Thursday, March 8, 2012

Adoption Insights From Adoptive Families

We receive Adoptive Families Magazine. It's a great publication that serves as a resource for people who are looking to adopt and for those who have already adopted. 

In an article titled "Midlife Moms and Dads," an adoptive mom says this:

"I have done everything I wanted to do as a single person with no children. I've traveled. I've accepted wonderful jobs that have outrageous hours or schedules. I've slept 'til noon and stayed up all night. Now I want to do this - parent."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What a Tea Cozy Can Teach You About Life

So I mentioned Robert was born and raised in England, right! Yep. He flew over to America at the age of 19 and joined the Air Force. Other than frequent visits across the pond, he's never looked back - and is now an American citizen. He still carries some of the old traditions with him, though. And one of those traditions is tea. More specifically, P.G. Tips.

When I met Robert, I was not a regular tea drinker. Sure, I'd brew up some decaffeinated Lipton and serve it on ice with lemon or occasionally sip Tazo tea at Starbucks but I had no idea what a ritual drinking tea really is until I met Robert. He came complete with kettle, pot and tea cozy. That was seven years ago and we're still using the same tea pot and tea cozy, although we had to finally replace the kettle during Christmas.

Just a few days ago, I was making a pot of homemade thai curry soup stock on the stove. I had ground up peppers, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and some other spices, including turmeric. After I made the soup, I realized the lemongrass was simply too chunky to eat. So I pulled out the blender, poured the soup in and turned it on. Off popped the lid. Soup went flying everywhere - on the wall, on the floor, on the rug, on me and, unfortunately, on the tea cozy. The turmeric in the soup stained everything a dark mustardy yellow. Everything survived but the cozy. I washed it but the yellow didn't budge one bit. Still, I didn't get rid of it because, frankly, it's the only cozy I have.

Randomly enough, we received a package in the mail today from Robert's mum, straight from England. I opened it up. Lo and behold, it was a lovely new tea cozy. She said she ran across it in a shop and thought we'd like it. I happily walked over to the old cozy and popped it off the tea pot. Now, the tea pot is adorned with a lovely, brand-new tea cozy that will assuredly last another seven years.

You know, sometimes life hands you just what you need, even when you don't ask for it. I'm hoping it will work out like that for us in another aspect of our lives. You know what I'm talking about. ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Chicks found here:

They say not to count your chickens before they hatch. In this case, I think they've all pretty much hatched ... if you think of blessings as chicks. Recent events - both national and personal - have reminded me of all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for:
  • Robert and I have a wonderful marriage that is based on friendship, mutual respect and love.
  • We both have large extended families that are healthy and happy, and who are supportive of us in the way we choose to live our lives.
  • We are able to support ourselves financially and pay for all the things that we need - a house and a townhouse, two cars and all of the extracurriculars that we desire.
  • Robert and I share our lives but also enjoy our own hobbies and friends. I pursue yoga teacher training, for example, and Robert plays and coaches soccer.
  • We have a wealth of friends who share in our happiness, and who have their own healthy families.
  • We live in an area full of educational and learning opportunities (for all ages), culture and commerce. 
  • We are on the powerful journey of trying to grow our family through adoption, and know that we will be able to provide a child with everything he or she needs to lead a fulfilling life.
These are all gifts that have been given to us - but they are also the result of hard work and dedication. We have dedicated ourselves to one another and we work hard on our marriage. We work to keep ourselves healthy and happy. We take advantage of the opportunities around us. For these things, I am thankful.

Even in the darkest of days (we've had those too), I'm sure if you look hard enough, you'll see the egg shells are broken and there are chicks running around everywhere. Life is full of blessings and choices.

Monday, March 5, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Ruby slippers found here:

This past weekend was a humdinger for weather in some parts of the country. Here in Virginia it was a little rainy but that didn't stop us from having a pretty normal weekend. Not the case where my parents live and also in other parts of the country, where entire cities were destroyed by twisters in Kentucky and Indiana.

We did have a slight mishap in my family. Mom and dad were watching television when the weatherman came over the airwaves and said D.U.C.K. You know what that means, right?

D - Dash to the lowest level in the building
U - Urgently hide your butt under something
C - Cover ye ole noggin
K - Keep yourself put until the storm passes

Mom and dad headed down to the basement but didn't turn on the light. Mom thought she had reached the bottom. Instead, what she anticipated was the floor was actually another step. She tumbled down, hitting her nose on a wheel barrow. 

I didn't actually find this out until later. Robert came home and said he had been watching the news on the Internet and found out tornadoes were sighted near my parents' house. (Side note: Robert likes to keep watch on the happenings where our families live. He even keeps up with his parents in England online.) I immediately called mom. She conveyed her story and told me she hadn't gone to the emergency department. Thankfully, my older sisters talked her into it. She had a broken nose.

I need to call her tonight to find out if she needs to get it reset. Apparently when you break your nose, you have to reset it within seven days or the damage is permanent - who knew!

Even though my mom has a broken nose, I still feel very fortunate. So many families lost their homes and even their loved ones to tornadoes in many states. In fact, Robert and I were watching the news together just last night. There was a picture of a man holding his dog who had been found in the rubble of the man's flattened home. I said, "you know, that could be us." Storms are indiscriminate.

We are thankful for so many things. Our healthy families, our supportive friends, our beautiful homes, our fulfilling lives. And I personally am thankful for being on this adoption journey. I've met so many wonderful people and learned so much about the process of adoption. I definitely feel all of this has made me aware of what I have been given in life and I'm ready to share some of that wealth, culture and love with another.

Monday Madness

In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

— Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes

It's official. The dresser was finally delivered. And I've decided to repurpose a chair that my mom and dad gave us. It's an old Ethan Allen club chair that is just the right size to sit in while nursing (and maybe fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning). I told Robert I refuse to do anything else to the nursery until we know for sure that an adoption is going to happen.

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday my hope had dwindled into nothingness. Today, after a good night's sleep and a bit of perspective, I'm back in the game. Yes, we're still looking for a match but, for some reason, today I have hope.

Robert opened the door to the nursery this morning and flipped on the lamp. It just feels right to have that door open and ready to welcome a little person. I left it open all day and, because it's warm in Virginia today, just opened the window to let some fresh air blow gently through. I can hear the wind chimes just below the window singing ever so lightly in the soft breeze.

I don't know when it will happen ... but it's sure to happen. And when it does, we'll be ready.
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