Thursday, September 30, 2010

Way Behind On Blogging... And Some News!

Should I just do a bulletpoint list? Cuz I think that's the best I can do right now because I am SO far behind. Whenever I have 2 seconds to filter through my SD card, I'll start posting some pictures... but for now, you just get my beautiful words. Ha ha.
  • My job is going awesome! It's exactly what I was looking for and I'm really happy there. Getting that job eased so many worries and gave me something to anchor the rest of my life around. Now Zay's not so worried about the financial aspect of adoption (side note: I've been reading a lot about how the economy is affecting people's decisions to add to their family. Interesting stuff and makes me think about Zay's concerns)... and he has more freedom to go to school without feeling like he's not working enough. Yay!
  • We're still Primary teachers and it can be SO HILARIOUS. We taught about "Obeying the Law," which basically consisted of "no littering," "stop signs," and "keep your dog on a leash." We explained littering about 5 times and then asked, "So - do any of you have any stories about littering?" Child #1 starts speaking and says something completely incomprehensible. "Ummmmm, anybody else?" Child #2 is much louder, but still isn't on topic. "Wait, does this have to do with littering?" Child #2, "I... I... I don't know what littering is." Me and Zay eye each other, trying not to laugh. Child #3 starts speaking before we even call on them, "What if! What if! What if there's a monster? And the monster, um, eats a person? And then he, um, spits him out?" Zay got a really confused look on his face and said, "Whaaaat?" I just burst out laughing. I said, "I think that's the closest thing we're going to get to a 'littering' story. Let's move on." I brought out the paper and color pencils and let them have at it. We got 3 decent pictures of cars stopping at stop signs and red lights that Zay and I mostly drew...and then we got them to walk semi-reverently to the Sharing Time room. Awesome. I love being a Primary teacher.
  • I had a super duper awesome birthday weekend that consisted of birthday brownies at work, getting to leave work early on Friday, presents, the season premiere of Smallville (which was like the best thing I have ever witnessed, ever...lol), not having to do hair all weekend, good friends, riding horsies, seeing Zay's reaction to said horsies ("I don't do big animals!"), BYU football (which was fun even though the game was horrible), getting Monday off from work and still being paid for it, relaxing, eating out, Netflix, strawberry shortcake, a picnic with Zay at the base of the Y where we watched the sunset, taking pictures, and getting to see my scrumdiddlyumptious nephew and visit with my bro and sister-in-law. Best birthday weekend EVER.
  • Tuesday night was a new episode of Glee... ALL ABOUT BRITNEY SPEARS! I've been anxiously waiting for that episode ever since I heard rumors about it a couple months ago. I can't believe it actually came to be. I love, love, loved it and grinned through the whole thing. Zay said, "Oh man - you're in heaven right now, aren't you?" Ha ha ha. Dang right.
  • AND...dun Dun DUN! Zay finally said screw our goals and let's move on (even though we were doing really good on our Baby Bucket List - I'll probably reach my weight-loss goal within the next couple weeks and Zay's lost a lot of weight too... and we finally got a good Date Night routine going... and we researched counseling and decided that it might not be all that necessary at this point in time... and we did a lot of restructuring of our finances and saving). So, at even the slightest hint of the word 'go' from Zay, I went nuts about getting things done. We finished our online adoption profile and then did our individual interviews!!! Conversation with Zay afterwards... Zay: "I'm excited." Me: "Excited for what?" Zay: "To have a kid." Me: "REALLY?! Why do you say that?" Zay: "Because it's time." Sweet!




Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lighten Up!

Okay, okay. Now that I've gotten this post out of my system, I think I better start being a little more positive on this blog. Not so dang depressing, geez! So, how about a funny story?

Zay and a friend were riding back from Salt Lake together (P.S. - because Zay went to sign up for school!!!). The friend was driving. They were listening to an old 2Pac CD. Zay was talking about how 2Pac died and now Michael Jackson died. He said, "I don't think I can ever get excited about music again." He waited for a response and then the friend mumbled, "Well...how's he going to pay his bills?" Lol. Zay got all confused, looked over at him, and realized he was asleep at the wheel. He yelled, "WAKE UP!" This particular friend of ours jerked awake and said, "Oh! No, I'm not asleep. I'm just on stand-by mode."

Ha ha ha! Oh, man... he always has the best quotes. I've gotta start documenting these!




Friday, September 24, 2010

Untitled

I've had a hard time forming words to talk about a recent death in my family. Even now I don't even know what I'm writing... I just feel like I need to say something to acknowledge how awesome she was and how much she is missed by everyone. She was happy, generous, loving life, accepting, warm. It's been a month, so I've had time to try and process it. But it's still horrible to think about. I'm not even sure what processing it really means. Recent nightmares have kept bringing it back fresh into my mind. Death scares me... not necessarily because I will die one day, but more about having to live while those close to me die. I wish I had taken the time to know her better. My heart hurts for our mutual loved ones, especially my brother. I love my brother more than anyone.... Anything that affects him, affects me. It's so hard for me to see him cry. It seems so unfair that her grandson is so young that he won't remember her, when she loved him so much. Her brand new granddaughter will never know her in this life. My heart is raw and aches for understanding. It doesn't make any sense. I hope her husband and children find peace, because I can't even imagine what they're feeling. There hasn't been much closure without a funeral. Everyone's still waiting to see if there will be anything found to bury. It's sickening to think about. It's hard to imagine what she went through in her last moments. I pray that she's okay now. I don't know what life after death will be like, but I sure hope she still carries that cheerful attitude that she always had... despite having her life on earth ripped away from her so quickly. I hope she's taking on whatever Mt. Everest's are in the spirit world! Ha ha ha. We miss you, Heather. :)




Sunday, September 19, 2010

Timing

 Photo: www.sunshinereflections.wordpress.com


A friend who I consider one of my fellow "infertility warriors" sent me a talk given by Dallin H. Oaks called "Timing" that she and her husband were listening to. It made her think of me and I'm so glad she forwarded it on. She thinks I'm doing an awesome job at being patient, but I think she's the awesome one and I learn a lot from her! She has a very calm and soothing personality.

Here are some of my thoughts while reading this talk:

Learning to accept God's timing is difficult, that's for sure. But it's one of the lessons we have to learn while we're here on earth. And that doesn't mean to sit back and just let whatever happen either. There's a delicate balance between planning/preparing for life and accepting how life plays out.

"In all the important decisions in our lives, what is most important is to do the right thing. Second, and only slightly behind the first, is to do the right thing at the right time. People who do the right thing at the wrong time can be frustrated and ineffective. They can even be confused about whether they made the right choice when what was wrong was not their choice but their timing."

God wants for us to dream big and have desires for our life. This life is precious and short and we are meant to make the most of it. I know that my desire to have kids and to pursue adoption are righteous desires. So, I know that I'm doing the right thing. I also realize that when I'm feeling frustrated and ineffective and confused, it's because I'm trying to rush things. Instead of rushing towards the end result, there are so many things I could be focusing on along the journey. I hope that I'm doing a good job in that aspect, by making goals and taking my time developing myself as a person. I've learned a lot of things that I can take with me forever - self-control, managing my finances better, working hard, time management, healthy eating & exercising, preparedness, relying on the Lord, etc, etc, etc. Those things can never be taken from me, no matter how my life ends up and how adoption plans pan out.

"The achievement of some important goals in our lives is subject to more than the timing of the Lord. Some personal achievements are also subject to the agency of others."

I cannot take away the agency of any other person, including my husband. I'm definitely learning this one! Patience is a hard thing to learn, especially when you feel so strongly about something. But I know that he needs to work through his issues just like I need to work through mine. If our timelines don't match up, so be it - I've just gotta deal with it!

"Someone has said that life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. Because of things over which we have no control, we cannot plan and bring to pass everything we desire in our lives. Many important things will occur in our lives that we have not planned, and not all of them will be welcome... Even our most righteous desires may elude us, or come in different ways or at different times than we have sought to plan."

What a scary idea! I really hope my most righteous desires will not elude me my entire life, but it's possible. It's something that I'll need to prepare my mind for... I think all I can do right now is prepare for disappointment - expect it - and then be pleasantly surprised when things go right. Hmmm... that's gonna be hard to do when I am just too daggum excited and optimistic! LOL.

"Wise are those who make this commitment: I will put the Lord first in my life and I will keep His commandments. The performance of that commitment is within everyone’s control. We can fulfill that commitment without regard to what others decide to do, and that commitment will anchor us no matter what timing the Lord directs for the most important events in our lives."

"If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event – even every important event – and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things – even some very important things – do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed."

"Plan, of course, but fix your planning on personal commitments that will carry you through no matter what happens."

The closer I get to God and the more I focus on developing righteous qualities and virtues, the more I'm able to accept whatever comes my way. I can't control everything that happens or doesn't happen in life, but I can control myself and my reactions and choices. That's empowering when infertility and adoption can make you feel so out of control!




Sunday, September 5, 2010

Adoption: The Reluctant Spouse

I read an article recently called "The Reluctant Spouse" by Jill Smolowe. It's an article posted on www.theadoptionguide.com, which has some really good resources for adoptive parents. It had me really thinking about the many debates Zay and I have had about whether to adopt or not, whether to wait or not, whether to continue fertility meds or not, etc. Over the last couple years, I've been on board with the adoption train and loving the idea more and more. But for Zay, he constantly fluctuates from being on board to OMG, I THINK WE SHOULD WAIT. The article's subtitle reassured me that this is actually pretty normal: "Don't be surprised if your mate resists adoption even as you're embracing it." I think "embracing it" is a very good phrase to describe how I feel about it.

This has been so stressful for me! We have completely different personalities when it comes to making decisions, so trying to come to a conclusion may work one day but then his mind could change the next. That makes it difficult to navigate through a process that can take so long. There's much more time for him to change his mind a million times over. It's actually been stressful for him too, because when he used to think about what it would be like having kids... he imagined that it would just happen. That I would just get pregnant and we wouldn't have to put so much thought into it. He handles life's situations very well when they just happen, but it's taking some adjustment to learn how to accept that we may have to make things happen.

Men tend to be more reluctant when it comes to adoption than women, and no one really knows why. Maybe the woman's motherly nurturing attributes are competing with the man's territorial feelings about his family or need to "pass on his seed"? Hmmm.... I don't know. The thing is, I know without a doubt that Zay would embrace adoption once it's happened. Just like if I were to get pregnant, he would be on board 100% to be the most amazing father ever. He would do the same if someone were to hand us a baby today that wasn't biologically ours... no question about it. The problem seems to be that adoption forces you to think about it day in and day out for a long period of time... and it doesn't just happen like a fertile woman's pregnancy seems to just happen. Adoption doesn't happen until the very, very end... after your heart has been turned inside out and stomped on a few times. I can see how someone might be reluctant to engage in something like that.

So, now that I know that he's going to be reluctant up until the day that an adoption is final and that it's completely normal and understandable, I think I'm going to be better able to handle the constant changing of his mind. No need to cry my eyes out everytime he thinks we should wait. I just need to see things from his perspective and take each mind-changing moment as part of the overall process.

"...consider the kinds of issues that couples are forced to confront during the adoption process. What age child do you want? What sex? What health condition? What ethnicity? What race? How much contact do you want with birth-parents? How do you plan to raise this child? How will you speak of adoption to him? What role will the child's ethnic heritage play in her life? How will you cope with an emotional or physical disability? What will you do if your relatives don't embrace this child? And that doesn't even begin to touch on the procedural aspects. Lawyer or agency? Public or private? Open or closed? Domestic or overseas?

Such questions not only thrust the issue of "baby" at a reluctant spouse over and over, but demand repeatedly that he opt in-or out. In essence, the process requires that he try to envision the child's entire upbringing at a time when he might prefer not to think about children at all."

I don't want the words "baby" or "adoption" to become negative words in our house, but they will be if I push the issue, "thrust the issue of 'baby' at [him] over and over," or "demand repeatedly that he opt in-or out." Lately, I've been so good at allowing Zay to set the pace! I think letting him choose to take each step is giving him the chance to develop those same feelings that I've already established in my heart. :) And if I want to do this the right way, then I'm just going to have to be patient.

The article also listed some "Ideas for Helping to Ease a Spouse's Reluctance" that I think are really helpful!

"Ideas for Helping to Ease a Spouse's Reluctance
*Acknowledge your spouse's concerns and fears; try to listen with interest, not judgment.
*Air and discuss the differences between you, rather than trying to cover them up or smooth them over.
*Maintain balance in your discussions between the reasons for your spouse's resistance to adoption and your reasons for wanting to adopt.
*Don't take a spouse's initial reaction as the final word. When a subject is emotionally charged, people often say things they don't really mean.
*Give a spouse time and space to consider issues as they arise; recognize that people approach change at different speeds.
*Don't expect your spouse to react to developments in the adoption process the same way you do.
*Find a support group of other couples considering adoption. Hearing that they, too, have reservations may help both of you.
*Work with an agency or lawyer that has a solid process for exploring adoption issues; don't assume that you know all the angles.
*If your spouse isn't providing the support and encouragement you need to cope with the rocky adoption process, then seek it from a sympathetic friend or relative.
*See a marriage counselor if you have trouble navigating any of these issues. A reluctant spouse may hear questions and advice better from a neutral observer."




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