Thanks for commenting on my "talk" post. It's good to hear others' experiences, and it helped me realize that I may be a bit of a baby. I mentioned to one commenter that I was a middle child, and maybe those "ignored" feelings were rearing up. Don't get me wrong -- being a middle has served me well in the long run. After an early childhood of clinginess and clamouring for my parents' attention, I struck out and found an amazing circle of friends whom I still have (since elementary school!), and I continue to find spectacular friends as I go on in life.
These friends are great and interested and supportive, so along with my mom, I've got plenty of bases covered. My MIL also likes to talk about the adoption with me, though she's a bit more of a challenge. For example, she wants us to ask for a boy and a girl. And I don't want to. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting one of each -- I'd be thrilled. But I know I will be thrilled by any combination of siblings. I've got friends with every combination, and they're all pretty neat. Just imagine missing out on experiencing the greatest pair of boys/girls, because we were being picky?
Changing subjects, I've been considering attending the local Baptist Church here in town. It is predominatly black, and I've heard it's got a great acting pastor. Beckmann has participated in a choir sing including the choir from this church, and he said it blew every other church choir out of the water. A friend of mine says she wants to start attending with her family, so that would be a wonderful way for us to make the foray into faith.
Religion inhabits a complicated place in my psyche, as I'm sure it does for a lot of people. I was raised Catholic, and after being disappointed numerous times by my church, I refused to consider returning to ANY church. It took me several years to be able to sit in a church and not feel angry. My experiences are my own, so I don't mean to degrade anyone's religion. My life experiences coupled with the churches I was raised in didn't do very much to encourage tolerance or compassion, nor a sense of belonging to a greater whole. Once again, my experience.
Working in art museums did more for my grasp of what faith is than attending church. I certainly have an almost religious passion for art. I learned (and still do) about wildly different religions, the impetus for their art-making, the stories their arts told to their faithful. From the curvy, voluptuous and many-armed Hindu deities, to the Shinto nature deities, to Osiris, to Mary, I ate it all up. And, of course, when I compared the different religions, I found that they weren't that different after all. They share the qualities of providing comfort, community, contemplation, and trying to understand "why?"
I've lately found Buddhism to be the most helpful for coping with the day-to-day and the unusual. This has been a very personal inquiry, and mostly solitary (though it doesn't have to be). I am excited to visit the Baptist church, as well as the local Unitarian church where the wife of a colleague of mine is a minister. It'll be fun to take part in a group faith experience again, and I think it will be a good resource for our kids.
Of course, there is the getting up on Sunday morning and spending a couple of hours at church. That will be difficult. Beckmann is very protective of his mornings for painting -- but he is the bass voice in the family. He may be wooed. I am the lazy Sunday person. I'll let you know how it goes. Now for some religious art to get you inspired. Most of the pieces are from my favorite
church museum, the Met. The seated Buddha and the Ethiopian manuscript are from the net.