Thursday, February 07, 2008 thread.surreal.selfish post

I am in a state of shock. I am sad. I am not sure I can put my thoughts into words. This is not really an adoption post but I still wanted to share it. As I believe my college experienced helped shape me into what I am and that adoption seed was planted oh so many years ago.

I graduated from Union Univ in 97. In case you have not heard, Union was severely damaged in a huge tornado 2 nights ago. It will never be the same. As sad as I am, I have learned that joy will be found. I am sure of that. There are many UU alumni who are blogging and its funny that many of us have found each other after 10 years through a blog.

I have many friends in Jackson and I hope to hear from them soon. Michael and I will be visiting the area in a few weeks and I know it will be emotional.

I went to Union because I wanted to go to a Christian school. I went in hope to strengthen my walk with Christ while getting an amazing education. Oh I got much more than that. My 4 years there were just awesome. I am still in contact with my roomates and 2 of them sang in my wedding.

For my friends involved in China adoption, you understand the word community. With Union, its the same way. We all feel connected even though some of us have never met. This is such a selfish post because hundreds of students have lost everything and here I am talking about how I feel. Perhaps it the sentimental aspect, I am just sad. We watched the TV during trivia and I saw my old dorm. My actual dorm that I lived in. There is now a car in it. Only 20% of the dorms are livable.

It was during my stay at Union, my love for Christian music began. I went to my first Steven Curtis Chapman concert and it was that night I learned that Rich Mullins died. During the years I went to different concerts and just loved the music. During my sophomore year, I went on a short term mission trip to New Orleans. Union was my home away from home My family lived in Fl and my friends in college were my family. I learned to pray out loud. I learned what unconditional friendship was. I learned by watching that Christians were not perfect. I realized that loving God was fun. I learned that God can bring hope in sorrow. I realized I did not need to impress people. Boy that took a long time. My across the street neighbor was Sherry Lin. She was from China and one thing she did in college was visit famlilies who had adopted children from China. This is first time I had heard of that.

Union was the beginning of my spiritual journey and perhaps that is what I am sooo sad. I am sad for those effected and I am sad that Union will never be the same. Its the oddest thing.

So I have to tell you after college I heard the song "When Love Takes You In" and I have to tell you i skipped it on my cd every time it came on. I really did not like it. I saw the video. I thought it was nice but I once again skipped. In college, I had friends who were one of many children. I witness how they raised their families and I wanted that. I wanted a big family. Its really hard to explain but in college, I figured out what I wanted. It took my a long time to realize what I want is nothing compared to what God has planned for me..AMAZING..

Long story short. In the past year, I have learned that my college neighbor is adopting from China and has been logged in for over a year. I have learned a friend from college came home from China with sweet Emma in December. I am in contact with 3 other people who are home with their children, all from Union.

I can not connect everything together and this post is not going to make sense.
When you see Union on TV, please pray for the faculty, the students, their families and everyone in Jackson. It feels like a childhood home has been destroyed.

I do not think I would the wife or friend I am now without my college experience. I know the same will be said when I become a mom. Union is so much more than just buildings.
Union will be stronger. They will continue on.

I am amazed at how strong these emotions I have are.

To see some pics, head over to Michaels blog
To read a little more into my experience head over to my blog

***** thanks for your prayers. My prayers are with these students, most who do not have family near by. I was 3 states away from my family when I was college. I cant imagine going through that without them nearby. They lost everything. Their ID's, wallets, transportation, books, food. Most are having to accept help while grieving and suffering. This is real. This is a humbling experience. This is very hard to fathom. These are young college kids (some of them) who are having to become independent real quick. I still relied on my parents to help me with all problems when I was in college.

UU, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

photo taken from
These were our dorms. Looking at this picture, I lived in the dorm to the far left, the one highter on the screen, the closest to the campus. As Steven said, the commons area (directly in the center of the picture) is gone. That is where we socialized since we had men and women dorms.


redmaryjanes said...

I have seen the devastation on television and I am so sorry that something close to your heart has been destroyed.
Big Hug.

The Chipped Mug said...

No, Sara and I live in Illinois but my family in TN is safe and sound. We are doing very well and we will find out the sex...yes, we are cheaters. ;) thanks for your comments!@

sarah said...

I was so sorry to hear about the damage to this school. . . and then read about it in a more personal way on your blog.

Wendy said...

I have seen the devastation and this tragedy! I will praying!!!

OH MY #6 said...

so sorry. This is terrible.


Angie said...

OH Amy, I am so sorry to hear that you have such a personal connection to this horrible tragedy. It is just awful. I will certainly be praying for all involved, including you.

Briana's Mom said...

I am so sorry to hear about your school. That is just so sad.

Janet said...

I am so sorry, Amy. This is heart breaking. Praying for you, friend.

Alyson & Ford said...

This sounds really terrible! I read some in the newspaper but didn't know how bad it was. You sound like a trooper and will make lots of good out of it. It IS very personal when we read it on your blog.

LID 01/27/06

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, I don't know what to say... it is so sad what has happened.

It sounds like you have such precious memories of your time as a student there. My heart goes out to you and to the many others that have been hurt.

Amy S. said...

Amy,....Of course you feel bad...and you was a wonderful powerful force in your life that you experienced...and it is not a selfish post to express the sorrow that you have for something so influential in your life. Know that I am thinking of you and praying for all who lost in what seems to be an awesome school and an honor to have attended it....and yes...we do know that we can find joy when sorrow consumes us. A big Hug to you!

Love and Hugs..

Shelly & Family! said...

I am so sorry to hear how something that was such a major part of you was harmed. My thoughts and prayers are with you...

Franceskasjourneyhome said...

Don't apologize for being so random or for having so many emotions. Emotions are real and this place is a part of you. My heart breaks for you, but only remember that God is on that campus and all will be fine again one day soon. God bless you.

Love, Kristy

Pug Mama said...

loved you husbands Grammy post. Thanks for sending me over there!

Jen said...

It's a small world! UU is where I wanted to go to school, and it is where my best friend went! I would have been there from fall of 1992 to spring of 1996, but life took me elsewhere! My parents were divorced when I was 16, and as a child in a single-parent home, we couldn't afford for me to go there, and I was sensible enough (or my mother was) that I didn't want to be in debt after college, so I went to the University of Memphis, where I had a full scholarship. I remember those fabulous dorms from a visit to the campus, and I have fond memories of going to the Spanish Fair at UU in high school. What a fabulous school, and what a miracle that God did when not one person died in the midst of all that damage. WOW!