Friday, May 29, 2009

Dirty Jobs

We don't have cable so I "net-flix" some of our favorite shows. "Dirty Jobs" is one of them. 

Tonight we watched Mike Rowe at an alpaca farm. He helped shave alpacas whose hair, by the way, can sell for $5.00/oz totaling about $700/alpaca. 

To top off the episode, the alpaca farmer showed how they increase their alpaca population. Let's just say, they don't buy more. I saw, for the first time in my life, alpacas mating. So did my 15 year old, my 13 year old, my 11 year old, my 7 year old, my 2 year and ("honey, is that the first time you've seen alpacas mate?" "Oh yea.") my husband. 

The only comment given during the entire graphic, scarring event was from Levi, age 7. 
"Are they married?"


I imagine there are a lot of us who feel as if we are busy every single day and, really, have very little to show for it. I have the solution. 

A leaf blower.

Our neighbor offered his to us. Joel set up the extension cords. I turned it on. No plan in mind, just harnessing the power of an F2 tornado with my bare hands. 

I blew things--rocks, sticks, ants, their homes all over the yard. Autumn of the Last 4 Years came bursting out from everywhere. When that was done, I discovered I could edge the lawn and clean the deck. Who knew? 

I finished up with a brush with death when I unknowingly dragged the extension cord into the pool. That's where really great husbands come to the rescue, not with hysterical screaming but with calm, holding up of electrical-cord-in-the-pool.

I don't think there is one, single place around our house that looks better. It just felt like the best yard work I had ever done and I wondered if it would work in the house.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Worthy Quote

A friend and I are what we call "last on the list." We turned our dossier material in the last days of April. There was a huge sense of relief and of accomplishment. Now, however, that we are on "a list" of waiting parents, we are experiencing something new. We are watching other families receive the joyful news that their babies have been found. We know very well that it is not "our turn," that we do not "deserve" to have our babies yet. We are thrilled for the families that have waited all this time. And yet.... we still want it to be our turn. Our minds chasten us. Our hearts ignore our minds.

I think she managed to put it all into one sentence:
"I'm going to eat a piece of pecan pie and wallow in self pity. And pray that my baby's mama has had enough to eat today."

Well said, my friend. Thank you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Date

I wondered why I felt so crazy about this whole thing until I talked to a friend. We were discussing why having a date, any date, for referral or court or travel or anything feels so important. It finally became clear that having a date makes this whole process seem real. I thought of it in terms of being pregnant. One of the things I loved to hear the doctor say was my due date: March 19th, April 25, January 29, October 26th. The due dates of my children. I can still remember them even though only one is the same as the birthday.

In an effort to sort through my craziness, I imagined going to the doctor only to have him say, "Well, we have absolutely no idea when this baby might come." 

I also likened myself to that little thing on the computer that goes around and around when it searches for mail. I felt just like it. 

So, in service to my dear family, I made up my own due date. While it is random, sort of, it had some thoughts behind it:
1.It had to be this year or it felt too discouraging. 

2.It had to be a multiple of 7 because God has done really amazing things on our behalf on the 7ths, the 14ths and the 21sts of the months. (wedding, the start of our dating, becoming a Christian just to name a few...)

3. The 28th was open.

4. Psalm 28 is really great.

5. My due date is December 28.

Blessed be the Lord! for he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. -Ps. 28: 6-7

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Sometimes I really want our baby to be here and sometimes I really, really, really want our baby to be here. Today is the latter scenario. I think it's because we went swimming. I got a picture in my mind of a bright pink swimsuit with polka dots and the little brown arms and legs that would go with it. Not that I don't appreciate the lime green frog swimsuit with pasty arms and legs to go with it....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Psalms Just for Me

I love that the Word of God comes alive in the midst of hard things. I read this last night: 
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love... (Ps. 17:6-7) 

I talked to a wonderful woman today whose Ethiopian baby has been with them for almost a year. She reminded me that God often chooses for us the hard paths of love. Their story was hard. But it has an incredible ending called A Beautiful Little Ethiopian Girl Who is Their Own.

I have a Handsome Little American Boy Who is My Own who is Not Sleeping When He's Supposed To. Time for me to go change that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was able to be a part of something wonderful last night. Addis was baptized. This spiritual landmark reminded me that one year ago, her faith was being demonstrated quite another way: cancer and chemo. One morning, Addis and I were in the parking ramp. She was bald, thin and going in for another round of chemo. We prayed and then Addis said this: "God is so nice to me." 

As I burst into tears, I told her, with a smile, "Don't ever do that to me again!!" She knew what I meant. She was brave beyond her years. She was a picture of a life laid down for Christ's purposes. She was almost more than I could bear at that moment. And I loved it.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Grant Applications

I'm applying for adoption grants. How does one sound competent ("I can take care of an orphan")and desperate ("Please give us financial aid") all at the same time? 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dinner at Cub

There are dinner low points. One of them was at Cub. We needed groceries but I had the boys by myself. We needed to eat dinner. I decided we would combine groceries, dinner and boys. I bought 4 chicken legs, a footlong corn dog, a yogurt drink and two bottles of chocolate milk. I plopped the boys in the eating/customer service/make your own pictures/rent a rug doctor section of Cub, cut up the corn dog, blew on the chicken legs, opened the milks, got the napkins, instructed Eli on choking prevention and said, "Find me when you're done."

I got all the way through produce, lunchmeat, regular meat, deli and dairy before they found me. Eli's status message to me was this: "Mom, we all have stomach aches."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Things I Have Washed

I washed the winter coats and snow pants this week. I washed them because I got a phone call from my husband who said, "I'm at Sam's house but we can't find Sam or Levi." With a call like that, I had to do what any mom would do. Empty a closet. 

Out came the mittens, scarves, snow pants, coats, hats, facemasks and heavy socks. Then Joel found Levi so the 4 foot pile of winter wear sat in the hallway for 2 days. When the regular laundry began to mix with the winter clothes, I decided it was time to start washing. 

I had everything done--washed, hung out in the sun, taken downstairs, nearly folded and in an airtight Rubbermaid container when I found The Lump. Hoping it was another hat, scarf or even package of kleenex, I reached in. It was a brownie. From February. In plastic wrap though not airtight. "ELI! I just washed a brownie that was in your snow pants!!"
"Oh yea," he replied. "I remember putting it there."

I washed 2 bathmats this week as well. 
I decided to fall down some stairs today. 

All is well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Accelerated Science

I invented a new science program today. It is not for the gifted. It is for the pathetic. And that would be me. 

I have skipped, with a due amount of guilt, every single science experiment in our book. Until today. To make sure I did it, I called a friend of mine who has not one, not two, but three boys. I invited them over to do science with us as long as my friend provided lunch. She was more than happy to trade lunch for a half a year's worth of solar system science experiments. 

We did relative size of the planets (Earth is a tic-tac; Mercury is a sprinkle; Neptune is a jelly belly, etc.), we melted chocolate with magnifying glasses, made craters in flour and demonstrated a solar eclipse in the bathroom. 

And then, just for fun, we made a salt relief map of Ethiopia. I stopped short of requiring the kids to make a salt relief infant in the capital city.

Guilt gone; headache abating.