Tuesday, March 27, 2007

my loooong day

Poor me. What a loooong day it becomes when you spend it saying "poor me."

One year ago today we found out that the 8 healthy-looking embryos created during our in-vitro process were, in fact, NOT healthy. Because of my age we'd had a test done prior to implanting any back into my uterus; this showed that not one of them was even viable.

While this did save us from going through the implantation, waiting for yet ANOTHER pregnancy test and getting yet ANOTHER negative result, it certainly didn't take the heartache away. In fact, in remembering that phone call, I get the same punch-in-the-stomach feeling I got a year ago. That call essentially ended our 9-year hope and belief that we could have a physical baby.

Here's the really crazy thing: a week ago I was feeling sickly, was having weird pains in my side and had a very sore chest. I thought maybe I was pregnant, so I took a test -- and started my period that same day.

Today I woke up to the verse John 7:38 on my verse-a-day calendar. Since last week's cycle barely lasted 2 days I started thinking "well, maybe I am pregnant and God is telling me that I tested too early... after all, when has my system EVER been normal?!" Luckily this time I didn't have a test in the house; I started my real period an hour later.

Do you realize how often this nearly-identical scene has played itself out in my house? Honestly, I wonder if this mind game I play with myself will quit. Will I ever be able to give up this obsession? This is FAR from the first time I've had a "verse promise" or weird physical symptoms that got my hopes soaring -- only to be dashed by the negative lines on those stinkin' sticks. If only we'd purchased stock in the "preganancy test" market years ago. We'd be zillionaires just from those I've bought.

I've said it before: my God has blessed me with a husband that is my best friend. For over a year now, we have reserved Tuesday nights for Date Night. I have no doubt God had this planned -- what a perfect ending to such a day as this.

God has also blessed me with a group of women friends and a Mom that help me hold my head above the water. None has gone through what I'm going through, but none judge me for my pity parties either. And each of them love me, listen to me, cry with me and simply remind me that they are there should I need them.

And then, of course, there is my Madison Claire. She saw me crying earlier and just came and put her little bitty arms around me. What more could a Mom ask than the unconditional, unquestioning love of her angel?

Today is over. Amen.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

my daughter's eyes

I have a close friend, Marie, who knows all songs and the artists who sing and/or wrote them! While I won’t even try to compare my abilities to hers, I do latch onto certain songs that touch me (hence my blog title), including this one that Claire told me about shortly after my Madison was born. Now when you play this song around Madison, sit back and enjoy her falsetto voice belting it out -- it's priceless!

Seriously, though, it seems Ms McBride wrote this song from MY heart, not her own. Have you had a chance to actually SEE my daughter’s eyes?! Each time I'm "enjoying" a pity party or feel ready to give up, her big brown eyes draw me back to reality: I AM BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE.

In My Daughter’s Eyes, Martina McBride
In my daughter's eyes, I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see:
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be in my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes, everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe, in my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about:
It's hangin' on when your heart has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up

I've seen the light: it's in my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes, I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see
How happy she made me
For I'll be there… in my daughter's eyes

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

my boat is rocking

There are several pregnant gals at church, as usual; many of which are close friends. Anytime I hear of a new pregnancy the waves threaten to tip my boat over for good. The crest of the wave is the celebration; I couldn't be happier for the miracle of life, especially in those I love. But the bottom of the wave is Satan reminding me that, once again, it's not me that's pregnant. I recently heard of another pregnancy that rocked the boat big time.

My close friend and I went through the infertility battle and studied the 7 barren women of the Bible together. She adopted her beautiful daughter almost 2 years prior to our adopting Madison. She was blessed to go on to become pregnant while her daughter was only months old. When Tuck and I adopted Madison, everyone said: "oh, you know what will happen now...." which of course, didn't happen.

Recently I became friends with a new gal at church who was in the middle of the infertility ride. She and her husband decided last year to go the adoption route and adopted their beautiful daughter in November. This same friend is now 8-9 weeks pregnant. Please understand that I am truly and sincerely thrilled for my friend. In fact, in a lot of ways her pregnancy is easier to hear about than others because I KNOW her heart. I've lived there.

But her pregnancy also makes me want to scream: Okay, God, why do I get to hear a zillion stories of adoptive parents who've gotten pregnant -- and witnessed it in two good friends -- and yet this miracle eludes me? Do you remember, God, that all 7 of the barren women in the Bible were ultimately blessed with pregnancies? What am I doing WRONG?!

Then my boat gently sways the other way... and I am reminded by a little brown-headed angel what I am doing RIGHT. I am being Mom to the daughter that God has given me. How could I possibly ask for more?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Team in Training

One of my good friends, Kristy, is training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for one of its Team in Training marathons. "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services. The Society's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families."

The athletes who sign up for Team in Training collect pledges for their event, all of which goes to the LL Society. In fact, they use 75 cents of every dollar donated to support their missions. So you can see that no donation amount is too small... even a $1 (tax-deductible) donation is helpful.

Kristy has asked her friends to tell others about this, so here it is, my friends and visitors. You can read more about it on her blog as well as her Team in Training page. You can even make your tax-deductible
donation on that page. I hope you'll consider donating to Kristy's efforts -- she needs half of her total pledge by March 29.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Do you ever feel taken aback by how blessed you are in your friendships?

I was at a wonderful event earlier: my city's annual all-day Creative Memories album-making event. As I worked on my family albums I listened to the conversations around me. Not in an eavesdropping way (honestly!), I was listening more to tones and feelings. I heard long-time friends catching up on life, compliments on creativity, stories about individual pictures, crying, laughing, smack-talk... and I was amused by the similarities of these conversations. This was a room full of girl friends hanging out, doing something they love!

On my hour-long drive home (alone in a rare, quiet moment) I thought of the girl friends that I love to hang out with. Sure, there are some friendships that are similar to others, but each of my friends reaches a different part of my heart; I need each one.

When I got home, my husband and his two closest friends were here hanging out & playing video games. These guys don't get to all 3 be together very often, but they've been friends since childhood. Though I'm not in the same room as them, the low rumble of their voices and bursts of frequent laughter tell me they haven't missed a beat since they last spent time together.

Here are some things I've learned about friends. Some of these are quotes I've copied; credit is given when I know who said it.

* Friends will pull you out of your pity parties, even when others have written you off.
* "A friend is one who knows the song of your heart... and sings it back to you when you've forgotten the words."
* Friends never make you feel bad for whining about the same thing you whined about yesterday.
* "Similarities can create friendships; differences can sometimes hold them together."
* True friends don't need to fill silences with words. They can also say just one word that conjures a memory of laughter and unbelievable silliness.
* "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away." (George Eliot)
* Friends don't judge your mistakes, but they lovingly let you know when you might have strayed.
* "Friendship doubles your joys, and divides your sorrows."
* When you're with true friends, you don't have to pretend you are something that you aren't.
* Friends can sometimes be more special and loving than family. The best friends become family.

Not a hugely original post, but I am feeling very blessed to be surrounded by such awesome, loving friends. Some have been here for a long, long time. Others are brand new but feel like they've been here as long. My friends who are reading this: please know that no matter how many days, months, years go by between our times together, I love you more than words can say.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

No more naps?

I'm realizing how spoiled I've been: my girl is a sleeper. She really has been since we switched her to soy formula at 3 months. At 4, she still sleeps 11+ hours at night and takes a 1-2 hour nap. That is until January 24, when our home was invaded.

Apparently, the builder of our subdivision (Pulte) came from the west coast. When they built in KS they didn't modify their building plan; therefore our homes weren't well-insulated or weather-proofed around the windows or doors. The word got out about 2 years ago (our home is only 6 years old) but I ignored the problem hoping it would just go away. That was fine until last summer when our back door leaked in a rainstorm for the bazillionth time.

We had the rep. come in August; he found enough damage to have the front and back insulation & siding replaced and the roof repaired (all on Pulte's bill). Five months later, the crew rolled in. We have an awesome crew -- Dave, Cody & Andy -- who've been great about trying to take late lunches for naptime, etc. But Madison has obsessed over all they are doing at all times. Just knowing they are here keeps her distracted almost all day! She wakes up at 7:00 asking, "Are our guys here yet, Mommy?" And the naps have stopped.

I realize most 4-year-olds are weaning off their naps anyway... but my issue is this: Madison is one who becomes a different child without sleep. We put her to bed at 7 on any night we don't have something going on and we put her down for naps on the weekends. She'll usually sleep one of the two days; the other day she just plays in her room and doesn't nap.

Even with those efforts, it's clear to anyone who knows her that Madison is just so tired. Even her teacher says she is spacy and detached. So my question is this: are we done with naps? Will her little body get used to it eventually? Or will we go back to napping, even occasionally, once the invasion is over? Only time will tell...