Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well I've finally done it, the unthinkable. The one thing that I swore I would never ever do. I got a Twitter account. Sigh. I've been sucked into the social media mayhem (says the girl on her blog). My Tweets will all be updates on our adoption journey, ones that are too short for an entire blog entry. This will also be the easiest way for me to update everyone if we have to travel out-of-state to bring our baby home. You'll find my latest tweets to the right, as well as a link so you can "follow me" if you like.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

On Humility

The following sermon was written by the Reverend Scott Walters of Christ Episcopal Church and is published here with his permission.

Dan Georgia and I were walking across campus one cold January day. Dan had spent Christmas break with his family in Pakistan, and he’d returned from the trip with stories of hiking excursions and days of lolling about on the beaches of the Arabian Sea. He had a conspicuously dark midwinter tan to prove it.

Dan was telling me about the vacation when someone passed us on the sidewalk and said, “Looks like you spent a little time in the tanning bed over break, Dan.” To which he replied, “Yeah. I sure did.” And that was it. We kept walking.

In that moment, I so wanted to be like Dan Georgia.

It’s not that he led this exotic life that included vacations in far off lands, though that would have been nice too. I just wanted to be someone who could go to Pakistan, have a little adventure, come back to school, and then just let someone believe I’d spent the past two weeks making regular visits to a tanning salon.

You see, a trip to a Middle Eastern country is something easily put to use in the service of one’s coolness. And even though the tanning industry was a new and exciting development in Siloam Springs in the late 1980’s, not too many people made public announcements when they were about to go bake for a half hour in an ultraviolet coffin. The hope was that everyone would just assume that your skin was bronzed so perfectly from something like a trip to the beach in Pakistan.

But Dan didn’t care. And I so wanted to be someone who didn’t care. To be someone who wasn’t always calculating how some experience or opinion or anything at all might best be spent for the upbuilding of my hipness, meager as it was. What would it be like to move through this life without the need to be admired?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Post-It Note

While sitting here killing time between classes, I left the lecture hall to go to the bathroom. When I went to the row of sinks to wash my hands, I saw a little post-it sticky note that someone had left stuck to the mirror. In lovely script it simply said, "You're beautiful." Underneath that, someone else had come along and written, "And wonderfully made." I smiled. That just completely made my day and I wanted to share. You're beautiful and wonderfully made. Always remember that.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

The following sermon was written by the Reverend Scott Walters of Christ Episcopal Church and is published here with his permission.

Dogs are not terribly reflective creatures by nature. I know, your pet’s the exception. But as wise and thoughtful as your dog might be, isn’t it true that you’ve seen plenty of other people’s dogs eat something or chase something that really wasn’t a good idea? The briefest moment of reflection on past experience would have kept them out of trouble.

Consider the car chase. One of the Far Side cartoons that confused Gary Larson’s readers most was a captionless drawing of a dog howling on an overturned car. Some thought the cartoon’s humor must be obscene since they didn’t get it. But Larson said he just thought it would be funny to draw the one dog in human history who finally took down a car. What are dogs thinking when they run off after a car? Not much, probably.

A dog on a car chase is a pretty good picture of a misdirected desire, wouldn’t you say? But at times we humans don’t seem to do much better, do we? Are our desires ordered in ways that lead to the wholeness and joy of the life intended by God for us? Or do our desires sometimes lead us off on futile chases after who knows what? And if our life and our desires do seem too much like those of the dog in pursuit of a car, what’s a body to do about that?

Well, you’re in luck. This is one of the few times you’ll hear a clear, straight answer delivered from an Episcopal Church pulpit. And better yet, you’re going to hear that you’re already doing what we need to do to keep from being car chasers, so to speak. What’s a body to do? Say the Lord’s Prayer.

So that’s pretty much the sermon. We’re car chasers, but we can change that by saying the Lord’s Prayer. But since people around here don’t tend to blindly accept everything preachers say, and because you’d be so disappointed if the sermon were too short, we’ll go ahead and flesh this out a bit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back to School

Today is the first day of classes for the fall semester and it feels a little weird. For those of you who don't already know, I'm applying to nursing school next year. In the mean time, there are a few random pre-requisite courses that I need to have on my transcript before I can apply. So I'm taking the next two semesters to fill in some holes with the missing classes.

The good news is that I don't have to take very many classes (three this fall and two next spring). The bad news is that I don't qualify for financial aid because I'm a part-time student. While it's not the worst scenario, it still sucks. The other bad news is that I couldn't get the schedule I was hoping for. I really wanted to take all of my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that we would have long weekends left open to travel. Unfortunately, because I registered late (looooong story), I got stuck with the last few remaining sections and they're all on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. But at least I still get Tuesday/Thursday off to be at home. So it isn't a total loss.

My first class is at 8 AM. Getting up early enough for the drive downtown actually isn't that bad since I'm used to Piper getting me up around 6:30 everyday anyway. What does suck is the morning traffic. I was hoping to scoot downtown before the majority of the morning commuters were on the road, but apparently they're all up as early as I am. Oh well.

The other good thing about my schedule is that I have on-campus study time built in. My first class is 8-9, then 10-11, then 12-1, and a once-a-week lab from 3-5. So I'll have an hour in between each class to study so that I don't have to do any studying once I get home. My time at home is very precious since James' flying schedule can be so erratic. There might only be a few hours in a given day that we're both at home and both awake. This week he's flown every night, leaving around 2 PM, getting home around 3 AM, and sleeping until at least 10 that morning. If I have class on those days, I won't actually see him at all. So I'll want to spend any time I do have at home with him doing things together.

Well I think that's about it. I still have another hour to wait until my next class starts (the first one let out early after going over the syllabus). I guess I'll just meander about the internet and waste some time until 10.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August Adoption Update

This Thursday will mark 10 months since our disruption. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we're STILL waiting and there's STILL nothing new to report. We won't meet with our new social worker until the end of the month. We'll have two visits with her before our new home study is finalized. The check for our new FBI fingerprint requests finally cleared the bank about a week ago. So hopefully we'll have all our paperwork together by the time we meet with the social worker. Again... not that it matters because we don't have any pending matches on the horizon.

I'm trying very hard to stay positive, but it's not easy. I keep hearing other couples' stories about successful placements or couples who placed very quickly after their disruption. I want to believe that there's a reason we haven't been picked by a birthmother yet. I want to believe that there's a reason we haven't been blessed with parenthood yet. I want to. But again, it's not easy.

Faith call us to do difficult things. We are stretched to our limits and then stretched a little more, just to see how much we can handle. More often than not we surprise ourselves with our strength and endurance. But that doesn't make the stretching any less painful. All we can do is keep moving forward as best we can, and keep looking to the future instead of dwelling in the past.

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.