Saturday, April 16, 2011

I love Adoption stories...

This article was linked today on a conglomerator blog I like to read. The author is part of a reformed theology conference we attended a few months ago, though he didn't speak at the Oregon event.

I like the perspective of this father, and I love adoption stories of any kind. His family includes several children added the "old fashioned way" before they adopted a baby from Russia.
But when the sentence changes from "We're going to have a baby" to "We're going to adopt," things change. All of a sudden the qualifications of good marriage, sufficient income and a home aren't enough. All of sudden, we need to look at the facts.

and this is beautiful:
We had faith in the God who loved us enough to adopt us, sins, scars, imperfections and all, into his holy family. We had faith that just as he knew each of our children before they were born, he knew that Mary was for us, even though she was conceived and born in a different country, by different birth parents.


In our specific situation, we're waiting for our minivan fund to come together and then we'll be moving forward. At this point we're thinking a domestic adoption will be the best choice and we've started gathering paperwork and are researching the options available. Every once in a while when reading statistics about African orphans our thoughts & hearts sway that way, but then we remember the expense and the travel involved, and the stories of kids waiting in foster care are also inspiring.

"We even asked each other, why are we considering this?... But we are not alone. God has given so many others a heart that is sensitive to the needs of the orphans. Some satisfy that sensitivity by providing the finances necessary to make adoptions happen, some build orphanages, some give clothing, some pray without ceasing."


He writes about being grateful. Grateful for a loving God, for the opportunity to have these two daughters in his family, for people who are willing to adopt other children.
"...And, if that is not you, pray about supporting those in your church who are doing this. If you can't do that, pray for them! Love the children they adopt. I can tell you that six years after adopting Mary, and three years after adopting Ana, none of us would trade our family for another. We praise the Lord for his grace and the blessing of adoption - first into God's eternal family and then for permitting us the privilege of picturing this in our earthly family. There is no greater joy. Adopt."

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Loud and Proud

So about the homeschooling kick I'm on...

Here's my trajectory, laid out so I can remember because I already find myself forgetting how I came to think of it as remotely possible in the first place.

I read Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, which I believe I found by bopping around the "Customers Also Bought" links on Amazon. That raised some good points about education and started me thinking about what I hope for my boys to learn.

Then I read a whole bunch of stuff on teh webz and from the lie-barry. Some useful, some fascinating in a wow that's differnt kind of way.
Somewhere in there, more toward the second category if I'm honest, I read the Duggar's book. Yes, those Duggars. While I don't agree with the quiverfull movement (i.e. having a jillion kids because you believe God commands it) as theology, there's something to the openness with which they live their lives that I find admirable.

There will be things I do in my life which won't find approval from the majority of people. They will think I'm small-minded, provincial, perhaps even a "neanderthal" as one of my colleagues has said about women who stay home. Well, we're adopting. We're Christians. We are looking at homeschooling. There are mistakes to be made, and I'm going to set out and make them without hiding what I think or just plain hiding. I hope I don't swing too far the other way and err toward squashing others in the process, but I'm done with worry silencing me.

Dave Ramsey reminded me of a quote today at a seminar full of great quotes:
"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. ~Aristotle"

... and of course “The fear of man lays a snare,” the Bible says, “but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

The fear of man is a somewhat Christianese phrase, but it is such a great concept, and encapsulates one of the primary differences between a Gospel-centered theology and one based falsely on ideas of prosperity, ease and blessing belonging to Christians in their worldly lives. Being driven by prosperity gospels and even bless-perity gospels lead Christians to be all sorts of jerks to their fellow humans. I like how Piper describes our longing to worship the blessings rather than the God giving them:

"We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.

By Christian Hedonism, we do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. We mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should pursue this happiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy you cannot love man or please God."

Totally unrelated to the post, I giggled when I saw that googling "fear of man" gives you an option of googling "fear of
mannequins". Let's face it: they are creepy, creepy indeed.

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Tap tap tap...

Is this thing on?

I just read the stale old posts left here, and realized I'd like to get back to this whole blogging schtick.

Updates are: We left that church we were going to after 2 years there. We wish them well, but I am much happier at our new digs. We've been reading the Bible a lot more in the last 18 months or so, and went to the Desiring God conference, and a few other reformed theology conferences. I hope to write more about this stuff, but if you're looking for good podcasts I recommend Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, Dr. John Piper, and a whole bunch more. Start with Marky D's doctrine series- it's very good. Perfect length for listening on the treadmill, too.

I'm thinking of homeschooling. In related news, we bought some hermit crabs, I'm making a fort out of a huge truck hubcap and curly willow, I like canning vegetables, and if I had a zillion dollars I would buy a small farm slash compound. You'd be invited, but only if you promise to shoot me on sight if you see me wearing floor-length denim skirts with white tennis shoes (my first ever homeschooling joke, you're welcome).


Isn't there a blog around here somewhere?


















Isaac turned 3 and has developed a fascinating array of facial expressions. Many approximate real faces people make. All are more dramatic. Like William Shatner in face form.






















At the end of the summer we plan to adopt. A human, not a habit or a theology or a pet. Though those sound (mostly) simpler.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sunday Night Haiti Benefit Concert

I'm playing in this benefit this weekend. Hope to see you there!
~Miriam

Friday, November 06, 2009

At least we made it!



I took this with my phone about 10 minutes away from J's office Halloween Party. Both boys were so tired, and even when we stopped the car, opened the doors and started stuffing their warm & sticky little boy feet into their shoes they STILL didn't wake up. We had to use the c-word. ("CANDY!")

It was better than last year, when I tragically took too long to make a diaper box into a car costume for Toby and missed the party all together. That made me grumpy for a good week.

We had two ginormous pumpkins- in fact we still have their carcasses and guts all over our driveway. I'm sure the HOA is impressed. The are big enough that the boys can sit inside each and pretend they're on a train. Except Isaac is too prissy and doesn't like the feel of cold pumpkin all around him.

On another uncomfortable note... I spoke to one of the leaders of our church today. Ours is a church that believes over-programming is a real problem and that giving people pre-set ways to plug into a church can be detrimental to building true relationships among believers. I'm not sure I'm representing that fully, but there doesn't really seem to be a set statement available about this kind of philosophy. They use the word "organic" a lot and they emphasize connecting through House Churches. For our house church we go twice a month to a house about 3 miles from our own to worship, learn a bit more about the sermon and pray for each other. I love our House Church, but the reason I went to chat with the leader was that it just wasn't cutting it for me as far as bible study or connection with other moms in particular.

The chat I had went pretty much as I thought it would. She outlined their view again, and made clear that the church is not likely to change any of this any time soon. (I.E. They aren't going to let me start a bible study for moms and use their website to link people together.) I think at my most strident I said something about people with addictions and depression getting more help than young moms. But then I've been known to dabble in the dramatic from time to time, and I honestly did come around to their way of thinking at least a little.

It's true that if they provided a group for me to just show up and be a part of, I most likely would NOT be looking for relationships with people from the church on my own. And it's entirely possible that we would never have gone to House Church if I hadn't pestered J because I was going nuts without any community outside of tiny demanding people who share a large part of my DNA. So I would feel better and more connected but my family might not be and the church's vision for House Churches would become further from reality.

I am not fully convinced, but I'm willing to "give it six more months" as requested by the leadership. I still think parenthood, especially with preschoolers, is a demanding and challenging time. It's supposed to be a great time to set up habits and understanding of God in your child and I would love our church to give me direction there. We chose this church because of the fantastic preaching. Absolutely outstanding doctrine- and plenty of it each week to keep my own study lively just by looking into all the reference verses they give. You can find podcasts here.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Useless

The boys and I went to a little play-party with our friends from MOPs this morning. It was great until they brought out the snacks. Animal crackers made with whole egg and doughnuts are not safe for Isaac. I'm not sure the other moms really understand the feeling I have when diving across the room to prevent him from putting that stuff in his mouth.

Lots of people in our area are into this Naturopathic trend of calling yourself "allergic" to all sorts of things. They take a blood sample and put it through some tests to see if you have sensitivities. The ultimate effect of all this band-wagoning of false allergies for me is that when I tell the childcare people that Isaac is allergic to eggs I can just about see their eyes glaze over. Then I hand them the EpiPen and usually they perk up and realize this is not just a bourgeois badge. (As in, "My Caleb is allergic to water, flour and anything treated with pesticides or transported more than 100 miles. He can have some $20 Whole Paychecks triple-approved snacks served only in hand-extruded glasses if you have those lying around somewhere.")

So this morning turned out to be really fun until it wasn't. I'm just not a laid-back person anyway. I like to think of myself as passionate, but when I'm literally batting little animal-shaped foods out of my toddler's hand and can't focus on adult conversation because I am afraid, things are getting out of hand and I just feel like my freakishness is showing. So we left.

I came home and checked my email. A kid from the college where I teach just died of swine flu.

Being a mom is nearly impossible some days.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Allergists need our prayers.


Isaac has an appointment today with a new allergist for his egg allergy. Allergists seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. There still isn't much hard science on the physical sources/causes of allergic response, let alone science that reveals the best therapeutic practices. Each new study reveals a whole uncharted territory rather than definitive answers. There is even debate on the exact mechanism that causes the system to freak so catastrophically.

Isaac's had just one reaction, and we've been to an allergist twice- once for testing and once so the guy could demonstrate that he was terrible at taking notes in charts and had no memory of us whatsoever. I have a lot of sympathy for doctors. At the beginning of each teaching term when I have my usual 15-18 students plus 3-5 more plus all the folks I've signed up to other teacher in our academy... well, for a few weeks I live in fear of calling people by the wrong name. Luckily Jonathan is very patient when I give up and just call him Sugar Daddy. I really do understand that it's impossible to remember all your patients, even when they are as fabulous and superior as Isaackle.

Today we're going to a new guy, and hopefully he can help us figure out how to keep Isaac immunized. The MMR is formulated with egg, as are all the influenza vaccines. Lewzers. Processed food companies find all sorts of wonderful ways to avoid using real ingredients- why can't pharmaceutical corps?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boo!

So, it has been absolutely forever and a day since I wrote anything on here. I miss it. I enjoy the challenge of arranging my thoughts (or at least letting them spill out).

I think I'll do NaBloPoMo. (National Blog Posting Month) in November, that thing where I try to come up with something to write about every day for a month.

Lots has happened since I last posted. I started a new business, won a little audition and am trying to get connected in our church. Isaac figured out walking, shrieking, pushing my buttons and shoes. Toby still loves hot wheels but now he can put together a complex train track and likes legos, too. J is busy fulfilling my every waking need.

More about all of these is to come. Isaac just destroyed some lego thing and Toby is wailing. Nap time!