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Showing posts from January, 2010

The Secret To an Extraordinary Life? Say Yes

How often do you say Yes to an opportunity to love?

I've been reading the the archives at Katie's blog and I had a thought. (I never read through archives by the way. I've not got the time. But in her case I wanted to see the start of the story, how did she get to where she is now with all of those children and the sponsorship program and the many kids she feeds and pays for school for?)

Last night I read the story of how she first came to be the mother of 3 little girls at age 19. She started out just taking care of them because the wall of their house fell in one night on top of one of the girls, their mother was recently dead, and they had no where to live. She started out just making sure the injured girl had medical care and food, and that the little ones had a place to stay. She ended up, the next day, signing guardianship papers. Here's the thing, she didn't say no. It wasn't what she expected, it took her completely by surprise, but she didn't say …

Hooray!

I had an ultrasound yesterday, the first I've ever had actually, except in the middle of the miscarriage. There is a baby in here, alive and kicking and doing back flips.

I ended up going to the crisis pregnancy care center. See, we haven't figured out insurance yet for this baby, and I could go and see my midwife but she doesn't do ultrasounds, she has to send me somewhere else to do that anyway, which is expensive. Also, I'm not sure we can afford her this time around. I remembered her saying once that they did free ultrasounds at the pregnancy care center so I called them and they said to come on in.

I have NEVER had such a positive experience in all my time spent in prenatal care and consults. I have walked and fund raised for them in the past but I had no idea just how wonderful the women in that office are. They weren't just there to do a job, they genuinely cared about me, my family, and my baby. It was really amazing to be treated like a person, to be seen …

One Thousand Gifts-Week 43

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For a while now I've been struggling with the thought, reality, that this pregnancy may end in a miscarriage too. Part of it is because I feel exactly the same as I did last time when I miscarried. Yet there is nothing to do but go on, until I know one way or another what is happening. I've faced fully the possibility that this child inside of me could already be dead, gone forever without me even knowing. I've wept and prayed and hoped I am wrong. I still don't know. I hope to find out this week.

Surprisingly, a blog post by a 21 year old girl named Katie, who lives in Uganda, has adopted 13 children there, started a school and feeding program for several thousand more and goes into dirt poor villages to bring food and medical care every week, helped me more than anything else. (Sound warning, if you click through) It's surprising because in it she is angry. She is angry that the boy she brought home from the village has white hair because his step mother doesn&#…

My kid's dentist wants to know this. Maybe you do too.

"What did you feed her mommy?"  The dentist was peering over her blue mask and the supine form of my 3 year old, reclined in the chair, staring at Dora on the ceiling.

From my perch a safe two feet outside the room, out of reach of fetus endangering nitrous gas I wondered what she was talking about. Did she need to know in case Little vomited? Was she going to need general anesthetic? I hadn't approved that had I?

"Uh, muesli." I said.

"Oh no, I think you gave her something else. She is so good. I have never had a patient this good. She's staying so still. We will have to give her lots of stickers when we're finished. I didn't think she would do this well."

OH! She's joking. Phew. We were in there to get a filling that may be too close to a nerve and result in a baby root canal and cap so you'll understand why I was nervous. (She didn't need the root canal after all. It was a cavity they spotted almost a year ago but waited unt…

Psst, I'll tell you a little secret

I want to share something with you. It changed my life when I finally realized what I'm about to tell you, but that was so long ago that I forget now that not everyone shares this basic assumption. It's recently come to my attention again. So I thought I would share it here.

Emotions are just information.

They tell us something, about how we are feeling and about what is going on around us. All too often though we misinterpret this information, allowing our emotions to govern us, and that can cause problems.

More often than not, emotions tell us a lot more about ourselves and what's going on inside us than what is happening outside of us. How we feel about what someone said often has very little to do with their intent in saying it, or even with the actual content. It has more to do with how we have been conditioned to respond to certain situation by our life circumstances. You know that person who always overreacts to a gentle correction? Their emotional reaction is comple…

I wasn't ready for this

I expected that a pregnancy following a miscarriage would be a bit different; a little less blithe optimism, a little more caution in the first 3 months with words, and feelings.

What I wasn't ready for was lying in bed at the end of a good day, a day that feels more normal than pregnant, and wondering if it's because my child is dead. I didn't expect to cling to every whiff of nausea and heartburn as a sign of hope.

I wasn't ready for those conversations where people ask me how I'm feeling. I'm hesitate to say, "I feel pretty good right now." I know they will say, "That's great."

Is it great? I'm not so sure. Maybe it's a sign something is wrong.

Really, I'm not ready for this baby to die.

I beg it to live. I plead, "Let it live."

Yet there is nothing I can do but go through the days as normally as possible, and wait impatiently until the 12 week mark to listen for a heartbeat, to know for sure.

Two more weeks. How…

I showed my children photos of Haiti.

Why?

Well, they wanted to know why mommy was crying for one.

But the real reason is that I think it's a gift to my children to equip them to deal the world the way it really is, by letting them know how it is; in all it's beauty and all it's ugliness.

So I'm honest with them about death. We will all die someday, you, me, daddy, your siblings. Our bodies will eventually wear out, get broken, and stop working. But usually parents don't die before their kids are all grown up and have families of their own, and kids usually live to be grownups and have kids of their own before they die. But sometimes there are accidents/disasters, or diseases, or famines, and then that changes and more people die than should.

I let them see the process by which the animals we eat become food. They have seen goats and chickens slaughtered and butchered, and eaten them that night for dinner.

Only in the wealthy west would it be possible for a child to remain ignorant of these things for …

A Moment of Silence

I was going to post today, a silly nothing about our dentist visit this morning. But in light of these images earthquake in Haiti I have no words left. Really. Nothing but tears and prayers for the people there, and gratitude for the people on their way to help.

I think my time will be better spent praying for them than writing today. Will you join me?

Updated to add:

I know there are many different ways to give money to support relief efforts. One of the most urgent is this, to have medical aid available to all those who were injured. Partners in Health has already set up their location outside of Port-au-Prince to deal with all the patients, as well as triage areas and temporary hospital sites in the capital city. They need money to buy emergency medical supplies, and they need health care professionals who will volunteer to help, esp. surgeons (trauma/orthopedic, and surgical teams, (nurses, anesthesiologists, etc.) It seems like a good place to start helping to me. Go to their webs…

One Thousand Gifts-Week 42

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A little boy at the edge of a soccer field slowly inching his cleats deeper and deeper into a large puddle while the grown ups were distracted.

Gingerbread scented candles.

The way the Boy's face near exploded with excitement when I asked him if he'd like to learn how to cook. 

Twinkling lights I have yet to take down.

Little sitting on the couch in her pajamas, cradling her doll and singing, "My baby, my baby..."

Reading George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblins to my thoroughly enchanted children.

The Boy made lunch, Little peeled carrots, and the Girl set the table. Working together to get a meal on the table.

The Boy made me breakfast this morning, before I woke.

Little curled up asleep on my pillow.

Little girls twirling in pretty dresses.

Lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwiches. My new pregnant craving.

Hugs from my big girl.

Sunday afternoon picnics.

I owe you updates

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At Thanksgiving I shared with you all my mother in law's story about  a little girl named Usha and her family that lives in a slum in India. She was asking all of her dinner guests to bring their pocket change to help that family. Some of you gave too. At final count the total given was more than $500, which translate to roughly 25, 000 Indian rupees. That's a lot of money for a family living in a slum to receive so it's a really significant gift for them. Thanks to those of you who gave.

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At Christmas I sent out an SOS to raise enough to give the refugee kids at the Charis home beds that were off of the concrete floor and warm clothes and shoes. I am thrilled to report that every single last drop of money that we needed for that came in. You guys rock! We even sent about $200 extra to throw a Christmas party for the kids and community. I can't even think about what a change that will be for them compared to last year without crying a little.

They…

Flashbacks-Moments in Time

I've been browsing through old posts today. A friend suggested I submit something to an anthology that some friends of hers are editing on parenting. I am stumped, honestly. No idea what to submit. But I did find these. Two years ago I was recording little moments from my day, sort of like prosaic snapshots.

I really enjoyed rereading them. Maybe you will too. I suggest scrolling down to the ones titled Moments. They are more to the point.

Let the Adventure Begin

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I've spent a month avoiding the writing of this post, largely because I can't figure out how to say it. Which isn't that different from how I was when I first found out and needed to tell my family. As result, I've written hardly at all. So here goes.



At the beginning of December I wrote this post on learning to be content. For those of you who don't remember, or don't want to click over, it was all about how sad I was that we had no plans for another baby anytime soon, the very important reasons for that decision and how I had finally begun to make peace with that.

In the meantime we started talking about adopting a child from Ethiopia from Drawn From Water. A friend was sure she could help us raise the necessary funds and so we started to look around for a 3 bedroom home we could move to and a larger vehicle so we could pass the home study. I didn't say anything about it because it was all in the very early stages and we were just finding out if it was po…

Catching up on the last days of the year.

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The morning of the Girl's birthday, Aaron's grandfather fell out of bed due in part to a mini stroke. While he was in the hospital, grandma fell in the parking lot and severely sprained her wrist. She was admitted as well. After they were both discharged grandpa continued to be in and out of ER almost daily due to complications. Since they two are the primary makers of Christmas happenings, not much happened during holiday week. The day of the planned family get together grandpa had several appointments with specialists. It just didn't happen. They are both doing much better now though. I'm hoping they'll be up for a visit from the kids soon.



So on Christmas day the kids decided they wanted to go swimming. My instant reaction, having been in SoCal for 4 whole years now, was, "It's way too cold to go swimming!"





But we let them check the water in the pool, and lo and behold, maintenance had turned the heater on.


Supervising pool side






They stayed in for …

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