Saturday, September 29, 2007


This is not about me.

As much as I want this to be about me...as much as I want everything to be about me...

This is not about me.

It's odd to grieve for your own selfishness.

But I feel sad that it's walking out the door.

And yet

I've never wanted to shake this me off me more...

How can those two things coexist?

I've never been more disgusted with myself, more sick of me, more aware of me

but more ready to be

free

to pry away self's million, long tentacles wrapped around me tightly...so sticky

strangling

suffocating

it's hard to breathe the air is so thick with me

That's what I walked away with today.

Those are the thoughts that came pouring inside. Those thoughts tucked themselves into my heart at the adoption training today...and there they sit, needing to be sifted through, sorted out.

Now it's time to do the hard work...laying it all out before the Lord...piece by piece...so He can reorganize my entire life, all my thoughts around this new thing He began today on my interior.

It's time to remodel, take down some pictures, framed things I thought were important and replace them with new ideas, new challenges, new dreams, new goals, new destinations.

dusty work

exhausting work

we may be starting from scratch

where do we begin, Lord? Where?

overwhelmed, I sit...and sigh.

This project seems too big.

The truth is, I realized again today that the hardest part of this adoption is knowing, it's not about me.

Nothing about this is about me.

It can't be about me, or it's not going to happen.

And I'm not very comfortable with that.

I'm even less comfortable with the fact that if this adoption is the very first thing in my life that I've been forced to realize is NOT about me...

What does that say about everything else?

I'm so uncomfortable about how uncomfortable this adoption is making me.

I left today thinking....

This is impossible.

It's too big.

It's too much.

too messy

too complicated

I can't do this until God changes me.

I sat and listened today to a birth mother, who placed her baby six weeks ago say things like

"I wanted her to be in a place where she would have everything I could not give her on my own. I knew this was what was best, but when that pastor took my baby out of my arms and handed her to Lindsey, I thought I was going to grab her back. I wanted to cling onto her. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."

I heard birth grandmothers who walked with their daughters through the decision to place their baby for adoption. I heard one mother sob and say...

"My precious teenage daughter came home and told me she was pregnant. I dropped to the floor in the kitchen and began crying...and praying over my daughter. I sat with her in the doctor's office, seeing couples, so excited about their new babies....my heart broke...I cried to the Lord, telling Him this was NOT the plan I had for my daughter. I wanted her sitting here with her husband rejoicing over her pregnancy. I did not want this. I prayed for her purity her entire life. I was so broken for my daughter I would lay in the floor and cry out to God. My prayers were not even in words, but in groans. And now, when I think about what all God did through this adoption, I see His hand in all of it. He has worked all things for good. All we see is good."

I heard adoptive parents describing their placement day...with tears running down their faces...some too emotional to proceed...

"I walked in, saw the baby, but it was hard to be excited because all I could see was the pain on the mother's face."

"She held it together in front of us, but as soon as she walked out of the door, we heard her lose it. She started bawling. We heard her crying. It was so hard to be holding a child we were so excited to meet, and yet know this woman's heart was breaking who just handed us our son."

messy

so messy

how can life be so messy, so beautiful, so ugly, so hard, so sweet all at the same time?

how can there be so much grief and so much good?

God must be bigger than I think to make us capable of feeling such emotions with the same heart in the same heartbeat.

How can these emotions coexist?

I realized today that this can't be about me if it's going to be about loving our birth mother.

This can't be about me if it's going to be about reaching out to the birth parent's extended family.

This can't be about me if it's going to be about loving our baby.

This can't be about me...

As excited as I will be to bring my new baby home, the truth is...

the real hard unforgetable truth is...

There will be a mother on the other side of town whose arms are empty, who is weeping and grieving...

whose milk is coming in, who has no child to feed

whose body will bear the scars of motherhood, and have nothing to show for it...nothing but scars...reminders of what was and what still is...just not what is still with her.

A mother who has no child

I will be mothering a child who has lost their mother

messy

it's so messy

That's a lot to walk away with in a day.

I can't do what these people have done.

I thought that 100 times today.

I know that God has to do some tidying up inside of me before I can tell the stories they told.

Right now, I'm thinking of how much I ache, how much MY arms are craving a child. I grieve that it's not my body holding my child right now.

I hurt knowing MY baby is out there, possibly growing, someone's body is changing, expecting, visibly reminded that the time is coming...and here I sit in the dark, unable to see, barely able to wait, just wanting to see and know. I hate that someone else knows my baby better than me.

Right now, I grieve that it's not my belly that's being rubbed, old ladies are not smiling at me, offering me the ancient, secret bond of motherhood, their smile meaning good things are to come.

Right now, I dream of the day I will meet our next child.

Right now, I play paper dolls in my mind, creating and recreating who this child will be, the color of its skin, baseball caps or flowerdy skirts...my baby...my baby...

Would someone please bring me MY baby?

But I want that all to stop.

Where I want to be is so far from this place surrounded by I and my and me.

Where I want to be is in the place where I am not the only decoration. I'm not the theme.

Where I want to be is comfortable in this messy place.

This will be messy.

Life is messy.

Love is messy.

Adoption is like the IMAX of restoration...of taking something so broken and torn and making it complete and beautiful in a way that is too big and too in our face to be comfortable with.

God's got a lot to do in my messy heart.

God's got a lot to do to restore our birth mother's heart and life...and even more work if He wants to use me in that process.

God's got a lot to do to restore my child's heart...heal him...make him whole...wholly loved...complete...knowing who he is, where he came from, whose blood pumps through his veins...whose blood wants to set him free.

God change me.

I want to be able to consider our birth mother's needs MORE important than my own.

It's more important that we love her, affirm her, comfort her and think of HER than it is that I get to bring our baby home, no matter how long I've waited for that day.

I want to be able to consider the needs of our newest child MORE important than my own. He needs to know who he is, whose mouth he has, why he cuts up his food the way he does and why he likes math...he needs to know those things MORE than I need to have him all to myself.

So I left today feeling helpless.

This is not me.

Nothing in me can do this.

Friday, September 28, 2007

And then there's this child...

Minutes ago, I walked into the bathroom to be greeted by a foul smell.

I screamed, "What DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEd in here?"

That one phrased, yelled in dramatic fashion ALWAYS makes giggles erupt from every boy-filled crevice in this house.

"It was me!" Hayden said PROUDLY...laughing all the way to the bathroom...seeing me standing in there waving my hand acting like I'm dieing makes their day.

Boys and their behinds.

As if that wasn't bad enough...

Hayden holds his hand up and it looks like this:


Then the most awful words came out of his mouth... "And...guess what mom, I wiped my boody with my hand!" He was so excited.

I just stood there. My mouth wide open...not believing my eyes.

Dear Jesus...take hold of me.

This is so normal with Hayden. He is my only child that does such odd, horrible things that I assume this stance regularly...I just stand looking at him, in SHOCK, trying to figure out where to even begin.

What am I supposed to do right now?

I've never told Hayden not to wipe his rear with his palm.

Should I have to say that?

Seriously!

Should I REALLY have to say that?

How can I be expected to think of all these things?

I had no words.

All the parenting books I had ever read were FAILING me as always when it comes to this child. I've often times wanted to mail Hayden to James Dobson or Tedd Tripp with a little note attached to his shirt that says, "You can have him for one week. After that, you'll have plenty to write about for the rest of your life and you'll change your book titles to The Strong Willed Child (excluding Hayden), Shepherding a Child's Heart (no guarantees if you are parenting Hayden) and Bringing up Boys (subtitled, I'm terribly sorry Mrs. Hendrick, I can't help you with Hayden)."

My eyes watered up. I started moving towards him, to grab that hand and then after that...well I couldn't even think that far...

That's when this little lunatic starts laughing so hard and says...."It's just marker mom...I tricked you."

I was totally punked!

I screamed with delight...HAYDEN HENDRICK!!!

He matched my squeals with "I tricked you mom, I tricked you!"

Then I laughed and laughed...he fell on the floor laughing....

While I was washing the MARKER off his hand I thought of how genius this was...

Just when I want to pull my hair out because the kid can't remember that roots grow in SOIL...even though I've had him repeat it 9,000 times...I get to see that he really is brilliant!

His gift is humor...

And he uses it well.

Five years old and pulling elaborate pranks on his mother...

Will I survive?

Will he?

Birthday Boy




HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANSON!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD. 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Eight years ago today God laid this scripture on my heart for your life. I've prayed it many times over you, while I held you, fed you, rocked you, sat silently and marveled at the wonder of you while you slept sweetly in my arms.

It's getting harder to pray it.

I am not privy to the Lord's plans for you.

I know He has them. I know He's growing you so fast and so deep it scares me sometimes.

It's getting harder to tell God that you belong to Him. I had no idea how fast time could run away on me. I didn't feel the weight of those words sitting in a rocking chair holding a newborn.

But I'm beginning to feel it now.

God has big plans for you.

It feels like I merely blinked and you're 8. I know when I blink again, you'll be 18.

Grow baby boy! On the inside and the outside...we pray you grow.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where do you rent an oxygen tank? Anyone?

We tried not to do it...

but we did.

We started season 1.

We may never sleep again.

We may lose our jobs.

We may all see how long kids can survive eating nothing but Pop Tarts. We bought them a variety of flavors...so don't worry.

After the first episode, Aaron turned to me and said, "There are 5 seasons, 24 shows each...we could just stay up for 5 days straight."

He was serious.

I know 24 is good because I've never once needed an oxygen tank next to my bed in order to watch TV. I can't watch all this action AND remember to breathe at the same time. It's too much! I need to wear one of those masks that will pump pure air into my lungs while I'm watching this show. I'm pretty sure I don't breathe for one whole hour. I know this because as soon as it's over I GASP for breath before saying, "Let's watch another one."

I wish I knew how to find my target heart rate, or my pulse, because I bet watching 24 would count as exercise.

How can anyone watch this show during the actual season?

If I tried that I would go insane between episodes.

If you didn't see posts on my blog for a few day, you could correctly ascertain that I was flying to California to kidnap Kiefer Sutherland...holding him at gun point, nervously saying, "I'm not someone who usually kidnaps people or holds guns...until you, my only beef has been with balloon gorillas and white fire trucks. But, I need you to tell me what happens next, or so help me...I won't shoot you, because that would make me scream and cry...but I might read you my post about how I do laundry at my house. So what's it going to be, Mista?"

Maybe my weapon of choice should be a wooden spoon instead of a gun. Then I could say, "I've got a spoon, and I'm not afraid to use it. Start talking, because I'm a pro with this thing...a spoon ninja...I'm in the wooden spoon special services."

I decided that 24 has to be the most watched show NOT watched during the regular season.

That's got to be upsetting for the geniuses who make this show...but that's what they get for making such a dandy production.

Monday, September 17, 2007

a love poem

my heart goes thumpy
for an onyx oval of jumpy

I want to hug it's netting
lovingly carress it's padding
squeeze those sexy springs
know what I mean?

no?
oh...

I have a crush on a trampoline

oh trampoline, oh trampoline

bouncy bouncy nap machine
you make crazy boys sleepy
it makes my eyes weepy

i love you round, jumpy thing

if you weren't so heavy

i'd take you to the movies

if you could chew
i'd make you some stew
if you could pee

i'd fill you with sweet tea

is it wrong to have a fling
with a trampoline?


when these males are being mean
sword fighting with breakable things

i point outside and yell "go trampoline!"
when they are too insane to learn their states
won't sit still...can't concentrate
i point...scream..."go trampoline!"
you make me steam

marvelous hunk of trampoline

Sorry...

I had to write a quick love poem to our trampoline.

I am no good at writing poetry...but that's what you do when you are in love.

My precious Aunt and Uncle sent this bouncy, blessed object to the boys last week.

A trampoline came in the mail! It was like the circus was unloading at our house. We were that excited!

We are so thankful for this wonderful gift. Now the boys can jump their little hearts out...


wait...

I mean these boys...


As the mother of three mini-men...hear me say this...if you also have more than two little boys running around your house...I believe that if you have to sell a vehicle...or your liver...to afford a trampoline...don't even hesitate. I guarantee you...it will be money well spent.

If a mother is pregnant with her third boy, I will RALLY and raise support to present that sweet woman a TRAMPOLINE at her baby shower.

She doesn't need clothes or toys or pacifiers or diapers.

That girl needs a trampoline.

I will smile at that tired lady, hug her...think of how marvelous it is to mother boys...I'll think of how sweet their hugs are...how tender and simple...but then I'll think of all the frogs this innocent woman will find in pockets, all the bruises, the million jackets she will buy, put on her sons and never see again...all the times she will keep a spoon in her back pocket, all the nasty things she will discover in their beds and say, "Girl...it's okay to have an unhealthy affection for a trampoline. It's okay. Nowhere in the Bible does it say thou shalt not adore a trampoline."

When the boys ask, "Can we go jump on the trampoline?" I say..."Yes! But only if you promise to jump until your legs go numb and you think your lungs are going to collapse...okay!" They run out excited to obey me!

Then...and this will shock some of you who have boys, still have your liver, two cars and no trampoline...

Anson, Hayden and Ashton come inside, hot and sweaty and say, "Can I lay down and look at a magazine?"

My eyes teared up the first time this happened.

Lay down?

Look at a magazine?

I almost ran out of the door, grabbed that trampoline and french kissed it.

I'm not lying.

One day, Ashton came in, after jumping ALL MORNING LONG while I was doing school with Anson and Hayden and said..."Mom...is it almost nap time?"

It was only 11:30 a.m.

Again...

My eyes teared up...and I winked at the trampoline...and blew it a kiss.

And do you know what else has been my favorite thing about having that wonderful object in our backyard?

All the trampoline stories people seem to have.

I've always hated jumping on trampolines...when I jump on them, I swear my brain is going to shoot out of the top of my head, or worse...I'm going to swallow it.

So I don't have any trampoline stories.

But other people have great ones...and they get told almost every day around here.

The kids say to every person the moment they set foot in our house, "We have a trampoline. Want to come jump with me?"

Then...the person who is getting sucka-ed into jumping says, "We had a trampoline growing up...and one time..."

I love the stories.

I love how my Aunt and Uncle thought they were buying this trampoline for the kids...

but just as many big people have been jumping on it as little people...

and how sometimes, I stand at the back door...see that beautiful, black stud out there...put my hand on the glass...and just pause...and thank God for whatever that material is that sucks the energy right out of tireless, little bodies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sailing and the Stairway to Nowhere

I mentioned the boys and I went to see my Dad over Labor Day weekend.

He took us sailing.

Here are some great pictures of my precious little pirates!





While we were there, relaxing and sailing, Aaron and D.O. were here...laboring...spraying themselves in the face with spray paint.




There is a reason I don't leave very often.

When I do, my husband calls me and says, "Do we have something that I could put on my face that would feel real cold and nice?"

"What did you do?" I ask.

"I rubbed paint thinner all over my face...and judging by how my face feels right now, I don't think that stuff is supposed to go there."

I knew something awful was going on when I called Aaron from my dad's and told him I was trying to decide when I should come back home...late that night...or early the next morning.

Usually, since he hates being anywhere for more than a few hours without us, he would have said, "Come home today."

Instead...

I heard D.O. laughing in the background and Aaron say...

"Um...well...you should probably stay there another night."

I was afraid.

Later I found out that D.O. was probably laughing because he was high.

They sealed themselves into a tiny area and spray painted for an entire day.

I wanted to have a funeral for all their dead brain cells...but then I remembered that D.O. and Aaron both probably need to lose some brain cells...they have too many.

They weren't really spraying themselves in the face with spray paint...

Well, I mean, that wasn't all they were doing...

They were also painting our NEW staircase!



Go stairs!

They are finally finished.

They are beautiful.

They go up, as all good stairs should do.

They still arrive at no destination, but one day, a destination will be at the top of those stairs!

Just when I thought I had seen all that Aaron could do...

Well...then he puts in a massive stair case.

Who knew the man had stairs in him?

I never saw steps sitting in his brain...not in 11 years of looking at his head did I ever see stairs hiding in there!

To celebrate climbing through the ceiling, here's a poem that was my FAVORITE growing up.

halfway down the stairs is a stair where i sit.
there isn't any
other stair quite like it.
i'm not at the bottom,
i'm not at the top;
so this is the stair where i always stop.

halfway up the stairs
isn't up and it isn't down.
it isn't in the nursery,
it isn't in town

and all sorts of funny thoughts
run round my head.

it isn't really anywhere!
it's somewhere else
instead!

a. a. milne

We give sailing,

stairs

people that help make and paint stairs
(Wade, Andy, Ryan, D.O., Chad. Mr. Ken)

and

poems about stairs two thumbs up.

Yay for all those things.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Now Playing In My Kitchen


i just got

to Non-Religious Me

and had to stop

and think

of things

through teary eyes

seen

pictures slapped

on the cork wall

of my brain

while ross sings

go see

buy

think

repent

rejoice

weep

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What's for Breakfast?

Aaron watched the boys this morning while I went to the doctor.  After he left for work, I asked the boys...

Did you guys eat breakfast?"

They all said, "Yes."

I asked, "What did you eat?"

Anson said vanilla wafers.

Hayden said he ate cereal.

Then my baby boy said, "I ate beans with sugar in them."

I just stared at him.

He said...

"I did."

I reached for the phone.

There really is no telling what could have happened while they were here with Aaron this morning.

Ashton seemed so sure of himself...and beans with sugar in them?

That sounds too weird and specific to be made up.

If this was Hayden talking...I would have immediately moved on...since I'm sure if I would have also asked Hayden what he had in his pocket, he would have said "the man that works at Petco"...but Ashton saying this sort of thing?

Aaron answered.

I asked, "What did Ashton eat for breakfast this morning?"

He said...

"Sugar smacks...but he wanted some sugar on them."

Funny!

That's exactly what they look like!

Beans with sugar on them.

And to think...he has eaten these many times...and that's what he thought he was eating!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When Balloon Beagles Go Bad


Man I wish this picture was not so little and icky.

If you had a magnifying glass, you would be able to see that yes...this is a giant balloon dog that fell on a road.

I got this from some weird news webpage:

"Drivers were covered by a dog balloon after it experienced technical difficulties."
I saw this news story trot along the tv screen... (No one worry. I wasn't watching the news. I was at my news-watching, dad's house...he likes the news and he knows things.)

Well when I saw it I was alone in the kitchen...just me and the smiling, uptight news people...

The story came on and then went off so fast...

Like it wasn't a big deal...

What?

A giant dog landed on CARS...how is that NOT the lead story...how was that not the ONLY story that day? And how did they NOT spend a long time talking about it?

Where were the "on the site" interviews?

And where oh where was the round table discussion?

I wanted to hear from some experts on this controversial subject.

How are balloon animals fairing in the polls?

How can we prevent future attacks from rabid inflatables?

How can we prepare our families for terrifying events such as this?

Is there some sort of kit we need to put together and keep in our cars?

How much water would you need if you got stuck under a dying balloon dog?

What's the first thing you should do once a balloon dog has landed on your vehicle?

How do you prevent shock?

Is there cell phone reception under a deflated beagle?

What about those concerns? What is wrong with the news? When is it going to be relevant?

Yet another reason why I boycott news coverage altogether.

Since I was the only one in the kitchen, I was worried for a minute that I was the only person on earth who saw the story...I wouldn't have proof that balloon animals are more than dumb...they are downright dangerous...

Who would believe that a giant balloon dog fell on cars?

But then I remembered that this is the news...

I've heard that LOTS of normal, educated, current events savvy people watch it...and then they write about it on websites that you can look up on the internet! Happy day!

Now everyone can know that these giant balloons are a menace and are taking over the world.

Which solidifies my take on balloon animals.

We should all despise them.

I think they are weird and scary...and that's when I'm sitting at a safe distance away from them.

I think I would need counseling the rest of my life if a giant balloon dog landed on my car. One would have to go to great lengths to even begin to imagine the exposed hiney hole on a canine of that size.

And also...one other update to the story that no one liked initially, but then I begged them to, so they came through for me...

Nolan Bushnell was the man that invented Chuck E. Cheese and convinced everyone that disease infested rodents are great restaurant mascots. He ALSO invented Atari.

I told you.

He's a genius.

Go Dig Dug.

The best game ever.