25 Random Things...

If you're on Facebook, you know that the 25 Random Things is going around. I finally gave in to the pressure and published 25 random things about me. I thought it would be fun to post it here, too, for all you "non facebook friends".

You are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

1. I think Christianity is the best religion of all. The fact that the Creator of the Universe wants to be my FRIEND, is amazing. And Friend He is ... my best one.
2. I am an introvert by nature, but have learned early on in life to play the role of an extrovert too. If given the choice of a good book or a group of people, I'd pick the book every time. Most people are surprised to learn this about me.
3. I majored in Accounting in College because several professors encouraged me to and I was good at it. I often wonder why, as it's not my passion. I worked in a CPA firm before kids and did audits and taxes. It wasn't fun then and it doesn't sound fun now. I often wonder what I should be when I grow up.
4. Sometimes I wonder how flies can get SO FAR out into Lake Michigan.
5. I am a closet hymn lover. I have CDs of hymns in my car, and sometimes crank the volume very high and sing along. My husband does not understand this about me.
6. I have an intense aversion to vomit. If I'm around it for more than a minute, I'll vomit myself and then it's all over. My husband now believes this aversion is real, and gladly cleans up after the kids when they get sick. One of my biggest fears it that when I meet my son in Ethiopia he's going to throw up and I'm going to freeze.
7. I used to be able to stick my entire fist in my mouth. I haven't attempted this in a while so I'm not sure I can still perform this amazing human trick.
8. I don't see the need to wear a bathing suit in my own hot tub, when I'm alone, in the dark, in my own backyard.
9. If I were to die tomorrow, a lot of people would come to my funeral, but only a handful would have really known me.
10. The worst role I play in life, by far, is "boss's wife". There is not one good things about this role ... belive me, I've looked.
11. After my immediate family, the 2 people I'm most passionate about are my sisters. I am so thankful they're in my life, and hope we will grow very old together. It makes me sad that Ella doesn't have one.
12. I can't believe I'm only on #12
13. I really dislike winter. Really.
14. I have a problem with sliding into ditches. I once slid into the very same ditch twice in one winter. So far this year, I've only needed to be pulled out of a snowbank once; but it's only January.
15. I like it when my husband plays poker every other Thursday night. I like being home alone; even though I don't do anything differently than when he's here.
16. Almost every day I spend $1 at Quality Car Wash on a Diet Coke. Most of the time I try to bring in my old cup, so it only costs me 75cents. Then I put my quarter into the Holland Rescue Mission change box. This makes me feel better about my bad habit.
17. I am a strange shopper. I shop in 2 modes. Super cheap or frivolous. Think Kohls with lots of coupons or the Outpost. Thankfully, the combination of the 2 kind of evens out.
18. Sometimes I worry that I talk about myself too much.
19. I have a recurring dream several times a year. I show up to Math class and it's exam day, but I realize I haven't been to class all semester.
20. If I were very rich, I would have fresh sheets on my bed every night and fresh flowers in the house all the time.
21. I have very Dutch roots. I've even visited my mom's family in the Netherlands. I always thought my Dad's family was Dutch, too, and that I was a "pure bred". There are now rumors circulating in East Saugatuck that my Dad's family was not Dutch, but rather German. My family thinks this is funny but I do not.
22. I really like Tulip Time. I even went to some of the tourist things last year. I'm not making this up. I'm actually a little offended when people mock it.
23. I've never lived anywhere except Holland, and I now live in the same house I grew up in.
24. When I was little and my Mom couldn't find me, I was in my neighbors raspberry patch. Raspberries are still my most favorite food .... of all!
25. I like being 32 better than being 22. I'm hoping the trend continues.


the Last?

There's a fanastic children's book that talks about kid's "lasts". If I'm honest, I think it's really writtten for Moms and not so much for kids. The couple of times I've read it to Ella she kind of looks at me with that look that says "you're odd Mom .... and I don't quite get it". I have never been able to read it with out crying. It's all about kid's "lasts".

As parents, we celebrate all the "firsts". 1st tooth, 1st word, 1st day of school, 1st bike ride with no training wheels, 1st soccer game, ect etc. BUT, do we ever stop and contemplate the "lasts"?

Do I remember the last bottle I fed my kids? Did I realize the last time they reached for my hand in a new place? How about the last time they cried when I dropped them off somewhere? The last picture that was colored just for me. The last Thomas the Train track we built together? The last time Noah sat in my lap while I read a book to him. All those "lasts" may have happened, but did I even recognize them? If I did, I would have held on a little longer. I would have read one more book, requested one more picture, took one more time around the track, cuddled for a few more minutes.

Last night, Ella came creeping into our room around 2am. "Mom", she whispered, "I had a bad dream. Can I crawl in with you?" "I dreamt about something under the deck that made a whooo whooo sound". It hit me after the little Ella arm bonked my head, and the Ella breath was in my face; this could be a last. Maybe not, but it sure has been awhile since one of the kids crawled in. I don't remember when the last time Noah did. I'm thankful I had the thought, so I could cherish the moment. Next time, maybe she'll wake up, realize it was just a dream, and go back to sleep. That's OK, but I'm going to hang on to the Ella breath in my face for as long as I can.

Yesterday, Noah spilled his OJ at breakfast. Was that a last? If so, I'm sure glad I bit my tongue and responded with grace. I'm glad I didn't get frustrated, or irritated, but instead used the time to teach that mistakes happen, and in this house, if we both work together we can clean up anything. His mistakes are going to grow as he does. Pretty soon it won't be about spilled juice, but bigger stuff. I hope he remembers that together we can clean up anything, and that our house is full of grace & love, no matter how sticky things around him get.

This is one of the hardest parts of being a parent. I know I'm helping them grow to be their own people, to be healthy, and independent, and able to live well. It's just hard to see it happen so quickly, and realize even though we have so many 1sts yet to record, there are a lot of lasts going on too. Today I'm going to treasure each moment, and pray that God gives me the strength I need to see the lasts; and savor them.


The Line has moved

I was in contact with our agency yesterday and our line has moved! There are now 3 families ahead of us waiting for a little boy. That doesn't seem like a lot, and yet at the same time it does.

So many people have made "pregnancy" comments like "it's like you're pregnant but not carrying the child". That's a really nice thought but not really how we're feeling. The thing about a pregnancy is that you get a due date. And although the baby might not come exactly on the day you're planning for (right Julie?!?), most of the time you can at least predict the month, and for sure the year!! With this adoption thing, who's to say what day, month or even year our child will join our family! I'm not complaining, and please keep your comments coming, but just for the record; I don't feel pregnant :)

I'm still checking caller ID every time the phone rings to see if it says "AAI" on the screen. So, at the very least, if you call I'll know it's you.

That's all I've got for now...


Invisible is OK

I heard a fantastic comparison today between moms and cathedral builders. The cathedral builders of old would often work their entire lifetimes building something they would never see completed. They would work, day in and day out, on tiny, intricate details that were part of a larger beauty. They toiled, sweat and did the best they could, all for God's glory. The history books very rarely include the names of these great builders. They did what they did for God alone, not for fame or a legacy. They constructed in silence, with the sole purpose of building something greater than themselves, for someone greater than themself. They were invisible, at least to man.

As a mom, I often wonder if I'm invisible too. Does anyone care that their socks are matched? Does anyone notice the effort that went into a healthy, hot meal that tastes good too? Did the top bunk get made all on it's own? How does that snack get into the backpack each day?

It's easy to feel invisible around kids. They interupt when I'm talking on the phone. They demand my attention even when it should be clear I'm in the middle of something. Their needs come first, in fact, I'm not even sure they realize I have needs.

It's easy to dislike being invisible. It would be easy to demand some respect. Demand some thanks. Demand that someone sit up and take notice of all the things that just "happen" to get done.

Except that it's not about me. My life, and my purpose, and my work is not about me.

It's about something greater than me, for someone greater than me. My work is not for my kid's happiness, my husband or even for myself. It's for the God who created me. He's the one who notices and the one who sees even when others don't. He hears the prayers that are sent up sometimes by the second. He sees the brownies that are lovingly prepared just for a smile in return. He knows the love that goes into bedtime prayers. The dreams that are dreamt. He sees a heart that loves, that wants to obey, that gives for nothing in return. He notices, and loves me for who I am.

I am building something greater than myself. I will probably never see it completed in my lifetime, but that's OK. I am loved, and cherished and a daughter of God. Even if somedays I feel invisible.


Slow Line

I couldn't help it ... I emailed our agency today to see if our "line" had moved any. It had been a month since I last asked ... surely someone must have gotten "crossed off" the list because they received a referral! No such luck. We remain at #5. I guess I can stop looking anxiously at caller ID every time the phone rings.

Oh well, God knows what He's doing and His timing is perfect. It must be this cold, wintery weather that's got me anxious. Cabin fever can do strange things to a person ... at least this person. My vitamin D pills just aren't the same as good old fashioned sunshine. Spring will be here soon enough, and maybe then I can start staring at the phone with a little more hope.



It's here ... 2009. The year we're bringing our new son home. The year our little guy gets to put an end to hunger, illness, loneliness and hopelessness. The year our family gets to welcome another child; love another soul; teach another little person about love, grace, hope & joy. It's here and we can hardly wait!