He’s 9

July 15th, 2015

AJ and Deeder, 2015

AJ and Deeder, 2015

Where’ve we gone, and how’d I stop remembering every day.

Yesterday I got to walk Deeder to his second day of summer school. Of course I remembered our long walks together in Vermont. He had his blue camouflage backpack on and green sneakers, a blue T shirt that had the characters from Mario across the front. We’d missed the bus yesterday because he’d taken a minute too long to tie his left shoe and along the way near the end of the block his right shoe’s tie became loose and he stopped to tighten it.

We were four minutes late for school, but it was pricelessly worth the potential tarty mark (although hopefully it is the only dock for the summer session). My son and I don’t get the time alone that we used to in which he feels free to voice his private thoughts and I just felt so blessed to be given this opportunity to hear from him. He called me Mommy and held my hand, talking openly and pausing to look at a squirrel scurrying along one branch and jumping to a nearby tree. That’s a morning I can’t live again or step back into to change a word that either of us said. I’m glad I let him take the second to look at the squirrel and that I fought the urge to pull him along and remind him of the need to hurry along to school. He has at least 9 years of school left, in that moment I thought What’s a few minutes? Yesterday was the day before my son’s 9th birthday. This is the last single digit number and Lord willing I have so very many years ahead to celebrate the amazing gift God gave me on July 15th, 2006 when I was 21 years old. We had 22 months together before his sister was born, and I’m thankful that I wrote every day and took about a dozen pictures each day, rooting even the smallest pieces of our daily routine into my mind forever. When did that stop being the most important thing to me? Deeder’s youngest sister turned 3 this past February and what better time than now to resume my postings of the basic things. It’s the basic things that make the memories that stay forever. Not the gifts, but the giving of time. The conversations, the involvement and caring. I remember sitting and building block structures with him, talking all the while, noting his cute life observations and taking him to library hour and music class, swimming in the summer and walking over the bridge to New Hampshire to shop at Walmart together. I remember all of this, not just because I was there, but because I took videos and pictures and wrote it down.

Fair 2014

Fair 2014

We’ve been in WA 6 years now and have traditions like going to the Northwest Washington Fair every August and love that as a family. This year will be the first that we don’t have to bring a stroller along with! Deeder loves being the leader in our touring of the barns and choosing which rides to go on. Since we’ve been there are new traditions as we’re a family of four kids, and love that our oldest got to have these siblings as much as he thinks he would appreciate less noise and excitement around him, it’s absolutely healthy that I’m not his only playmate at home.

North Dakota 2015

North Dakota 2015, with Deeder in the truck because he was feeling sick.

We’ve developed a tradition of going to North Dakota every summer to visit Darren’s side of the family, and what a terrific experience that is for all the children. Darren and I always talk about how wonderful it would be for Deeder to be on a farm daily and have chores to do, animals to love on and see grow. There’s an openness of land that our children just aren’t really exposed to here and we see that difference, absolutely, but when we make our return drive to WA it does feel like home. That said, we also would love to get back to Vermont one day to show the kids where our journey first began.

2006 napping baby Deeder

2006 napping baby Deeder

I remember looking over this sleeping baby thinking how great it would be to see him running around, riding a bike and telling me all kinds of stories and drawing pictures, painting and learning to read. He’s nine now, where’d that time go? He enjoys computer games, has some favorite YouTube channels that he tunes into daily. He watches Cartoon Network’s Teen Titan’s Go and in school writes about his cat, Tony Chesnut. He shares a basement bedroom with his brother and has the top bunk. He’s not a soccer star, or a math whiz, but he’s my son and deeply loved, cherished and celebrated.

No Regrets, Just Forward

May 5th, 2015

11133751_10204289161733018_3699992026718437908_nHonestly, I’ve wondered often why God says no to so many of my ideas. If you’re religious, you know exactly what I mean. The nice way of saying it is the verse about God having something better in store, I’ve said it so many times to myself that I have forgotten what book, verse and chapter of where it’s from, I just know it’s in there.
The church that I thought was my ultimate happiness and comfort was taken away shortly after my first child was baptized, but one thing after the other we have never been without food or clothing, health insurance or a roof over our heads. In the details though, there are ideas I have to enrich little aspects and God says “No, that’s not right.”
In church we’re learning about Jonah and his great whale. Perhaps there’s a whale and a Nineveh in my life that I said no to long ago that God is little bit by little bit reining me in to.

After my last post I realized that maybe I know what that is. But honestly, how am I going to know? I’ve been wrong so many times. Jonah had a voice from heaven and all kinds of mind blowing incredibly obvious signs.
So here it is. Yesterday I decided to talk to Darren about what my thoughts are. I decided perhaps I was wrong about my Tubal Ligation that I was determined to have and went true on 3 1/2 years ago. I have never doubted myself, until after writing that post I began doing some research about how I’ve come to feel since my daughter’s delivery. I’ve put on weight, been incredibly tired and suffered from continual head aches, worsening over time. Reading on I learned of woman testifying that their headaches disappeared as quickly as they’d come and their weight dropped as they had after other pregnancies but had failed to do following their tubal ligations. Insurance covers tubal ligations, but not reversals. To get go through the surgery I am looking at spending about $6,000.

After Jonah was vomited from the whales belly he still did not want to share the message of salvation to sinful people of Nineveh. God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah to protect him from the sun, then the next day brought along a worm that killed the tree rendering it unable to provide shade. Jonah mourned that loss, an emotion God used to throw the reality that this large city was so much more worthy of crying out for than for a tree with no soul or other eternal elements. Jonah got on his way and, while perhaps begrudging, did follow through on God’s initial order, which was to tell of the dangers that would come if Nineveh did not turn to worship God instead of their idols.

What are my idols, what have I turned aside from?
I told my husband that I would like to consider a reversal. If someone asks me if I regret my tubal, I will not say that I regret it. I’ve learned from it, and think that it was what I was meant to do at the time. If I’m meant to have a reversal, we’ll find a way to save the money needed. What was my original call? I’ll ask God some day. For now, I’ll live day by day and pray that his will may be revealed to me at the time appointed and that I will do the best that I can do, be the best that I can be, with what I’ve been blessed with.
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My Why: Tubal Ligation

April 24th, 2015

cc81ad4fc3baa3652a78ec234cd14bd1 Three year ago I made the choice to get a tubal ligation. At different times I wish that I had not, despite my busyness with the children that the Lord already gave me I do feel an emptiness, which I knew that I would.

I first started thinking about tubal ligation 7 years ago. My view on birth control is simple: I always knew I would not take a pill or put a foreign object in my body to weaken the natural lining of the cervix. To be 100% pro-life IUDs and all forms of “the pill” are out. To space my children I used Cycle Beads and I knew that when I emotionally and physically believed that I was done having children I would get a tubal ligation. One week after my 27th birthday it happened. My fourth child was born and after a wonderful, normal delivery I had a 1 inch long incision made right below my belly button through which my life altering surgery was performed.

Inside I cried a little and I’m fairly sure a few tears fell down my face as my body was numb from the ribs down, but I can’t quite tell as I was in a state of heavy lethargic peacefulness. I’d had a good run: Two children born on the west coast and two on the east coast all within less than a decade. I had a 22 month gap, a 17 month gap and a 26 month gap. It just seemed so right. My husband 17 years older than me and epilepsy in my body, it seemed like our story was full and ready to get moving beyond the baby stage. In all senses of reason, it was time to go beyond the baby outfits, bouncy swings and cribs. Soon we’d sell the stroller and become, well just continue to evolve with the children’s interests. Perhaps get a couple cats and some day a dog.

2012 is ancient history now. My baby is potty trained, and while she can’t put more than two words together yet, she’s sassy, spunky and believes herself absolutely equipped to take on the world. We have two bunk beds instead of toddler beds, pack n play and a crib. We no longer own clothes under size 4T and donated even my favorite baby carrier over a year ago to a family bringing a child home from Ukraine.

8324111e5cc0c52d06afb4031b3779d3One reason I wanted a tubal ligation was that I didn’t want to be hurt by loss again. This was not a selfish choice. God gave me a son, second child who was not born alive, a daughter who came full term, a second son who made full term and a fourth full term pregnancy, my youngest. That’s 4 healthy and one waiting for me on the other side. I absolutely went into the surgery knowing that God is bigger than any plan that ever I could have. My child that died had a name and a face to me, and I expect to know her when I’m on the other side of the physical world. I think of her daily and know God is using her to help me forward in my earthly journey to strive to be present for my kids here. Perhaps that only makes sense to someone who has lost a little one preterm.

Going into tubal ligation I also knew myself. I am someone who does not stick with decisions. That being so, I had to have an escape route to fix my eyes on should I ever change my mind. That answer was then, and is now Embryo Adoption.

My doctor did not want to sign on my Tubal Ligation because of my age. He said he’d be much more comfortable with it if I were over 30, but I was very adamant about my choice and had it written into my hospital plan way back in the second trimester. He did assure me that my interior workings were perfectly intact, with the exception of being “cut tied and burnt” which rendered my fallopian tubes unusable which is just what I wanted. I did not want tubes that would grow back together with heavy scaring likely resulting in a tubal pregnancy which would statistically be likely if I didn’t have all three measures taken in the ligation.

bba329bdc574d113d7f573069d25c117If you’ve already judged me as someone who plays God, get this. I remember when I first was talking about getting a tubal ligation I said, “God will probably give us a child with severe birth defects as a result of my wanting this.” What a thing to say! Three months after I had the surgery, 5 years after making that statement, I discovered Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that helps parents adopting internationally pair with children who have special needs. God put it on my heart to want to be involved, and from the day I saw that website I became an avid advocate of exactly what I once wanted to act against. I so craved having a child in my life who needed a home. I’ve not gotten that, and accepted that it does not look to be part of our family’s story. But how wonderful that God put on my heart something to balance out my heart.

When the subject of Tubal Ligation comes up on parenting groups, I say that it’s the option to take when moms decide that they are done having biological children. I believe it’s a healthy choice.

406023_10151933086335434_992388590_nI believed that my plate was full with four children, and I knew about Embryo Adoption and had the promise from my doctor that little known option was a healthy possibility. God had now given me the heart for International adoption which I dedicate every November thru December 31st to. I am content, blessed, loved and appreciate the gifts that I have from God. My choice is not a cornered in dead end. I haven’t played God, I am and always have been open to His will in my life. My testimony continues to grow and my faith develop daily as I ebb and flow through this present realities changes and challenges.