Friday, February 12, 2010

Yellow Teeth, Lung Butter, Etc.

A few more random thoughts from me....

I didn't realize until I really looked at the pic above how yellow Isaac's teeth look. I showed him the picture and I think he finally realized why I stay on them about brushing their teeth. We go to the dentist every 6 months and it's a miracle, but so far, none of the kids have had a cavity. One of my regrets is not taking better care of my teeth growing up, so I hope this was all the wake up call he needed. I promise his teeth are not normally that yellow.

My migraines have been almost non-existant since I started with the chiropractor a few weeks ago. Yes, I was skeptic, but it's been amazing how a few adjustments in my neck have stopped the migraines dead in their tracks. Right now I am going once a week, but I just love the doctor and I feel fabulous in the headache department. I do think I am trying really hard to get another sinus infection which seems to come about every 6 months. As Angie V. calls it, I've been coughing up some lung butter so I'm sure I'll be good and sick by this time next week.

I've had a lot of mixed emotions the last few days about how I should stop putting my thoughts out there so openly. Not necessarily on this blog, but I've had a few friends ask things along the line of "what would Brea do" and I find that my answers tend to be completely opposite what they were thinking and I end up feeling like I am putting my gigantic foot in my mouth. I know they wouldn't ask if they didn't want my opinion, but I do end up feeling like a butt when my advice isn't in line with what they were thinking. At the end of the day, I want to know I was being real, but on the flip side I certainly don't want to hurt others with my thoughts or feelings.

One of the other things I have been thinking and praying a lot about: do I have a different view on adoption simply because we were fertile? Would I feel differently about the whole process if J and I had never been able to conceive children? In reality, I honestly don't know what infertility feels like. I welcome feedback on this (heck, I welcome feedback on anything I talk about!) I do remember J and I talking when we first started the process before Mary Elizabeth and we felt very convicted about the type of child we would like to adopt. We certainly didn't want to take a healthy, white infant away from another couple who couldn't conceive so we chose to be more open when it came to the child that we would adopt. Sure enough, we were the only couple open to M.E.'s specific situation and I think somewhere deep down, it made me feel good to know that it wasn't an us vs. them type situation.

So that's what is rolling around in my head in the last few days. If you have an extra minute, please say a prayer for a friend of mine, H. She and her husband are in the midst of a domestic adoption where the birthmother is in limbo about whether or not to sign TPR. The baby is now a week old and this situation is very hard on everyone involved. I'm sure they would be so thankful for your prayers!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adoption = Hard

I was a little surprised to log in today and realize this was my 500th post. The whole reason I started this blog was to "loosely" follow Mary Elizabeth's adoption. Here I am, almost 3 years later, still talking about adoption and now we have gone from 3 to 5 kids.

Adoption has been a bitter pill for me to swallow recently. Joshua's mom came to visit and although it was wonderful and we made amazing memories, it brought back a lot of feelings I had when she originally placed him with us. I kept thinking, "in a perfect world, she would be raising her son" but wow, this world is so far from perfect. I'm working on a post about her visit that I'll be sharing soon.

I also have several friends who are in the process of adopting, both internationally and domestically. I find it difficult to bite my tongue when they say something that really isn't ethical, etc. I have to remind myself constantly that I was once in that place where I thought every child internationally available for adoption was an orphan, where I assumed adoption was ALWAYS the best option, where I thought that the adoptive parent was a saint for opening their home, that every black child in a white family was from Africa. Now I know that adoption is one of the hardest things I have ever been through and yet one of the most rewarding.

I have to remind myself that it's easy to feel this way, I have two more amazing kids.....I'm no longer in the horrible wait for a referral. It's easy to tell someone now that the agony of the wait will disappear once they have placement. I remember what I felt like when people would say "your baby will come, just trust in God" I wanted to smack them and yet, I find, that I am now giving the same advice with a little more detail.

I guess I've just come to realize that my children are not my own. I am blessed that God chose me to raise them. I have never done anything to earn them and God certainly doesn't want me out there patting myself on the back that I opened my home when he is the one who wanted me to be open. It's difficult to know that although I know Joshua's mom doesn't regret her decision, I still cry sometimes because I wish her circumstances were different. Yes, that would mean he would not be here with me, but it also means he wouldn't have to face the loss of his biological family at some point in his life.

I worry about the hard questions he and Mary are going to get one day. My Anna is in middle school, I KNOW the mean things kids say. Just the other day, she came home in tears because a boy had told her she looked like a second grader. Now, mind you, she is a peanut and probably is the size of a second grader, but to a tween in middle school those words were devastating. I mainly worry about the hard questions they will ask ME one day. I just have to cling to this:

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Some New Pics

This is J.T's new face when he sees the red light on the camera before the flash. I will say "cheese" and this is the face you get for EVERY picture: New Years Day 2010. Anna wasn't home so she isn't in this pic:
Me, Mary, and Joshua vegging on the couch:

I'm Back, sort of...

It's hard to believe when I come to this page that it's been over 2 months since I put my thoughts down on "paper" I guess I could say I've been too busy, sale madness is starting. Or, I could possibly blame it on migraines. Yep, that sounds good. In reality, I find that sometimes the thoughts that roll around in my head sound better in my head than putting them out for the whole world to read. I certainly don't want to tick someone off with my "views" on things like parenting, adoption, etc. and yet when I do read someone else's blog that has completely different views from me, it has made me want to come back on here and start "talking"

I think it would take a book to tell you everything that has happened since my last post. Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went. Joshua's birthmom came to visit for several days at Christmas and we had a wonderful time. We celebrated New Year's Eve with some friends and spent New Years Day with family. January seemed to fly by and I finally broke down and went to the chiropractor for my migraines/back. So far, it has been a total success and today I am at one week with no migraine. M.E. and J.T. started mothers day out on Thursday. In 11 years of being a mom, I've never had a child in MDO so this was exciting and scary all at the same time. I was surprised at how much I got done in a 5 hour period and even more thrilled when J.T., my child that doesn't nap, took a 2 1/2 hour nap upon arriving home on Thursday. I kept checking him to make sure he was breathing simply because I'm not sure I've ever seen the boy sleep for over 30 minutes except for at night.

Looking forward, the sale is one month away (well, drop off at least) and I am working hard at scheduling workers and getting all the other "little" things done that help make the sale a success. I'm actually really looking forward to it this year. I've been in a cleaning out mode and have more to get rid of than ever before so I'm sure I'm keeping the VIP tagger quite busy. It feels good to purge out the old. I've taken several bags of adult clothing and household goods to the Goodlettsville Help Center to donate. I love it when I haul it up to the door and come back to a clean trunk in my car.

My youngest twin, Luke, had to have some surgery this week. He was born with a birthmark on his belly. That sweet birthmark helped us tell our children apart for a while, but it has continued to grow and change texture so it was time for it come off. The surgeon ended up taking off another pre-cancerous birthmark right below the original so Lukey has been feeling pretty crappy this week. We decided post surgery that they MUST have given him speed as he was riled up like I have never seen. He ate post surgery like he had the munchies: downing a grilled cheese, a bag of chips, two icees and a sprite in a little over an hour. He is on restricted activity which we have found means NOTHING to an 8 year old boy, so he constantly asks to do things which would be considered limited. He is doing great though and the meals from family and friends have been so appreciated as I have literally had time to do nothing while taking care of wild man Luke.

A friend that I have never met in real life is adopting a baby this week. She sends out wonderful detailed messages about their journey so far: bonding with the birthmother, their time at the hospital and today is the hard part, birthmom is being dismissed from the hospital. Reading her messages brings back SO many memories of our experience with Joshua. Although I look back on our experience and wouldn't change anything, it doesn't make me hurt any less over the loss that his mom felt that day and how I felt like I thief.

I have also noticed in the last few weeks that complete strangers come up to me and ask if M.E. and J.T. are from Haiti. I guess you don't realize how much the media has hit home with people about the orphan crisis until you are approached in this way. Honestly, I love to see their reactions when I say "nope, Memphis and Houston" Most tend to get this look on their face as if they are waiting for me to say "just kidding" and when they realize I am serious, they begin to ask questions and make comments how they didn't realize there are children in the U.S. that need homes.

So that's the mini-update on me. I'm going to try to do a bit better about updating and I need to get some new pictures on here of the kids. They are growing so fast and getting so big. J.T. is crawling, has a tooth and is pulling up on everything. I'm quickly realizing my baby days are coming to an end.