Thursday, June 10, 2010


In the weeks before Alex and Caleb were born, I took on many of the characteristics of OCD. In spite of being 9 months pregnant and exhausted, I remember cleaning things I had never even known could get dirty, arranging and re-arranging picture frames, cabinets, and closets, and then worrying that our life would never ever be scrubbed clean enough to deserve a new child.

At the time, I was under the impression that hormones produced by pregnancy had taken over, that crazy irrational nesting was a phenomenon exclusively related to physiological chemical reactions linked to the upcoming birth. “The human body is truly amazing, “ I thought. “Mothers are hard-wired to prepare for the arrival of a baby, hard-wired to create a safe space for their offspring. ” 8 years ago, when my son was born, I knew very little about adoption and could not have predicted that it would be God’s plan for our family.

I now know first hand that biological pregnancy is not the only way to produce these mysterious nesting hormones. For the past 9 months, we’ve been in the process of adopting a 5-year old little boy. And, the entire time, I have felt very pregnant. And, for the past month, have once again been bussling around the house, obsessing about whether or not things are organized or clean enough to be worthy of our new son.

We head to Africa to meet our son in less than two weeks. I have an irrational task list longer than you can imagine. It includes but is not limited to: Cleaning out gutters, cleaning the garage, training the dog, losing 10 pounds, weeding, sterilizing bathrooms and cupboards, and ridding Alex and Caleb of any and all bad habits.

Notice that packing our bags is not even on this list. That’s on another list.

I'm coming to terms with the fact that everything might not get done. Besides, we should probably introduce him to what regular life is like in the Howerton home instead of the scrubbed clean, well-sanitized version. The truth is we're pretty messy. :)


  1. I am glad you are blogging again...I don't know how you do it all!! I am praying for your trip and your WHOLE family. :)

  2. Oh Jodie, I can so relate to this. And I only had one weeks notice! I was a madwoman - painting, cleaning, organizing. Yes, the nesting is NOT hormonal. ;)

  3. Jodie, I suspect he will be more comfortable with messy than with tidy. He is going to have so much to take in - it is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I am so excited for you and look forward to meeting your son one day on a visit to Seattle.

  4. I totally understand. We are foster parents and I do the same thing when we get a call about a new placement. And we usually only have a few hours notice.

  5. Oh, how I can relate! We have two kiddos by birth, and two through adoption, and I was a nesting maniac with all of them. :)

  6. good luck in Africa! Can't wait to read about your experience there.


Leave a comment - your opinion matters.