Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Checking In

I'm home and getting back in to the swing of things, just long enough to get ready to go again. We leave for HI next week!

My trip to CA was nice. I was there for 2 days in January for a trade show but I worked the entire time so it wasn't much of a visit. So besides that, I hadn't been out there in a year, which is unusual for me. We're so closely located that I usually get to go at least a few times per year.

I spent a lot of time with my parents. Unfortunately, my dad is the economy's newest victim, but what that meant for me was that he was home during the day, giving us a lot more time than we usually have when I visit and he works his crazy insane hours.

We did a lot of fun things--hanging out, movies, shopping and a studio tour in Los Angeles. It was fun to just spend some quality time with them.

Another friend from college is now living just over the hill from my folks so I got to spend a morning with her and her adorable little son, so that was great, too.

Another highlight was getting to have lunch with another Snowflake Mommy and her four kids, two of whom are Snowflakes. That was a real treat because I've gotten to speak with her several times over email and the phone, but she's even more great in person so that was neat. She also knows our GPs and has in general been a great support through this for both families.

I took one day and went down to the town our University is in and I connected with a lot of old friends who still live in the area. It was a whirlwind trip but it was really really good for me.

On that same day I was able to have lunch with our coordinator at Nightlight. That was a real treat, too. It gave the process a dimension of "realness" to me. I've felt sort of disconnected from everything, living so far away. Southern California has a built in support system of the agency itself and of the majority of its families who live locally but out here we're a little more on our own. Meeting her, seeing the office, meeting the other workers (including a former college classmate who now works there!) were all really neat opportunities for me. Plus, it was such a night and day difference from our experience with the agency here. Our caseworker here was great but I never really felt like we "clicked" with her and our experience with the rest of the agency...well, you already know that story. Walking in to Nightlight was SO different and I could sit and talk to Megan (caseworker here) for hours! It was really a neat experience.

I think one of my favorite memories of the weekend was going to brunch with "my kids." When I was in junior high and high school, I babysat the 5 combined kids of two families who were/are each other's best friends. I was also their Sunday School teacher, their camp counselor, their Pioneer Clubs teacher, their VBS teacher, and their children's church teacher. The oldest was a bit too old when I met their families and the youngest a smidge too young for me to know as well, but the middle three and I have always had really close relationships, even now. I stayed in touch with them all through college, connecting up with them every time I was home. Well now, the youngest of the three is in her senior year of high school and the oldest is getting ready to enter the Police Academy and is really serious about his darling girlfriend. I always love to see them so I was thrilled that they all made time to come see me and we enjoyed a few hours of catching up. Nothing makes your heart swell more than seeing kids you love grow up to be really good people who love the Lord and who love each other. I couldn't be prouder of them and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to be a part of their lives and for them to be a part of mine.

I shared with them this weekend that I firmly believe God used them and their parents (one set to whom I am also very close) to fashion my heart for adoption. I couldn't love these kids more than if they were my own siblings or nieces or nephews, and yet I don't share a drop of DNA with them. Loving them has always been so natural. Loving my dad has been the same way. So in that regard, (the idea of loving someone as my own, though I'm not related to them officially), adoption has never been scary for me.

My mom and I also spent a lot of time going through my grandparents' old family photos. Some of them were more than 100 years old! She gave me some, and I scanned others, and I have the happy job now of trying to piece everything together. My grandma, though a owner of copious amounts of photos, was a little lax in the documenting and story telling side of things, so I've been pouring over photos with a magnifying glass and clues about dates gathered from wardrobes, lighting and props. It's been great fun and a real joy for me.

I've got another wicked migraine headache tonight. I used to get them 3 or 4 times a week and that went on for 7 years. I finally got some relief after we were married, and until recently, I only got a few a year. But this is the second one I've had this month. I'd really love for them to stay away so I'd love your prayers for relief from this one and for protection from an onslaught of more of them.

I'm back home now and have spent the last two days doing laundry, making a grocery list, paying bills and catching up on emails and orders. I officially announced that I'm closing my business, so I have a LOT of orders that people have placed since the announcement. I'm trying to get all caught up this week so I can spend next week just preparing for our trip. They're coming...slowly but surely, but they're getting done.

S&B (our GPs) wrote to tell us that they signed the relinquishment papers last week. I'm not sure what that means for us because it's not a Nightlight step. Nightlight thinks it must be a step for their clinic because Nightlight hasn't issued contracts yet. Pray for our GPs...this is a big, difficult step. It's sombering to think that any adoption and the family built from it is built from someone else's loss. That really hit me today and my heart was aching for our GPs. So if you think of it, pray for them. And pray for all of the families who choose to place children for adoption. I can't imagine that loss.

I have more to write but my head hurts too much to continue. As it is I've worked on this post for more than an hour, which is long for me. TTFN. I'm trying to catch up on blog rounds. I hope you all are well!