Friday, September 24, 2010

Meet my friend. You're gonna love her.

First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for weighing in on the debate about public vs. private.  I have decided to definitely stay public, and I feel really comfortable with that decision.  I still want to stay open and honest, but I am going to make sure I am careful when I address certain subjects.  The truth is- it's not just this blog that means a lot to me... it's your comments and input that really make it mean the most.  So thank you for that.  Really.  Being a mom can sometimes be a very isolating experience, and for a person like me who thrives on connection and interaction, that isolation can feel like a death sentence.  (okay, so that sounded really dramatic.  but you know what I mean.  ;-)  So thank you for giving all you give- both in your blogs and in your comments.  It all means a lot to me!

Now, for a bit about my life.  In the real world, I, like most of you, wear a lot of hats.  I am not only a mom, but also a:
voice actor
literacy consultant
data website support person
curriculum/assessment writer
home-room mom
school volunteer
Sunday school teacher
Bible study attendee

All of those titles can give me life, and also suck the life right out of me.  Sometimes all at the same time.  We all know how important it is to take some time to fill up on the things that really feed us... and this weekend I did just that.

This is my dear friend Becky.  She feeds me.  She is so vivacious and effervescent that it cannot help but spill on to everyone who is lucky enough to be around her.  She lives in Atlanta, so unfortunately for me I don't get to be around her in person very often, but we make a bit effort to get together at least once a year and either go to a spa or to a U2 concert, depending on where Bono is at the time.  ;-)  She came to town this past weekend and I think the photo below pretty much sums up our time together.

We spent a little time at our farm (where I sent Mick with all the children for the weekend so that I could be free of all responsibilities- yeah for Daddies!!!) and Becky rode a 4-wheeler for the first time.  It was fun.  
(Forgive me if I sound less enthusiastic than Becky was- this is something that I have to get to do all. the. time.)

Before Avé even came home Becky knew what she wanted to give to my daughter as a gift.  A little background.  Becky has 4 kids- 1 son and 3 daughters, 2 of which are twins.  On one of our little get-togethers (in Chicago to see U2!) Becky talked me into going to a store that she wanted to visit.  Realize that I only had sons at the time, and that will help you understand a bit about my manic aversion to THE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL STORE.  It was, well... it was a moment.  It was all I could do not to stand by the cash register and tell the women who were buying doll shoes that cost $12 that "there are children in this world w/o shoes- but by all means... buy some more for your daughter's DOLLS!!!"  It was (in retrospect) a riot.  So you won't be at all surprised to hear that I have not and do not intend to buy Avé any of those products, nor will it surprise you to hear that Auntie Becky has decided that she WILL.  So since this was the first time they would meet... Auntie Becky brought Avé a "Bitty Baby" from American Girl.  And, (shocker!) she loved it!  

Avé wearing "farm clothes", but still managing to look adorable.  

LOVE the look on her face here!

Friends for life.

And she loved her Auntie Becky.  But who wouldn't???  I love her, I know that.  She gives me life.  She knows everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!) about me and still adores me.  She makes me more ME. 

But there's more!!!  Becky is a blogger- and you should read her blog because with it she is making a real difference.  You see, over the past 2 years Becky has lost 100 pounds and kept it off for the past 6 months!  Amazing, right???  And on her blog she is giving away all her secrets!!!  But here's the deal... it's not really about weight loss.  It's about (re)discovering who you really are and who you really want to be and finding a way to BE that person and HAVE that life you have always wanted.  Because God created you to be YOU.  You really can't do all the good things you are supposed to do on this Earth if you aren't being who God created you to be.  And Becky got back in touch with that and is helping so many women do the same.  So go check it out.  My friend Becky is a STAR.  I love and adore her and was filled up by her this past weekend.  I'm so thankful she's in my life.  I'm LUCKY.  And grateful.

(I've been trying to embed a video she made, but it's not working.  Here's a link to her "Victory Lap."  It's amazing.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Private? Public? Just thinking out loud here...

Wondering.  I'm wondering about going private on this blog.  Here's the deal:  this blog is a really great thing for me.  It allows me to not only record certain events in my family's life, but also to process and digest and even get feedback on so many thoughts, ideas, and circumstances that happen in my life as a mom.  But, I'm realizing, (yes, perhaps a bit late) that once I put something out there on the internet, (SPOILER ALERT!) IT'S OUT THERE ON THE INTERNET!!!   

I am a naturally gregarious person.  I'm an ENFJ/T, if the Meyers-Briggs means anything to you. While I am intensely private about some things, I also like the fact that I am a very honest and open person.  I truly think that by being real and honest about who we are and what we struggle with it can help others.  But what about when it comes to being honest and open about... our kids???

I know that I have benefitted greatly by reading other adoption blogs.  From the paper chase to following families who have been home for years, I have learned and grown and benefitted from what they are willing to share.  But somehow I tend to write thinking that the only people who will read this blog are:
A.  People I know and trust intimately.
B.  Fellow adoptive family bloggers who I don't know in person, but who I share this incredible story with and therefore they become people who I know and trust intimately.

But the reality is... once it's out there... it's out there.  I have been in situations in the past 6 months where (totally innocently!) someone I know mentioned something about our story (that they read on my blog) to someone I don't really know all that well- and the person who I really don't know asked me about some piece of information that I felt was too private for this random person to know.  But... it's my own fault!!!  I wrote it and put it out there!  No one to blame but me.

Here's the deal.  Avé has been really processing some things in her past.  I know she is just 3, but that girl is smart as a whip and has a deep soul.  She *gets* what she has been through.  She has finally started to grieve all she has lost, which I know is a very good thing.  But while I am really longing for some advice or even just camaraderie over some of these events, I am really, really hesitant to share what is really going on at any depth because of what I mentioned before.  In addition to all that, it's totally HER story.  Who am I to put HER intimate details out there on the internet for just anyone to read???  But at the same time, I feel that I have benefitted from so many adoption blogs that really share the whole truth, maybe I should return the favor-  maybe I should just put it all out there.

Or... maybe I should just make this blog full of the light stuff and leave it at that.  But I know myself.  That won't hold my interest for long and eventually I'll abandon it all together.   But yet I hesitate to make this blog private simply b/c, well, because I don't read private blogs.  Terrible, I know.  Even the ones I have been invited to read.  It's like remembering that password is just one more thing for my brain to hold on to and it just doesn't happen.  So... there's that.  I'm afraid if I go private no one will ever read this blog again and then how can I bounce ideas off all of you and hear your opinions on how cute my girl was on the first day of school???  (note to self: GOTTA post those first day of school pix asap!!! this is getting ridiculous!!!)

So.  I'm wondering... And I'm asking.  Fellow bloggers, what do you think???  I know many of you have struggled with and wrestled out these same issues.  If you have it all figured out, please share what helped you come to your decision.  If you are struggling like me, share your thoughts on what you have come up with so far.  HELP!

PS- is it possible to make SOME posts private and others not???  I looked around a bit on blogger, but it looks like you have to be all or nothing.  Thoughts???

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Has it ALREADY been 6 months?" ...and... "Has it ONLY been 6 months?""

Six months ago TODAY we met 
this precious little girl...

...and she has not only stolen OUR hearts, 
but those of everyone she meets.

We are amazingly blessed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Her JOB is to judge me.

This afternoon our social worker will visit for our 6 month post-placement visit.  I'm really glad that she is such a lovely person because it always seems that when she comes to judge me check on our family my children always act like RAVING LUNATICS.  Seriously.  Last time she was here I was so mad after she left (I made sure she drove out of the driveway- I didn't want any last minute "I forgot my briefcase" returns during the rant that was coming!) I completely lost it and yelled, "GET OUT!" at my kids and then sent them outside telling them that I was going to put some lemonade and some cups on the back porch and I didn't want to see nor hear them for at least 30 minutes-  possibly the whole afternoon.  Seriously.  They were that bad.  At one point during her visit I said to 7 year old Ben (in front of our social worker!), "Ben, I hope you realize that you are arguing with your 3 year old sister... OVER A BABY DOLL."  Yes. Shame is one of my best parenting techniques.  Please learn from me, as I share my wisdom!!!

So.  Fingers crossed that my children act like the delightful little beings they are capable of being instead of horrible, bratty, naughty, talking-back little brats like last time.  I mean- let's face it.  I'm not trying to fool our social worker into thinking we're something we are not... I just want her to see the BEST that we can be, not our absolute, stinking, rotting, screaming at my kids with my eyes, barely holding it together selves while she is here.  Is that too much to ask???  Please tell me that your kids act crazy in front of your social worker too!  Please tell me that it's a common problem!  Even if you have to lie.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pix from this morning

I just wish she was a little more comfortable in front of the camera...

...and maybe just a teensy bit animated.

Selam! G'day! Hello!