Monday, March 31, 2008
19) Operating Instructions, by Ann Lamott
20) Atonement, by Iam McEwan
21) Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida
I am closer to being caught up -- 1/4 of the year is finished and I'm only 4 books behind the necessary pace to read 100 books in 2008. I need to put on some speed!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Nine days later, Gary & Liz were married in the Presbyterian church in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Happy Anniversary to Nana & Bumpa!
You remember dating in high school and college? The awkwardness, the cheap beer, the dumb conversations? Well, I think that was much easier that trying to find potential "friends with the right aged kids" dating. We met a promising couple in our adoption agency's parenting class a month ago. They are about our age, are artistic, funny, church-going (Methodists!) and have a little boy the same age as Lily who loves trains as much as Thomas.
We had our first "date" with this family today. A long morning of playing at the Whittle Shortline Railroad and lunch at Fitz's Root Beer. One of the common deal-breakers in our past family dating forays involve the weirdness that some feel when they discover we are both pastors -- luckily we sensed none of that today. Things went well. I guess we will ask them out on a second date.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Sorry, I know it is annoying how I've been changing my template lately. I didn't know I could before! I promise I will leave this one for a while...
Brett finished his written Ph.D. comprehensive exams today. He meets with his committee in two weeks for the oral defense. After that, he will write a dissertation prospectus. So -- one more big hurdle cleared -- and a couple biggies still to go!
This meme is quite fascinating. The idea is that the more bolded statements you have, the more privileged a life you have led. A great exercise...
What Privileges Do You Have?
Based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University.
(If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.)
Directions: Bold the statements that apply to you.
- Father went to college.
- Father finished college.
- Mother went to college.
- Mother finished college.
- Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
- Were the same or higher social class than your high school teachers.
- Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
- Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
- Were read children’s books by a parent.
- Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (assuming that sports count).
- Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 (assuming that sports count).
- The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.
- Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.
- Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs. (I am not bolding this one because I had academic scholarships).
- Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.
- Went to a private high school. (Over my mother's dead body! We are public school believers for generations...)
- Went to summer camp.
- Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
- Family vacations involved staying at hotels.
- Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.
- Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
- There was original art in your house when you were a child.
- You and your family lived in a single-family house.
- Your parents owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
- You had your own room as a child.
- You had a phone in your room before you turned 18. (I didn't only because my parents would have never seen me again if I'd have had my own phone).
- Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.
- Had your own TV in your room in high school.
- Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.
- Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.
- Went on a cruise with your family.
- Went on more than one cruise with your family.
- Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
- You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. (Growing up in AZ, it was more that I didn't know about the A/C bills!)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I am not going on the RevGals trip this week. I *am* on study leave, however. I had an amazing first meeting with a new spiritual director this morning. I think Sister Loretta and I are going to enjoy one another. I am going to work on some writing and keep reading over the next few days...
I know that I am behind on listing my books. So far in March I've read:
13) Unbinding the Gospel,
14) Unbinding your Heart, &
15) Unbinding your Church by the Rev. Martha Grace Reese. (She spoke at our Wednesday night Lenten series a couple of weeks ago. Excellent.)
16) Here if You Need Me: A True Story by Kate Braestrup
17) Don't Get too Comfortable by David Rakoff
18) Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right by E. J. Dionne Jr.
I know I've got to keep on top of things if I want to read 100 books in 2008. I need to pick up the pace a little if I'm going to make it! Happy Reading...
Monday, March 24, 2008
I can't even bring myself to make a joke about this. Really, Dick? Is that the best you can do?
Little drummer boy and baby David
Tom & Lily with all of their goodies
David with three of my favorite girls
Monday, March 17, 2008
Taxes are done! In the mail. Yay!
But why does the first quarterly payment for 2008 have to be due on April 15th?
Ack. Clergy taxes are the worst. We have had good accountant advice over the years, but still...
But 2007 is complete! And our 2008 tax deduction is slurping his bottle as I type.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Not much to report here. We had a good Palm/Passion Sunday. The only semi-weirdness (other than the 'musing' rather than narrative quality of my sermon) was the music. Our new interim music director put more of the Palm Sunday music at the end of the service, which didn't really match the mood of the liturgy at that point. Ah well...
I am hoping for an uneventful Holy Week. Decent weather would help in that regard. My mom flies in on Tuesday afternoon. Tom & Lily are super excited to see her. David does not yet realize how much he will love his Nana Lizzie.
Brett teaches one more night college class on Tuesday. For the past few months he has been teaching every Tuesday & Thursday, from 7:30-10:30PM. That is a seriously yucky class schedule. Luckily, it is almost over!
'K -- I think I am heading for a long soak in the bathtub!
P.S. Do you like my new blog template? I am trying to experiment a little. I know, that's so 2006!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
David is 13 lb, 3 oz and 23 3/4 inches. He laughed and smiled at the doctor. We feel that God's hand continues to be revealed in this process -- the pediatrician David has been seeing is one of the doctors in our usual pediatric practice. We learned more about his medical history today and he seems to be a very healthy little baby! Thanks for the continued prayers...
Monday, March 10, 2008
I don't have a sister. Brett doesn't have a sister. Neither of our brothers seem to have marriage on the horizon -- so no sisters-in-law. But our kids still have lots and lots of aunties.
One auntie ran right over with a crib and a car seat for David on the night he came home. Another sent a swing and a bouncy chair. Clothes, food (including the World's Best Sheet Cake) and visits came from other aunties. Phone calls and emails poured in from Auntie GGF and others. The church nursery was an auntie-magnet yesterday. Gifts for my older kids and an efficient rock in the nursery glider came naturally. Another auntie is taking Tom and Lily out for the day this coming Saturday.
I may not have a sister, but all these sisters in Christ praying for and helping with my children let me know what family really means.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
We've spent a fair amount of time and money at Target and Babies R Us over the last couple of days. David is mostly equipped now. He is taking a long nap and seems to be relaxed and happy. Thomas and Lily are being sooooo nice to their new brother.
Friday, March 07, 2008
A family at Big Church is evidently upset because Brett has an Obama sticker on his car. Huh.
David slept from 11:ooish last night to 4:00 this morning, had a bottle, a diaper change, and went back to sleep.
I am awake. It has been a few years since I've been up for middle-of-the-night feedings. Plus, my brain is spinning!
As most of you know, we only finished our "parenting" classes on Saturday. Yesterday was Thursday. That is only 5 days!
The adoption agency called me at about 12:30PM. I had just come from a round of hospital visits and was settling in to answer some emails in my office when my cell phone rang. Our case worker said, "Now, don't get too excited yet." She told me about David, but said that his birth mother would have a chance to choose between our family and another waiting family. The other family has been waiting longer (than 5 days! duh...), so I really thought we would not get "the CALL". The case worker then said she would call back sometime later in the evening with an update.
Well, only 90 minutes later, she called back and said, "How soon can you get to the agency?" I frantically called Brett, called the mother of a neighbor boy to cancel a play date for Thomas, and raced over to the agency. By 2:30, David was with us at the adoption agency. We had the wonderful privilege of spending more than an hour with his birth mother (I will blog about this some other time -- still processing).
By 4:30, Brett and Thomas had left to pick up Lily and I was HOME with David. I think I am still in shock.
A friend from church brought over a bassinet and an extra car seat for us to borrow. When I say we are not prepared for the 'stuff' needed for this baby, it is almost embarrassing. We got rid of 90% of our accoutrement bebe when we moved last spring. David is truly (as my friend reverendmother says) a bonus baby. Another friend (our Director of Christian Education) came to help for the evening, because Brett could not cancel teaching a college course (the students were giving their final presentations, as last night's class was the second-to-last meeting for the term).
Lily, Thomas, the cats and the dog are all excited and a little bewildered. David is smiling, cuddling and taking it all in. We will spend the next little while figuring out how to live together, I know.
We are expecting some visits at home today. We are expecting out-of-town guests in the form of Nana Lizzie, GGF and Little Mary in the next six weeks. Oh, and did I mention that Brett takes his comps in the next month? No wonder I can't sleep! But this is a wonderful, fabulous feeling of stress. I can't believe that there are THREE babies sleeping in this house right now.
Prayers, prayers and more prayers are coveted for David's first mother and family. We hope to see them again soon. Many people love this little boy and desire to do what is best for him. A tiny little person can sure cause a ton of excitement and emotion! It is a miracle to think that less then 24 hours ago, I didn't know about this little baby, and now he is our son. Wow.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,
Today we brought home our new son, David. He was born Dec. 12, so he is just about three months old. He weighs about 13 pounds and is absolutely beautiful! He was born not far from where we live. Big brother Tom and big sister Lily are excited about their new brother.
This adoption went a lot faster than we expected, so we are scrambling to get organized! We hope you can meet David in person some time soon.
Monday, March 03, 2008
The fact that you are reading this letter means that you are considering an adoption plan for your child. You are trying to make a difficult decision regarding your baby that you love so much. We can only begin to understand the emotions you are going through at this time. If you decide that you would like your child to grow up in our family, we will make sure that your child knows how much thought you put into this decision and how you worked hard to develop the best possible plan for your child’s future.
If you would like to meet us and talk about your plans, we would enjoy spending time and getting to know you. We would like to be in touch with you through updates and pictures and maybe more if you’re interested. It would be great for your child to grow up knowing you and enjoying the love and attention of both our family and yours.
We both grew up in families where our parents told us how much we were loved on a daily basis, and they showed their love with their words and actions. They believed in us and our abilities—and we knew it was true. This unconditional support is something we strive to pass on to our children. Brett grew up in
We met while we were both going to school in
Our two kids, Thomas and Lily, were both adopted as infants. They are Latino; they were born in
Our home is a fun place, filled with music and toys, along with a dog and a cat for the children to love and play with. We have a den in our home where the kids keep many of their toys and books; there they like to watch their favorite movies on DVD. We enjoy playing together as family in the backyard, where there is a swing-set and a playhouse. We like to go places like the
We spend a good deal of time at church, and our religious values are a very important part of our lives. Our church family is full of children and activities for kids. We are open and affirming Christians and will raise our family to be compassionate, open-minded, and loving people. We have many “grandmas & grandpas”, “aunts & uncles” at our church who will help us love and raise our children.
Our friends and family members are so excited to meet the newest member of our family. Alex’s best friend is already planning on a visit to help with the new baby. Both sets of grandparents are well-known for spoiling their grandkids with gifts and attention. We both feel very fortunate to have strong support from our family and friends. When we tell people that we intend to adopt again, we often see tears come to their eyes. Our families and friends are our number one support and cannot wait to love this child.
We wish you the best and hope that you feel secure and cared for during this important time.
Brett & Alex