Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chattanooga Thankfullness

45. to quote our lil' friend EF... that "we are here!"

46. awesome carousel at Coolidge park

47. "Heavy Metal Music" sculpture

48. mountains - wow... FL girl is getting a kick out of the mountains

49. NOT getting sick driving up and down said mountains

50. having boys falling asleep so the Mommas can eat chocolate and hang out

Saturday, July 24, 2010

should i feel guilty?

sooo... B's new favorite activity... washing dishes

should i feel bad that i let him think this is an extra treat?


should i seize the day and allow him to entertain himself AND get my house cleaner??


so --- had to stop typing this post in order to have the question answered - DO NOT LEAVE A FOUR YEAR OLD UNATTENDED WASHING DISHES... i could hear water dripping... he got water all over the counters and floor...

oh well - at least the floors are clean (er)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Motherhood and Loss

This post by rage against the minivan is awesome.

It's about motherhood and miscarriage - i love the perspective and think it works for those of us who have had a hysterectomy as well.

Allowing motherhood to be a balm for the soul during loss

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blessings 42-44

42. a friend who will host and tourguide a vacation that i wouldn't have been able to take this summer

43. another friend brave enough to go on this mad journey that involves 3 mommas + 4 boys under 6 in 1 minivan

43. my mom who will "hire" me to help her around the house so i can earn $$$ for my trip

44. a hubby who doesn't mind be ditched for a week

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

6 losses to come to term with when adopting after infertility

This episode of my favorite podcast has been convicting on so MANY levels!

I will probably do a few posts dissecting this episode b/c it struck me on several levels - the first was the issue of adopting after infertility. I tend to not include myself in this category - because ironically I am quite fertile, just not able to carry a child anymore. This portion of the podcast hit me and made me face the fact that I am indeed in this category.

Interesting resource used: Book: Adopting after Infertility by Pat Johnston

She comes up with six losses one must deal with when deciding to adopt when infertile:

1) control over many aspects of life
2) individual genetic continuity linking past and future
3) the joint conception of a child with one's life partner
4) the physical satisfactions of pregnancy and birth
5) the emotional gratifications of pregnancy and birth
6) the opportunity to parent


First - the loss of control of many aspects of life...
    - I do admit part of dealing with the hysterectomy following B's birth was the fact that it couldn't be fixed. No matter what, no matter who I know, or how "good" I've been or promise to be, I'm not in control - HE is.
     - also, now that we have decided to pursue adoption - specifically foster care adoption - I am in even less control with the birth process (and the pregnancy) even the early months, or years of life! We were so careful when preggy and when B was little to do everything "just right". i actually cried when watching "The Blind Side" when it came out that the bio-mom didn't read to him... that is what hit me - my future babies may not be being read to...

Second - the loss of individual genetic continuity linking past and future
     - basically the fact that the child will not be a link from my genetic past to the future - IN OTHER WORDS (in my humble opinion), my future babies will not "look" like us most likely - seriously, they may even be different race!

Third - the joint conception of a child with one's life partner
       - B is a combination of the best of my hubby and I, we see glimpses of each of us in him, we smile about little things that we see in him from each other - we "made" him together

Fourth - the physical satisfactions of pregnancy and birth
        - this is where I differ from many infertile adoptive parents -I've had the experience, which is good and bad,
GOOD: I got to do it, I know first hand that portions of pregnancy and birth suck BAD: I know what I'm missing - the quickening - first movements of the lil' bun in the oven, etc.

Something that stands out for me is breastfeeding. I know that sounds odd, but breastfeeding is one of those things that is a mix between physical and emotional (which is why it's stuck in here awkwardly). Breastfeeding was (besides my faith) that seriously helped me following B's birth. It forced me to bond and spend time with him, it was a problem that I felt I could "solve", I loved the cuddle time and truly felt I was doing something good for him. - I promise I will eventually post my breastfeeding story (trying to find it saved on my old desktop). I know that in many adoptions this is possible, in foster care - not so much.

Fifth - the emotional gratifications of pregnancy and birth
      - this is my biggest hurdle. The excitement and expectation of being pregnant, the belly rubbing (NOT by others - I loved rubbing my belly), how excited OTHER people are for you, the parties, registering for tiny little baby stuff, ultrasounds, hearing the heartbeat for the first time
      - there are the things that i missed out with B and don't get a second chance at - holding him first... heck holding him and remembering it within the first 24 hours, the whole having the baby born and put on your belly, giving birth and being able to immediately focus on joy - NOT be thrown into life change of infertility. I was so excited to have B, but had to deal with deep grief at the same time

Sixth - the opportunity to parent
     - while adoption will give us the opportunity to parent, depending on the age of our child, we will miss some of the early opportunities - first words, first foods, first walk, first tooth, baptism(?), if a boy what if they DON'T circumcise - how do you make that decision later on... it's kinda mean, etc. etc. etc.

What I loved about Wendy's comment on this was that these were not things to "get over" but things to think over and pray over and figure how to cope with!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

from the mouths of babes

i am ashamed to say my son doesn't necessarily know all my aunts and uncles by name and they aren't typically on the tip of his tongue - i say this because tonight something so sweet touched my heart

part of our bed time routine is to thank God for 5 things and the bless a category of people in our lives (friends, cousins, moms and dads - usually of friends or cousins, aunts and uncles, etc) tonight i started to do cousins, and B stopped me - he said no Momma I want to do uncles and aunts - i started with Dear God please bless aunt a... (we usually give sounds) i was ready to start w/ his Aunt A... (oldest aunt on his father's side)

he spoke first and said, Dear God please bless Uncle L..... (name full out)

i spoke in a previous post about the unexpected loss of my Aunt b... Uncle L... is her husband - my momma's baby brother.

Not a name typically on B's lips, he hasn't seen him since the funeral 2+ weeks ago.

God is awesome and great - i love that he brought my uncle to my sweet son's mind and therefore to my mind. I will be saying an extra prayer for him (and the kids) tonight... they are constantly in my thoughts and prayers, but tonight even more

Saturday, July 10, 2010

baby showers

went to an absolutely beautiful baby shower today, wasn't as apprehensive about it as usual.

i got a little nervous on the way b/c i started thinking about how sometimes women start exchanging war stories about whose delivery was "worse"

thankfully - none of that happened...

i did talk w/ the momma to be (not sure if she knows my hysterectomy story) she mentioned how she didn't want to "see" her birth (totally with her there) and that she would be happy as long as they put the baby on her belly after the birth.

i had to smile because i know how unlikely it is for the birth to be perfect. i just said, no matter how good or bad the birthing experience is it's worth it. i remember thinking a c-section would be THE WORST thing to happen --- oh if i had only known :)

i did get the wind knocked out of me by one thing... they played the ultrasound video in the background at the beginning of the shower - ouch. it hurt more than i would expect. i felt so petty, i just couldn't watch it. i am happy for them, but it was a bit like being sucker punched. they had music set to it, one of the songs i love to sing along to with B (Baby Mine by Allison Krauss). i watched a little and then stood so that i couldn't see the screen. if i watched much more i would cry - and not the sweet sentimental kind. it sucks - i def did better this time than at any other shower - but there are still times that it all comes out of nowhere.

i will never have another ultrasound, will never again hear my unborn child's heartbeat, will never have months to prepare for a child knowing the age and gender... true we could do surrogacy, we could do an adoption where we would find these things out ahead. i truly feel GOD has called us to foster - but i still catch myself grieving the "traditional" way of growing a family

Thursday, July 8, 2010

better is one day

after making my post last night and thinking of grieving what aunt b will be missing now that she is in heaven, and i thought of how does that mesh with the knowledge she is in heaven...

it doesn't

this song was stuck in my head - even though i cannot understand and fully grasp this with my earthly mind -


it doesn't say thousands of normal crappy days, it says thousands elsewhere - they could be the most perfect days, and they wouldn't compare.

when we are with the Father - it will be better than sticky pbj kisses, watching your son hit a homerun in lil' league, even better than watching your daughter walk down the aisle...

i don't "get it" but i know it to be true...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

warning - thoughts processing

i know God in His providence understands His timing.

it's been a while since i've posted - lots of things have happened

in the midst of B's birthday and the anniversary of my hysterectomy and my 2nd chance at life - the loss of life has surrounded me

i know this is God at work in the huge symphony of life. i am not the only person who was touched by these people (even if only through a common friend). HIS timing is not directed JUST for me and my life, there are hundreds of others - but in 1 week - during the time I would have been in the hospital 4 years ago... I was surrounded by loss...

quick synopsis -

1. my grandparents best friend passed away @ 90+ years of age - sad, but not surprising or life shattering

2. one of my prayer partner friends lost her college bff (in her 30s?) - surprising, my heart breaks for my friend, and i grieved for her loss...

then... close to the heart, sudden, still in shock
3. my aunt b - 43 years and 8 days old - went to get her driver's license, got her picture taken, sat down and had a brain aneurism, taken to hospital - airlifted to second hospital... less than 12 hours from start to finish and she was gone

my thoughts are everywhere - but one has cropped up as i was thinking about blogging and the name of my blog.

shadow of grief --- sometimes the shadow is barely there, midday - sometimes it's long (late afternoon early morning) - that is not a new thought - the new thought - sometimes my shadow is engulfed in the shadows of the world (dusk/dawn).

even in the grief of my aunt's passing - the grief of my own loss reared it's ugly head. it's shadow merged with the grief of lossing her, of the grief i had seen my friend go through, the grief of my grandparents, the grief of my cousins and my family - a huge shadow of grief... shared with so many that the lines seperating the individual shadows were completely blurred and lost

what has torn me up (mostly) is that she has left her kids behind. as a mom - it hurts. i know she was saved - she loved the lord and had such faith. i know she is in a better place, i am amazed at her daughter's strength in her faith (and her faith in the faith of her mom) - but i think of how much it kills to see her kids grieving her... and i can't help but think of what if i had left B.

how much i would have missed - how much she is going to miss....