Not for the weak of stomach…but pretty funny.

Shadow’s pretty much out of the mysterious pooping stage because he’s stopped eating…textiles–at least, WHOLE textiles.  But something’s down there right now,  as evidenced by the recent rounds of strange gastric distress.  He’s had a couple of strange accidents, gas that would take out a city block, etc.  So Emma comes in last night and says, “Shadow pooped again.”  Me, wearily:  “Where?”  Her:  “In the dentist room.”  (Still says this sometimes for “bonus room”.)  Details forthcoming:  “Yes, it’s not all together.  It’s an ibuprofen poop.”  I think a minute before I realize the other long word she MEANT to use.  I’ll spare you.  HEE HEE!

"This is better than Pepto Bismol!"

"This is better than Pepto Bismol!"

Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 7:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Why special needs?

I can feel it.  That same excitement I had back in ’04-’05 when we felt like it wouldn’t be too terribly long, and we would see Emma’s sweet face.  This time, after waiting 2 1/2 years and being so consumed with LIFE that it was easy to forget that we even had a dossier logged in, waiting in line in China for little Trubey #3, it finally feels like just maybe, things could be picking up some momentum.  Healthy infant adoptions haven’t stopped, but they have slowed dramatically since we brought home sweet Emma girl.   The process was swift and predictable, and when we got home we waited the requisite year before beginning the great paperchase again.  Life was busy but I forged ahead with my box-checking mania, tracking each document on the tracking sheet through all the authentications needed but not in a rush, per se.  Our dossier was officially logged into the system in October of 2006.  Unfortunately by then,  the China adoption community had begun to hear the screech of brakes on all fronts as the whole process had all but ground to a halt, and the process that took 6 months with Emma is now looking like it could take until 2012 for us.  Keep in mind, we’ve already waited 2 1/2 years.  Did I mention that already???

SO, we started looking at the special needs program.  It was a little scary to us…what would we be dealing with?  Could we handle it?  Every time I dipped my toe in the water, it felt uncomfortable for the longest time.  Honestly, I was afraid.  Of unknowns, of knowns I couldn’t accept…I had my pat answers…we have enough special needs and challenges to deal with on the home front.  Yet, as time went on, I kept feeling the draw to investigate the program through our agency more and more.  We wouldn’t lose our “place in line”, just open our options (our hearts?) to the possibilities of a much speedier referral, and all because we were willing to consider a child with possibly a need that WAS something we could “handle”, whatever that meant.  The pull became stronger and stronger that this was something we needed to pursue.  I spent hours online reading stories, becoming informed, and the pictures…oh, the pictures.  But I think the moment I remember God just telling me, “Ann, go for it,” was this year on Martin Luther King Day–January 19th, of all places, in my rather messy closet.  I’d been mulling this over in my mind pretty much constantly for weeks, when I felt him impressing upon me, “Ann, YOU were special needs.” I couldn’t believe it.  How simple.  My illustrious kindergarten career was interrupted midyear by a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease.  Cancer.  A 50/50 chance of survival back around 1970.  And yet here I am, blessed enough to be happily married 20 years,  considering adopting our third child, I’ve earned a Master’s degree, 22 years of teaching under my belt, friends and family and hobbies…I’m leading a full life, I’d say.  God has been good to me, despite my close brush with death, despite the hours I spent looking up at my mother’s worried face as she tried to smile and tell me everything was OK.  The same face, waving to me through the tiny window as I had those daily radiation treatments that probably saved my life but also took away my ability to have children.  Yes, I’m special needs.  And I guess Jeff would be too.  His parents spent many terrifying hours watching him struggle just to breathe as he suffered severe childhood asthma.  They were missionaries in a foreign country, trying medications that gave him horrible nightmares and hallucinations–they would sit him up on the kitchen counter  and try to wake him out of his night terrors brought on by these medications…yes, he was special needs, too.  So on January 20, 2009, we sent in our application to the special needs program at America World.

The truth is, that despite the fact that most of us escape the delivery room without the label “special needs” being placed upon us because we ace the 10 fingers/10 toes test beautifully, and we may even earn a perfect APGAR score, we are all special needs in the eyes of our Maker.  We have gaping holes in our hearts that would stump the most gifted cardiologist.  Holes that won’t let us accept less than perfection…in others, and often times in ourselves.  I’ve struggled with this all my life, my greatest victim being myself.  So, I’m working on this.  And I’m not so worried anymore about what we can or can’t “handle”, because God knows, HE can handle it, and that’s all I need to know. We can’t wait to meet you, our sweet little one.  We love you already.  Your not-so-perfect mommy and daddy.


Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Comments (4)  

All of life can relate to American Idol somehow…

Maybe that’s why I like it.  Hopes, dreams, successes, failures, the ludicrous and ridiculous, some painfully obvious that they don’t have a chance, and yet against all odds it is all played out on the stage for all to see.  One of the things in the auditions that resonated with me this season was a 28-year old African-American man, a dad and a high school band director (I’m partial to him already…band directors made a huge impact on me growing up).  He does a decent job on a Michael Jackson Thriller number.  Simon and his posse are all duly impressed, and Simon says something to the effect that people usually fail miserably when doing MJ songs, but he did quite well–still, he’s wondering why the guy chose to do the song.  The guy answers unapologetically, “I like it.”  That’s it.  Take that, Simon.

And so here I am, and while I don’t really mind my students knowing how old I am (because at least they might trust that I know something if they think I have done this job a while, and am even older than most of their parents) I’m not going to hand them my age on a silver platter.  I may say, if they are so bold as to ask, “I’m as old as the St. Louis Arch and the Civil Rights Act.  I was not yet born when Kennedy was in office.”  They’re going to have to do some math and research to find out my age.  And yet, at this not so young age,  we’re going to adopt again.  WHY?  WHY?  Because, like the guy on American Idol, “We want to.” Because being around children is the most wonderful thing in the world.  Yes, it’s also the most exhausting, but is there anything worth doing that isn’t at some point exhausting?  How many adults reading this have someone you work with look at you and randomly say, “(Insert your name here), I love you.”  I have that at least once a week by the same child in my classroom, just out of the blue, for no reason.  Just because.  And the most wonderful moments of my life have been those I have experienced as a parent.  Being a mom.  Indescribable.  I love how Melany says it in Gone With the Wind, when she shares her news that she’s expecting, and Rhett Butler says it’s too dangerous:  “Captain Butler, children are life renewing itself.  And when life does that, danger seems very far away.”  (All right, I know she dies in the end because of this but THAT’S NOT THE POINT!  She said it so eloquently!)  Anyway, I’m very excited to have just sent in our special needs application which should speed things along after we’ve been waiting 2 1/2 years already on our little one from China.  Can’t wait to see where God leads us.  AHHHHH!!!!

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Comments (2)