Sunday, December 30, 2007

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

This has been the busiest vacation I have ever had! We have slept in 3 different beds in the last 3 days. Not that I'm complaining mind you but this has been a whirlwind. We flew home Friday night and due to flight delays arrived at our house at midnight. Just in time to crash in our own beds, open the suitcases, throw out the dirty clothes and re-pack clean clothes before hitting the road to Bend yesterday morning. Jeff decided to take the long, easy road in order to avoid the snowy pass. It took a little longer but was worth it. We arrived in Bend in time to grab dinner with Lillian's birthmom which was such a treat. Then today, we met a new birthmom and began forging a relationship. "Forging a relationship?!" That makes it sound like work which couldn't be further from reality.

We met this birthmom and the counselor at 10:30am and didn't stop chatting until the restaurant closed at 2pm. (We met in a little mom & pop restaurant in a small town outside of Bend so they keep their own hours I guess.) At around noon the counselor excused herself saying that we clearly didn't need her around. The conversation flowed naturally as we exchanged pictures and stories. We just adore her! She must like us too because she invited us to her doctor's appointment on Friday. So, back we go. We'll attend her doctor's appointment and then meet the counselor for a second mediation session.

It seems so real and so surreal all at the same time. We've got to call our pediatrician and call our lawyer and re-decorate the nursery in boy colors and install the car seat and...and...and... Oh well, it'll all get done. I know there is always a risk that this adoption may not go through. But we've decided to throw our whole heart into it with the hope that it goes well. Every baby deserves parents who are excitedly anticipating his/her arrival. I refuse to wait until it is "safe" to start loving this little boy.

The prayer requests are all praises today. Praise God for our safe travel. Praise God for this brave birthmom. Praise God for this beautiful baby. Praise God for bringing families together in many different ways.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Call

WE GOT THE CALL!!!! I think my sister and mom are good luck charms. Three years ago, we got "the call" about Lillian when the three of us were in a car together. And today, as we were having a girls lunch in Arizona, we got "the call" about Lillian's brother. Yep, it's a boy!

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, I should explain that this is just the call to tell us that we have been selected to meet a birthparent. The next step will be to meet each other in a mediation session. If that goes well, we'll arrange another mediation session a few days later. Typically there is more time between mediation sessions but this will be a fast timeline as this baby is due on January 19th! Then there is the birth and paperwork to finalize the placement. Basically there are a lot of steps before this is official but in the meanwhile, I'm excited at the prospect of a new baby.

As usual, there are random and sometimes quirky connections that drew the birthmom to us. She loves the fact that Jeff is a stay-at-home Dad because she is very close to her father. She also likes that I am a career woman as that is her goal as well. The counselor describes her as a smart, go-getter who always thinks of other people first. In fact, we have been "on hold" for a while as this birthmother was interested in us but has been struggling with the decision and wanted to be sure before we were contacted. She sounds like a very special person and I can't wait to meet her.

We return to Oregon tomorrow and will arrange the 2 mediation meetings. They will take place around the Bend area as that is where the birthmom lives. So pray that the snow lightens up so we can make the drive. Please pray also that it would be clear whether we would be a good match for a lifelong commitment. I could easily get caught up in the excitement and want to make sure we're all making sound decisions. And pray for health and happiness for this little boy and his birthmom.

As the counselor said, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Biggest Loser

Did anyone else watch the season finale of "The Biggest Loser" last night? Holy moly those people looked good! Many of them lost over 100 lbs and cut their weight by more than 40%. Incredible. A bit extreme in just a few months but incredible nonetheless.

Since college, my weight has always been up and down. One of my heaviest times was when I worked for a particularly demanding company which I like to refer to as "Satan's Lair." I was working 10-12 hour days and most weekends. All to get yelled at or praised for yesterday's business. I was only as good as the numbers that I posted each day. Since my identity was completely wrapped up in my career, this misery took it's toll and it showed on the scale. I was too tired to assert will power. I was too unhappy to care. And to make matters worse, I didn't really notice the weight when I looked in the mirror. It wasn't until I found myself shopping in the women's department instead of the misses department that I realized how many extra pounds I was lugging around. Once I realized there was more to life than work and gained a balanced sense of my identity, I started working out and eating better.

My weight still bounced around depending on whether I prioritized working out (which I hate) or eating right (that's no fun either). But I was never as heavy as my days at "Satan's Lair." Until now that is.

I am officially topping the scales at the heaviest I've ever been. AHHHHHH!!! Lillian's illness and death have been beyond painful but it's not the same misery as I felt while working at "Satan's Lair." It's not that I'm too tired or that I don't care. I guess I just feel entitled. I hear this little person on my shoulder whispering "Hey you've been through a lot, treat yourself. C'mon you deserve that cookie/ice cream/pile of chips/etc."

That's part of the concern I mentioned before about letting cancer define me. I want to be Lillian's mommy. The mom who spent 2 wonderful years with a healthy child and 6 months with a sick child. The mom who can talk about her sweet girl without making people uncomfortable. I don't want to limit my identity as only the mom of a cancer kid. And I don't want my identity so wrapped up in one monumental event that I once again lose sight of a balanced sense of myself.

Last October I challenged Jeff to a Biggest Loser competition. He reluctantly agreed and spurred on by the competition, I lost 8 lbs the first week. That also happened to be the same week that Lillian was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say the challenge fell by the wayside. As I've blogged about before, the hospital was not friendly to my waistline. And as I've also blogged about before, I tried to work out but that too quickly fizzled. I think it's gonna take a little friendly competition to motivate me to drop these extra lbs.

Soooooo, I'm issuing a challenge. Do you want to take a bite out of that muffin top? Do you want to stop those chicken wings from flapping? Do you want to silence the chub rub? Then join me in our own BIGGEST LOSER competition!!

We'll kick this off by submitting your weight via e-mail on January 1st. (Yep, you gotta share the digits peeps. We'll only share the numbers among the contestants. And you don't have to be local, we'll use the honor system.)

For those with short attention spans, we'll weigh in on April Fools Day and declare a winner.

For those who want to go the distance, double down at the 4/1 check point and continue to competition through the 4th of July. Then on July 4th, we'll celebrate our independence from love handles with a final weigh in and announce the winner based on the full 6 month period!

What do you win? (Aside from health and a longer life that is.) Well, if you want to be a contestant in this Biggest Loser competition, you've got to put your money where your mouth is. Each person has to pony up $100. And if you want to double down for 6 months, you'll have to dig deep and throw in $100 for EACH 3 month period. We'll pool the money and the person with the highest % of weight lost, wins it all after each checkpoint. It may sound like a steep entrance fee but to really motivate us, it has to be painful enough to lose and exciting enough to win, right?!

So grab some friends cause we want this pile of cash to be huge. And don't forget to snap a gruesome "before" pic cause we're all gonna want to celebrate your transformation on July 4th.

If you want to compete, e-mail us at I'm counting on you to be my motivation! (Guilt and cash prizes! Now that's what I call a competition.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lori & Jeff Plus XX

I had the rare treat of getting a mani/pedi last week and the manicurist made the mistake of asking me if I had kids. After the initial awkward banter, we moved into talk of the impending adoption. She kept telling me that she had a "feeling" we would end up with twins. The funny thing is that I've heard that from quite a few people. Couple that with my recent obsession with tv shows about large families (Jon & Kate +8, Kids By The Dozen, etc) and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm being prepared for "something." Maybe it's twice the wait for twice the kids. Or maybe that's just how I'm coping with the anticipation.

Regardless, I'm actually feeling okay with the wait right now...whether I'm waiting for one baby or an entire basketball team of babies. A ringing phone doesn't stop my heart anymore. I can even go an entire day without thinking about the adoption. Now that's progress!

I've got the room ready, bag packed and bottles washed leaving nothing to do but enjoy sleeping in. Cause when Dora & Diego...or the basketball team of babies...or one sweet baby arrives, I'm sure sleep will be nothing but a distant memory.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shopping Therapy

Ugh, no news yet. I'm resorting to periodic shopping therapy. How cute are these???

Bragging Time

I just have to take a minute and brag on a couple of my dear cancer kids. Maddie Colley and her mom were featured as part of the Children's Cancer Association spot on AM Northwest talking about the fundraising event this weekend at Bridgeport Village. Click on this link to watch the video. Isn't Maddie the sweetest little girl? She spent MONTHS at a time in the hospital. We'd come and go but the Colley family would still be there in their beautiful pink room. They created a home away from home. What impressed me most about their family was their smiles. I can't think of a time that they weren't smiling! They truly know how to celebrate God's blessings.

The other dear kiddo I want to brag on is a cancer angel, Chelsea Rae. The band Kutless formed a connection with her after she was diagnosed and even performed some acoustic songs for her in her hospital room. Chelsea's faith has been an inspiration to so many people. And through this tribute that Kutless posted on their website, Chelsea will continue to impact people for Christ.

I may not understand the purpose of cancer but I celebrate that God works through ALL things.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Usually I can burp out a blog posting in no time. It just flows out and in a few minutes, I'm done. But for some reason I've been wrestling with a post all week and it still doesn't feel right.

I had a whole paragraph about all the people who have asked lately if I had kids or how Lillian is doing (3 people in 4 days). And I came up with some entertaining examples of the different types of reactions I receive after people hear the news of her death. But it just feels...I don't know...whiny maybe? Or judgmental? I can't put my finger on it. Regardless, if I don't know what point I'm trying to make then it can't be worth sharing with you! Or maybe it just needs a bit more time to marinate.

I will share something that has been on my mind a lot. Lately I've been feeling defined by Lillian's cancer. It's like my life began the day Lillian was diagnosed. It has shaped the way I experience everything so I guess it's fair to say it has forever changed me. But I want this experience to refine me, not define me. Does that make sense? The problem is that I have no idea how to move from one to the other. Maybe it comes with time...

Huh, I guess this point is going to require some more marinating as well.

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