Maggie, known far and wide in the land of blog, has decided to interview me. Below are her questions and my answers. I know a good number of you found me through Maggie's blog (because she is so awesome that everyone wants to be her friend), but if you didn't or if you don't already read her, you absolutely should. Go there now. My interview questions will still be here when you get back.
1. Before Olivia was born I remember you writing about finishing up at work, handing things off, hoping the Transfer Of Power went well. And you liked your job, didn't you? Do you think you'll go back to work when Olivia and #2 are school age? Will you do the same job?
I did like my job. It is one of those kinds of jobs where you really feel like you are doing things that Make A Difference in people's lives. And the Transfer of Power did go well...my successor is awesome and has energy and is passionate about all the kinds of issues I'm passionate about, so I know "my" precious programs are in good hands.
It is likely that I will go back to some kind of work when "the kids" are in school, but it's too soon to tell. We have toyed with the idea of homeschooling through early grades, and I guess it will all come down to an analysis of in-school/two-income versus home-school/one-income. We HOPE to send the kids to Catholic grade schools, but Catholic high school is a priority (esp. for my husband), so saving for tuition is key. And in these Dire Economic Times...well, who knows?
As for the job...I'd enjoy the same job, but it's unlikely to be waiting for me when I'm ready to go back. It may not even be in existence, at least in its current form (see: Dire Economic Times and also Downsizing). But I'd definitely be interested in something similar. Ideally, I'd like to create educational/enrichment programming for some parish or school. And have school-type hours so I can be home when the kids are home. Those kind of paying jobs exist, right?
2. How did you meet your husband?
The short answer is that I met him in college. But that's not the whole story. I was a freshman in college. He was the Catholic Campus Minister.
It was his first year on the job, and he was eight years older than me. I went to the campus ministry ice cream social and saw that they had some sort of discussion group or something (I don't remember) later in the week and decided to go. I remember sitting next to this blonde guy, and he was really friendly and said Hi and asked me how I liked school so far, etc. I thought he was a senior or something. I remember thinking, hmmm...I'd like to get to know this guy. Then we went around the room and he introduced himself as the campus minister and you could have knocked me over with a feather.
Anyway, we became good friends over my years at college and continued to hang out after I graduated. Sometime after that we started dating. I guess we realized that we liked spending time with each other more than with anyone else, so it made sense. We had known each other nine years when we got married, and we had dated for about two years.
3. I never went to an Engaged Encounter, but I'd love to go to one of the marriage encounters one day. As a leader, what do you see as the most helpful part of these weekends? (When I think about going, the biggest benefit, for me, is NO CHILDREN!)
I've never been on a Marriage Encounter, but I hear that the general idea is the same...just a different audience (which makes a HUGE difference). Engaged couples are there (generally) because the HAVE to be. Married couples are there because they WANT to be.
For Engaged Encounter, the most helpful part of the weekend (for the engaged couples) is that it makes them realize that they don't know everything. They come in thinking they do and that they aren't going to learn anything new on this dang retreat that their priest (or parents) made them attend. They leave realizing that their relationship has the ability to be so much deeper and richer, and they now have some of the tools to get them to that point. Plus, they get a stronger sense of marriage as a union of three: Man+Woman+God.
The best part for us (as leaders) is the time we get to spend together, sharing our gifts as a couple. It is an apostolate that we can do together (plus there's the time away from the toddler aspect that's appealing). And it's a way to exercise my brain that's different from the day-to-day herding of a toddler. I always come away from it with a whole new respect and appreciation for the deep spirituality of my husband.
4. I know the right answer is, "As long as its healthy!" but REALLY now: are you hoping for a boy or a girl!
That's easy...we both hope for a girl. We have all the gear, after all! And we have a name picked out. Although, we were recently presented with a possibility of a boy placement which fell through almost as quickly as it was made known to us, but that got us thinking about a boy in the family, which felt nice too. We'd be good either way. We have hand-me-down sources for both! My only concern is that if we have a boy we might not get to pass down my middle name, which is a family name (my mom and grandma also have it). It didn't go with "Olivia", and we might not be able to afford to adopt a third time, so if we have a boy, he might have to live with "Elizabeth" as a middle name. (Just kidding...but Olivia will probably be forced to choose it as her confirmation name.)
5. How was the church supportive in your adoption journey? You recently talked about "openness to life" as it pertains to adoption, and I'm SUPER INTERESTED IN THIS. WRITE MORE. Maybe not in this post, but SOON PLEASE. Thx!
We didn't actually tell anyone that we were adopting until about two weeks prior to Olivia's birth. The only exception to this was close family and a couple of friends who also adopted. We had already dealt with a couple of years of "when are you going to have kids?" and dodging the infertility questions, and we didn't really want to open ourselves up to "Oh, I'm so sorry. There will be other kids to adopt..." kind of comments in case it fell through. Looking back, it was actually REALLY scary...mostly because we were adopting independently, with no support system, a child of mixed racial background and we knew NOTHING that made us feel qualified to do this. It was blind faith, I tell you. The wait for #2 is WAY less stressful. We realize now that God is in control, and we trust that we'll instantly fall in love with whatever child is entrusted to us, just like with Olivia.
When we brought Olivia home, though, we were OVERWHELMED by the supportiveness. We were given gifts everywhere we went. People came out of the woodwork with their stories of adoption...theirs or someone they knew. We had no idea that people in our little hick town could be so friendly and accepting of us as an adoptive family.
As for Openness to Life as it pertains to adoption...well that's another post (which I WILL write soon, I promise). I will say that there is precious little written about this (that I've found), so it's a topic that is ready to be explored.
There are kids who need good homes. There are couples out there with love to give. I think part of our Openness to Life is to realize that if we are open to life and conception is not happening, perhaps that is God's invitation to consider something different...that pregnancy is not the only way to parenthood.
We attended a Catholic Marian conference once where one of the presenters challenged us to "Pray for the courage to do something difficult with your life, for God." This challenge came back to us more than once on our journey to adoption. It continues to inspire us as we wait for #2 (and ignore the financial factors that should send us running in the other direction...dang economy).
If nothing else, parenthood has freed us from some of our own selfish attitudes.
And that is all I have to say about that (today).
Now, if you'd like me to interview YOU for your blog, leave a comment.