Monday, January 14, 2008

Anxious Times (And a Shameless Plug)

I originally started writing this as a post on our "journal", but it wanted to be more than that, so here it is. It will bring you up to date on mom as well as let you know how pathetically desperate we are to have a baby. It will also fill in some of you who maybe didn't read some of the archive.


Anxious times.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago. She had a mastectomy on Friday, spent the weekend recovering in the hospital and is now home finishing her recovery. All seems to be surprisingly well, thank God. Her prognosis is great, and she doesn't even need to go through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. What a blessing.

Mom is the main reason we ended up being foster parents. She and Dad were foster parents from the time I was about 7 for roughly 29 years. In that time, they had maybe 150 kids (we really lost count around 100) from the ages of 4 to 17 stay in their house...maybe half of those while I still lived with them.

Dad taught me by example what it was to be a man. Take care of your family, ignore your own needs when the family needs are greater, AT ALL COSTS keep your woman reasonably happy :), and so forth. Mom taught me what it was to sacrifice yourself for others. She taught me the need to put as much good out into the world as I can. Dad not being the talking kind, she taught me about the birds and the bees...and she made sure I understood that women were not a thing to be treated lightly, but rather with respect and almost reverence. The Wife is glad the lesson took.

Mom and Dad were an immensely great parenting team. They raised two successful, well-adjusted (or so they tell me) kids, plus they managed to foster ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY other kids. Think about that. These aren't just ordinary kids, either. They were in foster care, which usually means there are at least SOME issues behind the scenes that makes them "problem children". Kids that will soak up all the attention and love you can spare, and then spit in your face and ask why you didn't do more for them.

We know. We are foster parents now, and we are experiencing this very thing firsthand.

Mom was the driving force behind the whole fostering thing, too. Her whole life was centered around children...her own as well as any others that she came into contact with that needed her attention. Dad (I don't think) could not possibly have cared less about children as an abstract concept the way Mom did. He loved the foster kids we had, and FOR SURE he loved my sister and me, but mostly he just wanted to raise his family, be a good (to me, great) man, have his peace with God and pass his days in an honorable way. Problem was, the true love of his life had other plans. He probably wasn't the first OR last in that predicament. I happen to think he comported himself admirably.

Anyway, this woman who has done so much for so many kids is now doing fine. Matter of fact, she had one of her "model" kids on hand to wish her well on Saturday while we were there. This would be the friend who reads this blog, who roomed with me off and on throughout college, and who is one of my very best friends to this day. He's one of the ones that insists on showing up to the "college friends" reunions I keep organizing, and he's one of the reasons I keep organizing them.

All that said, I keep hearing about how there are so many babies who need homes. I am now publishing an official plea to anybody who might come across this post. We have a very stable home. We're both too old to party effectively, both of us having last done a creditable job of that a decade ago. We're finacially secure, we have a VERY strong marriage, and all our attention would be on any baby we can adopt.

We're willing to SERIOUSLY consider a sibling group of any size up to maybe 4 (5 if you talk to me when The Wife isn't around, and it's a thing I could possibly talk her into). We seriously need to get the whole family-building thing going. Mom's near-miss has just brought that home to me even more. I NEED this to happen for both Mom and Dad "In The Living Years" (Mike and the Mechanics reference).

So we're feeling really, really insecure right now, so let me just say this...if anybody out there is pregnant or knows of anybody who is and is considering adoption, please get in touch with us. There's an email link on the sidebar to email me, and I check it most days. We're willing to talk about financial support and we'll DEFINITELY give that child a life with loving parents and education commensurate with their ability (up to and including ivy league, if they're that type). We even have available living quarters for however many months a mom may need it (even after the birth for a certain amount of time, if necessary). We're willing to do an "open" adoption, depending on the circumstances. All we ask is that we be allowed to raise the child and be its "real" parents.

So enough with the plug. Thanks for reading, and I'll try to post more often in the near future.


At 6:01 AM , Blogger Amanda said...

I am so sorry about your mom. I hope you do find a baby soon - the wait is killer, and I feel this desperate some days.

At 7:09 AM , Blogger Yondalla said...

Hey Dan, I think you used The Wife's name in this post.

Sorry I haven't been commenting more, but I do read often. I do hope you find the right sibling group. I LOVE it when I hear about people willing to adopt groups. I haven't started talking to the Hubby about doing that after the bios have moved out, but I have thought about it!

I know that Claudia (Never a Dull Moment) does matching. I wonder how she gets her parents?

At 7:26 AM , Blogger Dan said...

"I think you used The Wife's name in this post."

Heh. Oops. Fixed.

At 10:08 AM , Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

I'll say a few prayers for your mom and your family.

When my mom had cancer, I was living in California, and found that phone calls always boosted her morale. When I came home for visits, she got a kick --- along with the other people in the clinic --- when I would play my fiddle while she and the other lay on their recliners taking their anti-cancer IV drips. I even played a couple of times while she was getting X-ray therapy.

I don't know if the effect would have been the same if I played Tuba.

Anyhow, you don't have to be in denial to focus on the joy of companionship, shared happy memories, jokes about the ridiculous aspects of human ambition, or just the chance to occasionally toss china plates against a convenient brick wall.

God bless you all.

At 1:38 PM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

Give mom our love...she is in our thoughts almost as much as you guys are...

At 2:43 PM , Anonymous ttlyeightmom said...

I've never posted a comment here but I just wanted to say glad your Mom is ok.


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