Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Can you say "MAMMOGRAM!"

Earlier this year I posted about my mammogram experience. I received a lot of emails about it so I thought I would post it again since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have relatives and friends who are survivors and I have lost friends to the disease. As a matter of fact a friend of mine who lives in another state read my post and thought she should schedule a mammogram. Guess what? They found a lump! But they found it early! I pray someday there will be a cure. So go get that Mammogram!

I had my yearly mammogram today. I have mine on or close to my birthday. Kind of a present to myself. I have no clue why but I thought I would share this very worthy but awkward experience with you.
Don't get me wrong I am soooo grateful for the mammogram or as I like to call it the "boob crusher". Every time I stand up to those very flat plates that are getting ready to smash my girls I wonder who "who came up with this?". I thinketh it was a husband who was mad at his wife. Anyway it had to be a man
Ok, first of all you can't wear deodorant before you have one. The one time you are going to sweat like a pig and you can't wear deodorant! When you arrive at the radiologist they hand you a gown and send you into a very small room where you are told to undress from the waist up. They now have this little cape with one snap in the front. I felt like "Mammogram Woman" I mean you already feel like you are on candid camera and now you have to wear a cape. The cape ended up being a good thing. The old ones well lets just say more often than not the "girls" ended up in the wrong holes!
A new thing I experienced today is they now put these pretty little band aids on YOUR nipples. Ok, like that isn't awkward. Supposedly this gives the Dr or radiologist a focus of which way the boob is pointing. I found this to be very concerning. Your a Dr. and you can't tell which way the boob is pointing without a bandaid on it? I see my x-rays and I know which way they are pointing! Personally I think the tech puts them on for a laugh.
Ok, Cape pulled back, band aids on now you step up and the tech grabs your boob and moves it around on this cold glass plate like it is play dough. They shape it anyway they want too. Then you are suppose to lean toward the glass back, relax the shoulder opposite of the boob that is being flattened like a pancake, hold your breath and pray to God you do not pass out! Then you hear those dreaded words "we have to take that one over again." Of course you do. Let's not forget there are the many different poses. You kind of feel like you are getting a boob mug shot! When all is said and done you and your cape go back to the tiny room where they offer you deodorant, get dress, go on and pray that no lumps are found.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Anti- Adoption

I thought I had seen everything until I cam across an Anti Adoption Blog. I have to say that nothing surprises me very easily but this one, well it made me sick. As I read it I could not believe the horrible, ugly things they were saying. Let me put it this way, for every wonderful, awesome, beautiful thing we say about adoption they say the opposite and are just as passionate. The thing that made me sad was the hostility and anger and it made no sense. I am for everyone having the right to believe and say what they like, right or wrong, but it has to make sense.
In their opinion they believe abortion is better than adoption. That all of us who choose to adopt are using children to fill our own selfish wants and needs. That we are liars when we say how our lives have been blessed by adoption. We manipulate and use birth mothers. My eyes could not believe what I was reading.
I know very aware that a very small percentage of adoptions fail, that there a small percentage of people who adopt thinking that adoption would fill a void and there have been birth mothers who have been lied to an used and on that note visa versa. The world is made up of different ideas and views.
But honestly to believe that it would better to abort a life or leave a child as an orphan in this world possibly exposed to abuse, sex trafficking, hunger, left out in the elements, sick, living in fear every day of their life, than to bring them into family who loves them and wants them more than the air they breath, well that just doesn't make sense to me.
I am pretty sure that those who believe this way have been hurt or raised to believe this way. I am going to pray for a change of heart.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Camerons surgery

This past week our daughter Cameron had surgery on her lower eyelids. She has Entropion or had. This means her eyelashes were directed towards her eyes. Her eyelashes were brushing against her cornea and irritating them. She had been complaining for a while but I thought it was allergies or she just had something in them. I work for an optometrist and she explained to me what was going on. Without the surgery her corneas would eventually be damaged. She had the surgery on Wednesday and was home before noon. She was very brave and has only had 2 pain pills. They cut along the lower lid, turn the eyelashes out and stitch it up. It does not alter their apperance at all. We are very pleased with the results.
With her permission I am posting her picture right after the surgery. The reason? Honestly, if I didn't work for an optometrist it would probably have been a lot longer before the problem would have been discovered. It is very common in Native Americans and Asians. So if you are a adoptive parent of a Native American or Asian child and your child is complaining about their eyes, it would be worth getting them checked.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Few the Proud

Have I mentioned I am proud of my Marine? Well I am! To view the video just put your cursor on the screen.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

America, Wake Up!!!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about all that is going on in the world. It is kind of hard not too, every time you turn on the t.v. or pick up a newspaper or magazine it is all you hear about.
I realize that since God put man on earth there has been turmoil, but the only thing I can speak of is this time, the time I live in and it is sad.
If you don't like what the President is doing you are labeled a racist. If you are christian or served in the military you may profiled as a terrorist. Our kids can't pray in school because it may offend another student, YET! a student of a different religion can wear a religious head garment because that is their right, they are expressing their religious freedom. Movie stars and others who don't agree with war speak out about it and it is all over the news, yet the death of the young man or woman who fought for their free speech, well more often than not you are not going to see that on the front page, except for their hometown newspaper. We can vote and the citizens say no to gay marriage, BUT a judge can over turn our vote. What was the point? We vote against abortion, they will over turn it. Do a crime, oh a slap on the wrist will do.
The America we once knew, the America that so many have died for, that once stood for integrity, character, morals, the America that was proud to say GOD BLESS AMERICA, sing the national anthem and pray before we did anything, that America is almost non-existent. What happened? We use to agree to disagree, our vote meant something, we took off our hats and saluted or put our hands over our hearts when the flag came by. Even in my church I see people sitting and talking during the Pledge of Allegiance during AWANAS.
I think one of the many reasons we have lost our way and forgot what America stands for is we no longer communicate verbally like we use to. You know communication, where you look someone in the eye and this noise comes out of your mouth and you use full syllables? Now what was that called?, oh yeah, speaking! Now everyone is texting. We text at work, at school, at church in the CAR!!! We facebook, myspace, blog, IM. Here we have all of this technology that allows us access to the world with the touch of our finger, yet we are forgetting how to really communicate. I know I am guilty.
So here is my point SPEAK UP AMERICA!! Like it or not America was based on the fact we trust God. That people could have religious freedom, they could have a say in the way our government was run. Remember the government is suppose to work for us not the other way around. In God we trust.
I have been around for a long time and I can say this without a doubt, when the government decided to take God out of our schools, our work, our government, life as we know it went away. They took away our voice. See God does not come uninvited. You tell Him leave and He will. He gave us that choice. Some people who want our country run their way have asked, no told God to get lost and He has. It is time for those of us who want God to come back to speak up and let our voices be heard! If we don't then there will be no more singing "God Bless America" It will be more like "What Happened to America?"
I am not a right wing, hard nosed, radical, conservative extremest. I am a child of God,a wife and a mom who wants her children and grandchildren to know the America she once knew. The simple America, where we didn't have to agree with one another and that was ok, where our vote counted, where we were proud of our country and we had religious freedom, where we were respected by other countries.Not this angry, hateful, selfish, immoral, grandstanding, politically correct, it's all about me America that exist now. I want our children to learn in school that America was founded by many Christian men and based our government on Godly principals. Yes my friends this is the truth, but they have taken that part out of the history books, might make someone realize there freedoms are being messed with. You don't have to agree with me, but you would have to be wearing rose colored glasses not to see what is right in front of you and plugs in your ears not to hear what is happening.
So we if we don't want to see life as we know it become non existent, we need to speak now before its to late. You have that freedom, for the moment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ADOPTION is an Option and it Rocks!!!

I was reading the blog of a fellow blogger today. She spoke of how she had never really wanted kids, oh maybe 2 or 3, but she didn't desire a big family. She is now the mom to 10 awesome kids! Yeah, God changed her heart.
After growing up in a not so nice environment, I planned on being a lawyer and a photographer. I would fight for women and children who were in abusive situations. As for the photography? Well, I didn't plan on making a lot of money as a lawyer, it's true! I would work for those who needed me for free if I had too! So....my photography would be great and that is how I would make a living. I wanted a couple of kids. A boy and a girl, maybe more. But that is not how my life turned out.
Like my friend, I am not into crafts or the Wiggles or Sesame Street, I do not desire to sit around with other moms and visit while our children play loudly in a germ infested McDonald's play pit and though I love kids I was not comfortable at all whenever I served in the children's area at our church.
But God had a different plan for my life...thankfully.
He blessed me with a wonderful husband and three awesome sons. I thought my life was complete. Little did I know that adoption would be part of my life. But at the age of 40 we adopted our oldest daughter and four years later we adopted another beautiful daughter and 2 1/2 years ago when I thought we were through and enjoying our grandchildren God blessed us once again with our youngest daughter!
People will say "you guys are so amazing" or "your daughters are so lucky!" For the record..we are not amazing, but we do serve an amazing God! Our daughters are not lucky, we are blessed that God chose us to be their parents!
I saw an ad that said "Have the courage to adopt" Have the courage to love." It didn't take courage to adopt or love our daughters. It took God speaking to our hearts and my husband and I taking a step of faith. plain and simple.
Adoption is a gift from God. After all, He adopted us! There are so many wonderful children in the world that need a family. Big ones, little ones, white, brown, black ones, healthy ones sick ones, older ones and younger ones. They just want what we all want, love and a family.
Now we were not all called to adopt, but we were all called to take care of the widows and orphans. If you are one that wasn't called to adopt you can make a huge difference by donating money to Hug Away or any non profit that helps with adoption and humanitarian aid. Get the word out to your community about adoption. Hug Away has people who will come speak to your church or organization. Pray.
God put us on this earth to serve. He ask all Christians to love one another.
Please pray how you can make a difference.

Kennedy and Amiya crashed on the couch.

Kennedy having fun at the park

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Puzzle

Today I had lunch with a very good friend of mine. We me last year when she was interviewing me for job. It was one of those times when you just click with someone.
During the interview we talked like we had known each other for years. I got the job. She is much younger than I am but I admire her maturity, her work ethic, her honesty and she is kind. Unfortunately I was only able to work their a few months. It was a long drive and gas prices were high. But we believe God brought us together for another reason.
From the moment she found out we had adopted she had lots of questions. She told me her husband was adopted and one day they hoped to adopt. Right now she is dealing with infertility and is going through the grieving process. But as soon as they are ready her and her husband want to start the adotion process so we spent almost 2 hours talking about adoption.
When we were getting ready to leave she said "you know Elaine, I think this is why God brought us together, He knew I would need you in my life."
Isn't it amazing how God brings these moments together? It is like a puzzle. Sometimes it takes a while to fit in all the pieces, but once it is all put together and you look at the picture all those small interlocking pieces made you realize the patience and time it took was worth it. Gods timing is always perfect.
I felt bad when I had to leave that job mainly because I thought I would lose my new friend. But God had another plan all along and as usual it was worth it!

Kennedy and her nanny in Vietnam the day I met her.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Eyes on Him and a step of Faith

Aunt Kennedy with her neice Amiya

Ok, if you ever read this blog at all you know that I have a heart for adoption and orphans. My husband and I would adopt again in a heartbeat if that is every Gods plan of our family again. Not having enough money or a bigger house or a newer car has ever stopped us when God has called us to adopt. Once He confirmed it in our hearts it was a step of faith. We knew without a doubt He would provide.
Many times when I have seen the face of a precious child I just knew we were meant to adopt them. But more times than not, no matter how hard I would fight it God would show me that this was my "mommy hearts desire", not Him. Not that there is anything wrong with a "mommy's heart's desire" but we desire to do what He has asked us to do not what I want to do.
I can honestly say that our daughters adoptions were put on our hearts with perfect peace. Not always sure how it would happen, just knowing without a doubt that God has called us to adopt and He would make it happen. Will He ever call us to adopt again? I have no idea. But if He does we will know.
When God placed Hug Away on my heart I knew without a doubt it was Him, not me. BUT here is the deal, I was passionate for sure and I just knew that we would have enough donors and raise enough money to help any family who applied with a grant.
I mean after all, who would not be passionate about helping children come home to their forever family or an orphan in need? Yes sir, God gave me a mission and I took it on! It went great the first year, but this last year except for the one fundraiser (which was awesome!) not so much.
I could not figure out what had happened, So...after some much needed quiet time and prayer God gave me the answer to my question. I had taken the focus off of Him and my need for Him and was relying on myself. Ouch. Well I did ask.
God and I have this great relationship. I am sure there are times He shakes His head at me, hangs His head and says "what is she doing?" If He has gray hair I probably contributed to most of it and If God has headaches, well I know I have caused many of them! But even when I have taken my eyes off of Him and could not figure out why we were not receiving donations and I wanted to call it quits with the foundation, He was still faithful to me. He did not allow me to throw in the towel and call it quits. He knows my heart. He has been dealing with me for years and He knew that sooner or later I would be still long enough to hear Him.
We need to know God personally. When we take the time to get to know His word, His voice and His desire for our life and not take our focus off of Him, it all works out.
So if God has called you to adopt and you are thinking "where is the money going to come from?" take that step of faith. If God has called you to missions, the ministry, to start up a business, to make a difference, step out in faith and keep your eyes on Him and it will happen just like He planned.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

Thursday, September 3, 2009

America wear red on Friday

I may have shared this before but I feel like sharing it again. I was blessed to be raised in a time when we prayed and said the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag before school began.Today it is a different story. This privilege, this honor, this basic right is being taken away from us because we may offend those who come to our country looking for freedom, or someone of a different religion, or a group of people who thinks it is just wrong and they will sue. We live in a time where the news will report the death of a celebrity for days on end, or what Michelle Obama wore to the Grand Canyon or the affairs of the rich and sometimes stupid and how the world hates America. But how often do we see a breaking story about those who have chosen to fight for the God given freedom this country was founded on? What about the men and women who died for that right? Oh, you might see a quick glib on the news but nothing more. As the mom of a Marine who has made this choice it makes me sad that we do not honor our troops and give them the respect they deserve.
Once in a while you have the privilege of picking up the newspaper and there right before your eyes a viewer has written a story that moves you in such a way it makes you believe that all is not lost. I found such a story and I want too share it with the world.
Karen Krus wrote this article for our hometown newspaper. You can tell it came from her heart.
By Karen Kruse

While traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together.
After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in first class (across from me) and inquired if he was heading home. "No," he responded. "Heading out?" I asked. "No. I'm escorting a solder home." "Going to pick him up? "No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq; I am taking him home to his family."
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch in the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.
Upon landing in Chicago, the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom: "Ladies and gentleman. We have had the honor of having Sgt. Martin Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sgt. Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We Will then turn off the seat belt sign."
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his actions made me proud to be an American.
So here's a public thank you to our military men and women for what you do so we can live the way we do and an idea we can all use to keep recognition of their heroism a top priority.
Very soon, we will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. If everyone of us who loves this country will share this idea with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the U.S.A. is covered in red and it will let our troops know the once silent majority is on their side more than ever.
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for us- Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for our soul, the other died for our freedom.
Thank you Karen for reminding us that we live in America. Home of the free and the brave.

When our son joined the Marines 2 years ago I started wearing red on Fridays in support of our military. It may not seem like a very big deal but imagine seeing red all over America every Friday. Imagine.