Sunday, July 23, 2006

Me again?

Two days in a row! Before you know it, I'll be as prolific as flakymn Wendi. (Love the daily blogging, Wendi.)

Yesterday the Lord was speaking to me BIG time about waiting. When I try to express what I learned, it doesn't sound as profound as it feels in my heart, but I'll give it a go.

I am doing a Motherwise Bible study that has been an amazing spiritual journey for me (more like a summer vacation). Very little of it up to this point has even been about mothering. Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty of that part of the study.

The Bible, let's face it, is mostly filled with male heroes. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, the disciples, Saul/Paul, etc. What do all these men have in common? They have mothers! What do the first 6 have in common? Their mothers were barrren/infertile for a time. Some for a long time (90 years!) some for a shorter time, but all of these mothers - and these are some Major Mommas - experienced the grief and loneliness of infertility. Sisters, I can relate!

Before I go on, I am not saying that these women were more deserving of experiencing conception and childbirth because they had to wait for God's will to be revealed. I am not saying that if you have waited for motherhood for a long time, that you will love your child more, or that your child will go on to live a raging success story.

So, after pointing out that there was so much infertility in the Bible that resulted in the births of such great men who, had they been born at an earlier or different time, would not have been in the position to fulfill their godly purposes, the author of this study shared her story. (Her name is Denise Glenn.)

After a few years of IF (don't know how many), Mrs. Glenn surrendered her desire for children to the Lord, and asked that His will be revealed even if His will was that she would not ever be a mother. Two months later she conceived her first child and went on to have three daughters. Praise God!

I can just hear you, and I had the same reaction, "Oh, yeah. That's the way it ALWAYS happens. Surrender your desires and immediately receive them. Maybe I haven't really surrendered, then? I thought I had, but I'm still childless/single/depressed/fill in the blank." (Can I get an Amen?) I had to sincerely pray at that point that God would allow me to see her beautiful story through His eyes, and not my childless ones. My flesh cried out, "Must be nice!" but my spirit calmly said, "Wait." Back to the study I went, and He delivered. God does answer prayers in His perfect, faultless will and timing. I got what I came for - a better understanding of how God works.

Back to one of my favorite quotes of Jesus: "What is that to you? You must follow me." This is in the book of John at the end of chapter 21 (last chapter). Jesus had been talking about the fate of Peter, his disciple, and how Peter would be of service to Jesus. So Peter, and I have to say I am kind of like this impulsive guy, compares himself to John and wants to know what John's future will look like!

A woman might experience infertility for a time, then surrender her desire to God, immediately to conceive and go on to have many children. That is her story. Another woman might sincerely surrender her desire to God and go on to experience infertility indefinitely after. That is her story. (Infertility is my difficulty of choice here, but you can fill in your own!) Because I am still waiting does not allow me to undo or discredit someone else's story. Jesus says to me, "What's it to you? You follow me."

I have my own story. I haven't read the part yet where God answers my prayer for a child through adoption. But, if I have to wait indefinitely for that prayer to be answered, then I say, "Yes, Lord." Our child(ren) will have a very special and unique purpose on earth and in God's kingdom. Who am I to put my plan over God's? Who am I to say, "Lord, I don't like MY story. Can't I have hers? Even if I'm good?"

John 21:23 says this: Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me."

If I may paraphrase: Jesus said to her, "If I will that she has children and you do not, what is that to you? You follow me."

Yes, Lord.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Current adoption thoughts

This is a really weird place to be. When we first thought about waiting, we both had this feeling that we would be one of those couples who don't wait very long. Don't get me wrong, it has been less than 2 months and I don't consider that to be "very long," but sometimes couples are matched within days of having their profile "in the book!" Yes, yes, I know, we probably wouldn't want that because we wouldn't have time to get ready, and this, and that, but, after over 3 years of wanting, wanting, we're ready. But we're not really! Who could be?

So, now I've settled into the idea that we won't be matched for awhile. That's okay. God knows exactly who our baby will be, and s/he may or may not be conceived. I can't pray that we will meet our baby "soon" because God's will is not likely timing but content. For example, God's will is not for us to have A baby in August, but to have our Baby who happens to be born in, say, December. We are told to wait for God's timing because that is where we get impatient. No one I know says, "I don't want God's will." Most do. However, I personally seldom really mean, "I want God's will" but "I want God's will NOW." Errrrrt - Nope. Homey don't play dat.

Alas, we wait, twiddling our thumbs. Every time I get discouraged, I think about going to the movies whenever I want (and then go there), sleeping through the night every night, and spending one-on-one time with my dear husband. I get my baby fix and then come home to do whatever I want yet again. Yes, it is a selfish life, but I am enjoying myself.

I have had three plus years to fantasize about what it will be like to be a parent. I think I have a realistic picture of what it will be like, but I know that the experience of it will be another thing entirely. Sigh - I'll let you know what I think when that finally happens.

Isn't this neat?

Imperial War Museum, London, England, as seen through the eyes of a rose.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MY Jennifer

I had to put "my" in all caps so as to distinguish MY Jennifer from My Jennifer (Ps birthmom).

MY Jennifer is a marvelous friend. I got her through Karen-Bob who was (and is) Jennifer's RCPF (Resident Close Personal Friend) and who is still her CPF. They don't know that I added Resident to their title, so don't tell them!

Anyway, I am having dinner with MY Jennifer tonight. We haven't hung out together in a million years!

Jennifer has been a counselor to me in numerous situations, from the Big-D, to cat discipline problems, to marriage. She was my accountability partner when Randy and I were dating. She was the MOH at our wedding and looked absolutely stunning in her red floral dress that Diane patiently directed us to find as we joked enlessly about, "What about this?" holding up PJs and bathing suits as possibly MOH clothes. (OK, fine, MOH is Maid of Honor.)

MY Jennifer has 3 children and they are very well-behaved (now Jennifer, don't laugh, it's not nice) and gorgeous, even if you can't tell which of the girls answers the phone. K is a boy, so he is easy to distinguish, AND he is grown-up enough to have his own pad, man. (Really, Fur, quit laughing!)

Lately, Jennifer wrote us a letter of recommendation for our adoption, and this is the ultimate gift a friend could give. Everybody needs a Jennifer. Who's yours?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The phone is not my friend.

Waiting (wading) in the pool can be frustrating. Take, for example, the telephone. Telemarketers and others don't only call on OUT OF AREA numbers and 1-866-numbers. Those numbers on my caller ID tell me, "Don't answer that!" When I see what looks like a legitimate area code, however, "What if it's an expectant mother? Better answer it."

I'm too nice - I don't want to hang up on the person, so I get roped into trying to get out of whatever they're selling calmly and politely. Maybe next time I'll yell, "My husband and I are waiting for a phone call that will make us parents. We've been waiting for a long time to have a baby and you are RUINING my day every time you call with your mystery area code. So, buzz off!"

Maybe I won't - or maybe I will...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm Still Me

by Betty Lifton

This is a novel that is rocking my world right now.

I am thinking back to a Me when I was 16 - the age of the story's heroine. This heroine (Lori) is struggling with piecing together her identity as an adopted person with no information on her birth parents. It makes me want to cry, how her fantasies of what her "real parents" (ouch) were like seem to overtake her world and negate her life story with her adoptive parents, and, conversely, how not having any information about her biological parents negates her life story as a part of her birth parents. This book is a testimony to open adoption, from my point of view, although the purpose of the book seems to be to chronicle the adoption experience from the perspective of the adopted person.

Sometimes I think that, out of fear and feelings of inadequacy, hearing another person's perspective on an issue (e.g. adoption) makes me feel defensive about my own experience. I need to let this person tell her story from her perspective without considering mine. It's her experience, and she feels it like she feels it. I don't get to say, "You're wrong - adoptive parents are not like that" just because I am not like that. Her adoptive parents were. It's her story and I am the spectator. (I have not gotten to hear the adoptive parents perspectives yet in this story.) (And, by the way, I learned how to punctuate parenthetical sentences last week.)

So who was I at 16? A mess, as I remember it. I turned 16 officially 20 years and one day ago. I remember my birthday - going to swim practice at an ungodly hour, going with my dad to get my driver's licence, driving around all day and then taking my friends Johnna, Sue, Sandy, and Jenni out to dinner at Aunt Maude's in Ames, Iowa. I wore a white skirt and a blue and white flecked sweater. I think I even still have the earrings I wore. Looking back, I obviously remember a lot of details. Not only what I was wearing, but how the weather and the summer felt, how I was probably romanticizing about boys, making out, and falling in love. (This book is bringing back all of these weird memories. To my loving husband, I don't usually sit around pondering these memories, and I promise to return the book on Monday!)

I'm still me. The actors and the scenes have changed, but I am the same, somewhere deep down. I was not adopted, so the Me I was then was the whole picture up until that point. My picture is different now, but I'm Still Me. I can see how, regardless of how wonderful a person's adoptive parents are or are not, that missing that information is like missing your basic self - how your body will age, what kinds of illnesses you might be prone to, and even what kinds of prenatal experiences you had. Who gave you birth and why your adoptive parents are raising you. As I said, I wasn't adopted, so I'm surely leaving out some important elements here, so please forgive my limited perspective (as mentioned in paragraph 3).

At 16 I surely wouldn't have conceived that this is how my life would be now (funny choice of word - conceived). Being previously divorced, childless, and infertile was not the romantic picture that a 16-year-old would have painted - not this one, at least. But I'm still me. I wouldn't have pictured myself at 36 as an overeducated hausfrau sitting around blogging on her laptop computer, reading youth fiction that was written before I even was 16, about a young woman who was adopted, as I wait for a mother to choose me to raise her baby and to trust that I will always maintain contact with her for our child's sake and my own. But, I'm still me.

Read this book. If you are a prospective adoptive parent, be prepared to read a lot about "real parents" or "natural mother," and be prepared to feel somewhat like you are being portrayed as an ignorant couple trying to cover up your child's past. If you are an adopted person who has really never thought much about your past (is that really possible?) be prepared for some wild fantasies you may never have considered. If you are a birth parent, you'll be a part of those fantasies, good, bad, or bizarre. I know you are not a space alien, rest assured.

The question remains - when we have a baby and I have been up endless nights in a row caring for her or him, will you think that I was taken over by a crazy person? If so, just remember - it's me, Amy T.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Yep - it's my birthday.

I just received the neatest happy birthday messages on my answering machine. "Who still uses an answering machine," you might ask? We do!

I'm 36. I'm psyched. I love 36 - it is rockin' so far. I swam laps and did handstands at the pool, ate lunch and painted pottery with my dear friend Stacia, got a pedicure (red, please), went to the chiropractor, and soon will be heading out to dinner with my loving husband who I am sure got me a smashing gift for my big day.

Why am I so excited about 36? Because it is not 35! Thirty-five is the cursed age for women who would love to have a baby. It's classified as "Advanced Maternal Age." Well, I was, but now I'm not. I am no longer 35, so I am no longer AMA, IMHO. It's liberating.

No adoption news. We've been officially in the pool for one month. Time keeps flowing by and we're going with the flow.

Here comes my present - gotta go!