Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Just Don't Have the Words

I am silent today.

I just don't have the words.

Silent tears stream down my face.

I feel helpless. I want my little girl to succeed. I can't help her. Each day that passes by is a missed opportunity. She is amazing and is capable of amazing things. It breaks this mommy's heart to not be able to provide what she needs.

I don't understand. I need to trust but that is




I am weak. I am broken.

I need His strength to carry me today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Really want to know what I think?

It has been all over the local news lately that President Obama is coming to Iowa today and this visit is bringing much controversy. I am not all that political and sit on the fence on many issues. In fact, in many situations I could be persuaded to take either side. I should do more reading and research on the policies and stances, but I just don't. However, one thing I have noticed lately (and it is quite fascinating to me) is how divided people are over certain things. I mean really divided. I think the worst is being brought out in people. I think it is a sad day when one side won't even listen to the other side. I think we have a lot to learn from each other if we would shut our mouths and just listen. I always enjoy a different opinion than mine. It doesn't mean I have to agree. Everybody has a voice and everybody's voice should and ought to be heard. Perhaps it would be discovered that we have more in common than we think!

I have a few other things that have been rattling around in my head for quite awhile now so I will just throw them out there for fun. This is my blog so I can do and say what I want. Remember, I am totally fine with you not agreeing with me. :)

First - healthcare reform. I don't think it is a totally bad thing. However, I don't think it would be necessary if the church would step up and be the church. What would happen if Christians really, and I mean really, started to care about the poor, started to feed the hungry, and pulled out all the stops and gave their time, talent, and treasures until it hurt just a little, or dare I say, a lot? What if a small group of Christians pooled their resources and covered medical insurance for a family who can't afford it? What if a church invested in a family and provided shelter and food so the family could focus on getting an education to get a decent job so they could get health insurance? I could go on. It absolutely blows my mind that there are hungry people in this nation and around the world when there is more than enough food to go around. My response to that is SHAME ON ME. I am part of the problem. I am part of the reason why the government has to step up and pass legislation on healthcare reform.

Second - abortion. I am absolutely pro-life to the core of my being. It sickens me to think that women are having abortions. It would be a great thing if legislation was overturned and abortions would be become illegal. (I don't think that would stop women from having abortions.) However, what would happen if pro-lifers, instead of picketing around abortion clinics, would line up at abortion clinics and say we will lovingly adopt your unborn baby? What if Christian families would rise up and say we want your unwanted and unborn babies? What if adoption wasn't only for those families who want more kids or can't have kids of their own, but perhaps as a way to save an unborn child? Abortion may never become illegal, but I do think many unwanted pregnancies would not end with abortion if more families would step up and adopt, not because they want more kids, but because they want to save an unborn child. I do realize adoption is not for everybody and some families cannot adopt even if they wanted to. However, there are ways for others to walk alongside a family that is choosing to adopt - emotional support, financially support, etc. Or mentor teens who are at risk to sexual relationships, become an abstinence educator (I tried, but didn't get the job....), etc.

If you are still reading, way to hang in there. These are my honest feelings. You can take them or leave them but thank you for reading. I know there are many, many views out there and I just scratched to surface on these two. I welcome your comments. I am eager to read them. However, it doesn't mean that I will agree with you! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Unexpected Not Ordinary Day

Have you ever had one of those days that you thought would be quite ordinary and it turned out to be just the opposite? Yesterday was one of those days for me. It started off quite normal. In fact it was pretty boring until 3:30 in the afternoon. That is when I got a phone call. The caller ID said "KCCI Newsroom!" I answered and they said they would like to come out and do a story on Josie and her adoption. I said that would be great and asked when they wanted to come. I thought in a few days - wrong - they said they would like to come within the hour. What? With cameras? Yikes! I said okay and called Jon to get his rear in gear and get home. I threw laundry in the closet and frantically picked up all the toys and threw them downstairs. I looked in the mirror and haphazardly put on make up and did my hair! And then I needed to find something to wear? All while doing this I was thinking about what I would say and what questions they might ask. I had no time to prepare or gather my thoughts! At least I could't get nervous about it. They came around 4:00 (the were definately there within the hour) just as my kids were getting home from school. I had no time to "prep" them and thank goodness for the editing process because my kids were at their finest! :) Anway, below is the story they did and I think it turned out pretty well!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Roughlly 5-1/2 years ago, my then smaller family moved from the west suburbs of Des Moines to a small town in NW Iowa. Our house in the suburbs had a large six foot wooden privacy fence in the backyard. We didn't think much of it. Almost every house in the neighborhood had a fence. In fact, shortly after we moved into our house, our neighbor put up a privacy fence. (We tried not to take this personally!)

When we were looking for a house in NW Iowa, I noticed immediately that few houses had fences! I liked that. I could see kids playing in back yards and playing in their neighbor's backyard. Fences keep people out. They keep people from entering your yard. I will agree that fences do serve a purpose. They keep small children from wondering to places they should not go. They keep dogs from running away. They keep potentially harmful strangers from entering your property. They keep nosy neighbors from knowing your every move.

I am certainly not "anti-fence." I am not not going to say I will NEVER have a fence in my backyard. However, I want my home and yard to be a place where people feel they are welcome. I want the neighborhood kids to run through my yard. I want our neighbors to join us when our family is playing a game of football or baseball. I want community.

Having lived in a small town, I learned there were times that people felt that my business was their business. People would notice when a new car was purchased. People would notice that my yard wasn't properly mowed. People would notice when my kids were not behaving at the grocery store or at the park. People would notice the massive swing set in the front yard. People would notice the pregnancy test in my shopping cart. I wanted to put a huge fence around me life and keep people out. I learned that I can not do life this way. As much as it bothered me that it seemed like I was constantly being "watched" it also gave me some comfort. People knew when I was struggling, people knew when I was hurting, and people knew when I needed help. I remember a time I was standing in the Hallmark store (before it burned down) and somebody asked me how I was doing. As much as I wanted to say "Fine, how are you?" I just couldn't. I looked at this woman and began crying. I shared my struggle, right there in the Hallmark store for everybody to see and hear. And in my weak and vulnerable state, this woman listened to me. There was no fence up that day between us.

Two months ago, my now much larger family (let's just say the pregnancy test in the cart a few years ago was positive!) moved back to Des Moines. We live in a new development. Right now we have no neighbors. But, they are coming soon! I am curious how many fences will go up. I am hoping not many.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Judge Me

Adoption is near to my heart. We are in the process of adopting a child from Haiti. Our case is different. It seems my husband and I don't do things the way they are "normally" done. For example, my husband decided to get his Master's degree through a distance program. This was many years ago and not many people were doing it that way. He eventually got through and all is good now. I married after my sophomore year of college requiring me to transfer schools. I transferred from a college that was on trimesters to a university that was on semesters. That created some problems and I ended up with way more undergraduate hours than I needed when it was all said and done. Maybe that is why I am so smart. (joking!) Recently, we moved and we have yet to sell our house in Orange City. Some people own two homes, but it certainly has complicated things for us.

Our adoption case is so different because the child (Josie) we are hoping to adopt is living with us. Yip, she has been living with us for over two years now. She has multiple disabilities and special needs. She is here on a medical visa. Our paperwork was in Haiti for WELL over two years and then, you guessed it, the earthquake hit. I was hoping this would help our case and the U.S. would just finalize this adoption. To make a long story short we found out that our adoption must be completed in Haiti. This makes me really mad. We have had to keep up our paperwork, homestudies, and fingerprints while welcoming and loving this girl into our family. At first it was no big deal, but with each expired document comes a renewal fee and simply staying on top of it all has been very difficult for me. Have I mentioned that she is living with us? Most families that have children with special needs get help such as respite, or a case manager to give the family the support they need. Families also get waivers to help with the cost of the doctor's appointments and therapies (physical, occupational, and vision therapies). We don't get any of that because of Josie's status. I get extremely frustrated by this and quite frankly, I need help. But, we have to wait until her adoption is final and now that is again in the hands of the country of Haiti.

This brings me to the point of this post. Recently I read about a mother who adopted a child from Russia and ended up putting him a plane and sending him back. This is a terrible thing and I am horrified by this mother's actions. However, I do understand how she could get to this point. I am not saying what she did was right, but I will admit I have wanted to throw in the towel and be done. I would never put Josie on a plane and send her back to Haiti, but I do understand how this mother must have felt. I want to be done with this process. I don't know the circumstances that drove this mother to do what she did, but I have felt so overwhelmed and so alone in this process. Adoption is hard - the process is hard, the paperwork is hard, and welcoming an older child into your family is hard. Nothing can prepare you for it.

I judge people everyday. I judge people by how they look or how they act. I judge people I know and people I don't know. This is wrong of me. I also know that people judge me everyday. Some people let me know how they feel and most don't. What I am saying is that the next time you judge someone, take a moment to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes for a day. Try to think about things from their perspective. I need to be reminded of this everyday. Perhaps there would be less judging going on and more loving and understanding.

Until next time...

Monday, April 12, 2010

It seems today that everybody has a blog. It wasn't that long ago that I didn't even know what a "blog" was. I just didn't get it. As I read blogs of other people, I am realizing that it is a good way to keep in touch with friends and family from near and far away. That is one reason I am doing this. Another reason is that I am looking for an outlet to write my thoughts, to express my opinions, and a place to hold myself accountable. I am hoping to post once or twice a week (here comes the accountability part). I am not sure what my posts will be about - maybe about my family and kids, maybe about what I am learning, maybe about the things in which I struggle, or maybe about what God is teaching me.

I am going to warn you, I am going to be brutally honest in how I feel and react to certain things. Sometimes I surprise myself with my honest feelings. I am guessing what I have to say might offend some people. That is okay. Nobody has to agree with me. Another reason for doing this blog is so that I have a place to be vulnerable and honest. I often keep my feelings and thoughts to myself because I am afraid of offending someone or somebody doesn't really care to know about how I feel. I often get put in that "pastor's wife" box and that comes with many expectations. In this blog I am dropping all of my labels - wife, mom, pastor's wife, etc. This is my blog, so I can think what I want to think and say what I want to say. However, I welcome your comments and thoughts. I actually like and respect differing opinions. Differences help me grow. I have a lot of thoughts and ideas floating around in my head so it will intersting to see where this goes. Thanks for reading and have a great Monday!