Sunday, January 04, 2009
Sorry for not blogging much lately, I have been pretty sick and am just now feeling human. I had a bad case of strep throat that is hanging on longer than I expected. I think I will take my mom's advice and go on preventative antibiotics from Dec 15th through Jan 15th each year, as it seems that "Holiday Illness" is fast becoming a LaJoy Family Tradition, one I would gladly let go of. I have been beyond blessed to have the crew I have this year at the restaurant who have helped me make it through. Without them, I would be in big trouble and I am thankful to them all for their help.
The Natives (i.e. Da Boys) have been fantastic stuck at home as Dad runs all over like an overgrown chicken with his head cut off trying to cover two locations and all the extras of our life, while Mom is laying around like a slug. I have been coddled and cared for, tucked in and had pillow thrones made for me, I have been hugged and asked at least 100 times "How are you feeling now mommy?". But I think that as of yesterday the Natives were officially getting restless. In to save the day came our friends who whisked them away for church and then a great afternoon playing games, frosting delicious cupcakes, and seeing a movie. I appreciated their care so much, just getting the boys out for the day was so nice for them.
I had a long phone conversation with a friend this afternoon that due to being sick I was unable to visit while she was back in town. You ever have those friends who you could just talk to for hours? The ones who understand your life can be messy but that doesn't mean you don't love them anyway, even if you can't always be who you'd like to be for them? I have no doubt we could have visited another 2 hours if we had both been up to it, but we each had to get back to our "real life" so we had our fill until we can see one another again, or until we email back and forth to keep up with one another. She is one of the most astute, intelligent, articulate women I have ever met and ours is an unlikely friendship to the outside world, but I am so glad that neither she nor I have figured that out!
So I am not one much for resolutions, as I don't really think that promises made merely because we say "Hey, it is the first day of the year!" are really worthy of keeping. No, it tends to be those quiet moments of reckoning when those resolutions we make are most likely to be kept. But in the spirit of the whole "New Year Thing", I guess I will put forth a few here and we will see in 2010 if I have kept a single one.
1) I will find a way to make more quiet time for myself. I will care for myself the way I try to care for others, and my biggest need is alone time WITHOUT a task before me. In all honesty, I'll bet this is the first one I totally blow and can't keep even if I try, but it is also the one I need to make a real effort to keep.
2) I will make the effort every day to really be with Dominick, even if only for a few minutes. No more only the hastily issued "I love you!" in passing as we rush about to do whatever it is that we think is SO important at the moment.
3) I will spend more time individually with each of my children. I will point out their strengths more, I will let them know just how cool I think they are.
4) I will lose weight. Yea...right...I already give up on that one, depressing though it is.
5) I will try and figure out who I am supposed to be when I grow up, how God plans to use me in the future, what this whole lay ministry thing is supposed to be for. And even if I get an answer I don't like or understand I vow to follow it anyway.
6) I will dream ever bigger dreams, for small dreams are for those who don't have faith that God can do even more.
7) I will try and recognize that I simply can not be all things to all people, and I will try not to be hurt if someone expresses disappointment in me or what I have to offer.
8) I WILL become a mommy again this year. I will...I really will...and I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!
9) I will learn to lean on those who offer a shoulder, I will learn to be more gracious at accepting the kindness of others. It's really hard.
10) I will care for others in the ways I can, even if it seems insignificant. Sometimes, what is insignificant to us is actually profound for someone else.
11) NO NO NO NO NO I will NOT give up Diet Coke!!!! Sorry, that is asking WAYYYYYYY TOOOOO Much!
I had a couple of really touching emails this week that I responded to. I will not share details here, but I felt so moved that these people would seek me out to ask me some very poignant and incredibly difficult questions about circumstances in their lives relating to adoption and family.
You know, adopting can be such a lonely place to be in. We are forced to make decisions or are confronted with our own feelings about situations that we never imagined having to deal with. Others around us, no matter how much they love us or care for us simply can not understand what it is like unless they have walked a mile in those shoes. The moral compass we use in our daily life can suddenly seem out of whack when we consult it to steer us in our adoption journey. So many decisions we wish we NEVER had to make, so many possible outcomes that affect us for the rest of our lives.
We question God, we question ourselves, we question our motives. We ask God "Why? Why can't you just let it be next week...month...year...and let the answer reveal itself so I don't have to figure it out?". And more often than not, we try to force it all, figuring we know best or we'll help God out a bit with this one, instead of just letting it all happen as it will.
Dominick and I have walked this lonely place a few times now, we have paced back and forth during the darkness of night as we wondered if we were indeed doing the right thing, we have looked into faces on videos and in photos and asked ourselves "Is that really my son or daughter?" wishing more than anything that we could have a perfect Magic 8 Ball to tell us what to do. We have cried many, many tears...some alone, some foolishly in front of many...as we have built our family. We have asked over and over "I wonder what they will be like? I wonder if he/she will be the fit that we dream they will be?". We have sobbed at feeling like we are playing God with our decisions, we have ached for children left behind.
I want to let you know, each and every one of you, that I will ALWAYS answer any email or phone call you may make. I will NEVER ignore your plea for help, for encouragement, for insight. We are not experts, and I never want to present myself as such.
But I know how it feels. I really, really do. I can almost guarantee that I can guess what doubts or fears are going through your own head before you can even voice them, because I have had the very same ones myself.
As the frustration with Kyrgyzstan continues to go on and on, as children are waiting for you to come get them and are growing older by the day, as you find yourself having to readjust your image of the child you hope to eventually parent, I want to urge you to reach out. Reach out to me, reach out to one another, reach out to anyone who will listen and really understand where you are at and what you are feeling.
You don't have to be alone in this.
And with that ridiculous soliloquy, I welcome 2009!!! May it be good to each of us.
During these waning days of summer, new adults are slowly blossoming and, for one, childhood is very gradually beginning its tentative wave...