Saturday, April 25, 2009

Love Until it Hurts!

Work has been slow because of the economy. I did manage a midweek trip to NY this week for the usual meetings with clients etc. This weekend we will be down south in Greenville for an event. The advantage to the slow economy has been more time with the kids. Two years ago I wouldn't have been able to be there for as many ballgames, practices etc. Today my oldest son (Yankee Fan-Jeter) pitched in a game and also played shortstop. He is so small but really a force to be reckoned with leading the entire team to victory. This is the first year of kid pitch. It was so hot. Gratootie (my oldest Ethiopian daughter---giving them all nicknames) spent the day with her best friend at the movies and wearing identical outfits. Next weekend is prom for Schmoopy who will be graduating in a month too..YIKES...Hubby and I went to see FIREPROOF for free at a nearby church. He doesn't like chick flicks.

Being a mother of 6 kids is incredible. For me the it all comes back to unconditional love and accepting our children and serving them regardless of their circumstances/background or imperfections. I had no idea what to expect when I gave birth to Schmoopy and Jeter as well as adopting my 4 amazing kids. As parents we all have to spend times worrying through illnesses, accidents, etc. With the baby we were told she may have some health issues because of being slow developmentally due to her weight. She rolled over late, walked late but is now the smartest child we know. When our Ethiopian children came home we had some unexpected health issues which were resolved. As parents we never know how many days we have with our kids. Every day is precious. I remember when Schmoopy came home I couldn't believe how even two weeks with her seemed like a lifetime and my life had changed for the better in a major way through serving her. I don't believe that there are any imperfect children. I believe God creates us each perfectly for our purposes here. Our lives are not just about what we can live through, experience and take in, it's also about what our lives mean to others. Each child of mine has a place and purpose that has enhanced not only our lives but their teachers, friends, neighbors and grandparents. I think when we decide to parent there is always fear of something not being perfect or flawed in our children but the bottom line is that we all have to rise to the occassion and love our children as they are and how they were created. Sometimes it is really difficult to decide to love. Mother Teresa said this: "How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love,"

I have been in the position to choose to not face the opportunity to love until it hurts. I have been in a position to look a doctor in the eye who told me to abort one of my perfect children because of a high CVS test and tell him 'I will not abort my child no matter what." I have been on both sides. I can say that I have learned how to love 6x's over by choosing to LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS...All of my children have some sort of imperfection by the world's standards. But in my eyes they are perfect and in God's eyes they are here for a purpose designed perfectly for this time and this place...sometimes humans can't see it because we haven't grown the right eyes to view it properly.

Mother Teresa also said: At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.' Hungry not only for bread - but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing - but naked for human dignity and respect.

Finally my favorite quote of hers: How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers...

Each one of us is precious and I am so grateful that somehow my children all of whom I never imagined would be here have come to me so that I can learn how to truly love. But it isn't only about me is about being obedient to God's purpose for me as the mother to these kids. Regardless, of not knowing what tomorrow brings and whether or not our kids will be perfect...he does call us to LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Worlds Collide

First off, I want to point out that I set up this blog sort of as a fun informative blog discussing our family and adoption issues. I do have a big heart for pro life issues because I am a post abortive woman. But I had intentionally separated the topic and kept most of my pro life/post abortive commentary on my REVIVING MOTHERS blog as well as my MOTHERHOODINREALTIME blog. I did this because I am well aware that the issues on choice/vs LIFE are very contentious. When I posted the note on MYAH I really in retrospect wish I would have posted it on my pro life blog. I stand by my opinion on Myah being an incredible mother but also have decided to stick with my original plan on keeping these topics on the other blogs. I do know at times they will spill over a little...which is totally fine but I will be more intentional in the future. I think the debate will continue for a long time and just prefer this blog remain HAPPY!!!!

This past Thanksgiving my diverse family of pro choicers/pro lifers, chrisitans/unitarians/baba lovers, democrats/republicans/independants had a fantastic Thanksgiving together because we made an agreement to not discuss Obama/McCain topics or anything that could divide us. Consider this blog the dining room table, the controversial conversations can go here (in the study with the cigars and cordials) Reviving Mothers and Motherhood in Real the future I welcome debate on those sites from all sides but attacks will not be permitted here in the DINING ROOM of Injera, hotdogs and Guacamole. You will be sent to the study whether you like it or not. I will however post a notification of a political topic with a link to the other sites here should any of you want to go there and if I think it is appropriate. In the meantime, I will continue updating you on my wonderful family. Many blessings and much love...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

College and Gummi Bears at PRESCHOOL

I spent last night and today at UNC checking out DORMS...YIKES!!!!! Oldest in college next year and youngest a GUMMI BEAR in Preschool. For one I have to send in extra clothes in case she has an accident and pees in her clothes and with the other I have to research study abroad for sophomore year. It is mind boggling. The oldest is discussing with me taking the microwave and mini fridge while the youngest is learning how to pound out syllables. So, Sam and I shared a hotel room last night (used some Marriott points) and she woke up in the middle of the night sleep talking...she said "YOU HAVE TO TALK LOUDER." and then went back to sleep. We both in our Yankee fashion complained profusely about having to eat BOJANGLES for breakfast....(my southern friends probably hate me now) and the best part of the day was when the very very perky activities coordinator asked us both if we were incoming freshman. i blushed feeling like Don Knotts (Barney Pile)..."Gosh you think I am a freshman"...was my reply...."I am the mother and LOVE THIS SCHOOl." I told the woman she made my day. I would totally embarrass my daughter though by asking such questions as "Do sororities still haze? How can I find out? Because if you do you will DIE!!!" And "How much crime is on campus?" " How can you allow boys up past the first floor? Do you check her room?" total blushing from my daughter who is now upset at her twin 'freshman" mother===I mean Friend...In the meantime, my 4 year old Matea wanted to know what CLASSIC meant and looked me straight in the face and said "mom what is sex?" as she shlurped up a gogurt....I said "where did you hear that word?" She said "Two weeks ago in the van in front of the building (she has a photographic memory) you said the word to Grace." That was when I thought Matea was asleep in her carseat and I had the broken English age appropriate SEX talk to Grace. Matea can hear in her sleep. So, I said "It is when you get married and the husband and wife kiss and sometimes make babies." She says "Are you making babies?" I said "Not are my baby." Okay...She says"do we have to have sex?" I say, "Do you want to watch Dora or Dragontales?" She says "Dora." And I take a sip of coffee and congratulate myself for buying some more time. I am a little arrogant and pat myself on the back for advanced parental distraction techniques....


Okay everyone I am on TWITTER. I actually joined 3 weeks ago and trying to get the hang of it. I have two accounts 40daysmom and Deanna Jones for work. I had to trouble shoot a little. Got in trouble for what I call "Double Dipping" my tweets. Remember, George Castanza double dipping the chips. I basically would do what I had seen a bunch of people doing. I would send out a tweet and then retweet it with just different wording. Mark joined and said "HEY YOU DOUBLE TWEETED"...then another woman told me the same no double dipping on twitter.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter and our VISIBLE Children!

I just have to post about Easter. Yesterday, I came to church with all of my kids and felt so humbled and blessed by being able to sit and listen to the African Children's choir sing. The day before we had spent time with these incredible children out at their home (Mirembe House). We were so fortunate to hunt for Easter Eggs with them and play soccer. This particular choir is comprised of children from Northern Uganda. If any of you are familiar with the film INVISIBLE CHILDREN, you will understand that these boys have to travel every night away from their villages into hospitals, airports or shopping malls, to escape being kidnapped from terrorist rebels who like to steal little boys around the age of 7 or 8 or a little older and place an automatic rifle in their hand to be soldiers. They initiate them by forcing them to murder or maim their friends. They threaten the brutal death of their parents or younger siblings if they don't comply. Sometimes they follow through with the threats to remind the children never to disobey.

THis past year was one of the first times the MUSIC FOR LIFE coordinators were able to travel into Northern Uganda to audition children for the choir. Every other year it has been too dangerous. There was a brief time however this year that the rebels had moved further into the Sudan making it possible for these children to SING THEIR WAY TO SAFETY...and that is why I cried. I always marveled at the voices and ability of the African people to SING through so much of their struggles. They are amazing people. But when I think about the children still escaping every night and then think about these children auditioning to sing for boggles my mind. A golden opportunity toward safety through a song. So, the parents send their kids to these auditions (if the parents are still living) with a deep hope that these children will survive by way of singing. So, on the one hand there is sending your kids into the big city to sleep away from the potential kidnapping, on the other hand there is standing in front of a group of people to sing for an assured future to be educated and live in a safe house away from guns and terrorist further south in uganda. Then if they are fortunate enough they will be chosen and sing for the elite group that comes to America sings for President of the United celebrities in America, sing to sold out concerts, learn about Easter Egg hunts and sing on Easter in the church that bought a house for your whole choir.

So, the day before Easter I watched in awe as Grace served these children cupcakes, poured drinks for them and chatted with them. It was surreal. My Ethiopian once orphaned daughter touching these children who have also escaped near death. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE LORD!!! I am just humbled...looking at them I see the story of Easter lived out. THey are renewed, uplifted, brought out of the suffering into a bright beautiful place. We cannot imagine the lost hope these children had once not long ago. To see how God has worked in their lives has to bring hope to all of us who complain about our stocks dropping or losing our jobs...but it really gives us perspective. Pain is relative and I don't want to diminsh the sufering here in the US too...but I choose to remember that no matter how much I can complain about my lack of work, concerns about being able to pay the bills, I still have running water, parents that have lived a long life, a roof over my head, food in the fridge and the ability to sleep at night not worrying that I will be scooped up into horror. Praise God! And I have a renewed commitment to pray nightly for the INVISIBLE CHILDREN!!!! Please join me...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Kissed a Boy and I Liked it!

So, now that the weather here in NC went up to the 70's and now back to freezing we have had a flu or some kind of 2 day bug going around our house. First it was Andrew last Friday (i forced him to go to school and now that I have it feel great remorse for doing that), then Jared and Mark and NOW I HAVE IT...Tired, sore throat, achy...Jared feels great now and came home from school and ran up to a boy and KISSED HIM! We had to apologize to the boys mom (he was a little boy a few years younger)...Jared said "He's cute!" We had to have a kissing conversation that bordered on the politically incorrect conversation of why boys don't kiss boys etc (not that there's anything wrong with that...quoting a Seinfeld episode). We are thinking "I hope he didn't just land a big giant flu bug on him." Meanwhile, anytime we talk about TV shows we have to ask and investigate whether there is any kissing first. The girls seek it out and LOVE KISSING. Of course Grace (who now wants to be called GRACIE) swears she doesn't want to watch anything with kissing in it and then whispers to me how she would like to invite MARK (the entire 4th grade class of girls boyfriend) to come to her party in June.

Andrew wants to be home schooled and came to me with all of his research and an online school before I could even catch my breath. But after watching him make websites and blogs on a 3 week break, we are seriously considering having him home schooled for at least the first year of middle school. It would give him a chance to grow too. Plus he wants to do case studies on Disney and Bill Gates and I am not sure he'll get to do that in the local middle school. Problem is: I took advanced studies in singing in High School which oddly landed me in the National Honors Society above others who took calculus and got bad grades....and I have no idea even what the order of operations are and without the guidance of my high school senior (who'll be in college) not sure if Andrew will progress with math. Andrew was trying to create new rules with Math yesterday combining fractions and whole numbers and laying out new rules ("if a fraction and a whole number unite it will always be this...If you multiply it with this it will do this...isn't that exciting?" something I just said "that's nice honey." to). I could really teach him how to hit a high note though....Matea continues to amazing me with her vocabulary. She wanted to know what RUSTIC meant...i mean how did she even hear the word????? Then she came to church with us and watched us take communion and she totally needed a full explanation of the resurection etc because without the explanation she thought we literally were eating Christ's body (that had been saved for us for over 2000 years) and drank his blood (which she said smelled like welches grape juice---because it is)...."why does Jesus' blood smell like grape juice Mommy?" But I am touched and amazed at how wonderfully the kids are doing and am in awe that this will be our second Easter together....Praise God!