Archive for May, 2006

Well, OK, maybe mountain air, or hiking in the woods air . . . Perhaps it's just breathing some air away from where you usually breathe. 🙂

More to the point, we have returned refreshed and ready to hit the ground running preparing to move west. We just spent another wonderful weekend at Fort Story – a military family resort on Cape Henry near Virginia Beach. This has become one of our favorite places to visit. So we had to make sure we visited one last time before leaving this beautiful area.

I just received an email from another military wife that will be heading to the desert of West Texas with her husband – from Hawaii! Needless to say, she was discussing the colors that she would miss. It was nice to hear that I'm not the only oddball greiving over color. In Hawaii, there are many colors to miss. Colors I will miss about central Virginia: green and blue. The green is obvious and all around us this time of year in the abundant vegetation. The blue is much more subtle and is mainly seen during the evening when you look toward the mountains. I have had a new appreciation for this lately as I contemplate living in brown.

Now, don't get me wrong, brown is a very nice color. But it can be overdone. 🙂 So, I am drinking in as much color as I can as we prepare to leave this place. And I'll soon be seeking a new appreciation for brown – desert – in our new location. I pray our desert experience over this next year will be one of growth – things do grow in the desert, don't they? I pray we will grow our in bonds as a family, as husband and wife, and each individually will grow in our bond to our creator. I pray we'll come out on the other end stronger in our faith. We have much to prepare for in the coming years as my husband looks toward retirement from the military. Perhaps this is our time to begin forming ideas for what that life will look like.

It is only a year – perhaps my expectations are too great. For the moment, I should stop all this "perhaps" business and get busy in the now. There is after all much to do in the next month before we even get there.


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Out for a few Days

This is just a quick note that we are heading to the beach for a few days and will not have internet access. In the US this is Memorial Day weekend. Be sure and thank a veteran, if you know one.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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What is Faith?

While I'm referring to other posts on other blogs – here is an excellent, and short, post on Abraham's Faith. He goes through the four aspects of Abraham's faith given by Paul in Romans 4:18-21. I love this statement from his conclusion:

Faith declares, 'God is able!' God is faithful to His promise, and He will do it [1 Thess 5.24]. The Cross declares: 'God has done it!' [John 19.30]

Yes! But what is God's promise? Well, I don't think I have the time to dive into that right now. But I can say that God doesn't promise us an easy life on this side of heaven. We live in a fallen wolrd. Even if we live alone on a desert island, we experience the effects of the fall – our own sinful self and the effects of the fall on the planet, the animals, the elements, disease . . . But most of us live in a world filled with people. Whether they be at home, at work, in the community, and even in our places of worship. Those people do things that disappoint us, may even harm us.

This, my friend, is why we need faith – faith in this God of Abraham. 

God, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Romans 9:24b

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There has been alot going on in my head regarding adoption since my encounter with a group of folks that believe infant adoption to be, well, anything but right. Couldn't quite come up with a word there. In fact, I haven't even discussed it with my husband as of yet. The busy-ness of moving doesn't afford much in the way of deep discussion.

A recent post of a fellow blogger regarding faith issues keeps coming back to my mind. The way he describes rethinking the practice of his faith seems to fit here, as well: The Floor Falls Away. As I reread that post, it seems to apply to my own issues with adoption, at the moment. He speaks of a "scaffolding" that has supported his understanding being stripped away. That, I believe, is what's happening with my concept of adoption. I'm still going back and forth on this and will likely write more on it in the future.

Another post on a first-parent blog talks specifically about Guilt, firstparents, and adoptive parents and has been helpful in my processing. I can't say that I've necessarily felt guilt, maybe moments here & there, but definately sadness at realizing the depth of grief and possible regrets J may have had these past 3 years, and will likely continue to have. I have never felt that I would be a better mother for B than J. We did meet before and after the birth and I found her to be a remarkable woman – who was already a parent and knew what was involved in parenting. There is no way, for now, that I can know how she came to the decision to place B with us or how that has affected her. For now, all I know is we love her dearly and pray for her well being every day.

I can't dwell and worry about the past beyond that, and be a good, strong mom for B. I have to move forward and look towards future adoption. What I have been doing is asking myself how we took the road we took. Why did we choose the process we chose? This, I think, is a good question for future considerations. But the answer is hard to come by.

There are so many children in the world that do need a permanent, loving, family – rather than living in an institution or being bounced around from foster home to foster home. This, I think, is what we had in mind when we settled on adoption. But why did we choose an agency that primarily handles infant adoptions from "crisis" pregnancies? Partially, I think, a lack of confidence in our ability as first-time parents to deal with some of the baggage that comes with an abused or neglected child. Along with this is the thought of possibly preventing a child from going through such abuse or neglect. And then there's abortion. If someone truely didn't want to be a parent, but was willing to go through the 9 months to give the child a chance at life, we were willing to step in.

Now, I'm not saying that any of that is right thinking – or necessarily wrong, either. I'm just digging around in my brain and heart trying to figure out how we traveled from our altruistic motives to our final destination at Bethany Christian Services. We just did not know of the things that have now come to my attention. Even Bethany now has a forum for first parents to discuss these issues. If they had these forums back then, somehow I missed it. I am typically obssesive about things and typically read many books and websites at the time to learn about the subject of adoption. These negative effects on first parents and adoptees somehow failed to cross my radar screen.

Ultimately, what we do with this will be between my husband and me and our God. But I will share as we go along to hopefully help others as they consider the option to adopt. We may not choose infant adoption the next time around, for a number of reasons. But I'm not sure, yet, that the practice needs to be completely done away with. Even in the post I reference above she states that "many infant adoptions don't need to happen" (emphasis mine). I have seen reference to Australia's adoption laws radically changing recently. When I have more time, I intend to research that and look at some other adoption reform ideas I've seen around here & there.

So, this post is not really about arriving at any conclusions. I am far from that. It will take some time for me to process, pray, discuss, etc . . . The process here of putting it down on paper – I mean on the screen – helps me to sort things out and try to make sense of what's going on in my head. 

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Well, I had something else on my mind to write about today – but must make it quick due to, ummm, a bit of a mess I must attend to. I decided to finish my lunch first and then decided to do a quick entry before getting to it. I think that's called avoidance. 🙂

So, potty-training is now the subject at hand. B had been doing quite well at staying dry and had reached a point of taking himself to the potty of his own accord. It was actually quite amusing to see him suddenly make a mad dash to the bathroom to make it in time. But the backsliding I have heard and read of from so many other parents has set in. I don't have any idea what is going through his head, but he suddenly is having accidents even while we are out – which has never been an issue. I'm at a loss and don't know how to proceed with him. Do we get the diapers back out or just "grin & bear it" until he gets on a roll again? I'm leaning towards "grin & bear it."

Then there's the issue with #2 or bowel movements. That he has refused to do on the toilet from the beginning. He will wait until nap time, if he can, and go in the pull-up. If he can't hold it until then, we usually wind up with a mess. The last 2 times he's had an accident I've had him get in the tub and clean out his own pants, as well as himself. Well, today at preschool, he went on the potty! Yayyy! But then he went again in the pull-up at nap time. That's the mess I need to get to. He had refused to be changed, so I was going to leave him be until later, after nap time. Then he decided to go into the bathroom and take care of it himself. I'm sure you can imagine!

So, I'm not sure where we're heading – hopefully in the right direction. I'd love to hear any tips or stories from veteran parents that have been down this potty-training road – especially with boys.

Well, now I'm off to take care of that mess.

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Just over a week ago I turned 38. That's OK, right? Still two more years to 40. 🙂

Well, today I did something I have never done before. When picking up B to move from bed to floor, suddenly I had sharp pains shooting through my back. Apparently I moved the wrong way and pulled a muscle in my back! I don't believe I "threw it out" as some say – because I can still move.

Actually, it is much better now than earlier this morning. I did as my husband suggested and took some Motrin. But I have been a little pathetic as I've moved around today occassionaly grunting or exclaiming if I moved the wrong way and when I've had to get up from the floor. Before the Motrin kicked in I had figured out a way to stand, slightly bent over, so as not to cause further pain. I'm sure I'm quite a site.

I guess that's my bodies wake-up call that I'm getting older and have to be more careful. Yes, yes, I know. I also need to exercise. I'm on again, off again in that department – currently off again and trying to figure out when in my day works best. I suppose I need to "Just do it!" 🙂

Have a great day everyone. And don't make any wrong moves.

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Warning, warning – information overload. Brain will self destruct in  . . .

Sometimes I am an information addict and spend way too much time surfing around the internet. I can't blame the internet, though. Before we connected our home to that major highway, I spent hours browsing around my local library, taking home as many books as I could carry. There is just so much out there that seems so important to know. But, in addition to what I've recently learned about adoption, I have also learned some important information about things going on in the church – thanks to some blogger friends.

In light of that, I want to add some clarity to a recent post on being still and resting in God. In no way was I heading in a "contemplative" direction. 🙂 Apparently there is a movement involving something called "Contemplative Prayer" that is using the Psalm I quoted to support their ideas. If someone in your church is speaking about this, or calling it "Listening Prayer" I'll include some links to articles about this movement at the end here.

So what was my point? I just had some thoughts relating what I was experiencing in the parent-child relationship to my relationship with God. Unfortunately my time ran short and I was not able to fully develop those thoughts. But I also feared losing them from my feeble brain, so put down what I could.

I quite literally have difficulty with stillness. Just ask my husband. I fidget, wiggle, scratch, foot tap, chew gum, you name it. It would seem that I couldn't be still to save my life. This translates into my ability to maintain attention on one thing. I am very easily distracted. In the same way I tell B to be still so he can rest, I imagine God giving me a look I often see from my husband that says "Would you just be still for one minute?!" Of course God is not my husband and affords me much more grace than that.

The other part of that verse is ". . .and know that I am God." I spend so much time thinking, obsessing maybe, about things in my life or in the world as if I have to solve them or figure them out by myself. My struggle, then, is to still those worrisome and obsessive thoughts and direct my attention towards God. I need to turn those things over to Him and stop worrying myself over them. I need to know that He is God. I am not.

Being still, for me, involves focusing my attention on the God of scripture, and praying without having my mind wander into the many things I'm concerned about that day in the manner I mentioned above, but rather praying over those things and then letting them go. Really, I'm still learning what it means to be still as the Psalmist spoke of. But I don't think it involves an empty mind and "vain repetitions."

Again, I believe that this stillness is necessary in order to rest. We must know that He is God in order to rest in God. And I strive, as a parent, to live this out before my child (hopefully one day "children"). God is real and my relationship with Him is real and I want B to be able to know that to his very core so that one day he will be able to say the same.

And now for those links I promised:

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