Monday, July 25, 2011

Choosing to Breathe

We went hiking at Tonto Natural Bridge with some of our friends! So beautiful; go if you ever get the chance!

When Nicholas wakes up from his nap, Eve LOVES to climb into his crib so they can play together. Then they beg to play with Natty, too :)

A couple years ago I had out-patient surgery. I was getting my tubes tied because it was too dangerous to have more kids: after I had Eve I was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy, a random and rare heart condition related to pregnancy. Anyway, when I was in the recovery area after surgery, I was waking up, but was so tired that I kept forgetting to breathe. It actually felt good to NOT breathe, it was like taking a break. This was all really hazy, but I remember I would stop breathing (it just felt SO GOOD), and so some monitor would start beeping and the nurses would yell over to me, "Aubrey! You've got to breathe!" I was so annoyed, but I complied and would breathe again for a minute, and then stop once more. I've since heard that this can be an after-effect of anesthesia.

I feel like that right now.

On the 12th of July (the day before my birthday, that's the only reason I remember the date), Nicholas and Natalia's mother called me. I'd sent her the consent to adopt papers for Natalia--she'd told me we could adopt Natalia but not Nicholas. We were devastated, but we figured if we had Natty, eventually we'd probably get Nicholas. She got the papers, and called to tell me that she'd changed her mind, and that we can't adopt either one. SOO much more happened, but really I don't have the time to write it all out. So, I sent her a letter last week asking her to reconsider. I asked her to think about the goals she has for the kids, and whether she could provide those things for them. I got a call today from her, but it really wasn't a discussion. She mostly just yelled. Lucky for me, the collect call minutes I'd prepaid for ran out, and I didn't accept any more of her calls (I don't need that treatment, I don't want to yell at her, and all the rational things I could say will never change her mind).

I don't know how to explain my situation very well. Some people question whether I'm their parent. If you wonder this, I can answer, I just don't have the desire to post it ALL here :) Let me know and I'll tell you. Regardless, I am their mother, albeit only ONE of their mothers. And I'm losing two of my children.

And I find it hard to breathe.

When I'm alone and I start thinking about losing them (usually I push it out of mind), I'm so tired and so sad that I sometimes take a break and stop breathing. I remember how good it felt before, and for minute it feels good again. Just to stop. Then, like the nurses, I yell to myself, "Aubrey! You have to breathe!" Then, I decide to breathe again.

I've learned that this is like my faith. I've always heard about "the trial of your faith." This is mine, I guess. To be led here, and then have the kids taken back. And like when I decide to breathe, I've learned that I have to DECIDE to have faith in God. It's not just going to BE there, I have to actually choose to have it. I know there is an alternative, and sometimes it is tempting to just throw my hands up and be done with it all. Resign myself to the idea that there is no God, or that He does not watch over me and my little family. I see this alternative, and I realize that it's my choice. I could choose either one, and I choose faith. I choose to believe that God watches over us, although people have the freedom to make their own choices. I choose to believe He loves me and my children, and that He will guide me. And that Jardan and I may lose Natalia and Nicholas, but that does NOT mean that He is not there. In my sadness, I have chosen to breathe, and I have chosen faith.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I just want to put it "out there" that I weedwacked today (this was a 2-day affair). I'm admittedly afraid of any type of power tools, and, yes, I count my weed wacker as a power tool. The kids wanted to swim in our inflatable giraffe kiddy pool, but I was afraid that the forest of weeds lining our cement patio (I NEVER let the kids step off of it, mind you) was harboring any number of creepy creatures. Living in Arizona, I visualized rattle-snakes, scorpions, and cockroaches emerging en masse to assault my darling children. This wasn't absurd, seeing as the weeds went up to...well, my knees in some places. We also have a bottomless pit by part of our patio, and THERE the weeds go up to mid-thigh. Scary? Yes.

So, yesterday I took the weed wacker to the back yard and then tried to find our extension cord. My DARLING husband was so sweet and stayed up late (well, early...) to pack up as much as possible before he left so that I wouldn't be overwhelmed when the kids and I move. He is AMAZING. However, I could NOT find the extension cord, and searched for about an hour (it ended up in one of the 20 tupperware storage bins in our garage). I pulled on some jeans and tennis shoes (seriously, this was a labor of love for my kids, it was like 115 degrees outside) and went outside to plug in the ominous-looking power tool. I held it as far away from me as I could, braced myself, and started it up. It roared to life, but all the weeds were unharmed because, apparently, there was no line in it. About 4 hours later (comprised of watching videos on youtube, attempting it myself, then calling my dad for help and packing up the kids so HE could re-string it, but the stubborn machine still wouldn't work with us), I had a fully-functioning weed wacker. And a dark backyard.

I woke up today with a killer sinus infection and a we lounged around and eventually the kids begged me to let them play in the pool. So I showered first (why?!), threw on my jeans and tennis shoes again, and ushered my children outside. I was REALLY scared to do it, but found that I actually liked wielding all the power! Ha! Thank heavens no snakes, cockroaches, or scorpions were found (I did have heavy-duty bug-killing spray on hand, though, in case it came down to me vs. scorpion)! I swept, blew-up our dusty pool (yum. Remnants of our recent dust-storm--it was super creepy), scrubbed it, patched it with duct-tape (I know! But it was the only thing I had on-hand), and filled it up. Eve and Nicholas HOWLED with delight, and raced to get their swimsuits.

The kids were so cute playing out there. I sat inside and watched from the couch as I fed Natty. They splashed, fought, shared, screached, and laughed...I loved it. After dinner I went out to get the extension cord, and sadly found that our pool was leaking! All that work, for about 40 minutes of play time! It was worth it, though. Maybe it's silly, but I felt so capable and strong, and I loved sweating and working so my kids could play. And now when I write my daily letter to Jardan, I can brag about using a power-tool.