Thursday, April 28, 2011

Home study time!

I’m starting to think Jeremiah is a better blogger than I am! I didn’t see that coming. ;) Just kidding! I love you, Jeremiah. I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. You’re a fabulous husband and you’re going to be an amazing Dad one of these days! J
So since our meeting with the adoption attorney, Mark Iverson, I was able to contact the home study lady that he recommended and I schedule our first meeting with her. Her name is Ruth and from the few times I’ve been able to speak with her on the phone I've found her to be very helpful and she seems to be a great woman. We’re going to be meeting with her on Saturday morning at 10:30. I’m not really sure what to expect from this first meeting. I’m assuming most of it will be going over paper work and forms and her explaining to us what they are and how to fill them out. From what she’s told me… there is a LOT to fill out. Basically Jeremiah and I will have to write a lot about our lives. The way we were raised, disciplined, what our childhood was like, how our marriage is and etc… And then the flip side… how we intend to raise and discipline our children and so on and so forth.  It’s definitely a lot to think about.  I’m sure Jeremiah and I both have ideas in our heads of how we’d like to do this but it hasn’t been a common conversation for us yet so it’ll be good for us to sit down and figure it all out.
I had asked Ruth if there was anything she expected or that needed to be done before we have our first meeting with her... like does the baby’s room need to be finished or anything like that. To my great relief she said, no. She said that there’s going to be plenty of time to get all the little details done while all of our paperwork is getting processed. We both have to have criminal and background checks, as well as our fingerprints ran. (uh oh!! j/k) Another thing she mentioned was we both have to have physicals done unless we’ve had one in the past year.  That surprised me at first but after thinking about it for a while it made sense. Of course they would want the potential adopters to be both mentally and physically stable.
I’m very excited about Saturday. We’ll have lots to tell you I’m sure! Please be praying for us! As exciting as this is… it’s still a little nerve racking. So thank you! We do appreciate your prayers and support very much!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's a family thing...

So, a week ago yesterday, Dave and Keri were married.  For those of you that don’t know, Dave is my brother, and Keri is Danielle’s sister – Yes, my brother married my wife’s sister.  I love them both dearly, and I think they will have a wonderful life together, and I couldn’t be happier for them.  The wedding was beautiful, and, if you know the two of them, it fit them perfectly.  They have been in London for the past week, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them when they get home (they’ll be home late tonight, but after a wedding and a trip to London, I’m sure they’ll need some time to decompress, so it’ll be a couple of days before I get to see them most likely).
With all of the excitement of the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about families and family dynamics.  We had family in town for the wedding from as far away as Texas and Washington D.C.  It’s interesting to see my parents with their brothers and sisters.  It seems odd, but I have aunts and uncles living maybe 2 miles from us that we see once or twice a year at most.  I really do love my family, but there is a certain amount of awkwardness there.  I’m sure anyone reading this understands, but I’m going to explain anyway…
You have no choice on what situation you are born into.  Your family is your family, no matter what.  There is somehow a certain connection that you share, simply because a certain percentage of your genetic material is the same.  This can put you in some strange situations.  You take a group of people who see each other once or twice a year, if that, they are invariably heading down several different paths in life.  They think differently, have different goals, hopes and desires, they have completely different, and sometimes opposing, paradigms of the world.  Now, you put all of those people in a room together, and expect that, since they are family, they have wonderful relationships with each other.  Often they don’t.  It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s just that they don’t have a basis for that. 
Let me give an example.  Take my relationship with my Aunt Deloris.  Now, I love Deloris.  She is a wonderfully kind, generous, and loving person.  I know that there are things that Deloris and I disagree about, but that isn’t something that bothers me.  She is the kind of person where (and I know this from experience) you can have an open, honest discussion with her, and at the end not come to the same conclusions, and leave feeling like you were heard and understood, and not just disregarded, and that that is really what mattered.  Sadly, I rarely see Deloris.  She lives just a few miles away, but we don’t ever just drop in to see one another or anything.  So, when I do see Deloris, I really don’t know what is going on in her life, and she doesn’t know what’s going on in mine.  This means that just about any conversation I will have with her is going to be fairly superficial.  We both know this, but there is still something inside me at least (I can’t really talk for others here, but I assume I’m not the only one) that says “Hey, we’re family, we should automatically have a relationship that moves beyond the superficial.”  Of course, that’s not the way it is.  I don’t blame anyone, that’s just part of life.  We busy ourselves with our daily lives.  I’m sure we’ll see each other in a few months, we’ll give each other little sound bite updates on how our lives are going, and we’ll be content with that. 
This is what I’m saying is awkward.  It’s a kind of dichotomy – We’re family, we should know each other well, I hardly ever see you, so I hardly know who you are.  As I said, this is life, oh well.
I do have family that I am extremely close to.  Dave and Keri, for instance.  Their apartment is about 3 blocks from our house.  Before they were married, they were pretty much Danielle and my best friends.  I’m sure that bond will just strengthen.  Danielle has 3 more sisters, two of which live within easy walking distance of our house.  Candy lives just up the hill from us, and we generally get to see her a couple times a week.  Dana lives the opposite direction, with her husband Ryan and their two beautiful children, Lilly and Ben.  Lacey, and her husband Jared and their adorable daughter Zoey live on the other side of town, but we still get to spend time with them fairly frequently.  Then there is my cousin James, his wife Tanya, and their gorgeous little girl Aletheia.  James has, for a long time, been almost as much a brother to me as Dave has.  There is a certain bond I have with all of these people that, when I think of family, this is who I think of.  They interact with me on a daily basis, and truly affect my life. 
Now, I don’t know what the future has in store for all of us.  However, when I imagine my children growing up, I can’t help but picture them growing up around all of this family.  I see my children being excited to go play with their cousins.  I picture them following Lilly around, thinking she’s the coolest person to ever walk the earth (she’s the oldest by a couple of years – she’s going to have a whole tribe of cousins she gets to boss around).  I see them trying to wrestle Uncle Jared, learning to fish with Uncle Ryan, or being read to by Uncle Dave.  I see them coming up with little plays to perform in front of their aunts, and asking their aunts to sing to them.
My family may not be perfect, but then, no one’s is.  Just like any relationship, there are ups and downs.  But, I guess, there’s one thing I’m really trying to say through all of this.   I love my family, and I thank God for blessing me so richly with these relationships.  I look forward to the day when my children get to be blessed by these same people.
Oh, and Deloris, if you are reading this…   I hope you don’t mind me using you as an example.  I do love you.