Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Falling in love and leftover rice

It's a bitter cold night here in western Wisconsin, a perfect evening for a comfort food dinner. On the menu - sloppy joes. Most everything I make here comes in two varieties - the meatless one for me, and the other one for the rest of the family. The traditional sloppy joes are on the stovetop, and I'm now making something that I'll eat. As I heat up the soy crumbles, I notice leftover rice in the fridge. It's that little bit that's leftover from Chinese take-out.

Normally I'd toss it. It's dry and I have nothing to use it with. It's really not being wasteful, right? Then my mind flashes to Haiti. I picture Magdalyn on the day she was admitted. A tiny little body, so incredibly malnourished. What would her parents do with leftover rice?

I just added the rice to my soy crumble sloppy joes. It will stretch out the meal and create lots of leftovers for my lunches at work.

Haiti, my friends, has really changed me. There are so many instances where my mind flashes to Haiti, and it changes what I'm doing at that moment.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jason and I have been married for nearly 11 years now. We've had our ups, and we've had our downs. I'd say our relationship has gone through the normal cycles that relationships go through. There are times when we don't like each other, and there are times that we giggle together like we did when we first met. Just recently, I've fallen in love with him all over again.

It happened after I asked Jason to fill out the special needs and disabilities form for our adoption application. The form basically has us check which types of special needs and physical needs we will accept in an adopted child. I figured I'd check a lot more than Jason would, so I left most of the form up to him.

He stayed up late that night and filled out the form. When I woke the next morning, it was waiting on the counter for me. What I saw made me cry. (I know - shocker - Karen crying!) I looked over the form at all of the YES boxes he checked. Some were simple things, some were big things. Most of it surprised me. I thought he would have checked NO on most of it.

This journey as been overwhelming and frustrating. It's also been heartwarming. To have open conversations with Jason about who we will bring home and raise together as parents. We'll still have our ups and downs. And I'm certain there will be days when we don't like each other. But we're in this together - as partners in parenting. For better or worse. In sickness and in health. In adoption paperwork and huge fees. We're going to bring our little girl home.

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