Sunday, October 31, 2010

PFM's First Baby

Last week we received an update from one of the four families who received a grant in July.
Our Chairman, Chuck gave them a call to see how things were going, and the family was elated that their son was home from China. They said that our grant ($3000) allowed them to proceed with the adoption. They had been trying to get the last bit of money together to move forward with bringing their son home.

Here is a message from the family:

"I could say that our story is the same as hundred of other couples that wish to become a family. We also had infertility "issues" but did not let that stop us from becoming a family.
And thanks to organizations like yours, we did and could not be happier. The day we met our son was the most incredible day of our lives, just to be able to hold him, touch him, and even smell him was something that words can not describe. Till to this day when we look at him we just can't believe its true, and we are waiting to wake up from a dream. But we know It's all true and real and beautiful!
Our son is 19 months old and his name is *Len from Changzhou City in the Jaingsu Provence and he was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, he was sponsored by Half the Sky Foundation, Nanny program who repaired his lip and cared for him.

We are truly grateful to Parenthood for Me for helping us bring Len home. Now we can call ourselves a FAMILY! If you wish anymore information on our adoption please let us know we will share our whole story with you or anyone that will listen, in hopes to inspire all those to come that it is truly worth the wait.

Thank you again and again."

I was able to see several pictures of Len and it is heart warming to see him thriving in his new home.

Thank you to all who have helped make this possible. Bowling for Babies is November 14. And we are planning for our second annual Family-Building Dinner and Silent Auction to take place in early April 2011. We have huge goals for our signature fundraiser so that we can offer larger grants and perhaps more in 2011. I look forward to continued success and assisting families in their family-building dreams.

Thank you to Plaid House Designs for making our new button for the dinner.

*name changed for privacy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Hopes of Looking Forward

There is a maple tree outside my window that is the most glorious shade of red. In the sunlight the hues are absolutely stunning. I find myself staring at this tree wondering about its beauty. I guess I am trying to focus on things that offer hope with no effort involved. Life seems to be a constant battle of weighing difficult situations that offer pain and discomfort with those moments to be captured that make everything seem worthwhile.

What constitutes having led a difficult life? Does everyone feel that their life has been difficult? Being faced with hardship is a part of life and it shapes who we are. But why does there have to be so much loss in life?

Is it to cherish all that we gain? And all that we hold sacred? I know that many have a difficult time seeing the good in the bad. Take a bad situation and see the positive. Well, sometimes I find that very challenging. And, quite frankly I don't feel like it.

At 32 I find myself constantly looking backwards. There are many things that I have internalized in my lifetime that make me sad. Sometimes I wish this blog were anonymous so that I could pour out every strenuous thought and scenario in my lifetime, but there are many things that I must keep to myself. This blog is just one portion of who I am, and I am happy to share many things about myself, but there is so much more.

Recently I experienced the death of a loved one. She was only 61 years old. When I say she was an absolutely beautiful person, I am not doing her justice. Everyone loved her. She had an infectious laugh and aura. She died way too young, and her absence has left a hole in many people's hearts. The thought of never hearing her call my name and embrace me infects my spirit.
Losing her has made me want to live in the moment more. To find the happiness I have been seeking for many years. Losing her has made me look forward and compelled me to find a way to find peace.

The odd thing is that I do often stop to smell the roses. I have made a point to be conscious of special moments and times when things are good. I laugh a lot. I find humor in many things and like to make others laugh. I laugh at myself and have forgiven myself for not being perfect. Embracing my imperfections has released me in many ways. When I was younger, I spent way too much energy worrying about those attributes that seemed to be negative.

So what is my problem? If I can find the good in things, stay relatively positive, and relish the little things in life, then why do I still dwell on the difficult? Maybe remembering the difficult times are what keep us in check. Life is hard and it always will be. Life is not fair. But I don't want to make excuses for that my standing by and letting the hardships defeat me. I will gain nothing with that stance.

I have experienced a lot of loss in my life, and I am not talking about the loss of people. I have lost precious time. I sound vague, but I do not want to get into the details of what that loss entails. I just know that getting older has made me feel desperate to not lose anymore. I'm probably not alone in this sentiment.

In general it is tough to be optimistic these days. Our fellow Americans, friends, neighbors, co-workers are suffering from poverty, job loss, lack of health care, and many other crisis'. It's hard to know what to do with all this negative news. I am fortunate because the down economy has not really touched my life. We have battened down the hatches on needless spending and focus on how lucky we are that we both have jobs, but I am fully aware that we too may feel the epidemic of crisis much closer to home- at any time.

I have had this innate desire to purge my life. Even though I live a very middle class life, I still feel like I could simplify things a lot more. Possessions do not matter. Do I cherish my Nana's wedding china sitting in my cabinet? Yes. But the PB chair I am sitting on right now could be sold on e.bay and it wouldn't matter. I want to have a nice home for my family and my child, but I also want my son to be more aware of the love he feels every day. Love and comfort and feeling safe are the greatest gifts I can give him in this lifetime. I hope I can do a good job of relaying that to him.

A good post is one with focus. This is a post littered with random ideas that have been floating around in my head. The words have not been coming to me easily lately. Many of you who read this blog have probably noticed the lack of writing. I feel like my brain is so full of tough thoughts that whenever I get an idea to write something, it only comes out in broken lines and sentences with dangling participles. I write and delete, write and delete. But sleep wouldn't come tonight. Swirling thoughts made me toss and turn. So here I am trying to alleviate my mind at least somewhat.

I will return to my down comforter and pillow and attempt to close my eyes and shut down my mind. My mother always says that things feel worse at night. Eventually the sun will shine in a few hours, and I will hear the inevitable morning call of my son, "Mommy."

I look forward to this every day.

I will get in my car and turn to look at the glorious red maple whose leaves will only remain for a few more days until they scatter across my lawn. I will drive past our lake with its whipping white caps and turn my thoughts to being grateful.

Oddly enough this song was playing on my computer when I got the called that D. passed. She would like this song.
Push Stars- "Keg On My Coffin"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Artwork For Building Families- Giveaway

We had a successful 1st annual Artwork for Building Families Art Show. There were so many generous donations from artists all over the country. It is always so wonderful and humbling receive support for PFM's endeavors.

I am offering 3 matted pieces as a giveaway. I am hoping that you will help me spread the word of this blog and PFM. We need all the support we can get as we enter into our major fundraising stage for 2011. I receive emails all the time asking when we will be accepting grant applications. We anticipate that the grant apps will be posted in January of 2011 and awarding our second round of grants in July 2011. We cannot continue to help people without financial support and those of you who can pass the word of our non-profit's mission.

Artist- Lena, 8 years old. The palm reads "adoption"

Artist Jeanette Musliner- "Tulips"

Artist Jess Klem - Black and white tulip

To enter here are the rules:

1) Leave a comment that you are entering

2) Post the giveaway on your blog, facebook, or twitter, etc. (or all mediums)

3) Giveaway open until October 31

The winner will be chosen randomly.

And now here are some photos from the show:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Will Have A Good Life

Jammies are on. Puppies are lined up along the wall next to the bed. I pull the covers up to his chin. I lay next to him, and we talk about everything we did that day.

He smiles from ear to ear thinking about going to the playground, eating pizza with his cousins, playing trucks, and riding on his uncle's shoulders.

"I went to Abigail's, Mom." He smiles.

I look at him in awe and remember how Cecelia, the owner of the adoption agency, spoke with him on the phone the day after he came home.

She crooned in Korean," You are home now. You will live a long and happy life."

Her determined words absent of doubt make me feel special. But my obligation to this beautiful child is huge.

I will make sure he lives a good life.

Better than good.

We will smile and laugh and give pizza kisses. I write down quotes from his 3 year old ramblings. I record my thoughts and love here in this journal.

I never thought I would look at Min man every day and remember what a gift he is.

I am his mother.

He is my son.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poem Featured Still Life 365

Please take a moment to visit Still Life 365.
This is a wonderful blog that offers support for those grieving the loss of their babies. Every day a new form of artwork is shared.
I am lucky enough to have one of my poems featured.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Award and Be Happy

I have been a huge slacker in the blog reading department. I really do enjoy reading about everyone's lives, but there just are not enough hours. PFM is holding its first annual Artwork for Building Families Art Show this Wednesday. I am so excited because have many wonderful pieces for sale. We will also be showcasing our holiday cards on sale right now. Below are 2 of of the 5 images. They read simply, "Happy Holidays." Let me know if you are interested in purchasing a set.

We also have the Artwork for Building Families Art Show 2010 poster. $10. These items are not available on our website yet. Leave a comment if you are interested in purchasing.

Next I will be working on Bowling for Babies November 14. Fundraising is so much fun but very time consuming. I will have a break for the holidays. Then we will be gearing for the 2nd annual Family-Building Dinner in April, 2011.

I want to say thank you to Michaela at A Single Journey for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. It is so nice to be recognized especially during a time when I don't feel like I have been paying enough attention to my blog. There are so many posts sitting in my brain going unwritten. In fact, my lack of writing keeps me up at night. I need to get these thoughts out of my head!

I appreciate everyone that reads and follows. It means a lot to me.

The rules of the blog are to provide 7 fact about myself:

1) I once aspired to be on the show Star Search as a singer

2) I am very sentimental and sappy

3) I applied to be in the FBI

4) I am not scared of spiders or most bugs

5) I love any kind of fruit pie. Not much of a cake-eater.

6) My hair was pin straight until 4th grade. I now have curls.

7) Family and friends are the greatest gifts in my life

And finally watch this Happy Video.

So inspiring.


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