Monday, September 30, 2013

Turtle Time

Laney is seven months old but there is already so much we know about her. We know she has the biggest and bluest eyes in the county. Frank Sinatra doesn't have anything on this little gal. We also know she is extremely lactose intolerant, that she is a visual learner, is attached to her blanket and her pacifier and...

that she has an intense love of animals. You heard me-at the ripe old age of seven months, Laney Beth has a way with animals. She loves them and they love her. Case in point...

While taking a hike through the woods, Laney and her mommy (my daughter) and daddy, they crossed paths with turtle. Having been raised with a menagerie of pets, herself, my daughter didn't hesitate to pick the turtle up and show it to her daughter. Nothing earth-shaking about that, I know. But here is the rest of the story...

The turtle didn't scoot inside its shell when she picked it up. The turtle, neck extended, went eye-to-eye with Laney. Laney immediately giggled and squealed and reached for the turtle. She touched its shell, it's head and then took its little foot in her hand. And still the turtle did not run and hide. In fact, my son in-law had to carefully pry her hand from the turtle's foot so she didn't hurt it by squeezing too hard. Once he did, my daughter allowed Laney to give the turtle a good-bye kiss on the shell before putting him down on the ground to be on his way.

So what's this got to do with parenting? Glad you asked.

God creates each of us with our own intricate heart, body, soul and mind. He places within each of us passions, talents and abilities which are meant to be fostered and fulfilled. As a parent, it is your responsibility to keep an eye out for your child's passions, talents and abilities; to pick up on what they are, provide outlets for their development and to encourage your children to thrive and aspire to the person God made them to be.

Sometimes we may not understand our child's passion or be able to relate to it (them) very well, but if for no other reason than L-O-V-E, you should be ready, willing and able to appreciate them.


Momma D

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Adoption is one continual bout of morning sickness

Would you like to know where I am going in a few hours? Good, because I'm going to tell you anyway. I am going to the airport with my husband to welcome home our daughter, son in-law and our new grandson!

You may be thinking-no big deal. Parents greet their children and grandchildren at the airport every single day. You're right, they do. But this is an extra-special day because Reuben's journey home has been a quite an ordeal.

Reuben was born in Taiwan to a young woman who had no desire to be saddled with a child. As a matter of fact, if she'd not been in jail when she learned she was pregnant, she would have aborted him. Abortions are common and readily-accepted in Taiwan, but the government won't pay for them; as would have been her case because she was incarcerated.

When the young woman's mother found out her daughter was pregnant, she told her she knew just exactly what they should do. She said they should contact the missionaries who had raised her from the time she was barley a year old until she was eighteen. "They will know just who to give this child to," she said. And so they did-contact the missionaries who had made the orphanage their life's ministry.

It just so happens I have known these same missionaries for many years, so when My daughter and son in-law decided to begin the process of adoption, I pointed them in that direction.

The elation of receiving the phone call that they had a son (just two weeks after his birth) was quickly buried under paper work, blood tests, lost paper work, trips to the embassy office in the states, more paper work, more lost paper work...finally a trip to Taiwan to meet their now-six month old son; only to have to leave him until more paperwork could be completed.

Then finally the call came that they could return to Taiwan to bring Reuben, who is now nine months old, home. So tonight he will really and truly finally be home.

As a mother it has been painful to watch my 'baby' go through so much to have her baby. It's not at all like pregnancy. Yes, it ironically took nine months, but those nine months were spent missing out on her son's life instead of physically making her son.

My point? My point is to remind you that too many people consider adoption easy or a quick-fix for having a baby. My daughter had several comments made to her about 'escaping morning sickness' or 'taking the easy way out and skipping the labor pain'. Wrong! Adoptive parents go through months and months of morning sickness and labor-sometimes even years!

So be mindful of adoptive parents and their feelings. Be compassionate and most of all, be sure to give them all the love, attention and special treatment parents of newborns receive.

Momma D

The 'just because' kind of love

There is nothing a child wants any more in this world than to know they are loved. Not loved because they are cute or because they made a goal the first time they played soccer. Not loved because they get the lead role in the school play or because they memorized the most Bible verses in Sunday School. Not loved because they are going to carry on the family business or because they graduated with honors. Every child longs...needs...deserves to be loved just because.

Most people will call this 'unconditional love'. I call it 'Granny love'. I call it Granny love because it's the kind of love I grew up with-the kind Granny loved me with from the day I was born until the day she died last October.

When people would comment about the obvious closeness of our relationship I would often laugh and say, "She couldn't or wouldn't love me any less if I was a serial killer." I'd say it laughingly, but I can't even begin to explain how good it comforting it was to know that was there.

The last several years of Granny's life left her unable to remember almost everything-everything but who I was and how much we loved one another. It made me sad to deal with the disappearance of her memory and simple life-skills, but it was always a blessing and an honor to do so. It made me sad to see the frustration and fear in her eyes; knowing she should remember something...but didn't. But it was easy for me to fill in the gaps and keep going. It was easy because it was all done with and because of love.

What hasn't been easy is going on without the Granny love I'd had for so long; fifty-two years, to be exact. I was laying on the bed beside Granny when she took her last breath on my fifty-second birthday last October. I know in my head and in my heart that she is free from all she'd endured over the last several years. I know in my head and heart that I will see her again in Heaven. But I also know that no matter how old you are, you never really quit being a child when it comes to needing and desiring 'just because' kind of love-Granny love.

Knowing that Granny love is gone has left a hole in my heart that no one-not even my husband, kids or grandkids can fill. That space was there only for her and I.

While I certainly don't claim to be the perfect mom, my four children will tell you that if they know nothing else at the end of the day they know one thing...that Mom loves them 'Granny style'. They know there is a place in their hearts and mine that is only for me and them. It's a place that will never shrink or go away.

As a parent, you owe it to your children to carve out that Granny love space in their hearts. You owe it to them to give them the peace and comfort of knowing that even if they were a serial killer you would love them to the moon and back.

Love always,
Momma D