Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Asking for Help: Weakness or Humility?

Some of you may be surprised by this proclamation:  I HATE asking for help!  It's humiliating for me.  I feel like the person I'm asking for help from feels taken advantage of.  Another part of it, I think many of us view asking for help as a sign of weakness and I am not weak.  I am a strong woman....who can't do it all.  Since living in Utah, my family has had to resort to plenty of humble pie.  We've asked family members for help (this one is tough because you want to be the grown-up and when you ask for help, you feel like a kid again).  I've asked friends for help (a dear friend babysits for me 3X a week so I can work).  I've asked for help from work and from church, from neighbors and...well, from a lot of people.  I have been in no way worthy of the out-pouring of love and support I have received in return.  Am I worthy of all the good things that people have poured into my live? 

This post comes as a reaction to the events of my past week.  I won't delve in too deeply, but I will say that Chris was attacked on a paper he presented at a conference this week from other LDS members.  He was attacked on his belief system and basically told that he was a tool for Satan.  He could laugh and shake it off.  I didn't do as well.  Many of the comments I read in his write-up at Deseret News mentioned that more often than not, it was lazy people who were poor and that they deserve to be where they are.  I wanted to cry as I thought of my own situation.  I'm not poor by many standards, but we often struggle with day-to-day bills.  We don't own fancy toys. In fact, our car remains outside our house, unable to start and we've been borrowing a car from my parents.  We don't take fancy trips (I do dream of them quite often, however).  The only store we spend money in is the grocery store.  Yet, things are tight.  Are we lazy?  Yikes, Chris is working two full-time jobs, I work one part-time job....Lazy...no.  I think of how Chris was so harshly judged and I have to ask myself..."Who am I judging?  Who have I condemned?" 

Every time we judge someone, are we judging righteously (fyi....the righteous don't judge)?  Are we quick to assume the worst in someone?  I worry too much about what people think.  But I have to remind myself...asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of humility.  Please tell me I've been humbled enough.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cry Me a River

What do you do when you are stressed?  Chris becomes more silent than usual.  That, and a bit grumpier.  Todd becomes a tab bit...irrational.  I'm not really sure what Shem does.  He acts overwhelmed a lot and then nothing gets done.  Geneva...can a 4-year-old get stressed?  I just received the answer to my question.  She couldn't open the bathroom door.  Geneva cries.  And she does a little body bounce with that high pitched squealing (my son is correcting my spelling and grammar---thanks, Todd) sound that makes my whole body tense.  My method is completely shutting down.  If ever I become overwhelmed (Todd, quit correcting me!), I find myself unable to do anything.  My mind is so overwhelmed with whatever it is that has me frazzled and I am stuck in a state of immobilization.  Which, I might add, accomplishes nothing.  You know what gets things done?  A good cry.  It seems crying releases some sort of chemical.  Once that chemical is out, I can deal with whatever it is that has me struggling.  Problem is, how do I get myself to cry when my body is no longer responding to my brain.  Here are some good options, watch a documentary about children....children can always get me to my tear heaven.  Another good option, "Steal Magnolias."  Wait?  Is that what it's called?  Hmmm...I know what I'm talking about.  So, anybody up for a tear-jerker? 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Foster Family

Our home inspection is next Wednesday.  That's the final step.  It has been such a process, but one I in no way regret.  If you don't mind, I'd like to share our story of what lead us to this point....
It's my cousins fault, really,  She introduced me to a book that I have never been able to forget.  It's about a family that adopts 12 children, all of different races and nationalities.  I knew I wanted to be like that family one day. 
At BYU, I had the opportunity of interning at DCFS.  I was shown a very thick binder full of pictures.  These were pictures of children waiting to be adopted.  It broke my heart.  I wanted to provide a home to each one  of these children. 
Two years later, Chris and I were able to have our first experience with foster care.  It was difficult and left us wondering if this was something we were capable of ever doing again. 
In Idaho, they have what they call "Wednesday's Child" on one of the news stations.  They spotlight a child that is eligible for adoption each week.  I called the hotline number and had them send me more information.  Unfortunately, I knew our time in Idaho would be short.  Still, there was a hole in my heart. 
My sister has been a foster/adoptive parent for about two years now.  Her family was fortunate enough to adopt a sweet, curly-haired little blond.  I love watching him interact with my children.  They currently have a chubby-faced "Dora" (as Geneva refers to her).  They know there might be heartache, but for now...they love.
 I work at Wasatch Mental Health at the Youth Outpatient.  Many of the children we work with are foster children (since we are the only medicaid therapy provider in the area).  I watched one foster parent dog on the biological aunt and was very put off by her attitude.  I walked back into my office and made a call.  I was going to be a foster parent and now was the time.  That was 4 months ago.  Since then, I have had the good fortune of watching my husband become emotionally supportive through the process and pushing us to get everything done...and I have heard my children begging for....a sister...someone who has the same birthday....a classmate....a baby brother...etc...etc....I know this is the right thing for our family.  I know it will be scary.  I know if can be very difficult.  I know all of this, but I also know that I have children out there that need my family.  And maybe...one day....I will be a part of that family I always dreamed would be mine someday. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bubbles...May You Find Happiness in Your New Home

I've tapped on the glass, checked the fishes vitals and...Bubbles is dead.  He is whiter than I remember, upside-down (he's ALWAYS upside down), and NOTHING is moving.  He is most definitely deceased.  Before I go into my life with Bubbles, let me explain a little bit about myself.  I am not a pet person.  I grew up on a ranch surrounded by animals, but I was never interested in having one of my own.  Then...I came home with an orphaned puppy.  Mind you, he was an outdoor orphan puppy, but he was as sweet as can be and he LOVED our family.  Unfortunately, my children refused to enter our backyard all summer because "Rocky" was out there and he would jump on them and lick them and chase them.  I felt horrible for poor Rocky and he was then adopted by our next door neighbor who had dogs that Rocky had already formed friendships with through the fence that adjoined our yards.  So, we were NEVER going to have a pet again.  I had tried.  We had failed.  Then Todd came home from school.  Their class fish were looking for homes since the school year was ending.  I couldn't say, "No."  What is wrong with me?!!  I have a serious phobia of fish.  I will not swim in lakes and rivers because fish reside in there.  I tried swimming at my neighbors lake for excercise and saw fish (mind you, that lake is FULL of them) and I just couldn't do it any longer.  I would try willing myself into it, but just couldn't.  At family reunions, I live in agony, fearing my brothers will tip my boat or tube into the murky, fish invested waters.  They must have sensed that fear, because it hasn't happened yet.  Back to Bubbles.  I don't like fish....but then there's Bubbles.  Bubbles is funny.  When he first moved in, he had a serious case of ADD-with hyperactivity.  He'd zoom from one wall of his tiny fish tank, quickly to the other side.  I used to watch him for long periods of time, fasinated by his energy.  That slowly changed.  I think I've been watching him die for a while now.  The upside down swimming was becoming more and more frequent.  This past week, I was hoping his pain would end soon, because I'm pretty sure that a fish swimming upside down is not normal.  Some time between last night and this morning when I went to feed him, Bubbles did die.  I am pretty sure he's in a much bigger lake now where the fish are all big and friendly and there's plenty of agua to feed off of.  I cried this morning.  Not just tears, but I cried.  I cried over a stinking fish.  I cried over Bubbles.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Are YOU looking at ME?!!

I know we've all gone through this....you turn the corner and start walking down the long hallway when you look up and see that there is someone else on the opposite end of that long hallway...coming towards you.  Now the hallway feels even...longer.  What do you do?  Do you stare at the ground in front of you?  Do you check out the interesting art on the walls ("I just love what the Kindergarten class has done with snowflakes!").  Do you acknowledge the person coming towards you and then look down?  They know you've seen then.  You don't want to look pretentious.  You want to be friendly.  However, you also don't want to be stocker friendly with continued eye contact for the 10 uncomfortable remaining seconds until you have passed one another.  WHAT DO YOU DO?!!  Everytime I have this walk, I repeat this conversation in my head.  However, I have found ways to entertain myself during these torturous times.  I watch to see what the other person does.  It's humorous seeing someone look even more uncomfortable than I feel.  Then I mentally shake my head and laugh to myself and think....I gotta blog this!