Friday, September 29, 2006

The Band! THE BAND!

NPR's All Things Considered had a story the other day about adult marching bands, which mentioned that the oldest adult marching band is the Second Time Arounders, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Not so fast there, NPR! Those guys may have been around for 25 years, but there happens to be a band from Atlanta that's been around for more than 32 years, namely the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable. This picture is of the band at the 2006 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. Full disclosure compels me to state that the term "marching" is a bit of a misnomer where the S&FMA is concerned; they generally stroll, and not necessarily in time with the music. Not that I'm splitting hairs...

For me and the Rev., the band holds a special place in our hearts, since it's where we first met way back in 1998. The Rev. never tires of sharing the saga of how she finally roped me in after several attempts (most of which were done somewhat surreptitiously). The band is quite the eclectic group of folks, with artists, retirees, attorneys, realtors, doctors, scientists, and more among its membership -- not sure if they've had any clergy members since the Rev. and I moved away. It's one of the few things we miss about Atlanta.

Fortunately, another one of the members of the band in the "diaspora" pointed out the grievous error, so NPR corrected the mistake in their Thursday letters from listeners segment, played a recording of the band performing the theme from The Magnificent Seven, and even plugged an upcoming gig. Here it is, in case you missed it live.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Check 'em Lads on TV in the UK!

Phil Morris and Mick Riley (of fame) made a recent TV appearance in the UK to raise TC awareness. Go lads!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The roller coaster continues.

Life marches on. Frank had a CT and blood work done today. Based on some advice he received from other TCers, he mixed the CT contrast shake with some raspberry Crystal Light. When asked if it tasted better he said yes. However, he had to begin drinking it at 4:30am, so he may have been too asleep to even taste it. (Frank here: By the way, they tried using a different IV contrast dye today and there was no horn! The CT tech marked it on my folder and said in the future to make sure and ask for the "special sauce". Not sure I want to know...)

After the appointment he’s told me that all looks normal. Good. It’s good that one thing looks normal because so much of our life happens so fast that I don’t think I really know what normal really is.

We spent last week resting at Frank’s parents’ home. It was a good week. In addition to being able to be complete vegetables in a quiet space (who knew that sleep deprivation began only three days into having an infant at home?), we also got to spend time with children who will be in our lives for a long time.

The triplets (our niece and two nephews) that I baptized at the end of July had doubled in size. One of them was beginning to recognize that there were other babies in the crib with him. It is amazing how fast they grow. My nephew who turns 2 this week was ok with his mama not being around and Frank and I got to bond with him while he watched train videos that Frank Googled on the internet.

I needed something to do with my hands and I started a cross stitch kit. My niece who has begun kindergarten helped with a few of the stitches as she was fascinated by the sewing part of it. I worked on it a lot, including during turbulence on our ride home. It is almost finished, but I fear that I will leave it unfinished as my life marches on and I don’t seem to be able to find (or to take) the time to sit down and just be.

Taking wise advice from one of the elders in Frank’s flight club, we mailed all the baby stuff back to MO before we left VA, so as to lighten our load, emotionally and physically. I picked the box up yesterday afternoon. It sits unopened in the baby’s room. I know that there will come a day when I don't think about Vincent. And then it will be a few days, and time will march on and there will be a small person in our life that will be the recipient of our love and affection and “Mini Vinny” will be a wisp of a passing thought. However, in the mean time, it is proving to be hard to sit at my desk, or even sit in a group and not have my mind wander to thoughts of him. Part of me wants to open the box to look at his hospital pictures; another part doesn't want to open that part of my heart open again. Such is grief. It just has to be muddled through. There is not quick route to get around it.

For the record we are ok and have peace that the baby is in a good home. But, worry is still in the back of my mind. In the state of Virginia the birth mom has 15 days to change her mind after waiting the 10 days before terminating parental rights; a total of 25 days at the earliest. The baby was born on August 27, if everything happened as soon as it could, that new family is still waiting on pins and needles until September 22 to be “in the clear”. Maybe that date will be a date of peace for me too, although we have no legal rights to know how or what is transpiring.
Trust and faith.

We will be attending the local Adoptive Parents Network meeting this Thursday night. If I had any doubts about our place/right/worthiness to be there (probably just some of those normal jitters when you are “new” at something), they are gone. While our time with Vincent didn’t end the way we hoped it would, we have entered the world of being adoptive parents.

Folks say being a parent will change your life. Some say it with a “Ha ha ha, you have no idea what you are getting into” look in their eyes. I think we do. My experience of this process is that there is a lot more thought and intention than that the "normal" way of starting a family. How many people do you know have to have a social worker come into your home do an interview, hire lawyers, wait for someone to pick you, and then have a judge approve that you are ok parents including that your house pet has had all of its shots up to date? (How does one give a fish a shot? Just kidding, no I have not gone out and purchased another pet.)

We are ready, we are still on the roller coaster that is adoption. I plan to hang on even though the ride may get rough. In the end, I plan on looking at Frank and saying, "What a ride, I'm glad we did it together!"

Thank you to all who have supported us, it means a lot.
The Rev.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

back home

After nursing our hearts, from VA to GA to MO, we are home.
We "re-enter" our respecitve worlds tomorrow morning.
I will hit the ground running with a 7am meeting. For those of you who know and love me, you know I don't do mornings often or easily.
I for one would like to have a stern talking to with the crazy woman who scheduled all the church meetings for the month of September. (Yes, that would be me.)
Thanks to all who have kept us in your hearts, it has helped.
The Rev.

Friday, September 01, 2006

BN Vol. 1 Issue 4: Starting Over

Today has probably been the worst day of Sarah's life, and it certainly ranks in the top (bottom?) two or three of mine as well. Mini Vinny is no longer in our arms. We fought hard and had a lot of people in our corner, but circumstances and the law were ultimately against us.

We found out Thursday afternoon that the birthmom had changed her mind and found another family to be the adoptive parents. We had hoped for some sort of reprieve, but late Friday morning found us handing Mini Vinny over to another set of well qualified parents, although of course in our minds not NEARLY as qualified as we.

It hurts, hurts, hurts a lot. It's more of a selfish hurting for ourselves, rather than pain for Mini Vinny. But he's in good hands, and that really is the most important thing. He is happy and healthy and we have given him the best days of his young life so far and provided a calm and healthy place for him to spend his first hours on this earth. And, we have managed to make an amazing number of friends in the legal and medical profession in our short time here, and they were all (of course) impressed with us, so much so that they were willing to place their professional reputations on the line to help us and help Mini Vinny.

Is the battle for Mini Vinny over? Technically, no, because anything can (and probably will) still happen in the coming days. In reality, probably yes. We are subject to the birthmom's whims, and this particular state's adoption laws are far more favorable to the birth parents than to the adoptive parents. Anything is possible, and we have hope, but that doesn't make this any easier.

So, like we said earlier, we will pick up the pieces and move on, continuing to work on finding a child who needs us to be his or her parents. We have no regrets at all. I think that the joy of experiencing Mini Vinny for a few short days and having a positive impact on his life far outweighs the pain of seeing him go.

Interestingly, near to where we are staying is a prayer labyrinth back in the forest. We spend early Thursday afternoon there with Mini Vinny, contemplating how the labyrinth walk is like the adoption process: oftentimes it seems like you're getting farther away from the goal, but eventually, if you stay on the path, you will reach your destination. We will plan to visit the labyrinth again before we leave town.

We'll be taking some time to be alone as we process this latest turn on the road and cope with our loss. Meanwhile say a prayer for little Vincent Harrison (the name we decided upon), because he deserves as many people as possible to be looking out for him.