Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why My Cat Drinks From the Toilet (and other things I don't understand)

I have two cats. One of them loves to drink from the toilet. I don't understand this as he always has clean, fresh water available to him. We adopted the older cat when he was one. He drinks from his water bowl. We adopted Cosmo when he was a baby. He drinks from the toilet. Figure that one out, because I can't.

Here's another thing I can't figure out - why is it that it's okay to adopt a child if you're childless, or if you have (let's say) three son and no daughters, or two daughters and no sons, but not so okay when you've got four biological children of various genders? Why is it okay to have two or three kids, maybe even four, but not five or six? Perhaps the more important question is - why do people in our society feel they have the right to comment on personal decisions that have nothing to do with them, but don't feel the need to step in and lend a hand during times of trouble? Just a case in point: a few months ago my car broke down. I was stuck nearly in the middle of an intersection on a very busy road. I managed to back out of the intersection, but was blocking an entire lane of traffic. For fifteen minutes I sat waiting for my husband to arrive, my hazard lights on, cars whizzing by. In that time not one person stopped to ask if I needed help, no one offered assistance, no one even acknowledged my trouble (unless you count angry horn-honking as acknowledgment). Juxtaposed to that, we've decided to adopt and I've already had at least three people ask me why in shocked and horrified voices. Two have even gone so far as to say (this is very near a quote)that my husband and I are being greedy and selfish to want more children. I'm not particularly bothered by these comments, but I do wonder how a culture supports the rise of both the intense "be true to yourself, pursue your passions, live for you" mentality and the "I have the right to stick my nose into a near stranger's business" philosophy. In a time when individuality and isolationism are embraced, it seems strange that so many people are so worried about the decisions of others.

Perhaps this is a good thing. At least people are passionate about their thoughts and beliefs. If only we could harness that, become a culture built on community and neighborhood again; a place where we value the contributions of others and work hard to help those we see every day rather than focusing so intently on ourselves and our achievements. This life is not about what we do for ourselves, but about what we do for others. It's about service not in a wide sense of the word, not in a showy look-what-I-did-to-help sense, but in a quiet sense of selflessness, of seeking to help those that are quietly suffering - an elderly neighbor, a person we barely know who has lost someone near to them. Saving whales and dolphins is great, but let's also save those who are quietly slipping away because they have no sense of community, no sense of belonging, and no feeling that someone cares.

Shirlee's word count for Tuesday- - 5,000. Yes, that's a negative number. I've had to restart my proposal because it stinks. Let's see if I can finish it this week. How about your writing? Feel free to post word counts.


Sabrina L. Fox said...

I feel for you, Shirlee. My husband and I had been married 5 years and were not having any luck getting pregnant. We decided to get some help and people were very opinionated about that. It hurt deeply. I only wanted to be a mother. Then when I finally got pregnant I had a friend at work say some rude things about how stupid it was at this point in our marriage. I was not only hurt but angry. Why do people feel it's their right to impose their ideas and beliefs on others. I try to be cautious of this when people tell me things I may not agree with. Our assistant pastor and wife adopted from vietnam last year. It was a long process. They have 4 biological children and just felt called to adopt from a country were a child might not have the chance to know God otherwise. They ended up bringing two home. LOL. I guess you get a deal on siblings. ;)

I'll pray for you in this situation. And as far as word count. I'm still waiting to hear from Krista on Prescription for Murder and I started a new story last week. Only a few thousand words so far.

Oh and our old cat would only drink from the tub faucet. He didn't want water that had sat all day. :/ Go figure...

(sorry for the long comment...)

Shirlee McCoy said...

Sabrina, I haven't been through the infertility thing, but my sister has. Her struggle was one that made me very aware of what and how I say things regarding pregnancy, children, etc. She and her husband decided to forgo invitro and go the adoption route. The questions peopled asked regarding this were rude and invasive. Then, once my sister had her two beautiful sons, people said really stupid things like, 'now you're going to get pregnant and have a child of your own'.

Anyway, her journey prepared me for what I've dealt with, so I'm not suprised.

As for Krista, how long has she had this manuscript?

Sabrina L. Fox said...

We just had help by medication, which made me a mess emotionally. My poor husband. He'd come home and I'd be frying hamburger, tears streaming down my face. LOL. He was so lost.

Now what I get all the time, "When are you going to give Tanner a little brother or sister?" It drives me crazy because if it were that easy I'd have had 2 or 3 more. People just don't think what their words do.

As for Krista, not long. Not even two months yet. I know a friend of mine heard within a month when she sold and another friend heard within two when she didn't. So who knows. I've heard others that have taken nearly a year. I've started a new story, so that should keep me busy for a while. ;)

So are you guys going to keep trying with the adoption? Is it still something you really feel God calling you to do? If it is, then you should keep going and we'll all keep praying doors will be opened. =)

Debbie Gilroy said...

Hi Shirlee,
I thought about you and your comments today as I was coming home from work. The radio station I listen to, WRBS, was playing the Family minute and Dennis Raney was sharing about a Pastor and his family who really had a heart for adotion and how the members of their congregation were not supportive of them. Naturally I thought of some of the things that you mentioned. I just want to encourage you and your family in your desire to bless a child. God gave you this desire and He will bring the blessing no matter what anyone else thinks or says.
I pursued adoption as a Christian single woman over 13 years ago. I was met with many obstacles, closed doors and negative comments from the Christian community.(At that time they really discouraged single parent adoptions). I don't know if this has changed since that time. I really hope so, because the world encourages adoption by a lot of different family units. I work with a man who is involved in a same sex relationship and they have adopted 3 children together.
To make a lomg story short,(and one I will share with you at a later time in person) I was never qualified to adopt but God honored my desire for motherhood. I became a first time mom at 41 years and 9 months after trying for almost 2 years via artificial insemination. My daughter has been a blessing and she just celebrated her 11 th birthday on April 19th. She was born one year to the day after the Okalahoma City bombing. God is so good !!

Shirlee McCoy said...

That's an amazing story, Debbie. Thank you for sharing it. God has His own timing. Though it is hard to wait, the blessings are always worth it!

My husband and I are pursuing adoption, Sabrina. People's comments don't really bother me. They're just an interesting surprise. We've been fortunate in that our church and family are very supportive. So are our friends. Of course, who knows what they're really thinking. :0)

You should hear from Krista soon. I'm glad you began something new, though. I'm always worried when an author isn't writing while she's waiting. It's a waste of valuable time. If you do sell, you'll be that much closer to a second contract!