Saturday, May 15, 2010

We are a Plan A and not a band aid.

I read this post after being directed there from a post at We Are THAT Family. My comment on We Are THAT Family was:

I actually completely disagree with adoption being a band aid. I am an adoptive mom to a domestically adopted child that was born to a drug addicted, homeless prostitute. While my child was a product of sin, I believe that she was fully intended to live with us. For us, God had us take our faith to places I didn't think. We placed our trust, our prayers, our faith into a crack addicted basket. We had to trust (a county adoption, so we knew that our child would be removed from the mother) and know that God had it all laid out for us.

I am not a band aid. I am a mother. I am caring for the child that God intended for us to have. He knew that my parts were broken. Through me, family members benefited from the genetic testing that I had done and they were able to have babies. I was not. We are all alive, though. It is through adoption that my husband and I have a wonderful testimony to share with others on how God has worked in our lives and in the life of K-.

I can't help but to know that we were and still are His plan A.
May 13, 2010 5:37 PM

Kristen responded saying that she had hoped that she didn't offend. I wouldn't say that she offended, I just strongly disagree. That's okay. Opinions are perfectly fine. I don't expect for people to agree with me all the time, either.

Hubs and I believed that we made a choice for adoption, but I really think that adoption chose us. It was a part of us from the very. first. night. we dated. Period. I don't quite know how we got onto the subject, but we did. Neither one of us were up for shopping. I had dated a few people-- pure and utter duds-- and Hubs hadn't dated at all. We were both shopping for marriage material, not dating around. Neither one of us were created for that. We had very involved, very specific conversations from the beginning, talking of our hopes and dreams.

Adoption is not for everyone. It's just not. There are folks out there that have commented to me about "raising someone else's child." Well, if you look at it that way, perhaps adoption isn't for you. It's not a horrible thing to say. It's all good. I know I wouldn't be mad at you. Just like Kristen. She's on the fence about adoption. It was probably cleansing for her to get that out there. For her, she sees that sponsoring a multitude of children would make a bigger impact than adopting one. For her, it is a band aid. That's cool.

To the defense of Kristen and the original blogger (Mom of the Tongginator), I get what they are trying to say. We live in a fallen world. Kids being without families is a result of that. I get that. Our child was a product of sin. Her birth status is not pretty on paper. It did not make her a highly desirable child to adopt. Because of her birth status-- the sin that conceived and further housed her for 9 months in a haze of crack-- the State of Ohio considers K- to be a "special needs child."

I can't help but to know that God kept K- safe from the circumstances that she was housed in. He chose her birth mother to carry her physically for us. He kept her safely wrapped in his arms the whole time.

I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. Isaiah 44:2a (CEV)

From The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren:

You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life was no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, He expected it.

Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you!

God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the color of your skin, your hair and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the uniqueness of your personality. The Bible says, "You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something."

Most amazing, God decided how you would be born.

Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. It doesn't matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom "you" he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you.


Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm not feeling terribly constructive.

I read a post about adoption being not God's first choice for a child. It got me fired up. I commented. I started a post. I decided that I should wait until next week to post it. Believe it or not, I try not to offend on this here blog. I think I need to look at the post with fresh eyes before I hit 'publish.' Still . . .

K- is currently begging me to take the paint off of her thumb. She is very tired tonight and being a pill. The paint will remain.

She hurt my feelings today. Perhaps it is because I stared at a sign for 3 1/2 hours before I got to her, painting away to try to get it done. There is a field trip tomorrow and K- told me that she asked her teacher about not going with me. (She wants to go with her teacher because Mrs. H- is super cool and I know this.) When I asked K- why, she said, "Because sometimes you can be a little bossy." "Yes, well, I'm the mom. That's my job." Still, ouch. She also said that Mrs. H- is having kids go with chaperones other than their parents. Huh? I'm thinking she may have misunderstood. Mrs. H- knows that she loves me. I just feel like the delivery truck will be backing up to drop my "Mother of the Year" award off anytime now. Oh joy.

Right now she is crying and crying and perhaps blowing snot rockets from her nose.

Calgon take me away.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hazy, crazy days of migraines. And rambling thrown in just for fun.

We've had fronts in all week. We went from warm weather, windows open all the time (even at night), tornadoes and massive rain and lightning, to a threat of snow Saturday evening and frost warnings.

Y'all, it is messing with my head. Off and on this week, my head has had a headache haze. My head was throbbing at the PTA breakfast Tuesday morning. I just kept eating thinking that if I crammed enough fat in on top of the 2 Advil, it might get better. It took a slight edge off and I drank a can of caffeinated pop. It helped it to just hover a bit. After lunch (I find I can't take it before noon), I took an Excedrin Migraine and it pretty well licked it.

Thank God for that stuff.

My heavens. I'm just in a cycle with this migraine thing. It will be better next week. Until then . . .

I am SO PROUD! of my kid today. (Well, I am every day, but . . .) On my afternoon check-in call, K- announced, "Z- bit me today!" "WHAT?!" "Z- bit me today." "Did you tell Mrs. H-?" "Yes and when I did, Z- started crying and he told me that he hated me." "K-, I'm so proud of you. I know that it is hard for someone to tell you that they hate you, but you did the right thing." Of course, I asked where he bit her, if he broke the skin, if a note went home or if he at least landed on red. Apparently, it was the end of the day, a note didn't go home that she knew of, but he is on red tomorrow. (Which means a note did go home because that is a part of the 'red' thing.) He also tried to bite her friend, Z-. He wasn't successful, though. I told her that she is going to have to handle him like we did with M-. I told her to tell him good morning, but that it is not okay for him to bite and she needed to not hang around him.

Y'all, she stood on her own two feet. She didn't let the "I hate you" thing rattle her. If someone bit me, I would have been way ticked. For K-, it is very difficult for her to tell on kids because of her only-childness and them being her people and all. It really was a breakthrough. She didn't come home and discuss it with me before reacting. She did it all on her own. No coaching from mom and dad. That brings me to happy tears-- literally.

It might be a short-lived thing, but K- came to me and asked me to paint her nails tonight. She told me, "Mom, could you paint my nails and you can paint my thumb, too. I promise not to suck it." BIG! BIG! B.I.G! She is a thumb sucker. It is her go-to. She knows that if she has her nails painted, we skip the thumb because she really doesn't need to be eating that gunk. I've checked and there is no thumb in her mouth. Is this it? Has she finally made that decision?

Hubs brought home a gorgeous hanging basket. It is a geranium with smaller flowers. Lovely. I just hung it on the outside of the house. I need to check to see if we are having frost.

My friend, C-, bought me a few Ghiradelli chocolate bars as thank you's for gluing and coloring jewelry backers. We decided to have a taste test at lunch. One bar was 71%. The other bar was 86%. I know that I can run into the mid-70's with dark chocolate. After that, it becomes more like chewing on baker's chocolate. The 71% was lovely. The 86% was awful. I at least got half of one of the blocks down. C- couldn't even make it through a quarter of it. I gifted that off to Julia. She was delighted. I'll keep my 71% thankyouverymuch.

Heather called to give me the update on Ryan. He is in a lot of pain today. Apparently, today and tomorrow are going to be the big pain days. He took 4 big walks already today by the time she phoned me early in the afternoon. She called to tell me that my crock pot pork loin was lovely. I'm glad that it worked out! I didn't have time to drop a hot meal, but I did call her yesterday morning to remind her to plug it in. Girlfriend is in 14 thousand directions. If I didn't call, I don't know that she would have remembered.

My hazy head is beginning to lift a little even though I see the need for a few Advil before bed. [yawn.] Have a great night!

Smiles in my day:
- Sprinkled in above.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Chihuly Ceiling Deliciousness

A surprise ceiling I found in the Himalayan display at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Chihuly Collection in Columbus, OH this past weekend. If I wasn't a germaphobe, I could have licked the ceiling. Oh, it was so delicious! And yes, the photo was taken on my cell-- an LG Neon.

Smiles in my day:
- The PTA officer installation ceremony. They have our kids come from their class to present us with a particular color of candle to represent our office.
- The teachers cooked us a delicious breakfast to thank us for all of our hard work!
- THE LETTER WORKED! I shook some people up in the school board and they are looking back over the numbers. Hooray!!!
- Ryan, my friend's husband that had a burst appendix this week, is doing okay. He took 4 long walks, but they are continuing to watch for abscess since he had one starting when they went in for surgery. He's holding his own, though.

Have a great day!

Tales from the Trenches: When others cannot speak

Folks, I just sent a letter to probably 25 people about our new school building project. Because I mentioned being A Voice for Many before, here it is:

School Board and Senior Staff Members:

I am writing to you in regard to the new building project slated for H- Elementary. We’ve been meeting for months regarding planning, size and so forth. From the very first community meeting, we’ve been unsuccessful in changing the projection of enrollment that the new building space is being based on.

Currently, our school enrollment is 523 students. The projections suggest 450 students for enrollment for the 2016 school year. Even on the -- Schools website, average enrollment is listed at 558.

Our building was built in 1957. In 1961, only 4 years after construction, an addition was built. Again in 1965, another addition was built. In 2002, 2 modular classrooms were placed on the school grounds. In the fall of 2009, another modular classroom was brought in. Enrollment for the last 20 years has not dropped below 500 students. As you can see, H- Elementary is a school that has grown in the past and continues to do so.

The building plan last presented remained at one less classroom than what we presently have. The 2010-2011 school year may require the addition of another Kindergarten classroom. At present, just the Kindergarten classrooms alone stand with a ratio of 23:1. [School] standards are 18:1.

In October 2010, we are anticipating another influx of children from the -- Homes project. This project is slated to be complete and ready to have residents move in at that time. The -- Homes project is a 34 town home mixed-family community. Presently, we do not have any type of enrollment projection for this project. If we gain even just 30 children from this new housing project, that will put us at approximately 553 students that will be attending H- Elementary this fall. Clearly, that over-runs the new building numbers by 103 children. That’s an awful lot of extra bodies to have to “make do” in a brand new building with.

We are very thankful to be getting a new building. We think that this is a wonderful opportunity to take our already excellent school and make it even better. We believe in being good stewards of the monies and opportunities that are afforded to us with this project. However, we fear that if the project isn’t made big enough to contain our current enrollment, we will be a new building with modulars outside once again.

Residency requirements have been lifted. Economic issues have affected everyone of every class. However, -- residents aren’t people quick to leave. -- residents tend to be lifers. They grow up here, they buy houses here and if they move, they stay within the -- school cluster. While my husband and I grew up in -- and in --, we purposely purchased a home in -- because of the close-knit community, our beautiful and quiet dead end street and the schools. We knew that we wanted to send our child to the -- school cluster.

Where will we put all the children? The idea has been put out there to build H- as a “super school.” The idea is to make H- for 600 children. That way, we could re-district within the -- Cluster ONLY and take in more students at H-, so that we may relieve the overload from the other schools within our cluster. To re-district -- school students into other -- clusters would only anger those who purchased their home in -- specifically so that they could have their children attend school here. That would only drive residents away. None of us want that.

We believe in H- Elementary. Our daughter couldn’t receive a better education anywhere. [Specific details removed.] We’ve spent the year reading for the 100 book challenge. The Kindergarten teachers work together to put on plays, do science projects together and they even did a social studies passport adventure this past December where children learned about winter/holiday customs around the world. Though their space is small, they make the most of it and truly make learning fun.

The strides that my child has made in learning at H- Elementary this year just stun my husband and me. Never in a million years could we imagine that a child could learn so much in just Kindergarten.

I am a very involved parent. I am a member of the PTA and volunteer at H- at least once a week. All of the children in my daughter’s class know me. They see me so often. The children throughout the school know me, too. I’m the “100 book challenge board lady.” I’ve also been to every single new building meeting. I believe that it is very important to be involved in my child’s education.

I ask that you please reconsider the specified size for our new building. Clearly, 450 is not big enough. Please help us to be able to create a learning environment that is not crammed elbow to elbow and ear lobe to ear lobe. Help us to continue to be able to offer the excellent education that H- Elementary is so well known for.


Amy --

cc: [Our local newspaper]
Deputy Mayor

A prayer request:
My friend Heather's husband, Ryan, was taken in for exploratory surgery today where on the second trip around his abdomen, they found that he had a burst appendix. Though several rare things could happen, their biggest concern at this point is the development of an abscess. Ryan will be in the hospital for 5-10 days and will be off work for an unspecified period of time. Though he is "not out of the woods yet" (in the words of the doctor), they expect a full recovery. It will be a very slow process, though. They have three boys ages 3, 6 and 8. Heather's parents were in town to visit when she ended up having to take Ryan in, and Ryan's father flew in this afternoon from SC to be with all of them. He and Heather will be flip flopping hospital and home so as to keep someone with Ryan at all times at this time. When Ryan's dad returns, Heather's mother will come back. (Heather's parents live about an hour and a half - 2 hours away.) When I was dropping dinner off for tomorrow, Ryan called to tell the boys goodnight. I was amazed that he could do that since he just had major surgery. He was able to take his walk up and down the hall, as requested by the doctor, and was hoping for bow*el sounds to start soon. The sooner he gets things up and running, the sooner he'll be able to return home.

Smiles in my day:
- K- having Hubs call me at work so that she could cry and cry at Hubs dismantling the old swing set. I know it sounds weird, but I was glad that she called so that I could tell her that her dad was just taking it down because it had become unsafe. It was tough for her at first, but she pulled around.
- Hubs was across the street talking to the "lawn" neighbors when I got home. I think that the boys kind of felt like heels after they found out how busy Hubs had been. By the way, Hubs mowed the lawn today, making the neighbors even more happy!
- Getting the school letter sent out.
- The teachers are cooking all of us PTA moms breakfast tomorrow to thank us for all of our hard work throughout the year. How nice!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My people were so nice to me!

We had a lovely weekend!

Since Hubs had the RARE weekend off (he usually works Saturday or a rare Sunday every week), we went to Amish Country. We were on a mission to order K- a new swing set. Hers has been way suffering and shedding major bolts and the only thing that is usable at this point are the two swings and that. is. it. We bought her a 4' x 5' super tower with a three position beam for 2 swings and one trapeze bar. It has a nice long slide and the good news is that it's heavy duty with commercial grade swings and whatnot, so we can play on it, too!

While in Amish Country, we discovered that it was giraffe weekend. There was a 4 month old giraffe from the local farm that needed to be named. We were able to meet little no-name, K- took part in a coloring contest and submitted a name for the critter. The bakery even gave her a free giraffe cookie.

We went to the chocolate factory (made good on our final Teacher Appreciation week gift), the bulk food store and the bakery. We stopped in at the cheese house for Hubs to use the facilities and the line was so long that we decided that a rest stop was all it would be.

The weather was still trying to straighten out from Fridays extravaganza of Festival of Scary Storms, so the wind was high, it was raining and the temperature had dropped. We did an early day at Amish Country then stopped in at DSW on the way to the in-law's.

Y'all I needed a new pair of walking shoes. I mean, truly needed. I had walked through the tread and on to the squishy foam sole stuff. I was able to score a pair of Saucony Grid Excursion TR 4 for $35.00 instead of $65.00. Since they are trail runners, the sole is a bit thicker and heavy duty. I think that these will hold up better for my walks back and forth to the elementary. I was thrilled that I found them on the clearance! Since we were spending it like we had it at Amish (see swing set purchase), being able to replace my whipped walking shoes cheap was a great thing.

We celebrated Mother's Day with my mother-in-law on Saturday evening. (K- and I celebrated with my mom and dad on Thursday night.) While there, she showed me some awesome shoes she found for K- for school for fall. Of course, I looked at Land's End online and found more school stuff. I mean, when you have good leather shoes on sale for $9.99 a pair, that's a great thing. I like for K- to have two pairs of school shoes. That way, if one breaks, we have another as a back-up. I was also able to find her polo dress that is uniform approved for $12.99. So, there I was, spending more money. Argh.

Today, I woke at 6:15 AM with a very eager 6 year old wanting to give me her Mother's Day gift. She made a lovely "stained glass" necklace for me and the kindergarten teachers worked together to make silhouette pictures of the kids. K-'s is gorgeous and I'll be purchasing a frame for it. After the gift giving, K- and Hubs brought breakfast in bed. I had scrambled eggs, toast with butter and cinnamon pear jam, a slice of upside down dutch apple pie and two chocolate/chocolate chip cookies. (K- did the menu selections.) Yes, I ate it all but one cookie.

Hubs bought me a gift certificate to our favorite nursery up the road and has a hanging basket to pick on on Tuesday from his co-worker. That was along with the weekend trips. So nice!

We hit the road early, as we had a two-ish hour drive to Columbus. Hubs wanted to take us to the Columbus Museum of Art. After making the drive, we discovered that about 1/10th of the museum was open. They had a wonderful! Chihuly exhibit, but the rest of the museum was closed for renovation. Hubs was livid. He was in the courtyard dialing as fast as he could to find another destination for us. He took us to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Chihuly Collection. Oh, they had gorgeous gardens with Chihuly installations amongst the plant life. We played, "Spot the Chihuly" with K- all throughout the gardens. We have fantastic pictures, though I admit that only had my cell on me. I left my camera at home because art museums don't want you taking photos. My cell might not be what I classify as a fantastic phone, but it is a rockin' camera that takes GREAT photos. We'll get those transferred off the phones Tuesday evening when Hubs brings whatever cord thingy back from work, but oh. I wanted to lick the Chihuly pieces! They were beyond gorgeous!

We loved the conservatory so much that we decided that would buy a membership (again with the expenditure of money) because we always go to Cleveland Botanical Garden. Between the two, we would have spent more and now we can visit 240 reciprocal conservatories and botanical gardens throughout the states. Since we had let our zoo and museum passes lapse, Hubs feels better that we have been able to pick up someone new to support.

So here I am, typing away the activities of our weekend. I've been rockin' the hazy migraine thing today. It's getting a little bit better now, but I think that an evening of good ole fashioned sleep may be the cure that I'm looking for.

I hope that all of you mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Have a great day today!