Friday, September 12, 2014

things to give

I am en route right now to see Mason Jennings in concert for like the tenth time, but this time I'm extra excited. Why? We're going to give him some pass along cards and tell him he's the inspiration for our theme, The Tire Swing Dream! How amazing would that be if he helped us find our baby?! We might have to have a hyphenated middle name. 
We ordered a coloring book he put out, but I will have to tear out a page that says the eff word... Hah! He played at BYU a few years ago and said the eff word. I bet they were happy! 
I always wish we could hang out with him and I could give him a Book of Mormon and talk to him about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few of his songs talk about searching for meaning, peace, religion, God. It always makes me want to share what I know with him. Give him the key to happiness. Give him the key to ETERNAL happiness and tell him how he can be with his little family forever.
Spencer likes to tease me about my gusto to give people BOMs. So far, my attempts have not resulted in any conversions, but perhaps I've planted some seeds and my friends will remember the book one day when they're searching for peace. Spence said to me, "You can't just give him a Book of Mormon! He's Mason Jennings!" Sure I can! But I think it's more effective when you can have a discussion, so I'll start with a pass along card

Thursday, August 28, 2014

the kingdom

Edna St. Vincent Millay said, in a poem:
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
 I'm sure you've heard that, but this stanza is never quoted.
To be grown up is to sit at the table with people who have died,
who neither listen nor speak;
Who do not drink their tea, though they always said
Tea was such a comfort.
I thought about that poem tonight while my friend and I drove home from Young Women's.  The girls in the back discussed Girl Scouts, boys, and school papers.  We, in the front, talked about my friend trying to get pregnant.  Such a serious thing, and yet, the voices in the back seemed serious too.

It always hits me when I'm with a bestie of mine, Julie.  These days we chat often about jobs, finances, supporting our husbands, sex.  And not sex like we used to talk about sex, because now we've done it.  It's serious now.  Like everything is.  It hits me after I leave the car.  I look back at her, that face I've known since Freshman year, and she looks the same.  I feel the same.  But it's like a rabbit hole.  There's three kids in the back of the car instead of fast food bags and we're (trying) to navigate our way to the nearest splash pad instead of the nearest hot tub hangout.  I shake my head in disbelief every single time.  Shouldn't we be talking about boys and school and our roommates?  Wasn't that a week ago instead of ten years?

It's not as if I've never transitioned from one stage of my life to another.  The journey from pigtails and barbies to music and boys didn't hit me as hard.  Perhaps it was more gradual, or less serious?  People start to die, but it isn't as sudden.

I often don't know where to fit.  It seems I have a heart in the backseat and an obligation in the front seat.  My heart is young, but my responsibility is to drive.

Monday, August 18, 2014

feeding the bug



I've been experiencing a serious case of writer's block. Perhaps because things have been so crazy that I haven't had time to feed my writing bug. There's so much to say that I don't know how to even begin to say it all.  We were approved on July 16th! Our profile went live, and after that day, there was no more that I could do. It was so weird. After 7 months of a long list of things to do every single day, I had nothing I needed to, or could do. Every morning I'd wake up and read our profile and make sure everything looked perfect, then I'd get a little stir-crazy. I think Heavenly Father decided to help me out because since then, I've barely had time to be on my computer at all! I've been getting a lot of cake orders lately. I've made a Ducati cake, a fishing cake, a Buzz Light Year Cake, and a Hulk/Spiderman cake. ...Updating my cake website will have to wait for another day! We also shot a video for our adoption profile. I think it will be super cute.
I've also been keeping busy babysitting a lot, going to fairs and festivals and even rode an elephant!

My latest adventure was volunteering as an usher and then getting to clean the Ogden temple.  We cleaned the baptistry.  It is beautiful!  I went with my Young Women.  Those girls are amazing.  Their attitudes and excitement amazed me, even more than the beauty of the temple.  When I was a teenager, I didn't know people like them, and I was a really good kid.  They amaze me with their standards and attitudes.  They were talking about how excited they were for spring break because a bunch of them are taking a temple tour across the state.  What kind of kids do that?  My young women, that's who.

I worry about the kind of world my kids are going to live in by the time they're teenagers, but it seems to me that each generation has the power to be stronger and more resilient.  I can only hope I can raise kids who as amazing as these girls.

Speaking of me raising kids...can you believe that it could finally happen?  We're finally approved!!  It's so surreal. I've been thinking a lot about my birthmother lately.  Wondering if she would be excited for me and proud of me, what advice she'd give me.  It's been so nice having my mom to talk to through this process.  She knows exactly what we're going through and whenever I get discouraged she says the right things.  The other day she told me, "You don't need to appeal to everybody.  You just need one."  I keep praying for that "just one."  We pray for her all of the time, that she knows we love her, that she'll have peace, and of course, that she'll be guided to us.  This has been such a beautiful process and our friends and my family have been so supportive and loving, and we know it's only going to get better.  As an adopted child, I have a unique perspective and know what a miracle adoption is first-hand.  But, I look forward to being on the other end.  I'm so ready to be a mother, and I can't wait to meet the woman who will give me that opportunity through such a selfless act.  We love her so much already.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2 interviews, 8 years, 1 home study, 15 days

So, you might've noticed some changes on the blog.  I didn't really want to change it, because I like our, "Adventures as Newly Weds" theme.  And after eight years, I can honestly say that I still feel like one.  I think those who know us would agree that we act like newly weds, only not so annoying.  ;)  So, my darling husband, DH, convinced me that our adventures as newly weds weren't over, we were just writing a sequel.  So, here's the beginning of that sequel:

Last week was likely the most stressful week of my life.  It was also one of the best.  Wednesday we had our individual adoption interviews.  They were going to be cancelled due to another meeting, but our sweet caseworker heard the heartbreak in my voice and offered to come in on a day she didn't work!  They were two-hours long, each, and I was so nervous!  The next day, while I was zipping up to Logan for my gyno appointment, (I love my doctor enough for the drive) our caseworker called and asked if she could do our home study the next Wednesday!  I was freaking out.  Our eighth anniversary was on Monday, so on Sunday we had plans to skip town.  That only gave us three days to prepare!
While we were in Logan, mom and I bought child-proofing stuff and on Friday, I spent the day on my hands and knees viewing my house from my future baby's point of view, and childproofing every nook and cranny.
Saturday, we worked in the yard all day, Spence finally clearing the branches from trimming our tree last year that we'd stacked in the side-yard, and me pulling weeds that had completely taken over my garden. Luckily, all of my plants survived, and my onions are thriving.  My cilantro was waist-high so I had to chop it down!  We haven't had a free Saturday since April!  But the home study gave us an excuse to get things done over all other obligations!
My handy brother came over to patch the hole in the wall from when our door-stop failed, and when it was time to paint over it, the paint in our garage that we'd assumed was tan for three years, was black.  I had a minor panic attack, but decided it really didn't matter if my wall was white in a spot, at least it was patched.  When Spencer got home, we looked into these huge buckets that on first glance, looked blue, but upon stirring, were tan.   It seems so silly, but I was so relieved.
On Sunday, we skipped town and checked in to our yearly get-away at the Anniversary Inn.  This year I picked the Biker's Road House room for Spence.  It was super cool.  It had a motorcycle, a pinball machine, and a pool table.  It was decorated like a bar inside with a harley out in the parking lot.  Really cute. The next day we went to our favorite park and took a nap by the ducks, did some shopping, and ate at our favorite restaurant, Le Nonne.  It was perfect.  We got home late that night, so on Tuesday, the house was cleaned top to bottom, and I had several panicking moments where I did things like reorganized the linen closet, which I have to do again because not everything fits now.
Wednesday morning I was so nervous!  I had my mom come over to hang out with me till Spencer got there in order to calm me down.  I don't know why I picked her...she's the least calm person I know.  Finally, the doorbell rang, we said a quick prayer, and it was here.  I don't know what I was so nervous about, but I probably will be for our next one for baby number two as well.  We passed and were told that it would be three weeks till we were approved.  I could hardly believe my ears!  It's finally here!  You guys!  Three weeks!  Or 15 days from now!!  All of our hard work is done.  Now, we're just working on fun stuff, like making a video, and other fun stuff that you can share to help us find our birth mom!  Stay tuned, we're going to be putting you to work.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, My Angel, Mother-To-Be.


Not Under Your Heart, But In It. 
By Spencer Johnston

On this Mother's Day,
In Church, when they ask Mothers to stand,
I hope you would feel welcome among those elect ladies...
To stand and be recognized, and applauded for your efforts.
A Mom...
A mom is the ultimate safety blanket,
and the source of all wisdom.
They are the crafter of dreams,
and the origin of smiles.
They are their guardian and protector,
and every child's greatest advocate.
She is a pillar for truth and righteousness,
And their oldest, bestest friend.
Their first home was a womb,
A place of serenity and love,
Where God's love on Earth can be felt.
In this source of refuge, for nine tough months,
a mother shelters this gift where He dwelt.
In a sacred vessel, they are nourished and loved,
They mature and are brought through the veil.
Through every extreme, mothers sacrifice all,
So that God's brilliant plan can prevail.
But your heart is no different, filled with shelter and love,
Where life's storms rage in and leave mild.
A haven on Earth for our younglings to grow,
From a seed, to a dream, to a child.
So... My Angel, stand with these moms, because you are one too,
and should be cherished with them every minute.
For you've carried our babies nearly ten lengths that time,
Not under your heart, but in it.  


I'm not a poet.  Chelsi is the poet in the family  with all of the talent.  But I know that Mother's Day can often be a source of sadness and I wanted Chelsi to know how much I love and adore her, for all that she is and for all that she is doing to bring our babies into this world.  As my favorite singer Mason says... "Sweetheart, THIS is my dream come true... God bless the babies that sleep in you." 

I am the luckiest man who has ever lived.  And I know that our kids will feel the same way as I do. 

I love you Angel, Happy Mother's Day. 

-Spence