Saturday, July 28, 2012

Poetry Corner: Back Into Me

I thought sharing this poem, at this time was fitting. Though a nature poem at the time it was written, it has new meaning to me now.

Back Into Me

sitting in the quiet
I rock
swinging to the solitude so sweet

humming, vibrating the air
with thought
I relax
back into me
and sit
in the peace of it all

By Diana M. Bateman

Friday, July 20, 2012

Heartfelt Gratitude

I've no idea how to express the joy I feel lately. All I know is that my husband and I are very blessed. Dear family, friends, co-workers and strangers who pray for us and have been so generous - thank you! 

Here's a little video I would like to share. God bless you all! We have been recipients of the grandest blessing that either of us have ever received.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's A Boy!

Now I understand the meaning of what happened in my May 30 blog post...

My husband and I have been trying to adopt a child for a number of years. We've worked with three different agencies. It been pretty unsuccessful and downright frustrating. 

So when we received yet another call saying that a birth-mom delivered on the east coast a few days before and that the agency was requesting permission to show our profile to yet another set of birthparents, we said "sure". 

See, that's how it goes. Then you're not selected,  birthparents decide to parent rather than place the child, or you are in the top two and eventually become the "runner up". The most recent call was on the evening of July 1. 

After the call with the most recent case worker, we finished our movie and then went to bed knowing that on Monday, we would be informed we didn't make the cut. 

Honestly, we had mentally and emotionally given up on adoption. This was going to be the end. We were done and needed to move on with life.

July 2 came and after the lunch hour we received the news that we were actually selected! Oh my holy freakin' cow! The news wasn't followed by a "just kidding", rather it was followed by a "can you get out here tomorrow?" 

Well we couldn't. We had to get money wired to them, we had to arrange travel, we had to gather start-up baby stuff, dog sitter, communicate with our employers, etcetera. On top of all this, we were in a major holiday week. The best we could do was fly out on Wednesday.

July 3...A busy blur orchestrated by divine intervention to make things run as smoothly as possible, as in better than clockwork. However, it was indeed a blur, busy, exhausting and I have no idea how we did it all. Actually we didn't do it all, THANK YOU to all our friends and family. THANK YOU!

Our first family photo in a hotel lobby.
Diana, Josh, & Jacobson.
July 4...We were on the morning flight to a major east coast city, we selected an airport a little ways away for the benefit of a direct return flight with a babe in arms. 

After we landed, we jumped in a rental car for a two hour drive to a smaller east coast city. We drove right to the hotel of our social worker who had temporary custody of our little one since leaving the hospital. 

We met our social worker and the notary in the hotel lobby. We all signed transfer of custody paperwork and by around seven that night we were parents. Whew! 

We then drove to our hotel and checked-in. We were starving though, so we went to dinner and invited the social worker who had taken care of our son until we could get there. This was the best Fourth of July celebration ever!

Jacobson Ethan (7 days old)
The next few days were hurry up and wait kind of days. Hospital visits, baby registry stuff, texts and calls with family and friends, calls with area attorney's and attorneys back at home, adoption agency collaboration, diapers, spit-up, bottles, awesome hotel staff to help us sanitize bottles for reuse... we met a lot of really neat people during this time. But the neatest of all were the birthparents.

On July 5 we had dinner with the birthparents at their hotel and it was simply awesome. They went into this delivery knowing that they were giving birth to another person's child. 

Yes, this was emotionally and mentally tough for them to do, but in their own words over dinner, "...after meeting you, we now know we found the right family for our son. We have no doubts about placing him with you two." This was incredibly humbling to hear. 

It was also this night that we learned about the emergency circumstance of Jacob's birth. Both he and birth-mom almost didn't make it. 

The placenta and uterus detached and they were rushed to the Emergency Room where an emergency C-section was performed. Little Jacob even had to be resuscitated; a miracle baby all around in many ways. 

By evening's end we had interviewed the birthparents on camera and taken pictures. It was at this time that the birthparents requested that for sake of providing closure for their other children, could we arrange to meet them before we left town. We agreed and settled on meeting July 10.

July 9...We were informed that the ICPC was clear and we could fly home; the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) is the legal do-hicky that says it's okay to take this kid of ours across state lines and back home. So we rearranged our flights from a July 14 return to a July 10 return!

July 10...We met the immediate birth family in a local park. We only had thirty minutes with them before we had to leave to drive to the airport. 

Our time with the birth family was precious. We were able to get pictures of each of Jacob's half siblings holding him. We got pictures of his birth parents holding him. We did see that the kids truly needed this closure. 

I know this opportunity is rare and unique with regards to adoption. The reason the birthparents placed Jacob with us is dynamic, hefty, and full on intricate details. Suffice it to say, there were many reasons, and all in all, this is a better situation for this little life. We have been blessed again. 

I mentioned earlier that I now know what the feeling was behind my May 30 blog post. During our interaction with the birthparents, we learned that Jacob had been promised elsewhere in a private adoption setting. 

During the last week of May the birthparents found that if they continued with the intended adoptive couple, that Jacob would be in a potentially abusive situation. Because of that, they decided to discontinue placement and to go with an agency. 

The agency that they selected was the third and final agency we ended up working with. It's amazing the divine orchestration that took place to bring us our son. We are thankful for the courage of Jacob's birth parents. They made a miracle happen in our lives.

It's so wonderful to be home now. It's been an absolute whirlwind and so completely worth it. Welcome Jacob! Welcome to our home, our family and our hearts. We love you!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shooting Up in a Las Vegas Bathroom

This is as close I could get to Tony Horton.
I will meet him next year. I have a plan.
I recently participated in the Beachbody Coach Summit event in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was able to meet some pretty amazing coaches, trainers, and leadership figures. 

I've included a few pictures in this blog entry of some of the famous Beachbody faces. This was an amazing experience for me. 

I'd like to share a little bit about this event as well as what it was like to "shoot up" in a Las Vegas bathroom. I am of course speaking about my Multiple Sclerosis medication. 

Meeting & working out with
Debbie Siebers!
I carpooled with a few people from my general area to this conference and was quickly relieved to find out that they were normal and pleasant to spend time with. 

Not having met them before, I was indeed concerned. But we had an excellent time driving to Vegas and back. They may even say that I was the weird one... very possible...

I was also very relieved to find out that my temporary roommate was also normal and a real delight to hang around. So, two for two - something had to go wrong, right? Not at all. 

Though I really struggled with the ninety-eight to one hundred eight degree temperatures of Nevada, I was able to participate in most everything. More than that, I actually felt like I belonged. This last one was a biggie, as I have never felt this way - not really.

I was just simple tickled to
meet Chalene Johnson.
Kudos to fellow Beachbody Coaches Christine B. (thanks for the "better than sex spray mister!"); Tamara G. (thanks for looking out for me); MGM Grand concierge (thanks for figuring out how to get me to and from the pool) and security (thanks for pushing the wheelchair and getting me safely back to my room when my legs couldn't carry me). 

Thanks to all for getting creative and being such a big help so I could participate poolside with my team - if only for forty minutes. This was tremendous! 

It took about two hours to recover, but I did it and was able to workout live with Tony Horton later that day! This was so totally awesome! 
Donna Richardson is highly spiritual person.
Very pleasant to talk with.
Over the next few days I was also able to meet and work out live with Debbie Siebers. 

I was also able to meet Chalene Johnson (TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme, etc), Donna Richardson (Body Gospel), and have a random run in with Leandro Carvhalo (Brazil Butt Lift). Um, so Leandro totally grabbed my rump! Good times. ;-) 

I was able to get close enough to hear the voices and feel the energy of Tony Horton and Shawn T.. I was able to listen to them speak, watch and do work outs, and find that they are the same in person as they are on disc - high energy, fun-loving, constantly improving themselves and intense.

Now as the conference got into full swing it took me about half a day to realize that come shot time on Saturday, I wouldn't have time between sessions and activities to make it back to my room to take my medication and still make it to the next event in time. 

I realized I was going to have to keep my shot on hand for one of our very brief breaks on Saturday, during which I would have to go to the restroom and take my shot. 

I have to admit, this was indeed a very different experience than the last time I was in a Las Vegas bathroom. This time though, I was injecting a MS medication into my leg while in the bathroom, rather than throwing up, while some lady prayed outside the bathroom stall. (The prayer being that the poor bulimic lady would be okay and find her way to Jesus.) 

I think the funniest part about shooting up in a Las Vegas bathroom was when I came out to wash my hands. I didn't want to just put the needle and syringe in the garbage (highly irresponsible). 

I put it back in my purse and would bring it home to my sharps container. The funny thing is that handling this shot is so normal for me now, that I didn't pay attention to what others 
Leandro Carvahlo has ENERGY
and big devious smile.
might be thinking in the bathroom. 

I only caught on when I realized I had a few confused stares, as I was separating the needle from the syringe to put it in a baggie and back in my purse. I tried to explain, but I don't really think those ladies believed me... Good times!

Chalene Johnson and Shawn T.
two very beautiful people inside and out.
All in all, this conference was amazing! I learned that all the things I've been doing to improve my health have been spot on. 

I'm really excited now to help others rise to the challenges of life and push beyond those challenges. I saw so many people that have achieved similar outcomes regarding their health as I have. 

I was energized and charged by this. I realized that I'm not unique in this regard. This was a refreshing discovery, because it made me realize that I'm not some crazy lady doing crazy things and that I'm not an anomaly. 

No, these changes to health and wellness, even with disease, is actually attainable. I'm not only living proof, but there are thousands out there in a similar situation, doing this too and having amazing results. 

Again, it was refreshing to see that I'm not smokin' and being unrealistic. People truly can move beyond the bounds of illness and disability, if they are willing to get creative and redefine possibilities. It's not easy! It's painful, infuriating, frustrating, disappointing, but so incredibly worth it!

I spoke with people that have serious diabetes, and other chronic or neurological dysfunctions. I spoke with people that use fitness to combat serious depression and recover from wartime struggles. 

I interacted and identified with a few people in wheelchairs that are modifying Beachbody programs such as P90X and Insanity; they are indeed really doing these programs. 

I met morbidly obese people that have done P90X, TurboFire, BodyGospel, Slim in 6, Brazil Butt Lift and more - they've already lost one hundred pounds or more, and though still morbidly obese or overweight, they are on the right track to attain very real transformations. 

I met people in their sixties and seventies still working out on intense levels; one of them even described diet and fitness as the "fountain of youth". It is possible to change your direction in life. 

To make these changes though, the questions are: How bad do you really want it? Do you want it bad enough to commit to recommitting? 

Do you want it bad enough to create consistent discipline to get you there? Do you want it bad enough to change self-sabotaging behaviors? Are you permitting yourself to actually have a quality life? Do you believe you are deserving? 

If so, then change your behavior. If it's that important to you, then you will make it happen. If you keep faltering, then your "why?" may have changed or isn't strong enough. Decide. Commit. Succeed. It doesn't have to be perfect, just consistent. 

You have to be willing to go to hot places when you have problems with heat. You have to be willing to take your medications in public restrooms. 

These are required to remove yourself from feeling trapped by illness. You have to be willing to surrender to modifications in order to participate fully. 

It's not about being picture perfect and doing it just like everyone else. It's about doing it in whatever way that you can, so that everyone else can't hide behind lame excuses to improve. 

If you are unwilling to engage and try, then it's an excuse. If you are unwilling to be vulnerable, then you are prideful and you will either linger in stasis or continue to decline. 

I see now, more than ever before, that the only thing that keeps us from achieving all that our heart desires in this life, 
is our commitment, dedication, and attitude.