Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thanks for Making me a Fighter!


Hello to you all. As I was driving with a friend the other night I was able to put into words what I have always known (thanks for listening Jen). Apathy is my enemy and I was spending way to much time with the enemy as of late. I had fallen into that, "good enough" trap and let's face it I was miserable there. Sunday morning I woke up with a fire in my heart for the first time in a long time and I was happy to have it there. I jumped out of bed and sat down with my planner and a pen and started making goals, big, small, hard, easy...all kinds. Things I want to do and things I should do. Then on Sunday my sister and my mom gave me a great gift. They volunteered to watch my boys so just me and hubby could go to Salt Lake for a Haitian Roots meeting I needed to be to. We talked for hours (I love that guy). We re-evaluated our goals and talked about all the things that we need to think about at home. When I run I listen to a song called "Fighter". I am not really a big fan of Christina Aguwhatever her name is, but I love the point of this song. In it she says "it makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder, makes me that much wiser, so thanks for making me a fighter." As I was running this morning and not just lolly gagging around I was all of a sudden thankful for all the things that have made me a fighter. I am glad I wasn't born super skinny because I have to work hard to stay in shape. I am glad the Lord gave me five boys, it's dang hard, but working to raise them has helped to raise me. I am grateful for a challenge because in the end I grow. So here's to the challenges that I have set for myself. Some are silly like cleaning out my disaster of a closet and some are a little bigger, like going back to school to get the master's degree I have wanted to get for 10 years. But, as long as I have goals that propel me out of bed in the morning and keep me up at night planning I will be alive and greatful to be fighting!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

All Things Christmas





Merry Christmas to all of you! You know if you let it this season can melt your heart, even when it is feeling a little dark like mine was. Yesterday we went sledding as a family with my sister and my parents. It was so fun! Zooming down the hills (racing my completely unstoppable mother) was a true joy. Watching Micah having his first day out in the snow and loving every minute of it and seeing my boys all aglow with the fun of it was heavenly. Driving home from the hill we sang Christmas songs, Rudolph was a big hit with Lyndon throwing in add libs that had the boys laughing hysterically! Today we read the Christmas story while the boys drew pictures of that wonderous night. Grayson drew Sheperds, Jamen an adorable manger scene, Kyle drew the Sheperds being heralded by the angels, Isaac drew a space beam bringing the baby Jesus with a giant explosion in the sky....all things Christmas! Then we watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas...that would be one of my favorites (second only to It's a Wonderful Life). I cry every year when Mr. Krueger talks to the baby Jesus and I echo his words exactly..."You have been my finest, truest friend and I love you." I feel the same way. How I love my Savior. I am overjoyed to celebrate his birth this year. I wish all of you the best Christmas ever!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanks, I Think


Well I have been both touched and mortified by all of you and your sweet comments! If you know me I am all about sharing...feel free to ask me how much the adoption cost, my love life or any other personal thing. However, I am not great at saying that I feel a little down. So I am so appreciative of all of the support but feel a bit traumatized that it is out there so to speak. Hi to Laura and Kim...I will be checking out your blogs today. Thanks to Jo for letting a whole lot of my kids play while I ran hard and fast. I am feeling so much better today. I was lifted by your comments, a phone conversation with EE, a good nights sleep and a handful of white chocolate peppermint popcorn. I hope that all of you are feeling well emotionally and physically this time of year and want you to know that I would be happy to hear about any of your "dark days" and hopefully have some words of encouragement for you. Thanks again for all of you sweet posts in response to my "dark side." What would I do without you all?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Dark Side

I have been avoiding the blog for awhile...I told EE it was because I didn't think I ought to be sharing the "dark side" with you my faithful friends. She says I should put it out there and that people are not put off to find us in a rut, but that you might feel that way too. I am not sure if it is the freezing weather, thyroid gone wild again or a little seasonal sadness but I am a mess. I find myself inbetween tears and bitterness and listening to angry chick music a lot. I am taking my usual approach and ordered a blood test for the thyroid, started reading a book called Happiness, Finders Keepers, and started running more and eating ice cream more (yes technically they cancel each other out, but I love them both). There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed and sad and when hope seems like a myth. I have been broken hearted over some of the heart ache I have seen on the behalf of others this year. I have watched friends and family have their heart broken and two weeks in Haiti is always enough to remind you that there is suffering no matter where you look. Usually I look at this as sure fire proof that we need each other and just want to dig in and do what I can. Lately I have had a hard time believing that what we try so hard to do is helping at all. Anyway, in this dark place I am grateful for the hope of the gospel. Our leaders tell us that the best is yet to come and I know they wouldn't lie. They say it gets darkest before the light and I guess now is the period filled with much darkness. The book I read was incredibly helpful and I am just going to put on a couple of quotes that helped me-who knows maybe some of you are leaning a bit toward the "dark side" right now as well...
*Life is really a battle between fear and faith, pessimism and optimism. Fear and pessimism paralyze men with skepticism and futility. One must have a sense of humor to be an optimist in times like these. Hugh B. Brown
*Enjoy your membership in the church. Where else in all the world can you find such a society? Enjoy your activity...be happy in that which you do. Cultivate a spirit of gladness in your homes...Let the light of the gospel shine in your faces wherever you go and in whatever you do. President Hinckley
*I think it's what's inside of us that makes us happy-our thoughts, the way we handle what's around us, and our deepest desires. Mary Ellen Edmunds
*If we criticize God or are unduly miffed over suffering and tribulation, we are really criticizing the Planner for implementing the very plan we once approved, premortally. Granted, we don't now remember the actual approval. But, not remembering is actually part of the plan! In the midst of vexing difficulties, since we "shouted for joy" in the premortal world, sometimes we may wonder now what all the shouting was about. Neal A. Maxwell

Phase #4-Kitchen Complete With Snow


Well the house is coming along beautifully. We are contending a bit with the weather, but we knew that would be the case. We had hoped to have the roof on before the snow hit, but it's kind of funny that Lyndon has to go shovel the snow out of our living room each morning....This is all so exciting! Lyndon finished framing the basement and is having the best time...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To My Pals


I have been thinking about how much I love my friends as of late...I have so many kinds of friends. Some short (though now that I think of it none as short as me), some tall, some city folk and some country folk. Athletes, decorators, mom's, trend-setters, world travelers, nurses, humanitarians, folks that speak Creole as a first language and friends that listen to people speak Tongan all day and can't understand very many of the words! This is a toast to all of you. My high school friends were everything to me at the time (high five to you guys). Then I got older and moved off to college. I was nervous and afraid of being away from the friends I have always had. It took just a short time for me to find that I had found friends that would last a life time. The kind of friends that you don't see for months, then get together and pick up right where you left off. I love you guys. The adoption was a life changing thing for me. Along with the gorgeous son that I got out of the deal I also met some of my favorite people in the world. You maintain close to people who have seen you completely insane, sad, worried, depressed and at your wits end and just love you anyway. I am thankful to friends that "drag" me to Twilight and remind me it is OK not to be responsible every minute of the day. I am grateful to my crew that helped me understand and embrace homeschooling and all that goes with it. I am grateful for friends that are related (hugs to the mom and the sister). I need to send giant hugs to my BFF-EE, what would I do without you? If something good or bad happens my first thought is, "I need to call EE." You have dealt with me whacked out on low thyroid, pregnant and PMS'y. You have been there to discuss every book I ever read (that's a lot of discussion I know), plus you are subjected to my not so deep thoughts pretty near daily. You are the greatest! A little shout out (I know I am so cool) to by bestest of best friends, the hubby! You are so easy to love and I am honored to have you as my pal and eternal companion! I wish I had photos of all of you to post (you are all so beautiful and in one's case handsome), but of course my photos are all of my kids like all of the rest of you. Just thinking about how much I appreciate all of you today and wanting to say thanks for being my friends...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Greetings


Those of you that I have e-mail addresses for got this little Christmas letter already. But, some of you great friends I don't have addresses for are getting it via blog. I pointed out that I would love to have sent handmade cards and home made gifts, but in the spirit of less is more (plus I am swamped) here is my Christmas hugs through my blog!

Kyle turned 10 this year! He had his birthday in Haiti with a whole group of adopting parents and volunteers. He spent two weeks in Haiti with me volunteering at an orphanage and for Haitian Roots. It was such an amazing, spectacular experience I was honored to have him with me. He is having his first year as a home schooled kid and that has worked out marvelously. He has found the love of his life….politics! He is absolutely crazy about politics and studies it constantly.

Jamen is 7 this year and attending the first grade. He has the sweetest teacher who loves him and works with his amazing ability to interrupt every five seconds! He remains the sweetest boy in the world and hasn’t met a person yet he didn’t think of as a best friend! He is reading up a storm and loving his new buddies in our new place.

Isaac is 5 this year! He is attending pre-school with Grayson and loves it. Isaac is all about Star Wars and anything weapons. He tells us he will be Kyle’s bodyguard when he is the President of the United States because then he gets to “pack heat”. Funny that I was going to be the mom that didn’t buy weapons…then he started making them out of carrots, blocks, well anything. Finally all that parenting wisdom went out the window in favor of a light saber…he is a joy and has us laughing all of the time.

Grayson is 4 this year! He is attending pre-school and has never loved anything more. He is a sweet boy who is very easy to please. He loves all things Dora the Explorer and loves to pretend to be a puppy.

Micah is 18 months old! My how time flies! He is so adorable, really not just mom talk, he really is. He is always happy, well as long as he is outside and with dad, other than that he can be kind of a grump! He is so beautiful and we are so grateful he joined this crazy family.

Lyndon is still enjoying his job. He has a big project going on in St. George this year so he is out of town way more than we like, but he likes it so much how can we grumble? His favorite thing this year is being involved with building our new home. In fact he is very much like a little kid at Christmas! We technically hired people to build our home, but Lyndon wants to help so much that he is around whenever he can be!

I am the mother of 5. That pretty much sums it up! I still love to read, run and scrapbook but don’t do tons of any of those things! My trip to Haiti was a huge highlight of the year for me and I am so grateful for a sweet husband who would take the time off and send me and Kyle off to a fourth world country with his love and blessing. I am also so thankful for the move to Monroe. This tiny town has been like a healing balm to each of us. I really feel like we have found the place we were meant to be. The place we are building is like paradise to me and I just feel so blessed.

We hope all is well with each of you and wish you a very Merry Christmas. Much love, The Friant family

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Three Cups of Tea



I am just a couple of chapters away from finishing what will be put on my shelf as one of the most influential and important books I have ever read. The book is called Three Cups of Tea. It is the inspiring true life account of Greg Mortensen. This giant of a man, in many ways, attempts to climb K2 only to find failure and ending up in a little village in Pakistan called Korphe. There he is nursed lovingly back to help by people who will become to him like family only stronger. After being there for some time he asks to be taken to the school. He gets to a place where a large amount of kids are scratching their multiplication tables in the snow with a stick. They do it with no teacher because they can only afford to have him a couple of days a week. He is so moved and I think inspired that he tells them he will build them a school....an absolutely inspring tale that will bring you to tears and have you re-evaluating your time and your life follows. At this time I think a lot about my desire to help find eduaction opportunities for the poor. You all know that I would happily sale all I own and move my family to Haiti to do it. But, the challenge for me is that I am needed here, doing what I can for Haiti often times from a computer or being willing to speak up and try and find help. However, I have the honor of raising five boys...maybe if I can soften their hearts and help them receive an astounding education they can make a much bigger difference than I ever could. That is my hope...After reading about Mr. Mortensen and the amazing Pakistani people he has the honor to work with the world becomes smaller and you feel you heart getting larger.
From the Book-Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Mother Teresa
May I also take a moment and point out how blessed we are. When the war broke out after the attack on 9/11 Greg was in Pakistan. When it became time for him to return to America, his self appointed bodyguard was in tears. This man was willing to die for him, and would have been honored to do so. This is their conversation:
Greg: What is it, Faisal? Mortenson said, squeezing his bodyguard's broad shoulder.
Faisal: "Now your country is at war, what can I do? How can I protect you there?"
Faisal sees daily the tragedies of war, hears the bombs, sees the refugees filter into the cities by thousands, knows people who have died. He assumes that Greg is returning to Montana and will see the same things. We all know that just isn't the way it is.
We have experienced tragedy and I don't discredit that in any way. But, for the most part we tuck our kids in at night and we don't have to worry about bombs, starvation, if our children will ever have to leave or if our children will make it safely through the night. We are so blessed to be Americans! It is an honor, but with that honor I believe comes responsibility. May I encourage each of us to use our blessings for good. We all have something that means a lot to us. May we put our hearts into making a difference and that will be the best way we can thank God for giving us the priveleges we have been given!
From the book I quote a necklace worn by volunteer Julia Bergman heading into Afghanistan knowing her life is likely in danger, "I want to be used up when I die!" I know exactly how she feels.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving...Really I am Thankful...


Let me begin by saying I am aware how blessed I am! Here is a short list of the things I am grateful for....
#1 My Husband-He is the greatest and I thank God everyday that he is mine.
#2 My boys-I mean really five adorable reasons for living, how blessed am I?
#3 Food. We are all grateful for that, but I think about that a lot since a lot of the people I love worry everyday if they will eat today.
#4 Running-Everyone needs a drug, this is mine
#5 Books, books, books. All the lessons, all the escape, all the knowledge...
#6 Modern conveniences-heat, washing machines, dishwashers...need I go on?
#7 My family. I love them and am lucky to have them.
#8 My friends. Seriously what would I do without you all?
#9 My Savior who is my life and means everything to me.
I really could go on and on. I have so many blessings and so many things to be thankful for. This Thanksgiving went a little different that I had planned. We were going to go to my mom's where we would have had a lovely dinner and basked in the warmth of my parents home. Little change of plans. Two of the boys had the flu so I was going to go with the other three and Lyndon would be sweet and stay home with M and J. Another change of plans, mom is reaching for yet another change of clothes for M and slips a disc or something in her back...spent the day screaming like a crazy person...Thanks to mom and dad for picking up the couple of not sick, not screaming Friant's and bringing us a Thanksgiving feast. No complaints, we have so much to be grateful for...

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Confession


I think for me writing this is similar to standing in front of a room of people and saying out loud, “I am an alcoholic.” But, they say the first step is admitting you have a problem, so I am taking the plunge. Here it is, the whole truth “My name is Heather and I am a hopeless romantic.” Wow, that felt really liberating. Most of you know me as Heather the organized or Heather the responsible, but it’s just a cover up because on the inside I am really this whole other person. On my bookshelf you will find stacks of the classics, book on parenting, church non-fiction, books about people making a difference in the world and books on education. I love them all and devour it almost all of the time. Hidden on the top of my shelves however is the Twilight series. Now I am the very first person to say they are insane, that it is not the thing I would want my teenage daughter to read, and that the “Twilight mania is absolutely ridiculous. But, my great friend talked me into going to Cedar on Friday to see it (I really did act reluctant about it and I really kind of was). But, I was like every other swoony teen watching the movie and spent the last two days looking at my adorable husband through the eyes of my 16 year old self. I remember it well since I was looking at him that way when I was my 16 year old self. The same thing happened to me after watching Pride & Prejudice…all of a sudden there was beautiful piano music in my head every time my husband would walk into the room and I found myself thinking, “You have bewitched me body and soul and I love, I love you…” I mean really doesn’t that make you swoon? You can really almost say that with pride though, it’s a classic. But, Twilight? Really this is in fact a movie about a vampire falling in love with a human. The whole, “will he give in and eat her” thing is hovering on the edge of your thoughts the whole time. But, he doesn’t even though he wants to and let’s face it that’s pretty darn romantic! So now it’s out there. Lucky for me it’s easy to stay swoony because I am married to the ultimate and I am absolutely certain he will never give in and suck out all of my blood….

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love to Learn



I have been thinking a lot about what makes me, well, me....I am a woman who Loves God and hope that He knows it, I love to organize and admit that sometimes I let my kids make an organization disaster just for a challenge, I love to run and while running I listen to very loud often hard rock music...But, one of the things that really makes me me is how I love to learn. I love learning and teaching (I really learn more when I teach actually because you must study so much harder). I have already shared with you just how much I love my books. The other day my mother gave me the worn serendipity series, these are the books we had her read to us over and over again as children. I literally burst into tears when she gave them to me I was so happy. I also have thought about "school" a lot in the last couple of years. The answer that came to me is that there isn't one right way or wrong way to school...we do a lot of different things in our home and I love certain aspects of all of them. Kyle home schools. Jamen goes to a traditional public school. Isaac & Grayson go to a district pre-school for a few hours each week...So in tribute to that a little top six of why I love home school and public school...
Public School Pro's
6-I love preparing for school days. Love backpacks, sack lunches and school supplies.
5-My Jamen gets to be around lots and lots of kids, for him that is as important as breathing.
4-I get to be the mom when he comes home and not worry so much about the teaching. Not that I don't get to help him with homework or do extra things but it is in a mom role. I love how he comes home all lit up with news of his day and I get to just listen and fix him an afternoon snack.
3-I love when they take field trips or see the world as a group.
2-I appreciate my children learning from someone other than me, I think there is so much to learn from other people. When my children get an especially good mentor our whole family benefits. Last year Jamen had a teacher who was on fire for learning! He fell so in love with Van Gough that he marinated in it for months, I love that!
1-I love public school for Jamen because for him it works. He is happy and learning and that's all I could ask.
Home School Pros
6-I get to choose who his mentors are and he has some great ones. Jeanette has taught him more this year than he has ever learned anywhere (piano, government and history). She is also the kind of woman I want teaching my kids. (I will miss you Jeanette). Becky is one of his teachers for Knights of Freedom. He really is learning how to be a modern day knight and she is an excellent mentor for him. It is awesome to have the choice about who will mentor your kids and there are some great ones right here in small town USA.
5-I get the opportunity to teach. I love being a mom of toddlers, but it is so cool to fill the role of teacher. I have really had to stretch and that's good for the old brain. Let's face it the cobwebs needed to be dusted!
4-I am thrilled to see Kyle working at Kyle's pace. He had pretty near turned into a zombie for school the last few years. Not at all the fault of the teachers, but Kyle has always sort of been able to get something seeing it once. Sort of like, "we learned multiplication yesterday do we really need to ever go over that again?" This year we breeze through the stuff he knows and he gets to labor over the things he doesn't, that is so good for him!
3-I get to see him! Once your kids hit about first grade they sort of disappear....they are gone so often and then I think before you know it they are grown and you wished you could have seen them more. I get to be with him all day. I took him to a foreign country for two weeks and didn't come home to a pile of busy work. I love having him around and seeing who he really is.
2-Kyle gets to spend more time on the things he loves. My son loves classical music and plays the piano so amazingly well. Now he has more time to play and compose and that is good. He especially loves politics and studies it constantly. There are so many lessons taught from his passion. He knows all the states (and how they vote), he has studied math as he figures out voting percentages, his reading has improved because he reads some deep political things that are a stretch and let's face it the kid is a walking encyclopedia and that is cool. Ask him who ran against Richard Nixon second term, he knows. But I do want you to know that once you show an interest you will be game for all political discussion---ever seriously considered your position on gun control, Roe Vs Wade or government spending?
1-It is the right thing for him. I have watched my son come back to life this year. He has had great teachers in the past, by no fault of theirs he just wasn't challenged enough to find school interesting. He is so happy and I am so happy to see it...
As for the little boys, we all have our strenghts. Little people learning colors and such is not mine. I love that they have teachers that plan "smelling field trips" and other great things. I also love having a few hours without light sabers and tantrums! As for me, my ideal day would include a stack of books, a quiet place and a bag full of chocolate...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Halloween Cuties


Just a pic from Halloween of the kiddos..This year was so much more pleasant than usual. The weather was great and we only went to about 10 houses so it was actually fun.

Phase #3 Hole Gets Some Guts


Not much to say, just wanting to keep a little running log of the house. My hole would do nicely for a skating rink at the moment...I am getting really excited. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To wonderful Not to Share


http://perlasparlor.blogspot.com/2008/11/like-angels.html

I hope it is OK with my dear friend Shannon if I put a link to one of her posts. Except you have to type it in because I am way to computer illiterate to have a place for you to click...sorry. Haiti, Haitian Roots and the children of Haiti mean everything to me and her post summed up so much how I feel. The Lord is in charge and He does not forget his children, even if it seems to the outside world that He does. This week as my heart has been in Haiti (as usual) because of the tragedy at the school I was so happy my friend posted something so positive and wonderful about something that means so much to me. Check it out, she is an amazing writer tied closely to her wonderful heart....
PS The Photo of the adorable dad with the little girl is the one that Kyle sponsors. He was the sweetest man and kept saying to me, "God Bless You" over and over and all I could think was that He already had just by having the honor of meeting him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Remember You!


I am just hours away from going away from my home WITHOUT CHILDREN! I am meeting my husband in Salt Lake for Engineer's Conference (translation he goes to boring meetings and I shop and have lunch with my college roomies.) We get to go to a fancy dinner and listen about the states best roads...this probably doesn't sound fabulous to you but we flirt with each other and hold hands and I could care less what they are saying. Anywho, I adore my husband. I have been in love with him since I was 16 years old, but with our lives sometimes I hardly even see him. He is always so good to me. For instance I told him I wanted York peppermint patties in the shape of bats. They are my favorite and for some reasons I like them even more when shaped like bats....Now I just sort of said it off hand, I really didn't expect him to look, just if he happened to see one grab one for me. Weeks go by, I have forgotten and I assume so has he. Yesterday he tells me, "I have looked EVERYWHERE for those bats. I called Hershey Pennsylvania today and they said I can't get any, I'm really sorry." I have the world's greatest hubby and for the next 36 hours I get to be with him and I am so grateful! Should we take a poll on whether or not my sweet mom will need a vacation after 36 hours with my boys?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Little Clarfication


It has been asked and I feel I need to clarify for those that wonder....A lot of people have assumed that since we went to Haiti we were down there to "make" another baby so to speak! The answer to that inquiry is a big fat "no"! I went down for a few reasons.
#1 I love Haiti. I feel the same way when I am in Haiti as I do when I am at a place I would consider home.
#3 I am a friend and supporter of Haitian Roots and wanted to be there to help where I could.
#4 I wanted to be with my adoption buddies again in Haiti.
#5 I wanted my son and I to be reminded that we have EVERYTHING and to get a good dose of gratitude.
#6 I wanted to help my friend Nichole who works like crazy to make things well for Hope for Little Angels of Haiti
#7 I wanted to meet some new adoptive parents. I have found some of my favorite people willingly agree to go to hell and back for their kids and they make some really great friends!
#8 I wanted to meet Grayson's biological brother. I think it will be important for them to know each other. I feel like it is absolutely essential that we help Gray to stay connected with where he came from. Haiti is what it is, but it was his first home and I want him to be proud to be a Haitian American
So that is why I went to Haiti. While I won't ever say never, because the Lord often has "surprises" for me that he knows I am not strong enough to handle being told about until the time comes, we are not planning on adopting again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Fun







I am trying to get back from Haiti both in mind and body and it is finally occurring to me that fall is here! I love fall it is my favorite time of year. In the movie "You've Got Mail," he says that he would send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, that makes me swoon! I love the weather, colors, foods, smells and activities that go with fall. I will admit I hate Halloween and just do my best to get through it! But, besides that it's my favorite...Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, new school supplies and trees all aglow with fall colors would be my gift to you all this time of year....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A week in Haiti through the eyes of my 10 year old son


Like what Charles Dickens states in the beginning of his book; A tale of two cities "It was the best of times it was the worst of times," though many of us feel we are so blessed, this made me feel even more blessed in the experience which I have just came from. When we came back on the plane, going back home, I felt the feeling of how this experience had changed my life. And how would this experience change, not just me, but my character and gratitude to the home in which I live in. We arrived on Monday, the thirteenth of October. Later that day, we went to Hope For little Angels of Haiti. The parents got their kids and I couldn't help but let out tears of joy. We went outside and were able to go give the kids treat bags. The kids smiles were bigger than I can express. That happy moment I still treasure. The next day when we went was picture day for those that did not have families. That morning we played with the kids. I blew bubbles. Then a girl, around six years of age, painted my fingernails. Of course, shocked to see my dark pink fingers, I was still happy to have made her happy. That brings up Boomerang. You may ask, "Who, in the world is Boomerang?" Well during pictures, a little boy around four came out. He had a family, so we did not take his picture. Now you still may be puzzled, about the name, but the name will be pointed out clearly. My mom asked me to take him inside, I did. One minute later back he comes. I am told to take him in again, he comes out again. In the next five minutes we became best of friends. We go back to the hotel with all the pictures taken. That night at dinner the parents sing to me. The waiters hear and then out goes the lights! "Happy Birthday to you" they sing. He offers me Ice cream, they ask if I want a drink. They bow to me, (Sarcastically) Just the typical restaurant fashion! Then the (Supposed to be) $6.00 ice cream, is taken off the bill! The next day we go sight seeing. We are met by rain. There we are in the van, it is raining! We open the windows all the way up. We then are able to eat ice cream. Two days in a row! The next night we attend Foyer De Sion, an orphanage. Grayson's brother is there and is named Samuel. Can you guess who he is named after? Well, if you can't than I'll tell you it was a bishop's wife who named him. There also was a Moroni, Nephi and Ammon! Now you probably have the perfect idea. The next day we say good bye to my mom's friends Nicole, Teresa, and her mom, Jolene. That day we are able to see Shannon Cox, another one of my mom's friends, she run's Hatian roots, an organization that sponsors kids to go to school www.haitianroots.com We had a party for the kids there. I sponsor Angeline Jozile. I met her and her brother, who does not have a sponsor, but was helped by general donation, we now are going to sponsor him. We held a lunch for them. I poured fruit punch and got it spilled all over me, I didn't care. I was happy that they were happy. The next day we went to church there. True, I did not understand the language, but I felt the same spirit. That night we went to Foyer one last time on that trip. Saying bye to Samuel and the other kids was hard, but I was glad to have met all these kids. After this experience I have felt a deeper gratitude for everything! And am grateful for this experience and how it has changed me.

I asked Kyle to write whatever he wanted about the trip for me to post. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to have him with me. In all of the time that we were there he did not complain one time! This wasn't exactly your ordinary "vacation". Most days he ate trail mix and granola bars for every meal, was covered in sweat, and had all forms of baby poop, pee and throw up on him. It was boiling hot no matter where we went and his legs are covered in bites from mosquitoes and bed bugs. His response was "farewell my friends the bed bugs" when we left them! He had his fingernails painted, and his glasses taken off his face by curious kids, he found out just how many toddlers he could hold at one time and referred to himself as the "center of a good looking flower." I cannot for the life of me figure out military time and without a clock the only way we knew what time it was was if I took a photo with my camera. Then I would wake him have him figure out the time and then calculate the time difference. Most mornings he would say," mom it's 4 in the morning do you want to sleep some more or should we get up?" I don't know why I was so blessed to have him given to me to raise, but I adore him and am honored to call him my son...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top Ten #2-Stories to Good Not to Be Told









Haiti is filled with stories that are worth writing down. It may appear that God has forgotten these beautiful people, but through miracle after miracle we see that just isn't the case. I hope some of my new friends and old won't mind me telling some of their stories. They have inspired me and remind me that God is in charge. They are in no particular order of importance. Just as I think of them...
10-While riding in the back of a toyota soaked with sweat and pee from the baby's (not to mention water being dumped on me by my friend Nicole) I leaned my head out to try and get a little more comfortable and nearly had my head taken off by a passing tap tap then watched a man get ran over and killed all within minutes.
9-This story is much better told by the parents. I wish you could sit down and hear it from them. They tell it with just the right amount of smiles and tears. Mostly they tell it with humor and cynicism (as anyone who has ever adopted knows cynicism and humor becomes the "way to deal", which keeps you from screaming, crying and losing your mind). This awesome couple has had several adoptions fall through or be altered in many ways. It's heartbreaking and sad. This great mom refers to it as a private joke between her and the adoption God's that she does not find at all funny. After finding out just days before the trip that one of their children was taken back by a deranged uncle they headed to Haiti to spend some time with their daughter (another miraculous story). Shortly into the trip they were told that their son whom they loved and hadn't seen for 9 months would be coming back to them. The mother had changed her mind and decided to allow him to be adopted. They accepted the news with the "yeah I will believe that when I see it" attitude necessary. I got to be one of the people who brought that son back to them, sort of as a "surprise". We had him for 4 hours and he cried the whole time, the minute he was set into his daddy's arms he ceased crying immediately. Mom proceeded to ground him for the rest of his life saying, "you never call you never write." Tears streamed down all of our faces as we watched this joyous reunion.
8-I have mentioned before that I get to be a part of a group called Haitian Roots. They find sponsors for kids to go to school. School costs $250 a year and most Haitian parents have no chance of coming up with that kind of money. Some awesome people I know came up with the plan of finding people to sponsor the kids to attend school. We have the great honor of sponsoring two little girls. We got to meet them this trip and it was so cool. Vanessa's mom followed us everywhere wanting to help Kyle and I. This tiny little woman blew up soccer balls and tried to help us. Angeline's dad tried to talk to us the whole time, you could tell he had much he wanted to say. I have never wished to speak Creole more than that moment. Finally at the end he came over kissing my checks and in broken English said over and over, "God Bless You." If I ever wondered if I could come up with the money I certainly won't be wondering about that ever again.
7-We found out my sweet Grayson had a biological brother in the orphanage a few months back. He is almost one and we got to meet him this trip. Holding him had me bawling my eyes out for more reasons than one. He looks like Gray and sucks on the same three fingers. He is so beautiful. I held him as much as I could and was so happy to find that he has a family waiting anxiously for him in America. He was pretty somber, or at least I thought. When Kyle got a hold of him you couldn't get him to stop laughing or smiling. I find that interesting since Grayson has always adored Kyle as well. It was so wonderful to hold him and take pictures to share with Grayson some day.
6-I met another awesome family on this trip who went into this knowing that the Lord wanted them to adopt three specific kids. They found a family of two and planned to adopt them. They knew they would be needing to find the third. Short time later they get a call, "the mother of your children just brought in their baby brother" and now they are all a family.
5-We met a waiter at hotel Kinam who was so cute. He just had such a great attitude. He started asking us if we were Mormons. After asking us and finding we were he was telling us his story. He told of man who was "not so good man". Then he was baptized and now he is "brand new". We forget about being "brand new" and how blessed we are that we are part of a faith that makes it so we can feel that way.
4-I took a photo in the church of a sheet of paper that had the costs of traveling to the Dominican Republic temple on it. It looked worn and like people had touched it and looked at it a lot. I imagine these amazing friends of mind trying to figure in their minds how to get there. My friend Chaeryl pointed out that the total was more than most people make in 2 years. Chew on that one for a minute if you are an endowed member. I know I made myself sick thinking about my attendance.
3-When I met Vanessa's mom on Saturday she just had this overwhelming glow about her. She looked incredibly happy. She also looked like she hadn't eaten in a really long time. When I attended church on Sunday there she was! She ran over to me kissing me and pointing to me saying, "mormon?" I said yes and then there was more hugging and kissing as she pointed to herself saying, "mormon!"
2-On our trip down we stayed in Las Vegas and shared a room with my friend Nichole. We had to be up by 2:45 a.m. to make our plane. I slept restlessly dreaming all night that I missed my plane (and that Nichole was dating a kid from some show called "I Carly"). Anway I was relieved to look at the clock and see 2:45 so we could get this show on the road. I got up and showered and was just getting ready to kick Nicole when I looked at the clock. It said 1:00! The clock was turned funny and I didn't see the one! Pour Nicole didn't go to sleep until 12 and then her whack job friend is up and at it 45 minutes later!
1-On Friday evening we went to a performance in a home that a man named Father Michael began. He started out by rescuing just a few boys, most of whom were slaves. As time has gone on they now have 20 boys and a performing group of boys so amazing it takes your breath away. They went on to take over a home for mentally and physically handicapped children. As I sat there that night I felt that the spirit couldn't be any stronger anywhere in the world. The rain poured down around us, a rat was seen scurrying along the floor and the poorest conditions in the world surrounded us. With that said you have never seen more beautiful smiles and happy people as these boys who have risen above such amazing circumstances. One of the stories told that night was of the drummer named Bill. He was amazing as he played that drum! Father Michael told of how he had been a slave and one of his jobs was to go to the well for water. He would turn his bucket over while he waited in line and play his bucket. Later he had a home and has now traveled all over the world learning and playing for people. It was amazing to even be there. At the end we got to stand up and dance with all of them and I have never laughed so hard or "let go" more in my life. It was a night never to be forgotten!
I miss Haiti already and wish it were time to go back...

Top Ten #1-Things I Just Have to Say


While I truly wanted to come up with some way to explain my trip that would rival the works of Walt Whitman all that I can seem to come up with is "top ten" lists. I have written about a thousand of them in my head this week and have decided this will be how I talk about my trip. This may take me about 100 posts, nobody feel obligated to read it this is more for me than anyone. I have to write things down to understand them and to keep them with me and so the next 100 or so posts will be mainly so I don't forget the last 12 days of my life....This first list is the things that I just want to say to the world that I should probably keep to myself. Haiti does that to me. Sitting next to my new friend Kelly I had to laugh at her donation plan. This beautiful woman says with severe sincerity, "oh my brother WILL be sponsoring a child even if I have to move his hand to write the check with my own fingers." Sometimes after you have spent a week literally watching children starving to death and watching people waiting in line for hours for the possibility that there kids might get to attend school all of the hand holding and petting you know you should do goes down the drain. So the top 10 things I have to say are as follows:
10-I have absolutely no call for whining about "too much" laundry to do. I am dang lucky I have clothes to wash
9-I spend a good portion of my life worrying that I am "too fat". Do you realize that my big gut means I have food to eat in abundance?
8-I get "overwhelmed" by how busy I am and how my kids have so many places to go and things to do. It should occur to me more often how blessed I am they have choices. Piano lessons cost money and they take time, while I was at church on Sunday in Haiti there was a piano but not in the whole packed congregation was there someone who had the blessing of learning how to play.
7-Sometimes I am aggravated by my kids bouncing off of the walls and making me crazy. Do you know that bouncing means they are well and healthy. I sat with children so starved that they didn't have the strength to move a muscle.
6-I live in a 3 bedroom rental that most people would think we are "crammed into". I myself have put on my martyr face about this place. I spent the week with a man who shares one small bedroom with his wife and two children in an orphanage packed with children. He says he would hope someday they would have a place for their family but he could never complain because "God is so good to us."
5-Sometimes church seems so difficult for me. Not the believing part, that part is as natural to me as breathing, but the taking 5 kids to church part. We have trouble sometimes filling our chappell's on Sunday. In Haiti the chappel was packed to capacity with people just thrilled to be there and honored to have the gospel in their lives. Half of them looked like they hadn't eaten in a year and not one face looked anything less than joyful.
4-Seriously when was the last time I thanked God for a garbage man and clean streets?
3-When my son broke his arm last week I drove him all of 10 miles to a state of the art hospital (yes my city friends it does count as state of the art) where he was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Because of insurance it also cost me very little. I then had the tenacity to complain that I had to watch him close for 10 days until it could be casted. I should have been grateful that the cast was coming and that he would be just fine.
2-I spent a week with a handful of adoptive families who had just a few days to try and put all the love they could into their kids in that time not having any idea when their children would be home. Some of them had already lost kids and knew to well that sometimes they don't ever come home. When I got a hold of my kids yesterday, especially my Grayson, I just held them and kissed them and thanked the Lord they are all here and they are all well. When was the last time I just let myself be grateful my children are alive and I get to be the one to take care of them?
1-I learend myself that if everyone made an effort to do just a little that we could make a difference. We have everything and I have seen first hand people that have nothing. Do you want to feed children that are literally starving to death? I can set that up. Do you want to help educate a child and make it less likely that child and her children and her children's children will starve to death, I can set that up too.
So this is the first of my thoughts on Haiti. I guess you can see why I am having a hard time explaining my week to people. I guess it needs to be prefaced when you ask with, "do you really want to know and do you want to see me cry....

Phase Two-Big Hole In Ground


Hello to you all. I am home from Haiti and have been writing what I want to say in my head. However, I just feel like mere words cannot tell about my trip. I am trying to channel Charles Dickens so that it can be said with the poetic beauty that explains my week...Anyway while, "it was the best of times it was the worst of times" certainly sums it up I have so much more I want to say. So while I keep writing in my head, trying to find my floor and rid my laundry room of the essence of Haiti smell I thought I would take a minute to post "house news". The picture is of the hole that appeared in my land while I was away. They tell me this is good news and that in the not to distant future the hole will fill in to be my home. I had a little "laugh"/sick feeling to myself when I realized that with a hole, dumpster and port a potty on my land that I already have it better than most of my dear friends in Haiti....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two Things That Hit Me Like A Ton Of Bricks


A few posts ago I wrote about losing myself and being completely content in that. I really felt that way too, I felt like giving myself completely to my family was the way to go. While I believe with all of my heart that most of my focus should be there something happened along the way. The well of reserves dried up and what I was giving started to be no good. You have to take a bit of time to fill the well. So my husband bought me a treadmill (thank you sweetie) and I started taking the time to use it each morning. I have put it on my to do list to spend some time with my scriptures and don't start the day off without a prayer even if I have to say it with a toddler on my head. I have forced myself to get out of my pj's each morning and have even put make up on three days in a row. I am amazed at how much better I feel and how much more I have to give to my kids even taking time for just these few things. I also took the afternoon off from schooling yesterday so I could really clean and organize my home. While I believe I was spending way to much time cleaning before I certainly let it go way to far the other direction there for awhile! Anyway, here's to filling the well so I have more to give to those that need it.
Also, on another topic. I have taught young women, primary kids, Sunday school kids and my own kids for years. We tell them to "choose the right". We tell them to walk away if they are in a situation they should not be in. Last night I was so excited to be invited to hang out with some girl friends. I thought this would be good for filling the well and let's face it I have been desperate for friendship lately (I even made up an imaginary friend that I took running with me the other night), anyway now that you know just how nuts I am I will get to the point. I loved visiting with these friends. I wasn't thrilled when I heard what they had rented to watch, but these are good women so I thought maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Three minutes in I knew I needed to leave. It took me another 30 minutes to get up the courage to actually do it. It is hard to make right choices. It's even hard for not cool, mother of five me to do it. Imagine how our kids feel trying to make the right choice when friends mean so much to them. Anyway, just one of those things that is easier said than done.
I won't be blogging for a couple of weeks. Kyle and I are off to Haiti on Saturday. I look forward to sharing the trip with all of you when I get back!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Big Shot Of Hope


Thanks all of you for joining me for my pity party recently. My phone friends have listened to me whine, my blog pals have read it in print and my dear family has suffered through a mother speaking the ancient language, "Whinese". How grateful I am for the shot of hope delivered to me this weekend by participating in general conference. I have been given a much needed attitude adjustment. I was especially grateful for President Monson's talk this morning. He reminds us that one day I will miss the piles of laundry and toys that I will trip over. Mother's who are out of this stage tell me this all of the time, but I mutter under my breath about these well meaning women, "if you miss it so much I would be happy to drop over a handful of screaming toddlers at any time!" Funny how when it is coming from the prophet of God I take it to heart much better! I quote president Monson, "Never let a problem to be solved take precedence over a person to be loved." This has been my attitude to much as of late, "go away little boy, can't you see I am trying to make your life run smoother." Here's to me keeping the adjustement given to me this weekend. I am also grateful for the follwing things from conference that I want to keep with me:
-Despair is something Satan uses, not God
-Part of our victory as disciples of Christ is how we handle times when we are overwhelmed or discouraged
-Take heart, have faith and the Lord will fight our battles, our children's battles and our children's childrens' battles.
Life will not be any less difficult after this weekend for you or for me. However, with the right attitidue and with the Lord on our side there is nothing we cannot do. We can also be blessed to have joy while living it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Until I Can See The End


I try to write when I feel upbeat and ready to take on the world. I really try to write when I think that something I say will be positive and worth reading in the future. I am not sure that is what this post will be like today. Last time I talked about the importance of looking ahead and not staring at the road. Today I feel certain that I should be looking ahead but can't seem to lift my eyes from the road! I mentioned that while I yearn to simplify it seems impossible. As of late because of the busy I feel like all I do is only half done. Those of you who know me well know this is unacceptable to me. Yesterday I was thinking to myself, "Ok we made it through the day, not great but not bad" at that exact moment my son walked in with half his arm pointing north and the other half going south...we spent the evening in the ER getting the broken arm taken care of. They can't cast it for 10 days...the doctor says, "it will be fine, just make sure he is really careful until the cast is on." Easy for him to say, have you met Jamen? Short of keeping him home from school for 10 days and staring at him constantly I am not sure it is even possible not to plan on it breaking again. Today alone, "mom I just want to climb this tree, I will be fine. It's a little bike, not a big one I will just pop one wheelie...I already rested (for 21 seconds) so I am going to just go sit on the trampoline..."
I am reading John Adams by McCullough (I highly recommend it). I am at the part where Adams and Jefferson and most of the other members of congress are exhausted. They have signed and celebrated the Declaration of Independance and now they are mired down by the daily to do's of making this country what it is. When we moved here I felt as if the big changes that needed to happen were before us and it was monumental. Now, I feel mired down by the daily to do's that hopefully will shape these boys into the men they are supposed to be. I can only hope that one day, like Adams, I can look back and smile at this time and know it was all worth it. Wish me luck...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Looking Down At The Pavement


I read the greatest article in the Ensign this month. It was called "Looking to The Lord". The thing I got out of it was that we need to spend more time looking to the future instead of focusing on what is right in front of us. For example, sometimes I walk into my laundry room and want to cry. I mean really, I can be pretty caught up and patting myself on the back and thinking I might be off the hook for a day or so and then BAM! Stomach flu. Or BAM! "Mom all five of us found a mud pit!" If you add that onto all of the other to do's that go with momming you can feel pretty overwhelmed. You get to the end of a day and you think, "OK I was busy all day, let me add up what I have to show for it!" And so you think, the toys are all out (again), the dishwasher needs to be unloaded (again), etc. etc. Then you come up with a big "nada" for the day. This article reminds me that a lifetime of laundry, dishes, cooking, car pooling, scripture reading, teaching, picking up, and so on and so on lead to something really major when I look at the end destination-Men. Grown up men who I helped to become who they are. That's pretty amazing you know. So here is recommitting to seeing down the road and doing a little less staring at the pavement.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tyson Judd Bastian


Just a quick note to celebrate the arrival of Tyson Judd Bastian. Tyson is the gorgeous new addition to my sister's family. He was born September 12th at 7:30 a.m. He weighed 6 lbs. 14 ozs. and was 19 1/2 inches. All went well and we are so happy he is here and safe. This time I got my brother and law to go home so I got to stay in the hospital with my sister for one night. I love that time when you know what is the most important thing. I also love being with my sister and think that especially since it is just me and her that makes our relationship pretty special. Welcome to the world baby boy!

Simplfy


Simplify...I love that word. I love everything about it. Visions of quiet and hand holding are usually dancing in my head when I think about it. One of the main reasons I wanted to live even deeper in the country was because I wanted my life to be simpler. Here's my problem...I am beginning to think it isn't possible to live a simple life when you are the mother of five sons. I am all about good, better, best (what LDS mother isn't using that phrase repeatedly since the time it was given in general conference?) Here is my thing...Even if you chose only the best, when there are 7 of you under one roof everybody's best adds up to insanity around here! For example today:
-Hurried to shower before the troops stormed the gates
-Made breakfast for said troops
-Got Jamen off to school, always a major feat
-Got Kyle going on piano and school assignments
-Took a minute to snuggle barfy kid, then held his hand while he barfed some more
-Tucked him in front of the TV (yes, I know mother of the year)
-Found most of the surfaces that were lost in the morning chaos
-Fed and dressed baby
-Dressed four year old
-Helped Kyle with spelling and language
-Got baby to quit drinking windex
-Read stories to toddlers until I was horse
-Corrected math test
-Changed baby
-Made lunch for the kids
-Cleaned up lunch for the kids
-Got Kyle off to his history class
-Took a minute to read scriptures
-Made a list of all the things I am worried about, wrote another list on how to handle each thing
-Took some time to make lists for the boys of things they need to be focused on that are falling through the cracks
-Spent some time with Kyle discussing goals and some problems that have arisen
-Helped Kyle and Issac put together a painting project
-Baby woke up fed him lunch
-Started hustling everyone to the car so Kyle could take his BYU final,had to wait for Isaac to throw up. Woke Grayson who said "owie" when I woke him and when I picked him up found he was burning up. Checked temp...105.3
-Called sister and had the usual, "OK, is this worth a trip to the doctors office, when chances are they can't help you and you have to figure out what to do with everyone else in the meantime, including one that is sick with the flu?" Decided on no (neither of us have had a lot of luck with the doctor route actually helping us).
-Took Kyle to Richfield, on the way realized I had forgotten Jamen and he would be coming home to an empty house-called hubby and asked him to call a neighbor to get Jamen.
-That leads us to now 4:00 PM. Now the day gets really busy....
Everything that was done today was a best I think...but like I said add up seven peoples bests and simplify seems like a big laugh!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just A Dream


You all know that we are on the house building roller coaster. Before we even had our plans drawn we presented it to a builder to make sure it was in the price range. He assured us it was and so we moved on. This week we find that the "dream house" is just going to be that, a dream. The bids are way to high for my pocket book and my peace of mind. I just don't want my whole life to be about making a house payment. I have been trying not to be a brat, but I had my moment of tantrum when the dream of having a library was flushed away. However, this much I know. I want to be where Heavenly Father wants me and I know I am. As for the house I know he would have us use our heads and there is no peace in getting into something you know you will have trouble paying for. We are still planning to build and are in process of making the modifications necessary to fit in the budget. The bottom line to me is being able to be home with my boys...as for them feeling gypped about the loss of the house, not going to happen. I asked Issac what made a good house and he said that he thought a great big pirate sword would be important. That I think I can do! So good-bye to the dream house of old and hello to the dream that means more to me. My family, my commitment to financial freedom and my desire to live with what I "need" as opposed to all the things I "want".

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes


One of the reasons I want to keep a blog is to record the great things that come out of my kids mouths so I don't ever forget....Here are a few as of late..
-We had just finished scripture study and Isaac, who was more reverent than usual speaks up.
Isaac: Mom I talked to Jesus this morning. He only talked to me though.
Mom: What did he look like?
Isaac: He was invisible
Dad: What did he say?
Isaac: He said be nice
Dad: How did he want you to act in primary?
Isaac: He said be good and don't bite. He is sitting by me tonight and he goes with me wherever I go. He also said if there are bees to go get your stuffed bear.
Dad: What does he say about you running away from your primary teacher?
Isaac: (holding two thumbs down) that's following Satan's plan
There you have it the wisdom of my now five year old son. I am laughing to hard to type anymore!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Are You In There?


You know since the birth of my fifth child I have lost something that I am almost sure I need to find...that would be me. Today I feel as if I am a free wheeling woman with time stretched out before me to myself and I can't for the life of me decide what I should even want to do with it. Kyle is off at my friends doing a history class, Jamen is in school and Isaac started his first day of pre-school. Grayson is home with the flu and comatose in front of Dora and the baby is napping. The only thing I could think to do was fix myself a giant bowl of ice cream and sit at the computer. So with Reeses Peanut butter cups melting in my mouth I am asking the question "Where in the world is Heather Friant?"
Before baby number five if you asked what I would do with my free time I would say "run, read and scrapbook" and I made sure to do a little of each every week. I haven't gone for a run in weeks, the only thing I read is what I am reading to or with my children, and while I have 1000's of pics that I love from my new camera they are collecting dust on a shelf.
I think part of the "problem" is that most of the time I don't mind. I used to spout off the need to all mom's for them to have their own "thing" and while I still think it is good I just don't seem to miss it like I used to.
I have found a never ending supply of entertainment in learning with Kyle. I am learning more in his fourth grade studies than I did in my upper level college classes. I love having competitions with him to see who can get through a book the quickest (we are reading the last Harry Potter) and reading to him (we are reading Red Scarf Girl) and having him read to me (The Hobbit).
As for running...I know I should and the fall weather will make me want to. But, part of what I love about running is that I can eat normal and not gain weight when I run. Three weeks ago I got the flu and have lost my since of taste ever since. I am never hungry because nothing tastes...I have lost 9 pounds since. The pounds are nice, but boy do I miss taste...I eat ice cream because if I suck it long enough I get a little flavor.
Anyway, I don't know the point of this post. I honestly go to bed feeling fulfilled most of the time...but does completely losing yourself in motherhood mean that you cease to exist and if so should I care?

Monday, September 1, 2008

What I do For Fun

My friend Teresa tagged me to write what I do for fun....Note that her list included things like practicing putting an IV or tube in her own self for something to do at work because she usually does it on infants and wanted some practice on a big person...so in that vain...This is what I do for fun.
1. Order diapers in bulk and then react gleefully when they show up in the mail.
2. I just got to hold a bowl up to Grayson's mouth (shortly after he puked all over my bead) while he was throwing up. It was so lovely I was dry heaving like a first time parent. I get to practice creative puke removal methods to restore my bedding tonight.
3. I study open bloody wounds to decide if they need stitches. We usually go with "if it will be covered up then leave it." We also believe that a few war wounds are good for boys.
4. I learned how to use a metal detector to decide if coins are trapped in my children's throat. I learned this at Primary Children's after my son had to have a penny surgically removed at 2 am.
5. I hide in my bathroom with treats I don't want to share with my kids.
Good times...good times...there is so much fun the list is endless....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Adoption Story


I have had a few friends ask about the "adoption story". Some of you (Erin, Teresa, Nicole) can just skip this because you could tell this story better than me since you had to listen to me whine and cry about it for two years! So here is the story, I will try to just give the highlights and apologize for getting to into it....to me it really is a great story. Before I start I just have to point out that this photo is of me and my Grayson the first time we met in Haiti. He was eight months old (yes, I know he looks like a newborn) nine pounds and supposed to die at any moment. As of writing this he is 35 pounds, four years old and sleeping near my feet. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that he is here and that he is mine.....

Lyndon and I have always known we had a black son. We never really knew when or why we just knew we did. We started out family and found that having kids wasn't going to be a problem and had three. However, there was still no question that we would be adopting. We sort of figured it would happen when we were older and had 25,000 dollars to spare. Just a reminder that the Lord's timing and yours often don't coincide! After Issac started to grow we felt a deep need to get going on the adoption. Pause-bloody head wound on Isaac-it's in his hair so no worries when it scars....moving on...About this time our friend Jen ended up going to Haiti on a humanitarian trip. She spent some time working in the orphanage where we would eventually adopt from.

When she came home she brought photos of the most beautiful children I had ever seen. My heart filled to overflowing and we started looking into Haitian adoption. However, it looked like that would not be an option. We didn't meet any of the requirements. So we headed off to LDS Family Services. No words could describe how wrong that felt. We didn't know what to do. Jen stopped by about this time and let us know that she had felt prompted to stop by and ask why we had given up on Haiti. We went to dinner and as we talked I know for sure that my sons spirit was there that night I knew without a doubt that this Haiti talk was going on for a reason and this is where my son was.

We found a coordinator to get us to the orphanage that Jen knew of. It is run by an LDS bishop and we knew we were on the right track. At this point we were feeling desperate to get our paperwork done. What had felt like a good "someday" idea seemed like the most important thing in the world. We worked night and day on our paperwork and had it done and off to Haiti in three weeks, a record by all standards. Our papers showed up the same day as a baby boy named Schnaider Morin. A Canadian adoption coordinator was at the orphanage and said she thought she could place him. Guesno Mardy (the bishop that runs the orphanage) said no, he felt like this might be the Friant's baby. Hours later we got his name, his age, a tragic story about his 16 year old mother and a little medical sheet. We read it an knew without a doubt that we had found our son. We signed papers to legally adopt him just days later.

He was 5 months old when he was referred to us. We talked much and decided that I would go on the first available parent trip to meet my son and to try and smoosh as much love into him as I could in a few days. The trip was planned and all I had to do was wait. I then get a call and am told my son is dying and asked if I wanted to go and be with him. I was on a plane two days later. My angels (Nic & T) took me as the seasoned Haiti mom's and nurses to boot. The first time I met my son he was 8 months old weighing 9 pounds. He was so skinny he looked like a skeleton. My friends told me later they were surprised he made it through the first night. We spent two weeks in a hotel mostly with me holding him, or he slept in my suitcase. At the end of the two weeks he was eating like crazy, rolling over and looking great. I left him at the airport in the arms of someone I didn't even know knowing that my heart had never been so broken.

It would be almost a year later before he would come home to us. We went to Idaho to beg the director of IBESR from Haiti to sign our file. We finally got word that he was coming home and then they changed the passport law that would add another five months to our waiting. We wrote out a never ending string of checks that we didn't know how we would cover and filled out more paperwork then could possibly be imagined I found myself feeling more alone than I ever felt in my life. I was alienated from my family because he was all I could talk about, all I could think about and I was just sure that they couldn't understand and didn't care. I lived on my knees and cried constantly. My husband who was as miserable as I was handled it differently than I did and so we felt separate in our grief. Through it all we knew we were doing the right thing and nothing would make us change our minds.

We finally got the news in December of 2005 that our son was coming home! He was 16 months old and finally he would be home! We gathered up Kyle and headed to Haiti. The trip to bring him home is a really long one that maybe I will tell another day. We arrived home on Christmas Eve and as I held him that night with my family around me I knew I had never had a gift like this one before....

PS People always ask me (which I think is awesome) who to call to look into this. Post adoption I would suggest using Wasatch adoption agency. There are three orphanages that I think highly of. The First is Hope For Little Angels of Haiti (my friend Nicole is there coordinator), Chances For Children (my friend is adopting through there at the moment and it is like the Hilton of orphanages) and Foyer de Sion which is the orphanage where we found our son. I am happy to answer any questions about adoption and am not private at all about fees so feel free to contact me if you want to talk.