Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn, Fall, Or Praise The Lord It's NOT Hot Anymore!

Thankful Thursday: We Can Go Outside Again!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord and heavens above, fall is upon us!  You know how there is a known medical disorder called SAD?  Well, there is and it stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder and it has been discussed and thought of as a medical condition since Civil War times.  Yeah, a diagnosis for people who get sad during the winter.  I need one of those, except excessive heat related, especially come August and September when I feel like I'm going to loose my mind it's so hot here!  An overall slump takes over like I am literally melting and can't find my limbs to do anything with.

But alas, it is finally October!  Not only that but it is the middle of October, even better!

This week I am so thankful for fall!  Thankful for weather my boys can play outside in without my supervision because outside play in the summer here requires constant adult attention.  Adult attention because we are in the pool or because mine little ones get overheated so very quick and I'm not into toddler heat stroke. So hallelujah, we can ride bikes again, jump on the trampoline, play with chalk, chase bugs, and my absolute favorite, leave all the windows open and smell that wonderful autumn air!

There is always a day that comes in October when I open my door one day and say (in the words of a former patient of mine), "Praise Jesus! Fall is here!"  You may think that's being a bit dramatic but as a born and raised Flagstaff girl and a girl who believes in being thankful for all things good I say it is right on.  This year fall flirted way to long for my taste but I believe (and please may I not be rushing it here) fall is finally, finally here!

May you all enjoy this wonderful season especially those that like me live a little too close to the equator!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grandma's House

Thankful Thursday: Memories of Grandma's House

Recently, my grandma sold her home of over 25 years.  It was, in my opinion, the ultimate grandma house.  When I say ultimate I'm talking a barn full of horses, chickens, a tire swing, trampoline, swing set, basketball in the driveway, fields to run and play in, cozy fireplaces, secret hideouts, a sledding hill, a canal that flooded in the spring to canoe on, puzzles at Christmas, always ice cream in the freezer, a basement to do bullet reloading in, a place to do fly-tying, bookcases of good books to read with comfy chairs and warm blankets, a big beautiful staircase to slide down, a big jet tub to swim in with the cousins, warm bread or brownies or cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven, and big, big family gatherings that included games, family story-telling, family testimony meetings, and always the feeling of being loved.

But best of could never walk into that house without Grandma and Grandpa acting as if you showing up was the best thing that had happened all year.  Truly, their ability to make you feel like you were the greatest person to ever walk the Earth (I'm not exaggerating) is one of the greatest things about being their grandchild.  Grandma Frost has a way with her hugs; just when you get within arms reach she reaches out and grabs you to her as though she can hardly wait to squeeze you.  Grandpa, who passed away a few years ago, would grab you to him with one of his "tree stump arms" (his words) and while hugging you dig his fingers in between your ribs, under your collar bone or some other bony part that would make you squirm.  Never do I remember entering their house when they did not get up to greet me and cover me in compliments.  These acts of love made going to their house the ultimate pick-me-up.

This post is for me, my siblings, and my cousins in hopes it will inspire you to write down some of your own memories of grandma's house.  For all that our grandparents are, I wish to someday become.  No one else has had a bigger influence on my life other than my own parents and for that incredibly positive influence, I am so thankful.

My Grandma Frost with Ike and my mom with Zad.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ten On 10: October 2012

I am always looking for an easier way to record our life for myself and my family so when I first started reading Rebekah Gough's blog A Bit of Sunshine, I fell in love with her idea of taking a photo each hour for 10 hours every 10th of the month.  I'm hoping to find the beauty of an average day no matter what it brings.  You can read about Rebekah's inspiration and see more Ten on Ten projects here.

My first attempt at Ten on 10 was a little undershot.  My photos covered about three hours and ended with Zad taking a few more photos hours later.  I'm glad to capture a few moments of our day in Flagstaff after an eventful morning with Aunt Casey at New Frontiers and a little vomit on the way home...we'll see what November brings!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Myth: Open Adoption Is For The Birth Family

Myth-Busting Monday

One of the biggest reasons I decided to start blogging again is because I want to normalize the adoption experience for my family and especially my children.  I am frequently asked many questions regarding adoption, which I welcome.  Much of the time these questions originate in misconception or myth, this is my effort to remedy (at least a little) these misunderstandings.  I have found that many times all that is needed is education.  While I do not consider myself an expert, I choose to write from my own experience backed by research when available.

MYTH: Open Adoption Solely Benefits The Birth Families

TRUTH: Open Adoption Benefits All Involved

I know that the birth families of our boys love getting to see and know the precious boys they placed with us, open adoption definitely benefits them but it is so much more and benefits all of us.

For Me:
I love our open adoptions.  I love knowing and getting to show my love for the people my children come from.  I look forward to and am often giddy over any chance I have to spend time with them, text them, Facebook chat, or visit over the phone.  Basically, they are some of my favorite people on this Earth.

Some would say, “Well of course you love them, they made you a mother.”  Absolutely, this is true but for so many more reasons I love them.  I love that my children look like them.  I love that when I look at Zad or Ike I not only think, “Man that boy is cute!” but I also see their birth parents.  I love that when Zad eats something hot he shakes all over like he has the shivers and that just last week I watched Norma (his birth mother) do the exact same thing!  In that moment I watched Norma my heart was so happy and I giggled to see a trait I am so familiar with.  I love that when I recently saw pics of Ike’s birth father as a child he was standing in a way that exactly resembles Ike now.  I love that when I sing to Ike he calms and wants to snuggle, it reminds me of hearing Hannah sing to him when he was in her belly and how she could feel him relax within her.  I love that connection!

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my boy’s birth parents.  I don’t think this would be different had we never met or only met long enough to confirm their decision in Steve and I.  I would wonder about them whether I knew them and saw them or not.  What a great comfort is to know where they are, what they are doing.  I joy in their success and pray for them in their weakness. 

Knowing Zad and Ike’s birth parents allows me to be a better mother.  I know how to answer their questions about where they come from, who they come from; I love that the answer is to tell them they come from the bravest, most unselfish people I know.  I get to tell them I watched their birth parents hold them and love them as babies as any proud parents do.  I get to tell them how they touched their hair and whispered sweet tender words to them before they placed them in our arms to be their parents.  I know that their love for them was and is some of the most pure and real love.  I love that they trust me enough to teach them of their love and I do.  

For Steve: (in his words)
I’m happy for the benefits it provides our children. I am glad for the option to ask about medical history. I know that they were loved, that it was a thought out, prayed about and pondered process not just abandoned.  I know that even today they still care for their well-being and think that we are the best place for them to be.  It’s a badge of honor.  It helps me keep in remembrance how special adoption is, what a miracle it is.

For Our Children:
Open adoption allows our children to have answers, to be loved in person by their birth parents, to have a connection to their biological culture and race in a way we will never be able to give them, to have answers about health histories and traits, and to reconfirm their prayed over and planned out placement within our family.

It allows them to know more of who they are, there is no mystery there.  Hopefully there will be no fear or false hope when approaching their birth parents in the future because the relationship with them will already be solid and in place.

We believe in being honest with our children about all that is them.  We want them to discover who they are and we support any influence that improves their self worth and place in the world and the wonderful men we know they will become.

When people ask I often say, "Open adoption doesn't have to be weird unless you make it that way.  Yes, boundaries have to be respected and honesty is important when setting those boundaries but open adoption can be a wonderful addition to any family.  I can't imagine mine without it."

For some common concerns and facts regarding open adoption you can click here, here and here.