Oh boy. The trains of thought I have going in my head right now are on colliding together in a massive wreck. So many topics I’ve been processing and dwelling on. They don’t all connect or necessarily have anything to do with each other except they are living together…in my head. Some of it I won’t yet write about, such as my grandmother, who is in the hospital trying to get a diagnosis for her frustrating and scary symptoms. But her illness–and its affect on my mom’s daily life–is very much on my mind. But maybe the biggest thread of my scattered thoughts is this: sick to my stomach realization of how insanely and unfairly blessed I am.

This morning I found out that a mom at our church passed away, after a year and a half long battle with cancer. She leaves behind many friends, a loving husband, a very close extended family and 2 small children. I didn’t know Lisa well, but I am close to some that were close to her. Her illness and death alone could keep me weeping, worrying, praying and writing for weeks. How did she deal with knowing that her kids will grow up without their mom? How will those kids go through the day-to-day with this huge hole in their hearts? How will it affect them into adulthood? How did she grieve her own loss at knowing she will be missing the rest of their lives? How will her husband single parent two hurting children while dealing with his own grief? Why am I so lucky that I’m still here? How would my family deal with something like that? Are there things that I need to be doing to prepare for the worst–logistically, emotionally, financially? How will Lisa’s family truly celebrate her niece’s wedding tomorrow? Is it possible to have a normal childhood after losing a parent? Again…why do I get to rock my children to sleep tonight and Lisa doesn’t? It’s NOT FAIR.

I’ve also been reading about adoption–so then thinking a lot about it. Oh my word, there are LOTS of conversations about adoption taking place. Just do a little blog hopping and your mind will be spinning with the complications and beauty of it. Opinions and aspects and positions and benefits and ugliness and healing and encouraging that I was completely unaware of prior to this spring. And some of it makes me smile. Some of it makes me defensive. Some of it makes me angry. Some of it confuses me. BUT IT ALL MAKES ME THINK. In the past few years I’ve noticed myself doing more listening about controversial topics and less talking. Partly because there are few issues that I KNOW well enough to be passionate about, but also because it is rare that I view an issue as completely black and white. In my view, there are positive and negative aspects of practically every issue on earth. Adoption is no exception.

In her most recent post, Robin is helping me think about my future child’s first mom–my responsibility to her, my respect for her, and how both of those behaviors will affect my child greatly. April’s post is such a good reality check for me. I need to keep hearing from adoptive moms that no amount of research and study can truly prepare you for the heartbreaking aspects of adopting a toddler. But that doesn’t mean you don’t prepare anyway, and it doesn’t mean you don’t adopt a toddler! But she also gives hope and points out that all the best intentions in the world do not equal a good adoptive parent. Hard freaking work makes a good parent. Period. Speaking of adoptive parents, this blog I found from April’s, and it has some great, deep stuff. Hard stuff. Hard questions about adoption and motives and actions. Things that I need to read, like how being an adoptive parent will usually (I’m sure there are exceptions) be harder than parenting a biological child. Trent and I both read it, and I’m so glad we did. I feel so blessed that I am allowed to participate in this discussion at the BEGINNING of our adoption process. To read and talk and LISTEN.

So, to answer my own question: is talking learning? I think CONVERSATION can be a part of learning. But a conversation includes talking and listening. So, [raise my invisible glass] here’s to conversations and blogs and moms and babies and parenting and adoption and unfairness and a God who knows and sees all and allows the unfairness to exist in hopes that He will be glorified in it all.