Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where's the sense in that?

Did everyone hear about the little girl in Florida who was removed from school by police for bringing a knife to school in her lunchbox? Read the News article if you haven't.

I understand in this day and age that seeing a knife in the school can cause concern but I still can't help but think that there was serious lack of good judgement shown here. Every article I found specifically stated that she did not threaten anyone or brandish the knife. I noticed the police said that it was school policy that they be called because the knife was considered a weapon. What makes a steak knife a weapon? Wouldn't it be at the moment that it was used in a threatening way? Which it was not. All she wanted to do with it was cut the steak that she had brought for her lunch. Why couldn't the knife have just been taken from her, her parents called and she talked to about why you don't bring steak knives to school?

I don't see any common sense reason this child should have been transported from school in the back of a police car and now have the threat of felony weapons charges hanging over her head. Were the teachers hands tied by rules or did they just see what they perceived to be a weapon and go overboard? I'm not sure I'd be happy with either answer if I was that child's mother.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blame it on Harry

I started reading the Harry Potter books just recently. I can't believe I waited this long! I have plenty of friends who told me all along how good they were but because I had been led to believe by the Church that they were evil, I was not about to get too close.

These books have got to be the furthest thing from evil. In fact they are all about Good triumphing over Evil. And, no, I don't just say that to make myself feel better.Voldemort, Harry's enemy, is obviously a parallel to many evil forces throughout the ages, including Hitler and Satan. Harry as the one who defeats him is an obvious parallel to the Savior. As to the accusations of the books teaching children witchcraft. Um, no. There are no mini-magic lessons hidden in the margins of the books. Magic is done but I don't think I'm going to be able to wave my wand at my sink tonight and watch my dishes wash themselves. Unfortunately.

The church that we used to belong to had good intentions I think. They just wanted to protect us from anything that would lead us away from God. And they felt these books had the potential to do that. I don't think the pastor ever read a page of even HP1, he just heard from other good pastors like himself and spread the word around. The problem I have now, looking back, is that we as Christians need to open our own eyes and make our own INFORMED decisions. That means knowing what we are deciding on with information in hand. I don't even know the stance the pastor at our new church takes on Harry, and that's ok with me. I'm sure there are some at this church who allow HP and others who don't, and that is their own personal choice. It shouldn't be dictated by the church and if you choose to do otherwise you are a "bad" Christian. That's not how God operates and it's not how we should either. Unfortunately sometimes I think that's the impression we gave. We can't tell people, "It's all about a relationship with Jesus", and then once they are in the church throw a bunch of rules at them that they have to conform to. That's not to say that we get saved and then run wild doing what we want. That's where the Holy Spirit comes in, it's His job to guide us and our job to listen to that guidance.

It is about a relationship with Jesus and I believe He's just fine with my relationship with Harry.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pure and Undefiled Love

I had to share this video. I found it on the blog of someone that I read and it touched my heart. My heart wants to adopt every child that needs a home. I know why and someday I'll have to post about all of that. But tonight I just had to share this. I hope that someone else will be touched and decide to adopt, from where doesn't matter, the age and sex don't matter. Those things are all personal for each family. Adoption is too wonderful for just a few to experience. These children need to be loved, they need to know they were wanted and that there is someone who is going to always be there for them.

It's been said before and is so true. EVERY child deserves a family.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Santa Files

When my kids were little I decided that I didn't feel comfortable with them believing totally in Santa Claus and having him be the central focus for the gifts they receive or the "magic" of the season. My Aunt started this with her children and she really encouraged me to do the same. It didn't take much for me to decide that this idea appealed to me. You see, I can remember the day I finally accepted that Santa wasn't real. I was sitting on the school bus getting ready to go away on a school overnight field trip. I was in either 4Th or 5th grade. I know, late bloomer. Anyway, I overheard these two kids talking about Santa Claus and how he was not real and everybody knows that except one of their younger siblings or something. And it sunk in, "Santa is not real..." and I can kind of remember thinking something along the lines of, "why did all the grownups I know trick me into believing this for so long?". Every time I would start to question his existence they had another story to back it up. I can remember my grandmother telling me that Santa and Jesus were best friends when I asked her how Santa knew everything about everybody when only God was supposed to be able to do that. That's just one example, my mom always had something whenever I would throw questions her way too. Why not just tell me the truth when I was obviously starting to catch on?

So, all this led me to decide that my kids should know the "real" Santa Claus and I started doing research. All the things that I learned were so much more interesting than the Santa I grew up on. ( Wikipedia has loads of info. ) This guy did some great things and helped some people. As far as I know, my boys have never ruined it for other kids. I actually had another mom tell me one time that they would because they would be jealous that they didn't get to believe. That never happened. I told them that other kids do believe in Santa as being a real person who lives today and comes to their house to bring their gifts and that they would be really disappointed if they were told by someone that he wasn't. I'm surprised when I look back now at how they really seemed to understand this at a young age. They would tell adults though. All the time they were being asked, "Are you ready for Santa?" and they would always answer that Santa was not real. It flustered alot of people. Should I be ashamed of the fact that this made me laugh every time? Last Christmas we ran into this lady who seemed to really believe she was one of Santa's elves and she just was not having it that my youngest son knew that Santa was not real. So, we finally just pretended along with her and left it at that. Poor woman, she may have been traumatized.

I don't have anything against folks who do the whole Santa thing. I used to almost. I kind of had this picture of myself as being "better than" because I told my kids the "truth". I don't buy into that anymore, maybe I've become more open minded but I just do it my way and you do it your way. I do think though that when a child begins to question it's time to tell them the truth about Santa. There's a lot more magic to Christmas than the Santa aspect. I like to focus on the St. Nicholas version of what is today's Santa Claus. In fact, I love those Jim Shore Santas, the ones that remind me of the more "traditional" Santa. If you run into Rickydoodle out and about tell him I want this one this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blowing Kisses.......

This has got to be one of the most AWESOME videos I have ever seen. And I can attest to the fact that it is absolutely real.

This morning at church a lady who works for Bethany Christian Services shared an experience she had with a set of expectant parents. They came in to confirm their pregnancy and see an ultrasound of their baby. As they were about to finish the ultrasound they said "I love you" to their baby and this is what they received in return:

How amazing is that!? The video was posted to YouTube by Erik Whittington, Director of Rock for Life.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Did we really throw away the tree?

Unfortunately, yes, we did.

Last year Hubby and I decided our old artificial was too old and we should toss it and get a nice new one when they all went on sale. Well, we remembered to toss the old one and forgot to buy a new one! So, we went to get the tree down after Thanksgiving and all we could find was the stand. AYE YI YI!

Since we are really hoping to start our HS as soon as we can I am determined not to spend a bunch of money on a tree. I wish we could still do like my dad used to. Just go out in the woods and come back with a tree. Is that even still legal? Never mind, don't answer that.....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dream a Little Dream.......

I keep having dreams about my daughter. Sometimes I get discouraged because this whole process can be so unpredictable. First we were adopting from China, then when China changed rules we looked to Vietnam, then the agency we were using turned out to be unethical. So now we are looking at as many waiting child lists as we can, hoping to eventually find our daughter that way. We even thought about just trying to get pregnant through IVF. I just can't bring myself to go that route when I know that there are so many children who need homes.

Last night I had another dream about traveling and bringing home a baby girl. I've had similar dreams and the little one is always Asian and always around 8 months old. And I usually(in the dream) always forget that I have a new baby and leave her in the nursery at church or forget to take her with me when I leave the house. Then I'm running trying to get back to her and bawling my eyes out!! SO UPSET WITH MYSELF!! What in the world do these dreams mean? I wake up from them missing my baby and feeling like they are signs that I will be a bad mom. Is this normal for moms who adopting?

One thing that I do think is that maybe these dreams are to keep me trudging along this path. That we do have a daughter out there and that we just need to keep keeping on and we will find her. I really hope that that's it. And that I'm not going nuts.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving State of Mind

++I actually posted this last year on a blog I used to have on Xanga. I was reading through it before I deleted it and decided to bring this one over here. Hope it speaks to someone, I needed to be reminded myself.++

I have been learning lately that so much of being happy with your life, your family, your spouse, your job is all about your state of mind. We need to make the decision that we are going to love ourselves, love our spouse, love our children, try to love our jobs. That's not to say you just put on a happy face and accept all the things that might not be exactly right about those relationships, but "Love covers over a multitude of sins". Things can begin to change when you make the decision to love that one or to be happy in your present situation (if that situation is unhealthy, please don't stick around).

I know some people who have made the decision to be miserable, to hate everything that has ever happened to them and to blame everyone and be a victim. They are not much fun to be around and they tend to make others feel miserable too after a while. And it's sad because they are missing out on so much of life. Sure there are going to be problems in every life. Heartaches, and people will do mean things to you sometimes, but you have to choose to move on. To put those times behind you, to continue to live life and find the joy that can be had.

In this season of Thanksgiving let's all find something to be thankful for. You do have something, I know it. And it's funny how once you find one you can usually find another and once they start adding up you just can't help but start to feel TRULY thankful.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Oh Lord, It's Hard to be Humble....

Well, maybe for you. But, not for me......check out my Pilgrim Name:

Your Pilgrim Name Is

Humility Moore

And, I didn't even make that up!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thanks alot CSI

Thanks to CSI I am not going to be able to sleep tonight. I knew it was going to be scary. I saw the previews tonight before it came on and they were enough to scare me. I know, I'm a scaredy-cat. I am just SO addicted to that show that I couldn't stay away. I need CSI rehab.

Oh well, I'll just lay in bed and read Harry Potter. It'll probably scare me too. Yep, scaredy-cat.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Truth Hurts

I have really been wanting to post about all the 'crap' that went down with a certain agency, that we just happened to be using, but I just don't know where to start. We are moving on. Researching other agencies at this moment and maybe have settled on one, but I am really wary now. And, you know what? I'm pissed! I have been wanting to adopt for a long time now and it took a while just for hubby to decide that this was something that was right for our family. Then to have given them some of our money and time just for this to have happened.... I thank God that we only got as far as the application being sent and waiting to start our HS.

Oh well, I guess it's a lesson learned. There were warnings out there about this agency but I just wrote them off because those who were using/had used them and the Coordinator I was in touch with were so positive that I thought it was just a difference of opinions. I was pointed to them by this Coordinator via an email after she read a post about on a listserv in which I asked for recommendations. Maybe that should have been my first red flag.

I would encourage anyone who is starting and searching for a new agency to do your research thoroughly. I know a lot of times we go with a certain agency because they are known to get babies home young and fast. I would LOVE for my daughter to be as young as possible when I hold her for the first time but that is no longer my most important point in choosing our next agency, in fact the one we are thinking of has told me that they won't even refer a child younger than six months. I have to do what is right to the extent that I can and if that means my child will be closer to a year when she comes home then so be it, I will just have to trust her beginnings to God and know that when she is in our arms we have no regrets.

Check out "Mrs. Broccoli Guy"'s posts here and here. I found them very helpful and encouraging. I mean, come on, a lot of times we don't want to hear it but it's exactly what we need to hear. You know what they say, "The truth hurts".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Show the Love

Yesterday I set up a table at a craft show to promote my Pampered Chef business, which I started to help pay for our adoption. Of course there were lots of other folks there, some shopping and some promoting their businesses just as I was. One of the vendors was a group from a local church in the area. They were selling all kinds of cute little country decorating items to benefit the youth and, I'm assuming, that the ladies who were there were the mothers and leaders of this youth group.

I was so disappointed, as a Christian woman, to witness the attitudes and behaviors of these ladies throughout the day. They were very catty, talked about what others were wearing and just were not friendly. My table just happened to be right beside theirs so I was able to hear some of their conversations, watch them look over at me and then turn their heads and whisper to each other and talk about the way another lady was dressed because they didn't approve. It really made me upset. Where was the love of Jesus? They had a sign that they displayed on their table that obviously stated they were there on behalf of their church. If I noticed I'm sure others did too and I just hate to think that others may have that as their only example of what Christianity is like. 1 John 4:20 says, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." There's a song by Rhonda Vincent called "If you don't love your neighbor you don't love God" and the words to the Chorus are so true:
Oh, you don't love God, if you don't love your neighbor
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble, and you don't try to help him
Then you don't love your neighbor, and you don't love God.

I just didn't feel that there was any love being shown to their "neighbors".

Now, I want to say that I am not perfect in any way. I mess up every day and I'm sure there have been days that I have been unloving and unloveable. I just hope that is the case for those ladies and this is not an everyday thing. But, you know, I just don't think that's the case. This is sad for so many reasons, 1. They are the examples to the youth of that church, there were quite a few young girls with them. 2. We are charged as Christians to show the Love of God to the world around us. The saddest thing of all is the lady who they did not approve of her way of dressing, I found out today that she is a wonderful lady with a heart of gold who has experiened TREMENDOUS abuse in her life. I just hope that she was not aware of the things they said about her and I hope that anytime I'm tempted to be unkind in this way that God brings this experience back to my mind.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You tell me yours, I'll tell you mine

I love names. I like learning new ones, hearing of ones I haven't heard in a while or maybe never heard. I mostly like original names, the ones that not a lot of other people have and ones that have cool meanings. Although, I generally don't go way
"out there"( Hubby would disagree there). I also like hearing the stories behind names, the reasons that your parents named you what they did.

One of the names that I really liked for my boys was Solon. It's pronounced:Soe-lun. I usually can't find it on any name websites but I know that it was the name of a famous lawmaker in Athens. I wasn't able to name either of my boys that name because, unfortunately, men do NOT like it. Oh well, I like the names that they ended up with. Austin Reuben and Noah Benjamin. I just wish everyone hadn't decided to name their kids those names at the same time :)

Now, for my daughter, I really want to name her: Raegen Francesca. Raegen because it's a name I really like and it's Celtic in origin which is my heritage. Francesca because my grandmother's name was Frances and Francesca was her favorite nickname. Hubby is on board with Raegen but he is just not in love with Francesca. Since we are adopting from Vietnam and she will have a Vietnamese name, a name that she could possibly be given by her birthparents, we will most likely keep some part of it as either her middle name or an extra middle name.

I'll tell the story behind my name just because I hope that anyone who may be reading might share theirs with me. My parents named me Melissa Michele because my mom liked both names and couldn't decide between Melissa Lee/Michele Lynn. So, I got both of them. My favorite part of the story is that my bio dad is and always has been a beekeeper. He's pretty good at it from what I've been told. The cool thing is that Melissa means "honeybee" and neither one of them knew that when they agreed on that for my name. I read it in a baby name book when I was about 13 and when I old my mom I could tell by the look on her face that she had no idea when she named me that. It was kind of funny.

Alright, bring on the stories or name suggestions. Or maybe the name that you would use if you could change your name or give your child any name you chose. Oh yeah, if I ever have another boy I want to name him Asa.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Beauty from ashes

I was over reading Dawn's blog this morning and ran across her post about different people's perspectives on Vietnam. Reading it reminded me of my trip to the bookstore the other day.

My family and I love to walk in the beautiful, historic downtown area and browse a cool used bookstore that all the cool college kids go to. So, while we were there I noticed that they had lots of books on various other countries and they were all shelved and labeled according to country. They had oodles on China: culture, history, people, travel, even cookbooks. So, I decided to look for books on Vietnam. I was a mite disappointed. The only subject the two full shelves of books on Vietnam covered was the Vietnam War. Not even any novels based in Vietnam :(

I'm not sure if maybe it's because we have a war going on right now that some people feel is similar in some ways, or because it is so near the college and that is what the kids come looking for, or if the war is just all we associate with Vietnam when we think of the country. I hope it's not the latter for the sake of the children that we are adopting and those who have come here seeking a new life. I think that if this is the case we are missing out.

I don't mean to invalidate the experience of the veterans of the Vietnam War, I know that it had to be a horrible time. I just hope that we can see the country and it's people as separate from the War that took place there. I have met some Vietnamese people living here in the States and they are wonderful people and from all that I have heard and pictures and video of others' trips that I've seen, the country is beautiful. I can't wait for my turn mainly to finally meet my daughter but also to get the chance to personally experience Vietnam itself.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What is it about babies?

Tonight we went to my brother's house to have dinner with the family. My mom and dad, aunt, cousin, and of course my brother's three boys were all there. Junior, my baby brother, (don't ask about the name, that's a whole other story) has three beautiful boys: twins, Dykeem and Travon are five and the baby, Jayvion is 6 months. I haven't seen Jayvion since about a month after he was born and I have to tell you I have been missin' out! That little booger is so cute and just the sweetest thing ever! He is soooo fat and has these killer dimple when he laughs, which he loves to do. When I held him he would just cuddle into me, I absolutely love when babies do that.

Holding Jayvion tonight was great and it made me realize a couple of things. The first being that I need to make time to see my family more often. I haven't seen my little nephew since he was a tiny infant but yet they live only 20 minutes from me and I go to church in the town they live in. I just don't seem to ever have time and don't make the time. My brother and I used to be so close and now just barely know what's going on with each other's lives. His older boys are five and are still shy when they see me. Now, there are other issues there but still, when I see how much we've all grown apart it really makes me sad.

The other thing goes back to my deep desire for this baby that we are planing to adopt. When I get a chance to hold a baby and just love on them I am reminded that, yes, I do want this for myself again. Today was my oldest son's 11th birthday and sometimes when I realize how old my boys are and how independent they are I wonder if I'm really thinking straight to want another one :) Every now and then I think, "Am I really sure about this?" Am I the only one who has felt like this in the midst of the adoption process? Deep down I know that this is truly something I want but every now and then a little doubt sneaks in.

Now, that I have totally depressed my readers(all two of you:0) ) I hope you'll still come back. I'm planning to do a post on possible names someday and may want some feedback.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finally Ready!

The name says it all. We are finally ready to make the Journey to the Promise that God gave me more than two years ago. Allow me to share our story with you.

I knew when my husband and I got married that we would not be able to have children together. Although I had two boys and he was father to five (yes, you read five), I had always wanted to have a big family and had not planned on ending at my two. Besides that most of his were already grown and they all had moms whom they love(as it should be). I wanted to be mom to at least one more and I really wanted a daughter. I have dreamed of her ever since I was a little girl myself. I prayed about this and we talked about in-vitro, vasectomy reversal, and foster care. None of these seemed to be the answer. Somehow I heard about International Adoption and began to research it and then I mentioned it to Rick. To my dismay he was totally against it, he felt that we could adopt a child domestically easier and with less financial burden. I was not convinced and just kept praying, researching both and sharing with him any inf on the subject. One Sunday morning while in the choir loft at church I was praying and crying out my heart's desire to the Lord. Our Pastor took the Mic from the worship leader and began to share that God had spoken to his heart that there were some there who really wanted a baby and God wanted us to accept the promise that He was making to us at that moment by stepping out in faith and coming to the altar to claim that promise. Of course I did just that with tears streaming and my heart full. It was awesome to know that my Lord heard my cry and cared enough to give me a promise to hold onto.

Of course I wasn't the only wannabe mom to step out in faith that day. There were three other ladies who were standing with me. Today one of them is Mom to two beautiful little girls, she was told she could never have children, she's given birth twice. Another is Mom to a beautiful chubby little 5 month old surprise boy and waiting for their referral of a little girl from Colombia. The third is Mom to an almost one year old perfect little boy. I am the only one still waiting, and it had been hard at times. First I had to wait for my DH to come around, but through a lot of prayer and watching adoption videos, talking about it and yes, some crying. He has come around, and even then the road has not been easy. It seems every time we're ready something happens. First China changed it's rules right as I turned 30, then our furnace broke and money we had planned to use for the adoption went to that, then we were misled by another agency who told us they could help us adopt from China anyway(thank goodness we never gave them any money, just too much time in limbo). Then as if that wasn't enough I lost my job. Sheesh, when it rains it really pours!

Through all of this I have held onto the Promise that God gave to me. I don't believe in coincidences, I know that the promise spoken that day was not just for those other ladies but for me as well. I have not seen the fruit of that promise yet but I am holding onto it. I know that it was for me because my husband is stubborn and only God could have changed his mind and we moved and found a new church where there are five families that I know of who have adopted internationally. I just know that my daughter is coming and the time is getting close. I've been having dreams lately and can't wait until the day I see her face for the first time. My sweet baby girl, she's already becoming so real to me.

We should be starting our Home Study in the next few weeks and then begin our Dossier to send to Vietnam. I am so ready!