong for us. When we flew to Ethiopia with our first travel group from our agency, out of 8 couples, we were the only parents with biological kids. The other 7 couples chose adoption first. Several of them were on birth control. Adoption counts as real parenting, and if you believe stuff Jesus said, it might even be closer to the heart of God than regular old procreation. (Not to mention the couples that grieved through infertility already. So when you say, “Are you going to have your own kids?” to a woman who tried for eight years, then don’t be surprised if she pulls your beating heart out like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.)

3. For those of you in Christian community, it is extremely frustrating to hear: “Don’t give up on God!” or “Don’t lose faith!” It implies that we are one nanosecond away from tossing our entire belief system in the compost pile because we are acting sad or discouraged. It’s condescending and misses the crux of our emotions. I can assure you, at no point in our story did we think about kicking Jesus to the curb,
but we still get to cry tears and feel our feelings, folks. Jesus did. And I’m pretty sure he went to heaven when he died.

4. We’re happy to field your questions about becoming a transracial family or adopting a child of another race, but please don’t use this moment to trot out your bigotry. (Cluelessness is a different thing, and we try to shrug that off. Like when someone asked about our Ethiopian kids, “Will they be black?” Aw, sweet little dum-dum.) The most hurtful thing we heard during our wait was from a black pastor who said, “Whatever you do, don’t change their last name to Hatmaker, because they are NOT Hatmakers. They’ll never be Hatmakers. They are African.”
What the??? I wonder if he’d launch the same grenade if we adopted white kids from Russia? If you’d like to know what we’re learning about raising children of another race or ask respectful, legitimate questions, by all means, do so. We care about this and take it seriously, and we realize we will traverse racial landmines with our family. You don’t need to point out that we are adopting black kids and we are, in fact, white. We’ve actually already thought of that.

5. Saying nothing is the opposite bad. I realize with blogs like this one, you can get skittish on how to talk to a crazed adopting Mama without getting under her paper-thin skin or inadvertently offending her. I get it. (We try hard not to act so hypersensitive. Just imagine that we are paper-pregnant with similar hormones surging through our bodies making us cry at Subaru commercials just like the 7-month preggo sitting next to us. And look at all this weight we’ve gained.
See?) But acting like we’re not adopting or struggling or waiting or hoping or grieving is not helpful either. If I was pregnant with a baby in my belly, and no one ever asked how I was feeling or how much longer or is his nursery ready or can we plan a shower, I would have to audition new friend candidates immediately.

Here’s what we would love to hear:

1. Just kind, normal words of encouragement. Not the kind that assume we are one breath away from atheism. Not the kind that attempt to minimize the difficulties and tidy it all up with catchphrases.
We don’t actually need for you to fix our wait. We just want you to be our friend and acknowledge that the process is hard and you care about us while we’re hurting. That is GOLD. I was once having lunch with my friend Lynde when AWAA called with more bad news about Ben’s case, and I laid my head down on the table in the middle of Galaxy Café and bawled. Having no idea what to do with such a hot mess, she just cried with me. Thank you for being perfect that day, Lynde.

2. Your questions are welcomed! We don’t mind telling you about the court system in Ethiopia or the in-country requirements in Nicaragua or the rules of the foster system. We’re glad to talk about adoption, and we’re thankful you care. I assure you we didn’t enter adoption lightly, so sharing details of this HUGE PIECE OF OUR LIVES is cathartic. Plus, we want you to know more because we’re all secretly hoping you’ll adopt later. (This is not true.) (Yes it is.)

3. When you say you’re praying for us and our waiting children, and you actually really are, not only does that soothe our troubled souls, but according to Scripture, it activates the heavens. So pray on, dear friends. Pray on. That is always the right thing to say. And please actually do it. We need people to stand in the gap for us when we are too tired and discouraged to keep praying the same words another day.

4. If you can, please become telepathic to determine which days we want to talk about adoption and which days we’d rather you just show up on our doorstep with fresh figs from the Farmer’s Market (thanks, Katie) or kidnap us away in the middle of the day to go see
Bridesmaids. Sometimes we need you to make us laugh and remember what it feels like to be carefree for a few hours. If you’re not sure which day we’re having, just pre-buy movie tickets and show up with the figs, and when we answer the door, hold them all up and ask, “Would you like to talk for an hour uninterrupted about waiting for a court date?” We’ll respond to whichever one fits. 

You can read the entirety of this excerpt by clicking HERE.