Category Archives: faith

A Wise Man Builds his House on a Rock

The title above comes from the readings from church this Sunday, ironically.  Remember this?  That I wrote just days ago?  Well, just know that very quickly the story continues right back up the path it started from.  When we left off, my hubby pretty much hated me  was very disappointed in my choice to back out of the build and thought I was a raving lunatic.  Well, I kind of was.  And I so appreciate the readers who chimed in supporting my decision.  Of the few words he did speak to me that night, they included, “well, I’m not calling them to tell them to put a stop to it.  You’re gonna have to do it.”  Gladly.  And that’s what I did.  I called our realtor and gushed out all over again with the “I need out of this, we can’t do this, I’m sorry, but I’m otta here.”  She countered with the thought that I had a natural case of buyer’s remorse (UM, YEAH!), and that all would be well.  I gave her all of my reasons and a few tears, and she said, OK, I’ll call the builder and tell him to hold on a minute and I’ll get back in touch with you to see if you change your mind in a few days.  I didn’t WANT her to call me back.  My last words were “I will not change my mind on this.”    Turns out I didn’t have to change my mind, but it was pretty much changed for me, learning that it was truly, really too late to turn back without some signficiant financial loss over and above our earnest money. I won’t go into it here.  But  there you have it.  Hubby is happy again.  He also thankfully pulled in another tucked away financial source I didn’t even know we had, that came as part of the inheritance from his brother, which will help ease things a bit when they get tighter and, and also bring our overall down payment to a (relatively) reasonable level.  Turns out Uncle2Roo, even from his grave, is gonna help us build this house.

Now, just because all this is somewhat settled that its happening, does not mean that I am altogether settled with it.  Things are still going to be TIGHTIGHITHTIGHT over the next several months.  It will be a summer of NO FUN THINGS, GOING NOWHERE, SPENDING NO MONEY, and being ANTISOCIAL.  I’ve re-run the numbers with more accurate estimates of payments from the banker working our loans, and with this cut here and that cut there and a big ol’ budget down to the penny, we will make this work.  We won’t have curtains or landscaping at the new house, but we will not starve.  Woob will still get to go to the school we chose for him this fall.  I have been truly sick with worry for the past week (along with the flu for good measure), and marched my little fanny to the Dr.’s office to re-up my anti-anxiety meds which I hadn’t needed since my infertility days.  Its helping take a very big edge off for now.  And its cheap so that’s good.

We’ve had a few BIG TALKS over the past few days–me threatening hubby with his life if he goes off the budget by even a penny.  Me wailing about how we’ll never be able to (insert fun thing here) again! Wah Wah Wah. 

And at some point he just stopped me.  He looked me in the eyes and said, “This is going to be okay.  It will be hard at first and we’ll be making sacrifices that I think we’ll be glad of later.  We’ll become smarter with our money, we’ll be stronger becasue we’re in this together, and things will be fine.  There are very few things in our marriage that I’ve really wanted and insisted on, and if I thought this in any way was going to ruin our life together, I wouldn’t do it.  I need you to trust me and trust my judgement.  I’ve done the same for you.  When you told me you wanted to adopt, that was really nowhere on my radar.  You asked me to trust you and it has been the biggest gift of my life.  When you told me you wanted to have an OPEN adoption, I thought you had lost your mind, but you were so sure and confident, and now look.  Its such a good thing for all of us.  I’m asking you to put the same kind of trust in me.  We won’t know how it will turn out until we try.”  What the hell do you even SAY to that? 

So, now, my job is to push him to get the house ready to sell (my BIGGEST anxiety!), and to maintain a budget that works.  His job is to do whatever it takes to make this happen as painlessly for me as possible, and at the end of it to make sure he can tell me “I told you so.”

So folks, we’re building a house.  For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer.  With medication and without, and paying mortgage til death do us part.  We are.  Ground breaks Monday.

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Filed under adoption, faith

Physically and Emotionally Exhausted

Too much has been happening too fast over the past several weeks, and my head is in a whirl and my body just feels tired.  

My second blood test yesterday wasn’t what they’d hoped it would be numbers-wise.  I have to do another one first thing tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, I’ve been pre-grieving the loss of this pregnancy, even before its definitely lost, and am shocked at how hard its hitting me.  Meanwhile, I’m having to show up at work fresh-faced and professional with my co workers, who are finding out the genders of their babies, coming to work with morning sickness, and all of that.  Let’s do the time-warp, shall we?  I mean, isn’t this the same thing I could’ve typed many, many years ago??  but what can I say?  I invited this into my life by initiating IF treatment.

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We visited with Woob’s first family Sunday.  He got to visit with his mom and her boyfriend (who he LOOOOOVES), and meet his pretty new baby sister, who he isn’t really interested in or disturbed by one way or another.  He also got to see his grandparents, and was charming towards them.  His grandma was especially melted I think, and told me what a good job I was doing with him.  I don’t know if she was reassuring me as a parent, or herself as possibly someone who influenced her daughter’s decision to place (???).  Who knows.  Either way, my boy was sooooo good all day including in the car 2+ hours both ways.  I was so proud of him.  I do wish me and N. could have more time just to ourselves, because Woob is so drawn to C. that I think she gets ripped off in that department.  And I never get to talk to her about anything of substance…I worry that we might never.  I don’t even know what specifically that substantive topic would be, but just that there isn’t the opportunity to do it.

And I was proud of myself, because I made this trip by myself.  DH was off on a golf outing for four days.  Probably another reason why I feel so exhausted and irritable.  I need a break.

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I haven’t had my hair cut in eons, my house is a total disaster, and my laundry is as piled up as it can get…clean, but piled up.  I’m wondering what in the world I was thinking, believing I had the energy to raise another baby…

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Pray for my blood test tomorrow that it was just a flukey kind of thing–though rare, I hear these things happen.

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Filed under adoption, birthdays, birthparents, faith, grief, growing family, infertility, adoption, open adoption

Some Days I Struggle

I wish I could get paid for all the worrying I do, honestly.  I worry so much about N. sometimes.  I worry when I don’t hear from her for long stretches and I worry about what I hear when I do have contact with her.  I called her last week on her birthday and left her a message on her voicemail…and never heard anything back.  She’s a month into mommying her new baby girl, so I know she’s exhausted and busy and learning, and probably stressed beyond anything.  So I’m worrying about that.  But I don’t call again, because I don’t want to hover and be a mother hen.  So now, a week later, I hear from her and am so overjoyed to see her email in my box, but nearly stop breathing to read what she has to say about moving again, family violence, car troubles, new jobs and on and on.  I wonder how a person gets through all those things all at once when they are trying to heal from birth, keep working towards a degree, and take care of a newborn.  She comes off sounding so matter of fact about it all, like its-no-big-deal-keep-on-going-this-is-the-way-things-roll-around-here.  I’m worried about her, her boyfriend, and the baby.  She’s not asking for help.  I’m not quite sure how to approach to ask to help, or how much help I can honestly provide.  And honestly I worry that any financial help will go somewhere not intended, not through her fault, but perhaps someones else’s.  I am usually a believer that a gift is a gift and people can use it as they see fit…but I’m usually not worried about the giftee.

Honestly, I’m really at a loss here.  I don’t know what my role is or even if I have one rightfully.  I want so much for things to be well for her.

(Edited to add:  regarding the family violence, its not against her, but in the home where they were living before this most recent move.) 

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Filed under adoption, faith, motherhood, open adoption

Eat ’em up!

Simply put, I love my boy. I know now what it means to love someone so much you could just “eat ‘em up.” I could, quite literally, eat the Woob up in one bite, chubby cheeks and all. I bet you’re the same way with your own kids, right? Let me tell you a little more about the Woob, so you, too, can bask in the light of his sweetness.

  • He LOVES “maNAnas” and asks for them by name.
  • He is excited each evening after bathtime to see what will be on his belly that night. His jammy tops have “cahs,” dinosaurs, “tucks,” dogs, and lions on them and he thinks its great to see and point to whatever is on his belly.
  • The Woob gets excited and smiles THIS BIG when he hears the beginning of the Backyardigans theme song.
  • The boy has a big cheesy smile that could melt steel.
  • Every day when I drop him off at daycare we have a ritual where, one by one, he brings me Miss Julie’s books from the display case, and then we go back together to put them back on the shelves.
  • His little hiney is highly pattable and cute.
  • He is his Daddy’s little buddy.
  • Each night he pulls out every one of his baby blankets onto the living room floor and makes “nests.” You would think it was a royal throne.
  • He laughs a deep belly laugh when he hears you burp, (or make any other rude noise.)
  • He laughs and thinks you’re being silly when you sneeze.
  • The Woobie is strong and healthy.
  • The hair on the back of his head has a cute fuzziness to it that the rest of his hair doesn’t have. We just learned recently that his first-mama’s hair is exactly the same way.
  • He goes ape for NASCAR on tv.
  • Smiles and laughter come easily to the little man.

It had occurred to me awhile back, that if I love the Woob that much, and worry about him, and plan for him, and sacrifice for him, and provide for him, and if I hurt that much when he hurts…how much more is that true of how our Father feels for us, His children. It is so unfathomable to me that it could be so much more, but it must be true. And even cooler than all that, is that one day recently, my dearest hubby—never one to contemplate God or His workings out loud—basically laid that thought out there to me as well. He’d also seen the same significance. Could’ve knocked me over with a feather. So in addition to all the other awesome stuff listed above, we can add:

  • Even though he’s not quite 16 months old, has the power to get grown people to contemplate God and Universe and their place in it all.

I could just eat that boy up!

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Filed under adoption, faith, mamahood, reflection, things that make me smile

On God’s Will

N-

All through our day’s of infertility craziness, the phrase “if it’s meant to be, it will happen” was something I held onto for some form of comfort.  As a Christian I had been taught that God has a plan for all of us, we just aren’t always let in on the secret until He’s ready for us to play our part.  So we held on.  Eventually, as it was obvious that we would NOT conceive, not without some fancy medical intervention, we came to the conclusion that it must not be God’s will for us.  He had other plans.

Fast forward to adoption.  We prayed to God that he bless us with a baby to love and care for.  Constantly.  We held on to “if it’s meant to be…”  We looked for signs and prayed some more.  One Sunday, wrestling with God’s will, I knelt in Church and asked my God that if it was His will for me to be childless, to please help me accept my childlessness and move on.  Quite literally, at that moment,

my cell phone rang 

Not even kidding.  It was T. calling to tell us about you.  Asking us if we’d talk to you that day.  Telling us about a boy that was due to be born in just one month. 

a sign from God–God’s will–this was meant to be

The rest of that story is the past year’s history.  A year to live as an adoptive parent.  A year to talk to others, learn and grow, change my thinking.  A year to try to understand God better.  After all that, I’ve come to a few conclusions about God’s will as I’ve tried to relate it to adoption, that somewhat surprise me.  I’m no theologian, however, and my thinking is often faulty and circular so bear with me here.

First, I’m not even sure you can really talk specifically about adoption being God’s will.  I still believe that God has a plan for us, but I think its a general plan rather than a quite specific one.  I picture it this way…We make specific choices based on our own human will.  Somehow He allows us to do this, for better or for worse.  He asks us to make choices that will benefit us and others both in this world and in the next.  Choices that include compassion, love, caring, forgiveness, all that kind of stuff.  I think that His will lies in how he wants us to live within the choices we made.  If God’s will was more specific than that, (like I was predestined to adopt THIS particular child at THIS particular time…) then somehow God’s good will toward me cancels out His good will for someone else.  For my predestined good fortune to occur, that would mean that God had also predestined someone else to have to take a fall, go through pain, suffer indignity…  My faith doesn’t allow me to think in those terms.  Instead, you made a choice for whatever reason to make an adoption plan with us.  We accepted this plan and this child. 

And yet, I feel incredibly blessed that we were brought together, that our family was formed with THIS particular child.  I feel that God’s hand is definitely in there along the way, but I’m still struggling with exactly how.  Perhaps his hand is there on my shoulder and on yours, just guiding us through the decisions that we both made, helping us to be the best parents we can be to the Woobie, each in our own way.  I welcome and need that hand on my shoulder.  And I hope that you feel like His hand is on yours as well.

Peace,

E.

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Filed under adoption, faith, God's will, infertility, adoption

Temptations in the Desert

Good Sunday Morning, N!

Just home from church, and lunch with the family.  Each Sunday on the drive home from Bob Evans, the little Guy just konks right out.  Church is way exciting for him with all the people and music.  He just basks in all the attention he gets from everyone—napping in church is just out of the question where he’s concerned.

This morning’s reading and sermon were about the temptation in the desert.  I don’t know if you go to church or even Believe, but as many things do, the story made me think of you, of us.

In the story, Christ went into the wilderness to reflect for forty days and nights.  He needed solitude to heal from the things that he was feeling—fragile, broken and alienated from God.  Along comes ol’ Satan and says, “do this and you’ll be happy, why put yourself through all this hard stuff?”

I started thinking of my own temptations, of how it would be so much easier to just forget about it, conclude that you’ve made your choices, and will need to live with them.  Those choices shouldn’t have to effect me.  That I should just move on.  It would be so much easier to NOT think about what you’re feeling every day, look for a letter in the mail every evening, think that maybe, just maybe, if I leave the right “nudge” in a letter that you might respond.

But then I thought to myself, “perhaps I should be more patient, maybe N needs more time alone to heal and think about all the hard stuff before she’s ready to face it, especially knowing that what’s to come might even be harder.”

I guess I shouldn’t pretend to know that these are your feelings, I can only guess…until the time when you might choose to tell me what those feelings have been.  I just need to trust that you’re taking your “forty days” so that if or when you’re ready, you’ll be truly ready, not just because somebody’s telling you you have to, you need to.  I have to trust that YOU know what’s best for you.  As for me, maybe I’ll take some time to reflect on what is to come as well.

Wishing you blessings today.

E.

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Filed under adoption, birthparents, faith, reflection