Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Levi (and his parents)

Dear People I Love and Love Me, Too,     
Welcome to a 2013 recap from the point of view of a three year old.  Yes, that’s right, I’m three now!  We celebrated with a Baseball Birthday Party (see picture) and I talked about it for months following.  All my friends and family played a mean game of wiffle ball and we ate Orioles cupcakes.

Speaking of (one of my favorite sayings) baseball, I love sports - baseball, soccer, hockey, football, tennis, golf.  I love playing them outside with Daddy or inside on the TV.  Sports and matchbox cars are definitely my thing.

Daddy’s been just as busy as always.  He works at Clair Brothers building stuff, and then he also works at church doing music.  On Sundays after church and naps, he goes to work at the radio station and talks in the microphone.  Mommy goes to teach lessons at night sometimes after Daddy gets home.  We’ve also been babysitting my friend Baby Charlotte. I really like it best when they’re both home and we play Candyland, Go Fish, or Memory.

I have to leave sometimes, though, too.  I go to school two mornings a week.  My biggest concern is wondering what in the world Mommy does while I’m at school.  She usually says “cleaning” or “groceries,” but I have a feeling it’s more like “watching TV,” “doing the computer,” or “craft stuff.”

Other highlights from the year include a being the ring bearer in my birth mom’s wedding (see picture!!), road trips to the Outer Banks, Pittsburgh, and DC (to visit some of you), a trip to Hershey park, and enough play dates to keep me happy and Mommy sane.

I’m excited for 2014.  I am going to turn four.  Daddy is talking about going back to school. Mommy’s hoping to become better at sewing and cooking.  I’m thinking about asking them for a little brother or sister.  So, who knows?!  I’ll keep you updated for sure!

Ok, that’s all.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Marriage Is So Kind

Are you a fan of The Office?  We are big fans here.  A part of me died when the show ended.  One of my favorite quotes from the finale was when Andy Bernard said this:

"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."

Where I'm going with this is along the same vain, but a little different...

The other day when Levi was asking about our rings and our wedding I took about an hour to tell him about our wedding and he patiently (and excitedly) looked at pictures from that happy day in 2006.

I gave him a play by play of how we met, referring to "my friend Herb," and I think Levi wasn't sure if that was "daddy" or not.  It was my nod to "How I Met Your Mother," but three-year-old style.

Anyway, when I got to the day of our wedding, this is where our conversation went:

Me: "Levi, do you know what Daddy said to me at our wedding?"
Levi: "No, what?"
Me: "He said, "Michelle, I promise I will love you until the day I go to Heaven."
Levi: [HUGE gasp] "Oh IS SOOO KIND.  THAT IS SOOO GREAT.  Oh man."

Telling Levi our "love story," made me realize (again) how special it is. Like Andy Bernard said, they were the good old days.  When I was living it out (10 years ago) our friendship, courting, and engagement seemed fun and special, but not because it was like a fairy tale, but because it was ours.  But now, getting to retell it with the knowledge of how the story continues to unfold and seeing it through the eyes of our son, our love story feels like the best story ever told.  It has aged well, it is better with the years.  More touching, more fantastic, more like happily ever after.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Seriously, I Need A Butt Kick

So, like I said, we went to a meeting.

It was at an agency we've never worked with about a topic of which we had little to no knowledge.  The meeting was extremely helpful in illustrating options and helping us form new expectations. But, honestly, we left feeling a little less hopeful and a little more disappointed.

The next morning, sitting in the quiet of my living room, I started getting a little weepy.  The familiar sting of baby fever laced with infertility started to creep up on me and I thought,

"This is not how I thought it would be."

Meaning, this isn't the way I thought life would be.

And then, thankfully, suddenly a wave of reality washed over me.



So, I snapped out of it.  Really, somehow (itwastheholyspirit) I did.

Sometimes I need a mental kick in the butt.  Or a real one.  Feel free to give me a real one the next time you see me.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Here Comes the Bride

Today Levi asked my why I wear two rings but Daddy wears one.  I explained the engagement ring vs. the wedding ring.  He said, "You and Daddy had a wedding like Jen and Ricky?!"  He was so excited.  He remembers their wedding because it was only a few months ago, and he was the oh-so-adorable ring bearer.

I remember reading books about open adoption, long before Levi was ever in our life.  One adoption I read about was "SO open," that eventually the adoptive family was involved in the wedding of the birth mother.  Oh, how scandalous and unheard this seemed to me at the time.  I could not fathom how such a potentially strange relationship could be so tight-knit.  Even the book I was reading painted this scenario as the exception, no the rule. But I wanted that.  I was  nervous, but I wanted that kind of relationship badly.

Fast forward four years, and we have it.

My heart was so touched when Jen asked Levi to be a ring-bearer in her wedding.  As I stood back watching Levi pose for a million pictures with the happy couple and his sister, my heart swelled with gratitude.  I am so thankful to be a part of their lives...and that they want to be a part of ours, too.

There are not feelings of jealousy or fear, the way the book warned.  There is only love, and excitement to see how our relationship will blossom and grow as Levi does, too.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Too Much Control

For a few months now, maybe longer, Herb and I have been throwing around the ideas of what expanding our family looks like.  If you've been a reader here for any amount of time, you know it's not just a matter of "pulling the goalie."  We're not your average baby-makers.  So many options, yet sometimes they all feel so limiting.   Admittidly, I've been living in fear of making a wrong misstep.

Is our family "just right" with three members?
Is it selfish of me to want another baby (even though I'm not sure if I even do)?
Is it selfish of me to be a stay at home mom for only one child?
Does wanting another child make me seem ungrateful for the one we already have?
Are we in a financially stable place to take on more children?
How are we even going to have more children?
Is this the right time?  

I hemmed and hawed over these questions and more for weeks on end.

And then my wise friend Lynne so delicatly said pointed out that the problem with our infertility is not that child bearing is out of our control, but, rather, Herb and I have too much control in our family planning and expansion.  All we have is time to think about endless options and scenarios.

In thinking about expanding our family, we have a lot more "what if"s and "how will we"s and can let the fear of each stop us from moving forward with what we should be doing, as compared to normal baby-makers who can say, "Let just try and let it in the hands of God."  Our version of "Let's Just Try," involves scheduling meetings, doctors visits, insurance calls, and other seemingly logistical nightmares.  I was letting each of those things stop me from moving forward.

I have too much time and space to analyze my own selfishness, wants, and needs.  I want to just relinquish control and let what will be, be, but if I do nothing, and not just take at least one step forward, nothing will change.  Much to my surprise, for once I don't actually LIKE the ball being in my court and having this much control.

So, what is next for the Suereths?

Well, this is not a post to share big news, because I don't have any.

But we went to a meeting. We're seeking out options.  We're adjusting expectations. We're on our knees while slowly putting one foot in front of the other.

One step forward.

I don't know 2014 holds for our little family of three, but I can guess it's bigger than my dreams, bigger than what I can figure out on my own.

In the meantime, if you're a family built through adoption like ours, I'd love to converse with you over how you plan to build your family from here.   I'm open to lots of ideas and would really love to talk with some people who have walked this journey, too.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Green Water, Red Water

Tonight at bedtime, after we prayed, it was song time. I suggested a Christmas tune, and gave my best rendition of Jingle Bells.

"How about "Green Water?"" Levi asked.

""Green Water?" We don't know that song, how does it go?"

"Green water, red water,
God laid them down in green water."

Trying our best not to laugh, we asked him where he learned that song.

"God gave it to me."

So much for no new revelations. Sola scriptura?