Saturday, February 28, 2009

5:49 AM

First, I want to preface this blog entry with, "I know things can change," "I won't get too excited", "Tomorrow night will be a different story", "I know things will change when she starts teething", and on-and-on, so while I welcome comments, I have heard all the realities of parenting babies many times. Right now, I just want to be excited, so here's what happened last night:

To begin, Cecelia is a really good sleeper. I don't know that I would say, "our daughter is sleeping through the night", but certainly, she is a good sleeper, and for that I am thankful. However, I have become very accustom to the time in the middle of the night. At first, it may have been 1am, 2:30am--for a few weeks those were the times I remember. Then for awhile, it was 3am. In the last few weeks, I would say 4:30am. Now, in the last couple weeks, Cece has on many nights, just woke up in the early morning--4am, 4:30am, 5am, fussed, cried a little and then, gone back to sleep. Many nights, I would consider sleeping through the night, others not, but I myself, wake up at 3am and hear little noise or 4am and hear a little fussing. Of course, I don't mind because I know she will likely fall back asleep.

Well, this morning, I awoke, not to the sound of my child, but to my bladder at 5:49am. I was in shock! Not a peep from our little baby! As I crawled groggily back in to bed, I did have a small shred of panic--why haven't I heard her? But, in about fifteen minutes, I heard a little peep and then, right back to sleep.

Ahhh, 5:49am. I mean, I have not slept without waking up until 5:49am for months. The beauty, the joy.

Now, remember what I said at the beginning, because I know you are tempted . . . I know tomorrow night will be a different story, but last night my story was 5:49am, and I'm celebrating today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A glimpse of our future...

The family went to the Greenway on Sunday for a little hike to enjoy the weather (and to get a very restless dog out for some exercise). Daddy (that's me) used the Baby Bjorn for the first time. I wouldn't exactly say I was comfortable with it, but my daughter fell asleep on me and that was good enough for me. Oh, and Zory made her longest swim out in the lake ever - you haven't seen two prouder dog owners in the world. She is a horrible swimmer, so this is big news.

But that isn't the point of the post... The reason I am writing after such a long layoff is that our family was given a glimpse toward our future on Sunday.

As we started out on the trail (after Mommy used the restroom, of course), we ran into a family that was just finishing that stage of their hike. I wasn't paying full attention (Baby Bjorn issues), but I heard the guy say - Hmm, that looks like us 6 years ago. I looked up and saw this beautiful transracial family of 5. The mom was standing next to her 6 year old African American daughter and was beaming at the sight of us. Off in the distance their other adopted child - an African American boy - was playing with their biological child, who appeared to be about 2 years old. While we shared each other's stories (which is a requirement as written in the Adoption handbook) I couldn't help looking over and watching these 3 children laughing and playing together. I realized that this is what our life would be like - a glimpse toward the future that God so firmly planted in our hearts almost one year ago. That thought has stuck with me all week and has made me smile every time. Just as with the hike, our little family is starting a journey that this family has already traveled - and the future looks so wonderful. Pretty cool when God surprises you like that, isn't it.

By the way, Cece smiled and laughed with me last night while we had some alone time together... so pretty much I am the coolest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bringing Heaven to Earth

I've (Aleisha) been reading two different books recently: Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina (excellent) and Sex God by Rob Bell (a Pastor; also excellent). Two phrases have resonated with me: long-sighted decisions and bringing heaven to earth. First, long-sighted decisions. I was reading a chapter in Raising Adopted Children on Open Adoptions. The book made a point that for a birth parent to choose an open adoption, it may be a long-sighted decision. The book suggests that in the sort-term, it is may be easier for a birth parent to choose a closed adoption. Therefore, choosing an open adoption is a long-sighted decision with the child's best interest at heart. This made me start to think about all the long-sighted decisions that went into making Cecelia a part of our lives. For Lauryn, her birth mother, there were several of those decisions, for which we are forever grateful. That lead me to think about parenting and how so much of it is making long-sighted decisions. I began to think about what I need to do as a parent that has Cecelia's best in mind in the "long-term" and even eternal perspective. This leads me to the phrase bringing heaven to earth. Rob Bell explains that (he talks about the meaning of the biblical term; I'm not going to look it up, so just read the book--I may not be quoting perfectly) heaven is actually here now--meaning that the kingdom of God is a part of this world. My brother Rollie mentioned another author, NT Wright, explains that heaven, as described in the bible, is not necessarily up. The idea is that we have a choice--we are either bringing heaven or hell to earth. So, I started thinking that more is at stake than just making good long-sighted choices. It's more than just doing what is "best". It's about bringing heaven to earth because when you make choices that are eternal, that is what you are doing--even if it is only impacting one person. That is the kind of parent that I want to be--bringing heaven to earth, and that is the kind of thing I want to teach Cece. For now, it's all I can do to get her to smile for the camera, but it sure brings heaven to earth for me!