Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Patience, Wisdom, & Courage

Apparently there is a proverbial pendulum in state adoption, swinging between birth parent's interests and children's interests. At one point the state will be very determined to keep children with their parents, thus giving birth parents fourth and fifth and seventeenth chances to get their lives in order before severing their parental rights. Then after a few years of fallout from unstable home situations, the pendulum will swing over to the other side, which has strict requirements for birth parents to meet (ie- get off substances, get a job, etc) and if they are not met in a timely manner, the children are made available for adoption so they don't end up floating around foster care during the formative first few years of their life.

We started this process on the domestic infant adoption route, mainly because there weren't really any children in the state foster care program who were younger than 4 years old (we decided at the beginning that Bethany should remain the oldest child in the family) because by the time the state was done giving the parents chances to turn over a new leaf, the children were school-aged. The few young children in the system were most often adopted by family members or their foster family. So the next logical path was to take in an infant who might be more difficult to find a home for because of its race or substance exposure. Then we heard about the pilot program in Uganda and thought that perhaps there was a greater need there for families to adopt little ones. And that's where we've been heading for the past 6 months, though we have yet to financially commit to one path which leaves the door open to any opportunity.

All that said, we have heard that the pendulum is swinging back toward the child's best interests, which translates to more young children from the state needing a family. Our caseworker has also mentioned not to rule out an infant coming along that would match our family. While we've been filling out paperwork for a Ugandan adoption, we've been keeping an eye on the pilot program and have come upon a few concerns so far. Nothing that would cause us to just drop the idea entirely, but enough to make us very cautious as we move forward.

What a boring, vague, and hapless post this has been. I suppose its purpose has simply been to communicate that we have no idea what God has in store for us or where our children will come from. All we know is we are here and ready and available to kids who need a home. And that's a pretty cool place to be. So pray for us, if you will, for patience, wisdom and courage.

And for reading this boring blog, I reward you with a link to a very un-boring video of Harper from our snow day last weekend.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nothing Else But Him

Benjamin was just miserable yesterday. I took him in and turns out he has a double ear infection on top of the cough and cold. He's been pretty needy all week, but yesterday in particular he wouldn't let me put him down. And in a way, it was kind of nice. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty awful when the kids get sick, but whenever they are it is almost inevitable that I will have some sweet, quiet moment with them that I would not have had otherwise.

When Bethany was in the worst of it last week, she came into our room around 1:00am unable to sleep and insisting through whimpers that a bath would make her sore throat feel better. Half asleep, I tried my best to talk her out of it, but, as often comes of attempts to reason with a 4-year-old, I gave up. We ended up sitting together in the bathtub in the middle of the night, whispering and laughing while everyone else was asleep, until she felt well enough to crawl back up into her bed. It was one of those moments when you can feel your mind taking a picture and filing it away, to be pulled out on the day you hand over the car keys or watch her walk down the aisle. I'm not sure if she will remember that night, but I will never forget.

Yesterday Benjamin wasn't interested in his books or his toys or even movies. He didn't want to play and he didn't want to eat. The only thing he wanted was me. He would say “upease” and I would pick him up, and then he would say “wock”. So we would go over to the rocking chair and I would lay him against my chest as he wrapped his little arms around me as far as they could go. And there I would sit with him, feeling his chest rise and fall, stroking his hair and his face, both of us perfectly content to stay just as we were forever and ever.

In the midst of their suffering, I cherish those sweet times. And in the midst of their suffering, they are learning. They are learning that I am there, and that I will care for them. They are learning to come to me when they are hurting or when they are scared. And, through these beautiful little moments that spring up like flowers from the cracks in my stoneish heart, I am learning a little something too. A little something more about my Father and His unshakable love for me, and why, perhaps, He allows for difficulty in our lives. That we would come to Him with outstretched arms, that we would rest our head upon His chest, and that we would find ourselves wanting nothing else but Him.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Braselton Rx

There are currently seven bottles of medicine on my kitchen counter. I'm not intentionally displaying them, I guess they just kind of accumulated there with three sick kids and one sick parent. This is one of those times when everybody is sick. People at church are sick. People at school are sick. Everyone is sick. Except Matthew. Except Matthew and his superfood-antioxidant-laden-green-sludge juices. I finally broke down and drank some the other day, in hopes of sharing in his super powers. I decided I would rather be sick then finish the glass.

The worst part about being sick is the sleep deprivation. Last night I was going on two nights back-to-back of sub-four hours of sleep. All I wanted more than anything was a good night's rest. After I put the kids down, I made a Walgreens run to find something to help me sleep. I found the cold medicine aisle and there I stood, sick and afflicted and sleep-deprived, staring at row after row of little colorful boxes, for a good 15 minutes. I read the drug facts, the touted benefits, the dosages and warnings. I found one that stated expressly right on the package not to use it to sedate children. Seeing nothing restricting me from using it to sedate an adult, I thought I'd give it a try.

I brought it home, choked it down, and tried to go to sleep. But to no avail. The coughing would not allow it, nor was it deterred by the medication. So, at 11:30, I had nothing else to do but go back to Walgreens and try again. This time I selected Robitussin DM, which is the one advertised in the commercial with little animated globs of mucous wearing suspenders. I hate those commercials, but I figured it was worth a shot. I took it to the register and the cashier scanned the box.

“Oh, Robitussin DM,” he observed. “You've got those little green guys going on, huh?”

I looked at him bleary-eyed, wondering if he was really asking me this question and if he regularly strikes up conversations with customers regarding their purchases. I paid and left, thankful that I hadn't come in for something like tampons or Preparation H.

Once at home I realized that the dosage chart on the first medication required me to wait one more hour before taking a dose of the new stuff. I contemplated staying up until 12:30 in order to follow the directions but exhaustion won over and I tossed back two teaspoons of the new stuff, wondering what might become of me. Perhaps I would start twitching or hallucinating, or maybe my heart would just stop beating altogether. I thought about writing a note for Matthew. Something like, “Good morning Babe. If you find me dead on the couch, this is what I took and when” just to simplify the autopsy process. Yes, things get a little foggy in the middle of a sleepless night. But after a bowl of Raman noodles and a little Conan O'Brien, I finally drifted off to sleep.

I'm hopeful for tonight. Feeling a little better, and I certainly have enough medications to choose from. If you're one of the everyone who is sick, skip Walgreens and come on over to my house. I'm sure I've got what you need.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Could It Be the Stairs?

Friday I went out on the mountain after being sick all week and ended up riding a personal best time.

Then last night I got carded for a ticket to "Slumdog Millionaire".

So I've got to wonder.

In any event, it's been a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

And the Winner Is....

Christina and Brent! You guys must have made a similar discovery in your own pantry at some point in time. Yes, the object in our mystery photo in yesterday's post is none other than a petrified, sprouted potato. I have no idea how long that had been in there, but it was prety close to fossilization. Nice job on all the guesses! So Christina, next time I see you I will give you your oh-so-coveted prize. :)

Here are some pictures of the kids and the move as promised.

Little Helpers

Fun with Styrofoam. Mmmmm... styrofoam.

Yuck... styrofoam

Post-Move Exhaustion

Take a Guess

Day four in the new house. Internet connection finally reinstated. The great majority of the boxes have been unpacked and hauled off and the house is slowly becoming home.

The move went marvelously, so thank you to all who schlepped boxes or couches or lent us trucks and trailers! I will post some more photos of the kids and the move another day.

Our little contest for today is to identify the object found in the packing process shown in the picture above. I'm giving away a free cd to the first commenter who correctly identifies what it is. Good Luck!