Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 94

Thank you for all the hugs and encouragment; I'm feeling good today! I'm going to trust God with the details and fall in step with His plan...you may need to remind me of this when the wait gets tough...In the meantime, I'm preparing my heart and home for little babyheart.

For all of my adoption pals (if you haven't already) order a subscription to Adoptive Families. I mean it. Right now. Go to http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/
It's only $24.95 for the year, and after reading my very first issue, I can say it is definitely worth it! I read the thing cover to cover and found every article but one (it was on 2 homosexual moms) helpful!

Check this out. Early Growth and Development Studies did a study that I found interesting and thought you would too! [359 birthmoms and & 114 birthfathers were polled]

When choosing a family to adopt their child, how important was it that...
94% There were educational opportunities for the child
93% They had a close marital relationship
91% They were financially secure
72% They had the type of family the birthmom/father always wanted
51% One of the adoptive parents would stay home with the child
41% They had a nice house
36% There were children in the neighborhood
34% The adoptive family was unable to have biological children
33% They had the type of family birthmom/father grew up in
32% They liked to do activities that birthmom/father would have liked to do
27% They had the same religious background as birthmom/father
17% They had physical characteristics that were similar to the birthmom/father
14% They had a playground or swing set

Our Agency recommend the magazine and said to keep every issue because it's a great resource for every step of the process. I agree! From book recommendations to suggestions on talking to your adopted teenager, the subject matter was fascinating and seemed to cover every topic--in one issue! Can't wait to read next month's!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 92

Today was the BIG day. It was actually slightly anticlimactic and it left me feeling more disappointed than anything else. Today, officially marked month 3 of the adoption process and it happened to be our final home study (case worker came out to inspect the house). I can’t believe that three months from today, we made the decision to adopt! The process has gone by fast…but at the same time it’s dragging on…In the grand scheme of things 3 months is quick, but when you’re in pursuit of a baby that you’ve waited 4 years for, it drags on and on and on.

Anyway, our C.W. was supposed to be at the house at 2pm and by 2:45pm we were getting irritated that she hadn’t showed up. I called the only phone number (other than her office #) that we had – she called to cancel/re-schedule an appointment on us a few weeks ago and Ben saved the number – and left a message. Turns out her Palm has had syncing issues and had moved all her appointments around. She had us down for next Saturday! Thankfully, she called us back and said she’d come as soon as she could. If we would have had to re-schedule I would have been reduced to a puddle of tears. We worked SO hard getting the house ready for today!

She finally showed up by 3:30pm and we were able to proceed. She was a little frazzled and definitely embarrassed by what happened. We sat and answered more absurd questions that no other parent has to answer, “How long do you plan on living here?”, “Tell me about the area’s diversity,” “Will you choose public or private schools?”, “While you work will someone be watching the baby in your home or their home?”, etc, etc. After the barrage of questions we gave the 25 cent tour and it was a wrap. Her only comments during the tour were in regards to how much she liked my wall colors—no safety inspection, critical questions, or white-glove treatment. What was I so afraid of?

We returned to the living room and talked about the final process. Here's where the disappointment came in. C.W. told us that she was finishing a case right now and that there was one more couple ahead of us that needed to be written before she could start ours. She said, "I hope to have yours completed by the end of August." WHAT!?!?! What happened to "a week or two after the final homestudy?" What's even more annoying is that when I asked her when we would receive our letter of approval she said, "Oh, you're approved. You won't receive a letter." So, let me get this straight...you've already approved us, but now we have to wait for you to get around to writing our study up? What's even more annoying is that I know she's been camping with her family most of the summer because we've had a hard time getting our appointments in around it. I know it's not her fault. She has a right to have a life and I'm sure she has lots of cases she's working on! It's just hard to sit around waiting with nothing to do! So, I'm disappointed that we most likely won't be on the waiting list by my birthday (8/19)...and we were told not to get discouraged if our profile isn't shown often the first couple of months, because sometimes it takes awhile. We were reminded at how subjective this process is and that there's no way to predict anything. We could be shown 8 times in the first month and then not shown again for 6...it just depends. All the unknown and all the waiting has me back to feeling like an emotional yo-yo. Wishing I could press that easy button again...

[sigh]. Ben reminded me to keep my chin up and not to let the disappointment ruin my day. I'm trying to not get caught up in the obstacles. I know that God has predestined our child and nothing on earth can change the course. It's comforting to know that roadblocks to me are notches on God's time line. It's all going according to plan. So...until I see the fruition, I'm going to continue working on the baby's room, pour my heart into Ben (unfortunately he's taken a backseat to baby the last few months), and enjoy the rest of my summer!

We went out for a celebratory dinner with family!

And Jason and Rachael went and picked up the ottoman to our chair!! Can't wait to see Ben with baby in that chair...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 88

The much anticipated, baby's room pictures! I know you've ALL been holding your breath... :) Please withhold all judgment, this room is no where near completion, but it's really looking great and I wanted to share it with you. I LOVE the furniture!!!!!

In real life the stripes are a little darker. There was sunlight streaming in the window and it gave them more of a hazy glow in the pictures! The tall shelf also has a back that I'm going to put back on. It used to be in our room and I liked the backless look.

Ottoman is still on it's way--the chair was discontinued so hunting down the matching footrest was chaotic (thanks, for finding it J!!!)

Apart from the stripes, the crib is my favorite part of the room. I always pictured myself with a hand-me-down or a thrift store/re-finished one...It's so beautiful and I love just looking at it! I love that OUR baby is going to sleep in it one day...I love that I put it together all by myself...I love that Melia (my sweet, precious niece #1) is sharing her mattress with us...I love that it resembles our bed...

It's the small things that make my heart smile.

(our bed)

All the fun fabrics that will one day be babyheart's quilt. I did add in a new fabric that isn't pictured...It's a black t-shirt with white sketchings of guitars all over it! Very Rock.

Have I mentioned how much I love my chair? (Thanks Rachie and Mom!!) I sneak in the room every chance I get. I don't really dream about baby [yet]...I usually think about how far I've come as a woman; a wife, how good it feels to have a heart full of joy, how much love is in my heart for someone I've never met and may not even be created yet, how thankful I am for the path that has led me to this place. All this from one chair...

I had to trade in my dream of a glam chandelier. All the black ones I found were either way too much money, didn't have enough watts to light up the room, or were meant to be plugged in--not dangle from the ceiling. I was pretty bummed out about it, but settled on a more modern fixture that has a cool copper/antique finish to it. Not only did I install the light tonight, but I also put my electrician hat on and installed a dimmer! After a phone call to dad and a trip to Home Depot I had that baby up and running in no time. Seriously...does babyheart know my love?
(Said Dimmer)

This room has truly been a labor of love...and a long time coming! I know I'm not winning an Oscar (and the room isn't even done, for goodness sakes), but I have to give some love to all those that contributed....First and foremost I want to thank Jesus Christ, My Lord....oh wait! I said this WASN'T an Oscar speech [smile]...I DO want to thank Ben for putting up with my neurotic behavior and giving me full say in decor, with little opinion...Rachael for your inspiration, encouragement and the best rocker ever made! Queen Mum, none of this would be possible without you...G-girl for spending two boring weekends helping me tape and paint...Meeghan, Laura, and Rach for helping me pull the stripes off, Melia for sharing her mattress, Chris for power-washing the deck (definitely going to make baby come faster!), Meeg for making me dinners, washing the blinds, shampooing the carpet, and goo-gone-ing all the paint stains (truly the most UN-glam jobs)...and all of YOU for encouraging me daily, offering friendship, and giving me hope amidst the pain.

You have all made me one happy mama...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 85

Moo La La meets ROCKstar baby's room is coming together!

My husband secretly wishes HE was a rockstar and has had fun helping with the design elements. My little art studio is up and running; the above pic is one of 4 art pieces that will be hung in baby's room. I found 12x12 canvas squares at JoAnne's for $5 each, printed out online images that I wanted to use...and a few hours later voila! I'm not an artist by any means, but if you go slow enough you can pretty much replicate anything (thanks to some handy quilting rulers I had!!) I might funk it up a little more with some striped ribbon along the edges (thanks for the idea G!!) It should all look pretty cool, when I'm done.

I had grandiose plans of setting up baby furniture, this weekend, but it hasn't come in, yet [sigh]. Instead, my little sister, and I, worked on cutting profile pictures. I decided that simply gluing the pictures on the profiles was not cool enough, so we jazzed the pictures up with paper borders. Little did I know just how involved this project was going to be! Cutting and gluing paper for 300 pictures is no easy task, but in the long-run it will be worth it! I would pretty much do anything for little babyheart. Somewhere in my mind, every perfected detail will help speed the process. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Thanks Gabrielle, for the help!! Here's the final product (well, one of them. They all look different):Not only did my sister help me knockout projects this weekend...she also gave me this...[Laura, feast your eyes on this bad boy!]
She was packing her bags and I saw it casually laying on top (empty, mind you. she was carrying a D&G). I asked her just how many Coach purses she owns and she smiled sheepishly. Then said, "do you want it?" Umm...let me think..."Yeah!" Apparently, her ex-boyfriend's mom bought it for her a few months ago. I now feel like a true club member. My mom bought me my first ever Coach for Christmas and I'm afraid I'm now hooked...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 83

We received our profile proof in the mail yesterday! Which was perfect, because calling the agency, this weekend, was on my to-do list. I was informed the proof would take 2 weeks to arrive and once we approved it, another 2 weeks to print. Today, was going to be the 18th day mark (not that I've been counting) and was thrilled to find it amidst the bills last night! I only found one quotation mark error which my critical grammatical eye could not let go.

I am stunned at how quick this process has been. I started cutting the photos that will later be glued on to all 50 profiles! It's surreal to think that the very profile I've spent hours of time on will be the same one that connects us with baby. The end product looks great; I'm really happy with it!

We only have a couple more responsibilities until the official wait begins! Our final home study visit is on Sunday, July 27th, at 2:30pm (at our house). We'll have to glue all the pics on the profiles, send the finished profiles to the agency, and wait for the final certification/approval. I'm hoping all will come together by August 19th (my birthday). I want to feel officially paper-pregnant on my favorite day of the whole year! :0)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 79

"Though it cost all you have, get understanding."
Proverbs 4:7

I've been stewing for a couple days. Not in a smoldering anger kind of way, but in a "God, what do I do?!" way. I love Proverbs 4:7. Every time I read it, the words grip my heart as they jump off the page. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Get understanding. For me, this has meant: do whatever it takes to search out the heart of God for my life. There were points in my life where I wrote these words on my heart and passionately pursued Him with reckless abandon. I mean it. I didn't care what anyone else thought or said, I only lived to please my King. Still...there have been other times that I questioned the Father. Pleaded, begged, sobbed for answers I did not understand. Tonight, I fall somewhere in-between.

I allowed infertility to harden my heart...and allowing the sweet balm of Jesus to soften the folds, has not come swiftly. As I work toward passion once again, I think about Proverbs 4:7. In the last few years, the Lord has remained mum on why we haven't been able to conceive a child. Not a peep. Do you know how difficult that is? [I know most of you do] Not a "trust me" or "remember my promise" and I certainly never heard, "your time is coming." I don't know about you, but God talks to me. I hear his voice. Clear as day sometimes. Yet, I have heard nothing in regards to having a child.

Tonight, I am whole. I'm not emotional. I'm not angry. I'm not even anxious. I am in complete and total peace. Infertility did not come cheap, and I'm not talking money (although we did spend plenty of that!) Everything I thought I believed was stripped down...every emotion I thought I had experienced intensified, every unasked question I was too respectful to ask, I screamed...Every aspect of who I am was broken. Countless times throughout my life I have prayed, "Lord, your will be done." It's not until tonight, amidst my musing, that I can see the fulfillment. A few short months ago I was a small girl laying on the bathroom floor with nothing left, but faint breath. Understanding had cost me all I had. I was too wrapped up in the pain to see how God had answered my prayer. And I don't think I've stopped long enough, through the adoption process, to see the beauty of arrived understanding. However, today I began to see my life unfold and the wonder of it leaves me breathless. It's not just the baby. It's my passion, my talents, my dreams...they are beginning to take clear paths before my eyes. All of the sudden, I am able to see God's plan before me and all the elements working together. I am astonished. Instantly, I understand...I understand why I had to endure the heartache. I understand the years of brokenness. I understand my recent bouts of anger.

I confess. I have been struggling with the onslaught of insensitive remarks that have carelessly [even if unknowingly] been brought on by ignorance. I wasn't sure why they were hurting my feelings so much, until tonight. On Sunday, after asking me how the adoption process was going, a man said to me, "I'm still trusting God for a miracle; I believe you will get pregnant." After hearing variations of the same thought vocalized--time and time again--I'm ready to go on an adopting mom rampage. Tonight was the last straw. I'm in Home Depot, buying another can of paint for the baby's room, when the employee pretends to be interested and asks, "So...what's the project?" I excitedly answer, "I'm putting the finishing touches on our baby's room."

"Oh...you're pregnant?" He quizzically gives me an up-down.

Genuine laugh. "No, no, I'm not pregnant. We're adopting."

His response? [Brace yourself] "Oh. Well, that's okay, too."

My dry, but pointed response. "I know."

I got to the Jeep and let the fury flow. Had a complete and total stranger really just given me the "a-ok" for adoption? Did he think I really needed his stamp of approval? Did he think his response gave me peace of mind? I knew I needed to step back and think when my alter ego "raging lunatic girl" wanted to stomp back to the help desk and beat him to a pulp. Because I can't take out every ignoramus on the planet I cried, "Lord, why does this make me so angry?"

And the answer came...

It has taken me years of turmoil to truly see the hand of God on my life. To accept His will; His plan..and to be thrilled by it. When someone makes what-they-perceive-to-be-godly or maybe just down-right "friendly" comment, it cuts straight to my heart. It contradicts Truth for my life. It negates everything God has taught...all the progress...all the dying to self...and offers a pat reminder of what the old me used to relish. My friends, I believe these comments--no matter how innocent the intent--are anti-Christ, in accordance to the plan He has paved for me. Why can't people just accept adoption as part of the plan?

God has created me for this time, for this moment, for this child. THIS IS HIS PLAN. I'm not going to let anyone tell me otherwise. Because I can't go smashing faces in [smile], I'm going to start being frank with those that dish their godly wisdom. If people truly care about Ben and I they will stop praying pregnancy and start praying preparation. Preparation for the power of God that's about to be unleashed in our lives.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 78

Another great weekend with a mix of two of my favorite elements: Loving on friends and crossing items off my to-do list!!

We started the weekend at a family friend's birthday party. I had some good quality time with my Eva...or "blue" as Ben coins her ("niece" by way of Meeghan). I am forever bonded to this girl and love her like my own. If you've never heard the story of her rapid entry into this world, it's a must read! Click here to see our story.

Ben spent some time with Eva's big sis, Melia, and I captured a cute moment of them sharing a slurpee...

And yes, that is a bowl on Ben's head. Don't ask. Watching him with the girls warms my heart; he's going to be such a great dad! His capacity to love is amazing and his ability to relate adorable. I can't imagine how any birth mom could pass him up...granted, his profile pics don't include bowls...

The highlight of my weekend was spending time with my girls! Not only are they the best friends any girl could ask for they came over to help finish paining the baby's room!

Meeghan, Rachael, Me, and Laura

I am convinced, that without their help the project would have taken me days! In a few short hours we were able to finish the stripes and the room looks AWESOME! I'm so glad I took the extra time to do the stripes horizontal, the room is so bright and fun...and thanks to the Bulls-Eye it looks like it was painted by professionals! Far better than crossing the stripes off my to-do list was spending time with a few of my favorite people. These girls are just as excited as we are, to bring home baby; my heart overflows with the overwhelming support they provide. Once everyone left, I sat in the quiet of the space, rocking my love into the room. I thought about all the nights I'm going to be awake...all the times I'm going to be up with baby...and how I'll never forget this day...the conversation, the love, the people. God has truly given me fullness of friendships.

Rachael, of course, brought Baby Nya along to help! She's growing fast and melts my heart each time I see her. Interestingly enough, she looks just like me (especially baby pictures). It warms my heart that there's one baby in this world that will look like me! Isn't it funny how God doesn't spare a detail?

By next weekend, I should have a well-started baby's room (I'll be sure to post the progress)! The cowhide rug comes tomorrow; crib and changing station over the weekend. Here's the furniture I picked out:
I absolutely LOVE it. And I love the price even more. Both pieces were only $425.00 at Walmart!! The same pieces are sold at other leading stores for hundreds more! I can't wait to see it all come together! I've decided to change up the theme a little. Moo La La meets ROCKstar is the new theme...and to those nervous nellies it will come together in a fantastic way! I'm in the market for a rock'n black be-jeweled chandelier and I'm currently working on some creative artwork that will help tie in the rockstar theme. Ben really got on board when I approved a fender logo and other gutiar designs! More to come...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 74

Home Study Part 2 Complete

Our individual interviews are done! Only one more step until we're approved!! I still can't believe this is happening. My heart questions the smoothness of the process. Really, no hiccups? It's this 'easy'? [I use the term loosely] I'm fearful that clear paths = rocky futures. I'm praying, as I'm sure every adoptive mother does, Lord, let it be quick. I would rather have the "there's a baby at the hospital for you" call then "a mother's picked you, she's 3 months along" call. But... like everything else, I have no choice in the matter.

The interview was easy. Case worker (Jodi) asked about family (a LOT about family) and my view of Ben. My view of me. There was one question that blind-sighted me. After about an hour of family/upbringing/siblings talk, Jodi asked [real serious mind you], "Are you satisfied with the intimacy of your relationship?" A smile here to Timbuktu spread across my face. I know I was doing that goofy I-don't-want-to-be-laughing-at-this-but-
I-can't-help-it smile, but I couldn't erase it. I gave in to the lopsided grin and responded with a simple "you have no idea!" She smiled back, "I do. I can tell." Thank God we moved right along.

I ended our meeting by asking more questions without answers. That's the worst part. The unknown. I asked her to clarify our conversation in the last meeting about a Caucasian baby. Real subtle-like I said, "You lead me to believe that we would most likely not be chosen for a Caucasian baby." She answered with, "For sure. That won't happen. Your child will be bi-racial or African American." Right. You gotta love brutal honesty!

I wasn't asking for fear of cold feet. I love the idea of being a trans-racial family. I was asking from an economic stand point. We declared open to all races, which equates a $1200 fee. If we choose only bi-racial or African American then the fee is waived. My savvy shopper instinct kicked in as I put two and two together. "So, if we're not going to get a Caucasian child then why don't we choose the bi-racial, African American path and ditch the fee?"

"You can," was her answer. "If you choose the trans-racial program you actually only have to do a one page profile--a lot less information is needed. We try to make it as easy as possible to sway others into the program."

Excuse my bluntness [I did not say this to Jodi]. Are they just giving these kids away? Less fees, less information, less wait. What is wrong with this picture??? All I know is that I've been assured we'll get snatched within 6 months, opposed to the 2+ year wait for Caucasian infants. Crazy!

I'm not diving into the politics or semantics of the situation, tonight. I'm rejoicing that momhood is right around the bend.

[oh, and we decided to remain "open." We want to give God all options.]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 72...er...or Day 73 (it's 12:09am)

When days don't go as planned...

Why am I so surprised when things don't go as planned? You'd think I would have learned by now! First of all, I sat down to order our profile pictures and realized that my pictures were WAY too large for the alloted sizes. I had spent all my time concentrating on picking close-up shots, that I failed to read the dimensions I was given to work with. It is impossible to shrink down a 4x6 face shot to fit a 2.5x3.5 slot! I had to redo most of our pictures [sigh] and spent a good chunk of time searching for new ones! Ben and I quickly took some new pics in the front yard for our "Rebekah Loves..." and "Ben Loves..." sections. I don't like mine as much as the first, but hopefully you think the ones we chose are warm and friendly!

I was then told that I talk too much...about adoption. Yup. Allegedly, it's all I talk about. [How can I not?] I try to live a balanced life, but apparently I'm failing miserably at it. Such a small comment reeked havoc on my emotions. I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and scream. If I'm not being invited to baby showers or asked when we're going to have kids, I'm being told my heart is consumed with adoption. I can't win. Seriously, people. Throw a girl a bone! My initial reaction was anger, but thankfully holy spirit breath rested on my heart. Although I don't understand how someone who can get pregnant should question my quest for trying, I let it go and made a conscious decision to not talk about adoption unless asked. I don't want to dominate conversations and bore people to tears! Thankfully, this is an adoption blog, so I can speak freely here!

As if the pictures and my talking weren't enough to send me over the edge, our caseworker called to cancel our meeting today (Round two of homestudy--out of three). In one fell swoop I was flabbergasted, indignant, and totally disappointed. Don't these people know that we wait with baited breath for every meeting...every step closer to our baby? How COULD she cancel? I had to take a deep breath and remember that although my life may revolve around this process, hers certainly doesn't. It's a job. She could have canceled for any number of reasons and it's her prerogative. Although I'd still like her to come to a meeting whether ill or not, she definitely shouldn't have to! I was completely bummed out, but thankfully she re-scheduled for Wednesday, so I don't have to wait too long!

The good news? Our little cancellation plus two extra tickets, came to equal one fantastic night of Bon Jovi!!The profile pictures turned out fine, maybe I do talk incessantly about adoption, and we're still able to meet with our case worker, this week. Nothing earth shattering and well worth the fun night with my heart sisters. I couldn't live life without them!

Real girls. Genuine hearts. No boundary friendship.
Love you Laura and Andi!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 71

I heart weekends. Seriously. I'm as busy as a colony of ants during the week, but live for weekends full of friends, family, and REST. Weekends are the best! Especially holiday weekends!!!

I want to first start off by thanking so many people for commenting on my last blog. I seriously call all of you, in blogworld, my friends. It is so encouraging and affirming to hear all of your stories that relate so closely to mine! Whether adopting or not, we share the same heart for people...especially babies. I'm not sure what the solution to our down-spiral society is, but I'm praying. Hard. I'll let you know what comes of it!

Okay, back to the weekend. It was one of those weekends where I got to do a little bit of everything and I saw most of the people I love most. On the 4th, I got to spend time with my family (which is rare because most live out of state). Little Nya Grace is still the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. I mean seriously look at her. She has dimples just like her mama! I can't wait to giver her a little cousin!

My family is full of talent and I do mean FULL of talent. Our parents instilled a strong sense of "You can do anything you set your mind to" and it has proven to show itself in beautiful, creative and practical ways. My sis, Rachael, really wanted a stork in the front yard to celebrate Nya's birth. Other families would spend the $100 a week and rent a puny 5ft bird for the occasion. NOT MY FAMILY! No, sir. Rachael free hands a stork on some plywood (days after giving birth), my dad cuts it out with the saw, and the rest of the fam pitches in to sand and paint the thing. This stork stands at an impressive 8 ft tall! The coolest part [well, for me] is that Rachael wanted me to be able to use it too, so she made a star with Nya's information...and a heart for our baby, when the time comes! How special is that? Here's the pic--I KNEW you'd want to see it with your own eyes!

I also got a great jump start on the baby's room...do you know how foreign that sounds to say? In case you forgot, the theme is Moo La La...Sophisticated Cow. I didn't want to overwhelm the walls with cow print, but I still wanted them to have a little extra pizazz. I settled for horizontal stripes in two light shades of celery (remember the chair mom and sis bought is sage colored).

What I thought was going to take me days [maybe even weeks, with my schedule!], took a matter of hours with my new best friend. Meet the BullsEye. Perfect for all your horizontal striping needs!It's hard to see in the picture, but you hang the BullsEye on the wall with a small pin and it shoots level lasers across either side of the wall for perfect lines! I had to do very little measuring and I never had to worry about my lines being straight. My sister Gabrielle and sweet friend Meeghan came over and we had that room taped in to shape in a matter of a couple hours! Look at how cool the stripes are:
Don't get too impressed. The paint train slowed WAY down when I was working on painting the stripes today, by myself. You are only looking at a corner in the room because that's all I have finished so far! All the darker green stripes are done, but I have a ways to go. It still takes a long time because I have to peel up all the darker green tape and re-tape for the lighter green. Of course, there's bleeding and hiccups along the way that will need to be fixed too. A little time consuming, but well worth it. I love the look!

I also ordered a very essential part of the room, this weekend. A genuine cowhide rug! How cool is THIS going to look in the room:

And I don't want to hear any PETA comments. The poor cow already got eaten! I've seen similar hides in the stores that our just beautiful and amazingly soft. I ordered it on eBay, so we'll see how it looks! (I am able to return it)

Ben went back to the doctor to see how his collarbone is healing. Sadly, not very well. He's made little progress and is totally bummed out. You can see the break in the picture. it follows the curve of the bone [look all the way through the ribs]. The bad news is that Ben's summer plans are completely ruined...the good news? I'm totally attracted to Ben's x-ray man. Lean and muscular... man! I sure love me some Ben.

We had fun with close friends last night--BBQ and bonfire--and played hookey this morning...Slept in and went to breakfast with Chris & Meeghan!! It was a great weekend and it's still not over! I'm ordering pictures for our profile online and then we're off to the Rayners for more BBQing and pool time.

Me and Melia (Neice#1 by way of friends) She's trying very hard to smile for the camera!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 67 (For the 2nd Time Today)

Anyone see it? Last week I was reading my favorite guilty pleasure [PEOPLE magazine] and I saw this advertisement. My eye naturally catches all things pregnant and I stopped to read the page.

A new ABC Family Original Series. Premieres July 1.

The girl looks to be about 15. And pregnant. Hmpf. I flipped to the next page quickly and tried to continue reading, but the celebs and hot buys were just not keeping my attention. While I looked through the week's "hot bachelors" all I could think about was said girl on page 8. I gave in, ripped out the ad, and asked Ben to set it on the DVR. It's a complete dichotomy. I know in my heart I shouldn't watch or read stories of young girls getting pregnant....yet there's something that draws me in--attracts me to their ability. There has been a lot of stir in the Media lately from Juno to Baby Mama [couldn't bring myself to watch that one] to the 17 girls at Gloucester High. My heart screams shut it out; my mind craves more.

Curiosity won and I watched the premier over a late dinner. Here's my synopsis. Acting HORRIBLE. Christians (and they're blatant) FRUITY. Story line...heartbreaking. It's unclear what the show's message will portray (I'm sure it will reveal itself in the next few episodes). Teens having sex is the premise, but not in a steamy, explicit way. Rather an awkward trying-to-find-love-and-acceptance way. I was cheering for a Juno-ending for the purpose of those trying to adopt. We could use more media-light on the beauty of adoption. But, alas, the show is only an hour, and the girl 4 weeks pregnant. To find the answer I'd be forced to commit to a season of drama--and teenage drama at that. Not really my thing.

I turned the TV off and felt a stir of emotions. I was angry and sad, indifferent yet bitter, jealous, but at peace. I went to the message boards (again, I just can't quite get enough) and found several forums talking about the premiere. One forum was labeled "Teens Facing Pregnancy." I kid you not, there were over 70 posts. "I'm 15 and in a similar situation...", "I just turned 17 and am afraid my parents are going to freak out...", "How soon should I tell my boyfriend?", "I'm 14 and know others that are in my situation, but am afraid to start telling people..." Page after page, I read every post. Every line. The advice was even more appalling. What is going on in our society that it's now "ok" for 14 and 15 year olds to get pregnant? Even worse, is that all the reply posts were encouraging the moms to parent. Parent! How can a 15 year old parent a child? My soul is ripped to shreds. I'm so angry and it's not about my lack of pregnancy, it's the acceptance of theirs!

To add to my already emotion-driven night, I received an email from our agency that offered the following information: "Currently, we have approximately 110 families waiting in our Caucasian and transracial programs combined. The wait times have increased somewhat across the board, due to things like the economy in the US. Birth mothers are feeling the crunch of the economy, as well, and seem to have the notion that 'if I can’t get a job, at least I can have a baby.' In addition, there has been a glamorization of single parenthood over the years, and young single women do not have as great a stigma attached when they discover they are pregnant. Single parenthood has become a more acceptable option. We are now advising new families that the placement of a Caucasian baby could, but not necessarily will, take around two years..."

Again, I'm not angry that I'm not pregnant. I'm not even angry that I have to wait; I'm confident that we'll get placed quickly [however, misplaced that confidence might be]. I'm angry at parents for not wrapping their arms around their kids and offering them security. I'm angry that teenagers equate love with sex. I'm angry that babies are served on plates of injustice, completely outside their control. I'm angry that society stamps their approval and I'm even more angry that the abortion monster rages louder than the small sweet breath of adoption.

I find myslef crying, "LORD, what do I do?" I firmly believe that TRUTH demands a response. When faced with Truth we can walk away and say "Mmm...no thank you, that's not for me" or we can pull ourselves into action and do something about what we've experienced. I'm not a walk-away kind of girl. I'm a pound-on-the-doors-of-heaven-until-I-get-an-answer-kind-of girl.

For starters, I'm gonna write a book. The revelation is still coming, but I did start my forward [however, premature, it may be]. Until book signing time, I pray, "Lord, show me how to use my voice. Show me how to make a difference."

For now, that's all I know how to do.

Day 67

"Tag! You're It!"

I was tagged by Dave (like a week ago, but am just now getting to it)!

1. What did you do 10 years ago?
1998...I was a sophomore in high school. Went on my first date with Ben. Immediately fell in love and told him I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Which pretty much sent him running--not exactly what an 18 year old boy wants to hear on a first date! But he couldn't stay away from my irresistible charm! :) 3 months after our first date he left me to go to Michigan Tech, 500 miles away...I spent the next two years missing a long distance boyfriend that I rarely got to see. The highlight of those years was the bond that grew as we wrote each other letters several times each week (email hadn't hit the masses yet) and the assurance that came with finding my identity. By the time I graduated high school our friendship was built for a lifetime. God knows exactly what he was doing.
2. Five things from your 'to do' list?
  • Finish posting our stuff from the basement storage closets on Craigslist
  • Schedule to take the GMAT and finish my application for Graduate School
  • Check Walmart's website EVERYDAY until my crib goes on sale :)
  • Order the 300 prints I will need for our profile
  • Babies Room: measure and tape the walls for horizontal stripes, paint the stripes, touch up the trim, shampoo the carpet, wash the wood blinds, clean the vents, replace the light fixture...and let the decorating begin! :)
3. Favorite snacks?
Hmmm...I'm not much of a snacker, but I LOVE fruit (I told Ben last week that I could be a fruitetarian!), sugar snap peas, Paydays, and Dark Chocolate.
4. What would you do if you were a millionaire?
Pay off our house and Ben's parents house, buy a Toyota Rav4, pay off both our student loans and my doctorate in full, fund my first book, spend my summers in Africa helping to stamp out hunger and AIDS, while shining the light of JESUS.

5. Places where you've lived?
Michigan...pretty exciting, huh?

Next to be tagged are: Meeghan, Laura, and Leah!