Friday, July 31, 2015

7 Quick Takes - Goodbye July

First, thank you to everyone who took the time this month to read the story of our crossing over into parenthood. I suppose in some ways, it read like a fairy tale, which was a big reason why I debated whether or not I should share it.  Of course, none of us gets to live a fairy tale and for every prayer answered the way I want it to be, there are many more prayers that simply leave me wondering if I am even heard.  For example, this photo that I used in the story?

It was taken the day we buried our last baby, in March of 2013.  We had just had the burial and were walking up the hill when I spotted this rainbow through the trees. I took the picture because I wanted to remember that moment.  My heart was filled with sadness at losing the future I'd envisioned having with that child, but looking up and seeing this symbol of hope reminded me that what I have lost in this world will be gained in the next.  That is what I hope and pray for most.


Prayers that yield happy endings are cherished but they are also rare.  I suppose most of my prayers do little more than lead me towards acceptance, and I got a good reminder of that this past week.  I was participating in the Sts. Anne and Joachim novena, both saints who are very dear to me. Our petition was (and always is) for God to bless us with another child.  Imagine what I thought when, four days into the novena, an adoption situation came up that sounded perfect and not only that, but the birthmother's name was Anne.  I just knew it was a sign.  But while we were in the process of getting our profile to her, we got word that she'd already been matched.  It had only been a couple of days but in those two days, I'd let my mind run wild with the idea of having a real adoption possibility in the works.  Now, we are back to waiting again with no prospects.  So no, I am not a big believer in prayer always changing things, but prayer does change me.  Even though this situation fell through for us, Tom and I had an important change of heart regarding what we'd be willing to accept in regards to the kind of adoption situation we'd consider, and perhaps that was the best thing to come out of our latest novena. Perhaps that was the answer to those particular prayers.

And so life goes on, and we've been trying to make the most of it.   I'm proud to say that the boys took first prize again in our local Fourth of July Children's Parade this month.  This year, we went with the theme "Keep America Beautiful" and decorated their wagon with recyclable or reusable materials. Inside the wagon, we placed sorted recyclables and encouraged people to "reduce, reuse, recycle".  I think Pope Francis would be pleased with our environment-friendly theme!

We've also been hanging out a lot at the local splash pad.  The Hillbilly Shower as my husband (who is not from Kentucky) likes to call it.  Next time, maybe I'll bring a bar of soap.

We kept John's birthday party small this year, just us and the grandparents. How did I end up with a five-year old?  More importantly, how did I end up with a five-year old who prefers grilled salmon for a birthday dinner?   We're raising a pretty odd kid, I think.  Apple, meet tree.  He also requested his usual cake...chocolate with chocolate frosting, same as last year.  He may be an odd duck, but at least he's consistent.  We wanted to take him and his brother swimming on his birthday, but we had yet another rainy day here, so he opted for seeing his first theater movie instead.  It was a big hit, but I think he loved the popcorn more than the movie!  Can't say that I blame him.

A few days after John's birthday, we celebrated the feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim.  St. Joachim is Joah's patron saint (you can read about how we chose Joah's name here) and so he got to have some fun and extra treats on that day. For once, we had a sunny day on his feast day, so we finally got to go swimming and then came home to feast on Joah's special request...whoopie pies!


It's also harvest time around here.  The deer were kind enough to leave a little behind in our garden for our family.  We're enjoying sweet corn (a variety called "Ambrosia" and it lives up to its name) and lots of green beans.  Okra and tomatoes, plenty of basil (which the deer do not touch, strangely) and lovely sunflowers and zinnias.  We're picking blueberries too, which I call "bear bait". I'm amazed the bears haven't found them yet but I know that day is coming.  A neighbor lost 30 ears of corn in one night to her friendly local bear last week. Twenty years ago, I helped with the re-introduction of black bears to this area.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, I ask myself "What were you thinking?"   Needless to say, the program was a success.  Ah, the irony.

We're into week eight already on kindergarten homeschooling.  I wanted to start during this summer to give it a trial run.  It has been going really well.  John loves "lesson time" and Joah mostly observes for now.   I'm very happy with how it fits into our lifestyle so far. I wish we had more support (we have none) from our family and friends but Tom is totally on-board with homeschooling and John is doing great.  Perhaps in time, the rest of our family and friends will come around.  We've joined the local home school co-op too, so maybe we'll find some kindred spirits there eventually.  In the meantime, we're just going to keep plugging along day by day.

This blog will be quiet for a while after this post.  I'll be playing biologist in the wilderness while the boys enjoy the city life with their grandparents.  With God's grace,we'll reconvene back in our hillbilly homeland in time for the "dog days" to be over and the taters ready for digging.

Happy August!

And thank you, Kelly, for hosting another Quick Takes.

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