Friday, December 4, 2009
Once upon a time I purchased a small gift and card for my friend's son who happens to be born on Valentine's Day. His birthday is easy to remember. The gift and the card are still in a bag in my bedroom closet, waiting for delivery. It was supposed to be for his 7th birthday. He will be nine this coming Valentine's Day. I am a wee bit behind.
It is not because I do not love and cherish those in my life, especially my friends. I do. With my whole heart. I just cannot seem to get my brain on board. That is exactly how I feel about blogging and the amazing friends I have made the past few years in the blog world. I love you, really I do. I just can't seem to find the car keys...
So here we go again. Another month completely missed, where I used to blog daily. It makes me sad, as this was the way I used to keep up with the many friends I have all over the States, a great friend in Canada, and those abroad. I have not even had time to read my favorite bloggers. I popped on today because I wanted to read the blog of a friend, and decided I best dust off my own.
You did not miss much in November. We ate turkey, went to some soccer games and sent our oldest daughter to school. Well, that probably qualifies as news. Especially on a blog that started to document my homeschooling journey. So here is the skinny...
Xena has begged to join her brother at the Christian school he started in September, ever since she knew, in the summer, that he was going. We promised to consider it for next year. It just so happened that "next quarter" was a better time frame. K.Z. was offered a partial scholarship that paid half his tuition, and starting Xena a little late meant that we could afford to send her. Not that this was our plan, but it did work out perfectly. So, we sent her on a Thursday to "visit" to see how she would do and by that next Monday she was officially a student and climbed aboard the big yellow bus.
C'sa is still at home with me, diligently working at mastering Kindergarten, while Eazy and Iggy hang out and play. Next year, I may be focusing only on reeling in my toddler. But that is a story for another day. Or month, as it were. Either way, I promise I will be back...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
1. Salvation - the biggie.
2. Marriage - Becoming Mrs. Mr. Clean was pretty cool, and I love every day I am his bride.
3. My first born son - K.Z. ranks pretty high up there in life experiences.
4. My first born daughter - I had named this child when I was a kid myself, years before I actually met her.
5. My baby girl - "Mini-Me" emerges.
6. Adopting my baby boy - "Wait!", you say. "What!? I have been reading this blog for (fill in time period here) and you did not tell us the big day was coming?! How could you! Humph!"
Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I have been neglecting this blog for quite a while, because life has been a little crazy. I would not mind getting off this hamster wheel for a minute, but for now, it is not going to happen.
So, here is the scoop! Yesterday we adopted our foster son, "Iggy" who has been with us since his birth. He is now and forever home!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Is anyone paying attention to this case? According to Debra Winger, it is decades old and should be dropped. OH! Well, alrightly then. Let's just drop it. Would Ms. Winger think this case "is all but dead except for a minor technicality", if it involved her daughter? Except, that she does not have one. But I do.
And let me say for the record Ms. Winger, if she were drugged and raped at 13, by a sleezy 43 year old director/producer, you better believe I would not want to see the case dropped for any reason. Even if that rapist was a celebrated (pardon me while I spit for a moment) film maker.
What is happening in our country? I know that there are many things in this country that are not as they should be, but when it comes to child rapists, even the most hardened jailed criminal knows pedophiles have reached the very bottom of the scum pit. They even have "jailhouse justice" for people like this. Yet Hollywood is offended when a film festival's carefully planned events are disrupted by the arrest of this man after he fled punishment 30 years ago?
Cry me a river.
That is not to say that we shouldn't be praying for this man's redemption. I will admit I have a hard time doing that, but that is my own failure. I would rather see him get justice here on earth than the punishment that he (that we all) deserves in eternity. This whole case just makes me so sad for the way our country sees right and wrong. It's not as if we are the first however. Remember Rome?
Pray for Roman Polanski and pray for our country.
Friday, September 11, 2009
43rd President of the United States
September 11, 2001
Thursday, September 3, 2009
K.Z. started attending a small, local, conservative Christian school two weeks ago and he is in love with it. I am sure that the honeymoon period will wear off eventually, but I have a feeling that when that does happen he will still really like the school. His teacher, I have been told by two very, "in the know" nine year olds is, "funny". I liked her when I met her as well. I also like that she takes no prisoners.
The first day of school I watched the clock. I missed him terribly and wanted to know what he was doing every moment of the day. The third day of school, I almost forgot to get home in time for the bus. I think we both will be just fine. I have also decided in my head that he is simply attending a very long "homeschool co-op". After all, the school uses a popular curriculum with homeschoolers, so that scenario works in my head. Please do not inform me otherwise.
Although Xena has now informed me that she too would like to try a year at this academy, we are still homeschooling the rest of the kids this year. Xena is my star student and frankly, I really enjoy working with her. So second grade in her pajamas is right where I want her and that seems fine with her. Besides, she is a night owl like her mom and the school bus comes at 07:25. We are not usually even up then. Well, until two weeks ago
C'sa started Kindergarten and is not sure she loves it anymore. She was anxious and excited and bouncy until she saw the commitment. Now she wants to bounce away and play. Frankly, I want to go with her, but being the dutiful mother that I am , I gentle poke her with the cattle prod until she sits up straight and does small amount of seat work. I mean, this is just Kindergarten after all!
Eazy just turned four and has made so many leaps and bounds after being placed with us last December. He is definitely one of us now and I want it to be forever. That process however is just starting and will be sure to take a while. You know how I know?
Because after 20 months of fostering and adoring Iggy, we are close to an adoption!! We are talking weeks now and I could not be more thrilled. There will sure be more to come on THAT!
So hopefully it will not be another month before I post again. I do not want to see this blog die a slow death after almost 4 years of writing. I would be sad to stop. So don't stop reading! I promise I will never be gone long!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This past weekend the family and I went home to Maryland for two family reunions. One was on my mother's side and the other was my stepmother's family. Fortunately for us they happened the same day, not too far from one another, and we were able to enjoy both.
My stepmother has a large wonderful family and I have grown up with them. My late Aunt Lena, her sister, had seven children who now almost all have children of their own. Her brothers have grown children as well and I was able to see a lot of my cousins.
As a child I was very close to Lena's children and whenever I was with my Dad and Stepmom, I would hope to be able to see them. They were a great family and I wanted a family just as large and loving as theirs.
This weekend I got to introduce Eazy and Iggy to my cousins for the first time, as some of them live on the west coast or just not very close. My cousin Margie stayed at my parents' with us and got to spend more time with them. At one point, she was holding Iggy and I was noticing how her coloring was barely a shade lighter than his.
Both of my foster sons are hispanic. Iggy's bioparents are from Puerto Rico, as is Eazy's father. His mother is Spanish. They both have darker skin than I do, but in varying shades. Frankly, I could not care less. This weekend, I realized that my boys have a wonderful gift.
My cousin Margie and her six siblings are half hispanic. Their father, my uncle, is Puerto Rican. Because I grew up in a very diverse world, this was never odd or strange to me. The fact that my uncle had an accent and darker skin was natural to me. So natural that I forgot the significance to my boys until I saw the same coloring in Margie and Iggy.
More than likely these two little ones will be part of my family forever. Although we are a diverse family with varying skin tones, there will be no doubt to the boys as they grow that their skin is different than Mommy and Daddy's. But not Margie's. Or my 6 other cousins and their children who sport darker skin. They will have people who look like them in their family.
They may never care or feel out of place. That is my desire. But just in case, the Lord has provided them many family members that do look like them and share the same heritage. He is so good.
dc Talk - Colored People
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
We lost a friend today. Robert Miller was a 42 year old father of three who was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. For the past week he has been fighting for his life, but lost that fight this afternoon.
This is a man I have prayed with during small group, laughed with and grew to love as a brother in Christ. His family will have to now pick up the pieces and put their lives together without him. Please pray for them. When the funeral is done, the flowers have wilted and the condolence cards stop coming they will still be dealing with a pain so deep it can not be described. Life will go on for everyone else and eventually for his family, but their healing will take a million times longer. Please remember them then.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My youngest daughter C'sa has been begging to take "ballerina" for a few years now. I figured as she would not let up, she might not be kidding about her desire, so I signed her up for a week long, "ballet camp" just to get her feet wet and she what she thinks. She goes Monday through Friday this week, in the mornings. She is thrilled.
Yesterday, I had a friend stay with the other offspring while C'sa and I went off for her first day. She was so very excited and I was excited for her. I hung around a bit,
Instead of falling on the floor and laughing out loud at the remark (which may have been perceived as rude) I thanked her. It must have been the magical lipstick that gave that very erroneous perception. I wish I had it all put together. In reality, I feel quite frazzled at times.
The comment got me thinking however. What did she see? There are times when I feel supernaturally calm about the journey I am on. Other times I throw myself a pity party about the "burden" of raising and juggling five children and managing a household. But I also know that I am not doing this job, "just because". This did not happen by chance. It was part of God's plan and I am happy to be a part of it.
1 Peter 1:3-7 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (NIV)
Is it that living hope that shines through to believers and unbelievers alike? I have no idea as to the state of that other mom's redemption, but could it be that that is what she saw when she thought I was, "put together"? Especially on a day when I felt so much less than that?
I do have somewhere to turn on those days when the world seems to run you ragged. I have a greater hope, something amazing to look forward to in my future. I have a place to rest in the midst of chaos. I hope that is what she saw. Maybe next time I will have the courage to share it...
"...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." 1Peter 3:15
Saturday, July 11, 2009
My nine year old has been homeschooled since Kindergarten and although I have enjoyed it, the older he gets, the more I wonder if he would do better educationally with not having Mom teaching him. We both tend to represent a brick wall at times. Usually at the exact same time.
My heart says that I still want the dream of homeschooling all my kids, all the way through, to live on and prosper. My head says that I need to enroll K.Z. in a brick and mortar school and see if that helps him thrive even more. If not, he comes back home.
My head won out. I was a bit sad as I "unenrolled" him from the cyber charter school we used last year, but warming to the idea as I see how excited he is to be going. And from what I hear from a good friend whose son attended the same school, K.Z.'s teacher this coming year is incredible.
My heart still hurts a little, but I am excited to see what the year hold for him. Boy, am I going to miss my son during the day...
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I know it has been a while and honestly I have no clue why I have not been writing. I could give you the line that I have been way too busy, but the amount of my Facebook entries would bust me on that line. I could say that I have not had anything to write about, but my brain has been exploding with topics.
I will say that I think I needed a time of quiet reflection on some issues and although I adore sharing them with you and all the advice you wonderful bloggers offer, the Lord directed me to just be still. So I was still. Sort of.
We finished the school year and I let out a sigh of relief. I liked this year, I really did. We decided to use a cyber school instead of the more traditional homeschooling we had been using and I think it helped me feel more in control and accountable. I did not mind someone directing my path this year in education. K.Z.'s online teacher this year was a believer and a former homeschooler herself, and that really led to some candid, "off the record" discussions. He excelled in his studies. The "light bulb" turned on. That is not to say that the struggles ceased.
K.Z. is a great kid. Period. I really enjoy spending time with him and seeing things through his eyes. He is fun and sweet and loving. As my first born he was the guinea pig for all things parenting. I found a bottle I liked with him after we stopped nursing. The perfect binky. A great sippy cup and educational cartoons. He cut his teeth on all of that. The girls flowed easily on the canal that K.Z. helped me dig. He was going to be a genius child who won homeschool spelling bees and read Wycliffe and Hus before his Kindergarten studies. My child would be open air preaching by the time he was ten. So sayeth the Mom.
I was proud of my boy. I was a prideful mess. I forgot to consult someone in all of this. The One. Of course I prayed about homeschooling my children. I prayed about the right curriculum, the best stream by which to read Hick Finn, which co-op to join, whether or not he should play with "non-homeschoolers". I never thought to ask for the Lord's guidance as to whether or not I should homeschool and whom. That was a forgone conclusion. Of course the Lord would be pleased. That is what everyone said. Even my beloved Dr. Dobson had talked about the benefits on Focus On the Family. We were set.
Pride ruled my homeschool. My kids were doing great and having a good time. I beamed like a silly, puffed up, peacock. I had all the answers and knew all the "ins and outs". Then my boy started to struggle a little. At first with reading, and then with obedience.
The reading worked itself out this year and he is doing just fine there. He is still struggling with obedience in school. It made no sense to me. I am a homeschooler! This does not happen to homeschoolers! This only happens to those public school kids whose mothers eat bon-bons all day and watch soap operas. Not to homeschoolers with dedicated, hardworking mothers!
Maybe it was his diet. Maybe I should start serving only whole foods with organic millet for breakfast. Maybe I was too lenient with allowing the likes of PBS into our home. Or maybe… just maybe, I was once again, not consulting the One who created my boy.
I fell lock, stock and barrel into the homeschool snare. Let me shout from the rafters that I think homeschooling is wonderful. My second child is thriving from it and I do believe was reading right from the womb. But there is the trap that many fall into. It is the, "your children can only prosper from homeschooling and will wither away anywhere else" lie. And although I believe in homeschooling and can see doing this for a long time, I put homeschooling above my Creator.
This issue with obedience in my child hit me like a pipe to the back of the knees. Thankfully. I needed to be brought down on them. I tearfully prayed this time about what the best path was for K.Z., specifically. Not based on my plan or preconceived idea, but His plan. That is the only one that matters. Homeschooling, albeit a great journey, will not guarantee that my boy will hit the mission field by 17 nor be taking college classes at 14. And frankly, it is not my place to deem it so.
The King of the Universe created this boy and knew him before time even began. He knitted him and formed him in my womb. He knows my child. So now I must trust that He will also guide K.Z.'s path and set him on the one that leads to Glory.
That being said, I am now pricing polos and khakis as we consider sending K.Z. to a local, Christ based school for this school year. If it is to happen, the Lord will open the door financially and logistically. But, this time, I will let Him lead the way.
As scary as that may seem to my mortal and prideful brain...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"So what?", you say?! "Why is this a monumental moment?"
Because unlike some fathers who have their laptops with them at all times, my father rarely turns on his computer, that sits waiting patiently in his office. He is on the road much of the day and would rather be talking to people face to face than dealing with them electronically. I will give him credit where credit is due however. He has a cell phone and is not afraid to use it!
So anyway, along with this computer that gets no love whatsoever, my father actually has a company e-mail address and apparently has had it for quite a while. Not that his daughter knew about that, however (ahem!)...
After I found out about his e-mail address I simply had to see if this was true or an urban legend. My father has a working e-mail address? That can't be right.
So I e-mailed my dad just a "test" e-mail and true to daddy form, he called me back in reply (I told you he has tight cell phone skills). Apparently in my test e-mail (in which I had not even written any text) was the standard signature I have on every e-mail complete with my blog address. My dad took a leap into the unknown and clicked on said address. And actually stayed for a while to read it. Voila! I have a new reader!
So welcome Daddy! I hope you stick around.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
So here is the scoop...
- WE HAVE A NAME! After 16 months of trying to come up with a name for our foster son Iggy (Iggy is just simply his blog pseudonym), we finally sat down and decided on one. I cannot decide if I will post it here as I have never posted my other children's real names, but you never know. I do want to share it with all of you that I have formed great friendships with these past few years but.... Anyway, his name will not be official until we are able to adopt him and...
- WE ARE CLOSE! We do not have a date yet, but it seems like our adoption date is getting closer and closer. I am trying not to take for granted that he is ours, even thought he has been ours for 17 months today. Anything can happen, so I am still holding my breath a little until the judge signs his name on an adoption decree.
-EAZY (almost four year old foster son) has now been with us for six months. He is really changing and emerging and that shy, unsure little boy that joined our family last December has started to find out who he really is and we are glad to be able to see it. We still have no clue what is happening in his case, but we have decided that if he needs a place to call home forever, he can have that here. He is a great addition to the family.
That is about it for now. I want to try harder to write daily, but you may have to put up with one liners or silly rantings from my brain on occasion. With five children it does not always seem to fire on all cylinders for some reason...
Thursday, May 28, 2009
My heart has been a little heavy lately as we head toward the end of the school year. Since the beginning of my motherhood journey, I was convinced that I would homeschool my precious, obedient, perfect, and brilliant offspring while baking homemade bread and making nutritious meals from scratch with whole foods.
I buy bread, have been known to hit a drive-thru or two a little too often, and have discovered what every mother eventually finds out; my children, while precious, are not perfect, rarely obedient twice in a row and were not born knowing the mathematical constant, pi. Or how to put their shoes on the correct feet. They must be taught. In comes SuperMomma to the rescue. Or so I thought.
Currently I have two of my children officially being homeschooled. C'sa will start Kindergarten next year and then there will be three. My 9 year old son K.Z. was my first guinea pig and we started off with a bang. Then we started limping a little. Then, a shot in the arm and all seemed well again. Then a total blow out. We are finishing up the year and he has done well with his curriculum, but there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into the year. Okay, maybe no blood, but certainly a lot of tears. From both of us.
Along came time for student number two, my daughter Xena. She is me, in everyway when it comes to school. She’s a nerd like her mother and loves to read, write and all that fun stuff us geeks love. Polar opposite from her brother who would much rather be playing kickball or with Legos.
Lately, my perfect, precious son has been working very hard to find his role on this planet. For the most part he is still a boy in need of his mommy, not that I would dare tell anyone that mind you. That would make him look so un-cool. Throw that process in the blender with a Lego loving boy, a nerdy Momma who is just as stubborn as her son, and the result is something just a little less scary than, say, Ultimate Fighting. On roller skates.
The daddy person in this equation has just about had enough. So now we have some very hard decisions to make about next year, to which I have been lamenting to friends about. One very sweet friend was a voice in the dark and I cannot thank her enough. She reminded me of some very important aspects I had been overlooking (Mr. Clean’s role here, as well as some others). I was looking for a burning bush and I wonder now if I was close enough to it the whole time to actually feel the burn, but did not want to see it.
I still do not know what the future will bring for my son’s education (nor my other children for that matter), but I did realize that my agenda was certainly not serving everyone else’s as well as I had envisioned.
After all, you can’t keep a good nerd down…
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A whole lot of, "I dunnos". Let me elaborate... We have had three children biologically, which gave us 40 weeks or so to come up with something to call each child. It wasn't terribly hard and to date I cannot think of one major argument fought nor tears shed over the matter. None of our children are still called "baby", so I consider that a huge success.
Baby number 4 came to us pre-named as he was our foster son and they allowed his mother to name him. She must have still been drugged at the time from the epidural, as his name is, well... "unique". There was honestly no nickname we could derive from it that was not as "unique". Later on after jokingly calling him, "Das Baby" (apparently we had been dreaming of German U-boats?), it kind of stuck. We now call him Das quite a bit. It also can be considered a nickname from his given name. Kind of.
Now that it appears we will be able to adopt him, we have had the hardest time with a name for him. We plan to change his name, as it honors his BioDad (in a unique way), who has not honored his child whatsoever.
This child is now 15 months old, and although there was always a chance he could go home, in the back of my brain the wheels have continually been turning on what we would name him if someday he were ours forever. We have yet to completely agree. At one point I finally got Mr. Clean to have the conversation for more than 1.3 seconds and I thought we had nailed it down. Then it changed. Then it changed again. Let's hope by the time we get to adopt this baby (Lord willing), he will have a name other than, "Das Baby".
Monday, April 20, 2009
She is a friend of a friend from my home State, from the County where I rocked my babies before moving to PA and from the town where my brothers went to high school. One town over from my parents. I have driven by her house countless times. Yet she is no longer there. It is too sad to contemplate...
Friday, April 17, 2009
I was chatting with a friend today about a subject that has been weighing heavily on both of our hearts. Irrevocable change. The simple knowledge that life will never stay as it was, and even though you welcome the changes you still deeply mourn the past. I felt that today, as I wearily ran all day long. From here to there. Dropping off one set of kids here, another set of kids there, exchanging car seats with Mr. Clean, picking up children to drop them off again and take another somewhere else. This is not much different from a lot of other mothers; I am not ignorant to that fact. I just miss the "before".
Before, I had three children whom I adored and overwhelmed me to the core. Probably almost as equally as the five I have now. We had been a little family of five for just four years. C'sa was starting to be a little more independent, needing me less for the simple things, like getting her head unwedged from the armhole of her shirt. Xena was almost 6 and ready to let her love of reading take her on amazing adventures and my eldest child, K.Z. was starting his detachment phase from Momma that all boys experience and was gravitating more toward"Daddy".
Then came Iggy. As you may know Iggy is our delightful 15 month old foster son. We brought him home from the hospital at just a mere two and a half days old and we adore him beyond comprehension. He immediately changed the fabric of our family, which is how we knew that if there was any chance he was unable to be reunited with his biological parents, we wanted him. Lock, stock and barrel.
After Iggy came home I got a case of the baby blues (mild form of post pardum depression). I have had it before, after all three of my biological children, so I knew what was happening, but it seemed odd. I thought the baby blues happened due to all the changes in my hormonal balance after spitting out a baby. For Iggy, it happened because of the knowledge that my cozy little family had changed. We settled into life as a family of six, even without knowing how long Iggy would stay.
Eleven months later came Eazy, our three year old foster son. And while I did not experience the baby blues again, I did panic a little. My cozy family of five from just a year previous had just now exploded into a family of seven. It made me sad. I thought I was a little bit crazy.
We wanted these boys. We signed up to be their parental units for as long as they needed us, yet I was panicking about losing the little family dynamic that we once had. Selfish vacation plans that had been made were thwarted, the need of changing vehicles due to necessity made me bitter instead of grateful for my expanded family. I felt like I was losing my mind.
(Please do not misunderstand. I firmly believe that children, in whatever form they come, are an amazing blessing. The opportunity to bring them up in Christ, and the fact that you have been assigned that crucial task for this particular creation, is humbling. I had a grasp on this the whole time, ironically.)
You feel alone. It is hard to explain to someone, that you are waiting for this new change to feel normal, all while mourning what was your normal. I could have cried when my sweet friend revealed to me a few weeks ago that she had been struggling with this too after giving birth. It is a strange emotion and as much as I hate that she is experiencing this, it is comforting to know, I am not the only one.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I found my color about 12 years ago as a free give away from Estee Lauder. I bought a gift for someone and was treated to a free lipstick. I did not get to pick the color, it was more than likely a new color they were introducing. Well, Hello Dolly! It was a perfect fit.
Against my mother's raised eyebrow (she has been a Mary Kay consultant for many moons), I gladly paid Ms. Lauder's staff of make-up maidens for the privilege of wearing, "Alfresco Brick" lipstick. All was right with the world.
Two years ago I went to buy more, as I was running low. I was hit with an alfresco brick to the head. The color was discontinued. Dis. Con. Tinued. It took all the grace I possess to not take the sales lady by the lapel and shake her. Hard. And then hold her hostage until they agreed to re-continue my discontinued addiction. It was not to be.
I scoured every department store within a three state radius (I am not kidding) as well as eBay. My color was gone forever. Life would be irreconcilably less colorful than before the ultimate betrayal.
I searched for a color that would match my previous lipstick's glory. I searched Mary Kay (I think my mother secretly gloated and snickered behind my back), Arbonne, all the department store lipsticks, and even the brands I would literally have to sell my firstborn to simply afford. There was no comparison. My beloved was gone. I had to settle for a different color altogether, but it did not have that "wow" factor.
Fast forward two years (give or take a few months) and I found a stick in a forgotten drawer with a smidgen of lipstick left. I whipped out a lipstick brush as quick as you please to scrape the remnants. That was it, the obsession was back. I decided to search eBay again. I knew it would be fruitless. After all,
There it was. A small light in the darkness. One "Alfresco Brick" lipstick left on eBay. I prepared myself for battle. It was going to be mine. I checked all our bank accounts, money markets and retirement funds to see just how much I could spend for this last glimmer of hope. There were already bids, but I am proud to say I beat them all and did not have to mortgage the house to do so. The other junkies must have all died from lipstick overdose by now, as I got it fairly easily.
All I can say now is that the mailman better throw it from his truck and keep on going, to prevent attack when I see that bulky envelope. Life is good again.
Until this stick runs out...
Monday, April 13, 2009
In eleven days. Eleven short days until we will take a major step forward in making Iggy a member of this family forever.
Last month Iggy's biological parents signed a consent to have their parental rights terminated. It came as a shock to everyone as they were in court that day to have a judge hear the county's case for termination. It never made it to the judge.
Out of left field BioMom and all of the BioDads involved in this case (there are several siblings) signed consents. We were floored.
They have 30 days to change their minds and revoke the consent, but on day 31 if that has not happened, my little Iggy will be free and clear for adoption. That isn't to say that "Uncle SoandSo" or "Aunt Wherehaveyoubeen" cannot jump out of the woodwork and try to get custody, but it will be harder for them.
We have already been contacted by the adoption agency charged with this case and the wheels have been set in motion. It just might be time to start pinching myself...
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I have a new love. Her name is Truvy. She is my laptop.
I have been wanting a laptop for a long time. Mr. Clean has always had one supplied to him by his company. I sit and drool while watching him on it as I sit at my desktop. I know; "woe is me".
As a homeschooler I dream of vacations to exotic locales with my trusty laptop by my side to educate my children and pull up curriculum all while sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. That did not sell Mr. Clean on my need.
I started to whine that it was kind of difficult, as our curriculum is web-based, to jump up and down constantly from my desktop computer to the table where the kids are doing their workbook portion of the lesson. Nope, this did not work either.
And then it happened...
The day Mr. Clean was my substitute teacher. And he used my desktop to accomplish this task. He immediately agreed I had a true case. I ordered her on Thursday afternoon and she arrived ready to go on Friday. Just as Spring Break is coming to a close and a new school week is looming ahead.
So she is here. All shiny and new and fast. Oh, so fast! So I decided she should be called Truvy, because she is all lacquered up. I have never seen such a shiny laptop, keys included, but I like it nonetheless. Let me know if you can make the connection to the name! If I wasn't broke from buying a laptop, I would treat you to a coffee or the like if you get it right. But you will have the satisfaction of knowing, you rule.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Eazy (foster son #2) had a visit today with his BioDad. And because the world tends to be, well worldly, I never thought for a minute that the fact it was Good Friday would alter the plans we had to have Eazy's regular visit at the courthouse. After all, if you will not acknowledge Christ at a governmental level, it seems pretty hypocritical to me to take a vacation day on a day so important to Christianity. But I digress.
I showed up at the courthouse and because I am a "county" foster parent, versus going through an agency, I get the privilege of parking in the garage below, like I am important or something (at which all foster parents will laugh and tell you I am delusional). So the guards waved me in like normal (I am there so much they do not even bother to have me sign in half the time) and I found a killer parking space right by the elevator. First clue something was amiss.
In our courthouse you take two sets of elevators. One from the garage to the lobby and then after going through security, another set to get to your final destination. The garage elevator came astonishingly fast. Another clue.
Up in the lobby, it was a barren wasteland. No security guards stuffed into uncomfortable polyester uniforms ready to check your bags and "wand you" when you set off the metal detector. All I have to say here is, "under wire". Gets me every time. So much so, that I usually get waved on through after a discreet whisper of, "under wire" from the guard on duty. As if I was unaware, since he told me that last week and the week before. I digress again...
At this point is was quite obvious that the courthouse was closed for the day. But I had gotten this far so I figured I would go upstairs and double check. Yep, barren wasteland there too. I got on my cell phone and called the visit supervisor. I was NOT going to have to make this visit up, if she had simply forgotten to tell me about the courthouse being closed today. She hadn't.
She was downstairs with BioDad, locked out of the courthouse (she is not as cool as I am and not allowed to park in the garage). Just then the fire alarms started going off, as they apparently were taking advantage of a closed building to test them for the day. Needless to say, Eazy and Iggy (15 month old foster son) were none too pleased. We got down into the garage and out quickly to rendezvous with BioDad and the visit supervisor outside.
Kind of long story short, Eazy had his visit. A little unconventionally, but we had it anyway. I like BioDad. He may not be great Daddy material, but he is a nice guy. Had it been BioMom...
That's a story for another day.
Monday, March 23, 2009
My heart hurts for BioMom, even though I know that Iggy's future would be so much brighter with us and as we are the only parents he has ever known. He is a part of our family logistically and not hers, but she still loves him and that makes me sad for her.
BioMom and BioDad have 30 days to appeal the ruling that we are expecting today - total termination of parental rights. If they appeal, this case will drag on for most likely another year as it waits it's turn to be heard at the State Supreme Court level. Pray for everyone invloved today. It is a bittersweet day.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Please understand that I am writing this to prepare those friends for some emotions they would probably not have ever imagined and maybe will never experience. These are simply my experiences (as well as what I have heard from more seasoned foster parents).
Although we have been fostering for over a year we are still "newbies". We have had only 4 foster children in the house thus far. One is Iggy. He came home from the hospital at about 2 1/2 days old. He is now days away from being 14 months old. The next two were brothers who only stayed with us temporarily last summer. The fourth is 3 1/2 year old Eazy who has been here since December.
There is a big difference between my feelings for Iggy and Eazy. I care deeply for them both. If Eazy were to go home tomorrow I would be sad to see him go and would pray for his parents' success, but life would carry on quite seamlessly. If Iggy went home tomorrow I would mourn the loss deeply. But life would still have to carry on. Seamlessly or not.
As a foster parent there is a bit of a wall that goes up around your heart. It almost has to for you to survive the realities of the mission. In a "normal" family, there is no risk of one of your children being whisked away from you (even on those days you wish that they would be!), but your foster children can be. There is little to nothing you can do about it.
I kept that in mind for the first 7 or 8 months of Iggy's life and then I got a little too comfortable. When BioDad showed back up again when Iggy was around 11 months old, my heart almost stopped. Why was this man bothering me and MY baby? That's the trap to avoid. You have to love them as your own, but accept that they are not your own. That is where that small wall comes into play.
I have no wall with my biological children. I know that my days with them are not guaranteed, but I will love them with my whole heart as if they were. I can only assume, and those of you with adopted children can attest to this, that once/if the adoption decree is signed on the boys (one or both), that wall will instantly disolve and they will fall in line with my biological children. That is my hope.
There are also a couple things to prepare for when you bring home foster children. Others will treat them differently. Not on purpose or with mailce, but it will happen. Little newborn foster babies tend not to get baby showers or big "welcome home" celebrations. They are fawned over certainly, but no one wants to attack that big pink elephant in the room, "what if they go back?"
There are no "congratulations", just questions about their previous situation and what happens "next". Toddlers are pitied and older children are suspect. After all, they were taken from their previous environment. Something was wrong there and may be wrong with them, right? Nothing you do will squash any of this. You just have to hold them close and try not to hurt for them.
The most important thing I have learned in all of this is that it is absolutely NOT about me. Although my feelings, hurts, opinions and desires are real, this journey I am on is simply about them. How I serve them and make life easier and as normal as possible for them is what really matters.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Before Xena started school, K.Z was still in Kindergarten and 1st grade. We did "homeschool lite". Xena and C'sa played while we did school for the whole 1.5 to 2 hours and then that was it. We were not foster parents yet, so there were only three children at the time. Now both Xena and K.Z are in school, doing a more intense curriculum and we have three little ones hanging around. Except now it is not for just 1.5 to 2 hours that they have to entertain themselves.
In the morning we all start out together. C'sa (now 5), Eazy (3), and Iggy (14 months) hang out with us while we do history. By the time that is done, Iggy is down for a morning nap and C'sa and Eazy have wandered off. Xena and KZ still need Mom to hang around and help them with their lessons. Frankly, I feel as if I am tied to the table in the dining room where they do their lessons.
Fortunately C'sa is great at entertaining herself and she is also great at bossing Eazy around; and he is good at obeying her. So we have a win-win situation for them thus far. But I feel like they are on their own a little too much and I struggle at how I am to help all 5 at once. Eventually, Iggy's morning nap will end and I am not sure how to handle that new aspect.
I know that sooner than I expect, they will not all need me so much, but for now they do, and frankly I am at a loss. I do not want the little ones to feel like they do not get Momma time as I am helping the older ones. I do not want the older ones to stop and stare at the wall if I am taking a minute out on the younger kids (and they do), thus prolonging the day.
Next year when C'sa starts Kindergarten, I intend to give her one on one while the older kids play with the younger ones and then trade. I would LOVE your thoughts on balancing it all out with no one getting left out and feeling lost.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Life now is almost back to normal. The "Queen Bee", uh... ME, was hit the hardest and was knocked on my "posterior" for a good two weeks. Needless to say everything, my brain included, has been running in slow motion.
Update on the foster front; nothing's new. That's it. Just what you have been waiting with baited breath to hear I am sure.
There is a small update, but as it has not yet happened, I have kind of pushed it back into a corner of my brain and have refused to marinate on it. In exactly 20 days Iggy's attorney and the County attorney will go before a Judge to petition to terminate parental rights on BioMom and BioDad. We are not invited to be there, but BioMom and BioDad will be there to defend their parental rights. After the hearing, assuming the County and Iggy's attorney are granted the termination, Iggy's bioparents have 30 days to appeal. Giving me more time to pace nervously. Okay, or maybe just eat too much chocolate. The pacing might be better for me...
Eazy's case is with the adoption unit, but frankly, you would never know it. Everything is staus quo even though, everything is status quo. I honestly feel though the Lord is letting us have the time we need to get to know Eazy without the pressure of an upcoming adoption. I just hope that things in his life do not drag on too long. This little man needs to be settled permanently.
So far that is the update from the Mr. Clean family. No news is, well... no news. I promise to try and be a bit more diligent with my blogging. And laundry. And dusting. And... aw, just forget it. See you soon!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Our lives this past year have taken an amazing turn. We went from a family of 5 to a family of 7 in eleven months and completely complicated our family tree in a wonderful way; hopefully permanently.
Since becoming foster parents and adding two more to our crew I have felt seriously discombobulated. Bills have been left in piles to sort through and have gotten paid late. Things that I know I already own have been duplicated due to my slack in organization. Plans that I have had for implementing order in my home have been put on the back burner. I knew how to do all this when I only had three children (albeit never perfectly), I am apparently clueless with five.
So I have decided the only way to get back to some semblance of order is to start purging. Stuff, files, "friends" on Facebook and in my address book who are not really my friends nor have anything edifying to add to my life, and all those things I thought I may "need" in the future. I figure I need to clear out my brain as well as my house. Both seem a bit cluttered.
It has been a long time coming and I am excited to do it. If I can find my calendar I just might be able to pencil in a start date. Pray for my sanity!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Because my brain has been congested and feverish lately, I have no new thoughts of my own, but I was majorly convicted after reading this today. Enjoy a little Spurgeon...
If you really love him, it will not be a question of whether you shall do something, the only question will be, “What can I do?” and you will say in your pew this morning, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” He has spared your lives, he has given you health and strength, provided you with spirituals and temporals, he has made your heart leap for joy at the sound of his name, he has plucked you out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay, he has taken you out of the black bondage of the prince of darkness, and made you his sons and daughters; he has put the ring of his eternal love upon your finger, your feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
“This world is yours, and worlds to come,
Earth is your lodge, and heaven your home.”
There is a crown for your head and a palm branch for your hand, and pavements of gold for your feet, and felicities for ever for your entire soul; and even your body is to be raised again from the dust and fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for you.” Now what will you do for him?
From a sermon entitled "The Waterer Watered," by Charles Spurgeon delivered April 23, 1865.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
I was driving home the other day at dusk the next day, and as I entered the neighborhood I marveled at the scene. The sun was reflecting off of the glassy snow in the front yards of the houses I passed. Some were sheer perfection, not a single foot print marred the snow, making it look as smooth as smooth could be. Some houses had a yard full of a choppy mess, jagged edges of ice were left where children had obviously tread. These yards had evidence of fun stomped all through them. They told a story with every step. You can guess which yard my own house sported.
I can be ridiculously obsessive about my house. You'd never know it if you walked inside, but in my head there are no hand prints on the walls, scuffs on the floors nor dirt on the carpets. In my reality, I have an abundance of each. I have been in houses just like the one in my head; shiny kitchen floors and counters, perfectly painted molding and door jambs and carpeting in which each fiber stands at attention. I marveled at them, envied the cleanliness, but there was always something missing. A story. I can never read the story of that particular family.
My house is laden with stories. Start with the front yard. It is a choppy mess of ice and snow as 4 out of our 5 kids have stomped hundreds of times through it. There is a blue plastic baseball bat buried somewhere in the snow that was not rescued beforehand. On the porch is evidence of an unnamed child's artwork with crayon (they thought it was sidewalk chalk, not sure how that mistake was made) that we only managed to get half scrubbed away before other projects took precedence. Our front door really needs to be sanded down and freshened with new paint.
Entering our house you will immediately see a pair of snow boots laying inches from the coat closet in which they should reside. Another pair is standing neatly by the grandmother clock, mere feet from the closet. In the living room (that is really our office) is a lone Cinderella doll laying on the couch. She has only one shoe, so I can only surmise that she had a rough journey to this resting point. The dining room table is heavy with school books, crayons, pencils and glue sticks. A paper butterfly, compliments of Chick Fil-A has also landed on the table.
Venturing into the kitchen there are three boxes of cereal still sitting on the kitchen table from breakfast and an abandoned cereal bowl. The sink sports dishes waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher that is waiting to be emptied. Beyond the kitchen is the family room where folded laundry is stacked on the back of the couch and the floor is strewn with yesterday's toys. A chewed pair of 3-D glasses from last night's Super Bowl commercials sits atop the dogs' kennel, complete with Iggy's teeth marks.
I will spare you the view upstairs.
I suppose I would rather live in a house that has a treacherous ice field in the front and cereal bowls in the sink than live without the 5 tornadoes that left the chaos in the first place. My house definitely tells multiple stories. But I still dream about shiny kitchen floors and counters, perfectly painted molding and door jambs and carpeting in which each fiber stands at attention.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I thought this was powerful...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Something neat happened when they were here however. Eazy found his "Grandpa". Since coming to our house Eazy has met various family members and has been polite and warm to all of them, but from the minute my father arrived for Eazy's first meeting, Eazy was ecstatic.
We were in an upstairs bedroom when my parents pulled up. Being silly and knowing that they could not hear us, I told Eazy that we should wave and say, "Hi". So we did. At that exact moment, my father looked up and spotted us in the window. Eazy happily exclaimed, "He heard me! He heard me!"
A little concerned about how he would feel with meeting four new people all at once, I asked him if we should go down and say hello. He bolted for the stairs and hit the door at the same time my parents did.
"Hi! I am big, tall Eazy!" he said to my Dad and instantly embraced him. He was just as excited to meet my stepmother and brothers.
For the next four days Eazy rarely left my father's side. He held hands with my dad when we went to a museum, was upset when my Dad did not go into the "Children's Room" at the museum, sat on his lap anytime my father sat down and wanted "Grandpa" to help him with whatever was urgent at the moment. It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen.
Eazy is a shy little boy. The six weeks or so that he has been here has opened him up quite a bit, but he still has a bit of a wall around him. Normally you have to invite him to sit with you and offer a hand for him to hold. My father was able to step right over that wall in an amazing way.
I have decided that these two are kindred spirits. Both had their world torn apart and were put into the care of "the County". Both were unable to live with their mothers and had a hard time understanding why. Both had to build a wall at a tender young age to survive reality.
My father was in foster care for 6 years of his life (from 8 until 14), and will tell you that it was the best thing for him. He had great foster parents and did very well with them. He grew to be a wonderful man. Despite this however, he was taken from 5 of his 8 siblings (three were with him in his foster home), not allowed to live with his family and suffered the indignity of being in a "welfare home". He knows Eazy's plight better than anyone. Eazy seemed to know that as well.
Eazy has found his Grandpa, and I could not be more overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at how the Lord will use an unfamiliar face to enrich a little boy's life.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I had a routine once upon a time that worked pretty well. It needed tweaked a bit here and there, but for the most part, it helped my household run well. The routine has left the building. I can't quite put a finger on it, but frankly I have lost all ambition. I recently read a friend's blog where she talked about vacuuming before her favorite show came on. I chuckled. I vacuumed last week. One room. Then I was done. The vacuum is still sitting in said room hoping to continue its journey.
The one room that I had perfected and vacuumed has now re-exploded (because I erroneously let my children step foot into it) and despite my chagrin about the way it looked last week verses the way it looks now, I have done nothing to rectify the situation.
How do you get your groove back? Frankly I would love to have a touch of OCD when it comes to the laundry. And vacuuming. And dusting. Stella got her groove back. Will Angel?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
No, it has not been 36 years since I have updated my blog (almost); although I cannot believe I have not logged on in three weeks.
It has been 36 years since the Roe vs. Wade court case in the United States, which legalized abortion. I need not say much more as Americans are passionate about this landmark ruling, one way or the other and know all the ins and outs of the debate.
I am passionately against it. Every year while I lived in the D.C. area I would head down in the bitter January cold for The March For Life. This is not something I try and push in people's faces, but I abhor abortion. In any case. Simply because it kills a life.
It hits a little closer to home this year as I think about my children. I would have never aborted my biological children of course, but what if the biological mothers of my foster sons had chosen this route? Little precious Iggy would have died and never had known just how much he was wanted, loved and adored. Eazy (3 1/2 year old foster son) would have never been able to take such joy out of the simple things he sees from his big, brown, doe-like eyes.
These two boys were once tiny specks in their mothers' wombs. Their hearts started to beat at 21 days. Probably long before their mothers knew they even existed. They were perfectly and wonderfully made by their Creator from the start. And their lives could have been snuffed out by a simple request. We would have never gotten the honor to serve these boys and love them as long as they may have needed us.
Today I think about how thankful I am that while their mothers may not be the best for them right now, and could have easily legally killed these sweet boys, they chose to give them life. And for that I am eternally grateful.