Friday, July 30, 2010

I have a kid that doesn't talk. He can, and he could, but he won't. Instead, he chooses the most logical means for a mostly-blind child to communicate: sign language. Anyway, if you were at my house, you would understand 3 things.
1. R2 is HUNGRY
2. R2 wants to LEAVE
3. R2 wants to GO TO SCHOOL.

He "tells" me, and anyone else who comes by to, you know, deliver the mail or whatever, all the time. Glory be, school starts in 2 weeks. I haven't told him yet because he can only handle a day's notice before the waiting really stresses him out.

It's not just school for him, though. I mean, we'll pack him a lunch and send him off to the custody of the state for 8 hours a day or whatever, but this year somebody else is going to school, too.

Toby is starting homeschool, approximately when R2 gets on the little yellow bus and goes to tell his teacher he's hungry. This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to Toby, ever. And honestly, I'm geeking out a little myself. He's just such a natural learner that I am stoked to really try to teach him.

I mean, I teach all the time, good things and bad things. But starting in 2 weeks, I'll be teaching stuff like writing and adding and random facts he doesn't already know and such. I've been preparing for a year or so, buying preK-1st workbooks and random school and art supplies (thrift stores, Walmart, Target, and jackpot: Dollar Tree!), and squirreling them all away. Most of them have already been breached, since he's a sneaky little son of a gun. Anyway, now I have everything in basically one cabinet and I have high hopes of making some kind of lesson plan or goal or something prior to my start date.

If you hang around here much, you know I'm not terribly self-disciplined. I'm shooting for an hour a day, and I'm not nailing that hour down yet, since plans give me hives.

I've also bought a few beginner workbooks for Bean, since she can't read yet, even though she's 3. This gives Toby a huge superiority complex. "You're not going to homeschool, Brynn," he says loftily. "You're going to preschool."

Unlike everything else he says, this doesn't seem to bother Brynn. She's just excited about being able to draw with markers without getting in big trouble. I hope to encourage her artistic tendencies, and maybe channel them toward paper, since she prefers walls as her primary canvas. I know, I'm so uptight!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. - Erma Bombeck

I feel like I walk this line so much, in my life, in my thoughts. I celebrate life, and I ache, all at the same time. I think funny people are the saddest people, and I don't really understand why that is. It's a balancing act, the laughter and the pain... Jeez. I'm depressing myself.

Sorry, folks. I get a little existential when I have lots of time to think. I combat it by reading poorly written historical fiction, happening across interesting facebook arguments, and watching bloopers on youtube. Speaking of youtube, you should watch these video journals from the Radiants: 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I didn't write this, but I give it a hearty AMEN! Copy/pasted from a FB note. This is about my good friend Tracie and her family: read it, bloggerati.

It is no secret Tracie Loux is amazing. I'm guessing everyone who has ever met her realizes she's amazing. Who else could champion the cause of a newborn with Down's Syndrome to the extent that not only did he have adoptive parents before he was discharged from the hospital, but the whole bill for his adoption was paid for by an army of total strangers? Who else would spend the night at a hospital to pray for and love on a newborn baby girl so that she wouldn't feel alone until her adoptive parents arrived the next day? Who else could have a newborn found for a homestudy ready family even before the family has completed their paperwork? Yeah, she's like that, and we all know it.

You probably know that Tracie and her husband John, along with their three children, moved to Kansas City, Missouri a few years ago to be part of the International House of Prayer. (This means that, rather than having a full-time good paying job, complete with benefits, they have a full-time ministry job and live on missionary support, which they raise themselves.) You probably also know that three years ago they adopted a newborn baby girl domestically, and then adopted two special needs toddlers from Ukraine a year and half ago. You may even know that while she was busy adopting three little ones herself, she was helping 37 families complete their own adoptions, and has several more families in process, including three that are already matched and waiting for their babies to be born.

What you may not know about Tracie is what kind of vehicle she drives: a '99 minivan with almost 140,000 miles on it. Yep, a minivan with seating for seven, for a family of eight. Being ever resourceful, Tracie and John ditched the middle two-seater seat and replaced it with a three seater seat, and now they are able to squeeze three teenagers and three toddlers in car seats into the back of their minivan. I can only imagine how fun it is to climb over the middle seat to get to the back, either to sit or to buckle a toddler into a car seat, realizing that the aisle the manufacturer left to access that back seat is now occupied by seat #8! You probably don't know the condition of this poor, overworked minivan, either. To be honest, I don't know any specifics, but I heard how it sounded last year, and even I know a car isn't supposed to sound like that!

So why am I telling you this? Because this family has been praying for a larger, more appropriate van ever since they became a family of eight, and I believe it's time. They don't just WANT a new van; they truly NEED a new van. As I wrote in my last post, so much good be done when we all get together and give even small amounts. Let's join forces and get this family the van they so desperately need! What they really need is a 15 passenger van because, not surprisingly, they hope to rescue more orphans. When the right van becomes available it will be important to act fast, so I'm starting the money end of things right away. Our initial goal is to raise $10,000, but the more we raise the better van we will be able to get them.

There are a couple ways you can give to the Loux van fund. The first is to use the PayPal button on Tracie's blog. The second, in case you need your gift to be tax deductible, your check can be sent to: Tekoa 211, PO Box 214, Beaver Crossing NE 68313. Attach a note to the check (don't write ON the check) that the check is for "Loux Van". Whichever way you choose to donate please contact me with the amount you gave so we know when we know what we have to work with. You can contact me on Facebook (Dorean Beattie) or through email (

Tracie has been such a hero to so many of us, and this time she is the one that needs some heroes. Together we can do this!

John, Tracie and the Crew. Imagine them all in a minivan, including three car seats, then donate!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Got word today that this baby, that baby is not going to be our baby. Richy and I had already pretty much settled on that, so it's not really sad or disappointing or anything. In fact, it's kind of a relief to have an answer. Pray for the family of this little guy, that they find Jesus and become a safe place.

So now we wait some more, which is okay. I have several projects I'm working on pre-baby, including cleaning out a nook/closet type space where I plan on putting the crib. The crib that Bean sleeps in, currently. I am planning on moving her to a big girl bed any minute now. Sigh. Also, I need to raise 1 gillion dollars. Get in on that by clicking on the ChipIn link over on the sidebar, or by buying an awesome shirt, if you want.

It's a weird place emotionally. I have to disconnect myself somewhat to be able to think of the mom's best interest, of the baby's best interest. If I am trying to do what I say I am, then I am the servant here, and that's hard, sometimes, because I love babies, and I would like one to come and live at my house. It just needs to be right, so we wait.

So there you go, that's what I've got today. For lighter fare, check the last few posts. Couple laughs in there....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

6ntLook, nobody can deny that some traits are genetic. Like music. People are either musical or they aren't. That's not to say that someone can't be taught to play an instrument, or sing, but they won't be gifted or musical unless it's born in them. That's what I think, anyway, and now I've said it on the internet, so that makes it true.

All that to say, is there a housekeeping gene? I can feel the MOG rolling his eyes from here. If I wasn't so submissive... anyways, I don't think I have it. Now, part of the problem is that I'm lazy. As DCTalk once said, there's no sense in hiding the truth. That's just part of it, though.

See, I can sit here in this living room, and I can see with my keen and perceptive eyes that there are shoes on the floor, in random places, and an intercom that was unplugged after too aggressive use of the "Call" button, and you know, a coathanger, and some little thing that looks like a piece of electrical tape. I call that "pretty good". Other people I'm married to might call it "chaos" or "filth". You see the discrepancy.

At some point tonight, several buses of Nashvillians will descend upon us, to spend the night on their journey back to N-ville. My job is to make places for them to sleep that don't smell like urine or have crumbled corn chips. Yikes! Maybe you're saying. Hey, shut it. The kids sneak off and have "picnics" in exotic locations like under the futon. As for the urine, 1 out of 3 is potty-trained. It might smell like a bus station around here for a while.

So now I have to get up off my genetically-predisposed-to-computers-and-couches rear end and clean up the joint. It's like playing God.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

These last couple of posts have been duds, as far as comments go... I mean, it's not like I'm starved for attention or anything... I have 3 small people in this house that sometimes are so overcome by doing the Velcro on their shoes without me that they fall down on the ground, distraught. My every act is scrutinized, to the point that I have started hiding in the closet to change clothes. Random statements I make are repeated to strangers in the checkout lane. It's like I live with the paparazzi.

So that's not it so much as I like feedback. Good feedback, not so much the youtube "this is the werst vidio Ive ever seen, u suck" variety.

You have to understand the degree of narcissism you're dealing with here. The MOG, on a regular occasion, will find me re-reading one of my own posts and chuckling devilishly.

Now, back to business. We haven't heard anything more from that potential birthmom, although she hasn't officially made a decision yet. What that means is we will probably not ever see this baby, but we have to kind of prepare for the contingency that she chooses us and we have a baby in the first week of August. We aren't really the preparing type, so we're mostly just doing other stuff and then we'll be really surprised and freak out a little if the baby comes to us. Which is exactly what we do when we birth babies.

And remember: still selling shirts, and I have 95 to go to reach my 100 shirt goal. So make a note, and buy one when your ship or paycheck comes in, and please spread the word. They are really cool shirts and a beautiful message. Plus, the cause ain't too shabby.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You know that feeling, when you have to pack for a trip and there is SO MUCH to do that you can't do anything? Maybe you don't, Suzy Homemaker. Maybe you have matching suitcases all packed ahead of time just in case a trip comes up, with matching clothes and socks and everything. (I once sent Richy on a 3 week tour with zero socks. Lucky for him, we live in America.)

Anyways. I'm not judging you, Suzy. It's just my brain is so chaotic. I try very hard to look at similar chaos and organize it into reason, but where to start? As a kid, my mom used to stand outside my tornado/room and direct me, one task at a time. "Now, pick up books."

My sister suggests that it's because I'm a genius. Her theory is that geniuses thrive in chaos. Now, that's a good sister. Especially since she has matching Rubbermaid boxes of seasonal decor in her attic, that are rotated in for significant events, like Memorial Day. Her cats are clean. My other sister has a bit more of my, shall we say, joie de vivre when it comes to organization and such.

Again, I digress. It's what I do, because of my chaotic genius brain.

What I was getting at, is that life is in one of those crunches, and by crunches, I mean, the part of the nightmare where the walls are getting closer and you're fixing to get juiced like a grape. Just financial, emotional, spiritual crises. I don't know where to look.

And at the same time, we're on this adoption journey, which is good, and God, and joyful, but also nuts. (Don't misunderstand me, I don't think nuts is a bad thing, necessarily.)

The good part is, I have been juiced enough times in my life to know that God is still good, and we'll be okay. Now, pray for us and buy some t-shirts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

We're still waiting to hear if this baby, due 8/4, is the one. It's looking like a no, but if he is, then we'll owe somewhere around $9000 on that day. Regardless, there will be a baby soon, so buy a rocking shirt and look awesome. Amen.

Go! Buy shirts and support Mystery Baby Clark! And please forward, email, re-tweet, repost, print this out and mail it to your grandchildren, etc.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We met a young woman yesterday, to be interviewed, in a sense, about parenting her baby. She was young and wounded and beautiful, and I hope that the time we spent with her will help her in the future. Thus, the sappy poetry yesterday. I love teenagers. 

I'm pretty sure this is not the one. By that I mean I'm pretty sure she took my subconscious advice to take her baby and run.  Part of me is aching to put somebody to bed in the crib, but the other part of me knows that the best thing is probably, usually, for a mother to keep her child.I know how desperately this girl needs family, and connection. So, we wait. 

In other news, we're about to start pre-selling shirts as a fundraiser. These are super cool and you need one. They will be $25, which, I know, is a lot... but we need a lot to, you know, adopt a baby. So. 

I'm waiting to see if a) I get approved for a matching grant and b) T-shirt sales can be included in said matching grant. Then, I will unleash the SALE on you. 
Shirt design by Josh Brown. Use him for design work!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

your wounds
are deep

you don't know
you're beautiful
and capable
and worth 
so much more

and I can't tell you
not in an hour

your walls 
are not 
as high as you think

Find hope, little girl
There is so much more 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As I write this, a social worker is meeting with a young mother.

In the next hour or so, she might decide who will raise the son she is carrying. She will look at glossy pictures of me, of Richy, of our happy, safe home. What must she be thinking? Part of me wants to try to stop her, to say, "Don't you know how much you'll miss him? His first teeth,  his first steps... take your baby and run!"

I have spent six years trying not to think too hard about the children I've lost, reaching milestones in heaven (if it works that way). If I had been given the choice, in 2004, I don't know what I might have been willing to give up, to have them, to keep them.

It's not the same. I know that. I know some women are not ready, or willing, or able to parent their children. Still, it's a hard thing to process.

If she chooses us, so much gain for us. So much loss for her, for the baby who will miss the sound of her voice, the essence of his mother.

Someone loses.

In the purest part of me, at least, I think it's from a pure place, I hope she wins. I hope she becomes everything she thinks she can't be, that she finds Jesus and life and hope, and wins.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Remember last week? When I was all "oh, the soft sweet sad rain. how I love it so" ? Yeah. Forget that. This week rain punched me square in the tripe-writer.

It started innocently enough. As I was begging and imploring all toddlers to quit jumping on my bed for the love of God and let me get my eyes open before I have to start screaming at you, it began to rain. Excitement ensued.

The MOG took them all downstairs to watch the rain in the sunroom, which is made of windows and insanity. I took the opportunity to lay back down. After a minute, though, I noticed that the sky over my skylight was greenish, and the trees around were kind of whipping around and generally behaving in a manner not befitting trees.

Let me put one part of this in perspective. Richy has been away on ministry for 3+weeks, after having been present-in-body-only for another couple of weeks during our Texas ministry trip. Let me put that in perspective. I have been mostly alone with my children for close to 2 months.

Being all alone in a tornado sounded pretty good.

I realized after a second that maybe I should go hunker down with my family, and then the power went out. For almost THREE days. Sigh.

Turns out, it wasn't a tornado. It was a thunderstorm, with a wall cloud that ripped through our neighborhood, tossing trees around like confetti and snapping power lines for blocks.  After 3 nasty, sweaty, internetless days, I thank God for the simple things in life, like wireless signals and air conditioning. Amen.

Oh, and my post at Moral Outcry is up for this week.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Since I'm the youngest of 5, I started being an aunt early. My closest niece is like 3 years younger than me, so I grew up with her, and that whole batch of nephews and nieces were more like cousins. Then, when I was a teenager Mercy and Madi were born, and I was pretty busy making out with Richy, so I missed a lot of their babyhood. 

But then when they were like 5 and 6 and started learning how to talk a little trash, I got them. Now they're 14 and 15 and two of the most interesting women in the world. I am ├╝ber proud of them and their geeky awesomeness. 

They're here for 2+ weeks to go to camp, and I will report their activities to the interwebs. Currently they are drawing pictures of angry boys with long bangs and large eyes.


A potential match-baby (that's a baby we might be matched with, not a baby that sells matches in the streets) is due August 7th. We won't know for a couple of weeks, but in the meantime we'll be planning to have $16,000 by that date. 
Pray for finances from heaven and that we get approved for a matching grant program, because that would so rock. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rain is beautiful. I love sunshiny days, with no clouds and birds and what-not, but rainy days might be my favorite. Every rain is different. Today, it's a little gray with a light rain, just enough to surround me here in my house of windows.

The air is cloaked in an easy melancholy, like listening to a violin play while your heart aches a little. Sometimes sunlight is so brash, so intrusive and overly cheerful, and you just need a break. So the sky weeps and you feel at home, for a moment.

So I sit, still and quiet for a change, and welcome the ache. It's part of who I am, who I am made to be, and so often I chase it away with silliness. I was made for another world, for another reality.

in the dim
I see Your hand
tracing shapes in the water
dreaming for me

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Today was one of those days. One of those there is a toddler jumping on my bladder before my eyes are open followed by we're out of cereal mornings. And then I'm scrambling to make instant oatmeal while the troops lose morale and turn to civil wars, and it just went from there.

One of those, "I'm sorry. Mommy is having a grumpy day", followed by screeching and threats. Kids smell blood in the water, I'm telling you. On days when I wake up all Pollyanna and a little bluebird follows me around singing, they take it easy. But let me wake up on the wrong side and they are on it.

I know what you're saying, Richy everyone. Maybe they are bad because I made them that way, with the anger and the hostility. Maybe you're right. Come a little closer and let's talk about it while I punch you in the neck.

It seems to me, as the largest grouchy party, that they do especially bad things before I am "frustrated". Like today. As I am getting out of the shower, where I prayed violently for more grace, I happen across Brynn cheerfully pouring 16 ounces of bottled water on the hardwood floor. Later, the partners in crime stripped down and then emptied a dresser, so they could "get dressed". R2 drifts from room to room, surveying the damages and trying to steer clear of the stick horse which has been doubling as a light saber.

Part of the problem is that I don't eat breakfast. There is a very good reason that I don't eat breakfast. It's because I hate morning, and I want to die.

(Dear Mama, that sentence was for humor purposes only, I am actually quite happy, albeit irritated with mankind)

Anyways, I have been quite cheered up by the writing of this post. Also, Toby and Brynn went outside to torture bugs or something, so R2 and I can sneak a few brownies out of the broken microwave where I hid them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The dilemma is, how do I raise children that have good old American Mormon homeschool values (I am not Mormon, but they're a little more identifiably moral) without them seeming like, well, dorks?

Look, I'm old fashioned. I might love loud music, and live an unconventional life, but we don't talk about bodily functions or body parts, in much detail. I make them say "toot". They think "stupid" and "shut up" are swear words. And they say Ma'am. Oh, and they don't watch SpongeBob, or Shrek, or any of the other "children's" shows that are not really for kids. I try to teach them to be kind, and to love people, regardless of whether we agree with them or not.

And of course, they have a disabled brother, which makes them automatically more accepting and understanding that some people are different.

So how, now, do I teach them these principles and get the values in them, without making them judgmental? How does a kid be cool, and open-armed, and still have strong beliefs? Today, Toby was just about to launch into a lecture when the McD's lady gave them free Shrek watches, and I distracted him with food... close one.

I can imagine it, though. Toby'll be all gorgeous and hip at 15 years old with his surfer hair and his musical skills, and then he'll open his mouth and sound like Charles Finney. Like an 80 year old Charles Finney.

I just want them to be holy, and at the same time, love freely. Like Jesus. Of course, Jesus didn't keep his mouth shut...

Monday, July 5, 2010

My first post for Moral Outcry is up... if you're a regular reader around here, it won't be new information... but it's at a different URL, with lots of different readers, so that's exciting. I'll be writing over there once a week or so, assuming I don't run out of things to say. Go read it! Then come back. Or do it in whatever order you like... it's a free country, pretty much.

Now, back to me. I got my hair cut today. I printed out 3 pictures of Victoria Beckham, because I am not necessarily going for originality right now, and I want something cute but easy. Sidenote: the MOG, upon spotting the printout, asked if I was getting my hair cut like Posh Spice. It took me a minute to even process that he knew who Posh was. "...she's married to a soccer player..." he  explained, kind of lamely.

My original plan was to go to the beauty school, but they are only open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30-11:35. (this is an exaggeration) So I went to Great Clips and a guy with big square diamond earrings and an attitude was my stylist.

Now, I am pretty fearless about my hair. There are few things that could make me bail on a cut, once I'm in the chair. I stayed, years ago, when the Stylist-in-training said, "Wow, a bob. I've never done a bob before..." a little nervously. I stayed another time when my SIT's coworkers said, "You doin a cut?" with concern. I have had my ear cut, my hair butchered multiple times, sat through amazing instructor repairs, etc.

But this guy spooked me when he looked at the picture and sighed, "Oh, you want to look like everyone else." It shook me. I don't, you know. I don't want to look like all the other mommies, even though all the other mommies look great. I hesitated for a moment, and then I remembered that I don't look like anyone else, except the occasional lesbian comedian and a sibling or two. And Elvira, recently.

I buckled down and let K-Fed do the cut, and it's okay. I don't actually like it yet, but I'll figure it out in a few days.

This is heavy stuff, I know. I'll just let the Holy Spirit work on your hearts now...

Friday, July 2, 2010

I have suffered much in my life. A thread of pain weaves through all of my 20's, and often, I have had to sit back and remind myself of the truth- that God is good, despite my circumstances, and that He knows pain better than anyone. I have been given the opportunity, over and over, to question His plan, His purpose, His design- and He comes out, every time, as a Father who loves me and grieves with me. I know now, in the infinite wisdom of a 31 year old, that I will not get answers to a lot of questions on this side of heaven, and I can live with that.

Deep, huh? Watch this stunning plunge into the superficial. Why didn't God make us so we burn calories when we chase toddlers? 

I spend 26 hours a day grabbing people by their tiny little arms and pulling them off the freeway or out of the fireplace. I hoist them onto my growing hips and lug them away from siblings, who drop their entire 40 pounds onto my leg and hang on. I make mad dashes all day long, to catch them before they dive from the kitchen counter or cut their construction paper with a box cutter. I lift 1, sometimes 2 toddlers with one arm out of carseats and carry their sweaty, sleepy bodies up a flight of stairs. 

Don't get me wrong, I also spend an unreasonable amount of time on the couch, only expending enough effort to shout things like, "What was that crash?" and "Who's in the refrigerator?" and "Do NOT put that power supply in your mouth..." but, c'mon! This job is amazingly taxing, physically. 

You should see me sometime, holding a toddler with one arm that is also holding a bag of groceries, and propping the screen door open with my hip while trying to pull another toddler off the railing where he is madly ringing the doorbell to our own house. I tell you, I'm like some kinda superhero in that moment, like The Amazing Shrieking Fish-wife. There's no money in that, though. Unless I got a reality show... 

All that to say, we are tightening the ol' budget belt around here and I cancelled our Y membership today. I hardly ever go, anyway, but now... commence fatness. And thus, I question Your great eternal plan...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Lordy. I need about a gallon of BlueBell and complete silence. Fiddlesticks, you say. Maybe you think all I've been doing for the last week is going to prayer meetings, taking care of my kids, and rescuing dogs. If so, you're right. And maybe Mother Teresa can pull off that kinda thing without a hitch, but as for me and my house, we are zonked.

We drove back to KC today. My house smells a little funny, and it's not clean, per se, but it's home. I am now free to ignore my children at will, since it will only be my stuff they are breaking. Luckily, I bought most of it either at a thrift store and superglued it together anyway, or I bought it at Dollar Tree and really, how much can you expect?

I hope to hit a creative stride in the next couple of days and write some good stuff. First, I need some mental space and I think I can get that starting 2 glorious hours from now when I get all BabyWise on my attachment toddlers and put them to non-negotiable bed.

I have also been asked to write a weekly adoption post for Bound4Life's blog, Moral Outcry, which is a huge honor and also pretty intimidating, since I've never been disciplined at much of anything, except for feeding people who scream. So that's another motivation for needing some brain food.

Fortunately for me I picked up a half-gal of BlueBell Strawberry on the way home. Expect brilliance. And cellulite.
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