Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I think I might be a runner

I finished my first ½ marathon on Sunday. In 2:31:19 (that’s about 11 ½ minutes per mile, in case you were wondering). Although I officially started training for this thing back in August, the seed was planted much early by my brother. Back in March, over lunch, we caught up and chatted about a wide variety of topics. And somewhere in our conversation, I brought up marathons and how I had no idea how people could do that. His response was something along the lines of the important thing is to just start. Go out and do a mile, then the next day do a little more and not get caught up in the big, overwhelming picture. This advice really applies to lots of things in life doesn’t it? He’s a smart guy, my little brother.

When I was thinking about ways to raise funds and awareness about the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, I wanted to do something that required a commitment on my part. As I brainstormed, I kept going back to running. After a little research, I discovered the Detroit Marathon was about eight weeks away. I would try to do the 13.1 miles and use it as a vehicle for fundraising. I just had to start.

Eight weeks later, I was standing in the dark at 7am with 20,000 fellow runners. Getting ready to run for Ethiopia, for the awesome people who donated $1680 to aid those in desperate need and for myself.

Waiting in my "wave" for the race to begin

We ran across the bridge to Canada (and came back via tunnel)

My cheering section and fellow runner (Jose pledged to run the 5K if I met my goal of raising $1310)

Friday, October 14, 2011


The beginning of a blanket, each stitch filled with hope and love,
Summer 2008

Finally finished, January 2010

Sleeping boy, October 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011


When we got to the waiting stage with Turo, we knew there would be several months before “the call.” Having this timeline didn’t stop me from obsessing, checking the unofficial on-line list of other waiting families and thinking a lot about our future child. Six months passed between the time we were put on the waitlist and we got the call that changed everything. Then we waited another five months before we were on the plane to go meet our son.

This time around we wait for a birth mother to choose us. So we could find out tomorrow or two years from now that we are about to add to our family. Unlike pregnancy or even our first wait, there are no timetables. We entered the “pool” of potential families October 3rd. The next day my phone rang twice with local, unknown numbers, and I about had a panic attack each time.

To alleviate some of my anxiety, I e-mailed our adoption counselor just to get clarification about how the call will go down. We’ll get an e-mail first asking if our birth family letter can be shown, then we’ll get the call if we’re picked. At that point we’ll meet and decide if both parties want move forward with an adoption plan. Then we’ll wait some more. Wait for the baby. Wait until parental rights are terminated by the courts. Wait, wait, wait…

Now I’m obsessively checking my e-mail countless times a day. Each time I hit refresh, I hold my breath as I skim the group-ons and daily deals to look for the e-mail that may bring us a step closer to our second Baby Barto.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


During high school everything was saved. Notes from friends, play bills, photos, articles from the Shopping Guide that featured me or my friends, band programs, report cards, ticket stubs, birthday/Christmas/Easter/Valentine/graduation cards, awards… Neatly organized by year in binders (see my mom’s influence here). Then packed away in Rubbermaid tubs, moved from Michigan to Texas and back again. Taking up space in the basement. So, when we organized, I decided it was time to sort through these boxes and re-prioritize what should be saved.

It was tough trying to decide what should be scrapped (and when possible recycled). I kept items that represented a special person, event or moment and let go of the rest. Going through years of memories was an emotional job. Each photo and newspaper clipping was a reminder of that teenage version of myself. The nerdy, involved in everything, Euphonium playing high schooler. With this whole big exciting future stretching out ahead of her. So many possibilities. What would that Sara think of who she is now? Would she recognize the woman she became?

The bag of photos that didn’t make the cut remained in my garage for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t quite bring myself to heave it into the trash. Tonight I finally did. I lit a candle and said a little good-bye to that old part of myself.

And the empty tubs were filled with onesies, small blankets and other baby paraphernalia. Ready for the future.