Archive for January, 2009

22
Jan
09

Biggy Smalls

Not the rapper. That phrase describes our life now- a much smaller world that feels much bigger. When we first shared the good news about our son with our friend Sarah, who is a mom and the librarian at C.’s school, she said, “You don’t know it yet, but your social life has just changed.”

At the time I sort of knew what she meant: we’ll meet a lot more parents with kids, etc. The truth of what she really meant finally dawned on me as I was driving home yesterday from school with C. and his friend James in the backseat. My new social set is made up mostly of nine-year olds whose parents are trying to get a break from them! That’s really fine with me. C. is a very social animal especially if you are a nine year old and/or willing to play Lego Star Wars for hours on end. He and James really hit it off fast at school, and C. told me that James already feels like his “cousin” (translation = best kind of friend).

I like all of the friends C. is meeting. They are most entertaining. If you haven’t spent much time with nine year old boys, you should know that they think they are hilarious and typically are, but not for the reasons they believe. I’m starting to see that nine year olds are sort of like 80-year old men in that they can be entertained by talking about their bowel movements for hours. Yesterday as we drove home C. and James were trying to top one another’s stories about who had clocked in the longest recorded number 2 effort. James said he nearly missed an an entire Reds baseball game sitting on a toilet getting rid of the remnants of a Lean Cuisine meal that didn’t agree with him. “Two hours, I was in there! I haven’t eaten Lean Cuisine since,” he said.

Even C. was amazed at that one, and that’s saying something since he’s known for taking his own sweet time in the bathroom, too. Sometimes when he’s been in there a good long while, he’ll call out for us just to make sure we’re still somewhere in the house. Even though we would probably have time for a trip to the mall and a stop at the grocery store before he emerged again, it hasn’t sunk in for him yet that we would never leave him in the house by himself.

So our home has become our world in a way that it never has before. C. is becoming a homebody, which is good news because it means he is starting to experience his home as “home.” That can be challenging for someone whose life has completely changed recently. That we are spending time at home is a good thing in a lot of ways. And fortunately, our neighbors and good friends who have a son about C.’s age invite us over for dinner and to play a lot, which is helping him love his neighborhood, too.

As our life becomes centered on the geographic locales of school, church, home and neighborhood, we are starting to notice things that we never did before, like new friends and challenges to keeping friends without kids engaged in our lives. And our eyes are ever scanning the horizon for good babysitters as John and I prepare for the day when we can have a date night. Having C. has certainly brought John and me closer as a couple. At least that’s the way I’m choosing to characterize recent comments I’ve made to him, things like “You know you can never divorce me now. I will chain you to the basement stairs before I ever let you leave me.” Could be time for that date night sooner than I think. Don’t want the world to become TOO small.

12
Jan
09

Welcome Home, C!

Four years ago as I wandered through one of those organic everything food coops in Minneapolis with my friend Kris, I shared a secret with her.
“John and I are trying to adopt,” I said.
“Adopt a what?” She asked as she clasped the most tender of the leafy greens from a bulk vegetable bin with small pair of plastic tongs.
“A kid,” I said holding onto the cart.
She dropped the tongs, turned to look at me and said, “Are you out of your mind? Don’t do it!”
“Why not?” I asked, immediately offended by what I interpreted as a lack of confidence in my latent parenting skills. “You’re a parent!” I laced that last accusation with a thick layer of if you can do it, I can.
“Which is why I can tell you in full confidence that this is the silliest idea you have ever had. Heartache! Heartache! That’s what you’re shopping for! Don’t you know?” Kris has a charming ability to overstate her case in a way that actually makes you think about the case she’s making. And for the record, she’s actually crazy about her college-aged daughter.
As we shopped, Kris continuing her diatribe and me feeling sorry for her daughter whose middle name it seemed might as well be “heartache,” I did find myself taking one of many of the steps back I’ve taken over the last four years and asking myself, “is this really what we want?”
The good news for same-sex couples is that we aren’t in much danger of “accidentally” getting pregnant. Almost all children who end up in families like ours are planned for. There are many opportunities along the way for reflection and healthy second-guessing.
Well, I’m happy to inform any reader who may not know the truth already that after four years of thinking, praying, studying, home studies and document filling out, John and I are now parents.
Our new son, who I will call C., is nine. We met him over Thanksgiving. After meeting and talking (he had to meet three potential families) he chose us and we chose him. He came to live with us in mid-December and man, what a journey it’s been so far.
He’s a mighty fine gift. I’ve known for some time that children are a gift from the Lord, but I’ve since decided that I never knew just how many ways they could be. Having C. in our lives is like having a magnifier held in front of the sun and over every aspect of our lives – more light, more heat, and a clearer view than ever before. Not to mention a sense that things are going to spark up at any moment.
So Good Home will be getting a family twist in the future. I can’t promise posting will be regular, since we are still getting into our routine, but I’ll do my best. I hope you will hang in there with us. And please pray for us as we create the life God has for us together!