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.

Monday, April 24, 2006


This is what hapens to your keyboard when you alow your todler to play at your desk. Stuf gets spiled in your keys and sudenly no key wil push down more than once and you can't use your backspace buton to erase.

Other than that, it's a suny lovely day. And I have the image of my swet destroyer-picking forget-me-nots and runing them to me in the sunshine. Life is god. (not as in diety but as in realy awesome ).

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I took Nor in for what I suspected was an ear infection yesterday. I was wrong.

But guess what? While you're here why don't you catch up on all her vaccinations? You know you're behind right? (insert snide, condescending voice of annoyingly skinny pediatrician here)

I tried to explain that I had discussed it with my regular ped; that I had done research; that I had a plan and wasn't an ignoramus...but in the end I felt like an idiot and had them done. I was planning on doing them--I just wasn't prepared for them that day. You see, I need more preparation than Nor does. She just needs a few Dora stickers and a sucker and she's good to go. Me, I need a valium, or shot...of tequila or something. NONE of which I'm allowed to have. So I went cold turkey and let the nurse go for it.

It broke my heart. And last night when she was crying and saying her "pokey's hurt" it broke again. But today she is fine. She's munching on cereal and watching Dora and all is well. We have both mended.

I can't stop thinking about my niece. She's due to be born some time at the end of June. She does not have a name yet, but she is already causing quite a stir. You see, her heart is broken too. But there may not be a way to mend it.

I can't wait to meet her and yet she is so safe where she is I'd be fine if she stayed there indefinitley. My brother and my Jenny are handling themselves so beautifully it hurts to watch. I feel like a total idiot around them (saying all the wrong things, having too many oppinions, being a dummy most of the time) --but mostly it's because my grief and loss over this little girl is staggering. I look at her brother and I try to imagine her little face. I pray every second for a miracle. And I trust that she is created in the image of God and for His purposes. But my heart is still breaking.

I have never been good at dealing with grief. I think I've mentioned that before. I want to do it right this time. But I can't even handle watching Nor get shots. Let alone what lays ahead for this baby girl.

I need you God. I need your strength. I need your wisdom. I need anything you can send my way.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I had an ultrasound today. I even got a picture of baby Skeletor. Everything looks great. In fact, it was so real looking it blew my mind. I might actually have a baby at the end of this all. Thanks to you all for your support and love and for letting me BE. The last few weeks have been rough for many reasons, but it's amazing to have such dear friends to share it with.

Tonight we had a Good Friday service at church. I have not prepared for Easter in any spiritual, lenten, holy sort of way. At all. There WAS a trip to Costco and some plastic grass and candy was purchased this week--but I have not even thought about the death of Christ in any significant way this season. Even stranger--I was not moved in any way during the service tonight. I feel totally removed from the persecution and sacrifice of Christ. I am entrenched in my own world and the suffering I see around me. Sad. And tomorrow we have soccer, Easter preparations (the running around kind), cleaning the house and cooking. I should go now and read my Bible and try to engage in some way--but what I want to do is finish watching Capote. Hrghmph!

When did my soul shrivel up and die? When did I stop weaping at the thought of the cross? When did Easter become so little to me? What the hell is wrong with me?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I stopped puking five days ago. Five terrifying days ago. Why so scary? Because I fear this is the beginning of the end. Even worse, I had a fairly optimistic midwife appointment yesterday. Which feels more dooming than encouraging.

I am almost 16 weeks pregnant after 6 years of infertility and several miscarriages (only one of noteworthy length). When I lost my first baby, I was 17 weeks and had finally stopped puking.

Get the connection?

I have such mixed feelings about this process. I want to protect my kids, my joe, my friends (who are my family) and yet I am dying inside everyday. I have been the picture of upbeat and smiley. And yet--every kind word, every congratulations, every blind-faith-of-course-God-will-let-THIS-baby-live sentiment is slowly killing me. Why do I have to be the one to remind people not to get too excited-- that there are no fucking guarantees in life?

I know that people think that God owes it to me. That he did a miracle and of course it will all work out. That somehow because we have adopted kids we are being rewarded with a bio kid.* I think that's crap. I know God's involved, but he could just as easily be seeing how much I can take. . . How much I will trust Him. . . How will I handle suffering this time around. It's all for his glory. Whether I have a baby or not at the end.

And that scares the shit out of me.

Please being praying for me and this baby. Please don't expect me to be happy OR morbidly apprehensive the next time we meet. Just allow me to be whatever I am. I need to be able to BE without worrying about how you will react.

* By the way--this line of thinking and comments leads me to believe that some people view a bio child as superior to an adopted child. BUT I DON'T FEEL THAT WAY. My kids are a blessing and the joy of my life.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I haven't written in a long time. Life has been busy. There is a lot going on. But the amazing thing is I am not overwhelmed. I have peace in my life for the first time in a long time. More about that later.

We had dinner tonight with an old friend. She returned to Seattle a few months ago after a long banishment to eastern washington. She looks amazing. Her children are as gorgeous and fresh and creative as ususal. Her hospitality is as comfortable and welcoming as always. Her home is a place of refuge.

You would never know from looking at her that her husbnad of ten years left her and their four children for a younger woman. I don't know all the details. I don't need to. She has been chronicling her journey on her own blog and I will read that tomorrow when I have more time.

For tonight I want to remember her face. Her beauty. Her courage. As we left her warm and cozy house I was reminded that our strength and peace does NOT come from our circumstances--but in the sheer faith that God is good. That He will provide and heal us. I was reminded that there is incredible beauty in suffering as it shapes us and refines us. I know she must be so scared and lonely--I am not making light of that in any way. I guess I just see suffering so much differently these days.

It's not the enemy it once was.

Back to Lacey. She is beautiful and courageous and I love her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


My name is Alecia and I have a rage problem.

I come from a long line of ragers.

My Dad breaks wild horses for a living. He is an intense human being. Very gifted and handsome. And he gets pissed really easy. When he fights he forgets how much he loves you. He comes to kick ass. His rage is quick and furious. And when he's done, he's done. He forgets and expects everyone to move on. I'm a lot like him.

My Mom is equally rageful, she's just the silent bitter type. Though I remember her losing it on me several times when I was a willful, smartassed kid. She suffered in silence most of her life. Her motto is "we will endeavor to persevere". Very martyrish. Very co-dependent. She remembers things forever, and struggles with bitterness. I'm a lot like her.

My dad's mama, grandma Wanita was the poster child for rage. She led a hard life married to an amiable alcoholic, supporting four children in impoverished Oklahoma. Think Grapes of Wrath. Legend has it that my deadbeat grandpa came home one night after getting his drink on and passed out on the bed. She was so pissed, she wrapped him in the bedsheets like a mummy--and then beat the shit out of him with the handle of a broom.

Her next husband disagreed with her scoring during shuffle board. She took the puck and pistol whipped him with it. In front of everyone. Their marriage only lasted a few years.

She was beautiful when she was young. But hard living and anger took it's toll. She wore her rage like a mask. You could see every line of anger. Every grievance. Every bitterness etched in her worn out face. In ways, I am a lot like her.

I had an epiphany tonight about my anger. Even though my episodes of freaking out on people have slowed down--and are usually centered around my hormonal peak each month--I still rage. My rage has gone underground. Instead of cussing someone out, I do it inside. I develop justifications for my irritations, and frustrations and deem them exceptable because I've been sinned against. To most people I seem to have it together. But I rage against my daughter, random strangers, and internally I always respond first with anger.

I'm the worst combination of my parents. When I sin--I forget immediately like my father. When I'm sinned against--I remember forever like my mother.

I want the redemption of Christ to flood my life and change me from the core. I want to die to my rage and the selfishness that drives it. I want my anger to be the righteous kind. When I'm an old lady I want my face to be etched with love and faithfulness and wisdom.

Friday, September 30, 2005


The kids and I spoke tonight at a retreat for couples applying to adopt through Antioch Adoptions. I've done that a couple of times and always loved it. One time I took only Tonesha with me. There were 14 couples there that night and only 2 were interested in older child adoption (meaning over age 2). By the time Tonesha was done working the crowd--7 families were open to older kids. She is the spokesmodel for adorable kids everywhere.

Tonight was great. It was also hard. I've never spoken quite as frankly about my journey in front of my kids. Of course, they were mostly drooling and rolling around on the ground acting like clowns. When we got to the car, Bret said, "That was the most amazing speech I've ever heard." Seems like sharing your journey makes the "wisdom" you try to impart more poignant! Duh. I know that as a disciplship principle but had not made the connection to my mothering until tonight. I can be a real dolt sometimes.

It seemed like the couples were more informed about the huge need for older kid adoption. But you know some are also conflicted. I know the desire for a baby is strong. It should be. God gave us the desire. But he also calls us to master our desires--not be subject to them. We have to die to our desire. Die to our perfect picture life. Die to ourselves until all we have left is a desire to follow and glorify Him. My desire almost consumed me. I raged against God for a long time. I had finally died, repented and was being rebuilt when we welcomed our baby Nor home.

I know that's a lot like telling a single woman that when she stops looking for a husband, God will provide her with one. Remember that? I spent a lot of time pretending like I wasn't looking, too. It's not something you can fake. God's got that whole all-knowing thing going on.

Back to the retreat. It was amazing to meet some people who really want to make a difference. I know each face represents much pain and loss. Each couple has traveled a road both unique and similar to my own. All are hoping for a brighter future. I'm encouraged by the number interested in the foster-adopt program. Foster care is brutal. For a child, being removed from their home is terrible. No matter how abusive and disfunctional. It is devastating. But even worse than that--is never having their own family again. We have to do more to get these kids into homes. We need to open our minds to a life beyond two kids and a dog. To open our hearts to those who are the most vunerable. To open our arms to a child (or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5...).

To those of you reading because you met me there tonight...Thank you for stopping by. I thank God for you and I will pray. Pray that you will die to yourself. Pray that God will transform you through the renewing of your mind. Pray that your hope will not be for naught. I will pray that God will fill your home. Thank you for your courage.