I don't sweat. I mean, give me a three mile run in the Caribbean without air conditioning or an ocean breeze, and Yes, I will sweat. I was not one of those girls in high school basketball that was dripping after the tip off. Yet, as a grown woman, an educated doctor, I still break out into a cold sweat upon entering Victoria's Secret.
I get that is it "the" store for mainstream bra and underwear buying, especially if you let your preteen wear undies that say "pink" or "naughty" or have cherries on them.... that is your decision. I own several of their bras, but have never liked their underwear.... even at my smallest, I found them undesirable.
Nevertheless, I find myself venturing into the overwhelming walls of pink and white for every Semi-Annual sale, just for "giggles".... or with hopes of getting lucky. I am very self aware. I know I am not skinny....not the VS prototype..... not the nice B or C cup. I am aware of this. Whether the size I am now or my smallest, I push the limits of not spilling out of their beautiful turquoise, red, and coral brassieres.
Well, I found myself there last night... Alone. My friend was occupied with in-laws. My other one did not answer her phone. My loyal semi-annual sale friend lives in Nicholasville. Of course I left JT and Tedi at home watching Louisville football. I grabbed a couple of options and stood there, clammy, in the overdone dressing room. My back was sweating and my heart of was racing. I was hungry.... then the same sales girl who opened the room for me, unlocks and starts to walk in the room.. I mean, SERIOUSLY size 4 twenty two year old blonde....cut me a little slack. Two bras in, I decided I was done... Cue the self deprecation. Maybe once I shed some more pounds I will re-visit the haven of pink.....
I did end up with bras that night....but it was not without a stop for a pair of earrings I really wanted. I know, not a great example but they were less than $10 and I tithe... don't judge.
I hope you enjoy your Vicky's experience, but I thought others out there would enjoy this huniliating story at my expense.
Well, thanks to ornament sales, a gift from a family friend, t-shirt sales, Lifesong, the gift from my residency friends, photo fundraiser by our friends at Lizzie Loo Photography, and some other fundraising/saving, we have the funds to send our dossier to Ethiopia. We should have our completed dossier on Britney's desk by January 2.... Hopefully she will approve it and it will head on its way to Ethiopia.... the trip the paperwork must make between Louisville to Utah to DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia takes approximately one month.... Once the Henderson Dossier is in Ethiopia, we are placed on the waiting list for a child, a boy rather... we are currently being told 6-8 months of waiting for a referral...then court.....then embassy....then home. So maybe before I finish residency in June 2013, Christmas of next year would be overly optismistic...
I thought I would be anxious during this process since it is much much longer than it was with Tedi. But the peace I have now is surprising to even me. I am not sure if it is all peace or some masking by my crazy work schedule that I did not have during Tedi's adoption or merely being a parent now when I wasn't before. Regardless, I am thankful for the peace and patience. While anxious to see the face, hear the name, and know the child who will be the second Henderson boy, I know all too well that the timing is not mine to choose.
Can you imagine getting fifty five 4 and 5 year old boys and girls onto risers, teach them to both recite lines and sing about eight songs for over half an hour? Can you imagine keeping them from not killing one another, pushing each other off the risers? I am sure it must feel like herding cats. Yet the teachers at Tedi's school did a remarkable job, as they have all year. It melted my heart to hear them sing several Christmas songs while wearing reindeer t-shirts made from hand and foot prints. Tedi loves singing so he was proud we were there....
We had our work Christmas Party at 21C Hotel last week. The highlight, other than the wonderful appetizers, crazy mod art, desserts, and a couple of party crashers, was the photo booth.... complete with costumes. Below are pictures of the pictures but you will get the point.
A few posts ago I introduced everyone to Clark and Eddie, our elves. We continue to celebrate the Christmas season with our elves. Some nights they are good...some they are bad. I am not an "elf over-achiever". As much as I LOVE the online images of elves making snow angels, I can't think about the clean up. Two nights ago, Clark and Eddie were even "too tired" to fly back the North Pole.... Yep, we tired. Nevertheless, this is a tradition that our family is enjoying.
I have read the blogs, facebook posts and such about celebrating Christmas with Jesus only or Jesus and Saint Nicholas or nothing secular or everything.... While I understand all perspectives and arguments for each, I think we should all be careful not pass judgement about how one family may or may not celebrate a holiday. Every child, ever family is in a different place... In our family, we do all of it. We do Santa, we do Elf on a Shelf, We do presents and parties and celebrating with friends. But if you ask my son, home from Ethiopia for 18 months, why we celebrate Christmas, you will still hear "It's Jesus Birthday." We will leave Santa and his reindeer cookies and milk and carrots. We will make Jesus a Birthday cake. But it's up you...what parenting style you employ to get your kids to be functional, loving, good adults and parents in the future....
It has been awhile.... Awhile since what, you may ask? Well, as the ebb and flow of a blog goes, I feel it necessary every several months to "re-tell" our story. New people come to the blog and it's nice for them to know who we are, where we stand, our background....without going digging through blog. So here you go:
JT and I met in college. We were friends first....well, rather, I would not date him because I was 18 and an idiot. When I finally wised up, we were engaged in three months and married 13 months later. We thought, "well, we'll have kids in a couple of years once Natalie finishes her teaching degree." Well then I got daring and decided to be a doctor or something crazy like that...A year and a half of pre-med, two years of living apart, moving to NYC .... we thought we had weathered enough storms.
On the weekend of our 5th anniversary, we decided to try to get pregnant... I got obsessed. For the next year, I was consumed and JT was pushing away. Let's be honest. Scheduling sex is not fun. Taking basal temps is strange... having clomid-induced hot flashes while scrubbed in for a six hour abdominal surgery.... none of this was fun. But we wanted a child. Yes, we talked about adoption. Said we would do it......do it someday.... after we had our "own" (I can not even stomach writing that now). Well, as the end of my medical school inched closer we realized that pregnancy was a less than ideal way to start residency.... so I re-filled the birth control prescription, shed a few internal tears, and went on a cruise (for real).
I was sitting in JT's mamaw's house, relaxing in her small bedroom recliner when JT walked in and brought up the idea of adoption... the timing for both of us was right. Something inside of us, individually, and now jointly, moved ...and now it clicked. Forward we went. I won't sugar coat our experience.. We had family and friends that disagreed with our decision....basically openly bashing us. The wait was hard...having wanted a child so badly, each day proved increasingly painful, especially after seeing Tedi's face. So much for a kid early in residency.....Tedi came home three days after I started.. Yep, so much for our timing.
If you are called to adoption...(and by that I mean....not just called to adopt a child, but support those that do adopt, be involved in the lives of adopted children, sponsor children in orphanages, do mission trips), it is hard to stop caring... most of us are not built that way. If we were, adoption likely would not be our calling. Here we are... 18 months later, in the middle of our second adoption... with "our own" child and another boy in our future. I am now a doctor. We have a 5 year old. We are blessed. Will we adopt a third or fourth time? Yes. Will we get pregnant in the future? Maybe. Will your life be changed if you adopt, sponsor a child, support a family? Yes..without a doubt. So think about it....
What will stop your plan? What will make you change your path? Meeting one child, reading one blog, one or 45 negative pregnancy tests?
With all of this said, we are not just an "adoption family". We are a "wife in residency family", "a husband in development family", a child of divorce family, recovering "religious kids" who love Jesus not pomp and circumstance family, a "make our friends family" kind of family.... we are all of these...who just followed the call to adopt. Just normal, regular people trying to live lives for others and make a difference... who are you?
Throughout our adoption journeys (both with Tedi's adoption and this one), we have been blessed with shocking gifts.... small gifts with big heart....big gifts.... people giving of themselves when they do not have to. However, I have experienced two instances in the last week where giving was not expected and the giver wanted nothing in return....even a thank you was too much because "that is what they were SUPPOSED to do"
1) I have a friend who is adopting. Her family has had great blessings with their fundraising all at once. She felt that they needed to "give back" from what they were given and she chose us. I was floored and humbled. That very day I was texting and calling my two close friends telling them I was down and feeling quite inadequate.. They told me to snap out of it...tough love style but it was this family's love and example in action that reminded me of how truly blessed I am....as is our family
2) We had my class of residents over this weekend for a Secret Santa/Christmas Party... I love the people I work with and so does Tedi and JT. We all brought lots of food and drinks and exchanged gifts, all of which was fun...as always. After giving gifts, Abby handed JT a card for us. I thought it was a thank you note for hosting...also not knowing and being uncomfortable when someone does something overtly nice for me, I walked into the dining room. JT read it aloud... Basically, it said that my resident friends had pulled together and saved over $800 that they wanted to give us for our adoption. I was so shocked. I am not a cryer....I tend to internalize. I just froze....both in awe and shock. I can still not articulate my gratitude and surprise. These are people who know me, but are not necessarily familiar with adoption.... and maybe that is why it meant so much....it was just "what you do".
These two instances have been real "pick me up" in what has been a trying month or so with family, friends, adoption and such. We are so blessed to have great people surrounding us.
"Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting." ~Meltzer
(I desire to embody this and be this and surround myself with those that do as well)
Pictures from the Party
Heetan holding little Cady for the first time
Erica and Mitali with Cady
Heather and Adam... not their baby but we all think they need one
....... I would not have to lock every medicine in a lock box but rather keep out of my child's reach
....... I would not need to provide three years of taxes to someone who will judge my ability to pay bills
....... I would not have to answer questions about my parenting style, draw family trees and define the strength of each bond and who will and won't accept my multi-racial family
........ I would not have to write a 10 page autobiography about my past
........ I would not have answer "when will you have one of your own."
........ I would have not to be fingerprinted, interviewed (twenty times), watch videos about children's medical needs (despite being a doctor), or be asked offensive questions about loving a black child (when I already have one)
........ I would not have to explain my fertility, sex life, adoption decision, and family planning daily
....... I would also not have loved my husband as much as I do
....... I would not have a multitude of friends I have made in the adoption world
....... I would not have learned patience the way I have
....... Others may not have adopted or become attune to the needs of children around the world.
....... I would not have been called Mommy and get daily hugs
....... I would not be the person I was ultimately called to be
....... I would not be the doctor I am called to be...
This weekend through today I was reminded of the ups and downs of the adoption journey.....both the joys of getting large gifts and love and hearing hurtful things and going through the monotony of the paperwork trail. Yet, I get home and a little man says "Mommy, read to me the Toy Story book Miss Erica got me" and I sigh and realize....not only does he have a mommy, a warm home, extended family, exceptional friends, but can read, write (kind of) and can love unconditionally.... If I had gotten pregnant in my time, he may never been here.... here with us, here on earth.... we will never know. So today, despite the frustrations, I am so very thankful to know my not getting pregnant now has changed my world forever.
We have bought in to the Elf of a Shelf craze.... last year my good friend Lindsey sent one to Tedi. He and JT named it Eddie, after the movie National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. This year, they started making black elves so we decided that Tedi (and his future sibling) needed this elf as well.....which of course is named Clark. Eddie is the "bad" elf and often gets in trouble while Clark innocently looks on! Tedi is having a blast with this. Enjoy some of their adventures!
Before Clark came to live with us.....feeding the reindeer Pringles
Eddie breaking the rules and playing cars on the table