Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I honestly do love Callie's hair. Look at that picture. This was after a bath one night. She's too young for me to just let it out too often. When she gets older she'll be to take care of her own hair a little bit and she can wear a silk cap or scarf over her head at night...but for now, I usually braid it, cornrow, twist, pull up in poofs, something to keep it up. Those are all super cute, but when it's down....
So for me, saying Callie's hair was beautiful was natural. It made me so sad to think that there are mothers and fathers out there saying things, around their own children, about what a pain this or that is about them. It makes me cringe. I would never say around Samantha, "Gosh, your little head is such a problem." I know these parents probably don't even realize they're doing it or what it's doing to their kids...but I'm pretty sure some of those little girls will be the ones who can't wait until they are old enough to get their hair straightened. I'm not trying to be judgemental as much as make a point that we need to be so careful about how we parent, about what we say, and think about how our words (and actions of course) will ultimately affect our children's self-esteem.
So...long story short...Callie's hair is different than mine. I have to take much better care of her hair than I have to mine. It takes me an hour in the evening (not every night) to wash, condition, detangle, and braid. But look at that hair. And look at that little girl. It's so worth it.
Not the best hair shot -- her hair was in some serious need of being redone, but I like this one anyway. We were at the park and she didn't know I was about to take a picture. She was contemplating if she should join some kids on the jungle gym. She did.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Scribbles and Giggles. There, I learned that Scribbles was losing $25,000 a month (!!!), but the past 3 months it’s been about $15,000. I was floored. They are barely staying afloat and it’s largely due to poor planning from parents. I was relieved that I was considered (I think anyway) one of the reliable parents – but moreso, I was impressed with Mike Zarcone. He is a man, who after had 2 brothers with developmental delay and seeing what his parents went through, decided that this community needed a facility that offered services to parents and their children. This is a man who is losing $15,000 monthly and just trying to break even over the next year if possible so that he can maintain this facility. If not, they'll need to shut-down. (This is also the man who owns the next-door sub-acute hospital that saves our state $11 million a year because kids can go to his hospital instead of staying in other hospitals.) I was touched as he spoke and I had to stifle any tears that were trying to make their appearance because I just felt so much gratitude for this man, and I felt blessed to be among the 41 families who use Scribbles and Giggles.
I am most certain that there must be special places reserved in Heaven for men like Mike Zarcone, who altruistically sacrifice and give of their resources for others. I don’t know his faith or beliefs, but I know that, at least this aspect of his life is very Christ-like and I feel blessed to be able to benefit from this kindness.
Samantha loves attending Scribbles and Giggles and they adore her there. She can’t tell me in words, but when we went tonight, seeing her face light up and her legs start kicking, I was pretty sure she was telling me she was excited to be there. It’s a really good feeling knowing that your kids are well taken care of and taught, guided, mentored, and loved by tender, intelligent, talented, and truly kind people. Tonight, I feel grateful.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
that post came after hours of internally complaining about my life. Yes. I complain. I complain a lot and I need to work on that. The other day, I was so frustrated with life and I was seeing all the things that aren't working out. Fortunately, at these times (after some wallowing) I'm often reminded of all I have and am humbled by the blessings in my life.
So, here's what I was complaining about this time.
It's a beautiful thing if it works out for you. It's a beautiful thing if a baby is placed in your arms and becomes your own. It's a beautiful thing when you realize that all your waiting and waiting has been divinely directed so that your baby comes to you through an amazingly selfless birthmother who recognizes that she is also part of bringing a family together. As painful as the process is, it's a magical and beautiful thing.
Right now, I'm just in the painful process part. Kind of. In 2009, we began the process. I didn't expect that things would move as quickly as they did for Callie -- I mean, really. She came to us super fast and that's pretty much unheard of. But, even in my heart knowing that things would take longer, my heart didn't prepare me for this one. So, 2009. 2010 rolls around and we're still doing paperwork, but we're truckin' along. It's now 2011. We are still NOT approved. We're waiting on my mother-in-law's FBI name check to get cleared (which is ridiculous...for real...the story is soooo long), AND, because a year has passed, we have to redo the entire process. RE-DO! So, Marcus and I went and got our fingerprints done. Lee and Colin need to get theirs done. We need to get physicals again, etc.
I can't fully express the frustration...and also the discouragement that comes along with this, nor do I want to, because adoption IS a beautiful thing. But sometimes, it's also very taxing.
I have faith. I know that our baby will come when the time is right. And I think I also know that if our baby had come, then Heavenly Father -- the miracle worker -- could expedite everything along to make it work out. I believe that's what happened for Callie. I guess I'm learning patience?
That's the update. My life is full. It truly is. Full of love, full of happiness, full of blessings. But sometimes, it's also full of other stuff too!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
|Before the "party" started, Nathaniel stared at Callie in awe.|
|Very ready to light the candles and get going!|
|I love this picture.|
|Not the best lighting, but that's innards of the cake. Layered...raspberry stuff, cake, raspberry frosting.|
|Washable markers and a ream of your very own paper!!!! She loves this. For "Secret Santa" back in Spokane, that's what one of the kids wanted and I've always remembered that. What a great idea for kids. This was from Grammy.|
|I got Callie her own electric toothbrush. I know she doesn't seem excited, but she is. I assure you.|
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Samantha smiles and I can't help but smile back. She giggles and sometimes it still brings a tear to my eye. Her long pigtails touch her shoulders and her innocent eyes give me a glimpse into eternity of happiness -- and an eternity of perfect personality, physical form, and being together, maybe even the ethereal vision of running together through a lush field of soft overgrown grass. Her longing cries of "mama" never get old. I want to be able to be there for her every time she says it. Her spirit is too large for her small frame; it permeates through every pore and touches all who stand nearby.
My life is full.
Callie lays her head against my shoulder, her soft tight curls rubbing against my cheek. I'm unaware of the fact that she laid her baby down for a nap until I put Sammy to bed. I discover Callie's baby, nestled in blankets in Samantha's crib. Her witty words and phrases frustrate but utterly delight me. Rocking back and forth, we sing together, "I Am a Child of God." Her voice completely off tune is perfectly beautiful to me. She is smart and stubborn, but gentle and kind. I often wonder who she will become -- what that stubbornness will have to fight against in her future. She is solid, knows what she wants, and often she wants Mommy. That's ok, because often I want her too.
My life is so full.
Marcus hugs me from behind and tells me I'm beautiful. I don't feel that way, but he thinks I am. He tells me I'm a great mother. I don't feel that way, but he thinks I am. He is my sincere cheerleader. Together we walk around the neighborhood, against the crisp cold breeze, talking about life -- our future, funny things that happened today, frustrations and annoyances -- allowing each other to vent a bit. I fall deeper each day. I have a pounding migraine. I sleep. He takes care of the girls. He takes care of me.
I feel overwhelmed with how full my life is. A lot of times I can get frustrated feeling like things aren't turning out how I'd like. After Samantha was born, I learned an important lesson: Life doesn't turn out like you expect, or plan, but it's always better. I truly believe this. If we are doing our best to follow Heavenly Father's personal plan for us, if we are being obedient to the best of our abilities...then we are on track, and though life may be different than what we planned, it'll always be even better than we could imagine because it's His plan for us. I learned that lesson and I really believe it. But I too often forget that and get caught up in what I want again. Today, for some reason, I was able to slow down enough to remember that my life is pretty great. Sure, there's more I look forward to, but even if those things never happen, I've been incredibly blessed. My life is full.