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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alive and Kicking...and Bad News

Believe it or not, with everything through which I am am suffering, my spiritual life is alive and kicking.  Even in my downtime, when I was being "not religious," I really was still being religious. That is to say, I was still wearing a tallit katan and kippah each and every day...I really feel naked without those, so it was easy to remember.  I also still kept kosher and observed the Sabbath; I said appropriate blessings at the right opportunities, and every single day I read at least one psalm and at least one Bible chapter (in English)...sometimes more.  So I'm not sure you could call that religious downtime.

Regardless of whether what I described above could be counted as downtime or not, I am back to religion full force now.  I hadn't been praying ritually at all because I can't wear the arm piece of my tefillin without wanting to scream from the pain.  However, yesterday I woke up to the fact that I can still pray with prayer shawl and the head piece, fulfilling either two and a half commandments out of three, or three commandments out of four, depending on whose opinion you follow.  (The difference in numbers is about whether the teffillin are two separate commandments or one together.)   Armed with that knowledge, I could not stay away from prayer.

I am also writing to God again: yes, physical letters, by hand, on stationery. Until last night, I literally hadn't done that in months, not since the pain got bad again.  What I am discovering, however, is that in times of distress, I need God more, not less...that sounds obvious but believe me, nothing's obvious with health like mine. To make the whole process oversimplified and too concrete, when I write to God, God answers, and we spend time together.

Because writing to God has such powerful effects, I can only safely do it once a day.  Oh, and the interesting thing is that the "best" name I've found for God--the one that makes me feel safe, cozy, and protected; which is what I most need from God right now--is a masculine title.  This is so interesting only because, at least consciously, I always thought of God as feminine.  It is, however, also a traditional Hebrew title; there are precious few Hebrew feminine terms for God.

Having described my spiritual life in great detail, I now turn to the bad news I must share.  This news is so bad it literally makes my stomach flop.

You may remember that I am Prayer Warrior for a little boy listed on Reece's Rainbow.  "Jacob" turned six this past June, and his description had not been updated in the three years that I had been praying for him.  I thought it might help his chances for adoption if families knew, for example, whether or not he was talking.  (With Down syndrome, it is possible that he's still not talking at age six; however, with a three-year-old description it was also possible that now he is.)  This new description includes more information about his heart condition--stuff that makes me worry--and more about what he can and cannot do physically, also bad news.

I don't know what to do for "Jacob" except to keep shouting: to God in my daily prayers and to people through my blog.  So right below this paragraph, I am including "Jacob's" pictures (which have not been updated) and his new description.

Jacob smJacob

"Jacob

"Boy, born June 2010
PRC

"Jacob's tests suggest Down Syndrome.  An ultrasound dictation in his file also hints that he looks to have congenital heart disease and an interventricular septum membrane department tumor and defect. His heart has normal cardiac function.

"This little guy needs a mommy and some good nutrition!
He is not speaking yet but does understand the word "no".  He is restless and stubborn.  He does not like baths and cries during them but can be comforted with food or being held.  Jacob can roll but has poor muscle tone.  He is unable to sit or crawl.  He can hold objects and throw them and his eyes will follow objects.  Jacob does well playing alone but also gets along well with other children.

"Jacob is a very lovable little boy.  All of us like him very much.  We hope that he can find a home which loves him very much early in which he can enjoy the love of parents and owns a happy childhood, nice future.  We believe he will bring much happiness to your family."

Now, "Jacob" or no "Jacob", I must continue in my mission to post one of the oldest kinds with each blog post, the ones who have at most 18 months, and very often less, before they can no longer be adopted.  In this post, I cam sharing a boy.  So, please meet "MORRIS."  "Morris" was born in October 2001; that gives him FOURTEEN MONTHS for a family to get to him! "Morris's" disaiblities are: SIGNIFICANT MENTAL DELAYS, HYDROCEPHALY, SPASTIC PARESIS and INBORN PARTIAL OPTIC ATROPHY.

Morris pic

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!