Sunday, July 31, 2011


I have been thinking a lot this weekend about love. The kind of love that makes a woman a mother as she pushes her child into the world. The kind of love that makes a person stay up all night to drive out to a hurting friend. The kind of love when someone lives on hospital food and sleeps on a waiting room chair just to spend as much time as possible comforting a loved one in the hospital. The kind of love that causes a parent to get up in the night with a scared or sick child. The kind of love that causes a pastor to pray for someone. The kind of love that a teacher shows when she will not let a student fail. The kind of love that is mittens to a homeless child and food to the orphans belly. The kind of love that causes strangers to share and pray for each other’s hurts in the blog world. The kind of love that is in a baby’s laughter and complete trust in his caregiver. The kind of love that is in answered and unanswered prayers.

Is it just me or have the last few years been absolutely crazy? The Sadness. The Joy. The Pain. The Fear. The Love.

Gabe, Stellan, Abby, Tripp, Julia, Harper, Hailee, Elianna, Isabella, Denise, etc…

Saturday morning I attended the funeral of Professor Mary DeYoung, “MDY” as she was known to her students. 58 years old, a short battle with cancer. A woman who loved. Deeply loved. Everyone.

Oh how i struggle with this daily… To love, and to let myself be loved… by others and by God. who are we to decide who gets love? Who are we to push away the love of others and deem ourselves unworthy?

We have left so much undone at the close of each day…

“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors [or] ourselves.”-CBP

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fill Ins

1. Life is crazy.

2. downtown is one of the best places to people watch EVER because it is so busy.

3. if I was going somewhere, the one thing I have to bring is my keys.

4. I will have enough money to be a midwife soon enough.

5. Next year, I will be spending more time at births than at a daycare.

6. I cleaned my room and I found out it will never be totally clean.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading and writing, tomorrow my plans include midwife documentaries, cleaning, writing and Sunday, I want to be happy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Doing it again....

As you may remember... one time in February I wrote a novel in a month! The premise of the class was to write an entire novel from beginning to end in one month. (NANOWRIMO style)

I have been itching to write... I NEED to write... and I found a writing buddy...

So ready set go on Friday Jen (a friend and doula)  and I are beginning the journey! I am really excited to see what a 2nd time novel looks and feels like as well as to journey along with Jen!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Story time….

Below is the story of Isabella… I wrote it during my senior seminar…

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love”-Hillary Stanton ZuninDSC00808 - Copy
She arrived in an ambulance, sirens off until it pulled up to the heavy iron gate. The ancient van transformed into an ambulance crawled up the hill and the children dusty and sticky with sweat in the midday sun ran along beside it. A woman stepped out of the back clutching a tiny bundle of blankets. She entered the building that served as the kitchen, cafeteria, and gathering space. Tita Carol looked at the tiny bundle and cooed, then pointed and told the woman in Spanish to hand the bundle to me. I took the bundle from the woman and saw the smallest little nose peeking out from the blankets. I carefully pulled the blanket away from the baby’s face. I had never held a baby so tiny before. I was told it was a girl and when I asked her name Carol said solemnly, “no name”.
The sweet infant I held in my arms surrounded by children and others who had traveled with me to the Orphanage in Guatemala, was motherless, abandoned, alone, and without a name. Time seemed to stand still. I carefully unwrapped her and took a closer look at her tiny features. She opened her eyes as she was removed from her toasty cocoon. Tita Carol told me to give her a name. I didn’t stand a chance.
Isabella Esperanza Maria became known that day. She was given the name Isabella because she smiled when I said it, Esperanza because it was a group of Hope College students that surrounded her that day and Maria because the baby room staff did not get the memo that she had a name. Isabella Esperanza Maria, it means God is my oath and hope in this sea of bitterness.
I was told by somebody very wise that I was a mother mourning, and that was the best description I have heard to date about how I feel being so far away from the baby girl who spent her first week out of the hospital laying skin to skin on my chest. She needed a mother, and I needed her. I am no stranger to loss.
I was friends with a girl whose aunt had foster kids. My family would provide respite care for them occasionally and when I was old enough I would baby sit. I fell in love over and over again. Then lost them over and over again. Their names and faces haunt me still. Ciara. Cordelia. Devontae. Kiara. Alleya. Children have always come and gone in my life. It comes with the job as a baby sitter and a daycare worker. Kids grow, families move, I went away to college.
I know how to love and let go, but for some reason, I cannot let go of Isabella. As soon as I returned to the states I began planning on how I could save and get back to her, praying for Guatemala to allow international adoptions again, for all the kids that sat in waiting at the orphanage, each day making them older and less likely to get a forever family. My arms ached to hold her.
However, it was not meant to be, Isabella’s mama came back into her life six months after abandoning her at the hospital. The judges gave her back to her. I will probably never see Isabella this side of heaven again. My daughter is gone, I am a mother in mourning. Was it worth it? I may never know for sure, because it happened, I can’t undo my love for her, I just patch the weeping hole in my heart and try to move on. Knowing that loving her has changed my entire life.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

On being a “grown up”…


I can feel myself aging in thought and deed. In the words I say and the places I go. In the way I view the world and in the way I treat people. Things that used to be annoying, are no longer, different things are important to me. I am counting breaths. Breathing deeply. Praying harder. Dreaming bigger… and those dreams are not so scary or far away anymore. I can almost taste them, reach my hand out and grasp them…


Become a doula (by age 24)

Write another novel in the style of NANOWRIMO in November.

Visit my friends in the locations they are living (within the next 5 years)

Become a midwife by 28

Open up an office on 8th street in Holland

Live in a beach house on the shores of Lake Michigan (where I can wake up in the morning and drink my OJ on the sand!)

Travel often to serve orphans

Be a mama (adoption, birth and foster)

Laugh daily, live intentionally, love deeply


Friday, July 01, 2011

A different kind of study…


Studying up to hopefully go to Doula Class next month if finances will allow!



Books 1,2,5,8,10 complete (as I own them)

(the binder on the bottom contains the herbal bible from Fall 10 MMA conference)

Solo Adventure…


John Ball Zoo penguins having a loud conversation!