Sunday, May 11, 2014

Motherhood. . .

Mother’s Day. . .  well, actually, every day is mother’s day.  I am blessed daily to be mom to wonderful children.  I am blessed daily to do all the things a “mom” just does and I’m even blessed to do the things moms don’t want to do (like clean the toilets. . . God really should have focused on the aiming capacity of boys or we need to invent wider bowls, but that’s another blog).  I am the mother of my children in both the “traditional”, home-grown way, and the non-traditional “adoption” way.  I have held two children as they entered this world and I held a child as she left this world.  I have grieved over a child that was not to be due to an ectopic pregnancy.  I have grown close to foster moms who gave an incredible piece of their hearts to their little packages and then turned them over to another family to adopt.  I've watched the pain of biologic parents as they grieve and celebrate their child’s life from afar.  I sooth my children who so wish they knew who their “real” moms were, if only to say, “see, I’m doing ok and thank you for letting me get adopted.”  I hold the hands of my children as they endure the tortures of modern medicine in an effort to improve, increase, and enhance their lives.  I've watched as modern medicine failed to give us the answers and treatments needed to continue any further. 
Being a mother is a responsibility, a job, a need, a requirement and an honor.  Some days I wish I could turn off the ability for my children to yell “Mom!” for even a few hours.  But, then, when it’s quiet or one of my children isn't home, I long deeply to hear that same word.  My eldest moved out almost two years ago and I still ache to hear her in the room next door, asking me if I’m scared of the thunder, knowing she’s all alone at her own home now. . . terrified of the thunder.  When I hear my name screamed in “that tone”, the one that signifies a major ordeal or trauma my heart skips and my adrenaline goes into full force.  And once that trauma or ordeal has passed, I get to hold my child and wait for the internal panic to settle and move on while soothing a human being I, incredibly, have been allowed to be responsible for.   
I have known since I was a child I’d have a “different” kind of family.  I don’t know how I even knew about adoption; I didn't know anyone who was adopted.  I just knew that I was going to be mom to someone else’s children as well as experience motherhood from my own perspective.  I did not expect however, that adoption would have been the first step!  I did not anticipate that after my ectopic pregnancy, having a child would elude us.  Nor did I anticipate the incredible loving bond I formed with my student, Annette.  God knew all along though and allowed me to gather the courage to approach motherhood at the age of 23 from a very different avenue than I had envisioned.  Living with my child in a hospital for almost two years never crossed my mind when I thought of my family planning. . . now, it seems like it was always a stepping stone for some other new challenge that lay ahead. 
I am deeply honored, blessed, grateful and humbled in my role as a mother.  I can’t imagine a greater responsibility in life, nor could I imagine doing it without the man I knew would be the one and only man who would join me on this crazy journey.  Again, God knew, and the path was set with or without my input. 
Happy Mother’s Day to each and every mother.  To those whose children have grown and left the nest, to those who struggle with health needs and the need to be a mother – what an incredibly difficult and amazing ability to juggle all that is needed, to those who birthed but do not raise their children – without your sacrifice (willing or not) I would not have been blessed with 5 amazing children to call my sons and daughters, and to those mothers who have angels on high – the hole left with the passing of a child is beyond words, the sheer ability to carry on to continue caring for others and yourself is nothing short of a miracle.  I know some truly amazing women in my life and each and every mother I've ever met has helped me learn how to be an even better mom.  Thank you.
To my own mom: though we did not see eye to eye on most things earlier in our relationship, I can’t imagine how life would have been had I not had you as my role model.  To my sisters: we each went in different ways and we have each worked hard to do the best we can in every crazy circumstance we found ourselves.  I love you both.  To my sister-in-laws:  you are like sisters to me, each of you (Brenda, Tammy, and Millie).  I may not talk to each of you anywhere as often as I should or could, know that I love you. 

Happy Mother’s Day my friends.   

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Breath in, breath out, repeat. . .

Honestly, sometimes I'm so tired this is enough to make me exhausted.  With full time school, full time family, part time internship, and musical beds most nights, it's hard to really catch up.  I know for a fact, we are not alone in this dilemma.  I realize that parenthood in general is exhausting, but sometimes, even once, I'd like to FEEL rested even if I'm not really.

With that said and the little rant over, things are good.  Really good.  I have officially finished my internship and at the close of this semester I graduate with my Ms.ed in Education Administration.  In addition to that, I went through the many, many hoops NYS has created to re-apply for my teaching certification as a Teacher of the Speech and Language Disabled.  I took two exams for state credentialing, had to take an exam for credit (6 graduate level credits!), I I had to complete 3 workshops and have my fingerprints done once again.  Now I pray, hard, that the deem my past transcripts as successful in meeting all of their requirements. If they do not approve it, I essentially would have to go back and do a BS degree all over.  On 5/1/14 NYS changed ALL of their requirements and have all new exams.  My past degree is, in essence, erased.  Sigh. Like I said, I'm praying!!

Sergio has just celebrated his 8th birthday.  At four I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of the health changes he was undergoing.  Thinking TPN was going to be a temporary 6 month or less endeavor, until his gut started working again.  At 5 the start to of the never ending hospitalizations for weeks at a time.  At 6 being given no hope that he could beat a fungus infection that had overtaken his entire body and we were sent home on a regime of drugs that no one can even find in any medical literature.  To the amazingly wonderful 18 months of absolute stable health and no hospital admissions.  To 7 when the vicious cycle
started all over again.  Here we are today, incredibly blessed to be outpatient now for over 2 months!  He's happy, healthy (in a very relative term) and still keeping us on our toes day and night.  His Make-A-Wish trip is now in the planning stage with the organization and we were blessed again with a wonderful duo of experienced wish planners.  They are kind, compassionate and appear to understand the level of needs each of the kids present when planning a trip for a particular child. We'll give more details when things are more solidified. :-)

School is almost over for the kids.  I'm so proud of all of them.  Granted, Tray has given us a few extra gray hairs, but that's what a healthy child should be doing!!  He is feeling strong, invincible and adventurous.  He's also now feeling grounded, phone-less and for some time he was x-box-less.  But we've given back some things and he has held up his end and is keeping his nose to the grindstone and out of trouble. We were REALLY close to going to homeschooling and then I thought. . . . who am I kidding!!??  I've always said I could NEVER homeschool, I'd kill them all. LOL  So after talking, yelling, withholding and loving, he is moving in the right direction again.  I'm happy. :-)  That was a close one!

Marriela, Cody and Joshua have all had good years.  Joshua is officially a senior next year, but hopefully we can talk him into staying until he's 21.  We'll see.  If not, we'll find him a program to get him into a home based business like Nettie.  Speaking of Nettie, she recently had 2 very large orders and now has enough to buy a laptop!!  We are so very proud of her and in a month we'll be looking to hire her own personal business assistant to help with all of the card making, paperwork, and businessy stuff.  Here's her website again if you haven't had a chance to visit.

Peter is getting very close to the end of his schooling as well and will be looking at his internship (3000 hours!) by the fall.  It seems like just yesterday we were signing up on-line and laughing that we'd never get accepted!  Who knew??

Well, that's it for now.  Just felt like it was time for a bit of an update.  Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and in company of loving family.