lessons learned & gratitude

It's been two weeks since we got the call to pick up our little guy. Oh, how much our life has changed in that time. For starters, my TV viewing has drastically declined, while my baby viewing has increased exponentially. I'd also like to think that as a fledgling father of uncertain duration, I have added a few new abilities to my meager skill set. Those of you much more versed in the child raising process might not even give a second thought to some of my recently accrued knowledge, but I find it valuable for the time being.

Lesson #1: Wake a sleeping baby only at your peril, especially from a deep sleep. This ranks up there on a badness scale of actually believing your wife when you ask what is wrong and she says, "nothing."

Lesson #2: A baby can take a simple thing, such as milk and turn it into a monstrously disgusting tidal wave of green sludge that explodes from the diaper to cling to every little fold of baby skin. If you smell something funny, hand the baby off.

Lesson #3: The baby sleeps when you are awake and wants to be awake when you want to sleep. I had heard this for a long time, but it is one of those cases where the reality of it is a lot harder than the theory.

Lesson #4: I have a wife? I know that there is another person that lives in our house and helps to take care of the baby, but our interaction doesn't go to much beyond that. How do you find that balance between, baby, husband/wife, work, personal time? Or are husband/wife and personal time a thing of the past at this point?

Lesson #5: The amount of projectile vomiting is proportional to the number of burp clothes and items of clean clothing available to the baby. If one burp cloth is within reach and everything else is in the laundry, then the baby will produce enough regurgitated formula to cover approximately half of a football field. Truly one of science's many mysteries.

My other thoughts right now run towards gratitude and humility. We have seen an amazing outpouring of love from so many people it is truly amazing. From people at church feeding us for more than a week, to people at work donating money to help as well as food and gift cards. I've never been the recipient of service like this, and it has been surreal. We are surrounded by ministering angels.

The whole process is somewhat frustrating for me in that I have no control whatsoever over the situation and I struggle with that. I do however take great comfort and strength from all the prayers offered on our (and more importantly the little guy's) behalf. Thank you and I would hope that you would continue to keep us in your prayers.


and then there were three.......and no sleep

Yesterday was quite the day. I was minding my own business, working diligently in my office, when my phone rang. I'm making this sound quite ominous aren't I? It was foster care calling and they said that they had a four week old boy coming into care either that night or the following day and wanted to know if we would be willing to take him. After extracting my heart from my throat I said I'd call my wife and call them right back. This was actually our second call, from foster care. About a month ago we got a call asking us to take in two children and neither of us felt good about it, so we said no. As we talked on the phone yesterday, we both felt pretty good about everything, we said a little prayer over the phone, still felt good, so we decided to take the plunge. I called back, said yes, we'd love to take the little grunt in, what was the plan? The plan was they were still out looking for him and that they would let us know as soon as they could whether it would be the same day or the next for pick-up (sounds like a pizza delivery). At about 4pm, I got the call saying the baby was in and that they closed at 5pm so we needed to get going to pick him up. Both Lisa and I ran home, pulled out the car seat that we had purchased about two months ago and Lisa drove to the drop-off (again, sounds so un-baby like) while I fiddled around in the back seat trying to become smarter than the car seat (more difficult than you might think...maybe not for those of you who know me well). The pick-up was the best part, it was like curb side to go. I called when we were about ten minutes away and said we'd be there right at 5pm. The caseworker said she would come downstairs with the baby and meet us as we drove up. We drove up to the curb, she walked out with a tiny little baby

Here's the captain

and a couple of garbage bags of formula, clothes and diapers, and we were off, both of us wondering how that had just happened. To make a long story short, we spent the rest of the evening (and most of the night) staring at this strange little being that has entered into our home at least for a few weeks.

Is this for real?!?!

Very strange. But also very good. We'll call him the captain, since he is already in charge of everything and running our lives. I think that we'd gladly keep him forever, but we'll see what happens. Life is good, if a little more tiring than it was a day ago.

Lisa has a new target for her camera, Captain beware.


Shallow Chris

While we were out and about in the bubble for the celebration of the coming together of two families through wedded bliss this last Christmas, I went and watched Avatar in 3D with my dad, brother, brother-in-law and nephews. We thought it was great. What an amazing science fiction adventure on another planet with great effects and technology to make it all work. I liked it so much that when we got back to Rochacha, I took Lisa. She even liked it. Recently, I have seen several posts and reviews slamming the show for it's anti-American rhetoric. It mostly had to do with portraying the awful soldiers who embodied the death and destruction of their home planet earth as American Marines. I was a little confused and felt a little dumb maybe, because to be honest with you, that thought never crossed my mind. It is quite possible that I'm a little simple in that I don't think too deeply, especially when entertainment is involved. If there are hidden agendas and messages, they are lost on me, because as my wife could tell you, if you don't club me over the head with what you want me to know, it just won't sink in.

Is this how I come across???

This also made me think of The Golden Compass that came out about a year or so ago and how it caused an uproar among the conservative Christian groups because the author of the books upon which the movie is based is a professed atheist and wants nothing more than to spread his vile message of we are all alone-ism, there is no god belief (according to those groups). I have two thoughts about this, the first being, I read the books and really liked them. I never got any whiff of anti-God feelings in the books at all. The basic story line is good vs. evil, with the evil appearing mostly in the form or the Magisterium, or church. That means he hates god and wants us all to feel the same way? Does that mean that books like The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons are awful and fuel for the atheist bandwagon because the tend to put the Catholic church in a bad light? I don't think so. Again, this could be another case of Chris being too shallow to pick up on those subtle clues that don't just jump right out and announce themselves with banners and neon lights. So the second thought I had was, OK, if he has an agenda to spread his message of science over religion....who cares? I spent two years working to bring religion to people and don't I believe that others are free to act according to their beliefs and even try and convert others to their beliefs? If you don't want to watch it/read it, don't. When people didn't want to listen to me in Italy, they didn't. Fairly simple.

Since I am confessing my simpleness and some of the things that I have enjoyed entertainment wise, I guess I should lay it out there that I have read a series of books involving dark evil magic, full of witches and wizards and even children. I think the most atrocious thing though is that the children even performed magic. I know. Horrendous. But even worse......I liked them. Maybe there's a support group for that. Has anyone heard of HPA? Harry Potter Anonymous?

The point of all of this silliness is that I think you find what you looking for. If you are looking to be offended, you will be. If you are looking for the bad, you'll find it. That is all.