Saturday, March 29, 2008


For some reason these delight me. I didn't collect these fortune cookie fortunes but that doesn't stop me from providing commentary.

You are getting very sleepy... You want to call a travel agent... You want to upgrade to first class...

They're rare migratory rubber bands, returning to their nesting grounds in the desk drawer...

Oh, now you're just toying with me....
Can I have this cake AND eat it too?

Does that mean the restaurant messed up our orders?

That's a relief. I've been so worried about whether my roses were reaching their potential...

The possibilities are endless, but I'm going to say "puppet strings", for $500, Alex.

(Disclaimer: I say that only because it's funny, not because I actually believe it. My husband is much more capable than I am in most areas.)

I've always been a slow haster... I just can't help it. It's hereditary on my father's side.
Mint circles??? What the...

And here I thought the moonlight was just naturally prompt..

This day just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it!!

Oh, good, because I was just thinking about my thoughts and wondered if I was feeling my feelings....

Dang it! Now what do I do??

Let this be a warning to you, kids... Confucius and M.C. Hammer should not hang out together, no matter what you've been told!

Great! There go my plans for the day! Tomorrow is another day! What about kissing on the trunk? Is that permissible?

I'm batting 1000 today... My height is tall, my awareness is aware, my sensitivities are sensitive. It's a good day to be me!

Am I the only one blushing here? Isn't that kinda of personal??

Now I have to add "sparking eyeballs" to my list of "Things that May Cause Spontaneous Combustion"! Great! Stop, drop and roll, people... Stop, drop and roll...

Did he now.... did he really say that?

And YOU are Captain Obvious! Congratulations!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


in case the above doesn't work - use this link

All in the Family...

Brent's dad is down with not one, not two, but THREE kidney stones right now. Gary is one of those people who is very disciplined with what he eats. He's had stones before and therefore has sworn off milk, carbonation - anything that might possibly contribute to kidney stones.

Both of Brent's parents get kidney stones. Brent isn't a carbonation person either - kidney stones cured him of any love of soda. However, something your body is going to do what it's going to do. Genetically, his kidneys have a plan of their own that is completely independent of anything that he might try to lead them to do or not do. Sometimes things just happen to you genetically and there's not much you can do about it.

That is one interesting thing about adopting... our "known" family issues won't be there. Instead we have unknown families with unknown issues contributing to the health of our little ones.

It must be weird (and I know some of you can share experiences of this) to fill out those forms when you go to a new doctor and not be able to give any family history. Feel free to share in the comments if you'd like.

My friend Melissa could use some prayers. On the 26th of this month it will be exactly two years since they started the process to bring home Luc and Olyvia from Haiti. One thing after another has happened and they still aren't home yet. Now everything is done except the US government employee working in the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince signing off for their visa appointment. Apparently this woman is enjoying her power and is causing all sorts of drama. Add to that the Embassy is closing from the 1st of April to the 2nd week in May to relocate and we find that one person has a lot of power over the hearts and lives of others right now. Apparently several US Senators have been on her about what she's doing and it still hasn't changed her behavior. We could use some heart softening for Miss Embassy Lady.

We hope Luc and Lyvi can come home soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I've decided that there's a complete conspiracy around color photocopies. I needed to make a bunch of copies for a Young Women's Activity. When the girl at the copy center told me it would be $.60/page for single-sided color copies and $1.09/page for double-sided copies, I think I stopped breathing momentarily. When you compare that to $.06/page for black and white copies... it's completely mind-boggling.

Brent's last day of work is this Friday. We're still trying to figure out what we're going to be doing.

Still no word on Lexi and Nathan.

And finally, a ginormous THANK YOU to Brent's sister and brother-in-law. They gave us skymiles which allowed us to book tickets to Haiti in June. June 8th we leave. We don't know which children we'll be matched with by that point, but we're trying to move forward in faith that the right thing will work out.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Advice and Lyrics

I found an email I saved with some advice from my friend Clarissa. It was in response to a different issue, but the concept applies now as well:

I think this is where you have to leave it to the Lord for right now. I
dont see how you are able to do anything, other than pray, that would be helpful.

And then I heard some lyrics to a contemporary song that struck me...

Sometimes, the last thing you want comes in first,
Sometimes, the first thing you want never comes,
And I know, the waiting is all you can do,
Sometimes... - Aqualung

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Kids on the Block??

I'm hearing snippets that Harry is preparing a referral for us. I gather that there's another sibling group that's been at the orphanage for just a couple of weeks and that he's trying to make sure everything is done and clear before he sends us the referral.

On the one side, I'm grateful that Harry's looking out for us and that, even though what Bernadette did is very rare, he's still trying to make sure we don't have to go through that again.

From another angle, getting accepting another referral would be giving up on Lexi and Nathan. But how long do we wait for something that may never happen? Again, Bernadette is the one with the control here. There's nothing we can do to sway or influence this at all.

There's some level of all of this that makes me feel like..... it's like you lost your favorite salt and pepper shakers, so you contact the store where you bought them and they agree to just look around in the back and see if they can find a comparable set.

My feelings may entirely change when we get the referral. Or maybe Bernadette will change her mind before that happens.

I had a church activity tonight with a bunch of the women that I hadn't talked to in awhile. And unfortunately I had to explain a few times that we've lost our children. "AGAIN?" was the common stunned response. They watched us go through having Asnica's adoption fall through a few years ago. With Lexi and Nathan...I know in many ways the ward felt like they were their children, too- they gathered hundreds of pounds of donations that we took with us in January. Lots of tears. I thought was to the point where I could talk about it in public, but I guess not.

Again, thank you to the friends and family who are supporting us in this time. I've had some very sweet conversations with dear friends that just wanted us to know that we're in their prayers. And that means so much.

I was told a long time ago (and I believe it), "Some days, your family will be praying for you and as a result, you will succeed." I'm quite positive we've been carried by prayers through the darkest of the days we've had. Thank you for sharing your faith and love.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Puppy's name is BobbyJones, I guess. Robert Tyre Jones is Brent's favorite golfer - he was quite a gentleman and an all-around good man. Bobby Jones won all 4 of golf's majors in 1930.

He's such a sweet little puppy - he rarely makes a peep unless Brent leaves the room and then he whines and cries. He's definitely Brent's dog which pleases Brent to no end.

Divot ADORES his new friend, particularly now that BobbyJones is a bit older doesn't trip over his own feet every time he tries to run somewhere. They run around the house like crazy.

And just for kicks, here's a picture of Divot when he was a baby.

We're trying to make arrangements for a trip to Haiti in June. We haven't heard anything further on the children. Brent's hopeful that she'll get to a point where she realizes that she can't do it anymore and take them somewhere in Haiti and that we'll find out about it. I just really feel like we have to book this flight to show the Lord and ourselves that we haven't given up.

We're also at the point where Brent is wrapping up his last couple of weeks of employment and we're wondering what we're going to do next. He's also enrolled at Utah State University and is investigating pursuing a Masters in Landscape Architecture. We're kind of in limbo and lost/stuck all over the place right now.

Lead, Kindly Light!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Brat Fit

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall
your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:9-11

THIS sums up what's so difficult about what we're going through. We know what we want. We've met and loved and held Lexi and Nathan. These are good things to want. These are righteous desires. Yet, sometimes we are told "no" because there is a bigger, though currently unseen, picture.

All we can imagine is Lexi and Nathan. They are all we've ever wanted, really. How could anything possibly be better for us than that happy, giggling, gleeful boy and that beautiful, sweet, tender little girl?

That doesn't mean that there isn't something better than we can imagine in store for us. But our experience of 10 years of childlessness and trials and feeling spiritually "bricked in" at times (like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling) make it nearly impossible for us "deal".

People say that God doesn't give us more than we can bear. Perhaps He actually gives us EXACTLY more than we can bear so that we'll remember to lean on Him- to kneel so we can stand with Him.

I guess I'm having a tantrum, wanting what I want and "knowing" that only that will make us happy. I'm still OK with tantrums. We have to feel and we have to experience. That's also part of what it's all about.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wishing and Hoping and Thinking and Praying

I heard someone speak today about trials. His mother died of complications from a liver transplant when he was 15. He made a comment while he was telling about the process they went through when his mom was trying to get a liver transplant that really struck me. He said they weren't religious at all, but you still get brought to prayer in a situation like that. But, at the same time, what is it you're praying for? It's not like you can in good conscience get on your knees and say, 'Dear God, please kill someone today so that I can get a new liver and live."

I kind of feel similar about our current situation (although neither of us has to physically die). Can I blame Bernadette for wanting to be the mom to her children? For heaven's sake - I want to be the mom to her children! We're much more similar than it might appear. I guess, in a way, we're each "the other woman" to the other. The one true threat. The one that makes you feel like less of a woman because she takes away your children. Bernadette is the only one with control in this situation, and yet ironically, she's the one that has the fewest options afforded her as far as what she's going to do with her own life. I don't know that she ever got to decide "what she wanted to be when she grew up." I would never want to live in Haiti and I'm forever grateful that I was born in America.

How do you have faith and move forward in this situation? Faith doesn't mean that we don't feel. Feelings are relative. We have good days (or weeks) and bad ones. I think we're supposed to grieve. It doesn't mean I don't have faith because I'm human and feeling. Faith does mean that I believe that somehow this will all work out. Whether or not that means that Lexi and Nathan are ever ours again - I don't know. There will be some sort of resolution at some point.

The only way I can think of to "have faith and move forward" is to book tickets for the trip in June and trust that by then, we'll have OUR children - whomever they may be.

We're grieving. We're also Wishing and Hoping and Thinking and Praying.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gloria Gaynor, Where Are You When I Need You?

I might have to make "I Will Survive" my ringtone. I need some reminders.

We got word yesterday that SUDDENLY Lexi has a father in the picture again. When we were in Haiti, her father was listed as unknown.

He apparently, is in favor of Lexi being adopted, but not of her being in an orphanage. Unfortunately, in Haiti, you can't exactly have one without the other. If you don't have a steady home or even a telephone, there's no way for the adoption process to move forward.

I think I'd become fairly adept at dealing with infertility. I'm not sure how to deal with this. Many people have said, 'Maybe you were only supposed to be in their lives to help Lexi when she was so sick." I'm not OK with that and I'm not sure how to resolve myself with that. Does emotionally crawling on your hands and knees still count as bearing your burdens? It seems like the only way this burden could "be made LIGHT" is to quit caring about the situation.

The strange thing about being a parent in Haiti for week – I'm not sure we were prepared for the JOY we had. It seemed like there was a purpose to all the STUFF in life and that we could do this. That's really the first time I think either of us have felt anything close to that type of joy.

If it were my brother beating on me, I'd just cry "Uncle" and he'd leave me alone. Can't figure this one out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Social Whiplash....

Some people are amazing. And then there are those that you just wonder about.

For those of you that don't personally know me, I'm 6' tall, size 11 shoe, pretty thin. Years ago, I was working in the physical therapy department of our local hospital. I worked in the spine treatment center, specifically. One day, I had a patient on the treadmill and as I walked over to check on her she said (in a snarky tone), "So, how BIG are your feet anyway??"

I'm not sure how one is supposed to respond to that. "Big enough, thank you very much for asking!"

This sort of thing - random comments from strangers - happens quite often in the world of "international adoptive families". When your family looks like a mini-United Nations, people are naturally curious. But sometimes, their questions are enough to give you social whiplash.

Take some friends of mine - they are both Causcasian and have two Haitian children. Noelle said that she'd be somewhere like the parking lot of the grocery story and notice someone staring at her and her children. As she'd pass them, they'd invariably yell something like 'Is your husband black?" And Noelle being Noelle would say, "No... is yours??"

But the one that takes the cake just happened yesterday to a friend of mine. This friend has a son who is about 6 or 7 and they're adopting a boy and a girl from Haiti. They've been to visit them twice and her son is thrilled about his new brother and sister (who only need a visa appointment before they can come home! Pray that the appointment is scheduled soon!!) Yesterday she had an appointment with a specialist that she sees about once per year. During the appointment, the doctor asked rather rudely if her biological son "even knew" that the children they were adopting were black.


Seriously, what did she expect my friend to say?? "Are you kidding me?? When did Haitians get dark skin? This changes EVERYTHING! Thank you, Doctor!!"

So, what's your favorite social whiplash story?? Do tell...

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Been Two Weeks Today...

We still haven't heard anything further on the kids.

I wonder all the time if Bernadette is able to feed them. If they're healthy. If they have a place to sleep (a lot of the women the orphanages deal with are homeless, from what we're told).

I keep hearing there are wonderful people out there who are praying for our little family. I know there are people who check every day hoping for some sort of update or news. Thank you for your support. It's amazing what a small world the internet has created. I see that there are people in Brazil reading my little blog, as well as my dear friends from my old work located in Taiwan, the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. I love that little map at the bottom of my blog that shows me where our readers are located.

My best friend was telling me tonight that she's often tempted to hop a plane to Haiti and try to find Bernadette herself. Thanks, T. :)

I wish I had happy news.

We haven't heard anything further on whether Harry was able to get the letter to Bernadette. I find myself wondering often if Lexi will recognize herself in the pictures we sent - or if she remembers us. That whole week may well seem like a fuzzy dream to her - she was so sick.

The agency is going to Haiti again in June. We've told them we want to be on that trip. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

I realize that in the big picture, all of this is just a blip.... a tiny moment. For me, right now, it seems like a self-contained eternity.

Brent's been amazing. He always takes such good care of me. He's very patient and is good to let me lean on him. I know this is terribly hard for him. I wish you could have seen him when we first met Nathan. I think back on what he told Nathan that last night in Haiti - "Daddy's going to miss you something terrible, Little Man. You're definitely someone special."

At some point, I'll be able to view this with hindsight and I'm sure it will be a lot clearer. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers, hope, kind thoughts, and support. There may yet be a miracle in all this somewhere.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

GROSS National Product

Mr. Pee-body (not his real name, but everyone uses aliases on blogs, right?) has single-handedly turned our house into the largest single consumer of paper towels in the Western Hemisphere. I mentioned that he seems to be able to convert water from thin air. He could be in the middle of the Mojave-freakin' desert and that pooch would still find a way to pee a river!

I bring all this up because when we returned home today and there SEVERAL messes to cleanup, Brent picked up Puppy and said in a cute "talking to puppy" voice, 'I'd strangle you if you weren't so cute!" (Puppy has his own "Gross National Product" with emphasis on the GROSS)

He is getting the general idea that the dog door is really a portal to the magical kingdom that is the out of doors. He still doesn't really "grasp" the concept, but he has used it successfully several times today (although I'm quite sure that sometimes he is as surprised that he made it through the doggie door as we are).

Brent also built what I can only call a "contraption" this afternoon that will successfully bar the doggies into one corner of the kitchen (where their food/water/doggie door are). When I say "built", I mean "used the nail gun and wood to build a wall-thing and only told me afterward that he's actually NAILED it to the kitchen floor".

Puppy is very sweet, cute and quiet. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed - whippets CAN bark... they just DON'T bark. And he's growing. He's already standing a bit taller than Divot, all though Divot still kicks his proverbial and literal tail in their little wrestling matches.

And finally, the poor pooch is still nameless. We've had a stellar turnout on the voting on the blog all though some people (I'd tell you it was my Uncle John, but then you'd all know he cheated) have found ways to vote multiple times for their favorite. He has several nicknames: Little One and Puppy are the most common. He still doesn't realize that any of the noises coming out of our mouths have much to do with him. I guess "Sit" is the exception and he's pretty stellar with that one.

But back to the NameGate 2008... with Divot people either have no idea what a "divot" is, or they are so completely unfamiliar with the word that they make it match the closest thing they do know. People think we've named him "David" for example, and then we get to hear about how that's their brother's name and it's awkward for all when we have to tell them that, "no, in fact the dog isn't named after your brother, but thank you for asking."

Chaucer - which was on of my favorites, failed on the "holler test". It's just to NICE of a name to be used to yell down the street when my pet has gone wayward. plus it makes me break out.... into a lousy British accent which I think is more confusing for the little chap.

Bogey is the leader at this point, but Brent has now found fault with it. I'm not sure what his woes encompass.

So we're back to Me not caring any longer and Brent wanting to call him DUCK. I think that sums it up.

Thoughts on Duck, my dear readers>>>>>>

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sweet Baby Abbie

Abigail Paige is being blessed tomorrow. She's such a pretty little girl. And, because she's related to my family, she's long and skinny. Look at those fingers! I mean - SERIOUSLY. She has a matching set of toes. Maybe we could get her playing the piano very soon. :)

I'm excited for her parents as well. They've done really well adapting to "new baby". I know Marshell is stressed because her maternity leave is over as of Monday. She has to go back to work, teaching elementary school.

It's also always good to be with my family. The in-laws that have married my siblings are just like siblings to me - except we never got each other grounded.

I also have a little present for my one and only baby sister that I'm quite excited about. I ordered it and waited and waited and it finally came. I'll have to post a picture of it after she gets it.

Bandages off...

I took off the steri-strips today. I'm two-weeks post-op now and things are healing well. I've probably overdone it today, but hopefully it will all work out.

I don't go back to the doctor until the end of the month for my post-op follow-up. He'll have biopsy results then on the cysts that were sent in for testing.

The scar's gonna be "weak" according to the Brent Scar Scale. It gets good points for its length ("distance" as he put it), but it loses points for being too clean and straight. He says if the doctor would have used a rusty nail instead of a scalpel, then the scar would have character.... (apparently the fact that I'd also have tetnus and gangrene and some other stuff doesn't have a negative impact on this Scar Scale)

I think I like "weak scars" if those are my options

It's a Small World After All...

I went to get my hair done this afternoon from the same place I've gone for years. I walked in and there was a woman there just finishing up with another stylist. I said, "Your last name is Beckstrand, isn't it!"

It was so exciting for me. This woman lived in Florida when I was a missionary 14 years ago. Her family moved out here at some point and she's been going to the same salon for years as well. We've never run into each other until today.

She and her family are LDS and they took very good care of the missionaries. At one point, my companion got very ill and the doctor wanted her on a special diet. Missionaries have a very limited budget to live on, so we were concerned about how we were going to get these special foods for her. Sister Beckstrand just showed up with hundreds of dollars of food for her - as soon as she caught wind that there was a need - she went into action.

She shared with me her current family picture. The little girl that was 4 when I was there is going to college in a few months! Her daughters have grown into beautiful women and she has a gorgeous brood of grandchildren.

It was nice to remember what their family had done for me, personally, as well as the example that they set for those around them. You never know how something you do with impact or touch someone else's life.

Many hands make light work!

I had the opportunity to help some dear neighbors prune their orchard this morning. The ward (That's what we call a "congregation", for my non-LDS friends) went over this morning and took care of their trees. They're just the sweetest people, but they're getting up in age and Lamar's had his hip replaced and Jeanette is on chemo right now - it's just been a rough time for them.

It's fun to do something like that in a large group. Everyone has an opinion on how they've "always done it" and obviously, there are a variety of methods that work as trees in pruned orchards have been thriving for centuries! Allicen and I just found our own trees a bit away from the Great Pruning Debate and went to town. It always feels good to see the progress with something like that. Quite a few families came and brought their children. The kids had a great time dragging the pruned branches down the rows to a central spot.

When we're helping others, we're happier. It was a nice morning.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Brent and I agree on most things. The exceptions tend to be things like Alison Krauss … and Hawaiian shirts. I don't care for either one.

There's something about Hawaiian shirts that just buries the needle in my "tacky-o-meter". Don't get me wrong. There are times and places for most things. Hawaiian shirts are fine – if you're Hawkeye Pierce. If you're not physically "wasting away in Margaritaville" you shouldn't wear Hawaiian shirts. And oh, wait… we don't drink so Brent will never be in that situation.

Maybe it's because he's colorblind. He tends to like things with high visual-contrast because he doesn't see colors the same way most people do. He likes inlaid wood designs with light and dark woods. He likes to paint the walls in our house different colors.

But I've got to draw the line at Hawaiian shirts.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


There's really no point to the title, other than that I enjoy the sound of that word.

WIAA confirmed that Harry got the letter and pictures we sent. Harry has promised to do his best to find Bernadette and deliver them. I've given myself a "goal" that we'll wait until Harry has confirmed he found Bernadette and delivered our letter and pictures and then give Bernadette a week before I completely despair.

Harry also spoke to the other orphanage directors in the area and let them know the situation. Hopefully if Bernadette takes them somewhere else, we'll still hear about it.

We did ask WIAA for some additional referrals of children from Nadia's orphanage. I think we just needed to see how things felt. There are some boys that Brent can't get out of his head. We'll see what happens. We're both still feeling like somehow someday things will work out with Lexi and Nathan. Maybe we'll have another little boy as well.

Ours is not to question why, I guess.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I woke up yesterday singing Lexi's Lullaby. My heart hurts.

But, let's distract ourselves, shall we?

My friend, who we'll call "R.M." to protect his box from receiving from loads of "over the hill" cards (those are his initials, not his missionary status) sent me an email yesterday. He says he's flying his kids and grandkids up for his 50th birthday.

His adult daughter (who is proportedly very excited about the upcoming party) said, "Dad, can I cry at your birthday?" He said, "Um....Sure, punkin... why??" and she said, "'Cause you'll be that much closer to DYING!"

And on the puppy front, he somehow managed to get himself UNDERNEATH the old cedar chest in the front room. I couldn't pull him back out through this gap, so I'm not sure how he got IN through it. Bless his paws... :)

Still hoping for a miracle. Thanks for your prayers.