Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees...

Is that how that platitude goes? Can't see the forest through the trees? I have definitely been caught up in the trees lately. I am trying to remember to step back and take a look at the big picture.

Here are some of the things that I have realized in the last couple of weeks:

ONE: This is one hell of a depressing blog. Good grief, I don't even want to read it.

TWO: YOU, my friends in cyberspace, may be the most insightful and supportive people that I have ever "met".

THREE: One of life's cruelest ironies is taking away a librarian's ability to read.

FOUR: Stage IV cancer is much, much, much worse than Stage I.

FIVE: My husband is the best son ever.

SIX: My cold/cough is not indeed a recurrence of my cancer, but more likely the result of having a small first grader sneeze into my face.

SEVEN: My dogs miss my husband as much as I do.

EIGHT: My adoption will continue!! (Best of the big picture revelations!)

NINE: If we are lucky, our kids will meet both of their American Grandmas.

TEN: The word 'Palliative' is one of the nastiest words in the English language.

ELEVEN: Everyday is a gift; I'd better stop moping.

I was trying to remember how important levity is in a crisis. Remember Boyd?

Here is an example.(It is not at all funny now, but at the time it was a great relief/release.)
I was asking Steven about the possibility of getting Chris to come to Los Angeles for her cancer treatment. U.C.L.A is world renowned in this field...

Me: Well, can she fly?

Steven: Julie...She has cancer, not wings!


I thought that I'd tell Chris a joke that I read on our adoption agency's forum. (Apologies if you read this and say,"Hey! That was my joke!")

Picabu Street, the world class skier, decided to quit skiing and become a nurse. She graduated from nursing school and applied for a job at a Colorado hospital. When the hospital denied her application for employment, she asked why they refused to hire her. They said,

" We don't want anyone calling here, and have to hear you answer the phone,"PICABU...I.C.U."

I know, not a very good joke. I realized that not only was this joke not funny enough, my mother-in-law probably wouldn't even get the semi-obscure reference to this Olympic skier.

We've tried Incredible Hulk jokes and Kermit the frog jokes. Oh, didn't I mention that Chris' experimental clinical trial drug causes her to turn green? I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally green. Because she wasn't feeling bad enough already right? She gets to turn green, her skin, her nails, even the whites of her eyes - green.

I really am trying to think back to the feelings I had after I was through with my cancer ordeal. I was grateful. I felt strong. I felt more appreciative. I noticed life's beautiful tiny details.

My case had a happy ending though. I'm still standing. Chris' ending will not be happy. It won't be the same feelings. She won't survive. This is what will kill her. This is something entirely different. How do you come to terms with that?

When we got this news, my first adoption related impulse was to call up my agency and ask them to let me talk to the family that was next in line for a sibling referral. Surely they'd switch places with me! Our situation is urgent! We need to make someone a Grandma PRONTO!

Then I realized just how completely inappropriate this idea was. It is urgent for every adoptive family, (as you all know). This family probably would have switched with me! All of the adoptive families I know here, and in cyberspace, are just that thoughtful and generous.

I also realized that if we did this, if we tried to manipulate the Universe's time line, we wouldn't be placed with our kids. I realized that the kids who needed us most would never find their way to us.

So, I remain hopeful. I am grateful today. What am I most grateful for today? (WATCH ME beat a metaphor/simile into the ground!!)

Today I am so very grateful for all of you. Your thoughts, prayers, comments, and support have made a huge difference in my life. I am not being hyperbolic, I mean it.

Like a grove of majestic Redwoods (There it is!), you guys have shown me your strength, and your wisdom. You are my forest. (Oh, the cheese! I am laying it on so thick!)

But seriously,

I mean it.

Thank you.

I am grateful.


  1. Glad to hear that you are feeling a little less down. So glad to here that you are going to continue your adoption!! I hope that it moves very quickly for you

  2. And we are grateful for YOU. Glad you are feeling the forest more and the trees less.

    And thanks for going out on a limb with the metaphor!! Ha!

  3. you guys are on my mind constantly.

    and can I just say that I am *so* glad that you've decided to press on with the adoption. because there are children out there who *need* the two of you to be their parents.

    and what a lovely tribute to all the people in our lives who share the good times and prop us up in the bad.

    you are an amazing woman.

  4. Awesome post, Julie. As you know, I still read blogs if they have a melancholy undertone, they're a reflectio of life's most sincere moments. Sadly, at times. I'm glad some of us bloggers could bring some a small bit of good energy and/or encouragment to you. It's nice to know this isn't just empty cyber space.

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love cheese? :)


  5. I have been lurking...sorry! Somehow I felt what ever words I could type would be insufficiant for what you have been living through...
    I love the pictures of the trees, they are a good reminder for me to also stop and take a deep breath.
    I am very happy to see that the adoption process is still moving forward.
    You are in my thoughts and well wishes......

  6. You know, I don't think your blog is depressing. I think it is real, and that is a good thing. I'd like to do more "real" posts myself.

  7. Julie and Steven,

    I am sending you continued strength....I am so glad that you have come to realize all of those things....particularly that Steven is an amazing son (and husband) and that you WILL bring YOUR children home.

    Lots of love,