Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it. -William Arthur Ward

I have begun my list... it is long, and in no particular order.  I will keep adding so next year I can see where I was.

1. family, near and far, known and unknown
2. friends, gold and silver
3. health and strength of body and mind
4. food when I am hungry
5. CBS and all that I have learned
6. warmth in the chill of a New England winter
7. life and the many textures of experiences
8. the uncertainty and endless possibilities associated with adoption (one, two, when, who)
9. the perspective that having children brings to me
10. the quality of peace
11. music
12. science and the wonder of it all (Anatomy and Physiology I)
13. great books
14. house and home (so grateful for both)
15.  husband (being lucky enough to me married to someone who loves being married)
16. dogs (and what they have taught me)
17. the color pink (have you ever seen a color that embraces happiness and joy more?)
18. babies and the qualities they bring out in us
19. movies
20. coincidences (God's mini-miracles)
21. A God that adores us and has an even more amazing plan that we can even imagine
22. a car and the opportunities that it allows the kids
23. surrogate grandmother that lives next door to 3 children with no grandmother
24. neighbors 
25. teachers that care
26. doctors and nurses (they have made a career out of nurturing the body)
27. role-models (Emily)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holidays and Missing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas, I find that I think about and miss my mother more than I normally do.  I don't think that it ever goes away, it just becomes more acute during the holidays.  To explain why, I have to tell you a little about what my mother was like.  By the time we lived in India she had had four children.  My brother was a few months old when she fell in love with and then adopted Sabrina.  They went on to adopt another, a boy who is now 13.  When I came home from college, I never knew who would be living in the house.   A single mother, a down-on-his-luck young man, a young lady who needed someone to care... our house was full, whether it be children, or adults.  My mother never raised her voice-I mean never (okay,maybe twice).  She was incredible loving.  She almost never wore make-up and use to drive me crazy because she would pair a beautiful cashmere sweater with a flannel skirt.  There where two rules that are front and center that she taught me and that I continue to repeat to my children: 1. if you have nothing nice to say don't say it (she never gossiped-I try not to but I am not as successful as she was.)   2. what drives you crazy in other people, is a reflection of a characteristic that you have and struggle with - greed, pride, etc.  (unfortunately, I have come to realise that this one might also be true.)

Five and a half years ago, she was walking my youngest brother across the street to his First Holy Communion.  She was struck by a car in the cross walk.  She was able to push Chris.  I don't think that he even had a bruise.  She died soon after the impact.  I never met the man who hit her.  The six of her children have dealt with the loss in different ways.  I have felt that God has given me the gift of forgiveness.  I did not want to be angry at the man who hit her or God.  To this day, while I miss her, I have never been angry about the details of the day.  I am so thankful that we had had our daily talk earlier in the morning.

That brings me to the missing part.  My mother was an incredible cook and baker.  As the wife of a diplomat, she had made an art of it.  So, every holiday that involves food....I sometimes forget that she is not here and go to call her for a question on some recipe. Or, I start crying when I making one of her pies.  By the time the pies are made, the turkey stuffed, I have worked it out and am back to being thankful for having had her for 35 years.  It has made me more empathetic when my friends lose loved ones.  

So to the adoption part.  I wonder, too, if the experience may give me a grain of understanding as what the newest member of our family may experience around his/her birthday or other milestones.  Will he or she struggle with missing someone or somewhere, or doing something like making pies?  Will he/she even be able to articulate the feeling?  Will he/she be too young to register much?  

Friday, November 21, 2008


Week 2.  

Not too much to tell, this week.  I would characterize the mood in the house as patiently excited.  It is so cold in New England.  Andrew is in Florida for National Finals for Super Y.  Before I had a soccer player, this would have been Greek.  How did he get so lucky to be in the relative warmth?  His soccer season with his high school is officially over.  He knows that he made his conference all-star and he will also be captain next year.  In all, a nice way to end the season.  Last year he was an all star as well, but he also fractured his hip.  I was more concerned about the injury than I was excited about him making all-star.  I was not convinced he would be able to play again.  What a difference a year makes!

Eliza and a friend are so excited to see the Twilight movie.  Zach and I will find something fun to do together.  I will have to find some time to study for my A&P final coming up.

A few referrals came in this week.  It is so exciting to see families being made and growing.  We are starting to think about the bedroom configurations.  This is the first time that I feel no pressure to get a nursery set up.  The first time that I am willing "to fly by the seat of my pants."  It is actually fun, to not know the who, the how many, and the when.  Let's see if I still think that it is fun in month 6!  I think not.  

Friday, November 14, 2008


Week one complete.  I am a person who likes to check things off the list.  I have been thinking a lot about the process of waiting.  I have friends who are in different stages of the waiting... waiting for court, waiting for referral, waiting for CIS approval, waiting for an appointment, waiting for travel.  I remember when the kids were small that I was always looking forward to the next phase, walking or speaking or whatever the next developmental stage was.  What is it about us that makes us resist the moment, or day that we have been given?  Why can we sometimes be at peace with the moment and then at other times we are but a small sail boat in a vast ocean taken over by a hurricane.  I can identify two days in particular that the winds of the hurricane knocked me off kilter.  I was crazy.  Both of those times were connected directly to my expectations.  Jason has a saying, "expectations are the root of resentment."  Both of those days, paperwork was late, with no explanation.  I had paced myself to wait until those dates, and then when the date changed... I was unprepared.  I am going to count these weeks that go by because I am a list person, but I am going to try and not expect the referral.  

The other part of the equation that his hit me squarely in the heart is that while we wait with joy and excitement, a world away there is a story playing out that is filled with sadness and tragedy.  How do you honor that and wish away the time?  How I have chosen to honor it, is to be more present to my children, to prepare them for their new sibling, to connect and learn from the people who are that many steps ahead of me or behind me in the adoption process and to pray for the birth family.

So all in all, a great week has gone by.  Soccer is quieting down (although, Andrew has Nationals in Tampa next week).  School is picking up.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Officially waiting!

One step closer to adding a little one to this group!

Who knew that I would be so excited about waiting?  We are now officially n the wait-list.  If you could read my journal entry today, it was on waiting.  I was at a good spot with waiting.  I understood that I was operating on God's time.  So I get home.... and guess what, I am informed that we are on the wait-list.  The irony of waiting to be on the wait-list is not lost on me.  Each step of waiting gets more challenging.  I imagine that waiting to "meet"  my new little one/s will be much tougher.  But, what about waiting for the court date, and then waiting to travel, once you have seen the eyes of your new child?  In CBS this weeks lesson had the undercurrent of patience. "God's timing is not ours. Waiting on God's timing grants us perspective and reminds us Who is in charge." Was He speaking to everyone or just me? So begins, the next phase of waiting. 

So the count down begins.  If and when we get close to 6 months, I may start going crazy, again.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I love my mailman, tagged, and halloween

Pic 1.  
First, it came.  The 797c came today.  I was getting so frustrated.... why does the mail take one week from Boston?  If it had been a bill it would have taken 24 hours.  I am so excited to fed-ex it to KSB who is doing our dossier.  I will keep you posted, next step will be to let you know that we are on the wait-list.  Yeah!

Pic 2.
Second, we were tagged again.  A fun one, sixth picture in our sixth album.  A sweet picture of baby Mike.  He is our second foster baby.  He is also the baby that Zach is hugging if you scroll down on Zach's birthday post.  He is part African American, part American Indian.  Zach use to tell people (and truly believed) that Mike "looks just like me as a baby."  Mike was with us for 12 weeks.  He was so smart.  He wore his senses on the surface and we had to transition him carefully.  He was sensitive to changes in tone, light, temperature, and position.  We caught on quickly.  He also did not sleep a lot, so Jason would take him in the middle of the night and watch ESPN with him.  We make a scrapbook for the baby and the adoptive (or birth parents) of the time that we have the baby in our lives.  This was one of the pictures from Mike's scrapbook.

Pic 3 and 4
Third, Andrew and a bunch of BC High boys made a haunted house for the Boys and Girls Club of the city.  They had so much fun thinking up ways to entertain (scare) these kids, providing a safe environment for them to go.  I love his high school.  It takes every opportunity to teach these boys to think of others.  They see these boys as agents of good in the world.  They see them as working "ad majorem dei gloriam" (for the greater glory of God).  While, the pictures look gruesome, pasta and paint and masks provide a  scene that makes 60 5-12 year olds opt out of the street scary scene on Halloween and opt in to a safer but fun scary.