Saturday, June 30, 2012


In the fall of 2004 I agreed to a spur of the  moment trip up Mt Kenya. I was committed to seizing the moment; in every moment possible. Ill prepared but committed, I headed up the mountain. It was to take us 3 days to hike up and two days back. . .I think. My memory on this is incredibly foggy.
On the 3rd day of this hike, we woke up at 2am to hit the trail by 3. Evidently the sunrise from the mountain was breathtaking and not to be missed. I had not slept well, unbeknownst to me at the time, this was due to the altitude. All I knew was that it was difficult to breathe, very painful. Despite this, I was revved up and looking forward to getting to the top. My hiking mates were a tad concerned about my apparent inability to breathe but I assured them that it would surely wear off as I warmed up.

We hiked straight up the side of the mountain in the pre- dawn darkness and I was wheezing in no time at all. I took a few breaks but kept walking through the wheezing, nausea and dizziness.....two hours later, I was at 4500 meters...and I could not breathe. I began to hyperventilate and dry heave at the same time. My friend K sat down with me....well, I collapsed and he sat and tried to calm my breathing down.The porter and guide urged me to turn back but I refused. My legs were not tired, surely I could make it, but no more than five minutes later...hypervenitlating, I passed out. When I came to, my friend K was not pleased and was very concerned. He picked me up and started to carry me down the mountain. I was more than embarrassed and did not want him to miss the sunrise on the mountain so I convinced him that I was fine, that he should definitely continue up the mountain. The porter would take me down the rest of the way. .K assured me that I would not die on the mountain and Martin the Porter would guide me back down the mountain. As soon as K left, I again passed out. I have no idea how many times this happened and for how long.
This is my friend Alex on the first day of the hike. Martin the Porter is leaning against the car. 

Martin the Porter was a tiny little man and I am sure I outweighed him. By alot. I could not maintain consciousness. When I came to, he was shaking me and telling me to stand up...but I could not;  so he literally dragged me down the mountain on my butt. I was in and out of consciousness for the next hour or so down the mountain. Everytime he tried to make me stand up, I would pass out. At some point I cuddled up against a rock. When I began to feel warm, I knew that the end was near and I  tried to say my prayers, but was getting them all confused in my head.....I was so terrified. Martin kept shaking me and I yelled at him..."leave me be....I am gonna die here...." I dont think he understood enough english...but I was pretty abusive to him, poor guy. I begged him to radio for help casue I was dying. There was no radio. No help. I was toast. If I could not stand up. . .how was I to get to a lower elevation?  We had an hour to go...and I still could not stand or keep awake. He threw my arm around his shoulder and began to drag me down the mountain. I was still in and one point, I woke up to see us both on our feet skidding down this gravel landslide.....I cannot remember how we stopped, but remember thinking that if the altitude sickness did not kill me, I was surely going to fall to my death.
I cannot remember how  Igot down the mountain, I think he carried me...He did get me down the mountain and into my sleeping bag. He then proceeded wake me up every 10 minutes (his revenge?) to make sure I was alive. But I was  alive. ..barely. I had a 7.5 hour hike to a lower elevation in the morning. I could not see well, my vision was blurry, I was still vomitting. Breathing and consciousness was not guarranteed. It was a rough trip to say the least. (For more information:

I learned quite a bit from this little Carpe Diem nightmare, most importantly. . .NEVER UNDERESTIMATE  A PORTER. 


Guardian Angel
BOY, Born August 10, 2005

Don’t mind this pink shirt, Porter is a BOY.    He is HIV+, stage 3.   He is mildly cognitively delayed as well.
From his medical records:   HIV stage 3, without immunosuppression, delay of psychomotor and speech development, bacillosis
For more info and parent support on adopting and raising a child with HIV, please visit

$2050.60 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Donations are tax deductible.

Meet Porter. Dark beautiful hair, bright trusting eyes. This boy is officially lost. I bet he wants to give up, perhaps curl up next to a rock, say his prayers and give up. I do not blame him. He is 6 years old and was recently transferred to a mental institution. There are NO toys at this institution. No books. No playing. No laughter. Literally, people in this insititution sit all day, staring at the walls, often rocking to soothe themselves. They do not rock as part of their condition, but from a lack of stimulation. This is a place that no one should be sent, let alone a little boy with so much promise, so much to live for. 
Please read more about the Lost Boys here. Knowledge is power. Change is possible. These children deserve homes and should not be lost. Porter is suffering a fate through NO choice of his own. He has not decided to move to this facility. He has not chosen to have HIV. He did not choose abandonment. .. please help him live a brighter, happier life! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Squirmy awkward feelings. . .

I am well aware of the humbling nature of parenting. Those lovely moments when your child(ren) make you want to run to the nearest corner and hide your face. .. admit defeat and curl in the fetal position. Yes, I am well aware of that aspect of parenting. I experienced it last night, twice. .. .while attempting to join my voice with others in my community for the Fortnight for Freedom. Instead of praying or getting sleepy and cuddly (it was nearing his bedtime and throwing off our nightly routine) he was trying to blow out the candles from his seat. Twirling. . .clapping after every reading.. . you know the drill. Yes, the church has a cry room, but the snot and bodily fluids are nearly visible on the pews, the floors and the walls. It is grim. Grrrrrr-im.

I was admitting defeat and leaving mid-service. . .making the walk of shame down the aisle when I spotted my sister and her family. 

Well, I couldn't just leave, so we scooted in next to them for another awkward experience. Eli was so excited as he LOVES his cousins. As evidenced by him putting his hands on his cousin's legs and leaning forward so close it looked like he  was going to kiss him on the mouth. Something our family doesn't do. . ..instead of kissing, Eli sniffed him. Not loudly enough for people around to know what was happening, nope, quietly enough that the whole scene was simply strange and uncomfortable. Mostly for me, I think. And maybe for Eli's cousin.

This morning Eli woke up laughing. I love when he does that. .. .sweet giggles. "I sniffed Chris, Mama. He was trying to pray and I sniffed him." Giggles. I giggled at his delight but I blushed again as well. Sigh. .. the joys of parenting. 

I must be a little crazy because I cannot wait to see the million and one ways that Pasha will make me blush and cringe. I hope he will find joy as easily as Eli does. I have so many hopes! Eager does not begin to describe how I feel about holding him, claiming him and loving him forever.

Our process is chugging full steam ahead and if it continues, we should be submitted to Pasha's country in about 2 weeks and travel will follow 8 weeks later. . .this means travel in the fall. SO fast. I have buried myself in the paper chase and mulled over fundraising ideas.. .but continued donating to other families instead. I am FAR more comfortable helping other families. Asking for assistance is totally cringe worthy. Thus starts the humbling nature of parenting. .. all without the reward of cuddles, giggles and slobbery kisses. It is nerve-wracking, totally doable but nerve-wracking nonetheless. God willing, the cuddles, giggles and kisses will soon follow!

As I stated many moons ago, I cashed out my retirement to fund this adoption. After the government took it's fair share, the amount deposited will not fully cover the adoption expenses. Fundraising will have to be done. Sigh. How to go about it? I am uncomfortable with this. There are so many kids in need of homes, so many children with far more need, children that have been waiting far too long. . .Pasha is not one of these children, does this mean that he doesn't deserve a family. .. does it mean that I should not fundraise? Obviously he deserves a family, though I am not sure he deserves a life of being sniffed by his big brother, but who am I to decide that? I want him home before he is old enough to understand that he is in an orphanage. Desperately. So I will do what I can to make this happen. I hope that this can be forgiven.

I am working on a couple of ideas: a rummage sale (though I have heard that these can be nightmares and headaches,) a giveaway and an auction. For those that live nearby, I am also trying to throw an 80s Dance Party Benefit.. . .still waiting on a response from the venue. In the meantime, should I take up a post on the side of the road? 

If anyone has any items that they would like to see on a giveaway or any items they would like to donate (or if you would simply like to donate to our fund) that would be GREATLY appreciated. Perhaps with enough peer pressure, dear hubby will agree to participate in my original fundraising idea: "I want to do a dance for you." For this fundraiser, people would donate a set amount and email me one song request. I would then video my husband busting a move to that song. . . .and I would send it to the donor. Awesome right?? Well he agreed until he actually thought about it. . .. then he came up with several (lame) excuses as to why it was not a good idea. Sigh. 
I will keep you all posted on hubby's willingness to be a dancer for hire.. . .

Until then I will be hiding my face in the corner; hoping and praying that God works this out for us!

If you are interested in helping some other families:

Monday, June 25, 2012

One more Lost Boy

I have written this post 3x now and I just don't know how to drive home the reality that Porter, Heath and Hanson are experiencing.

I have been sad all weekend. Literally. The awesome lady bug socks have been unsuccessful in lifting my spirits. I thought that once I started the adoption process for one of these adorable, needy babies, I would feel as if I was actually DOING something. That change was possible. That help WAS coming. But then I hear that a boy, a dear sweet young thing nearing 7 years old has been transferred, and what I am doing is simply not enough. Something has to give, this tragedy must be stopped! Why can't  Obama's Fast and Furious be designed to get to these children and save them from a life of emptiness, want and deprivations. Where is Iron Man or Superman when you need them? MAKE IT STOP!

See this boy in gray? Serious cuteness going on there, right? 
I have borrowed these pictures from other bloggers, all of which are spending their day writing about sweet Porter as well.

How does this happen? Does it really happen? YES! It does, sadly all too often. It continues to happen because we allow it to. How can we not band together to scream for an inquisitive boy that deserves a family? I  have not personally witnessed the sad institution where the Lost Boys live. So I am stealing excerpts from another amazing blog. The woman that writes this amazing blog successfully rescued one little boy from this facility. The first one. . .she had thought that the outdoor shed was the worst part of life as a Lost Boy in this institution....she was sadly mistaken. When it rains or snows the boys all stay inside, all of them crammed into one room. A room that is entirely empty, except for the boys sitting on benches that line the walls. No toys, no books, no hugs, no dancing, no games. The windows too tall for any of the boys to peer out.
Boys. So deprived that they bang their heads on the wall, they rock, they moan, lost inside their own minds. Their conditions a result of their situation, not their diagnoses.Trapped and forgotten, left to endure a life of monotony and emptiness. Devoid of hope. Even children with mild medical conditions are doomed to this fate if not adopted.

I have also tried more than 3x to post an awesome video of Porter dancing and playing in the baby house. (it is Monday and my brain is not making much happen today.) It is lovely to watch him dance with wild abandon. Sadly, right now, Porter is no longer laughing or dancing, he is no longer playing. .. he is sitting, scared and alone in a mental institution. He has gone from something to nothing. How scary for a young boy! He has HIV, no mental impairment aside from delays resulting from institutionalization. And yet, there he sits. Day after day until some lucky person steps forward to claim him. HIV may still be scary to some, but it is not the death sentence it was once thought to be. He can live a healthy, full and productive life. More information is available at Please please please watch the video not only for the sweet boy in gray, but for all the boys that may soon suffer the same fate. 


Guardian Angel
BOY, Born August 10, 2005

Don’t mind this pink shirt, Porter is a BOY.    He is HIV+, stage 3.   He is mildly cognitively delayed as well.
From his medical records:   HIV stage 3, without immunosuppression, delay of psychomotor and speech development, bacillosis
For more info and parent support on adopting and raising a child with HIV, please visit

$2050.60 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Please join us in prayer, advocacy and hope for Porter, Heath and Hanson. Do not let their lights be completely snuffed out in that desolate place!
Feel free to visit the other bloggers that are also advocating for these Lost Boys. Let them not be Lost any longer!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adoption brain and the 10 lb block o'chicken

I cook, but not willingly and not well.
I think, but not willingly and again, not well.

I am doing my best at the coupon game, still a little new to it and still a little too lazy to be really good at it. However, I stumbled on an awesomely spectacular deal a little while ago at a local butcher shop (EW.) I got a 10 lb back of chicken quarters for 7.90. Now, I admittedly don't like to use my brain, but that seemed like a wonderful deal so I hefted that bag of chicken into my car and happily went home to brag of my find to my husband.

Several nights later chicken was on the menu and my husband agreed to cook.. ..yay! He took that bag of chicken out the the freezer. Looked at it. Looked at me and shook his head. "I know! Unbelievable deal, right? I SCORED! You are so lucky to have me around to find such awesome deals for you." He grimaced and shook his head again. Then he dropped the entire bag of chicken on the kitchen floor. Thud. The house shook. He picked it up and threw the bag back to the floor, with force. Massive thud. He looked down at the bag and then at me.

The bag was then picked up and placed on the counter. Husband started rummaging around and I went about my business until the grumbling and strange racket became impossible to ignore. I walked into the kitchen to see my husband with a hammer in his hand, repeatedly whacking the chicken. . ..with increasing force. This went on for a while, yet I did not venture any further into the kitchen. Hubby turned to me with irritation, "nice 10lb chicken ice cube you have here Becki. GREAT DEAL! We are having Pizza for dinner." Uh-oh.

I walked over to see the chicken glacier. There was no evidence of the beating that ice cube just took. Not a dent. Nothing. I can see how that could irritate someone. . .. so I put the chicken in another ziploc baggie and placed it back in the freezer.
Nick and the block
What the heck was I going to do? Obviously it has to thaw out. But once it thaws, do I have to cook it all at once? I am pretty sure I have no need for 10lbs of chicken at the same time. Can I thaw it and then just re-freeze it? Am I going to poison my entire family with this silly block of chicken?  What the heck am I going to do. Google failed me, in an epic way. I refused to admit defeat, still believing in the deal of the century. . . .and I sang, "she's a young thing that cannot leave her mother. ..  "

A week later my brain stumbled on the solution and again, I was a genius. Order restored! Father's Day BBQ! Invite the family over, it will be fun! Most everyone agreed to come. .. perfect! On the menu? CHICKEN!
So, the night before the BBQ that big block o-chicken was once again resurrected from the freezer and set on the counter to thaw. Before falling asleep we commiserated together that perhaps I was out of my mind.  A BBQ for 13 people? Why do seemingly simple tasks seem overwhelmingly impossible?? We have never BBQ'd anything other that hotdogs and burgers. . . .we fell asleep wondering if tomorrow was going to work at all, but comforted by our abundance of hotdogs and burgers available as back-up.
On his Father's Day morning, dear Hubby was greeted with a river of bloody chicken juice and goo all over the counter and floor. Serious gross out moment. Being the awesome man that  he is, he cleaned it up and disinfected the kitchen, so when I woke up all I saw was his grimace and a sparkling clean kitchen.

An hour before the guests were set to arrive, Husband looks at me with a grin, "I am not sure about this today. That chicken looked sad. Every chicken leg was broken. When I was transferring them to ziploc baggies, they just flopped around. One piece looked like the meat was on the outside and the skin was on the inside. .. is that even possible?" I looked at him with disbelief. "What are you talking about? And whatever you are talking about, could you have talked about it any earlier?" His response: "Uh, remember the hammer? I thought that it hadn't even made a dent. Uh. I was wrong."

The laughing began and didn't end until we both had tear streaked cheeks. On the menu? Hammer tenderized chicken. Pulverized chicken pieces. Awesome.

Somehow our mini BBQ gave those broken chicken quarters a new lease on life.  They were DELICIOUS!

Totally wonderful metaphor for our adoption! It is an awesome deal, to bring Pasha into our hearts and family, but it takes time. It may not always be pretty, we may feel pulverized. We need to wait for everything to thaw out and resist the urge to take a hammer to it. .. and as with most things, it is BEST when shared with friends and family. I know this is super belated, but honestly that IS how I roll, I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Many happy returns

Here I am. . .back again. Man, it was not long ago that I looked forward to popping open this laptop and spewing my wonderful diatribes on here every single day. Now it seems that I will be lucky to sit down to blog once a week.. . and then I struggle for anything witty to say.

Sorry to all my readers, all I can say is that there are some amusing posts in here. . .. feel free to revisit them as often as needed and pray for that I return to that style of blogging. I have come down with a serious case of the un-funnies. this is also happening in my real life. Jokes are falling flat. I have resorted to cringe worthy puns.. . . .I am THAT person. Sigh. Please have mercy on me and stick around for a bit. I am sure I will bounce back. (But I keep saying that about my body too. After two pregnancies. ..surely I will bounce back to my old shape. Right? Maybe I need another year for this to happen. . .. )

Pursuing this adoption at warp speed seems to be warping other areas of my life in the process. Let me explain: this process has somehow placed a magnifying glass on my behavior, my shortcomings and all that I lack. This is my own doing. I don't remember doing this with Lazarus or when I was pregnant. Perhaps I was too busy revisiting my meals in the close confines of a bathroom stall when I was pregnant to have any time or energy for self reflection. I was far too young and full of myself when I was adopting Lazarus to even consider that I may not be the PERFECT parent for him. Oh. .. sometimes it is embarrassing to look back.

I cannot stop staring, he is just too cute for words!

I am currently UBER aware of all the things I am not. It is not a fun place to be but perhaps it will lead me to somewhere much more grounded and real. This is my hope. (In the meantime it makes me feel incapable of so much more. . .host a BBQ? I am not sure. Will it be any good? Will people have fun? Make dinner? Wow, I am really not sure I am the right person for that job right now either. Do my hair? Um. .. how?) Ugh. ..seriously. 

question mark
On top of all the self flagellation and self doubt, in reality the end of this adoption is one big question mark. You see, our child is not set aside waiting eagerly for us to scoop him up. He does not know we are coming for him. There is no hold on him, thus he is adoptable to anyone. I believe that this is as it should be. If a wonderful family gets there before us, he will be available to them. This means that he will have a family as soon as possible. But let me tell you, if this does happen, that family best be the MOST AWESOME family ever to grace the planet. .. or they will have to answer to me. There, I said it. As much as I am eager to hold that chubby squirmy love bug in my arms, I would hate for him to wait one minute longer than he has to for a loving family of his own. I will march forward, trusting that if he is meant to be ours then he will. This is all in God's hands. Sounds right. . .but it is not so easy. I sit up far too late at night wondering what the end of this journey will be. Will he? Won't he? Will we? If not, then what? Who? How? It is ridiculous. So many questions that have no answers...I am thankful for the prayers that rock me to sleep every night. I would be willing to go through this process over and over if it meant that I had even the slightest chance to rock him in my arms.

In this way, adoption is not so different from pregnancy. I am attached to the baby that will be mine at the end of this journey. Come what may I am 100% in love with that child. Already.

My Husband is on quite a journey of his own. He is slowly becoming more and more open. Open to more children. Open to a child with DS. Open to admitting his confusion about what he really wants out of life. He is starting to realize that he might not want the things that he once did. I think God and Beckett are really working on his heart these days and it is simply amazing to see. My heart goes out to him as this journey is not an easy one. Second guessing is natural and growing pains are evident. His heart is so big and it is wonderful to see it opening more and more every day. Stay tuned for more on this!

SOOOOO, this brings me to Dmitry. I am praying that there are more people that God and Beckett are working on at the same time. . ..there are far too many amazing kids that are simply waiting for hearts to be opened to them. Waiting is not easy for anyone. . .

Dmitry H. 25C

Boy, born November 2004
Eyes: Gray
Hair: blond
Diagnosis: Down syndrome
Character: quiet, affectionate boy, easily comes into contact with adults and children. Interested in classes, complete instructions after the joint action.  Considered higher functioning and doing well!

Look at this sweet face. Really look. He has such a kind intelligence in his eyes, like he understands that he is not wanted but he is making the best out of it, afraid to be hopeful. The file says that he is high functioning, interested in classes. What a sad reality for this sweet boy. I am positive he would LOVE to play softball in the yard with his sibling(s). He would be eager to help with the laundry, mostly to snuggle the soft warm towels right out of the dryer. God has a plan for all of us, including Dmitry and I am sure it is not for him to be lost and forgotten in a mental institution. His Mama needs to take heart, steel herself against the fear and go get him! He is such a blessing!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Rules

Okay, so this may be a little overdue. I apologize for my tardiness, but I am still new to this blogging game and learning the ropes via trial and error. I am not perfect, nor do I care to be.

Hi! My name is Becki. This is my blog. That's right, MY blog. This is where I get to spout off on whatever subject I want to, when I want to. I reserve the right to misspell occasionally, use sentences that are far too short for my husband's liking and be as politically correct or incorrect as I want. That is the joy of being a blogger, right? I am for the most part kind-hearted, compassionate and trusting.

I would love for people to read and comment and follow this blog. When I started writing it was really cathartic and I was fueled by a growing audience and their comments. It was awesome to know that what I said was resonating with someone somewhere. I felt validated and it felt awesome. This is still the case.. . .

I am not a perfect individual, far from it. As much as I don't like it, I have always honored constructive criticism. Criticism aimed at me just to tear me down is not constructive and will not be tolerated. So, perhaps it is time to start buying a larger size of jeans. ... perhaps I should no longer be sporting fluorescent half-shirts. I refuse to believe it, but if some brave soul steps forward with proof that acid washed jeans are no longer fashionable, I will not dismiss this information without due process. That is how I roll. I actually count on my friends and family when it comes to fashion. .. .(not really!) Like I said, I am far from perfect and my fashion sense tends to scream that out sometimes.

I would love to keep my blog open to comments from Anonymous. That being said, to a certain Anonymous contributor, I am sorry that you do not love reading my blog and do not agree with the content. I assure you that you do not have to keep reading. I will not be offended. In fact,  I invite you to write your own blog. . .that will allow you to say what you want when you want. I really recommend it, it is quite fun. I will not post comments that are destructive, slanderous or unkind. I will track and report people that continue to feel that this action is necessary. This is my blog and I get to determine what  is allowed.. .. and these will not be allowed. Period.
Exercise Troll Doll 
That's it, let the blogging (awesomeness) continue!

Because I am "in it"

I have so little to say and I am sure none of it is witty or entertaining. What is entertaining about paperwork??   Well, it is exciting to me since it brings me one step closer to cuddling my little baby boy. Pretty awesome, really!

We have been blessed with donations from super duper generous people.  I was able to add a button to my blog here, which is an amazing feat for me. .. . so if anyone feels like clicking on it. .. that would be FABULOUS! I am sure I will come up with some fun fundraisers once I am done chasing paper (and my tail.)

Hopefully by the end of the week I will be treading water a little more effectively!

I am so thankful for my Guardian angels. God, please continue to walk with us!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It has only been 5 days since my last post. Only five? It seems far longer, for me anyways.

It has been a busy 5 days! Our adoption grant has grown due to the loving and generous support of some truly awesome people. What blessings! We are waiting on our home study appointment and are feverishly working to chase paper (often in circles) and make all the correct appointments and get all the right stamps. We went to the Notary with a CHUNK of documents, Eli in tow. Trying to notarize and wrangle a 2 year old is a recipe for frustration but we got through it with only a few documents being rendered unusable. . .the notary was SUPER nice but seemed to suffer from Parkinson's and we knew we would have to return with reprinted documents. I watched my husband like a hawk to make sure he put the correct date on each and every document. Repeating the date out loud each time he went to sign .. . .

With our free time in the evening, we scanned all those documents off and sent them for approval. YAY! Checking items off the list. . really working to expedite this adoption. What do you know, our lovely notary messed up. On. Every. Single. Document. NOTHING ticked off my list. Starting over. Now I know exactly what to look for and what to watch for . . . .I am happy that the kinks are getting worked out at the beginning of the process but it was still a little blow.

I had a brave Anonymous soul comment on my blog yesterday as well. I am unsure if I am going to post it on here since it was not nice, supportive or concerned at all with the well being of the sweet little children waiting for families. Which brings me to my next topic: Lynette.

Oh dear sweet girl. She looks so shy and timid doesn't she. She looks like it would take her a little time to warm up to you but then she would never be far from your side, eager to hug and hold your hand. What a tiny, lovely, dear little bird.
Lynette passed away recently. Eleven years old. Never held, hugged, loved, treasured. Her life was spent in a crib. Waiting. Hungry. Neglected. Forgotten. Without Reece's Rainbow I would have never even known about Lynnette. Ignorant of the plight of these sweet children. I mourn her. I know she is in an infinitely better place but I fear the world failed her. We heard her cries and failed to respond. The world has lost a lovely, lovely child. Only continued advocacy and love can change the lives of these children.

I know I sing about all the wonderful work done through Reece's Rainbow but it really is amazing. I just heard that the Ukraine has posted Reece's Rainbow Adoption posters in their Official Offices. This is incredible! Read more about this here. The more people that see these lovely children, the more likely it is that they will find families. Truth is spreading and only good can come of it! Please pray that God continues to stir hearts for adoption.

I spent a little time counting the other day. I may be a number or two off but LOOK!

73 children home in 2012 so far.
74 traveling families right now
71 almost there
43 compiling dossiers
31 homestudy in progress
+33 new commitments 
=325 children that will not be left as orphans!!!

Huge hugs and thanks to those supporting our adoption with prayer and donations, encouragement and love.  It is truly appreciated! Please continue to pray for orphans!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Heavy hearted

Oh, I heard some terrible news this morning. It literally greeted me first thing this morning. It seems that someone is living my nightmare. I just cannot imagine. So very sad! I hope and pray that my nightmares do not see the light of day as I pray for this family.

Please pray for all families in the process of adoption and PLEASE pray that Pasha is available when we submit all of our paperwork. I really want to be his Mama!

That's all I have today. Sigh. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


Is it wrong that the narrative that my husband and I just finished up (HUGE YAY) makes me like us a little bit less? It is so easy to say "but I try" or "I have the best of intentions" to amend for my shortcomings; but in black and white, well it is just so very evident that I am far from perfect. Perhaps far from ideal or even acceptable. And I am supposed to submit this to a stranger to assess us? I am sure these feelings are par for the course, but I am really fighting the urge to rewrite the narrative complete with rainbows and fairies, beatific pictures and a Disney soundtrack.

June Cleaver 600x473 Another Thing To Blame On Your Mother: The Childhood Obesity EpidemicI know it is beyond silly to think that there are perfect parents in this world, perfect husbands or wives, ideal daughters and sisters, but in reading through my narrative I think to myself, there might not be perfect people but surely there are people much more evolved and capable than I. And that pestering, negative voice jumps into the conversation. No good comes from his involvement. I want to shout, but I am loving! And fun! And goofy! Honest, loyal, diligent and I really will try my best for any child God sees fit to give me. Please don't judge too harshly, I know I have warts (some quite massive) but I will try my very best to reduce their impact in my life! 

The last time I completed a homestudy I was pretty darn full of myself. I didn't realize it of course, but the folly of youth was more than evident in my homestudy draft ...yet I was approved. Motherhood is hand-down the most awesome and rewarding experience I have ever had; it is also the most humbling. These are all lessons that I thought I had a handle on before I had kids, funny that. How can a person believe they are ready to be a parent without really knowing all that it involves, the way it changes the very fiber of your being? I am embarrassed by my previous narrative almost as much as I am by this current version. I am not sure that bodes well for me.
Am I the very best parent for Pasha? Who knows. Reading my narrative I am overcome with fear that I am not. Perhaps that is a good sign! A sign that I am already invested enough to bare my life and my soul to a stranger for the chance to sacrifice all I have and all I am for him.
I am positive that Eli will be an awesome big brother to Pasha, instructing him on all things Thomas, Gordon and Percy. Showing him the exact order that all the trains must go on the track; tattling away as all older siblings do. Don't deny it. . ..older siblings invented tattling.
As I proofread my draft One. Last. Time. I am praying that the Social Worker will see past all our faults to the people we are striving to be. And that we are the family for Pasha.

These insecurities as an adult are shocking to me. I thought that by now I would be a little more comfortable in my own skin, with a very matter of fact "take it or leave it" mentality. HA. I am realizing that people who present with this attitude are just as insecure as the next, they just handle it differently. Either way, I am eager to send in my life story for judgement. Another step forward to Pasha and that much closer to being able to hold him in my arms! If it means scrutiny, failure, dwelling on all of my imperfections, well I guess I will have to pull up my big girl panties and get on with it!

Imagine then, how a child must feel. Clearly not perfect in ways that cannot be hidden on the inside. They have no opportunity to defend themselves, to present their character to a Social Worker to judge their abilities. Their pictures greet me every morning and grace my thoughts every night before I close my eyes. These perfectly imperfect angels, wanting to be found. Dying to be considered "good enough."  Do they have any idea how wonderful they truly are? Sadly, I don't think so, how could they? They all desperately need the love of a Mother and a Father to make them believe their worth.

Megan has been waiting ever so long. She has a whopping 24k available to help cover adoption costs. .. so where is the delay? How are we allowing her to wonder why? Her pain is unimaginable to me.

And Marcus. Sweet, sweet Marcus.  
Oh, I have such a soft spot for these little boys. They should be covered in dirt, playing with worms and spiders, driving dump trucks through the mud. Instead they are waiting indoors, starving for love and affection. Marcus has seen many of his friends get adopted. The questions in his head are probably damning. He must believe that his condition is so unforgivable that no one could possibly want him. .. . I pray every single night for his Mama to rush forward and prove him wrong! I already love him to pieces and IF my husband allowed me to adopt numerous children, I would scoop him up in a heartbeat.

And then there is Marky Mark. They little boy with a wry sense of humor, still waiting for his Mama to wipe the cynicism off his chubby face.

Pick us! Pick Us! Do it! You know you want to!
As adults, we can hopefully better handle the harsh glare of judgement on our faults and failures. These children. .. they should not be expected to endure this questioning. Let us all pray for these sweet, perfect children!
I am sending in my narrative tomorrow. . .but I may put a picture at the end with a caption of "PICK US! PICK US!"

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What an honor to introduce. .. . beloved Aunt Karen. She has been blogging for a little while here and without fail her blogs make me laugh. And sometimes cry. I think she is such a gift and has a wonderful way of sharing her life with the world. Her post today made me cry and made me SO grateful to know her and call her family. She has brought so much to my life that I asked her if I could share. .. so without further adieu:

The Miraculous Poetry Machine
This is the miraculous poetry machine. I found it today on Front Street in Issaquah.  

What you do, is this: you take a piece of paper, you write five random words on it, you slip the piece of paper in the slot on the side, you wait, and presently out pops another piece of paper on the other side. The new piece of paper has a poem freshly penned, using all five of your words.


Miraculous enough in itself, but there is more. Let me start at the beginning.

I have been in the dumps for a week or so now, and realized that, with this Friday off from work and free from family obligations, I had the opportunity to take my sorry self out for a me-date, and perhaps refresh the old amygdala.

This is the first Friday of the month, and that means it's the night of the Issaquah Art Walk. All the shops on Front Street open their doors and invite local artists to show their wares, either on display in the shop itself, or just outside the door.

I arrived just as the artists were getting in place. I settled down on a bench in front of the old Shell station that is actually an arts shop, housing a number of photographers' wares. There was a three-man band set up in front, calling themselves the Trainwrecks and doing pretty good covers of the Eagles and assorted new country singers. I watched them for a good half hour, enjoying the music and their ease with eachother. Which was fortuitous, because for at least twenty minutes of that half hour I was pretty much their only audience. They didn't seem to care all that much about how big the audience was, or wasn't - they simply were laughing and singing and playing and generally having a great time. It reminded me of the truth of art - you don't wait for an audience to make art, you make art and share it if anyone shows up.

Then I wandered off to the chainsaw carver and checked out the pine gnomes. Next to him was the guy who makes garden stakes with flowers on top, the petals made out of spoons. Across from him, the woman who makes purses out of old clothes and the other woman who makes hats out of old men's slacks.

I wandered into an art gallery and checked out the pottery, the paintings, the mixed media offerings of cats on couches, dogs on beaches, birds flying across landscapes, city scenes, still lifes, portraits. I cradled a clay sparrow in my hand and enjoyed the heft of it, so unlike its real counterpart.

I people watched for awhile; a grandfather with his granddaughter and their very old, very much loved dog. A woman with pink highlights. A man with a grizzled beard and a fedora. Ten year old boys in a small herd, grazing down the street. An Indian man with his young daughter in a stroller, her hair all touseled from napping, the curls across her forehead tangling through her fingers as she wiped her eyes.

And then I came across the Poetry Machine. It looked more like a voting booth, red, white and blue folded panels with plastic bunting taped on the top, and peacock feathers for good measure. A chalkboard sign on the front, with stick on letters that said, "I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions: James Michener"

It was pretty easy to see the two women inside, sitting on stools and writing on small notepads. Even though an MP3 player tapped out the sound of an old typewriter, the pieces of paper that came out with finished poems on them were all handwritten.

Nobody cared. Kids hovered around the front of it, clutching notepads and chewing pencils, trying to come up with five good words to feed into the machine, so that a poem would be ejected back to them. Mothers giggled as the kids asked for advice. Some of the parents took up notepads of their own.

I took a notepad and wrote five words on it: Paleological. Laughter. Resurrected. Squirrelly. Victory. I passed it through the slot and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Poems popped out the other side. A poem for Matt. For Angela. Tony. Chris. But not mine.

I waited.

And as I waited, leaning against a telephone pole, a woman approached me and told me I looked like an angel. Which is weird, unless you think of angels as being 60 pounds overweight and dressed in jeans and tee shirts from the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

I smiled, leaning against the pole further and extending my arms out in front of me, striking what I hoped was a beatific pose. She said I reminded her of someone she knew who was gone. And then she complimented me in ways I don't even remember. I thanked her and added, "And all of it, of course, covered in milk chocolate."

And that's when she burst into tears.

"I knew that's what you would say, " she said. "It's exactly what she would say."

And she fell weeping into my arms.

Sometimes you go someplace because you have a random idea, or because you are bummed out and need distraction, or because you're bored, or because if you stay home you'll eat ice cream and blow your diet. That's usually the times when God decides to make something really interesting happen.

I started to think maybe I understood why I had gotten in the car and schlepped down to Issaquah from Maple Valley, on a whim. I got a better idea of why my poem, of all the poems, was so tardy. I got an inkling as to the importance of this particular telephone pole. I was meant to be here when she came by. Sometimes they shoot the messenger; today, the messenger was hugged. I hugged her back and told her that her friend loved her very very much, and that I was sure that's why I had been sent there, to wait for her and tell her just that. I felt her cry and shake against me and hung on tight, rubbing her back, pressing my palm in her shoulder blades, feeling the ridges of her spine. She thanked me for being there. I told her I couldn't take the credit, I only did as I had been told. We both laughed. "Yes," she said, "she would be bossy, wouldn't she?"

My poem popped out. We read it together, and it was yet another affirmation for her. This is what it said:

I hear my own laughter
ring in my own ears;
a squirrelly sound;
a good sound.
I hear my triumph
resurrected from my fall
and I feel paleological as
I am of the oldest times.

She gasped, laughed, then cried some more. I held her hands. I kissed her cheek. More laughing. She told me she loved me, and I said I loved her, too. I know that she was talking to the woman who had died, and I allowed my voice to say what I knew that woman would have said. It was the most natural moment in the world. What I was saying was true. I told her it was time for me to go, but that she would know she was being watched over, taken care of, and always loved. I turned around and walked away. We lost sight of each other in the crowd, just as it was meant to be. Amygdala refreshed, mission accomplished.

Sometimes I think my words don't count for much. Sometimes I feel restless, uninspired, invisible. But in that moment, I did not feel invisible. I felt transparent, free, with someone else's light was shining through, the both of us feeling its warmth, andthat was certainly visible, on both sides of the veil. I felt lucky to be chosen, grateful and humble.
A gift all the way around. A paleological resurrection. A miracle in front of a poetry machine, as delicious as milk chocolate. A very, very good day. 

See what I mean? She is really that awesome!

Friday, June 1, 2012

One Less-Fatherless Friday

Today is a joyful day. So joyful that I could not sleep, hmmm will 5 hours be enough to get me through the day? My eyes feel sandy, you know the feeling. But I am finding SO much joy in my purpose. Finally being able to share more about the sweet little boy that stole our hearts and will hopefully soon be stealing his big brother's toys!
Paper pregnant. What an awesome reality. A little one on the way, no morning sickness, afternoon sickness or evening sickness! No swollen ankles, maternity clothes, and no waddling! LOVE THIS! My body seems to know what is going on though and my emotions are overactive! My Husband summed it up yesterday when he described me as this: "Turkey brain, angry. Turkey brain, sad. Turkey brain, angry." Turkey brain is a term of endearment when I am being funny (often at his expense) and he is unable to come up with a witty response. (Who is the real turkey brain, eh?) I am scared, excited, joyful, teary, committed and eager. Did I mention scared?
I know I have said it numerous times but yes, I am scared. Shaking in my boots, scared. I have stepped forward before. I paid quite a price and am still paying. I guess I will say I am "twice shy" and leave it at that. I really must work on leaving the trauma in the past and look to the future with hope and confidence. I will work on that!

So, to answer the general questions:

Q: Why?
A: Look at this boy! How could I resist?
Q: When?
A: Well I saw his face on May 16th and on May 19th we were committed to this child on RR. It is estimated that adoptions from this region take 7 months so we are really working to get him home before the end of the year. Please pray with us that this happens!

Q: How?
A: Perhaps I should answer this one when the adoption is complete. I am unsure how. . by God's grace alone. And my thrift savings plans. And hopefully some donations by some wonderfully kindhearted people? (pretty please?) 

Okay, I am going back to the why question. It all boils down to who it is that I want to be. How I want to live. The world I want to leave for my children. How I want to answer God if/when I get to heaven. Just because I cannot save them all does not mean that I should not bend over backward to save at least one from a life in an institution. My brief time in India with the Missionaries of Charity will stay with me forever. I often hear Mother Teresa in my head. . .her quiet, powerful call to love the unloved. The example that she lived every. single. day. I promised myself that I WOULD be the change that I wanted to see in the world. I WOULD scream about justice especially for innocent victims. I WOULD put my money where my mouth is. .. not that I have much money, but I will walk the walk. I WILL open my arms and heart and home to a precious child because it is simply the right thing to do. Now, I am not saying that everyone should adopt. No. I am really talking about me right now. Not everyone should adopt. Not everyone should have bio kids. Not everyone should have pets. Not everyone should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle (I see these people almost every day. grrrrr.) Everyone has their own path and journey and I respect that (unless your "journey" involves driving like everyone is in a bumper car. Okay, I respect your journey, just stay off the road!) I do find it difficult to understand the person that can see a sweet face and NOT want to provide for that child, knowing the dire situation they are in. That is beside the point and perhaps my failure. It is far too easy to get caught up in the "American Dream." Laziness. Extravagance. Entitlement. In reality the "american dream" is not such a pretty picture. I am learning that sacrifice leads to happiness far more than selfishness does. So....
I am working for one less!
There is one less day now that Pasha will be without a family. 
One less day spent in a crib. 
One less day in a diaper that is not changed but once a day.
One less day spent entirely indoors. 
One less day without tickles on his belly. 
One less day.
Every form I complete. . .. well it is one less form standing between me and my son. One less! Paperwork has never been this exciting! It is not everyday that a person  gets to make such a statement about who they are and what they believe in. Pasha is giving me a chance to live out what I believe in the most AWESOME way . ..every day of my life for the rest of my life. And I will get snuggles in return! How kick ass is that?
One less child waiting in a dark, cold, hungry place! I wish more people would see the joy and possibility and join me in my quest for ONE LESS!

Seriously, how can anyone resist these sweet children? Maybe I need to rewrite this to say Two less??