Sunday, January 30, 2005


Speaking of anniversaries (see post below), Tina has an unfortunate streak going, which she's brought me unwittingly into.

Her birthday is January 28 - the date of the Challenger disaster. Our wedding anniversary is May 17 - the date of the beginning of the Mt. Saint Helens eruption.

So we have some history on our side (or against us, really) predicting a Sept. 11 birthday for our child. Maybe we should induce on the 10th.


My very good friends Renee and Alex just brought Hannah into the world on Monday, January 24. 7 lbs, 4 oz.

Forgive a point here, but January 24 is the anniversary date of Roe v. Wade. So a little victory happened.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Conception vs. adoption

Tina had a comment: people seem happier that we've conceived than that we were adopting. I must admit I'm not surprised. It might be a natural bias - a new life vs. an existing one. But it is worth thinking about - is adoption somehow second-best? Or are people more surprised/happy because they (and we) all figured we couldn't have a child naturally, so this is a big shock?

I think people are mostly surprised, but there is probably less of a natural reaction to adopting. Everybody was very supportive and encouraging (well, almost everybody - but I won't name names) of the adoption. But there wasn't the same face-lighting-up smile.

We will adopt at some point. I'm probably happy with one natural child (one more than I thought we'd have) but, as we've seen, it's not in our hands. We'll have to see where God leads us and go from there.

The latest

Tina's been ill, still. A little worse. Roast beef sandwiches are the latest must-have. Good thing she works next to Arby's. Five Arby's melts for $5!

And she's been warm. It's been like negative-zero degrees out there and she had a window open last night! This is true bliss. I've been wanting a window open for years. But she gets big-time chills right after eating.The nausea stinks, of course, but overall the symptoms are about a wash for me. She might have a different take.

She said a few times she's hyper-conscious of her stomach, clenching the muscles as if to protect the baby. Things like that bring home how much I'll never truly understand what it's like to have something growing inside me and not be running to the emergency room to have it removed.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


In my post on due dates, I stated the obvious - birthdays are about the children. What I meant, but couldn't get into the post in context, is that I rather like the idea of making Christmas decidedly not about the children, as in not about toys and shirts and radios and things for the children.

With our own family, I'd prefer a Christ-based Christmas, celebrating His birth by giving to those to whom Christ would give - those who truly need. Tina, at last conversation, wasn't happy about depriving children of the happy stuff like presents and stuff. I guess a few presents would be OK, but that's so completely not the point that I'd rather keep that to a minimum.

We pretty much have everything we need, and it's becoming sort of a chore to keep buying things for each other when there's really nothing to buy. I've accepted that people want to buy me things, so I've stopped fighting it to some degree, but I'd still prefer they sponsored a child or gave to a food kitchen or something. I don't foresee dire financial straits (though who ever really does?), and I don't want our kids looking forward to unwrapping and opening and breaking, but rather to showing love to the world.

We had a little discussion with our Bible study group about favorite Christmas gifts as a kid, and most people couldn't remember a single thing. It was just the people and the time spent together with family. I could remember things I'd been given, of course, but nothing that really stood out as a favorite thing. I don't tend to make favorites lists anyway, but still I found the whole exercise instructive.

Due date

Our child is due, according to early estimates, on September 10, 2005. As good a day as any, I suppose.

Tina is really hoping he doesn't arrive a day later. I'd prefer not, of course, but after some thought, I'd prefer not to induce on the 10th just to avoid the day. Something about ceding the day to the powers of evil. The birth of a new child, to be raised as an American in every sense, on the anniversary of the acts of evil is something I'd find a bit redemptive. Plus, it wasn't our decision whether and when we conceived. I'd rather leave it in better Hands than my own.

In my angrier days, I'd consider it a big ol' single-finger salute to the baddies. O yeah? well, we'll have a freakin' baby on your special day! And the thought still crosses my mind, as the previous sentences suggest. But now, I merely consider the thought of it a blessing, and a reminder that the world isn't about us. Imagine - ten days ago, we were committed to the idea that we may never conceive. I'll take whatever birthday God gives us.

I do recognize that it might be a rather sad thing for the child, though, to have such an event associated with his birth, even though the events aren't really related. I have an idea that we should make birthdays about the children, and he wouldn't really be able to see that day as about him. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.


I was reading Psalms last week, and this verse stood out to me like no verse has. (This was before I knew about our newest and greatest blessing.)

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart,
and wait for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14, New Int'l Version)

We, of course, have been waiting for this blessing for some time. Tina has been eager since about May 18, 1997. I've been slower in coming around, but have been waiting for the Lord for some time. And He delivered right on His timetable, not ours, as he is wont to do. But the timing is perfect, as His always is.

Happily, it works out well for us. Tina has just gotten through her probationary period at work, so her job is quite secure. The baby is due in early September - after I'll have taken and passed, God willing, my big ol' comprehensive exam, but before I'll have started earnest work on my dissertation. And I'll be done with classes by then, too.

His plan is perfect, and He indeed works it for His glory. But He also blesses those who love Him.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


I'm not really as petty as I sound about the name thing. I'm more having fun with all the amazing things I see happening - the things I see God doing in my life. As I said earlier, I think He has a great sense of humor and He knows that I appreciate such things, and He's just having a little fun with me.

I don't know how much prayer Tina has given the name thing. I've not given it much, other than, to be honest, purely self-serving, please-show-me-I'm-right prayers. Which is one reason I react so strongly to these things I consider signs. It just simply can't be coincidence.

Anyway, I know we have time. I'll pray on it (I hope Tina will do the same) and however it turns out in 8 months, I'll trust God's will is being done.

I am praying on the stuff I think matters more - that we can raise a Godly, loving and righteous family, by whatever name called.

OK, now you're just not listening

So I was at a group training for the worship team at Trinity today. I ate lunch with a guy named Steven (or Stephen, I guess) who works at a library Tina used to work at occasionally. He had nothing but kind words for her - the nicest guy.

Weelllll, his wife's name is Lisa and his son is...wait for it....Josiah. Yup - twice within a week, at Trinity, I've seen a form of Elizabeth paired with Josiah. If there are signs from God, and I believe there are, this is about as clear as they get.

Tina and her family (whose reaction to the name "Josiah" was shockingly racist - just kidding, folks) think I'm wrong.

We'll see. If this happens again, I...I don't know what. But I hope it'll convince Tina there may be some merit to what I'm thinking.

Friday, January 14, 2005

By the way

Tina has been given an opportunity to post. It's her choice not to, and to let me write the history of this pregnancy. He who wields the pen makes the memories. Or something.

Friday nite

Not too much new the last coupla days...the food merry-go-round keeps spinning. Today it's "pasta bad." The recurring theme seems to be "beef good." Her lunch today was, shall we say, Midwestern.

Interesting bit on names, though. Her library got a hamster, and the winning entry to the hamster-naming contest was "Booker Books." Tina mentioned that for short, he could be called "B.B."

Of course, when I suggested initializing the name of a child named Benjamin Josiah to BJ (bad!) or Josiah Reagan to JR (good!) I was nearly beheaded by the teeth flying at my neck.

Her defense against my (agog) charges of steaming hypocrisy? "It's a hamster."

I don't buy it. Initializing a name is either good or bad. Boy or hamster, a principle applies.

We just had to agree to disagree on that one. Comments welcome.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Girls' names

I've never given much thought to girls' names, there not having been the slightest point in doing so. I kinda like Sarai (Sarah's name before the LORD renamed her Sarah, when he renamed Abram to Abraham), but I don't think that'll have much traction.

I also kinda like Priscilla, who was one of Paul's acquaintances and was of much help to him. But I think that'll be "Prissy," so I can forget right about that one too. See, this is why I don't think about them much.

Maybe Laura, for the First Lady, who totally rocks, or Barbara, for the prior First Lady, who also rocks. (The "Lady" status of the interim White House Spouse is debatable.) Or Margaret, for Lady Thatcher, who out-rocks them all (also my Grandma, of course, but that would bring about inequity with other children not named for relatives).

Two names I liked that were used by relatives: Victoria and Samantha.

I also like Valerie, which Tina says isn't very traditional, and why do I like traditional names for boys but not girls? I think girls (and women, which girls will grow up to be and spend much more time as, ideally) can get away with a lot more in the way of variety. As in clothes and hair and jewelry, so in names, I guess. Plus, I think of Valerie as from Valerian (a truly glorious name I love but wouldn't dare use for a boy - too much like Valerie and thus too feminine today), and he was a Roman emperor, and that's at least old, if not strictly traditonal.

Trendy boys' names can be so feminizing and fruity - Tyler, and Jordan, and Austin. I certainly don't like really trendy girls' names, Kylie and Caitlyn and Halee and Jasmine in all its various misspellings. And, there were many fewer Biblical women, and many of them were checkered at best.

Leah is a nice enough name, but with Lee as a family middle name, I'm not holding out hope. I did always like the Catholic Mary Something names: Mary Catherine, Mary Margaret, etc. But maybe it was actually the plaid skirts I liked.

Names, final (for now)

We've finalized the boy name: Benjamin Josiah. It was a bit of an argument, but in the end she got the name she wanted and I got the one I wanted, and I'll just spend the first 18 years of his life reminding him he can choose his middle name and be just like his Daddy.

I'd still love to use Reagan. Maybe we ought to save that for an adopted girl from China. Yea, I think that's a fine idea.

Now, if we have twins, I think we'll have to come up with another name for each, because Tina won't find out the sexes. I suspect the second choice boy name would be Samuel or Nathaniel. Given that I acquiesced on the first choice, I'll probably suggest I get to choose the 2nd choice, and will subsequently acquiesce on that as well.

First doctor visit

Se we went yesterday for our first doctor visit. We actually saw the midwife, whose name is the mildly-amusing-but-not-in-a-mean-way Heather Lemon. It sounds like the color of some expensive bobo yellow sweatpants or something. Anyway, she was really nice and a bit perky, as well as a bit preggo herself.

Mostly it was routine stuff - things to do (drink lotsa water) and not to do (shoot heroin). One bit of note - she said that during our next visit, some seven weeks out, we should be able to hear the heartbeat. That brought a healthy round of tears.

Tina's been better; more water and Gatorade, and a little bit of snacking on a semi-constant basis has kep the nausea at bay. "Nausea at bay"...I'm reminded of the episode of the Flintstones when Fred and Barney couldn't agree on the name of their boat, the Nautical Something or the Something of the Sea, and compromised on "Nau-Sea."

OK, that was a pointless reference. Sorry.

Anyway, that's been most of our progress. See next post for more progress.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


So here are the first names we're thinking about if we have a boy. His middle name shall be Reagan. (By imperial diktat, a girl shall be named Elizabeth Lee.) These are in no particular order:

  • Josiah: "God has healed." My personal favorite. A great king of Judah, who restored the One True God of Israel, drove out the false gods and idols, and gave his life to defend his land from invading Egyptians. Tina's not crazy about it, but I think the meaning and the namesake are ideal for us.
  • Nathaniel: "God's gift."
  • Jeremiah: "God will raise up."
  • Simon: "God hears" or "It is heard"
  • Samuel: "Hand of God." He bridged the gap between the judges and the kings of Israel. His mother prayed to God for him and her prayer was answered, and in thanks she gave him over to serve the Lord.
  • Daniel: "Judged by God."
  • Benjamin: "Son of my right hand." Gets a nice blessing from Moses but a nasty one from his dad Jacob.

All OT names except Simon, yes. I really do like Josiah, but I'm not sure if I'm being selfish. It's sort of a cross between Joseph and Isaiah. Nicknames could be Joe, Josey (as in the Outlaw Josey Wales), Joey, Josey (with and "s" sound rather than a "z" sound), Josephus, Josebo...OK, those last 2 are what I would call the cat if he were named Josiah. But I'll probably come up with something goofy no matter what, because somehow I love goofy names.I already gave up dreams of naming him Malachi or Mordecai. Our next dogs get those names though, I guarantee.

People who have morning sickness all day long

So Tina isn't feeling well. Funny - the day after she tests herself she starts feeling bad. Well, she'd been a bit testy for a while, but now it's physical. Today (Saturday, 1/8/05) she left work about an hour early because she was dizzy.

Then she came home and ate her second and third lunches (orange chicken and an egg-and-bacon sandwich, respectively) of the day. (Kinda like Pippin and his "second breakfast.") We went to Kroger to stock up on munchies, and she grogged herself around the store, only to come home and snarf down a coupla chilidogs.

This is gonna be fun to watch.

And I love her more now than I ever have. I'm her babydaddy.

Post title reference: Arsenio Hall's on-stage audience section, the Dog Pound or whatever he called it, used to get a name. One day it was "People who have morning breath all day long."

OK, stupid reference. Sorry.

OK, big news

So I walked the dog the other day (Thursday, Jan 6, 2005 to be exact). When I came back home, Tina looked at me from the dining room table and said, "Hi, Daddy."

Now, the dog obviously knows me as Daddy (what proper dog doesn't call its daddy Daddy?), so at first I thought nothing of it and said, "Hi, Mommy," right back.

Tina said again, in that there's-something-to-this way, "Hi Daddy."

I got it this time. For, you see, she had been, shall we say, delayed a bit in her regular menstrual machinations, and was suspecting pregnancy. And, well, you see, she'd caught it. She had tested when I went on the walk and had of course tested positive.


That certainly made the adoption more complicated. We had a meeting scheduled the next day with Bethany, the adoption agency, which was to be the beginning of the adoption thing. So we called and left a message for our caseworker, the very nice Mary, to see what to do about it.

We also had this adoption story hanging over us with everybody we knew. Like our Bible study group, which met Thursday night, and my friend Alex, and our families - everybody knew this meeting was going to be Friday. And of course Tina wants to tell her mom and sisters she's pregnant in person, and you don't want to tell anyone too what to do?

We went to the Bible study group and just played it like we were going to the meeting. When we got home, Mary'd left a message saying let's just hold off on the meeting and concentrate on one thing at a time. So now there's no meeting to tell anyone about. We need a good lie.

We decide to say the meeting was rescheduled for 2 weeks because Bethany had a power outage due to snow and ice. Reasonable enough - it's winter in Michigan, and snow and ice happen with dismaying regularity. But we still need to play it off until we can tell people.

I'll need to re-title the blog here when I can post stuff - that is, when the news becomes public.