A New Hope

We have tried so many ways of growing our family. Natural fertility methods, infertility treatments, herbs, medications… all to no avail. Our road through infertility was rather brutal, especially because the hormones extremely affected my personality and mood. During this time we went through 2 devastating miscarriages. So, we prayerfully came to decision that we wanted to adopt. After a year on the LDS adoption website and a ton of networking, we decided not to renew our homestudy. We had no interest from any birthmothers. I started to believe that maybe God wanted us to be content being a family of three. Then, through some friends of ours, a young woman reached out to us. She was pregnant and wanted us to adopt her baby. We were thrilled. It was early in the pregnancy, so we didn’t want to get too excited. We waited until 3 months before the due date to start buying all the little girl stuff (we found out she was having a girl). A month before the due date, everything fell apart. This loss was almost as terrible as the miscarriages. Almost. We were defeated. Never again, we said. I think we all came to a point a year later that we were content being a family of 3. We still are.

Lately, however, Sean and I have felt a calling… a stirring in our hearts, to become foster parents. There are so many kids that need a safe place and a loving family to be theirs, whether it is just a day, a week, a month, a year, or forever. So for the past 8 weeks every Tuesday evening we have been attending foster care classes. This Tuesday is our last class. After that we will have home inspections and more of our favorite thing (paperwork ha ha ha).

We hope to be able to help many children to have a safe and loving place to stay for however long they need. We are excited for this new adventure in our lives.

Gardens and Parenting

I do not have a green thumb. Most plants throughout my life have come to their final resting place in my hands. I would either forget to water them, water them too much, or just plain look at them cross-eyed. Whatever it was that I was doing wrong, the result was the same.

I have had more luck since we moved to Maryland. Therefore, with great trepidation and some nervous energy, my husband and I planted a backyard garden.

raised bed

watermelon

cantaloupeWe have all the basics: tomatoes, peppers, lettuce spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli and some herbs. Things are progressing nicely. In fact, I now consider myself a gardener. It is not just a hobby, however. It is my newest form of therapy, and I have come up with some great new philosophies while puttering around back there.  I have formed some new ideas on parenting, and how raising kids is like raising a garden.

The ground that you plant your seeds in is important and it takes a lot of preparation to make it ideal for plants to grow to their full potential. With Tomatoeskids, it is important to prepare the environment that you are bringing them into, both physically and spiritually. I think that is why parents traditionally have 9 months to prepare. Whatever your parental situation is, you can prepare a place in your heart and your home for the little seedlings to grow. Whether they have been placed in your home as seeds or cucumbertransplanted there, they can and will flourish.

It is also important to catch weeds before they have a chance to take root. I had a lot of experience with this fact when the scrub oaks were shedding seeds all over my fledgling garden. It was easiest to get the seeds out before they dug their way into the ground. Inevitably, I missed quite a few. By the time those mini trees popped their heads up to where I could see them, it would take a bit more effort to remove them. If I let things progress and those buggers took and built a stronger root, it was downright difficult to get rid of them. With our kids, we have to be as progressive as we can with weeding out bad habits and behaviors. The earlier you catch them, the easier it is to correct the problem.  A little behavior in a small child might be somewhat cute, but it can turn into a full-fledged monster issue if you let it grow.

I will not bore you with any more of my musings, except to say that the nurture and care that a garden takes is worth it. It takes but a season to see the fruits of your labor. A child takes significantly longer to grow, but I know that the work and dedication that we put into our daughter is worth it. I also know that things will be the same with any other kids that enter our life. The fruits born of each child’s life are different. Yet they are all sweet.

Procrastina…

I have been thinking a lot about a very important phrase lately. Don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today. Sean and I have been practicing procrastination now for going on… well, forever. Sometimes we start projects that don’t get finished. Like blogs, for instance. We would like to apologize for our lack of postings so far and we would like to move forward and each post once a week. It will most likely be about anything and everything because I, for one, am always finding something interesting bobbing around my noggin, and it isn’t always about adoption.

I would get on my knees and beg for your forgiveness over our terrible lack of entertainment and information for you, but then I would be stuck in the past. Which brings me to another idea I’ve been thinking on. Like Lot’s wife, sometimes we just shouldn’t look back.

<3   -Jenn

And now, for something completely different:

quack, quack