Thursday, July 04, 2013
They are OK.... and so are we
1) My work at Bethany is very time consuming but awesome. We are doing really good work with families and we have big dreams to expand our post-adoption support for families. My staff is incredible and we work together very well. I'm very motivated and excited about all that is going on there.
2) My dear daddy died on May 11. He passed away two days after I left Arizona, having spent nearly two weeks there with him, six of them with he and I alone in a strange city at the hospital. They were wonderful times and I could feel the prayers of my family and friends surrounding me. He was an incredible man and was sharp as a tack right up until his last couple days of life. He died of renal failure, so wasn't in much pain. He lived to be almost 91 and he had way more friends in heaven than he did here on earth. His body was so worn out that I could see he was tired of being in it. So I was ready to let him go, and my mom was ok with it too.
I have to share this for those of you who do not do Facebook and haven't heard this story. The very hour he died I had a dream (if you want to know exactly what time you have a dream, have a bladder that requires you to get up every 90 minutes at night). Anyway, I been back to Mn for two days and the night before Mother's Day I had a dream. I dreamed that I had gone to the hospice home where had been living for a few days and they said he wasn't there. They gave me instructions to drive around back behind the home (the home was located in rural Arizona). In the dream, I rounded the bend and the view opened up to this huge beach. My dad was there, rolling himself down the beach in the sand in his wheelchair. Suddenly he stood up and started to run. He did somersaults, he did cartwheels. He jumped with glee. I woke up right after that with such a sense of peace.
The next morning during church I got a voice mail from my mom. It said, "He did it Claudia! Dad got to be with his mom on Mother's Day." She had told me the day before how special that would be and I had asked her, 'Won't that make Mother's Days sad for you in the future." She responded, "No! I would be delighted if he could be with her on Mother's Day.!"
3) My amazingly strong mom finished packing to move to Minnesota by ay 29 (the tickets had been purchased to move both of them here on May 7th, so a lot of the packing was already done). She is in an assisted living facility here in Minnesota and has been for about 5 weeks now. She is an inspiration to me. 84 years old and so positive, strong and full of faith. I talk to her a couple times a day and see her at almost every day. I'm enjoying being able to spend time with her and having my kids get to know her. She appears to be adjusting well to having my Dad gone. She keeps her emotions in check and sees each day as an adventure. I know the secret of her strength -- she has been at prayer by 4:30 a.m. every morning for over 65 years.... I think that makes a person way stronger than I'll ever be. Her faith would amaze and inspire you like it does me. I'm humbled to be around her.
4) We have been reconnecting with several of our adult children. Salinda and Gabby lived here for a few weeks and are still here off and on. We have reconnected with the one son who does not like to be mentioned here -- he was in a serious car accident a few months ago and now comes up here for doctors appointments and has been stopping by. His son was with us for his first birthday. Rand has spent several weekends with us and Jimmy is currently home from Job Corps. Even though we bought a smaller house on purpose, they still come and fill the couches. It takes a lot of time to stay connected with them ... but it is typically fun time and not nearly as stressful as it has been in the past. Even though John is in jail and he and Courtney aren't together, Courtney brings Isaac up often to see us.
5) We are still enjoying an active social life with new friends who are so fun to be with. Bart has to control my urge to schedule every free night and remind me to relax sometimes.
6) We had another grandchild! Kyle and Christy (who are married) had Silas Allen on June 26th. He is adorable and the whole experience was so peace filled. If you know anything about the relationship between Bart and Kyle, you will know how meaningful it was when Kyle placed Silas in Bart's arms for the first time and said, "we have chosen a middle name. It's Allen." The whole world seemed to make sense at that moment because Bart's middle name is Allen.
7) We have had three kids in the past few months reconnect and begin to build relationships with birth family. This has been positive for them and certainly interesting for us, but quite emotionally taxing. If I blog more I may tell some of those stories.
8) We have had school drama including not having any of our 3 seniors graduate. Tony got his GED at job corps but moved home, not out, and the other two didn't manage to graduate. Leon will be trying his senior year again next year and Ricky has moved in with an older brother. Not sure if he will go back to school but he started a job this week.
So, I've been busy, eh? I decided to pop into blog world because today we went to the lake with Mike and Kari back near Mankato. We had a great day -- the best our families have had together ever. All of our kids were appropriate -- 8 of our 12 were there, and one grandson, and 5 of their six showed up and they're granddaughter was there! Significant others were there too and a husband... it was a really, really good day.
I guess I wanted to blog tonight to say this ... it does get better. The hard times do seem worth it. There are struggles, still, but there are times now where we can honestly say that it feels OK to be us... that things make sense in a weird way.
We have 10 adult children now. Only 2 are under 18. We have four gorgeous grandchildren. We look back at the many years of turmoil and we realize that we did many things wrong. The new research now about brain trauma, connection, etc. would have helped us so much. But thanks to God's help, we haven't given up, and they are all OK. Not perfect, but OK.
And so are we.