Tuesday, June 30, 2009
There are usually several children on RR that touch my heart deeply. Mark will attest to the fact that tears come freely when I think about every minute that they are without a family to love them. And at any given time, I am praying specifically for 1-2 to find their forever home. It is so exciting to see these children move to the list of pending adoptions - God hears our prayers! I have been blessed to follow one child's journey, praying for her since she was first listed on RR and even now when she has been part of her forever family since December. Sometimes, I ask God if He has a plan for any of them that includes Mark and I, hoping that maybe He does.
But for right now, I believe that God's plan for us is to pursue domestic adoption. You can read about how we came to that decision in one of my earlier posts. We are open to that path that is laid out before us. In the meantime, I feel like I can advocate for these precious children who desperately need a family to call their own by sharing them with you. Perhaps you will feel led to bring grow your family through this journey called adoption.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
A few of the ideas I have come up with:
- Contact your local woman's shelter to donate some gently used toys, clothes, or other items.
- Bake a batch of cookies or brownies for your family. Double the recipe and share the extra batch with a neighbor, friend, or perhaps local fire department, police station, etc.
- Buy a balloon bouquet and take it to the children's wing of your local hospital. Ask the nurses to deliver it to a child who needs it most.
- Leave a bouquet of flowers on someone's doorstep.
- Pay a local teen to mow an elderly neighbor's yard.
- Leave your change in the vending machine for the next person to find.
- Donate books to your local library.
- Visit a nearby nursing home - visit with the residents, offer to assist with activities.
- Share a smile and compliment with someone. It might be the only positive moment that person gets all day.
Print out a copy of the card on the LWB site to give with your act of kindness. There are sooo many things that we can do to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
I hope that you will accept this challenge and come back here to post what "random acts of kindness" you have done! I can't wait to hear from each of you!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Today, I honor my friend Delores. We met about 12 years ago when we worked on the same unit at the hospital. Delores is one of God's most faithful servants - she loves Him and encourages others to do the same. There are many things that make Del (as she is known to most of her friends) special to me. She is genuine and she makes me laugh. She is compassionate and has held me when I cried. Del is my prayer partner. She has prayed on my behalf in my darkest hours when I literally could not find the words and she has rejoiced with me in my happiest moments. Del has a heart for God that is apparent to all who meet her. She is tender hearted, compassionate, and someone that I am honored to call "friend." The following quote says it well,
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." ~ Henri Nouwen
Thursday, June 25, 2009
2. The thoughtfulness of others - A couple weeks ago, I shared that I was thankful for massages and how awesome Vicky (my massage therapist) is. Last time I saw her, Vicky told me about a book that she thought I would find inspirational. I came home from work today to find a package in the mail from her. She sent me a copy of this book with a personal, encouraging note inside. Her kindness touched my heart!!
3. Chocolate Chip Pancakes - That's what is for dinner tonight. I LOVE chocolate chip pancakes - probably one of my favorite foods! Well, chocolate in general ranks right up there - lol!
4. Doll*r Stores - Ok, I know that there is lots of cheap, tacky stuff at these type of stores. But, if you know what you are looking for, there are also some good bargains. And I leave the store without having spent much money, but happy that I was "shopping."
5. That we are officially "In Process." The first visit of our home study was Monday! It wasn't anything exciting, just more of a review of paperwork, overview, and scheduling - but it's still a step!! And it also means that if (by chance) the right opportunity came along, we could be considered as potential adoptive parents. I've heard many talk about how nervous the home study made them - I don't think that either Mark or I felt nervous meeting with Becky. We want her to get to know us as well as possible so that she can give an accurate picture of our lives. And we want any birth moms out there to know that a child coming into our family will be loved and cherished. So, we are excited about sharing ourselves as part of the home study.
Next week, Mark and I meet with Becky individually. After that, we meet as a couple again. Sounds like we can anticipate the home study process to be about 6-10 meetings. We were given a folder and for those of you who are familiar with the process, all I can say is "Let the paperwork begin." We've got a pile of it, but it is all part of the journey to our child and we are thrilled to be on this journey!
What are you thankful for today? I'll be waiting to hear!!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
This weekend I spent most of my time washing the deck getting ready to stain it. Betsy (my little sister) came down from the twin cities to see some friends, her boyfriend Tim and his son John helped move the hot tub so we could clean the deck under it and stain it too.Today for fathers day we went to Red wing to see a car show that had Melanie's dad and his Corvette in it. Then took Melanie's mom and dad out to eat at Kings in Miesville MN
So other than seeing Melanies mom and dad not much fun this weekend but it was work that needed to get done.
On Monday June 22 (tomorrow) we will be seeing Becky of Catholic Charities to start our home study, I know things will go well, but wish us luck anyway.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
1. Air Conditioning - I am not a fan of hot weather. Never have been, 70 and sunny with a bit of breeze is about as warm as I like it. Today is warm and humid. It felt so wonderful to come into a nice cool house this afternoon!
2. Safety - We had storms come through our area last night, including a tornado about 30 miles from here. From the news reports, it sounds like one person suffered a minor injury but that's all. Property damage and lost power to many, but no lost lives! My friend Denise and her family (last week's Fabulous Friend) were driving right into the tornado path when she got a call on her cell phone warning them. Also, my mom blew a tire on her way home from work last night. I thank God for keeping everyone safe!
3. Purses - Now, Mark will tell you that he is NOT thankful for purses - lol! However, I LOVE them. Some women have a weakness for shoes, jewelry, makeup - mine is definitely purses. I have a good size collection and get lots of compliments on some of my unique ones. I love to find great bargains on them - I think the most I have ever paid is $40 for a purse. Best deal - $20 for a great Co*ch purse. Consignment stores and the good will shop are awesome places to find them. And today was a GOOD day to shop for purses. That's all I'm going to say since I might incriminate myself when my better half reads this blog. :)
4. Peace - The adoption journey is one of many ups and downs - I know that as we go along, we will experience the whole roller coaster ride (and I can tell you that I don't like roller coasters at all). But at least for today, I have an incredible sense of peace about God's plans for our family (and I had it even before I knew about #5). I can't wait to see what He has in store!
5. Last but certainly not least - GOOD NEWS! My friend Sarah told me that we should be persistent with our agency. Last week, I had posted that our SW had the unofficial FBI clearance on our background check and was waiting for the paperwork - hoping she would receive it by the end of the week. We hadn't heard anything so I decided to call her this afternoon. She was in the office and said that our official clearance arrived in today's mail! YAY!!! She asked if I wanted to schedule our first home study meeting. Hmmmm... do ya think?? Of course! We are meeting with her next Friday to begin our home study!!!!
What are you thankful for today? Are there any other purse enthusiasts out there?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Denise W is who I choose to honor today. Denise and I have shared so much over the 15+ years that we have been friends. We met in nursing school, worked together, returned to school together and shared our lives. I am privileged to be god-mother to 2 of her 3 beautiful daughters. When the bottom dropped out of my world, Denise was there for as long I needed her to be before I could even ask. She has also shared many of the happiest moments of my life and was the matron of honor when Mark and I were married. When I called to tell her that Mark and I were starting our adoption journey, she was almost as excited as we were! Even though we are both so busy that we don't get togther as often as we would like, I know that if I called her right now and told her I needed her, she would be by my side. Denise has a wonderful sense of humor, she is a brilliant nurse, compassionate friend, and is beautiful inside and out. I am so glad that God brought her into my life!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The first thing on my thankful list today is accountability. If you had asked me yesterday, I would not have been thankful for this. I was given some feedback at work that was quite hurtful. After having the night to "sleep on it," I have decided that this is an opportunity to pray for an open heart and ask God to work in me. So, I am thankful for others who care about me enough that they are willing to share observations that offer me the chance to grow and better myself.
Next thing I am thankful for is music. I especially love listening to internet radio!! I wish that my singing ability matched my enjoyment, but I limit my singing to the car (when I am alone) - lol!
Mark asked me to share that he is thankful for quality couple time. Since I have been in school, we don't have as much time to just relax and enjoy being together. We both miss that and are looking forward to post graduation days. This weekend, we're planning on heading north to our cabin. He needs to do some work on the floor and we'll hit the trails for some 4-wheeling. YAY!
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I am excited that we have accomplished one more "baby" step in the journey to our child! To use Linny's phrase "Yippee Jesus!!"
Sunday, June 7, 2009
My recipe for today is an awesome Rhubarb Cake - even those of you who don't like rhubarb will enjoy this recipe.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Today, that person is Kari. We met in grade school - the summer between 4th and 5th grade - in summer band - we both played the flute. Although we went to different grade schools, we developed a friendship that was solidified when we started attending the same junior high. Over the years, we have tied up the phone lines for hours on end - laughing, crying, doing all those things that best friends are about. We have had many adventures over the years, some great stories, some much too embarassing to share with anyone else - we've lived close together and far apart. We were nannies in New York together and have shared some of the best and worst moments of each other's lives. Any lasting friendship is likely to have some bumps over the years. Unfortunately, Kari and I have also had those. We've been friends for nearly 30 years and in spite of those bumps, I consider her to be a very important part of my life . I look forward to being her friend for at least another 30 years and sharing many more adventures with her. And when our little one arrives, I am hoping that Auntie Kari (personal joke) will be involved in our child's life! In the meantime, I honor her as my friend today!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
1. House Cleaners - I can't very well say a "cleaning lady" since Cheryl and Denny are the people who clean our house. But, I can say that I am thankful for them! I do NOT enjoy housework. I don't like a messy house and keep things fairly neat. However, dusting, vaccuuming, scrubbing floors - hmm... not so much. Mark and I have a cleaning person come in regularly and this is money well-spent. It is wonderful not to worry about what things look like if company drops in unexpectedly or we want to invite someone over at the last minute. Coming home after Denny and Cheryl have been here is such a good feeling.
2. Massages - where do I start? I had my first massage about 5 years ago - several months after Bob died. After nearly 14 years of marriage that included daily hugs, kisses, and affection - all of a sudden, I didn't have any physical contact (no, I do not mean sexual) with ANYONE. Although I knew I missed human contact, until I had that first massage I did not realize the restorative nature of healing touch. Unfortunately, massage is not cheap. I found a school of massage therapy which offered very reasonable sessions with students. Last year, God scheduled my appointment with a student named Vicki. She is a genuine, tender-hearted person who has become an amazing massage therapist. She went on to graduate and start her own practice, but offered to give me a discounted rate since I was her "favorite client." At the beginning of an appointment with Vicky, I often feel like my body is a big knot. She presses, kneads, massages - calming my body, mind, and often my soul. She is such a blessing to me! I LOVE to get a massage!
3. Mark - I know I that I say I am thankful for him almost every week, but I am thankful for him EVERY day! After commenting in #2 about how important touch is, I love holding hands with my hubby, kissing him, cuddling up together - being in his arms is about my favorite place to be.
4. Lunch with friends - this could go in my Friday post as well, but I'm putting it here. My friend Denise lives in Florida right now so we only get to see each other 1-2 times/year. We've been friends for 20 years - she was a bridesmaid in my first wedding. Denise is back here in Minnesota for a couple of weeks so we got together for lunch today. Spending a couple of hours catching up on each other's lives was a wonderful blessing and I am thankful for opportunities like that - friends are SO important!
5. One more thing - I am thankful that God is all-knowing. He knows everything there is to know about our child (children) - the color of their eyes, hair, shape of face, personality traits, etc. I love the idea that God has planned our family from the beginning of time - even though Mark and I don't know what our family will look like, God does! I imagine Him like an eager child saying, "I can't wait to show you the plans I have for you - be patient, be open to my will, and enjoy this journey to your child!"
What are you thankful for this Thursday? Come on... surprise me with some responses!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Now, I know that there are plenty of people who work full time, go to school full time, have a family, and manage just fine. So, I probably shouldn't be complaining. It is just very frustrating to have the requirements change in the middle of the program. If they needed to be changed, fine - do it with an incoming group of students - not those of us who are over half-way there.
I ask that you pray for my attitude to be one of acceptance and willingness to see this as a learning opportunity/blessing - not the roadblock that it feels like to me right now. I also ask for your prayers that the time and financial stumbling blocks will be removed as well. Becoming a geriatric nurse practitioner has been my dream for many years and serving the elderly is the call that is placed on my heart - what an awesome blessing!
On a positive note, I feel like God has shared some "news" with me regarding when He will bring us to our child. No - it is not an immediate gift, as much as I would like that to be the case. There are no specifics about how, when, where, etc. He knows those details - not me. I don't want to have unrealistic expectations or get my hopes up, but I do claim this as a promise from Him. I will continue to pray and when the timing seems right, I will share this with all of you who are traveling this adoption journey with us. Until then, Mark and I eagerly await the moment when we will hold our little one for the first time.