Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adoption update

It's been quite a while since we have said much about our hopes to adopt.  I guess it has seemed useless, maybe downright pathetic, to keep talking about something that is just not happening.

"Look at the poor nice people who want to adopt.  Too bad nobody wants them."

But many of you have been praying and have occasionally asked about where we are in the process.  I have vacillated between truly appreciating the love and concern, and wishing people would stop asking because it's so annoying to keep saying, "Well, no, we haven't heard anything in months and we have no idea when or if this might happen."

And now it's time to renew our home study.  Again.

Renewing is not as arduous or as expensive as the initial home study, but it does involve updating paperwork (like getting fingerprinted again, just in case our fingerprints have changed?!) and just today we found out that we are required to do six hours of "education."  I'm all for education and we certainly have more we can learn about adoption, but after all this time, it feels like another obstacle, another road block, and another evidence that we're not good enough/smart enough to adopt a child.

I know.  I know.  That's not what it means.  But that's how it feels.

And like we've just wasted three years and hundreds of dollars for...what?

And yet, we can't give up the idea that we are supposed to adopt; that God is calling us to do this.  And, I suppose, if God calls you to do it, you do it, no matter how long the wait or how discouraging the journey.

Currently, our earthly hopes are bound up in a new agency, Faithful Adoption Consultants.  They deal exclusively with adoptive families and facilitate the adoption.  The longest wait they have had so far is nine months.

Nine months would have been lovely.

We're still not sure when or if this adoption will happen, but we continue to wait and hope and trust the Lord for His plan and His timing.

We appreciate your prayers very much.  And you are welcome to ask about it any time!

And our baby is going to know that we prayed and hoped and waited a long time, just for her.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Club

For a few years now I've been involved with a book club par excellence.

It was started by a bunch of ladies who attended church together and wanted to tackle some more challenging literature. But as with any journey, this endeavor sounded much more do-able and fun with companions, so they started reading, meeting, and discussing. A few years later, a friend invited me to come along for the literary trip and I am so glad she did!

We try to stick to classics, but that still leaves with a good number of books to choose from!

We've read American, British, French and Russian literature. We all have a penchant for 19th century British literature so we treat ourselves to a Jane Austen every once in a while. But we've also tried Solzhenitsyn, Shakespeare, Cather, Dostoevsky, Waugh, Dumas, Stevenson, and many, many more. We occasionally read short stories, like a collection of Flannery O'Connor stories, or what is considered children's literature, like Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden.  

This month, we are reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain.  A novel I have meant to read for a long time but lacked the proper motivation.  Now I have it!  

One of the things I like most about this book club is that it motivates me to read things I wouldn't otherwise try.  Thankfully, no one has insisted on Dickens because I might have to be very busy the night of that discussion!  But I certainly wouldn't have tackled Solzhenitsyn on my own!

The discussions themselves are pretty great, too.  We are no longer made up of all ladies from the same church, but we are all Reformed in some way, so we have a common worldview to start from.  But the discussions still get pretty lively sometimes!  I always walk away from a discussion feeling that I understand the book better, even if I didn't agree with everyone's take on the tale.  

One of our usual hostesses, Joy, does a lovely job of fixing food that goes with the book.  For instance, when we read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich she made black bread - it was MUCH tastier than what the prisoners ate, but was visually appropriate to the novel.  Just a fun little addition to our reading experience.  

When I hosted a discussion of Brideshead Revisited I made cucumber sandwiches, melons with prosciutto, and tea since all three were mentioned in the novel.   

Our next meeting is the 27th and I'm hosting.  Wonder what I should fix for food.  

First things first, though.  I'm only on chapter three.  Guess I should go read!

Monday, January 9, 2012


“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” 
― G.K. Chesterton

Friday, January 6, 2012

Annual Cookie Decorating

 A week or so before Christmas, we held our annual cookie decorating party.  We've done this every year since Will was little.  This year he tried to object that he was too old for such things, but once he got into it, he enjoyed it as much as ever.
 Our smallest cookie decorator was quite the ar-teest.
 One kind of frosting I made with egg nog and it was all we could do to keep John out of the stuff!
The cookie recipe is one that was published in 2000 in Victoria magazine and became a favorite the first time I tried it.  One year I even made another batch for Valentine's Day.  Might have to do that again...

The decorating was fun, but the eating is everybody's favorite part.  Yum!

Monday, January 2, 2012