Monday, July 30, 2007


I bet you thought that this post was about my kids, didn't you?

It's not.

They are all perfectly well socialized little creature, thank you very much. Even Logan--who, for a time, was a concern thanks to his habit of gnawing on his playmates--has become quite a nice little social butterfly. All three of the children have a solid core of friends, enjoy outings and look forward to big gatherings. Atticus is the least engaging of the three, but even he longs for outside-the-family companionship now and then.

And then there's me.

That's right. I am actually the antisocial person in my house.

Before you ask, no--you can't blame it on homeschooling, because I most decidedly was nothomeschooled. I spent my days in classrooms of 30 or more kids, enjoying the best that my local public school had to offer. I had recess. Weekly music classes. I was in talent shows and band and the editor of my school newspaper. If you hold me up to the social measuring stick, for all intents and purposes I should have turned out just as conversational and engaging as the larger chunk of my biological family, or at least as social as the general public. And yet ... no. Clearly, I am missing some piece that would make being around other fill me up. Instead, it runs me down.

A lot of people don't realize this about me. They mistake service and inertia for a genuine desire to be surrounded by people. A look at my life probably does give the impression that I like being around people on a pretty constant basis: I participate in several ministries, lead this and coordinate that, show up at the group functions, yada yada. I guess I pull the whole thing off well enough, because when I finally get close enough to individuals to admit that spending time with groups of people is very much like slow torture for me, they are usually shocked. And my high school drama teacher said I couldn't act! :-)

I wish I could figure out exactly what about me makes being around other people so darn hard. It's not that I hate people, after all. I don't! The idea of parties and barbecues and so on just makes me tired and spent. Playdates on more than a weekly basis are ... a lot. I rarely feel the need to "get out with friends." I can go quite a long time without seeing someone and still feel close to them. A weekend like this past one (which was fun, but packed with a large group beach outing and a huge church barbecue) leaves me running on empty, even if I had a good time while I was there.

Despite these feelings, I do all of the above. First and foremost, I want my children to have the joy of being around others. They seem to have learned some skill that I lack, and have no problem negotiating a 40-person shindig. I like to think that this is because of my great parenting, but I have the distinct feeling that it has nothing whatsoever to do with me. Secondly, I feel very strongly that my family has been called to outreach and to mentoring. Obviously, we can't do that unless we are visible. Third, I believe in community service. While I can write wonderful emails for various causes from the comfort of my own home, I certainly can't be as big an influence as I can by sitting in on meetings and making my voice heard. Finally, I do it for the people in my life who delight in such things, and for whom time is a love language.

So I work toward conquering my inner hermit. I face the world and I smile and darn it, I engage. I schedule the outings. I go to the plays and the practices. I meet folks at the park and I get together for coffee. I am the team mom, the director, the leader, whatever it takes. And inside, I relish the times that I am able to look across the table at my little family of five enjoying a board game and think, "Now this, this is a party."

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is summer over yet?

Logan asked this morning if he could do school. Apparently, a week's worth of swimming lessons has put him in the mindset of needing a bit more of a schedule. Up until VBS earlier this month, we had maintained a nice rhythm of easy schoolwork in the mornings. That went down the drain quickly with the out-every-morning-by-8:30 thing, and we've only seemed to stay in that mode for the past three weeks. I've still managed to work on the art study that I had planned for the summer. Our focus has been on Monet, as all three dc are enchanted with the idea of painting the same scene over and over and over throughout the years. Some great resources we've used:

That's all well and good, as far as Logan is concerned, but he's ready for the full-on kindergarten treatment. So I guess it's time to pick a date and call it official. This is made much more difficult by the fact that we could--or could not--have a six month old baby girl joining our family in a few weeks. Should I go ahead and plan to start, and then if we postpone, just flow with it? Should I get going now, knowing that we will be on hiatus if this little one is meant for us? What's an adoptive mom trying to homeschool three kiddos to do?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nope, no news

We're just languishing here ... waiting for the call. Dh said this a.m. that this whole process has been great preparation for next time. Next time? Lord, let us find this child first ... :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We got a call

All I know is five and a half month old caucasian baby girl. She's been in care for four months. Bio mom and dad not in compliance with court orders and not showing up for visits. Negative drug test at birth. Do we want our names thrown into the social workers hat?

Oh, yes.

Prayers coveted for the little girl and her bio family, the worker as she makes her choice of a forever home for this little one, for our family to wait with hearts full of hope and for our hope to remain and grow even if the answer is "no."

Monday, July 23, 2007


Einstein held that time actually slows as you approach the speed of light. Atticus finds this exceptionally cool. As humans, we most often experience this phenomenon when we--or our loved ones--are in mortal danger. I had that opportunity today and I have to say it was anything but cool.

Our little town is located on one of the most deadly two-lane roads in the state. It's the main route into our fair city; anything else takes you through some seriously backwoods scenery. Now, I don't know the official standings, or where our highway falls in the rankings, but I do personally know several families who have lost loved ones on it. I've also driven past more than my fair share of hideous wrecks, including one that involved a train. This road is so bad that there is an unofficial call-chain in effect between at-home moms: when you learn that the road has been closed (which is only done in the case of a fatality), you spread the news so that all the husbands on their evening commute home can prepare to take the scenic route or log in more work hours instead of behind-the-wheel-waiting-in-traffic hours.

I was driving on this road this morning when one of the many double dump trucks that frequent the route slowed down to make a wide right turn. This meant that everyone westbound had to stop rather suddenly. This was no huge deal for me--I am a granny driver and leave a full seven-to-ten car lengths between me and the car in front of me whenever I travel this highway. As I slowed to a stop behind the Tahoe that had been traveling in front of me, I looked in my
rear view mirror. Coming up fast was the massive, fully-loaded logging truck that had been barreling behind me. Suddenly, I had the realization that it was not stopping. As I watched, time most definitely slowed. I remember shouting "Pray, now!" to my children in the back of the Suburban. Immediately, they went from singing and signing to last year's VBS CD to wide-eyed "Dear God ..." praying.

But the truck kept coming.

And in what was surely just milliseconds (but felt like hours) I realized that I had to make a choice. The shoulder of the road was already lined with cars who were waiting to make a right behind the dump truck. And there was no chance of the truck avoiding hitting me. Either I had to sit there and wait for that logging truck to smash into first my three babies and then me, or I had to take my chances by crossing the yellow line and dodging any oncoming traffic in an attempt to get to the safety of the opposite shoulder.

I wasn't so much praying as talking with God when I snapped the wheel to the left and pulled over the yellow. I don't remember what I said, but Jo said it was something along the lines of needing an angel right then and there.

And of course, God showed up.

I can tell you that it was a miracle that no cars were heading east at exactly that moment, but you can't truly appreciate the depth of it unless you know this road. There was nothing coming. When I realized this, I started to cry. I had made up my mind to take a head-on collision (at 60 mph) in the hopes of somehow saving my kids and ... there was nothing there.

The logging truck squealed and groaned to a shuddering stop well past where my Suburban had sat. I guess I wasn't the only one who had been expecting disaster, because the man driving the Tahoe jumped out of his truck and started screaming and pointing at the truck driver. As for me, I just sat on the shoulder watching the lines and lines of cars heading east and cried and shook and praised God.

Time had most certainly slowed just as the situation reached critical mass. I had time to make a choice--certain death for me, probably the child in the center row and maybe save the two kids in the back, or certain death for all of us?--where clearly there should have been no time at all. But what I am really thankful for is that the hand of God rested firmly on us all today. Time is, after all, His.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Still waiting

A lot of people have asked, so I am posting an update here. Yes, we are still waiting for news on a placement for adoption. Since we are completely finished with all paperwork and other such, we have been in the official "hurry up and wait" holding pattern for what feels like years. Our agency is very careful not to give you false hope in the form of "could be," which is both a blessing and a curse. While I'm happy not to be pining for a child that the Lord never meant to be mine, there are certainly days when I could do with the proverbial dog's bone, if you know what I mean.

The children are fairing far better than dh and I. Jo prays every night that the Lord will help those at the agency find the children that He intends for us, and never forgets to add, "And
please, make one of them be a girl." I'm praying for her sake that her reaction--should her new siblings be brothers and nary a sister--is similar to the one she had when she so desperately wanted Logan to be a girl. Despite the fact that he is every inch a male, she joyfully accepted another brother without skipping a beat.

For his part, dh has taken to hijacking babies at church service and picnics. I've never seen him so eager to give parents of infants such a helping hand! The other day, in a burst of exceptional sweetness, he bought me a small token to mark the time of waiting. Here it is:
I think that sums this season up perfectly.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Building our library of games

O.k., o.k. I hear you. I've been MIA for almost an entire month. I'm sorry. Life in the summer tends to be a bit more hands-on than I expect, and my computer time dwindles to nearly nothing. When we get back on a regular schedule, I'll pick up in my posting. Promise.

Yesterday, I traveled to a local used store and picked up $32 worth of new (to us) games to add to our collection. As Logan grows and enters a similar level of game play as Jo and
Atticus, I'm finding that "Ants in the Pants" and "Don't Spill the Beans" are being left on the shelves more and more, and things like "The Lewis and Clark Adventure" are in rotation more often. Games are so darn expensive that I can rarely fit them into our budget, so the used store is a nice compromise. For my $32, I bought 6 games. Here they are:

One I have wanted ever since I saw it for $24.95 in a Rainbow Resources catalog about four years ago. I paid
$10. It was the most expensive game, but I think it'll be worth it!!!
One for Logan to play with a new little brother or sister:
This one has already been played
twice. I guess that means it was worth the $3.50 I paid for it!

Logan was tickled to death to find this one. He used his own money to buy it, and spent part of the morning leafing through the reproduction cards and categorizing them.

Because we are
homeschoolers. Because we are history geeks. Because my family would love to be on a PBS reality series like "Colonial House," but the closest we get is board game reenactments.

And, just for fun--a game
dh played with his grandmother as a little boy. He is itching to play it with the kids. I sure hope it lives up to his memory!