Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Charlie Incident

As most of you know, Cade got Charlie for Christmas 2006. He’s a Welsh Corgi who started out being extremely cute. Then he got hyper – so hyper that Cade doesn’t want to play with him. So hyper that I don’t want to deal with him. That leaves Jay to take care of Charlie. To get his leash on him we have to grab his collar and choke him because he won’t stand still. You can hear him gasping, but he won’t stop moving. Jay has said that the dog is going to be the death of him.

Part of the reason why he’s so hyper is that he’s penned up all the time. He won’t stay in our yard and we don’t trust him to be out during the day. Cade and I don’t like to mess with him, but neither of us can stand the thought of losing him either. Jay has decided he’s going to start turning Charlie lose when we are home. It really has to be done because otherwise Charlie is going to have a miserable life. Cade and I have adjusted and Charlie has been handling it pretty well. The first day we turned him loose we shook up our neighborhood. One neighbor (across the lane) carried Charlie back to our house and the other one (older couple at the end of the lane) called to tell us Charlie was running around their yard. Jay said that no one would get off his back about the dog. At least we know we have good neighbors that look out for us. It was the third time Jay let Charlie out that we had problems…..

That evening (last Friday) Jay went out to feed him and mess around for awhile. After he came in to take a shower I realized our garage door was still open. I wondered why, but thought Jay had just forgotten to shut it. About 10:00 that night Jay went back outside and then I knew why he’d left the door open – Charlie was missing. Jay can say all he wants to that he wasn’t worried about Charlie but when he and Cade said their nightly prayer I heard him quickly whisper “please bring Charlie home”. Neither of us ever want to have to tell Cade that Charlie's missing. Luckily Cade never figured it out.

We got into bed and neither of us could sleep. I was imagining Charlie lying in a ditch someplace and it was such a cold night. I asked Jay if he should go drive around to see if he had gotten hit. Jay somewhat reluctantly got up and drove off in the truck. I couldn’t leave our yard because of Cade, but I felt bad laying in our nice, warm bed while Jay was out looking for the dog so I got up to help So I did all that I knew to do - I went outside in my pajamas calling for Charlie. I walked around by the road yelling “Here Charlie, come here Charlie”. Off in the distance I heard a dog bark. I thought it sounded like him but wasn’t for sure. I’d yell, the dog would respond. We kept this up for quite some time. Finally I saw the truck approaching. Jay got closer to the house and then he just drove right past me. There was a lime green VW Bug right on his rear. I figured he hadn’t seen me out in the yard or he would’ve at least acknowledged me. Me and the mystery dog went back to our same routine, I’d yell, he’d answer. Eventually I gave up and went back in the house to call Jay.

I tried calling twice, finally on the second call Jay answered. He told me he had my pooch. With fear in my heart I asked if he was still alive, Jay snorted and said of course. Then he had to go because he was trying to back up. I met Charlie and Jay out in the front yard (still wearing my pajamas) and told Charlie he’d been a naughty dog. Then I got a good look at Jay – he was wearing a gray t-shirt, sky blue pajama pants with snowmen on them tucked into a pair of boots. We got back into bed and Jay told me the story….

Remember the green VW bug? The person in the car had Charlie. He was new to the neighborhood and Charlie came to their house right after Jay turned him loose. The guy got concerned because Charlie was wearing a collar, but none of our information was on it. The guy decided to pen Charlie up, thinking he was helping us. He and his friend heard Jay yelling for Charlie so he went out in his lime green VW bug looking for us. After Jay drove by our house he turned into a drive way to turn around. The green car stopped and asked if he was looking for a dog. Jay followed this guy back to his house to get Charlie. Remember what Jay was wearing? Jay said that’s why you don’t pen up people’s pets. Charlie would’ve been home hours ago.

I asked Jay if he saw me out in the yard when he drove by, he said he had but he didn’t want anyone to know that he knew me. He said my pajama pants were almost as bad as his. Once he met the new neighbors he was trying to point out our yard light to describe where we lived. He didn’t want to tell him it was the house with the woman standing outside. Jay told me I looked like I was watching for aliens.

We can’t wait until Cade’s old enough to share this story with, this one could become a family favorite. I laughed until I cried Friday night. Then long after Jay had fallen asleep I'd think about it again and start laughing. Even typing this today has made me laugh. It may be more of a "you had to be there" story, but if you know Jay you can hear him saying "that's why you don't pen up people's pets". Now I'm laughing again.

Moral of the story – Charlie’s getting a tag with Jay’s name and our phone number before he’s turned loose again. I asked Jay if we should put Charlie's name on the tag instead. Jay said "No, we'll have people asking for Charlie and you'll tell them they have the wrong number". Good point.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ball Practice Update

I'm here tonight to retract my last post. The most annoying person on Cade's ball team is now a toss up, between a boy named Benjamin a/k/a Jinjamin and someone's mother. I think it's going to swing back and forth for me the rest of the season. As soon as I make my mind up on which one it is, the other one will do something to change my mind.

Leading tonights race would be Benjamin. Jay and I call him Jinjamin because that's what Cade called him last year during summer school. As long as he's in school here he'll always be Jinjamin to us. Benjamin is the one shaping up to be the class bully - the one that's 6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than the majority of the kids. He's also the one with the loud mouth who never shuts up. Tonight the kids not only batted, they ran the base. Somehow the coaches had Cade start running around the bases before he batted. I was talking to one of the coaches wives and both of us didn't think Cade batted. I tried to get Cade's attention to ask if he had batted but the coach started yelling at him to hurry up and get back in the outfield. Once the coaches thought everyone had batted they'd asked to make sure. Cade raised his hand but they didn't see him. I had to get their attention to let them know that Cade still needed to bat. Jinjamin started yelling "he's already batted, why does he get to bat again, that's not fair" etc. He wouldn't give it up. My momma bear instincts came out and I had to control myself from telling Jinjamin how it was. Then during the rest of practice Jinjamin keep yelling things to the other kids and the coaches - I know how to do it, I'm already doing it, etc. The coaches wife and I decided Jinjamin needed a good spanking. If Jay had been there he probably would've been the first to volunteer to do it.

The reason why one of the mother annoyed me was once again due to my momma bear instincts. She was teetering on the verge of annoyance during the first part of practice when she kept yelling at her child to pay attention and get in position to catch the ball. It wasn't helpful criticism, it was the kind where she's sitting in her lawn chair halfway across the field yelling at her child. Public humiliation of Cade is something Jay and I try to avoid. I know we'll do enough to embarrass him without meaning to over the years, we don't need to do it on purpose. Our method has been to pick up on what he needs to work on at practice and address it in the privacy of our home.

At the end of practice the kids lined up at homeplate to run the bases. The first time they ran them Cade didn't know what he was supposed to do and completely missed first buy running to the right of the pitchers mound. The second time he got closer to first, but he still missed it. The yelling mother took it upon her self to yell at him to come back and touch the base. All while she's still sitting in her lawn chair and hasn't moved a muscle since she had came to practice. This is one of the times I'm glad Cade has selective hearing, he either didn't hear her or he ignored her. That's when my Momma Bear came out again and I was so mad - how dare she embarrass my child in public. Winning games are nice, being a good player is also nice, but not at the expense of a 6 year old's self-esteem. Once again I realize this is probably as good of an experience for me as it is for Cade. Right now I'm thinking that me, Jinjamin and the yelling mother have a lot of years of school ahead of us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ball Practice

Since work has been so busy over the last few weeks our blog has really suffered! Several blogs have been started in my head, but haven’t made it onto the world wide web. I’ve been needing to write about Cade’s baseball experience for a few days…..

We’ve signed Cade up for coach’s pitch baseball/softball. I’m not sure what to call it because it’s a mixed team and I think they’re using softballs, but softball always says “girl” to me….so from hereon it will be referred to as just ball.

Our first practice was last week. I knew that was what would happen - practice would be scheduled during the time that Jay was gone and I was right. Thursday night Cade and I headed to the school to try and hunt down where we were supposed to be. As a side note – I don’t like new situations, not knowing what I’m doing, not knowing any other parents, etc so it was a little stressful for me. We get to the school and there were kids everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I had no idea where we were supposed to be. Finally I met another mother and we got the kids delivered to the right spot on the field only about 10 minutes late. We seemed to be in good shape until the coach asked Cade to play catch with another boy to warm up….that’s when it when downhill…..

You know how in every group, from walking age up to old age, there is one person that annoys the entire group? I’m afraid that person on our team’s name is Cade. At least we recognize that our child isn’t perfect rather than just smiling at our little angel thinking he’s the cutest and annoying all the other parents. When the coach told Cade to to play catch, Cade said “No, I don’t want to”. At that point I had to have had steam coming from my ears, he had done some other bratty things earlier so this just added to my growing irritation. While playing catch he would not pay attention. I don’t know how many times he almost got hit or almost hit his partner because he’d throw it without looking. At one point I grabbed his shoulder to turn him around and he did the “stop it your hurting me” scream. It was embarrassing.(At least then the parents understood why he was annoying, it’s because his parents abuse him) Once the organized practice started things got a little better until the kids batted. Cade ended up being the last person to bat so every time they rotated he would say at least 5 times – I want to bat, when do I get to bat, I’ll never get to bat, etc. At that point he was too far away for me to yell at, I just cringed on the inside every time he said anything. Finally he got up to bat and like any child who knows how to work their parents, did something that melted my heart and made me feel bad for being annoyed. The first time he hit the ball he turned around to face me, looking for my approval with a huge grin on his face. Of course I wasn’t as irritated for about 10 minutes….until we stopped at Casey’s so he could get a drink on the way home and he was in La La Land, but that’s a whole other story

Last night we had his 2nd practice and things did go better – Jay was there which made a lot of difference. Also all of the kids were a little more hyper so Cade either blended in better or I sat farther away and couldn’t hear/see as much. What ever the reason it was a much better evening. Cade definitely got the “best’ of mine and Jay’s athletic ability. I don’t think we’ll be winning the Cy Young Awards or breaking Babe Ruth’s record, but I do think this will be a great learning experience for all three of us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

State Champions

Jay got back from State Convention Friday night. They had a very successful trip. They won 1st in Fresmen public speaking, the chapter was ranked 11th out of 311 chapters in the state and Jay's Ag Mechanics Team won first place. That means in October Jay and the three boys will travel to Indianapolis a day ahead of the rest of the group to compete at National Convention. Their other teams also did very well considering the size of school where Jay teaches. Jay was very proud of how the whole convetion turned out. I'm glad he's home.....he took our toothpaste and I was having to use Cade's Kids Crest. YUCK!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stuff Christians Like

I have found a blog that is so funny I had to share it here. Since I'm all about being able to laugh at myself for all the weird things I do, this blog is right up my alley. The post from today is the one that really got me - 6 people you meet in a prayer circle. A couple of years ago we were having Wednesday night Bible study and we'd end the evening with one of those prayers. I hate any form of public speaking so knowing that was coming at the end of the evening would always stress me out. Seriously, that's what I was thinking about during the Bible Study. I know, Jay tells me all the time that I'm weird. I was always secretly thankful for the times we'd hear a big crash upstairs and I could jump up to go check on the kids (the 11 kids between the three families at the study were running wild through the sanctuary). Hopefully you all will enjoy it as much as I have....and maybe you'll recoginize yourself as one of the 6 in a prayer circle.

Stuff Christians Like

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Catch Up

I think it's been close to a week since I posted anything. I've had a lack of inspiration lately. I've also been doing some goofy things, like thinking one word and typing a completely different word in it place. There may be some of that in this post so I'll apologize ahead of time. Hopefully you'll understand what I'm talking about.

The last two weeks have been busy for us. On April 7&8 Jay had his District Contest, which determines what teams will get to compete at state. That was two days of him leaving the house by 5:00 a.m. and not getting home until midnight. Tell that to those people who think teachers have it so good, they only work from 8:00 to 3:00 nine months out of the year! His teams did really well this year. His Ag Mechanics team placed first at districts and have the potential to do some big things at state. They've left for State Convention today so Jay will be gone until really late Friday night. I'm not sure what days all of his different teams are competing, either Thursday or Friday. One of Jay and Lyle's students was also chosen to be a State Officer. This is the first time Jay has had one of his students picked so that has been exciting. Please remember them in your prayers - I'm always a little concerned when Jay's driving students around. If you ever ridden with him you know what I'm talking about!

Cade has been having the state standardized tests this week. We can't get much out of him except they are "seriously boring". I am curious to see what kind of a score he's going to get. We didn't say much too him about it because we didn't want to get him worked up. The gifted teacher had sent home a letter a few weeks ago about wanting to meet with Cade for a few weeks and then test him before the end of school. She told Jay she tried to meet with Cade last week and he had a breakdown. Mrs L tried to calm him down enough for the two of them to meet. The gifted teacher just did a few ice breaker things with him.....who knows how that will turn out. He's our anxious boy but he comes by it naturally!

I'm probably the most boring of the group. I'll I've been doing is trying to keep up with Jay's schedule. Work has been busy, for an economy that is supposed to be in rough shape we are doing more loans than we have in awhile. I can't keep up with all of the new loan files. That may partly be because the input costs for crops has risen so much people are having to borrow just to buy the fertilizer and seed. But there is a lot of equipment and land being purchased right now so who knows.

There has been no communications from our Adoption agency in almost two months, so still no news. At least 6 times a day I think about e-mailing our social worker just to make sure they know were still here. Then I take a deep breath and push down the urge. One of these days I do need to find out what we have to do to update our homestudy, which has to be done once a year. We're still 5 months away from having to worry about it, but the way the doctors appointments went last year we'll need to start early. Mostly I want to find out if we need all of the bloodwork done again, I'm really hoping we don't.

We have officially been a waiting:
Lilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why Does it Cost so Much?

I have thought and re thought how to word this post over the last few days. I was wondering if anyone noticed that I was behind and that award goes to Kristy. At first I thought that it would be easy to say why it can be so expensive, but the more I’ve thought and researched it, it’s not that easy. I’m sure some anti-adoption people would be appalled if they came across this post, but I don’t think they probably will. I guess I’ll try to put all of my ramblings into something coherent on the cost of adoption...without making this post long enough to be considered a book!

Before we even started I assumed we would never be able to do adoption because of the cost. There was no way we were going to be able to afford it. I’d watched all of those Datelines where the hopeful adoptive parents shell out major dollars to expectant parents in the hopes they will adopt the child. Even if we were one of the lucky ones who didn’t get “took”, how would we afford living expenses for someone else? With the way we drive, gas for ourselves is tough enough each month, let alone for another family. I had heard every horror story of the thousands of dollars spent in all of the red tape just to adopt a child, even if there were no birthparent expenses paid. Not only was I afraid of losing my heart in an adoption I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also afraid we’d loose our shirt…..along with our house and our cars…..It’s not that money is the most important thing in our lives, but I am rather attached to our house and I do like to eat .

How is this for a contradictory statement – adoption is expensive, but yet it’s not expensive. We chose to look at it as we’ve had car and student loans for almost the same amount as our adoption costs. Wouldn’t we be ok spending the same on another member of our family? Once we got into the actual adoption we realized that it wasn’t the huge amount we had expected. We also became confident that if God placed it on our hearts to adopt, then he would provide the money when we needed it. You all know how I’m a worrier and I can honestly say I have not worried about where the money for the adoption will come from. God has always taken care of us before and I know this won’t be any different.

The cost of adoption can range from very little (foster care adoptions) to as much as someone is willing to pay. That’s where it can get scary, there are more unethical adoptions out there then any of us realize or have even thought about. Remember my comment earlier in the post about having to pay for living expenses? Once I started learning about ethical and unethical adoptions, I found that some states won’t allow the adoptive parents to pay for the birthmothers expenses. Paying for the birthmother can be seen as a way to pressure her into adoption. I was relieved to learn that wouldn’t be expected of us and actually it was better if we didn’t do that. Don’t take this wrong, it’s not that we don’t want to help someone out, but I didn’t want to be responsible for everything. I just didn’t want to be placed in that situation.

So why does it cost so much? I’m writing about why it costs so much at our agency and for other ethical places. The number one thing that these agencies do are counsel the birthmothers about their options. There is a birthmother counselor who makes sure the expectant mother knows her options. They also help the expectant mother with different types of services and public assistance that may be available. They provide counseling for the birthmother after a placement. They will assist the adoptive families for as long as they are needed after an adoption. They will facilitate meetings between the birthmother and adoptive family for as long as necessary. The agency acts as the go between with the families. When updates are sent either way, they are sent to the agency and they forward them to the birthmother/adoptive family. There are also other parts of adoptions that people don’t like to think about, but essentially Jay and I are trying to market ourselves (the anti adoption people would really get me over that comment). We are paying for the agency to list us on their website as a waiting family. We are paying for someone who knows what they are doing to make sure the Termination of Parental Rights are done morally, ethically and correctly. We are paying someone to get a court date and present the TPR. I know there are a million other things that we are paying for that I don’t even know about because of still being a waiting family.

I know this post has been somewhat rambling but all of these reasons are why I get my shorts in a wad when people say “It costs too much”. They just have absolutely no idea what they are saying. So I guess this isn't much of an answer, but it's yes and no....yes the actually $ amount isn't cheap, but no it's not a lot when you think about all of the lives and hearts that are involved in one single adoption.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Adoption Talk

Part of the purpose of the blog is to educate our friends and family on some of the ins and outs of adoption. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything profound on adoption. It’s partly been from lack of anything to say and partly because thinking about it all the time was too exhausting and depressing. I think God has really been working on me and I’ve been able to let a lot of the anxiety go concerning the adoption. It has been really nice. It’s the first time in almost 3 years that I’ve actually gone several days in a row without giving fertility (or our lack of) much thought. When it did cross my mind it didn’t devastate me, it was more of a passing thought. I did have a couple of things stick in my mind this week that I thought might be good topics to cover in a series of posts.

Right now two things that seem to be wadding my shorts are when people say “I don’t understand why it costs so much” and “I don’t understand why it takes so long” (notice these are statements, there are no ? marks on the end of the sentence) Now, I should clarify that my shorts only get wadded when people state this with a certain tone to their voice and without the question marks. There are a lot of well meaning people who truly don’t understand the cost and the wait and they are asking an honest question because they want to be informed. Then there are those who state that adoption is too costly and too long of a wait without having any knowledge to back up their statement. They aren’t asking us about it, they’re telling us their opinion without any facts. I’ve had a hard time with those people. Usually about a day after our conversation a smart response finally comes into my head and I could just kick myself for not thinking of it earlier. All of you who read this blog fall in the ? mark category, the ones who really need to read it aren’t. But maybe you can take this little bit of knowledge and use it some day if you get in a conversation with someone about adoption.

Have a good weekend, I know you all will be checking the blog first thing Monday morning for my latest words of wisdom!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Random Happenings from the Week

Some random things that have occured in our week so far:

  • Tornado touched down in the town where Jay teaches and Cade goes to school
  • I was pretty shook up over the ordeal, but everyone was safe
  • Cade had an appointment with his eye specialist - we are still wearing the patch
  • Jay had to buy pantyhose for one of his students who forgot them the day of a contest - she asked him to buy thigh highs.....tell that to those who think teachers are only employed in a classroom from 8:00 to 3:00 each day
  • Jay called me and wanted to know what Queen Size meant and if that was what a 5'5" girl weighing maybe 110 lbs needed
  • Many jokes have been going around the school concerning the pantyhose purchase
  • Cade informed Jay that mud wrestling is a spectator sport (came out of the blue, not sure where it came from)
  • Cade went on his first field trip to see a play, it was Tom Sawyer

Last week I did some changing with the blog layout and I had the black screen. Jay informed me that he didn't like the black because it reminded him of one of those "bad" sites. Before anyone jumps to conclusions on why he would know what one of those sites looks like, remember he is a public school teacher with a computer lab. I'm sure he's seen way more than he's even told me about. He told me not to change it because I'd have a post where I put all the blame on him. I decided to leave the black after our conversation because I liked it. Now that he's put the bug in my head that's all I can think of everytime I pull up the blog. So here is the post where I put the blame on him and change the color of the background. Kristy had also asked where I got the Pop Art picture that is on the blog. It came from Photobucket. They've just added some really neat editing tools and Pop Art was one of them.