>Falling down rabbit holes: What they don’t tell you about the wait, part 4

>Consider Alice.
She fell into a world she only wondered at from above.
Above, all made sense.
Below, down the rabbit hole, not everything did.
Almost, but things were different.

Very similar to the wait in adoption, particularly international adoption.
Things seem to mostly make sense.
But not exactly, and they don’t always work in the expected way.

Take falling in love.
That’s a classic, right?
We all know it, been there, done that, can sigh and wilt into a reverie over the magic of it all…humming the latest love song as we go about our normal day.
Until you fall down the rabbit hole of adopting a child from a world away.

And then love is all topsy turvy.
It’s love, but in a different way, at least while you wait to see if you can officially declare this child “yours.”
You are virtually given the child, through pictures and information.
Sometimes (like us, this time) even meeting them briefly and getting snagged and connected then (whether you realized it at the time or not).
Then you have to jump through many many hoops for them, in order to be allowed to claim them.
Then you are approved to claim them; you are “referred” officially.
And then you wait for court, and hopefully travel.
Hop, hop, hop.

And this is where Wonderland becomes so very literal.
You wonder, will you pass court, pass visa, travel soon?
Or be stuck, held up, and have to wait in this weird no man’s land of parental limbo.
You want to love this child, you have written them letters of love and received them back.
The words have been given.
But it’s a strange sort of love, before you hold the child.
It’s a weird uncomfortable suspension….

And the fear of not being able to go get them and hold them soon, of being told, hurry up and wait some more, maybe for a long time, no we don’t know….. it hurts.
It hurts just like regulation style love, when it’s not accepted or allowed.
It hurts like a mom, who is fighting for her kid,…right there in that breathless hollow just below your ribs.

And you think: I was given to her to love, she was given to me to love.
I need to climb out of this rabbit hole and just be allowed to do it.
And then, as I am stifled in the wait, I realize and important thing.
I do.
I love her.
I love her, not with the lingering gaze and brimming heart as I watch her sit nearby….
But I love her, in that I will fight for her and am consumed with figuring out how to get to her, how to make things right for her.

My kids, one or another, have wondered out loud about how we get so focused on her, we don’t even know her, really, she’s not here.
And I agree, but point out that love is also true commitment, not only sparkly eyed blushes.
That we committed to her, head, heart, will…..she is our child, and so now she feels like our child in that acceptance and commitment…that love.

And she is far away.
And she needs to come home.
And we will move mountains to make it happen, if only given the chance.
Because whether we are in our normal regular life or in the rabbit hole of the wait…..we do love her, we looked at her, and we fell.
We committed.
We love her.

We want her home.

I am Alice.
Curiouser and curiouser….will we pass, will we travel?
Five days to court.
Maybe a week or two before we know if or when we can travel….

>Books, Books, Books!

>Just finished this book, by one of my favorite bloggers, Mary Ostyn, aka “Owlhaven.” This book, “A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family” is like a cross between a long conversation with her and an in depth extension of her blog.

Mary has long been one of the women/blogs I check in with, daily, if possible. Her family is a great example of a successful large household. Even better, they are a family built by birth as well as adoption and she too has a love for Ethiopia. So, no surprise, great connections for me there. But the bigger picture is that Mary is a real mom. One who has the normal ups and downs and successes and failings, one who I can relate to. She says she’s not a “supermom” in the usual tabloid sense of the term. And maybe she’s not. She’s better. She’s a real mom, who is in the trenches, trying her best and has been for a good while….and therein lies the charm.

This book is an easy breezy read. It is not fluff though, it is full of good ideas, many I hadn’t thought of before. Yes, she is extra good at putting in a huge garden (Which both inspires me to find my spade and also to a bit of jealousy) and then canning it all up. So, maybe a bit of that is just not gonna happen here in my house…. However, the low key practical, thoughtful ways of running her home and caring for, loving and living with her big family is very much an inspiration for me. I am thinking about good new solutions around here in our busy house as well.

The book is organized into easy to find chapters, you could skip around if you prefer that mode. But I read the book straight through in a day (ok, I’m a pretty darn fast reader). It is not only tips and tricks, it is also thoughtful reasoning behind her stances on issues and ways of doing things. Helpfully, she admits that she is not an uber organized gal by nature, which makes me like her all the more. I tend to drop books by uber organized gals by nature, since I am alien to them and will never be that. But she has found a middle ground and that is where the treasure lies in this book. It’s for real moms. And not only real moms of very large families (And I admit, I am sliding into that category, but still, I remember the smaller days), any size family can find some connection moments in this book.

It’s an easy happy read for the start of spring. Pick it up, be inspired, get a deeper glimpse into a popular blog mom’s real life: the how’s and why’s, the what worked, what didn’ts. It might inspire you to try something new….for me, I think I might need to learn a few new card games. And this might just be the year to really put in a garden, I’ve been dreaming about one….
She says she is no “Supermom”…but I suspect she’s got at least a cape in her closet somewhere!

>Novena to St. Jude, day five


Fresco by Bicci di Lorenzo, 1440

Day 5
Novena To
St. Jude

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly –
That our daughter passes court and visa and comes home in April.
– and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.


May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity.

(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)