November 26, 2013

The Month of November

This month of November has a particular significance for me and my life. Two major life events being celebrated/advertised are diabetes and adoption. No doubt you know this from my numerous facebook posts. I'd like to talk about them and how they've impacted my life.

I know last year I did a mini-blog series on having Type 1 Diabetes. Please feel free to go back and read those! I've had diabetes for 18 years. 18 years. People with diabetes before insulin would survive maybe 3 days at the most. Insulin was discovered in 1922, so 71 years before I was born. Anyway, that's just amazing. I've been so blessed by modern technology and that I've been able to live healthily for 18 years. God has blessed me throughout my life. I have parents who monitored my every move when I was little, who got up in the middle of the night to test my blood sugar, who sacrificed their sleep to get me juice when I was low in the middle of the night, who taught me moderation, who taught me to be strong, who took on every challenge with courage. I could go on. I still remember my mom talking to me one night - I had been crying because I was upset and tired of doing my "diabetes" thing every day. She didn't sit there and tell me to "suck it up" because I would be dealing with it for the rest of my life. After all she had been through and done for me, she sat there, hugged me, and just said "I'm so sorry. I can't imagine what it's like." I mean, gosh, talk about a supportive parent. She did know what it was like. She did that for years before I could do it all for myself. I still ask her for help sometimes. I have been so blessed to live in a family and a time where I can get the things I need to survive. For those of you who know me, I hope you now realize how serious diabetes is. I often make jokes and make light of the subject with you because I can't let it rule my life and keep me from doing things I want to do. But, behind those jokes is often a very serious consequence. And I know that. I'm blessed I had doctors who taught me how to handle my disease and help teach me how to be independent. I'm blessed my doctor pushed me to get an insulin pump (I was not fond of the idea in the beginning). I'm blessed with the means to take care of myself. So many do not have that luxury. I take care of myself because my health is worth it. There is too much I want to do in life; I can't allow my health to inhibit me.

Adoption. It's quite a thing. It's odd, I've never not felt a part of my adopted family. But the fact remains, that I have another family. My blood family. Just last year I discovered I had another brother. I have another sister. I have other brothers. I have different grandparents. I've never met my biological father, which is odd, I suppose. The woman who brought me into this world has passed. Adoption hasn't necessarily changed me as a person, but it just means I have many people who are dear to me, whether they be from my blood family or my adoptive family. When I go to the doctor and they ask me my family history, I can only tell them a few things.  However, adoption hasn't affected my life like it has some children. I'm blessed by that, but I do still belong in that "adopted" category. It's a cool thing to be adopted. There are some days where I do wish I had known my birth mom better or remembered her well. During Christmas back in Colorado, I would sit on the couch next to our tree, with the tree lights on and the lights dimmed and think about Michelle for a minute. I know it sounds weird. But, during Christmas, it's only natural to think about family; so I did. One thing I have realized through my adoptive family is that I am very blessed to have parents who brought me up in a supportive environment. Knowing that God has taken care of me and provided for me throughout my life makes me so thankful. And that's what I've been thinking about going into the Thanksgiving holiday. One little thing could've changed everything.
My mom told me my adoption story one day. God is amazing. My mom and dad thought they were going to adopt a little boy at first. Then that fell through and God just placed Michelle and her family into the hands of my parents. There is a company that is called Orkin in Colorado - they deal in pest control. So, the Orkin guy that my parents always had come to the house, was there, spraying for bugs, and he told my mom, "I heard you guys were looking to adopt. Well my sister is having a child and she is looking to put the child up for adoption. Let me know if you guys are interested." They ended up calling him and then the whole process commenced. Later on, I remember my mom telling me what happened and it is actually quite funny: my dad found out that Michelle was having twins, and he called my mom in the staff lounge in between her flights and this is what transpired:

Dad: "I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want first?"
Mom: "Tell me the bad news first."
Dad: "Well, we won't be able to afford that car we were looking at..."
Mom: "Okay, what's the good news?"

Dad: "We're having twins!"

My mom was a flight attendant at the time and as she was rolling the beverage cart down the aisle on her next flight, she kept giving passengers the wrong drink. The second flight attendant with her would fix it and then apologize saying, "Excuse her, she just found out she is having twins. One guy looked at my mom, looked at her abdomen, and said in disbelief, "You would never know!" Haha :) - I just remember that specific part of the story. What's amazing is that my mom always felt like she was going to have twins. Even when they were in the process of trying to adopt that little boy, she felt she was going to have twins. She was in prayer, though, and look how that worked out. God is amazing.

I am so thankful to have these two things be a part of my story. Awareness should never stop. They've shaped my personality and my character in ways I never would've hoped. God's plan goes beyond me; it goes beyond you; and It remains faithful through the centuries.

"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
-Psalm 100:5

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