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Everything posted by John&Nina

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! (Is there anything bigger than all-caps? If so, we need it!) Kay and Darren and our newest and littlest WO kiddo, have a wonderful time getting to know each other and your birth family. We can't wait to hear more!!!
  2. Mark and Laurie, We are beyond thrilled for you. All the best for everyone involved in your children's incredible story. John, Nina, Hendrick & Sophie
  3. I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to put this. If there is a better place, please feel free to move it. Today is the 54th anniversary of my brother Ralph's birth. We lost him in September 2003 after a long struggle with colon cancer. I mourn his loss every day, but there are those special days when Hendrick does something silly that I know Ralph would have loved or I catch a clip of Caddyshack (his favorite comedy) when I miss him even more. He and I did not have the perfect relationship, but he was a good brother and a man who at the end of his life tried his best to make amends for hi
  4. Martha, I just "cruised" through Yahoo! Entertainment News, and nearly every story began exactly the way you put it: "Connor Cruise, son of Tom Cruise..." Did they make reference to his adoption later in the stories? Of course! I will say that the circumstances are a little unique here. Connor is playing Will Smith at an early age in this movie. For the record, I had no idea that Cruise's son was African-American, so that would have left me scratching my head without an explanation. I might have thought they pulled the wrong picture. I'm neither condoning the press description of Connor
  5. FYI: Nicole is expecting. She's got the bump and has been photographed many times in her family way. Re the media and adoption: I must not be reading the same stuff. Often I see mention made that Tom and Nicole adopted two children during the marraige, which is simply a statement of fact. Frankly, it would be misleading if they just stated that the couple "had" two children during their marriage or that their marriage "produced" two children. As for "illegitimate" references, like it or not, those are now matters of morality and not necessarily matters of legality. Most legitimate (sorry f
  6. Congratulations, Jeff and Michelle! And a special Wanna Ohana congratulations to Wendy and Jason! Our thoughts are with you all as you bond with new babies and birthfamilies. Make many memories during this special time...
  7. OK, most people may not know a lot about my situation. I'm 49; Nina is 39. We got married in 2002. Is it a little weird turning 50 with a toddler and an infant running me ragged? I guess. Would I have it any other way? Nope. Frankly, I wasn't ready to get married or have kids when I was younger. I wasn't responsible enough. Certainly, I never found the right woman. Overall, I can't worry about age. I know that I married the woman I was meant to marry. I also know that we're raising the children we're supposed to be raising. My wife is happy, I'm happy, our kids are happy. My family gets th
  8. What an incredible journey! May untold blessings come the way of all in this beautiful Ohana.
  9. All our best to you, Brian and Cathy, and your new addition. We send our prayers to you all and the birthfamily, too. Enjoy your stay in Texas!
  10. Congratulations, Darren and Danielle! This is thrilling news. We're anxiously awaiting updates. Let us know how everyone is doing when you can...
  11. Did I miss something?? What other guy(s) walked out on Juno and her baby? Paulie? Her dad? Paulie, for all his sweetness and "cheese"-ness as a boyfriend, wasn't exactly there when Juno was struggling with her choices.
  12. I have to say that this wasn't my interpretation of what happened in the movie. Clearly he felt a connection with Juno and that connection helped empower him to leave Vanessa, and I agree that there was something creepy about their interactions, but I don't think he was leaving Vanessa to be with Juno -- he was leaving her to try to recapture parts of his youth that he felt he had lost and that his current situation wouldn't let him recapture. I agree with you, Darren. I think his reasons for leaving had to do with his own "lost youth" and not Juno. But when they started that dance thin
  13. I agree. That creeped me out, too.
  14. Tina, I must admit that the situation in your church has been gnawing at me for a while. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I was troubled repeatedly by what I felt was an intolerant attitude that seemed so out of place in church and in a Christian community. Then I read a devotional today where the Bible verse was from Matthew: That was my "aha" moment. It's expected that we love our families. But what about those people who come into your life and become a part of it, whether it's "convenient" or not? Let's face it, adoption is not "convenient," no matter how hard we try to
  15. I wouldn't call it a "tear-jerker" (I know, I'm a man. What do I know?). But I would call it "touching." The relationships all seemed very real, even if the dialogue is a little too snappy for real life. I thought the end was sufficiently vague. in the sense that you don't know exactly how all of these characters will cope with their decisions in the future. All in all, I thought, a fine, fun and enjoyable movie, with a number of memorable, quotable lines.
  16. Tina, I'm angry that you had to go through this. You basically had to defend a position that, in my opinion, needs no defense: Your relationship with your child's birthparents. What makes this doubly infuriating is that you had to do this in church. For some reason, this couple seems to deserve more sympathy and prayers than the young woman who gave birth to their child and is obviously struggling with loss. If there is any prayer to be said here (besides the most necessary one of all: for the birthmother), it is for this adoptive family to begin to understand the pain that created their f
  17. Tina, I feel for you. Church is supposed to be the place where you find a community of supportive people. I agree with Kay and Elizabeth. Perhaps you should talk to the pastor. Thankfully, our church has been incredibly supportive with us. Our minister has two children adopted from Korea. Another family adopted their son (who has since passed away) in Texas more than 30 years ago. They simply adore Hendrick. Our pastor's wife watches him in nursery every Sunday, and she also adores him. In another church group we're in, there are several families who have adopted. We may be the only "o
  18. J.C. & Saint, what wonderful news around Christmas! Congratulations and best wishes to all!
  19. For some reason, I've been thinking a lot of my brother lately. He died four years ago after a battle with colon cancer. I just reread a speech I wrote about sacrifice. It was delivered a year after Ralph's passing, but that made it no easier to get through. I think it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I give you a copy of it here, slightly edited. I hope that someone finds it either inspiring or comforting. Thanks for reading...
  20. Just her use of the word "barren" would seem to indicate that you are correct. I know the word is biblical, but we've come a long way from women's entire worth being judged solely on their ability to bear children. It seems, in some way and despite her education, that she's forgotten that. Obviously all adoptive parents here are here because of fertility issues and we all struggle with them in our own way, but this essay seemed to be one giant wail. I really hope her child doesn't get a whiff of that angst.
  21. I looked and looked for a thread in which to post this, and I don't think I found the perfect one. But this one is probably as good as any other. If you get a few minutes read: Blessed Are The Barren by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, a Lutheran pastor, adoptive parent and contributor to Christianity Today. I have to tell you that I really don't know what to make of this essay. There are some very good turns of phrases. Especially strong is her discussion of how "adoptive families are born from pain, just as the church family was born from the pain of the cross." But I'm not sure I like some of h
  22. Heather, I don't think a child is ever too young to take to a food pantry or other charity organization. My parents took us to inner-city missions in Camden many times as children. Frankly, some of my earliest memories are of my parents engaged in some kind of charitable endeavor. I grew up thinking that this kind of behavior was normal and that giving was just part of what you did as a human being. So, by all means, take your kids along when you do mission work (as long as it's safe) and let them see you giving back. Soon enough, when they are able, they'll want to be part of it, too. O
  23. Karen, Your post really touched on a sore point for me, largely because what you've said applies well beyond families in adoption. There is an epidemic in this country of divorced parents who trash their former spouse in front of the children. I know a number of people who either do this or are the victims of it. My own brother was one of them. After his divorce, his ex-wife went out of her way to spew hatred about him to their two children. Slowly, he withdrew from their lives because of it. It was a huge mistake, but one that was born of the belief that he could do nothing right by them.
  24. Elizabeth, I was wondering some of the same things yesterday when I passed by the Salvation Army bellringer with Hendrick. Unfortunately, I literally didn't have a dime to my name at the time. If I had, I was thinking how nice it would have been to have him give the money to begin teaching him about giving. I'm sure there will be other opportunities, and I'll take advantage of them to help our boy learn some good lessons about "the reason for the season." In church last Sunday, Hendrick participated in bringing down our church's offering for Operation Shoebox, which is run out of Samaritan
  25. Muy guapo, indeed! He's a handsome little guy. Congratulations!

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