Thursday, August 30, 2007

Adoption Update


This is part something in a long list of parts...just tuning in? Click here.

So here's what we've done so far:

1. Freaked out about the thought of adoption.

2. Called New Life. They sent us a packet. This included some information about ourselves, why we want to adopt, how we know we're believers, etc. They gave us a list of books to read. We sent the completed forms to them with $150 (I think that's how much it was).

3. We freaked out some more.

4. We scheduled a meeting with New Life. That day, we drove to Houston and had such a great time sitting down and talking with Cindy Seay (Jenn's mom). We learned many new things. It was great!

One of the new things we learned we wanted to share.

It seems that we've encountered yet another "myth" about adoption that needs some truth slapped on it.

When I tell people we are going to adopt...almost ALWAYS...someone will say something like...

(please read this in a high pitched southern accent...because that's how I'm writing it. I don't know why I want this person to have a southern accent...but I do.)

"OH my goodness...I just don't think I could do that. I mean....really...if they came and took my baby away from me, I would just die. You hear about that all the time where a family takes the baby home...and then the birth mother decides she wants her baby back...and that poor family...they have to give the baby back. I couldn't take that!"

Then to add to that craziness...they say something that sounds nice, but I don't think it is.

They say...

"But I'm glad you can do that." Then they smile at me.

As in...good thing I don't really care about MY babies...at least not as much as southern accent lady cares about hers.

Ugh!

So I've heard that conversation and concern about 9 million times now...

But then to hear Cindy give some real data about this HUGE concern...we were astonished.

To be truthful...it was a big deal to me too. Someone taking my baby away was on the top of my list of things called..."Why we should birth another baby instead of adopt."

Cindy has written up the actual information she gave us at the PAC and posted it on her adoption blog.

Read it!

If this has been a concern you've had...a reason why you would not consider adoption...then this will ease your mind.

If this has been a concern you've had for US...please read what Cindy says! This will ease your mind for our family.

Besides...

I keep telling myself....the only baby I want is MY baby.

If the wrong baby comes home with us...then I don't want that child to stay.

We want the child that God has ordained to spend it's days running around our house, putting hot wheels in OUR potty.

Not someone else's!

The next thing we did was fill out our application packet.

It contains the fee schedule. $1500 is due at the home study. The rest can be paid in $200 increments until we have a baby in our home. The entire amount ($5000) is due by the day the baby comes home. There is also another $950 that will be needed sometime later to finalize the adoption. That money goes to an attorney.

We wrote letters to the birth mother. I'll write more about those later.

We wrote autobiographies.

Besides saying one of the cheap ones...we also had to decide if we would take a child with any known handicaps, health issues, etc. We had to decide if we would take a child whose parents have a history of drug abuse, or mental illness...all the way down to parents who are simply in poor health. Wow! Talk about hard.

We sent in scrap book pages.

We sent in proof of education.

We're supposed to get CPR certified...but we already are...because we were foster parents.

Our doctor has to say if we're physically fit enough to adopt a baby.

We have to make a video of our house.

We had to have something notarized...which by the way...is now on my list of jobs I wish I had. Being a notary is like being a super hero. If I was a notary, I would insist on putting on a cape before I stamped someone's paper.

We have to draw a diagram of our house...with dimensions and the floor plan. This was by far my favorite part of becoming a foster parents. Ours was color coded and on graph paper. BEAUTIFUL! I wanted to frame it.

I mailed in a huge packet on Monday.

We are getting very excited.

Right now...

It's kind of like I'm pregnant.

We're waiting.

It's been emotional for me already.

I know this is what God wants us to do.

No doubts about it.

But it doesn't make it easy.

It doesn't make knowing that my baby is growing inside someone else right now easy to think about.

In most ways...it's exciting.

In other ways...it's troubling and hard.

I know I will grieve that this child did not grow inside me.

I can't pretend that away.

I don't even want to try.

There are things I will grieve...that I will miss...that I will wish were different when my baby finally comes home to stay.

I sat in church a couple weeks ago....Aaron was on stage playing something lovely...everyone was getting ready to meet with the Lord...it was a sweet, quiet moment.

I began to cry...

thinking...

thinking that my child may be somewhere....growing...right now...and I'm not getting to be a part of that.

I can't protect my baby. I have no control right now over this child's little life...

Those are not easy things to think.

But I was crying because I was remembering what Ross and Staci King said in their comment on the last adoption post.

"Obviously the way that God set up pro-creation was through a husband and wife birthing biological children. He did that in the Garden of Eden. But after the fall, even that natural system became broken. Adoption is the reconciliation of broken things: a husband and wife who are broken because they can't conceive, and a child born without a whole family coming together to create a new, whole family. Two broken things made whole, for the glory of God. A "perfect American family" taking in a child who doesn't look like them looks a lot like the Kingdom of God. And obviously, our ultimate example of adoption: God adopting us – children who sinned and messed up his perfect original plan – is the ultimate reconciliation of what was broken in the Garden of Eden."

This wasn't the plan.

The plan was for a woman to conceive and give birth.

The plan was not for my baby to grow inside of someone else...far away from me...far removed from me.

The plan was never to have children who need homes, because mothers must choose something different for their babies.

The plan was never for a precious woman to have to say good-bye to her child.

But something got very messed up at the fall.

Something went horribly wrong when we went our own way.

I looked around that church and thought about how messed up we all are.

How much we all fall.

How much I want things to be restored.

And this act...this act of me waiting...longing...wanting to know more...sitting in a church crying for a baby that I know is out there...that will be mine...that wasn't sitting inside me as I sat and listened to Aaron play...

It's all part of God's plan for redemption...for restoration...

For bringing the wayward home.

I won't lie.

I long to feel those little kicks...that little squirmy body moving around inside my skin...

But I long just as much to be a part of this beautiful thing God is teaching me...

About his grace...about the lengths He has gone to in order to bring us all back home again.

So...

Here I sit...waiting..."pregnant"...wondering...praying.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On Pooping at Your Friend's House


Well, everyone does.

And I think the more we hang out with each other the more we need to be reminded of this.

I believe my husband has always lead out in this area.

When he needs to go.

He just does.

And he announces it to the room.

He has even been known to answer his cell phone when he's doing that thing he does.

Our church secretary will call...Aaron says, "Word" or something else weird...

Then she will ask, "What are you doing?"

Never ask Aaron that question when you call him.

He replies to her...

"Takin' a dump."

Yep.

Then Dianna screams and hangs up on him.

Then Aaron laughs.

This is the man that strangers say "intimidates them."

Seriously.

You know you have really been initiated into the Hendrick household if you have:

a. wiped Ashton's hiney.

b. been brought into the bathroom, by a cute little boy to show you his floating poop family, or to see that his poop is half green and half red.

I know this is a hard thing to talk about...but we must. I can feel you cringing...I'm cringing...

This is a delicate subject. It's something we all do, but never talk about...unless you're Aaron...or my brother.

But when you start having people at your house a bunch...the matter of pooing will need to be addressed.

I desperately wish there were some sort of handbook for this...or field guide.

I've been known to cut out of an event early because I feel the need to "go." I rush around, gathering our things, snap at the kids...and when we get in the car, Aaron says, "What's wrong with you...are you mad?"

I say..."No. I've got to poop."

I've been at people's house's and could tell that the husband was trying to rush us out of their home...because he needed to "go."

Please...men are SO easy to read.

I have three little boys...the signs for men are NO different.

They get sweaty, bouncy, talk in short bursts and become overly helpful.

At our house, we've designated the upstairs bathroom as the poo place. Just go! It's far away from civilization, fully loaded with Febreeze and toilet paper...and Aaron keeps his favorite reading material in there.

Febreeze...I love that stuff. Have you tried the kind that smells like fabric softener? What a great idea! Now you can go...spray and then if someone walks in, they just think our bathroom is full of fabulous smelling towels. Every time someone drops a doozy and sprays...I instantly become a laundry diva!

I'm thinking though that we need a new phrase...

New ways of saying we need to "go" without being as brave and daring as Aaron.

I would never announce to a large group of people that I need to "drop a load."

Turning into a transparent poop announcer will be a process like anything else in life.

We can't all expect to arrive at that coveted location overnight.

I was thinking we could all say, "I need to go apply Judges 3:24 to my life right now."

And then head upstairs.

We need some hospitable lingo for this bathroom reality.

No more awkward, "Where is so and so" and everyone knows where so and so is but doesn't want to make a big deal about it.

No more cutting out early only to make your wife pull over so you can poo at an Exxon instead of at your friend's house.

Let's be more like our kids...they just announce their bowel issues to everyone at Target.

They don't care...

Because they know...

Everyone poops.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

High School Musical for Manly Males


Last night, Aaron was going to be at the church working on one of his great videos for the services this weekend.

No big deal.

I've only been counting down the days for High School Musical 2's debut for about....a year now.

I had big plans to watch it.

Got the kids in bed...

Put the pj's on...

And then I remembered...

I can't watch this movie this late at night.

When the songs come on, I have to play it loud...like run it through the Bose speakers loud.

This will wake the children.

So I just read another four chapters in my Golden Compass book.

Then, I called Aaron to tell him goodnight.

He said, "Did you watch High School Musical?"

I said, "No."

Then he said something that almost made me drop the phone...but will endear that man to me for the rest of my days. He said...

"Good. I want to watch it too."

Really.

He said that.

I stammered back, "Uh...I'm not sure you should tell many people what you just said."

He answered, "I don't care who knows. I like High School Musical and I liked Hairspray."

Those words were spoken with force and confidence.

It made me a little dizzy and hot. I wanted to kiss him.

I'm going to custom order him a bumper sticker that says, "Real Men Love Musicals."

He's such a stud.

So secure in his man-ness.

I've decided that if you are a male...and you are sick of having to pretend like you don't want to see High School Musical...or Hairspray...then we are declaring the Hendrick House a safe haven for all
males who are closet musical lovers.

If that's you...

Then you're invited to come over tonight after the Saturday night service and watch High School Musical 2 with us.

You don't have to explain yourself.

You don't have to pretend it's stupid, but secretly love it.

We won't make fun of you.

We will love you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Balloon Gorillas and Cancer


We drove to Houston this morning for our PAC meeting with New Life.

Woo-who! I'm so excited.

But after driving through the land of Houstonia I have only one question I need answered:

Has ANYONE ever been driving down the road and decided to go into a car dealership and look at vehicles just because there was a gigantic balloon gorilla on the roof of the building?

Really. I need to know. This is serious.

I have to figure out why someone, somewhere thinks that a sure fire way to get someone else to buy a couch or a car is to put a huge inflatable dog with two thumbs up in front of their store.

Since everyone uses them, that means that SURELY at one point in history a person was driving down the road, saw a huge blow-up monkey on top of a Honda dealership and said to themselves, "Although I had no previous desire to purchase a new set of wheels...after seeing that large monkey...I simply must have a Civic. I simply must." Has someone really "gone bananas" because an air filled Mighty Joe Young on the side of the road was wearing a t-shirt that told them to?

Have they?

When I see commercials on TV, I do this weird thing where I pretend like I'm in on the brainstorming session while the company and the advertising gurus are figuring out the advertising plan for a new product. I even participate in my make-believe moment of being a marketing person. I love coming up with ideas that will make the whole world think they have to have hair barrettes or bubble bath. I offer suggestions to the big whigs...some get shot down...but not many...because it's my daydream, and I discourage all forms of disagreeing with me in my own land of la la.

For the life of me, I can't wrap my brain around how the gorilla thing came to be. My imagination is not that good. I have tried and tried to recreate the moment when blow up animals on roofs became a great idea. I would love to meet the man that convinced business owners everywhere that the power of persuasion lies within an air pumped primate. How did he do that?

He must be a genius. A funny genius.

He's probably the same man that swayed a FOOD ESTABLISHMENT into making a mouse their mascot! I don't care if he wears shoes and can dance...Chuckie Cheese is a mouse...and for some reason, we're all okay with him being near our food. I just don't get it. The times I've been, I want to stand up in the middle of the restaurant on a table, like Sally Fields and say..."This is all a big joke on us! I know we're all being laughed at! Chuckie Cheese is a rodent! A RODENT! This is a restaurant. They might as well have a roach dressed up like a rapper singing with our children while we eat! What is wrong with us? Who goes to an eating facility that ADVERTISES they have vermin running around inside? We have to stop the madness. We need to kick it to the man...the Chuckie Cheese, Balloon Gorilla Man!"

After I lived out my Sally Fields fantasy, I would get down off the table, leave Chuckie Cheese and go into the mall. Then I would buy something from the Origins counter...because their posters have wet leaves on them and waterfalls...and all their salesgirls have smooth skin on their face...and smell like mints. I would leave there convinced that now I will have a pretty face and save the world from pollution and decay. I will save the earth and look gorgeous and wholesome doing it. And I won't get cancer...ever.

That kind of adverting works.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Top 5 Jobs I Fantasize About


Most days my favorite job is being a mommy.

I adore my boys saying words like, "actually". Big words coming out of tiny mouths...divine.

I love how Ashton only poops families. The only thing sweet about answering a long, drawn out, "Mooooommmmmmyyyyy" coming from the bathroom is that I know when I walk in there to wipe his white little hiney, Ashton's going to introduce me to the family unit floating in the potty.

"I pooped a mommy, a daddy and a baby." A big one, a medium one and a little one.

"I pooped brothers." Two the same size.

But, I won't lie or try to hide it...

There are times I find myself daydreaming about a different job.

These are tops on my list:

1. Schoolteacher


I know. I homeschool....so I am sort of a teacher.

But when I daydream, I'm a public school teacher.

What's interesting is that the ONLY parts of a public school teacher's job I want to do are...

Write my student's names in a teacher book...

last name first

comma

first name

And then take roll. Calling a name, and then putting a check mark next to that name in a little bitty box...woo-who! I get excited just typing that!

I would want to grade papers and put stickers on the A+ ones...and make eyes out of the zeros when kids get 100's.

I would also want to have keys to rooms like the teacher's lounge, the supply closet in the office and the theater. And, I would want to wear those keys on a florescent, lime green stretchy, phone cord bracelet.

My goal is to have enough kids in my house one day that I can rationalize buying a Mary Engelbright Teacher's book. Then I'm going to call roll everyday...and so help me, my kids better say "here" instead of "huh?" when I call their name!

2. Beauty Shop Lady

If I went to counseling, I'm sure a psychologist would easily link this fantasy to the fact that I love Steel Magnolias and wish I were related to Dolly Parton.

I love everything about beauty shops.

I would die to wear a black cape jacket to work every day.

I love foil.

I love the smell of nail polish, hair dye and nail polish remover.

I'm sure a psychologist would also find that if I wasn't saved, I would be a huffer.

I love the smell of gasoline too.

And sharpie markers.

I would give anything to be able to figure out how you run hair between two fingers and then cut that hair with scissors. It's a great mystery to me. It looks so easy, but when I go to do it on one of my kids, I can't...because my hands don't work right. The scissor, hand, hair combo takes skills people...skills I do not have.

3. Someone who saves the day with my quadlingual skills.

I dream about speaking several languages.

Okay, really...I think I just want to be the girl on James Bond movies. They are always tall and speak different languages.

Wait...really, maybe I don't even care about speaking other languages...maybe I just want an accent...but use that accent to speak in English...which just makes people think I obviously know other languages.

Yes. That's what it is.

The heart of that fantasy is that what I really want is to be Mini Driver.

4. A Dancer

I wish I meant a beautiful ballet dancer.

I don't.

That would be so nice of me.

When I fantasize about dancing, it's always when I'm listening to rap music in the car.

I want to shake it like Christina Aguilera or Shakira.

One day, I want to get a group together and learn a hip hop dance routine.

And I mean a REAL hip hop dance routine.

Like - I don't want the instructor to be a Christian.

5. An Electric Guitar Player

I had no idea this was such a powerful dream of mine until last night.

I've always thought that girls who played the drums (like Kaycee, that's why we let her live with us) or the electric guitar (I don't know any girls who play electric guitar, or I would let them share rooms with Kaycee) were the COOLEST things on planet earth. But last night...wow...how cool I think those girls are just multiplied greatly.

Erin and Matt brought over Guitar Hero.

This is some sort of game you play on the TV...but you play it by PLAYING an electric guitar to some of the greatest hits of all time!

I have never felt hipper.

I've always wanted to be a Bangle...but I had no idea how badly I wanted to be one until last night.

Imagine, wearing a guitar...the cool ZZ top guitars and playing "We've Got the Beat!"

The music is loud

And you really feel like what you're doing with your fingers is making that noise...

It's not..

But it feels like it is.

ROCK THE HOUSE.

You have to pull the neck of your guitar high in the air for extra points...and that also makes me feel extra awesome.

There's a whammy bar.

A Whammy BAR!

What are your job fantasies?

I would love to hear how deranged you are!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dealing with the Issues

I love the discussion going on about adoption below. I decided to type a new post because there are so many comments, and we've kind of narrowed down some of the issues.

Here are some things we have been learning.  Maybe not all of you are as hard-headed, selfish and prideful as us...but we had a lot of prejudice, preconceived notions and bias in our hearts when we set out on this journey.

This topic is already hot and perhaps making people hot...I don't know! But I'm tired of running from the ugliness in my heart. When I run...it just stays there.

Issue 1

My kids are cute, and I love that they look like us and act like us. I love seeing that they have my legs and Aaron's hands. That wouldn't be true in an adopted child!

I am learning...

That I'm prideful and I like myself too much. Don't get me wrong...there's nothing wrong with loving to see myself in my kids. That is super cool.  However, for me...it was way more than just a cool thing. It was a necessity. I know that because it was one of the reasons why I was telling God to shove off in the area of adoption.

I can promise you that nothing in me or about me looked anything like the Father when He chose to include me as one of His children. I mean, not a thing!

Issue 2

Will I really be able to love an adopted child like I do my biological children?

This is a real fear of mine.

From the beginning of the Bible until the end, God is trying to shatter societal norms and structures.

He challenged equality between men and women.

He said Jews (much like God's biological children) were equal to Gentiles (outsiders, aliens).

He challenged racism.

He challenged our ideas about family.

I have so much to learn about how God loves and invites us to love all of mankind.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Poppi!

We love our Poppi!

Anson says...

I love Poppi because he's funny! And...he's my Poppi! I'm glad he's my Poppi! I think it's cool that he's bald. I like it that he rides motorcycles. He can fix things, and I think he should like Man Vs. Wild.

Hayden says...

I love Poppi because he has a beard. Wait no. Erase it off. I love him because he looks cool. He can take his finger off. He's my Poppi Shark, toot-toot-toot-toot-toot-toot-toot. (laughing) He rocks down. You rock, dude, Poppi. He plays with me...with Star Wars guys. I hope he has a good birthday. I bet he wants us to come to see him. I want you to have cake. He's the best.

Ashton says...

I want to tell him about a tarantula. I like it when hims comes to our house. I want him to have a car birthday. A race car one. I love him.

Heather says...

I love this man! Thank you for being such a sweet dad to my hubby. I love how you love my kids. I love that you would love 90 more of them if I let you. I love seeing you love grandma. We are so grateful you are our Poppi!

Aaron says...
I love Poppi because he has always been a super example to me. He has shown me how to be a man, a husband, a father, a minister, and a man of God. I love to spend time with him, to learn from him, and to laugh with him. I love you Dad.

Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hooray for Hairspray!


What fun we had tonight!

My favorite part of the whole night was hearing Kari laughing during the movie. It's a rare occasion when you hear someone say, "Stop making me laugh. My eyelashes will fall off."

Here are a few pictures.

Karen sent these as well.

Here are Larra's pictures and there are some on her blog.

Kelly posted some on her blog.

Jenn Crouse's photos.

Kendra's!

As I see the pictures, I'm going to post some of my favorites at the bottom of this post.

I'll add more as I get them. If you put some online, let me know so I can link to them!


Thanks for a great evening of laughter.





I LOVE this one! Silly girls!

FUNNY!