Sitting and Watching Bubbles Rise

That is what my days look like folks. I do a lot of bubble watching.
Yesterday, Jena turned seven weeks old.  We have been home from the hospital for two weeks now.  Try as I might to get to the computer and an update punched out, it simply has not happened.

My brain feels a little fizzy, and my reasoning skills have vanished.  When people ask me questions about Jena, I find myself saying things that I think are true, but upon further reflection, they are false.  At church I was asked when my mother left for Ohio, and I supplied a totally fictitious date. (Innocently though)

Every I think of what I need to do, and then I mentally cross out about half the list and focus on one or two things.  Must fold laundry.  Must wipe up spill on carpet.  If I get those two things done, along with the care and feeding of the “youngsters” I call it a good day. (Why don’t we say youngsters anymore? It has such a cool 40’s ring to it)

And its ok.  Life is truly good, and I am loving these days that I sit and hold my baby guilt-free.

So when Jena was discharged from the hospital, the doctor did something she only did once before, she released Jena with her NG tube.  We had a couple of whirlwind days at the hospital when they decided that it would be  safe to send her home this way, and that I was competent enough to re-stuff the tube down her nose in the event that she pulled it out.

I passed the test, and its good I had to learn because it turns out the Jena pulled it out every other day.  I now have had lots of practice threading it into her nose and down to her belly with her screaming and gagging the whole time.  Its about as fun as it sounds.

And now I think we are nearing the end of her use of it. The last two days she has finished all her feeds from her bottle.  I hold the bottle and will the bubbles to rise.  They used to float lazily to the surface, or or two at a time, until a whole hour had passed and it turns out she had only eaten about one ounce.  Now, seven weeks stronger, the bubbles rise, too many to count, all at one time. Success!

One last thing that I have been thinking about so much lately.  How is it, that we have been so surrounded by such supportive people?  The phrase “It takes a Village” has a new and significant meaning this year.  Adoption from beginning to end is reliant on so many different people, it truly took a village to bring our little girl home.

PEOPLE have blessed us so much!  Friends who brought burritos to the hospital, and just hung out with us.  Friends who delivered Books and Hershey kisses (My love language…books and chocolate for sure)   The neighbor who has helped me most days by doing laundry and washing my dishes.  Family who did a bang-up job on my yard.  I came home from the hospital one day and found everything (Yes EVERYTHING) weeded and pressure washed.  My mom and sister who stopped, dropped and rolled to my rescue when Jena was born.  Care packages in the mail. Friends who take my kids for the day. A long-distance friend who prayed with me on the phone.  The nun who visited the NICU every other day and prayed for Jena.  Church ladies dropping off casseroles, and all manner for cookies and bars that are keeping us all chubby. Nieces who bring their homework and chill with my kids in the evening.  The special nurse who would read to Jena during the night, when I was asleep forty minutes away.

I feel like a got a tiny glimpse of the body of Christ. So many people who did lots of little things, that put together, made a huge difference.

So I don’t have lots of rapturous words, and wonderful stories that will make everyone weep.  My brain is too foggy and sleep deprived for that.
What I do have is a heart that is overwhelmed with His goodness, because that is what I have seen, cloaked in the actions of his people.

My next post (next week? next month?) is going to be me answering frequently asked questions.   So if you have a question about our adoption, about withdrawal, or maybe my favorite breakfast cereal, feel free to ask away in the comments.  There are alot of questions that people ask, and they usually hover around the same themes.  So I will answer them. No question too stupid or too nosy. And if it is too nosy..well I will be sure to make you feel like an inferior human specie.

Signs and Wonders

Our adoption experience so far has reminded me of one thing. How desperately we want things to be right. How desperately we want to be in Gods will. How we long for confirmations that things are the way they should be. How we look for signs that give us peace and tell us “Yes, this is the right step, yes this is good.”

Most of you know that our adoptive mother picked us from a profile we had made, to give to prospective birth parents. I sent it out many times, each time with a prayer that it would be to the right person, and that somebody greater than us would make it happen, and make it be right. Part of me wishes that she would have picked us because she could just tell we would be great parents, or because we seemed so happy, or because we seem so stable. The truth is though, that’s not what jumped out at her from our profile. She didn’t pick us because we live on a farm with a large extended family. She didn’t pick us because we have fun with our kids and take them camping, or because we are so good at loving each other. She didn’t pick us because we are nice Christian people. The one thing that stood out to our child’s parent was the fact that Gene is tall.

No lie, HEIGHT is what tipped the scale in our favor.

It’s funny, because our profile was an online file on the computer, and I updated it frequently. If pictures were outdated I would stick a new one in. I took stuff out that seemed cheesy. One afternoon I was looking at our profile and thought to myself “You know, in these pictures you can’t really tell that Gene is tall, but when people meet him, that’s what people notice first. So as an afterthought at the “About Gene” page I wrote this: “You can’t tell in the pictures but Gene is 6’5”, and when we go out together people always ask him if he plays basketball”. That was the sign that birth mom received that gave her pause, gave her peace and said “Everything will be ok”. Because you see, the birth father is also 6’5”.

Fast forward to the birthday, and in meeting lots of members of the biological family, the theme was evident, that even in the midst of pain, these people were looking for comfort and hope that we were the right people to parent their little girl. Is it coincidence that Gene & birth dad “Could practically be twins” and that they “Walk and talk exactly the same” or that I “Look so Italian, I could fit right in at family gathering?” some of this stuff made me laugh and yet I get it.

When I arrived at the hospital on Saturday Morning (Day 3) I washed my hands to start care time with baby Allie (what we had called her up until that time) Birth mom came for a visit too, and we took turns feeding the baby, and then I told her if at all possible I would really like if she could finalize a name for the baby. She said, “Oh, yeah we were talking yesterday and he (birth dad) really wants to name her Jena.” When she said that, I gasped out loud. Because this name, was not just any name. This name had made it onto my short list of names for all my children. Jena has been a candidate for a girl’s name in each of my pregnancies. I never thought of it with this child, it wasn’t on my radar. I was blown away that we would be so lucky enough to have a name for the baby that I won’t just tolerate, but actually love.

And that’s how baby Jena was named. The OBGYN came into the room while we were talking, and gave his opinion that in a name like that, he always goes with the more traditional spelling, so it’s easier for people to spell.

Well, we both thought it was none of his business, so in a unified act of defiance we decided to spell it the non-traditional way. (I know, Real Mature. In our defense we both separately had thought it would be spelled with a single n)

And somehow, the name Jena reminds me that it will be ok. That it was the right step, and that it is good.