— 1 —
As I recover from a painful sunburn I got last week, I find it hard to imagine that there are places in the northern hemisphere where it’s still cold. Hasn’t everyone stored their winter jackets, filled their drawers with shorts and t-shirts, and started blasting their air conditioners, not to be turned off again until after Thanksgiving? Last week I was fascinated by a comment from UK blogger Musings on Motherhood and Ministry, who said she wonders what it must be like to sit on a southern American porch in the sunshine in March. It was so interesting to me to imagine that where I live is exotic to someone else — just like where a lot of you all live is exotic to me. I’ve often daydreamed about what it would be like to live in Wyoming or Idaho or Ohio, or on an island, or in the mountains, or in somewhere where there are buildings that are hundreds of years old. That all seems so unfamiliar and interesting to me, yet for a lot of people it’s just home.
— 2 —
Atheist PZ Myers and his commenters had some strong words for me last week. As soon as I saw the post, I was overcome by this feeling that I MUST RESPOND, that it would violate some sort of cosmic law of blogging if I didn’t immediately open up a draft of a new post and start typing. And so I did, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have anything productive to say so I deleted it. Sure, I disagreed with what those folks were saying about me and my points, but I didn’t get the feeling that Professor Myers wrote his critique in the spirit of opening a dialogue to learn more about my stance on Catholic-atheist relations, and didn’t see how a new post from me would contribute anything to the world. But…I dunno…maybe I should have taken the opportunity to clarify my position. What would you have done? Would you have responded?
— 3 —
Our friend Devin Rose wrote a fantastic article about his perspective on adoption as a father. It’s so inspiring. After writing candidly about the miscarriages and fertility problems and he and his wife experienced, he says about his first thoughts on the option of adopting a child:
I wasn’t excited about paying that much money [for international adoption], especially knowing that there were children in our own town who needed homes. But the downside of adopting through the foster-care system was a big one: all of the children in the system have been removed from their parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Why would I want to take on someone else’s problem? After all, I didn’t know anything about being a father, and these children might have serious behavior problems that I wouldn’t know how to handle.
The Roses are now parents of four children under age four, three of them who came to them from adoption through the foster care system. Read the rest of Devin’s touching and inspiring story here.
— 4 —
On a related note, Kidsave is looking for host families for this summer. This is an amazing organization. Its Summer Miracles program takes older orphaned children from Colombia and other countries (where there is effectively a 0% chance of them finding homes) and brings them to the U.S. for a summer vacation and, hopefully, a chance to get adopted.
As some of you may recall, we hosted a Kidsave child in the summer of 2009 — you can read all my posts about it here. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done. We’re still in touch with “Rita, ” and things are looking very good for her prospects of finding a forever family (I’ll give more updates when things are final). Click here to find out more about the program, and click here to see pictures of some of previous years’ Kidsave kids (our own “Rita, ” whose real name is Ana, is in the picture toward the bottom right that says “Ana and Daniela hold a new little friend” — and that’s our baby the other girl is holding). If you live in a participating city, I highly recommend considering hosting a child for the summer!
— 5 —
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with “the Mom” of Shoved to Them. We had pizza at a park with our combined ten kids, which is where I got the aforementioned sunburn. She is just as fun and interesting as she seems on her blog — which you should check out if you’re not familiar with. She recently wrote a powerful post about the profound impact that being diagnosed with ADHD had on her life; I had tears in my eyes after reading her reflection about all that you have to leave behind when you move; and I can always appreciate a good rant about the dogs-as-people phenomenon. Definitely a great blog to add to your reading list.
— 6 —
When I was out in the Peoria, IL area for the Behold Conference, my husband and I noticed that there was something different about the neighborhoods out there, aside from slightly different architecture of the houses. We couldn’t put our fingers on what it was, then finally it clicked: many of the houses didn’t have fences. It made us realize that the majority of neighborhoods here in central Texas are completely fenced off. It was strange to see people’s backyard furnishings just sitting outside in one big field that went behind a long row of houses. As Texans, we wondered how you know when to start shooting if there’s no clarity on where your own property begins!
I still haven’t figured out what I think is responsible for the cultural difference: Is it a cold vs. hot weather thing? Does it have to do with the heritage of the settlers of our different parts of the country? Is it just Texans living up to our reputations for being territorial isolationists? What do you think?
— 7 —
I can’t believe that the Faith & Family conference is already next weekend! I guess I will have to leave out a few long sleeved clothes for the Boston weather. Next week I’ll be super busy (in a fun way) getting everything ready to go. Then, with the baby arriving in June, this will probably be my last out of state trip for quite a while. Should be fun!
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