Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Kindness of Strangers and More.

My last post was a pretty emotional one but what happened the next morning would have me in tears, literally. I promise this is a happy post of what’s happened the last two weeks.

  • Our basement remodel is pretty much done with just a few minor things left to do.
  • Don is in Ghana building a kindergarten playground for the new school the charity recently built.
  • We bought new furniture, Goodbye hand me downs.
  • Two years waiting but still happy and hopeful

If you follow us on Facebook you may have seen my brief post about it but here is the full context. Don and I have remodeled a large part of our finished basement and are moving our living room down there, so we bought all new furniture.  When we went to the local furniture shop they had a sand sculpture in the parking lot so I took a picture and posted it to our Facebook page.  The shop saw it and decided to add a gift to our furniture delivery. Our delivery was a week out from when we purchased it so that the basement could be mostly finished.

Delivery day came and as they were unloading the furniture from the truck, one of the guys brought a big red gift wrapped box over to me and set it down on the porch. I was stunned! I really was because it was a big box and then I read the card attached and immediately started tearing up.  Not only had they sent us a gift for our future child but I got it just when I needed it most.  I Love the little red chair! I really can’t wait for the day when it’s being used (and not by our four-legged kids).  For now it’s still in the box but hopefully soon we can put it in the living room or nursery. After the shock wore off I took pictures and sent them to Don, who was out of town for the weekend.  He was able to see it and was just as thrilled with it as I was. 
Here's what they said on our Facebook page when I posted our extreme appreciation:
"The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse Glad you received it! We've been anxiously anticipating your delivery since last weekend! We will be thinking about you!"

We are still waiting for a few finishing touches to the basement but for the most part it’s done and set up.  I love it and can’t wait for Don to get home from Ghana so we can move the audio equipment and satellite receiver down there and hook it all up. We also had cabinets built in down there so I can finally move some things we don’t use often out of the kitchen beginning tomorrow after the contractor finishes up.

Tomorrow also marks our two years "live" and three years since we started the process to adopt. It's also National Chocolate day.  Last year I went for a hot fudge sundae and if it sounds good tomorrow I may celebrate with another one or maybe just eat a fun size Butterfinger. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

When life gives you lemons make lemonade

Sure we’ve all heard the phrase and when I think of it I think why not use the lemons to make pies and cake or lemon bars. How about take the seeds and plant them for a tree to grow and continue to provide you with lemons. It’s what reminds me of family and some great childhood memories of growing up surrounded by lemon and orange trees (you think roses are thorny try these trees) in southern California.

Well backing up a bit to August when I lost my grandfather. We knew it would happen just not when and luckily I was there for his final day for many hours.  I was lucky to have that time with him and others in my family to say goodbye to an incredible man who had 92 years on this planet.  He survived WWII, Meningitis, four kids, 7 grand-kids and 20 great grand-kids.  He was strict but super loving with a great sense of humor and love of nature.  His love of travel is where I got my love of travel.  We take separate trips and then sit down together and share our stories and pictures.  He and my grandma took many, many trips across Canada, Mexico and every state in the US.  So there are tons of pictures.  When he was too old to drive they took cruises and I got to see the Outback, Hong Kong, the Panama Canal and Antarctica through his pictures. I miss him every day. I miss his stories and his smiles and his love of sweets (he loved Lemon meringue pie). I was so hoping our child would get to meet him and he always asked me when he’d get to meet his 21st great grandchild (grandpa had Alzheimer’s). I can only hope when we do get selected to be parents that we can convey what a great man he was through our stories and pictures along with grandma telling them too.
Grandpa last Halloween with his homemade spider chocolate and pretzels

The reason I’m posting on this now is it has become very clear just how fragile life is. My mom had a major surgery on her hip, back and nerves a week ago.  She is having some complications and is in a great deal of pain.  I wish I could take that pain away.  It’s so hard to hear about and see but then to get a call at 11:45 at night from your aunt telling you that your dad has had a stroke and is in the hospital with severe weakness on his right side. We're 1100 miles away you can’t just rush to the hospital to be with him. I still might drive down to help him.  He lives alone and owns his own shop.  If he doesn’t regain some strength and use of his right side soon the dogs and I will go down to California and help him continue to get the cars and trucks fixed so he can pay his bills. As my dad said to me “You don’t realize all your body does without thinking about it until you no longer can, especially when it’s your dominate side.”  It was a reminder of working in the hospital and seeing all walks of life and ages of stroke victims. It’s a crushing blow, even mild strokes. You literally have to start over relearning motor skills and some need speech therapy. I’m extremely thankful it wasn’t worse and he can still talk and is alive but it’s a not so gentle reminder that anything can happen at any time, even adoption.

Next week I start driving down to help my mom because her husband has to go back to work but she knows I may have to go to my dad and that’s a tough choice to make.  My parents are both hard working, tough and stubborn so I can only hope that strength and determination helps them to recover quickly. If dad makes a comeback in his strength I will at least see him next month when we go down for Thanksgiving, otherwise I’ll go down and stay until Thanksgiving and Don will fly down and meet us.

The lesson relearned is never taking life for granted. Reach out to those who you love (family, friends, birth parents) and tell them what they mean to you for tomorrow may be too late.  Call often so you can hear their voice and they yours.  In this age of technology we to often just email, text or post on Facebook without thinking of actually calling and connecting on a human level. This is one reason we want an open adoption so we can keep our families connected for our child. They can grow up knowing how much they are loved by everyone.

I’m forever grateful to those around me now and even those who are no longer here except in my heart and memories. I’m thankful for an amazing husband who is so supportive and to my pets that I get to love and spoil. Most of all I’m grateful for my parents and how they raised me.  I, too, am strong, stubborn and determined and it’s from them (and DNA) that I learned to stay the course and do what needs to be done.

Time to make some lemonade!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pumpkins, Halloween, Charity and Waiting to Adopt

It’s October and that means a whole bunch of different things to me.  It means everywhere I go is all pumpkins, hay stacks and apples. Its young kids talking about the perfect costumes while shopping with their parents.  It also means isles full of bagged Halloween candy, costumes, and trick or treat buckets shaped like Hello Kitty, ghosts, or Batman. Its texts with pictures of my best friend dressed as the wicked witch in some form at someone’s Halloween party (we don’t live in the same state).

It used to mean trips to the pumpkin patch but without kids to enjoy the hayrides with or watch the immense joy at picking out their perfect pumpkin and watching them feed the animals in the petting zoo; it’s too expensive to go since they charge $15 a person to even walk into the patch now so I buy our pumpkins in the store or farmer's market.

It’s the time when everything pumpkin spice is released, which frankly is out of control. . I admit I love to make pumpkin bread from scratch as well as apple butter and a nice curry pumpkin soup.   I love pumpkin spice lattes and most things pumpkin but I certainly don’t want or need pumpkin spice Oreos or M&M’s. I saw this video posted to a friend’s wall and its perfect (warning not safe for work or kids due to brief language).

October also has National Chocolate day on the 28th so what can be a better way to celebrate our “go live” date. That’s the day we officially went into circulation meaning our letters and link to our online profile would go out to expecting parents thinking about adoption.

October also means it’s another year waiting to adopt.  Which starts me thinking how much longer will I put us through the emotional meat grinder.  I know in my heart the answer but with each passing year it gets harder to wait.

October also means another trip to Ghana for Don. This year the charity is building a playground for the school and is focused on the kindergarten class.  We’ve had friends and my cousin generously donate puzzles, harmonicas, and Beanie Babies so far.  The lady at the coffee shop has younger kids so she thinks she has some books they’ve out grown to donate and I’ve picked up dice and wood building blocks so far.  I’ll be hitting up Good Will too to see if they’ve got books and games I can send over.
 Last year's Team in Ghana in front of the newly finished school
Don teaching his class about computers last year
This October also means our basement remodel will be completed and I’m super excited.  Our cabinets were installed yesterday so we are inching closer and closer to being done. Then we can start shopping for new furniture and relocate our living room into the new space. With this remodel it opens up a large section to be a great play area for our future little one to play in.

October means that Football season is in full swing and Baseball season is coming to a close.
Us on Sunday at the Seahawks first home game

What does October mean to you this year?