Friday, December 31, 2010

"Who Gave Presents To Jesus?"

 Photo: www.willowtreegifts.net

Serving in the Primary, the kids are always throwing out the best quotes. Kids can be sooo hilarious when they're just being their cute, innocent selves. This year (reminiscent of last year ... ha ha), my favorite quote was when we were talking about the meaning behind gift-giving at Christmas time.

***

"It was Jesus' birthday and gifts were brought to him to celebrate. Who remembers who gave presents to Jesus?"

"Ooh! Ooh! I know!"

"Yes?"

"The elves!"

***

Wow. Awesome. I love it! Buah ha ha!




Thursday, December 30, 2010

Preoccupied

The month of December has been a crazy whirlwind of excitement, confusion, opportunity, chaos, and emotion. I haven't posted about any of it because I'm not sure what I can say while in the middle of it all. Nothing is certain, everything is scary and new. But whatever ends up happening, it'll be quite the story once it's all said and done. I've learned so much already. My thoughts are all over the place and it's been really hard to focus on anything - work, blogging, holidays, etc. When I prayed for things to happen quickly, God sure did dump a lot on my plate.... ha ha ha. All I'm trying to do now is stay calm and ride it out... and NoT PaNiC!!! Ahhhh!




Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Don't Know How The Holidays Got Here So Fast

I didn't even get a chance to celebrate Halloween yet. Ha ha ha.

Thanksgiving went by in a blur of food.

Now here it is Christmas and I'm just thinking, "Hold on, hold on, hold on... wait, wait, wait. Wasn't I just doing this last year?!"

I've been preoccupied this year, so I guess that's my excuse for sucking at the whole gift-giving thing. And we're trying to save money, so we didn't go crazy like we did last year.

I feel the need to list some things I'm grateful for during this holiday season:
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know how I could survive without the peace and comfort and reassurance that the Gospel brings into my life. It makes me feel whole. I think about those loved ones in my life who don't have the Gospel's positive influence because they choose otherwise, and my heart hurts to see the sadness, the emptiness, the confusion, and the lack of direction. I often feel those things too, but the Gospel has a way of filling those holes and bringing me back to happiness. Without it, I would be a lost soul.
  • Family. I love my family, despite all their weaknesses and dysfunctionality. I love good memories. I love the idea of creating my own family... my own little branch of the tree. I can't wait to experience that and to create a loving and supportive home. I know we have so many memories yet to create and I'm excited for the future.
  • Infertility. As crazy as that sounds, and as painful as it can sometimes be, I know without a doubt that infertility has been a huge blessing for us. It is leading us down a path that is so beautiful that I just can't imagine if things had just been "easy." This is a much more rewarding path for us. Much harder, but much more rewarding. And exactly what God had in mind. He knows us and He loves us and it is very evident.
  • Birthmothers. We've been to birthmother panels and we've met lots of women who have placed their babies, and from what I can tell, these women are angels. I have no words for how much respect I have for them for the difficult decision they made - the most difficult decision a woman could ever face. But they should always know how loved they are and find comfort in their decision. I feel for those who are struggling with the decision right now. No matter what path they choose - to parent or to place - it's going to take a heck of a lot of COURAGE. I'm thankful for the choices that someone else will have to make to allow me to be a mother. There really are no words to say how grateful I am for that!
  • Open adoption. I love the idea. I love embracing the birth families who give so much of themselves with no reward other than to see someone else's hopes of becoming a family become reality. I love this post from The R House about open adoption and love reading about the relationships they've developed. So beautiful.




Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Photo: www.webartstore.com

I am an animal lover. Always have been. Through all my childhood pets I learned so many life lessons and developed within me so many characteristics. I learned about birth and new life, the nurturing and protecting instinct the mother has for her children, playfulness, survival, etc. But what I learned most about was cruelty and death...

We lived in the kind of neighborhood where people acted like they didn't have any sense. Or compassion. Many of our cats were shot just for the fun of it. We had some of our cats come back home with bb's stuck under their skin from attempts on their life. They were tough; they were survivors. Others just never came back home and we'd hear about what happened to them later through neighborhood talk... or we'd discover their bodies. My mom worked at the library and had a difficult time keeping the rowdy, undisciplined children from breaking or stealing things or looking at porn on the Internet... so, they would get mad at her for trying... and come to our house and decapitate our dogs.

I cried a lot. I couldn't understand these people and the sick, twisted way that they treated animals. I developed a strong passion for protecting them that never left me. I don't like the idea of hunting for sport or hurting animals for our enjoyment. I feel sick to my stomach whenever I hear about dog fights in the South. When Michael Vick got in trouble for that, I started hearing arguments to support it based on it being a "cultural thing" to have dog fights and to kill the underperforming animals in inhumane ways. Give me a break. I grew up in the same culture, so don't give me that. You can't blame your incompetence and inhumanity on it being a "cultural thing."

My love for animals pushed me towards vegetarianism. When I was 12, I bought tons of books about it and tried to ease myself into eating less meat. It was a conscious decision that I was making myself, despite what anyone around me thought. Since then (13 years later), I still don't eat beef or pork. I go through phases where I give up seafood and chicken and turkey. I'm still working on the discipline it requires to completely eliminate it. It's difficult, and I'm a hypocrite, but in my heart I'm a vegan.

I have my two cats who I love like little kiddos. Felix Bojangles & Zeus Shenanigans (ha ha ha ha). They're the best of buddies and I'm so glad I can offer them a comfortable existence. Felix was left at a shelter, so who knows where he would have ended up if we hadn't taken him in. And Zeus was born to a neighbor's cat who would have ended up living a feral life in the streets of south Provo had we not rescued him. If I had my way, I would definitely be a crazy cat lady. But I want to avoid the crazy part - ha ha - and I've given myself the rule that the ratio of cats to people in my household can't be greater. Right now it's 2:2.

I think back to all the pets I've had over the years and how much of a connection I feel to them. I can't imagine a heaven that wouldn't include them. I know God develops a place of happiness for us if we make it to heaven, and this article got me thinking about whether or not that would include my pets? What if I don't make it to heaven - are my pets tied to me and they won't make it either? Will animals in general be judged - some making it to little animal heaven and some sent off to animal hell? That doesn't seem like it would make much sense, as I don't think they have much of a moral conscience to be making good vs bad decisions. What about all the animals who weren't loved, who were neglected, who were tortured, who weren't pets? We should care about what happens to them after death too! Do all animals have spirits that are as eternal as ours?

Anyways, that's what I'm thinking about as I look at my nativity scene and imagine all the animals surrounding Jesus on His birth... what an awesome, peaceful scene that is. One of the greatest events that ever took place on this Earth took place in a barn full of animals. I love it. :)




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Infertility "Sting"

 Photo: www.pcosnomore.com

A few weeks ago, we didn't have to teach the Primary kids at Church like we usually do. We love teaching - it's soooo much fun. But it seemed like it would be a nice break from it and I was kind of glad. I got to actually go to class with all the women. I sat in the back and looked around at all the new faces. People move in and out so fast that I just don't even try to keep up with everyone anymore. The lady conducting the meeting welcomed everyone to class and then asked was there any good news? My heart jumped and I kind of wanted to announce that we got approved to adopt, but for some reason I paused when other hands shot up.

So casual and nonchalant, the first woman announces, "I'm pregnant!" Like it was a matter of fact, an everyday occurrence. I have nothing against this woman whatsoever, but the first words to come into my head were BITE ME.

A second woman announces that she just found out she's having a boy. My heart was sitting in the pit of my stomach and a rush of pain just hit me.

Ugh. Not again. I'm not even trying to get pregnant! Well, I'm not doing anything to stop it... but I quit taking my fertility meds at the beginning of the year. That didn't matter, though. The normal, dull ache had all of a sudden turned into a piercing one.

I felt grumpy the rest of the meeting and wanted to just throw myself on my bed when I got home. But, of course... as the Universe likes to heckle me... I had a baby shower invitation taped to my front door. I said, "Really? Really?" and burst into tears.

Zay said, "Does that really still bother you?" I shot him a glance like HOW DARE YOU and then crumpled into his arms, crying my little heart out.

That's what a bad day feels like. :(




Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Pictures November 2010

One thing that's great about this whole adoption thing is that it's forcing Zay to take some good pictures with me! Ha ha. I'm always, always, always trying to get him to take nice pictures and to get him to smile. He's soooo cute when he smiles! Luke from plukehansen.blogspot.com took these photos for us. :)









Saturday, December 4, 2010

Felix Says HEY

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Waiting Time

As soon as we got approved to adopt, the first thing I felt was relief. And then I felt a little silly for ever being worried about it. Of course we were approved. We're awesome. :)

But immediately after that, my mind started to wander. A month passed. I started to feel anxious. I kept myself busy with work, took on some overtime hours for the holidays. Went and got some family pictures taken. Played with my nephew as much as I could. I daydreamed...

Approval was just the beginning and now we were out there, "on the market," waiting... waiting for something to happen. What that something would be... *shrugs*. Every adoption is unique. The questions started creeping into my mind - How long will it take before birth parents start contacting us? IF they contact us...?

All that was left to comfort me was random statistics... like, the chances of us getting picked within 6-12 months, the average length of couples waiting, etc. Things that tell me how other people's stories happened, but not how ours will happen.

I started tying our "wait time" with our worthiness to be parents. The longer we wait, the more unworthy we are. The longer we wait, the less desirable we are. The longer we wait, the more hopelessness will set in. The longer we wait, the less excited I'll become. The longer we wait, the more Zay's concerns about this never happening will be deepened and reaffirmed.

Screw praying for patience. I'm praying for things to happen quickly. :)




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