Tuesday, March 25, 2008

100 Things...

Lots of friends on the adoption boards are doing the "100 things" list. This is one of those long "get to know you" posts that I usually don't have time to do.

1. I am a stay at home mom and am so proud to say that.
2. My daughter is three and a half years old and is adopted from Anhui, China.
3. My son is one and a half years old and is in a foster home right now in Inner Mongolia, China... He is waiting for us.
4. I think I have always known that I would adopt my children. My favorite book as a child was "The Family Nobody Wanted" by Helen Doss and I read it probably 15-20 times.
5. I need to elaborate on this...I believe that I have always known my children, that I met them in Heaven before I was born, and long before they were born, and that is why I feel strongly that I recognized them when I first saw their pictures. Both times, I experienced a moment that I cannot really explain, instant recognition, and I knew without a single doubt they were my children. They say the eyes are a mirror to the soul. I truly believe in that. It was Gracie's eyes that I recognized and also Garrett's eyes. And if you look at these two children, they even look similar in their eyes and smiles. Their eyes shine. They sparkle. My dad had eyes like this. He had a true twinkle in his eyes when he was alive. Some people have even said that Gracie resembles us...though we all KNOW that really isn't possible. My mom, when she was in the throws of her Alzheimer's disease and she truly didn't know what was going on anymore, said to others when showing off her new grandchild, "Gracie looks JUST LIKE Van." We had to laugh at that. But there is a possibility there...I believe in divine possibilities and miracles. God designed this life plan for Gracie and for us, and with Him, ALL THINGS are possible...even those things that others might think sound "cooky" or "crazy".
6. My first career and my B.S. degree was in Social Work-Child Welfare. I was a social worker who performed child abuse and neglect investigations... sometimes resulting in taking children out of dangerous homes removing them away from their parents.
7. I hated my job, but I loved my job, if that makes sense.
8. Sometimes, I think I should have been a police officer because I have a strong desire to see bad guys put behind bars where they cannot hurt people anymore.
9. I am not brave enough to be a police officer and I do not like guns.
10. I also think I should have been an attorney because I am very good at defending others when they have been hurt.
11. I am very organized.
12. I have a second degree. My M.Ed is in Elementary Education, and I taught school for 12 years. I was a fifth grade teacher for most of those years.
13. I loved teaching 5th graders...the actual teaching part, the planning for it, and the rapport I had with my kids. I hated the enormous amount of paperwork involved in teaching though and the after hours extras that went with it.
14. I think teaching school is one of the hardest jobs on the planet.
15. I was an excellent teacher. I still am.
16. I love to clean my house. Ok, maybe I like to HAVE a clean house...but the cleaning part is necessary to achieve that.
17. I love television.
18. I am pretty shy until I get to know people. Sometimes, I am even shy after that.
19. I love being a mother.
20. I would like more time to myself though...just haven't been able to figure out how to get that yet.
21. I am the seventh of eight children...really the eighth of nine if you count my eldest brother's twin who passed away at birth.
22. I love my family very much.
23. I have four great sisters and three wonderful brothers.
24. I have 14 nieces and nephews, and 3 great nieces and nephews.
25. We have two cats and one puppy (who at this moment is driving me crazy). The fantasy of having a dog is FAR different than actually owning one. But she is a great dog and we do love her. Cats are soooooo much easier though...until you get a dog and that drives them insane enough to scratch up your furniture.
26. I have no idea how anyone can hurt their own children or anyone else's children for that matter. It makes me sick.
27. My father passed away on Feb 13, 2003. My mom passed away on Jan 2, 2008. It is hard to believe that both of them are in Heaven now.
28. I love my husband very much. We have been married since 7/11/99. He is a great man, a wonderful best friend, and the very best father to Gracie. He is sensitive, caring, loving, generous with his time, would give you the shirt off of his back, and he loves his daughter and family more than anyone could ever imagine. He is very much like my own father was, and that is why I married him.
29. I was married before and divorced. The marriage was annulled by the Catholic church. It was a horrible marriage. I am lucky I made it out of it alive.
30. Pasta is my favorite food. Gracie's too!
31. I love love love chocolate!
32. My favorite restaurants are Asian Garden, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, and Panera's.
33. If you ever have a chance to eat at the Red Rox Inn in Middleburg, VA, just do it! It is my favorite historical tavern and bed and breakfast. Cool place and it is haunted!
34. I believe in ghosts. The one at the Red Fox Inn even came to visit us in room 19 near the attic. Very wierd! But very true!
35. I love watching/hearing ghost stories, and one of our favorite holidays is Halloween.
36. We have a BIG Halloween party every year.
37. I am also a Christian. Jesus is my Savior. I need to work on making that statement #1 in my life list. I am on a journey I guess...
38. I pray a lot!
39. Next Sunday will be the first time I have attended the Catholic mass though in over 10 years unless you count weddings and funerals and holidays. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but it is a long story....too long to get into here. I still have the same beliefs. I just haven't been a practicing Catholic in many years.
40. I am a writer and want to be published someday. Actually, a piece of my writing was published one time in the Love Without Boundaries/ Red Thread book. But I would like to write a book.
41. I like animals, and I love to take my daughter to the zoo.
42. I love to read, but I do not have as much time to read anymore.
43. I have researched my family history/genealogy on my father's side. Genealogy is an amazing, wonderful journey. My aunt who is a ex- nun (who married my uncle long after leaving the convent) says it is a very spiritual, divine journey, and it is as if your ancestors are tapping you on the shoulder when you find something of importance. I believe that is true.
44. I am tired of watching Caillou and Dora tv shows. LOL. My daughter isn't.
45. I watch American Idol, The Bachelor, Dr. Phil, and that's about it...unless I am channel surfing.
46. I just gave the dog a bath. Dirty dog!
47. I was the homecoming queen in high school. But I am not a queen anymore. My cute days are over. LOL.
48. I love to sing.
49. I was shot at multiple times by a gunman while driving my mother's car in highschool. There were four friends in the car with me. The bullets did not hit us. The guy had stolen his father's gun and was showing off in front of friends. He got a fine and probation.
50. I do not like to cook...I used to like to cook...but I do cook.
51. I do not get along with selfish, insensitive people. I would rather spend my time with people that are kind hearted and loving. Life is too short.
52. I lost 40 pounds in the past several years on Weight Watchers. But I have gained some of it back, and need to get back on my WW plan.
53. I am so happy that spring is here! I do not like cold weather.
54. I need to read the Bible.
55. I need to learn how to understand the Bible. I need to do a Bible study like every week for the next 50 years.
56. I love country music. Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, ....too many to list.
57. I am not a frilly, fancy, girly- girl... though I sometimes wish I had more of that in me. I do not do my nails, have pedicures, get my hair done often enough (it is showing my grey though so I need to do that soon), I hate to shop, I am not into shoes, and I wear sweats most of the time.
58. I guess I am a bit of a tom-boy in ways.
59. I love to do yard sales. I hate to pay full price for anything if I can avoid it. I stay out of the malls unless I have a special occasion to shop for.
60. I have a great deal of patience. It is one of my better virtues.
61. Driving makes me nervous especially if I have to drive in unknown territory. But I am a good driver...mainly because I stay off of the roads in those areas where I know I will be nervous.
62. Math is not my best subject. Writing and history are.
63. I will probably not go back into teaching when the kids are older. I may get another degree in elementary ed. counseling or library science and still work in the school environment.
64. I have lots of great friends...some I have known for over 30 years... though I find it is harder to make new friends the older I get because I am not out and about as much. Many of my new best friends have toddlers, and I have gotten to know them from doing activities with my daughter.
65. I have just started to sell Silpada jewelry, and need to do some more shows. Any takers??? Let me know. The jewelry is gorgeous!
66. I do not know what I would do without the use of my computer. It is a great way to communicate and keep up with what is happening in the world.
67. I need to make more telephone calls though...I do not keep up with my friends as much as I should.
68. We need to go on a vacation.
69. I have so much to do before Garrett comes home...painting, moving furniture around, oh my...it is overwhelming when I think about it!
70. I want to go to China to get Garrett SO badly! But I think Gracie and I will be staying at home.
71. I am running out of things to say...We are having pizza tonight.
72. I wish that we lived closer in distance to my brothers and sisters in Alabama. I miss them a lot.
73. I started painting, and need to get back to that someday. I like to paint.
74. I like going out to eat.
75. We went to see Horton Hears a Whoo the other day, and Gracie only lasted about 20 minutes. That is the first movie (or part of one) I have seen in a movie theatre in years I think.
76. I love popcorn! I ate popcorn at the movie theatre with butter. YUM.
77. I think Garrett may be our last child. Not sure yet though.
78. I would really like to adopt another little girl from China after Garrett's adoption so that Gracie has a sister.
79. I lost one baby in utero in 1994.
80. I am extremely protective of my family.
81. I would love to live on the beach in Florida. I go to sleep each night listening to ocean waves and soft cello music. The cd is called "Forest Cello". Get it!!! Love it!!!
82. Since I quit teaching, I very seldomly know what the date is.
83. I love jewelry, but hardly ever wear it.
84. I played the cello from the time I was in third grade up through my second year in highschool. Quitting is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I was very good at it, and was first chair in the Birmingham Intermediate Orchestra. My teacher told me when I quit that if I didn't quit, she was sure I would get a scholarship to Juliard.
85. I would like to take private cello lessons again.
86. I am not into politics. It is very hard to know who, as far as candidates go, to support these days because I think all of them are dishonest and are just in it for the power and money.
87. I do not enjoy power struggles, and will back away from them when I encounter that type of mindset/person.
88. I am very interested in all things adoption.
89. I love to go fishing, and could sit on a pier or in a boat all day long and into the night (as long as I am not cold). My Daddy was the same way.
90. I have come to realize that as much as I would like to have a "'showroom house", it is not something that is important to me nor is it a priority. I like spending time with my daughter and family. And I do not like spending the money involved to get that look anyway.
91. And I like order and no mess, so the process of changing things gets on my nerves pretty badly.
92. I am trying to simplify my life.
93. My biggest fear in life is that something horrible might happen to my family, my children, me...you name it. Violent, crazy people are everywhere. For that reason, I am over-protective and very careful.
94. I have OCD when it comes to cleanliness and order. I organize everything.
95. God has blessed me in so many ways. I count my blessings everyday, and thank God for them.
96. When life is truly hard, I try to remember that through pain and suffering, we are made stronger people, and those trials bring us closer to God. I haven't always been that way or thought that way though. My life hasn't been easy in many ways, but that is how life is. I try not to take anything for granted. There are no guarantees in this life.
97. My husband and my children are the greatest blessings in my life.
98. I do not like to complain. I avoid confrontation. But if pushed to my limit or beyond my limit, I will defend myself. I can be very stubborn. Forgiveness doesn't always come easy for me when I have reached that point. I pray that God makes me stronger and more compassionate in that area of my life.
99. My friends are the best friends in the world. I am so fortunate.
100. Life is a marathon not a sprint. I try to live every day like it is my last because you never know...Hopefully, I have a long life ahead of me. I want to see my children get married, and have their own children. I want to see them have their dreams come true. Ok, I want to be a Grandma someday too.


tiffany said...

I have loved poking around on your site a bit this morning. I especially love all the beautiful quotes you have used in your sidebar and Gracie sounds hilarious and like a little treasure. You must need to be kept on your toes! LOL

Patricia/NYC said...

Can't wait to read more, Madeline! This is such a great way to get to know each other even more! :)

LOVE reading those Gracie stories too!