Monday, February 15, 2016

Twenty Weeks

Honestly it sounds more like an answer to "How old is he?" or "How far along are you?" than  the answer to how long it takes to get a background check. But right now the FBI is taking about 20 weeks when you send them your fingerprints on a paper card. 

We pushed through mountains of paperwork, went through scads of medical tests, and have pestered friends and family to get references, all in the name of moving our home study along. The agency who will be doing our home study wanted all of it together, so once the giant heap of papers was done, I've mostly been waiting. Waiting and wondering and doubting - if this is truly what God wants us to be doing, shouldn't it be going better? Shouldn't we have peace and joy in our decision? 

Ironically, everyone else is beyond thrilled and excited for us. Realistically that's because they can simply focus on the end result; they don't have to worry about how long it takes for all these various steps or what needs to be done next. Most of the time I'm happy to answer questions and explain how we chose international adoption and Poland, but sometimes I have to admit that it's exhausting. Most people don't know anything about adoption or the different options, so they have a lot of questions. I want to answer their questions and help them become better informed, but it gets exhausting. So does the waiting and feeling helpless. It becomes far too easy to torture yourself with fears and hypotheticals with nothing to distract you. 

I've been trying to distract myself and keep busy; we're remodeling the bathroom. I'm going through and getting rid of a lot of stuff as I try and count down the weeks until Mr. Postman brings me my dream of completed background checks. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016


It was a reality show that did it - the most watched show ever. If humans would destroy even their own offspring simply for being inconvenient, what would they do if they found out about Thinking Machines? Surely with humans' history of abortion and genocide, the risk that they would decide Thinking Machines must be destroyed was too high; humanity must be eliminated. 

And that's how CTRL ALT REVOLT! by Nick Cole begins. I have to say that dystopian cyberpunk is not at all my usual bailiwick; with as little happy endings as I have in real life, I am a sucker for pitch-perfect, blissful endings. And while I don't mind a little darkness, I try not immerse myself in it for too long. I heard about this book while reading Larry Correia's blog (another author) yesterday and decided to look a little further. At the end of this post, Nick Cole has posted a three chapter excerpt of CTRL ALT REVOLT! After reading the excerpt, I found that I really didn't want to stop reading, so I bought the ebook. (I almost never buy ebooks - given a choice I will take paper any day.) But it's really only available as an ebook, so I was stuck. Less than 24 hours later, I've finished it; this book kept me wanting to know what happened next. The protagonists all had depth to them, but beyond that, I couldn't help but like the Thinking Machines. I certainly didn't want them to win, but I didn't want them to be destroyed either. I could understand their viewpoint and drive to survive; I'm not even sure I could argue with their analysis. I don't want give too much away or devolve into "unlikely band of heroes" tropes, so I will conclude by saying that I loved this book and am looking forward to sharing it with others, especially my husband. (Note: though there is definitely a strong libertarian viewpoint expressed in this book, it doesn't commandeer the story or detract from the action.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


To say that I'm not a SJW or a major proponent of PC is an understatement. However, I think there is something to be said for the concept of "othering:" making it clear that a person or group is not "one of us." Tonight I was treated to a prime example of it during a discussion with our pastor regarding all the clearances and steps required to volunteer. After being treated as guilty until proven innocent (if then) by our Safe Environment Coordinator, I contacted our pastor, expressing concern with how volunteers are being treated. If our goal is to encourage people to volunteer and be active, then, while we do need them to follow the required procedures, we also need to make sure to treat them with consideration and respect and not leave them thinking "Screw it! I have better things I could do with my time." When I expressed that concern, Father commented that most volunteers have been through it before, volunteering at their kid's school or coaching or whatnot. So... the only people who volunteer are those with kids? Or do you just not notice those without? 

It also happens when we talk about parish events. Though we say that a new family is created when a couple marries, what are "family" events? If your parish is anything like mine, "family" events center around activities for the children, with food and fellowship for the parents. Why would we go to Breakfast in Bethlehem? Is there truly anything for us at the Halloween Howl? No, I guess I'm not "like you." 

I am not the same; I am different. And it's not that different isn't okay, but do we make room for the other or do we try to shunt them off into tiny little silos? Yes, it's great that there is a Widows & Widowers group, but do we make room for them at other events? Do we encourage them and young families to mix and encourage and help one another? Or are they just stuck in their own little group, clearly "other," not "one of of us?" It's fantastic if your parish or diocese has an Elizabeth Ministry or Apostolate of Hannah's Tears, but do those couples without children feel welcome anywhere else? If they are only comfortable there, maybe at Mass, and the parish picnic, then we are failing. 

As Christians, there can be no "other." Galatians 3:28 makes that clear: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (NIV) While we won't necessarily have that much in common with every single person, we must keep in mind that they are all like us, all sinners, all children of God.