Monday, December 28, 2009

For the love of coffee...

Now that our home study is complete - we are waiting for the final document(s) to be approved - we are gearing up for a full-fledged assault on the cost of the adoption!

Please take a minute to check out our online "store" at Just Love Coffee, an organization which provides fair trade (and delicious) coffees from a variety of places. A portion of the company's proceeds go to support an orphanage in Ethiopia, where the founder adopted two of his children. Just Love Coffee also provides an opportunity for fund raising for those who are in the adoption process. We have our own secure, online store where you can order the coffee of your choice, and from each order, we will receive a portion of the proceeds. Please consider ordering from our site and help us in our efforts. And, if possible, please tell others about it!

Here's the link:

Thank you so much for your continued love and support!

Monday, December 14, 2009

And then there were three...

I haven't written much lately. And to be honest, I'm really not in the mood to write much now, but I need to get back into blogging.

The reason for my lack of excitement is because the Whitfield family is now down to three members. We finally had to put Bojangles down. The medicine he was taking to treat his inflammatory bowel disease caused him to develop diabetes. He was a sick little kitty, and it just wasn't right to make him suffer any more. One month ago today, Bo passed away peacefully. Part of me can't forgive myself for ending his life but I also wrestle with the knowledge that he wasn't feeling good for the last couple years of his life. Oh, I so selfishly wanted to keep him around forever. And I still ache to hold him.

Bo and I went through so much together. I got him when I hadn't quite gotten over the loss of my other cat, Lyric. It was too soon so our relationship started off a bit rocky. He sensed that I was still grieving. And he was a stray cat so he had a bit of a wild streak in him. Boy did he ever! He was often like the kid (or celebrity) who thinks all attention is good attention, even if it's because you've gotten attention for doing bad things. He wouldn't sit on my lap for the longest time, and I honestly prayed he would come around. When he did start sitting on my lap, he always wanted to sit on my lap. And I mean always - on the couch, at the dinner table, when I was standing up, on the commode! If I left a room, it was rare that he didn't follow me. Naps together were non-negotiable. And he was a talker. Or, maybe I should say a grunter. He often grunted instead of meow. And his grunts had meaning; each sound designated for a specific need. Get up - now! Feed me - now! Take a nap - now! Pet me - now!

Bo was my only source of comfort after 9/11. I remember going home after leaving the Pentagon area and holding him close to my face. He rubbed his face against mine as if to say he was there for me. He was the only one who seemed to understand my fear, my pain, my grief. He was my constant companion in the healing process.

When Kurt and Fletcher came into the picture, he fought hard to maintain his status as tops in my life! And if he ever felt that Fletcher overstayed his welcome, he stalked him like an undiagnosed schizophrenic certain the world was after him. And then Kurt and I had to go and get married. That meant the dog was never leaving! I had high hopes that they would become the best of buddies; that one day we'd find them curled up together snoring away the hours. That never happened, although I do think they befriended each other in a non-assuming way. Today Fletcher seems lonely. Now he is the one who follows me around the house every time I move. Thankfully he hasn't tried to sit on my lap while I'm on the toilet or jump on my dresser to knock things down (in an effort to get my attention in the middle of the night) yet.

Fletcher is the best dog anyone could ever ask for, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. But my home and my heart is empty without Bo, without hearing his purr at the slightest touch. Sleep isn't the same without feeling his little body snuggled next to mine, fitting perfectly into the curve of my frame. I can't believe I hurt so much over what so many would say was "just a cat". But he was so much more than that to me, and I miss him terribly.

I'm one of those people who believes that all God's creatures go to heaven. And I believe that Bo is in heaven playing... and he's playing with Hunter.

Hunter is the son of my dearest friend, Trinette. Hunter went to be with the Lord the day before Bo died. Our Little Man suffered so much in his short eight-and-a-half years but we know that he's whole and complete now. For Hunter, there is no more pain and for those he left behind, that knowledge brings us peace, even amidst the tears. Trinette is the strongest woman I have ever known, and I constantly marvel at her faith and tenacity. She's an inspiration to me, and I hope to be the loving, devoted mother she was with Hunter, her only child.

As for the adoption, we continue to wait. We completed our home study interview this past week, and we're thankful to have that behind us. We will need to complete 10 hours of adoption preparation but that should be a fairly simple task. Beyond that, we wait. It's been five months since we started this process, and the wait is becoming more difficult day-by-day. We will soon assess what we need to do to let expectant mother's who are considering adoption know we're out there and available. If anyone has any good ideas, please share them with us! In the meantime, please continue to pray for us as well as the birth mother and child God has chosen for us.

Until next time...