The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Spending the Holiday With my Nose in a Book (or two)

I just added two new lists to the sidebar. "On the Nightstand" (books I'm currently reading) and "Back on the Shelf" (which is somewhat of a lie because I rarely put things away in any kind of timely manner, but since I've been doing the library thing a bit more lately, I've been forced to be a little more pro-active--oh, and the books that I do own are really not back on the shelf--they're on someone else's nightstand now!).

I enjoy reading. I really like historical fiction (whether it was contemporary when it was written or it's historical only in it's setting) because it actually teaches me history. My mind just can't absorb dates and esoteric details plotted on a timeline, but I loves me a good story! I really enjoy the writing of Francine Rivers, although I don't think I've actually read anything by her since college (until last month). The Last Sin Eater was a thrill for me to read. I couldn't put it down. Each page drew me into the next and I just had to know what was driving the characters. It's a very quick read and opens the world of the Appalachians (what you might call "Hillbillies") to a northern girl. Very well written and enjoyable.

I've also been trying to catch up on my classics. I was intuitive enough to pass English classes with flying colors without actually reading the entirety of any book assigned to me. Even though I enjoy reading, I'm slow at it. So, I never, ever, not even once completed a book for school. Now I'm going back and finding out why they were classics. I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Jane Eyre (by the way, my head is ALWAYS over my heels, isn't yours? hmmmm). I just adore and exult in her strength of character. To be able to walk away from a man she had grown to love (and expected to marry) on the grounds of skirtable morality...well, I just don't know a woman today who would do it... and I love Jane for it. She inspires me to stand my moral high-ground. I wish I would have found her when I was younger.

Dumas' writing, on the other hand, is dark and brooding. It's a little thrillingly so (in The Count of Monte Cristo), but it's not my favorite kind of literature. I was rather disappointed, actually, in The Man in the Iron Mask, partly because it presumed an intimate knowledge of the Three Musketeers (elaborated in the prior two books, which, of course, I've never read) and partly because it had nearly nothing to do with the said man in the iron mask. That just annoyed me.

And, then, I've always got to sprinkle my fiction with some good non-fiction. Other than the trusty internet, non-fiction books guide me, steer me, open me, define me, broaden me, and question me. And I need that. I already told you about some of what I gained from reading Too Small to Ignore so I won't go into that again now. I just picked up The End of Poverty per Mary's suggestion. I'm afraid it will be overly heady for me, but we'll see. I enjoyed Bono's forward and comprehended everything in the introduction, so maybe I'm judging the book by the fact that it's author is a world-renowned economist and that the only thing I recall from my micro- and macro-economics classes is Dr. Mark Walbert (not to be confused with Mark Wahlberg, please!) standing before the class waving his arms as if to emulate an animated graph and saying, "Supply and demand--that's what it's all about!" Of course, he did say that was what we should remember, if nothing else. Anyhow, I'll let you know if this book kicks my butt (or brain).

The other occupant of my nightstand is The Priest by Francine Rivers. It's about Aaron, Moses' brother and is part of a series about behind-the-scenes men of the Bible who influenced history (the others are Caleb, Jonathan, Amos, and Silas). I picked up this one first, not because it's the first in the series (which would be a perfectly logical reason and one which I would be apt to employ, being the orderly, rule-abiding citizen I am), but because (1) I've always been a bit intrigued by the namesake of my beloved and (2) I'm intrigued by Moses, probably the first transracial adoptee, and a "type" of my kiddinkidinks in some ways. So, I've been pondering these words from the first few pages:

(when Aaron meets Moses in the wilderness after 40 years of separation,
following some discussion of the signs and wonders God has prepared for
"You believe because you are my brother, and because God sent you to
me. You believe because God has changed your heart toward me. You
have not always looked at me as you do now, Aaron."
"Yes, because I thought you were free when I wasn't."
"I never felt at home in Pharaoh's house. I wanted to be among
my own people."
"And we scorned and rejected you." Perhaps it was living among two separate
peoples and being accepted by neither that made Moses so humble.

This fictional conversation makes my heart hurt for all those who hang between two different peoples and cultures, feeling they don't fit in anywhere, whether they came to be in that place through adoption or as refugees or immigrants or missionaries or whatever the circumstances. It also makes me marvel at the things God uses to shape our characters and how we choose whether or not we will let him transform us the way he wants to.

What a destiny unfolded for Moses because of his life's circumstances and how he followed God (imperfectly) through them. I wonder if I'll find myself parenting a Moses, an Aaron, and a Miriam. What is the destiny of my three? How gloriously scary to ponder.


amber said...

Hi... as a fellow book-nerd (oops, I mean 'worm'), I have to highly recommend "The Three Musketeers". Its actually quite funny (for Dumas) and not at all as dark as some of his other works (although I agree that dark and foreboding has its place...)
I ended up getting "sucked-in" and read it in a matter of days... Maybe after you read the 3 M's, "Man in the Iron Mask" would sit better with you?? (although I have yet to read it myself, so I can't tell ya for sure!)
There, just my two cents worth...

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued