The Misguided Sainthood of Mrs. Kleiner

Trying to get it right with the best of intentions.

Location: Seattle, Washington

I have been married to the delicious Joe Kleiner for 6 years. I got preg in 1999 & miscarried at 17 weeks. I was depressed for a very long time. I now know I have PCOS, an endocrine disorder and leading cause of infertility. Joe and I both felt compelled to adopt foster children so we called ANTIOCH ADOPTIONS. They are committed to helping normal people adopt & to getting kids out of foster care. Our kids came home in the fall of 2001. Bret (8), Nene (7), and Tony (5). In 2004 we were contacted because the kids had a new biological sister and through God's amazing providence we now have her too. Yes, that's four-ages 12, 10, 9 and 1. This is where the mythology begins. Often people who don't know us hold to an erroneous and misguided belief that I am special, a saint if you will. That THEY would never be able to live my life. That God has not CALLED THEM to fostering or adopting. I disagree with every cell of my being. I am no saint. But I do believe that Jesus calls us ALL to care for the fatherless, to love the unlovable, and to die to ourselves. So this is my attempt to set the record straight.

Friday, July 15, 2005


I now know why God couldn't rest till the 7th Day. Too much noise, too much to do.

So I told you I'd report.

I retreat to my aforementioned stripey mat of love. I sit thinking about writing, about the sound of rain, about my kids, about the french toast rotting in my stomach. I can not clear my mind in any sense. It turns out I am being watched the whole time. The kids are in post sleep over mode complete with back to back movies, trampoline slumber, and much sugar. So I'm trying to achieve mind focus and intentional breathing and the kids + friends are holed up on the couch observing me thru a crack in the blinds as if I am a strange specimen not oft seen in suburbia.

I gave up after about 5 minutes. I felt too creepy. Here's what was going down inside the house... Kid2 (the one from day one) announces, "We can do ANYTHING we WANT as long as we DON'T bother Mom." Pause. The tall red headed kid asks, "Can we eat the licorice?" "I don't know, we should probably ask my Mom." replies Kid2.

Enjoy the Silence...

So, I've decided I need some balance in my life. Which is a enormous understatement. But I decided to start with noise. With four of my own kids, about 20 kids that I love and visit often and many lively friends my life is very loud. So I have attempted this week to enjoy TEN minutes of silence a day. Meditating, praying, breathing. Being quiet. I thought I'd start small and be successful. Here's how that's working for me:

I retreat to the back patio. I sit comfortably on the new Target rug I got for a deal... see I have a problem with focus...and begin to breath. Nothing too weird. Just quiet and breathing. About 3-4 minutes in I hear a snicker and slight guffaw come from Kid2. She's standing with branded smartassness across her face, fingers in Buddha poise--mocking me. "Ohmmm. Ohmmm. Ohmm." Where the hell did she learn that? "What ARE you doing?" she quips. I calmly tell her I'm breathing. And I'd like it to remain quiet so I can breath in peace. She bounces away laughing. Another 1-2 minutes of quiet breathing, trying to get her smirk out of my head. Kid2 returns with Kid4--who is 18 months and is not quiet in any way. End of quiet breathing.

Most of the peeps are gone. Just Kid4 (asleep) and Kid3 who was caressing his new Anakin toy with devotion and awe. So I slip outside to lay on the trampoline and read my new book ARMCHAIR MYSTIC. It's a perfect weather cocktail, warm but cool, slight breeze rustling the trees overhead and calming me into a slow breathing pattern. I hear a tip toe approach and open my eyes to see Kiddo3 at the edge of the tramp with arms full of action figures. I inquire about his presence and motive. He returns, "I just want to be by you". I've been breathing for about 3 minutes at this point so the oxygen causes me to agree "As long as you are quiet. Mom needs some quiet time." We have an agreement and he lays next to me quietly for another 3-4 minutes. He slips off and runs into the house. I hear him come back. This time he has a bowl of potato chips. Crunch. End of quiet breathing.

I thought fuck it. There are 13 kids at my house. Be a realist.

I'll let you know how it goes.