Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sabbath Afternoon Reading and the Mind of a Crazy Lady

After a wonderful lunch, thanks to the OG*, and an extremely pleasant walk around the neighborhood I settled in to continue my reading of You Can Adopt: An Adoptive Families Guide. Soon my wonderful husband came in carrying not a comic book, not a script book, and not a book about Doctor Who, but Successful Adoption: A Guide For Christian Families. It is so wonderful to have such a wonderful husband going through this with me and invested in this as much as I am.

I vacillate between excitement and fear as we approach this process:

We have our Dear-Birth-Mother letter done and I will share it with my girlfriends for editing and proof reading tomorrow. One fear is, are we including the right information. Do we need to include less or more or something different all together? Do we really want to be this vulnerable and put ourselves out there like this? We've got nothing but positive feedback from friends and family. And I feel a peace as I think about our future child not necessarily coming from my womb. I am okay with that. But what if? . . .there are a lot of what ifs.

My excitement comes from the thought that our baby may be out there waiting for us or baking in some birth-mother's tummy RIGHT NOW and it is just a matter of making the right connection. I picked up a pack of diapers yesterday, they were on sale, just in case. Don't judge. They won't go bad. I keep saying that to myself.

This is how my mind works. Must keep busy with projects, work, and enjoying my blessed life right now. Praise God I have such a wonderful husband who is helping me work through that stack of books and puts up with my kind of crazy.

*Olive Garden


Friday, January 28, 2011

Books, Books, Books

I've never been a fan of books that tell me what to do.

I've always felt that unless you know me and my specific situation, you shouldn't get to tell me what to do or how to live. When Kelly and I started dating, she really wanted to me read The Heart of the Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. She explained to me what it was about and how it could help me but . . . well, to make a long story short, that was nine years ago and I still don't think I've read it. If I have, I've blocked it from my memory.

The one relationship book I've read (and I would highly recommend) is For Men Only, by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhan. It's the companion piece to For Women Only, and both of these books really hit the nail on the head. They don't reinforce stereotypes, they simply report their findings (based on interviews and studies) and then try to explain the opposite sex in words your sex would understand. Kelly heard Shaunti speak once and came home, finally understanding the words that had been coming out of my mouth for years.

I say all this to say that I don't like asking for help from strangers (insert asking for directions joke here). I have an instant distrust for anyone who writes a "how to" book. However, I also recognize when I know nothing about a particular subject. I have some theories on fatherhood and parenting, but I honestly don't know anything about adoption (outside of what Oliver Twist and Annie have taught me). So last night I bought some books (this time from McKay, where I spent only 9 bucks on four books).

Kelly and I are going to read these books and report back to you on our findings from each of them. They are, in no particular order:

So stay tuned! There's no due date (thankfully), but book reports will be forthcoming!

And if there's anyone out there who's already gone through this, was there a book or a site that helped you? We're really quite open to anything, be it a how-to guide, a what-to-expect guide, or a memoir.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Outweighing Fear

Went to Barnes & Noble last night.

I really shouldn't ever go into a Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, or whatever other book merchant there is. I can't enter one without picking up two or three books, bonding with them, and then paying full price for them before I leave. I work at McKay Used Books. I can buy anything in the store at cost. Which means, for a best seller, I'll pay maybe three dollars. So I really shouldn't ever go into a Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, or whatever other book merchant there is. But Kelly really wanted to go and it really doesn't take much arm-twisting to convince me.

Despite the cost, I do love an unused book shop. I love books that creak when you open them. I love pages that stick together at the corners because no-one's ever pried them apart before. I love the smell of new books. I love the colorful art of children's books. I love accidentally discovering your favorite author has a new book out. I love seeing old classics being rebound and presented in new ways. I love picking up pristine graphic novels, free of greasy fingerprints. I love the smell of coffee from the Starbucks in the back. I love the low, library-level chatter of excited customers as they compare the books or magazines they've found. But most of all, I love the aisles and aisles of potential. Who knows what new author waits for me just around the corner? That's the one downside to working at a used media store: Everything there has already been discovered -- discovered and discarded.

I found Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale, a prequel graphic novel that goes into the previously untold origin story of Shepherd Book, that mysterious preacher fellow from Firefly and Serenity. Kelly found You Can Adopt: An Adoptive Families Guide, by Susan Caughman and Isolde Motley. Kelly started reading it last night and there was a particular sentence that she read aloud that really summed up my feelings on the subject of parenthood and adoption.

"There is only one good reason to adopt, just as there is only one good reason to bear a child: Your desire to be a parent is greater than your fear."

That is exactly where I'm at, which is sometimes hard to explain to people. Maybe it's hard to explain because it's hard to understand.

I am a fully functional human being. I don't need anybody to be whole. Yet, when I met my wife, I realized I was missing something. When we were married, we became one, my life became full, and I realized I was, for the first time, whole. We've been married five years now and I'm realizing that as wonderful as our life is, we're . . . not quite whole. It's as if something is missing. There's a void only a child can fill.

I don't want it to be misunderstood that something is missing from our relationship. I am very happy with our relationship and am still excited to be married to Kelly. There's nothing about it that I would change. But there is something missing. It's not from our relationship, it's missing from our life, our family.

And as scary as the prospect of being a father is, my desire to be one outweighs it.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Adventure Begins

Scott and I have been married for 5 years now. We have gathered around ourselves a wonderful network of family and friends. We've settled in our house and we are working hard in our jobs. We are now ready to grow our nuclear family. We have decided to do this through adoption.

Adoption Step 1: Overcome fears and insecurities and call attorney's office to discuss how to get started. Check. Spoke with the attorney's office and they said find a child and then call us to do the legal work. Okay we can do that.

Adoption Step 2: Prepare a "Dear Birth Mother" letter and Family Profile. Almost check. We've spent the past week gathering photos and compiling our profile. We need to revise it into an attractive document and then send it to the attorney with a cover letter specifying our desired child.

Adoption Step 3: Network with EVERYONE to let them know. This is scary. This is where the blog comes in. This is to let everyone we know and everyone they know that we are looking for our baby. Somewhere out there there is, or there will be, our little one who is waiting for us to find him or her. We are looking for an infant under 12 months old who is healthy and needing a home.

Adoption Step 4: Once our little one is found, complete the "home study." This is the state-required assessment on whether we would be acceptable parents. No worries there. Although I hope they don't check to see if I regularly dust the top of my fridge. This includes background checks, interviews, psychological testing and confirmation that we have a roof over our heads and space for a baby. This would be the first expense of the process. Once completed the home study is good for 12 months.

So keep us in your prayers and in your mind as you go about your lives. If you hear of someone who has decided not to parent their infant, please pass on our name and contact information.