Tuesday, December 28, 2010

our news

we're adopting!  
God has blessed us with a wonderful gift, a gift that reflects His own heart in so many ways.
in march, we will be adopting - not a hippo, a pelican, or a giraffe - but a brand-new baby boy :).



how it happened:
patrick and i have wanted to have a family for a long time.  ever since losing our baby in 2009, we have been looking into different ways to deal with my pcos and the infertility/difficulty carrying a baby that comes with it.  it's pretty disheartening, and we also started looking into adoption.  knowing the costs that adoptions entail, however, we didn't seriously consider it as an immediate option, since patrick's still in school and i'm not able to get a teaching job here in tbay.
on my first day at work, i met a lovely girl.  she was pretty, and sweet, and competent.  we had a lot of time to sit and chat, and since we're both pretty open about our lives, managed to share a lot of personal stories with each other.   i told her about my miscarriage and longing to have a child; she shared with me her sorrow about being unable to keep her baby.  i felt my heart leap, but didn't say anything.  (how do you ask someone to please give you her baby?)
a few days later, she confided that she had found someone she thought would be perfect to adopt the baby (she didn't want to go through an agency - that was too cold & impersonal, and also, she wanted to know her baby would be raised by christian parents, but she hadn't been able to find anyone she felt was just right).  she laughed and said she didn't know how to approach the prospective parents - she didn't know how to ask them if they would consider taking her baby.  i said, yes, it would be awkward - and awkward for them too, if they didn't know how to make it known that they would love to adopt her baby so she could feel comfortable asking.
"you, for example" she said "i would love it if you would be interested in adopting the baby.  but how would i ask you?"

:)

it was like God simply placed this gift into our hands.  patrick and i had been praying - and continued to pray! - about this.  and just felt comfort and peace.  Jesus was adopted - raised by joseph as his son.  and God adopts us into His family.  and God gave up His Son - for our abundant life.  if God has done so much through the beauty of adoption, maybe He wants to do this for us - and for the baby - as well.

so, we've met with an adoption practitioner everything is getting under way.  we've got paperwork coming out our ears :).

also, we have some beautiful ultrasound pictures - one in particular melts my heart: he's sucking his thumb and rubbing his ear with his other hand, just like my nephew used to do when he was a baby.  i can't wait to meet this kid face to face.

here are some answers to the most popular questions we've had so far:
1) yes, we do know the birth mom might change her mind.  yes, we're keeping that in mind.  (in response, i just want to say that there is a higher rate of miscarriage than of this happening, and it's definitely considered taboo to tell a pregnant woman she could likely miscarry.  adopting moms are no less emotionally invested or in love with the baby than other moms, and are completely aware of this possibility.)

2) we're currently going through a homestudy and taking adoption classes.  we're following all the proper legal channels, and the baby will be legally totally wonderfully ours 29 sweet days after he is born.  (we will be taking him home from the hospital, but the adoption can be voided up to 29 days after his birth.)

3) it will be an open adoption, but precise details about what this means for all of us are still in process of being sorted out.

so, that's our story.  please pray for both birth mom and baby.  :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

pieces of my heart

i'm missing the kids more & more as we get closer to christmas.  i absolutely adore them, and miss their perfect hilarious wonderfulnesses.  it's like pieces of my heart are walking around outside my body, and i can't do anything at all to prevent life from hurting them ridiculously. 

i wish i could be there so that they're reminded there is one more person who completely loves them, who wants life to be very very good to them, who thinks they rock no matter what happens.  i want them to grow up totally surrounded by a huge fan base - and i want that to include me!  i want them to know they're prayed for, cheered for, and cherished.
and i want them to know that i know them, as they are, and think they're amazing.

kid 1 is smart and funny and beautiful.  she's breathtakingly smart, and always has been, and is unintimidatable.  she's completely her own person, frank and lovely.  she's the kind of person who asks questions and finds out the reasons behind things, and files the knowledge away tidily in her mind.  and she's always ready to laugh and jump into the next fun thing that pops into her head.  it kills me to think that she was just an itty bitty baby and now she's almost 12 and when i blink again she'll be 24, and i hope & pray she still greets life with the intelligence and glee she's always had.

kid 2 is a beautiful warrior.  when she was teensy, she was all princessy pink and bows and tiaras.  now she's still girly, and always surrounded by friends and parties, but there's something stronger in her, fierce and unstoppable.  last summer, we bought ice cream in the park.  she dropped hers.  no squealing, fussing, or pouting - this kid wrapped her hand around the chunk of ice cream on the floor and stuck it firmly back on the cone.  she's strong and winsome and i miss her snuggles and confidence and her adorable elf-grin when she's trying to worm out of getting in trouble.  i pray that she will find strength in Jesus and grow beautifully stronger in Him every day of her life.

kid 3 is a heartwarmer.  she's generous and spontaneous and goofy, and really considerate of other people.  if you walk into her house, she immediately thinks of ways to make you welcome.  this may include (but is not limited to) dancing around crazily and singing, leaping on you for a hug, or rushing upstairs to get her bubblegum to share with you.  she has a huge and simple faith - she prays with complete confidence.  she loves with her whole heart and forgives faster and more completely than anyone i've ever known.  and if someone is hurt or sad, she's the first to try to make them feel better.  her tenderness breaks my heart, and i hope life is as gentle with her as she is with others.  i pray that she will grow in faith and love and be used by God to bless others more & more.

kid 4 is amazingly fearless and playful, and fearless in the coolest way.  one of my favorite memories is when he performed a concert for patrick & me.  he turned off all the lights, plugged in a strobe light, and sang us a spectacularly sweet version of fiveforfighting's superman.  his voice (gorgeous) was wonderful, but the best part was that he gave us such a cool gift, so un-selfconsciously and generously.  once, he made me a keychain and gave it to me, saying "i made this for you because you love me."  i do - i sure do.  if you're ever looking for someone who is kind, and up for all sorts of daredevilry and a crowd of laughs, he's your man.  i pray that he will walk, like Jesus, generously and beautifully all the days of his life.

kid 5 is a fierce bundle of loyalty and love.  she's the kind of kid who will wrap her arms around you and hold on like the clingiest of koalas, and make you laugh with her silly faces.  she's game for just about anything (which is great for kid 4, who gets lots of practice doing stunts and making jokes with her around).  she's an incredibly appreciative audience/participant.  she adores her family and everything they do, because she's loyal and proud.  she's got the world's biggest soft spot for animals, and lists pets as basic human necessities.  i am so glad and proud to be loved by her.  i pray that the people she loves will always see what a huge gift she gives, and that she will never stop loving generously with all her heart.

i love them.  and miss them.  with all of my heart.

Friday, December 17, 2010

cadeaux!

i've been making some itty-bitty cadaux for christmas.  as soon as they reach their destination, i will post pictures and how-to instructions.  fun & awesome.
but!  i'm not the only one who has been making presents!
caitlin and victoria's amazing mom Lucy made me a gorgeous apron.
it would be very greedy of me not to share, so here's a pic:

(i'm not trying to raise the roof, i was spinning around with glee :))

:)  come visit and i'll use it to make something snacktacular.
xo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

temp

just sent my resume to  a temp agency!  :)  here's hoping they can find me something other than burger flipping at a&w ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ode to vinegar

o vinegar, dear vinegar,
how i love you.
how perfect you are with
salt.
how delightfully you clean my
windows - dishes - laundry -
and countertops.
you absorb odours and repel mildew
you combat germs with all the force of bleach
and none of the nasal discomfort.
today alone you have helped me to
scour pots and freshen apartmenty washing machines
and sanitize the bathroom and clean a raw-chicken-y plate
and flavour the chicken as well,
o vinegar!
they say you are made from fermented grain or coal tar
and whether they've got their stories wrong or not
you are made
for making my life
clean
and
delicious.
hold your ugly gallon self proud, and doff your little cappy lid in joy
for today, o vinegar, 
the shiny, tangy universe celebrates you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

a merry little christmas

i was feeling festive last week, and wanted to make something.  i had already taken my daily trek through the freezing winds and ice pellets, so had to settle with using the craft supplies i have.   i didn't think i had anything christmassy, so it was a nice challenge, raiding the closet with as much imagination as i could muster.

i found:
1 glue gun, lots of refill sticks
1 empty boot box
1/2 a bag of cranberry scented potpourri
1 exacto knife

so i unfolded the boot box and had a reasonable amount of cardboard.  i cut out a circle, free-hand - nothing like a little whimsy to add personality to a craft.  (okay, i just didn't bother finding something round to trace.)
then i hot-glued the potpourri onto the cardboard ring, and ta-dah, i had an envy-of-etsy cranberry scented christmas wreath!

(okay, etsy wouldn't touch it.  but the cardboard doesn't show and it smells good.)  for extra festive oomph, i added it to the gorgeous star hanging in my kitchen (a goodbye gift from katie).
also, it wouldn't be a day in my life if i didn't injure myself in some way ...
the glue gun somehow found its way to my arm, now i am sporting what looks suspiciously like a cigarette burn - just in time for the holidays.
merry christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

nogcakes

it's a cozy snowy wintry sort of day, and we skipped breakfast, so i wanted to make something quick and comforting for lunch.  we had a little eggnog left in the fridge, and the other day patrick had asked what eggnog pancakes would taste like.  we both drooled a little at the thought, so today we tried it out.  it was so simple - i just added a few dashes of spice and replaced half the milk with eggnog in my favorite pancake recipe.   it was so yummy and christmassy i wanted to share.



okay, this isn't a very appetizing example.  there's a reason it was left behind when all the others were eaten.  but it's all i have left to show you, because we ate the entire batch.  (we had help.)

*eggnog pancake recipe:
1 cup milk
1 cup eggnog
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (or a little less.  measurements aren't exact)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or a little more.  yum)
a dash of cinnamon
a dash of ginger
2 cups flour
1 and a half tablespoons of baking powder.

stir it all together until it's all mixed in (none of this slightly lumpy business, i use a whisk and make it as smooth as i can).  then cook them like you always do!  (i do a minute on each side, at medium temperature, when i'm not surfing on facebook and letting them burn ... like the one in the photo.)

*i think it's the beastly amount of baking powder - these are yummy and fluffy even without the eggnog.  it's a quick & simple go-to recipe when you want something with little hassle and lots of deliciousness.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

why i quit my job

i quit my job.
no, i'm not crazy.
this is me explaining why.

first off, i had turned down the promotion and was convinced to take it against my better judgment.  i knew i didn't want more hours and responsibility.  full time supervisor was enough for me - and then some.  i'm not a work-driven person; i like a job that makes me feel successful and positive relatively quickly (like my first teaching placement ... i loved jr. high.  i could definitely handle the workload and saw changes in my students' learning as i taught).  i guess i need that kind of affirmation, or i don't see a point in going on.  if it's taking me an unusual amount of time to achieve results, i might as well step aside and let someone with more skills take the reins - we'll all be happier in the end.

secondly, i was working way too many hours.  i was pulling 14 hour days (on salary, so no correlation in my paycheque) and i saw patrick for weepy half-hours in the evenings and mornings.  at first, i liked the challenge of seeing if i could get through the grand opening.  but as time went by and i was still learning - slowly, slowly - while the amount of work i was required to do increased, my desire to get up in the morning decreased.  all i could do was come home at night and collapse into bed.

next, i was stressed out.  i was working 14 hour days, missing my husband, rarely getting days off, and getting one break per day.  i lost ten pounds in a month.  (the weight loss is nice ... but stressing it off was not the best way to lose it.)  EVERYTHING was a BIG DEAL!  and i was getting boring.  on the two occasions when i did see my friends, i just talked about work.  ugh.

fourth: weekends.  when i took the job, my biggest hesitation was that i wouldn't be able to get to church every sunday.  i was assured that every second sunday i would be free.  ... but in actuality, after a month, i got to one service.  not my thing.  i don't want a job that rules my life, even if this busy time is supposed to end in 3 months - i don't want to be a stranger to my christian family.

finally, the support i was assured i would have was just not in place.  when i asked for help, i constantly heard "you'll understand everything in time, don't worry."  which wasn't the best answer when home office was emailing and calling me constantly, asking me to correct mistakes and to get things done yesterday.

so, after considering it carefully, and after finding myself crying more days than not ... i said goodbye.  life is short and i want it to be sweet.