Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bor-ing, bor-ing

Sorry about my unblog these days, fellas! (Unblog - got that from Thelma).

I am working with 5-year-olds at vacation bible school (VBS) this week. Yesterday there was a recreation station where we painted a large "castle" made of wood. The kids didn't have much time. So, today we went back for some more castle-painting but there was no paint. The kids were starting to wander around, so I told them they had to wait. Several of them started chanting, "Bor-ing, bor-ing," (roll eyes). Five-year-olds. Sheesh.

Yesterday a friend was working with 4-year-olds. One of them coughed and my friend said, "You need to cover your mouth when you cough." The little girl said, "Maybe you could move out of the way when I cough!" Um, excuse me? Seriously, 4-year-olds? Sheesh.

But, it has had its moments of fun. It is fun to see my girlfriends every day.

Sorry about this post. Bor-ing, bor-ing. ;o)

Monday, June 19, 2006

I've heard of babywearing...

...but this is ridiculous! Thanks for the over-the-shoulder-baby-holder, Tiff!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Proverbs 31

Why isn't the following included in the description of the Proverbs 31 woman?

She drowns the bug with poison and sweeps it up in the dustpan.

I'm just sayin'.

Same blog, new title

That's a big title, ain't it? I thought this one was more descriptive of our experience. Lately I have been venturing out into the Wild Mommy Kingdom, and even though I'm not pregnant, we're still expecting! We have no way of knowing how long it will be. Absolutely none. People keep asking me, "Do they give you any sense of a time frame?" That depends on what you mean by a time frame! When the pest control guy says he'll be there sometime between 12:00 and 2:00, that's a time frame. When he says, "I'll get there tomorrow or maybe next year," that's still a time frame! So our time frame is anywhere between tonight and 2008. How about that?

24 hours seems pretty quick, and 2 years seems like forever. So we wait and have faith that the mother of our child will just know we're the ones, and that we will be placed with the baby who God would have for us. It does happen, right, Beth?

Hang with me. In the words of pseudo-crunchy Christine, this just might be interesting.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Next stop - planet earth.

There is something about infertility that makes you feel like you are hovering in space, watching friend by friend go by beneath you with their carseat (or two, or three) in the back seat.

I believe that I have been blessed with being able to maintain important friendships in my life, even when those friends have mostly gone on to conceive and give birth to their child(ren). Thanks, friends! I know it has not been an easy road for me, nor has it been an easy road for those who have seen me flounder and struggle with infertility and have to temper their glorious news of pregnancies and births in order to tell me. I can appreciate how difficult that must be.

However, when it comes to making new friendships, I have definitely shied away from women who are pregnant or have small children. This is especially true if they have ever said something insensitive, even without meaning to, about infertility. Something like, "It's in the water," or "This time next year I'll be pregnant." To an infertile woman, those kind of comments seem to trivialize the amazing gift of pregnancy and children.

I get it. People are bonding with others with those comments. For someone who has never seen infertility up close and personal, it's never even a consideration that something so seemingly innocent would be taken so personally by someone like me. And I've even had a lot of practice with such comments. I must always consider how to respond with grace, and remember not to roll my eyes and say, "Dude. You don't even know."

I lost my metaphor, didn't I?

So, I guess now I'm back to earth driving my car with the carseat base in it. No carseat yet, but I'm drivin'. I think I'll drive right out of this metaphor, because now I'm really stretching it.

All that to say, today I made a connection. I decided to put my old inferiority complex aside and play with the other moms. It was a time of celebrating, healing, and re-connecting with old friends. There is something very isolating about infertility. Not only is it difficult for me to be around a group of ladies swapping pregnancy or baby stories, but I am sure sometimes it is difficult for my mom friends to be around me. I've been a good girl, but nobody sane who has been exposed to infertility has not been affected by it. That goes for Fertile Myrtles as well as, and these are not my words but I have read them online, "Those infertiles." Grr. Have a heart, will ya'?

Today I was reminded that no matter how our children come to us, we are their parents. Our job is to raise them right, and as Christians, to raise them to know the Lord. They get to make their own decisions, of course, but we give them to God and let 'em fly. Whether we are fertile or IF, we are equals in the parenting game. It was so nice to see all of the friendly faces at my new Motherwise Bible study. Praise God. (And thanks, DVNG).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Okay, class.

If you don't want to hear about Jesus, step away from the blog! Here it comes, friends.

I was a wreck last Sunday morning at church! By the time the sermon started, I was fine, but I was practically bawling during the music after the greeting. I was so overwhelmed with joy and sorrow at the same time. I was thinking about how I feel so much joy for our soon-to-be adoption, but that the way has been paved with a lot of pain. The song was so pretty, and all about how Jesus died for us, and was so moving to me. I can't even remember how it went because I was so into it.

Then, I started thinking about all of the pain that I have seen in the past month, and how lost people are without Christ. Hurt, lonely, hopeless, afraid. A neighbor committed suicide last month, and another down the street (we live in a cul-de-sac) died of cancer last weekend. Did they die without knowing the salvation of Jesus Christ? I think they did. How do I process this?

I have also become even more acutely aware of the pain and sorrow surrounding pregnancy and childbirth among my peers who have suffered infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, and loss of children through adoption. It was breaking my heart on Sunday! I wasn't even feeling sad for us, having gone through over 3 years of infertility, surgeries, tests, treatments, failed cycles, and dashed hopes. How could I feel this pain without the penetrating glory and joy of Jesus and His sacrifice for ME and for YOU! And I want you to know what He's done. I don't know how we would have gotten through the past few years without Christ. I haven't always been this way, but I was blind and now I see (can I get a witness!?!) ;o)

THEN, later in the service our music minister sang, and I totally lost it again. He wrote one of our letters of recommendation for our adoption, and it just reminded me how blessed we are with our church family. I did not have any tissues, and then DH started tearing up, and I'm sure everyone in the choir AND the choir director saw me crying like a baby. I had to use my hands to wipe away tears and tear-related facial fluids. I seriously almost used my shirt. Then I started laughing (not out loud), but it was one of those crazy, belly laughs you get sometimes. I was afraid someone was going to come down out of the choir loft and give me a sedative. I'm surprised I didn't snort.

This isn't meant to be depressing. I just really felt like God spoke to me in church last Sunday about how much pain there is in the world but that Jesus came so that we would know peace instead. Also, that it is my job to spread the gospel so that others would have the same hope as I do. I am shy about talking to others about Christ - I really wish that I weren't. Maybe experiences like Sunday's will add up to make me more outspoken about what our Lord has done for us.

If you didn't walk away, and you have questions, let me know! I tell you, I was not always this way - I was 26 when I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. It is never too late, and He wants to have you.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Dear Baby

We have a baby. No, we have not been chosen by an expectant mother yet, but in February of 2004 our baby Noah went to Jesus. It was so long ago, and the miscarriage happened so quickly after I found out I was pregnant (1 week later), that it hardly seems real. In a way this is a blessing, because my heart is whole and healthy, but it also feels uncomfortable to be so estranged from a baby knit together by God in my womb.

We had been trying to get pregnant for 10 months, and it felt like forever! Ten months back then felt longer to me than 3 years does now. Those 10 months were the hardest months of my infertility journey. I had not yet incorporated this new experience of infertility (IF) into my identity. Now, it is such a part of who I am that it is familiar to me, and I can see it and wave hello to that part of my heart, but then it felt like a huge, scary, monster with a wide, gaping mouth coming to devour me and nobody else. Words can't express - they are just incapable.

So, it was a Friday and I picked up an HPT (home pregnancy test) on my way home from school. I had just started graduate school the day after I must have conceived! It was faint, but clearly positive. I told R that day, and we were so excited, but yet cautious. I had some spotting that night, but it stopped quickly. That was scary.

A few days later I took another test, waiting to see a darker test line proving that the pregnancy was progressing. The line was still there but just as faint. I went for a blood test the next day.

"The test is borderline," the nurse said.

I can't express my panic and heartbreak at that moment. What did that mean? I went back for another test two days later and finally I got some details. I was, in fact, pregnant, but the pregnancy hormone (HCG) was decreasing and there was no way the baby would make it. Looking back, I can't tell you how invalidated I felt when the nurse said "It's borderline." How dehumanizing!

I received the second test results on a Friday on my way home from class. The nurse who I spoke with was so nice and validating. I wish I knew who it was so I could have thanked her. She told me I could expect to experience the physical miscarriage within 2-4 weeks. What? My baby is dead and I have to wait weeks for her to pass? But, God is merciful. It was over by the next morning. I went to brunch with a friend, to feel connected, you know, and then got a pedicure. I picked a red color, but couldn't stand the thought off looking at blood red toes for weeks. I changed to purple. I'm so glad.

I wrote a letter to baby Noah while I was waiting for the results of the second test. Here it is. It is not edited.

Dear Baby,

God and I love you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your Daddy and I want you and love you so much.

The nurse says that you might not be real - that you might be something other than God knows you are - a person. I don't believe her, but I really don't know what to think. Only Jesus knows. See, it goes to show that God knows us and loves us more than anyone.

I imagine you to be bright and precious. You will have blue eyes like us. You will smell sweet and have a fuzzy head with a soft spot that we will kiss. I will rock you and sing to you. We will play and smile at each other.

I have barely had a drop of caffeine since I found out about you. I've hardly had any sleep, either b/ I have been too excited. I've mostly stayed away from sugar, too. I try not to push myself too hard at the gym, either, so you won't get too tired. You are just an embryo still, but you need to learn to pace yourself. So far, what is your favorite thing to eat? It's too early for me to tell.

I love you, Baby. I give you to God, Baby. Here is Your new child, Lord. I pray that you would let me be Baby's mommy on earth for a long, long time. I accept Your will, Lord. Amen.

We have a baby. I'm so thankful. It doesn't make sense, not to some, but I still trust the Lord. How can I not? He has been so faithful to us.

If you do not know the peace of Jesus, please let me share with you.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

My first skipped heartbeat


I know it is so early, and we are barely in the book, but I had my first racing pulse this afternoon as a phone call came in. We had just gotten home from church, and the phone rang. The caller ID just said, "ringing," which has happened more and more recently. The phone rarely rings on Sundays, for some reason, but a neighbor had called earlier.

Anyway, I answered the phone, "Hello?" (Uh, how else would I answer? "Yyyyello?!?")

An unfamiliar female voice said, "Is this Amy Standridge?"

Me: "Yes?"

Don't do that to me! (Lol) It was someone I talked to last week about ABF (adoptive breastfeeding), calling back with some information.

In any case, my heart was racing. I guess I'll get used to it? OK, when?

Friday, June 09, 2006


Uh...HELLO!?! I am taking my Texas teaching certification exams tomorrow and I am supposed to be studying. I haven't opened a book! I have 2x4 hour exams. Yes, you read that right, one exam for four hours, then another exam for four hours. FUN WEEKEND!

I got my diploma in the mail today. My postal carrier put it under the doorstep and left a note that it was there. Later he came back to make sure I got it. What a cool carrier! So, if I fail my exams tomorrow, at least I will take comfort in the fact that our postal carrier is a really, really nice man.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


1. The Prince and Princess of Stirling castle.
2. Scottish tartan torture (there's a girl under there!)

We're in!

Homestudy complete. Although we had finished all the steps before our trip, the homestudy is not officially complete until our profile is in the book that the expectant mothers look through in order to choose the prospective adoptive parents.

I learned that the term birthmother is more accurate when a woman has placed their baby for adoption. Before placement, the woman is just the mother, or expectant mother. I can't remember where I read this. Makes sense, though.

Anyway, at least one couple who we have met in the last few months has already been placed with their SON! I mean, he is home and everything. So, this can happen very quickly. There really is no way to know how long it might take.

I think it will take awhile before every ring of the phone doesn't send me into heart palpitations. Will the mother like me? Will I cry or act like a dork? Will I snort when I laugh or let out a loud, unexpected belch? I changed out answering maching message today to make it sound more warm and welcoming. Punky was meowing in the background so I had to lock him in the bedroom lest he sound like a baby crying in the background of my warm, welcoming message. "Be yourself." I know, I know, DON'T say it. I'll be myself, I promise.

I start work again tomorrow, if you call 2.5 hours a week "work." It'll be good. If you would like to know more about music therapy, check out the AMTA link at the right. It's a fun gig. I'll have to make up an invoice and figure out what to charge. It's my first time out as a completely independent service provider. One MILLion dollars?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home sweet home

We are so glad to be back! We had the best trip (oh, pardon me, I mean "holiday"). We saw castles and museums, and friends, and double-decker buses. We ate haggis and Indian food, and tea for two. And after it all, we're still in love. Bonus!

We came home to Texas heat and a very needy kitty. He has just started to settle down.

I am pretending that my body really does think it is 9:20 a.m. and not 3:p.m., and that I really do not desperately feel like eating cheetos and a diet pepsi. Morning food, morning food...

1. When rain meets sun in Edinburgh, Scotland.

2. Amy having a latte at the foot of Hollyrood Park, Edinburgh.

3. The York Minster, York, England.

4. Changing of the the guard, London, England.

Friday, June 02, 2006

OK, the gig's up

We're in London!

We visited Scotland for several days, then went on to York, and now we're in London, baby!

Scotland was warm (not literally) and wonderful as usual. It was great fun revisiting the places I lived and hung out when I spent a semester at the University of Edinburgh in 1990. Our guest house was a block away from the hall (or dorm) where I lived - Pollock Halls. I couldn't remember which "house" I was in, (Turner House?) but we walked all through the grounds. Pictures to come.

Next stop York, England by train. York is a quaint old English town with lots of history, and our highlight there for me was tea for two at Betty's tea room! There was an old piano player there who looked around the room as he played by memory, and he played some great songs. Randy thought he looked like his dad, but I thought he looked like me when he played - with his chin kind of tucked in and a bright look in his eyes.

We've been in London for 2 days. Yesterday we did the very British thing of watching X-Men at the cinema. We were definitely needing a break! We then had ice cream and walked and took the tube (subway) home. Tomorrow we are meeting my friend from Tejas, Diane, and her parents to go to a show. We are trying to go to The Producers tonight, and then may see a matinee tomorrow with our American friends.

Today is a Big Bus tour of London. Yesterday we walked by Big Ben and Parliament. Our hotel is not far from Buckingham Palace!

Just a quick update, blog friends.

Thank you for visiting my wee bloggie (winks to Thelma).

See you soon!

P.S. Thanks to all of our new friends and neighbors watching the house and Punky-cat!