Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Challenge? What challenge?

WOW! How just a few short days, $1000 was raised to help some children in a country far, far away...go here to read what John has to say about it. More, pay attention to the fact that they are looking to sponsor a second orphanage with the same deal. With Black Friday being two days away, surely one could hold on to that $10 you know you would spend at Cinnabon or Auntie Anne's when hitting the crazy mall and send it very quickly online right here. Or, better yet, save the trip to the mall, pick some people you truly love and know will appreciate the wonder of GIVING to others and send what you would spend on them to the new challenge. Then print it out, show them the pictures John has on his site, and let them know what your gift on their behalf will do for those children. Know that your heart will be touched, but more than that, so will so many others'.

Oh, okay...I won't lie. I think the pies that are going in faces is really a fun way to help build momentum. I like to watch pie in face just as much as the next gal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This always makes me feel better...(WARNING, VERY LONG BUT MEANINGFUL!)

Well, my favorite part of celebrating Christmas is giving gifts. Don't get me wrong, I love to get gifts as much as the next gal, but I REALLY LOVE and live for giving gifts. I love picking out things that I think people will love and I love the concept of giving to make others happy. I may have blogged about it, can't remember if I did and if I did, probably didn't label it (have to get better about that!) but in any event, several weeks ago our pastor talked about Giving Christmas..making the things we GIVE at Christmas meaningful and worth something...and I decided that was exactly what we were going to do from this point on in our gift giving. We (ha ha, like John is at ALL involved in gift giving) decided that we would get a little token something for those in our lives we would normally buy presents and then would make a donation to something worthwhile in their names. Now, don't go thinking Human Fund (soooo miss Seinfeld!) on me! In addition to the several causes in our lives that are worthy of our gifts and talents, my world has been so broadened this year and John Wright and his family have provided so many wonderful opportunities for us to give and know that our giving is meaningful. On that note, he has brought up an opportunity to really make some kids' Christmases something they wouldn't even think could exist. Cindy LaJoy has challenged her blog readers to donate to this cause, and I am doing the same for mine...all 18 of you, ha ha. For real...if you too want to do something with your money that will make a difference in someone's LIFE and not just be another THING in someone's collection, check this excerpt out from the Acts of Kindness site:

I thought you would appreciate seeing the last post from a different point of view.... Cindy over at has looked at this story from her sons perspective.... go take a look HERE then come on back and join the challenge.... if donating from the U.S. please use this link and we can give you a tax receipt.

I defy any of you to read what Cindy wrote about her sweet son asking why Santa doesn't come to Kyrgyzstan and not find that you couldn't spare even a few dollars...lots of little bits of help add up! Cindy has pledged $50 and we added $100---there's only about $850 to go!!!

For any of you with children...think of what a wonderful opportunity this could be to teach your children about helping others...being part of a world that is not just about us and being able to understand what giving really means.
The following is a speech from Mother Teresa I found several years ago and have had on my computer files for ages. While it mostly addresses abortion, I feel there is so much in her words that we can take to heart and act upon. I hope you feel as I do and will, whatever you decide to do this holiday season, remember the least of these...

This is a REALLY LONG SPEECH...I didn't want to take anything out, but I am just letting you know you...I tend to sit down "really quick" to check email or a blog and this is not the post to do that with.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Given at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC Thur, 3 Feb 94.

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me." These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"
As we have gathered here to pray together, I think it will be beautiful if we begin with a prayer that expresses very well what Jesus wants us to do for the least. St. Francis of Assisi understood very well these words of Jesus and His life is very well expressed by a prayer. And this prayer, which we say every day after Holy Communion, always surprises me very much, because it is very fitting for each one of us. And I always wonder whether 800 years ago when St. Francis lived, they had the same difficulties that we have today. I think that some of you already have this prayer of peace - so we will pray it together.

Let us thank God for the opportunity He has given us today to have come here to pray together. We have come here especially to pray for peace, joy and love. We are reminded that Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor. He had told us what is that good news when He said: "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." He came not to give the peace of the world which is only that we don't bother each other. He came to give the peace of heart which comes from loving - from doing good to others.

And God loved the world so much that He gave His son - it was a giving. God gave His son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary's life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child - the child in the womb of Elizabeth - leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary - Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth.

And as if that were not enough, as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb of Mary, Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love. He died for you and for me, and for the leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street, no only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and everywhere. Our Sisters serve these poor people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us. Jesus gave His life to love us and He tells us that we also have to give whatever it takes to do good to one another. And in the Gospel Jesus says very clearly: "Love as I have loved you."

Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us - to save us from our selfishness in sin. He gave up everything to do the Father's will - to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God's will - to love one another as He loves each of us. If we are not willing to give whatever it takes to do good to one another, sin is still in us. That is why we too must give to each other until it hurts.

It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is not true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me."

When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.

I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and forgotten them - maybe. I saw that in that home these old people had everything - good food, comfortable place, television, everything, but everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on the face. I turned to Sister and I asked: "Why do these people who have every comfort here, why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?"

I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile. And Sister said: "This is the way it is nearly everyday. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten." And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that 'the future of humanity passes through the family.'

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: 'Because there is no one in the family to receive them.' Our children depend on us for everything - their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So their children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child, which is were love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

But what does God say to us? He says: "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.

I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption - by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: "Please don't destroy the child; we will take the child." So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: "Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child." And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child - but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said, "Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me." By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.

Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.

I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception. In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gifts of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.

I also know that there are great problems in the world - that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.

The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: "You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other." And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.

When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society - that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.

Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: "You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse." So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: "thank you" - and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: "What would I say if I were in her place?" And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: "I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain," or something. But she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half eaten by worms and, after we had brought him to the home, he only said, "I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for." Then, after we had removed all the worms from his body, all he said, with a big smile, was: "Sister, I am going home to God" - and he died. It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel - this is the greatness of people who are spiritually rich even when they are materially poor.

We are not social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of some people, but we must be contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we must bring that presence of God into your family, for the family that prays together, stays together. There is so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do.

If we are contemplatives in the heart of the world with all its problems, these problems can never discourage us. We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: "Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb" - something impossible, but even if she could forget - "I will never forget you."

And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?

I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing.

But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins - at home in the family.

So, as the example of this family shows, God will never forget us and there is something you and I can always do. We can keep the joy of loving Jesus in our hearts, and share that joy with all we come in contact with. Let us make that one point - that no child will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown away. And give until it hurts - with a smile.

Because I talk so much of giving with a smile, once a professor from the United States asked me: "Are you married?" And I said: "Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at my spouse, Jesus, because He can be very demanding - sometimes." This is really something true. And this is where love comes in - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy.

One of the most demanding things for me is travelling everywhere - and with publicity. I have said to Jesus that if I don't go to heaven for anything else, I will be going to heaven for all the travelling with all the publicity, because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to heaven.

If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world. From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak - the unborn child - must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!

source: Guide to Christian Literature

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The rut...

Well, it is probably very obvious that I am in a rut. So, this will probably be just a ramble, probably more of a rant. I'd probably push past, if I were you.

About the cold: I hate it. It makes my skin dry, it makes my face hurt and it does not invigorate me, it merely ticks me off. Spring, feel free to kick Winter out of the way and just come now. Not to mention that to stay warm, the collage of clothing articles I adorn myself in rarely match due to the need of function vice form, and that aggravates me too.

About Prison Break: Those guys are SMART. I mean, seriously? An electromagnetic field to break through concrete? Amazing. John does not agree, but heck, what does his scientific engineer mind know? I think he is just jealous of my unabashed love for Wentworth Miller.

About adopting: It stinks right now. The process, that is. And after the last week or two, right now I'm still in Kyrgyz or bust mode. I would not call what I have been feeling panic, just desolation. I'm pretty sure that I have made my purpose behind adopting clear--to build my family. All the while, I have said that to aid a child, to save a life, all that benefactorial stuff that goes along with adoption are absolutely the best cherries on top of a great desert, but I feel I have been pretty clear-cut about my reasons for pursuing an adoption--a child of my own for my family. Selfish? Some may say so. Let them. I'm human. Sue me. My concern and heartbreak over Kyrgyzstan has been two-fold. First, in going through this process, I have *met* many who have babies just sitting over there...growing, waiting, being missed and unconditionally wanted. I am just heartbroken for those parents and those babies. Second--and no surprise here...the restructuring, while I completely and totally agree is ultimately in the best interest of all involved, is simply more time-consuming than I want. Period. It all boils down, again, to my wants. And that is my yesterday. Of course NO adoption is guaranteed and all have their bumps, but truth be told, I went with this program for the (presumed) speed and relative ease I thought the Kyrgyz process would bring. And that is where my depression over the events begins--I understand I have no right to be depressed about any of this as this is another country that has no obligations to ours (or to me) at all...I just am saddened that I seem to be involved in a program that is going to be so much longer than I thought. For now, I guess I'll just have to suck it up.

Domestic Adoption Agencies/Facilitators: Dear God. The money involved is unreal. What a travesty that desires like mine lead to such an industry. Flame me all you want. That's how I feel. (I think the term is flame--when you don't agree and you say so with gusto?) Whatever.

Seinfeld: I so miss that show. The ending was so disappointing. Thank God for re-runs.

My job: I adore my children. I am simply not doing what I was born to do, though. I don't know what that is, but it is not what I am doing. The anxiety of being stuck in that dilemma is not fun.

Contact Lenses: God knows I love them, but I sure would love to have perfect vision without them. They have been driving me nuts.

Face book: I am inundated with so many requests. It overwhelms me. I love words but HATE Scramble. I can't figure out the freaking tile connection and that bugs me. Not to mention I am SO competitive. I am working on that, though.

Thursday night TV: Thank goodness for that! And on that note...I'm going to tune in right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm glad I didn't name this blog something that is specific to Kyrgyzstan.

I don't think it is going to pan out. It certainly isn't panning out the way I thought, or even THOUGHT I would think--to include the proverbial hurdles.

My agency has 12-24 months on it's site now--from submission of dossier. I don't know that they are taking into account that there is no time frame for the process from one official to another to ANOTHER and then to referral. And even if they are...

I do not want to wait TWO MORE YEARS to be a mother.


****AMENDMENT...and, for the record, I am adding this AFTER I wrote the above. Seems like I may have been psychic...*****

The following is from the state department:

November 14, 2008

The Department of State recommends adoptive parents and agencies exercise caution in pursuing an intercountry adoption from Kyrgyzstan. A number of prospective adoptive parents have reported that their cases are not being processed. The U.S. Embassy has requested official clarification, but no formal announcement has been made.

According to local experts, few if any cases are being processed at this time. Further, the government of Kyrgyzstan appears to be making moves to strengthen its internal controls of and develop new legislation on adoptions. It has been reported that Kyrgyz citizens may have been denied the opportunity to adopt during the past year, even while some intercountry adoptions by non-citizens were being approved. At this time it is not clear what action will be taken on pending cases or if the Government of Kyrgyzstan will accept any new cases

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will provide clarification as soon as it is received.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


WHY do I watch Adoption Story? Why do I watch Birth Day? Why do I watch A Baby Story?

Seriously, I am a glutton for punishment. I truly, truly, TRULY am happy for anyone who brings their baby home and pray each day for so many who are also waiting...and have been longer than I have. It warms my heart and makes me cry (and cry and cry some more).

Nine-plus years of desperately wanting to be a mommy turns into more every day though, and just makes heart hurt.

And, says 'The Pregnant Man'--"In this life, we get to be what we want to be. I can be a pregnant man."

Oh yeah? Well, I want to be a mom. And have wanted that for a large portion of my life.

Doesn't always work out the way we want.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leave it to General Hospital...

Okay, not that I am a fervent watcher, but for the last 30+ years, I have been involved in the lives of everyone ranging from Bo and Hope to Clint and Viki to Luke and Laura...throw in some Reva and Josh, a little Theresa and Ethan, even a teeny bit of Greenlee and Ryan and Nick and Sharon, and yes, I guess I could call myself a soap fan. I very vividly remember watching my mom's shows--Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live and General Hospital with her growing up. (I know, I know...not the best material for a kid growing up, but I've always been mature. Ha ha) My sister and I used to play "Bo and Hope" when we were little. (I always made her be Bo because I just loved Hope) As I got older, I really got into Guiding Light and just sort of traced General Hospital. A while ago, GL just lost my interest. GH sort of picked it back up. One Life has been in and out, and Days has always been a staple, even if I have to follow it through magazines and the internet updates.

Okay, so now that the shameful and embarrassing part is over, the lead-in has led up to, on General Hospital, Emma Grace was born. Which leads me to a quandary in that our Emma is going to be Emma Jane, though I can't count how many times I have said, "I sure wish my mom's name had been Grace, because I would love an Emma Grace." And now some cheesy soap opera has done it, and in doing so, sort of tainted Emma altogether. Yes, I know I just said I was a soap fan, but more of a closet one (guess not anymore) and I TOTALLY realize the wastes of time they are and the complete and total cheese factor that goes into them. Not to mention that a lot of soap world really epitomizes so much of what is wrong in our society on TV and I WATCH IT!

So now I get to hear over and over, "Emma this," and "Baby Emma that,"... I'm watching two fake people talk to a fake Emma and being thankful for her. And I'm SO JEALOUS. How sad is that?

Good thing I already bought the EMMA letters for her nursery, huh?

On another note...
Here's praying for our new leaders...they're gonna need it.

Monday, November 3, 2008


All I have to say right now is that somewhere in this country are very dear friends of mine who are going through a very hard time. It is very intimate, yet sadly public. I want to talk to them and comfort them, but can't. I want to know details, but can't. I want confirmation, but don't have it. So, I just pray. And ask any of you who read this and pray to pray, even if very quickly, for two wonderful human beings who are like family to me. Pray for them and their family. They need it.

Also, pray for those of religious beliefs in Kyrgyzstan. Religious tolerance is getting smaller and smaller. Especially for Christians. I fear this will hold things up even more. More than that, I fear for those lives who are affected daily by their selfless acts in God's name and for His commission. Pray for the safety of those giving souls.

Pray for the hearts of those on the committees for finalizations to PLEASE just do the right thing for these babies.

And, if you have a second, pray for me too. I'm just reeling over the situation I mentioned and am heartbroken. There's nothing really more to say--it's personal and painful. It does tear through me, though, and though I am so glad my heart is one that I can call compassionate, often that compassion just truly and physically makes me hurt. This is one of those times. So, in addition to the laryngitis (still here) and the sinus infection, I seriously do have heartache.

And nope, Tums are just not cutting this one.