Monday, November 29, 2010

Ireland's Rustic Lodges, Gold Beach, Oregon

 Starting in 1985, My husband and I found a quaint little cluster of cabins on the Beach in a tiny So. Or. town, called Gold Beach.  No phones in the cabins, a woodstove, or fireplace, a few even came with kitchens.  We started going there a couple times a year, Thanksgiving, and in the summer when family came to visit.  Everything that has been important in the last couple of decades has been discussed and shared in those cabins. We were there when I got the message that the baby we were adopting had been born, and again when the owner knocked on my door to tell me my Dad had died in the middle of the night back in Wyoming.

My Friends have sat around the table, playing the old board games and laughing.  My Grandmother and in-laws and parents, and friends from Germany have  all been there at one time or another.  My husband and I curled up in front of the fire reading, "What to expect the first year" and then watched our son learn to walk while we barricaded the fire with coffee tables and chairs.
 Over time there have been more changes in us than in the cabins, but there have been changes in both, so the fire is now artificial and the toddler is in his Senior year of High school.  The property was bought by the motel next door and there is now an observation tower and hot tubs on a deck on the beach.
 But deer still stroll the grass, and seagulls beg for handouts and friends still come to share Thanksgiving.

 since the fireplaces went fake, the massive woodshed was removed and a fountain put in its place.

 The hot tub, "Spas on the beach" is on this lovely deck.

 Twenty years ago, I painted a stone and placed it on the dirt of the flowerbed, and now the whole area overflows with painted mementoes, around the tower, the trees, bordering the trails.  This time, instead of painting, I was writing my novels, a sequel to "Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog" and another one about two girls, on the Oregon trail 150 years apart.  That is where I turn my imagination and creative spark these days.

 The gulls come to visit and beg, but the eagles prefer to keep to themselves and perhaps fish, or steal a fish from an unwary osprey.

 My husband and I have aged a lot since the first time we walked the sand here, but coming back always makes me feel younger.

 I always see things, in other things, like a heart, or a baby dragon asleep on the sand.

The sunset was one of the few moments the sun broke through the rain

 I don't often see the Rhodies starting to bloom at Thanksgiving.  But the raindrops lining every needle and leaf are just as lovely.

It is strange to think of the life of the cabin through the rest of the year, filled with other couples and families and groups.  But if I keep going there, a week at a time, there will come a day, when I can say, "I lived in a cabin by the sea, for a whole year."  Even if it takes me 52 years to do it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day to Celebrate, Again

I posted this a year ago, and came back to re-read it only, but want to say now, that he is an adult, a high school graduate, a person who knows he is my son and never gives me a second to doubt that he loves me, now that he has been in touch with his birth family and is getting to know about his roots,
I am more in love with being Austin's Mom than ever.  If anyone has any doubts that you can love an adopted child as much as one you give birth too, I can assure you, both my sons are wonderful, and very different from each other  but they both own my heart.
end edited addition from 11-16-2011

From God's Arms to My Arms to yours
by Michael McLean

With so many wrong decisions in my past, I'm not quite sure.
If I can ever hope to trust my judgement anymore.
But lately I've been thinking, 'cause it's all I've had to do.
And in my heart I feel that I should give this child to you.


And maybe, you can tell your baby when you love him so that he's been loved before.
By someone who delivered your son, From God's arms to my arm's to yours.
Now if you choose to tell him and if he wants to know.
How the one who gave him life could bear to let him go.
Just tell him there were sleepless nights I prayed and paced the floors.
And knew the only peace I'd find is if this child was yours.

{Repeat Chorus}

Now I know you don't have to do this, but could you kiss him once for me?
The first time that he ties his shoes or falls and skins his knee,
And could you hold him twice as long when he makes his mistakes.
Tell him that he's not alone, sometimes that's all it takes -
I know how much he'll ache.

This may not be the answer for another girl like me.
And I'm not on a soapbox saying how we all should be.
I'm just trusting in my feelings and I'm trusting God above.
And I'm trusting you can give our baby both his mother's love.

{Repeat Chorus}

 Today is a Day that we Celebrate at the Goode Family home.  Even though we brought our oldest son home when he was less than 24 hours old, we had to wait until there had been home studies, and Doctor exams to prove that he could "thrive" in our home, before the adoption was finalized.  So when I took him in for his six month check-up (and discovered that I was pregnant) we were at the time when we could finally stand before a judge and have him pronounce us to be a family.
By that time our baby was running all over the place in his white walker, tearing things off shelves and filling the walker tray until the trail behind him was littered with books and toys and noisemakers.  By 7 months he would be running unassisted, not walking, or being able to stop he wold run until he crashed into a wall or piece of furniture and then take off again.
 He stood up in the Judges Chambers and held onto a bench and giggled as the judge told us we were parents - like we hadn't known that for a while now.  We walked out of the courthouse without feeling the ground beneath our feet, laughing in joy and relief.  Then we slid the song into the tape player and cried and thanked God for this baby and the Birth Mom who had loved him enough to hold him close and then place him into our arms.
 How could we have celebrated 17 adoption days already?  And how come no-one warned us that being the recipient of the baby was not the end of the journey,  No our turn to let him go is coming closer, and we get to be the parents who have to pass him into other hands.

  This time into his own.
 And another way that the song was slightly misleading I think, is it implied that he had ever left the hands of those who passed him on.

 Not true, he will always be held, in God's hands, Her Hands, Our hands and now His own as well.

 And in that sense of needing the whole world to raise a child, there have been so many others along the way, Grandparents and teachers, neighbors and friends, cousins and community - and there will be more - all there to love and support you,

and celebrate you.

But look at this young man!  Between God and his Birth family, and our family, we have watched him grow and become a strong, Kind, talented soul.  Baby, I love you so much!  DO you think you will ever know how much I love you, how many other people love you or how strong and capable and Wonderful you are?

Is it any wonder that we celebrate having been allowed to raise you up surrounded by our love?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

National Novel writing Month, again.

Lately, every time that I sit down at the computer to write, I open the file with my infant novel, which will hopefully be a fully grown, if still pimply young adult by the end of November.

Promising to write a 50,000 word novel in November is my most selfish piece of craziness, and I refuse to give it up.
National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, turns off my natural self denial buttons and allows me to say, "No you can't have the computer, No you can go by yourself this time. No, I'm not cooking, if you want dinner, cook it yourself." Not that I am advocating total selfishness, but like the Mom on the airplane who must get her own oxygen mask first in order to stay conscious and help her family, I believe that some intense selfishness refills the well and allows me to give to everyone else the rest of the year.

There are, of course times when being chained to my own thoughts at the keyboard also fail me, then I am so glad that I live in a place of great beauty. i can take my camera and take a walk, or a drive and soak in the wordless beauty, refill my well with the cool, clean, splendor of the pacific northwest, and then return home to pour it into an imaginary, fantastical world, where somehow, the thing I always discover, is ME.
This year, instead of returning to the world of Uhrlin, with my favorite protagonist, Duffy Barkley, I have taken a trip along the Oregon Trail, twice. In this years NaNoWriMo, there are two girls making the trip, and they share an ancient wooden lap desk, where they store their treasures and their journals.

But they are taking the same trip 150 years apart. One in a wagon caravan, and one in a Dodge Caravan. Only sometimes, when they slide back the lid on the old desk, what they find is not their belongings but those of the other girl.
Can you imagine walking all day to get 4 miles, and being hot and thirsty, and having to filter buggy, muddy water through a bandana - and then reading a journal written by a girl who drove 400 miles in air conditioned comfort and spent the evening in a motel pool?

I Can. It is what I do for fun.