Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And now for something completely different...

Couch fishing, the sport of parents everywhere. 

For the uninitiated, couch fishing is the fine art of retrieving lost items from their hiding places under furniture.  Some of the techniques include free-fishing, rod-fishing, and netting. 

Free-fishing involves crouching down and reaching into the darkness under chairs and behind curtains.  It's very hands-on and not for the faint of heart if you have toddlers in the house.

Rod-fishing is the art of sweeping under or behind furniture with a long pole... such as a broom handle in the hope that said items can be swept into view.

The most harrowing technique is called netting.  Netting involves moving heavy furniture and sweeping everything (including crumbs and dust bunnies) out into the open where the catch can be cleaned and returned to their proper places. 

Netting is the preferred method in our house.  It's practiced at least twice a day.   Tonight's catch consisted of:
5 shoes
1 hat (dad's golf hat)
2 sippy cups lost during breakfast
8 toy cars
3 Thomas trains
1 train track
1 child's golf club (It was released back into the darkness under the couch in the interest of peace in     the house.  Deacon loves to chase everyone with the club)
1 dish towel
1 lost TV remote
1 cookie
and numerous crumbs, dust bunnies, and bits of sand

Not found was Mom's sanity. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mother Teresa

I've been reading about Mother Teresa lately.  She's someone I really admire.  Did you know that she started life in a wealthy eastern European country?  That's just a few hundred miles from Bulgaria... where my darling is.

There are so many things that I like about her.  The fact that she cared for orphans is just one of them.  I also love that she focused her care and attention on those that the world often overlooks... the poor and the dying.

What surprises me is the criticism she received.... particularly about the hospices that she founded.  Critics say that she was too focused on comforting the dying instead of trying to heal them.  They say that if she really wanted to help them she should have founded hospitals instead. 

The thing is... hospitals are for the living.  They don't want the poorest of the poor.  They want people who have a chance of surviving... and paying for their treatment.  That's not a criticism of hospitals.  It's just how they work.  Mother Teresa's focus was on those who were turned away from the hospitals... those who were left on the streets of India to suffer and die alone.  She offered them shelter and comfort.  It didn't matter if they were Christian, Muslim, Hindu or any other faith.  There was a place for them, those who had no place in society. 

She said she was called to help the poorest of the poor.  And she did that. 

The funny thing about her critics is this... none of them founded the hospitals that they said SHE should build.  None of them offered healing or comfort to the dying like she did.  They fed no one.  They held no hands.  Her critics were journalists who did nothing to help the world in any real way.  They wrote books and articles.  They shouted their opinions to the media.  But that's all they did. 

What she did was more that speak and write.  She went out and held people.  She fed and clothed them.  She found homes for orphans and gave mothers a place to give birth in safety.  She and her sisters held the hands of the dying and helped them find peace and comfort before they passed away.  She made a real difference in the lives that she touched. 

She set an example for us all.  The sad thing is... most of us who admire her don't understand the example she set, or WHY she did the things she did.  Most of us seem to have missed the message entirely.

You see, she understood that the smallest things mean the most.  She knew that she couldn't just sit back and expect others to do the little things that need doing in order to make the world a better place for us all.  She followed the example and philosophy of Saint Therese of Lisieux, a 19th century Carmelite nun who pioneered the "Little Way".  The Little Way was focused on doing small things, with great love, for God. 

Our society today is almost completely focused on the "big picture".  There is little interest in the small things.  "The ends justify the means" should really be the motto for our governments and businesses here in the west.  Small things and great love seem to be forgotten entirely. 

I haven't finished reading about her, yet.  But already I understand why many people consider her a modern saint.  I wish more people could understand who she was and what she really did.  The world needs more true heroes... more people who understand that the small things done with great love are the things that really matter in life. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Yesterday started out hard.   Deacon woke up at 4am full of energy.  I couldn't convince him to go back to bed, so we ended up sleeping on the couch until the others woke. 

Then at around 10-ish I got the most wonderful news.  I found out that not only had we been assigned a USCIS agent, but that agent had just approved our I800a form this morning. (an I800a is a request to adopt a child from a Hague convention country that must be filed and approved in order to proceed with an international adoption)  Our process only a fraction of the time I was expecting it to take. 

I was ecstatic.  I was over the moon happy.  I posted on Facebook and emailed my husband.  Then the boys and I went to get lunch and Chik Fil-Al.  It was a good day. 

It was a great day until I saw this...
"Sad news, friends -- Margaret has passed away :( She's been posted on the "In Loving Memory" page"

This sweet little girl was Margaret.  She never had a home, a mother, or love.  She never had someone to hold her when she was scared and kiss her booboos.  She died alone, in an orphanage. 

It's sad that this little girl died.  Would she still have died if she had been adopted?  Maybe.  But she wouldn't have been alone.  She would have known family.  She would have known love.  She would have known the comfort of a mother's arms and a father's strength. 

People keep asking... "Why do you do this?" and "Wow.  You must want a little girl really bad.".  We "do this" because precious little girls (and boys) shouldn't have to die alone and unloved.