On becoming a Mother

Getting ready to become a parent through adoption has been an interesting experience.

Many of you may know, we chose to leave the adoption open to a boy or a girl, as long as the child is under 12 months. We have also purposfully not picked out a name for our child, because we want to see what they are named when they come to our home. We may keep their given name, or we may opt to give them a name we choose. We will cross that bridge when we get there.

We daydream about life will be like when the baby arrives. I often find myself thinking, when the baby is here…..I wonder what their laugh will sound like, what their face looks like when they are learning, what their cries and cues sound like. Then I also find myself  thinking….I will have to wake up earlier in the mornings, get used to very little sleep, have someone dependent on me for all of their needs. Then I think, Geez, I am signing up for this voluntarily?! What is wrong with me?!

And then there is the waiting. Oh my gosh, the waiting. I hear many people say the waiting is the most difficult part. For us, waiting has been the best part. We have LOVED our time together. We cherish the quiet evenings and lazy weekends. However, waiting means living in the in-between. We are almost parents, but still a family of two. On the rare occasion, I get really annoyed with waiting. We have a room for them with a crib and toys and books. I am ready to meet them and play together. Why can’t they just hurry up and get here already? On those days, I find myself thinking, “Perhaps it would just be easier to get pregnant. Then we would know when the baby would be here. We could find out if it would be a boy or a girl, we could pick a name, we could have more control of the situation.”

Then I remember that we choose adoption for a reason. We were called to it. Yes, we did not get pregnant on our own, but we choose not to pursue any testing and opted for adoption as our first choice. The process of adoption can be beautiful when it is done correctly. We pray for our unknown child everyday. I have had dreams about our child that feel as real as any memory and are as vivid as any movie.  I can wonder for hours about what life we be like when they join us.

I often find myself operating in two worlds. One of science and one of faith. Many times, the two do not appear to blend. I have learned that with careful evaluation, the two worlds often completment and support each other. It is through science that my faith is strengthened.

The world of science might say the faith in a Higher Being is used as a crutch. A form of denial of the cold, hard facts. The world of science will, at times, say the desire to become a parent, while completly natural, can run the risk of setting one up to fail. That adoption can often hide unaddressed deeper issues that are covered by becoming a parent. That parental responsibility can (at times) be used to work out larger unconscous issues in an attempt to re-do the past. I have seen this first hand – more than once. It can certinaly happen.

I also operate in a world of faith. A world where I know that our experience of peace while waiting is due to the fact that we a doing exactly what were called to do. And while I have a multitude (MULTITUDE) of questions about how this will all work out – how we will ever bond and attach appropriately, how we will address our child’s feelings of loss of their birthmother etc.  I know that ultimately, God is taking care of it. He will create the correct neurological chemicals to help attachment and bonding. He is giving us peace while we wait so that we are able to be free from (a majority) of expectations so that we are free to enjoy the process – whatever it may look like.

I am not so naive to think this will end is a story book ending, but no matter how messy the end picture,I know we will have walked the path that was meant for us.

It is an odd feeling, to know I am already someones momma. I know while we wait, God is knitting our hearts together – mine and my child’s.

Knit one, perl two, baby.

“And God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what Hannah had asked.” −1 Samuel 1:19

Update

I took my cue from my friend Jess and figured it was time for an update. What have I been up to lately you ask?

In one word: Twilight

Actually, that was only one week. Yes, all four books and the movie in one week. I know, I have an illness.

The other 4 or weeks or so? I don’t really have an excuse for not blogging, but here is what I have been up to:

-Finishing the nursery for the baby’s room. It looks great!

– We celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. We went to the Planetarium and science museum. We had so much fun! The Planetarium was so neat! I was awestruck for days at how small Earth is in comparison to the entire universe. I came home and put this on my computer desktop:

milkywayIt was reassuring to look at over the past few weeks while things at work were (still sort of are) insane. We had our Federal Review last week (my department passed with flying colors!) and we open a new building next week. Like I said, it was insane.

– I actually turned off the TV for two whole weeks!! It was awesome to know that I could and I spent a lot of time reading and doing some self examination. Well worth it.

-Taking up new hobbies. More about this later, but I am very pleased with myself for picking up new and old interests.

So basically, I have been busy enjoying life before the baby comes. I do apologize for the lack of posts, but an odd thing happens when you are in the adoption process. Having people know every minute detail of your life means you begin to protect what privacy you have left in any way possible.  So, for a short while, I am going to take a blogging hiatus. I am sure I will not be gone long, just long enough to enjoy a little bit more time to myself before I return to sharing the thoughts in my head 🙂

It’s not about blame

Facts that are more comfortable to overlook:

  1. In the 1800’s, American Indian Religion was outlawed.  American Indian’s spiritual practices went underground as did much of the culture and traditions. 
     
  2. The Indian Religion Freedom Act passed in 1978 (Um, that was 31 years ago. Not that long ago. This also means American Indians were the last ethnic people group to have their civil rights acknowledged)
     
  3. In the 1970’s, 40% of American Indian women that went for a routine hospitalization (i.e. having tonsils removed) were non-consensually sterilized. 
     
  4. Many American Indian children were forced to go to boarding schools.  Their hair was cut, their name was changed from their Indian name, they were forced to wear English clothes and were whipped for speaking their Native language. One person said, “We went in the door Indian and came out English.”
     
  5. Canada, New Zealand, Australia’s governments have all made a formal apology to the aboriginal people of their country for what happened. America has not. 
     
  6. In Oklahoma, every April, children participate in a ceremonial ‘land run’ to remember when the Sooners claimed family land. And while this is an important part of Oklahoma history, it is also the day people groups were once again displaced. 

 

People ask why were are adopting from Jeremy’s tribe. These are not the reasons. But hearing about these fact moves me.  It moves me teach my child to embrace their culture and treasure traditions so they do not become lost.  It also moves me to advocate for them should I ever need to. 

For many people, this information is difficult to hear. A sense of shame and guilt is quick to rise. Followed by defensiveness and statements like, “How long do we have to apologize for this? Isn’t in the past?”

It’s not about blame.

 Read # 2 and #6 again. It was not that long ago. It is still happening in subtle ways.

It is about awareness.

Ohh, so THIS is nesting

Did I mention that we are approved?! Well we are! Now we just wait for a phone call to tell us to come and pick up Baby F.  The phone call might come next week, or it could be as long as a year away. I daydream about that phone call a lot.

In the mean time, I am feeling the need to plan, organize, re-organize and scrub every corner of the house. I am finding myself making lists and moving furniture – only to re-arranging it again. Can anyone say nesting?  🙂    

Most days I think we will have a boy. How fun would that be! Dinosaurs, airplanes, trucks, sports and pirates…I love it!

But then, oh then, I see this:  

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And these:  

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and I fall in love with the idea of having a sweet baby girl.

We have also been doing a lot of thinking about what life will be like  when the baby gets here. Conversations often drift to, “When the baby is here…”.  

Adoption is so fun!

Our friend Shala is at #1 on the waiting list with her agency!! We are so exited for her! We met up early in our adoption process and it has been neat to watch another person get ready to be a mom through adoption.    

Next weekend, my friend Jess and I are going to create a baby registry! Yea!

Silence

“I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.” – Pubilius Syrus

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog this year for a number of reasons – getting ready to add a person to our family, more demands at work, and purposefully taking some time to myself. 

The other day this blog hit me square between the eyes:

“”We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

“Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence….” -1 Kings 19:11-13
Over the past few months I have been feeling like I need to find time to allow for silence. Reading the statements above just confirmed it for me. So I am working hard to carve out space in my day where I can get away and find silence.  Turning off the t.v. and shutting down the computer actually takes quite an effort.  As with everything in life, balance is the key. While we can not live in silence at all times, a small portion of the day spent in solitude and quietness is appealing.
 
What about you? Does silence work for you? What do you hear?

Sometimes you just have to nut it out

“When I speak of wisdom being hidden, I mean that wisdom is not found on the surface of life. Like all precious things it has to be dug for and searched out….. It is a little like allowing the young chick to make it’s own way out of the egg: muscles are developed necessary for life. ”

-Philip Baker from A Wiseheart, The Forgotten Factor


Wisdom is available if we take the time to look for it.  Perhaps it is the act of searching that allows for wisdom to be seen.  But then again, a fool would never bother to look for in the first place, so their circle starts all over again.

 

Just something I have been thinking over lately.

I Choose Hope

Sometimes it is a struggle between seeing the best in people or the worst of people.  

Over the past year, I have heard the most awful of stories: murder (those that did and those that were nearly), rape, child abuse, domestic violence, rejection of parent to child, racism, segregation, hatred, greed, betrayal and the list could go on.  At my job, some days are heavy than others. And try as hard as I may, some days I take it home. Not because I want to, but because I would not be human to be moved so deeply by these stories. 

The flip side of all of this is that if you look closely, within these awful events lays another story: courage, forgiveness, hope, resilience, determination, and healing. Some days the good stories are so easy to see. Other days you have to hunt for them.

My therapist (because all therapists ethically should see their own therapist. And yes, I can recognize the overwhelming irony it this) told me, “You can not control what other people think, how they act or what decisions they make. The only person you can control is yourself. Your reactions, your behaviors, your feelings. ”  

How insightful is that?

So for today I am choosing to see the good and not be discouraged by the overwhelming bad. I am choosing to place my hope in the One who heals and comforts.  I am choosing to have hope not as a form of denial of the bad, but rather in spite of it.  

What about you? What kind of things are you choosing about yourself?