Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Whew!!!!! (As in "What a relief!)

Finally the dreaded home study interviews are over and like so much of life, they weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. Our social worker came back tonight and talked to Lowell for 45 minutes! and then proceded to listen to me for about an hour. : ) So he was a little off on his predictions, but apparently most of the time that he and Lowell talked it wasn't really official interview stuff anyway. I talked for a long time about my family and growing up (which as you can imagine took a while to explain and elaborate on). Toward the end he said he'd heard enough to write his report and I was quite surprised and said something like, "Well, later when you're looking at the stuff I wrote down in my other paperwork do you think you'll wish you asked me about my post-partum depression after Toby was born?" And he said "Yeeessss..." and flipped his notebook to a whole new page so he had plenty of space to write. So I told him a bit about it and life this last year and it all made sense to him by the end of it. He ended the whole thing by motioning to Toby (who had managed to get onto my lap by that time) saying we had all the hallmarks of a stable family and were obviously adored by our kids and some stuff like that. So I think we did ok. : ) Now we (well, I mostly) just have to get back to gathering paperwork for our Dossier. (Don't worry... as I am now blogging more frequently than you had ever hoped for you will certainly be hearing more about it in the future if you dare keep coming back.) : ) Thanks so much for all your prayers. God is good. Oh. And by the way... He asked me what I did if I ever had any free time and one of the things I mentioned was that I had started blogging. And he said, "Good for you." : )


If you want to see a hilarious video of my shy, calm kids, wishing a happy (although belated) birthday to their cousin Connor who lives in Thailand, click here. (And no, I do not know how they ended up with such small mouths.) Have a nice day everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mud and Glasses

Mikaela got new reading glasses today. Isn't she cute? She was so excited about it. She says, "I like my reading glasses." She has learned how to read in Spanish and is figuring out how to read in English, too. I can't believe she is going to be done with Kindergarten in less than 3 weeks. Today when she went into her class with her new glasses, I tried to follow her so I could talk to her teacher about them. But she stopped me and said she could do it. So, against my motherly instincts, I let her. And she did just fine, but it was one of those moments when I could feel my heart stretching. They grow up and grow more independent everyday and most days I don't notice it, but sometimes I am so aware of it that it almost hurts. It was that way her first day of Kindergarten and I'm sure it will be that way on the last day, too, and so many days yet to come. It's good, to be sure, but I can't help but wishing at times that it wouldn't happen so fast.

And here is Toby who today, just moments before this picture was taken, brought this Cup o' Mud INTO the kitchen because he wanted to add more water to it... from the water dispenser in the door of my fridge. Thankfully I was closeby so I was able to stop him before he got the fridge all muddy. Not long ago (when he did something similarly 3 year-old-ish) I told him to tell me "Mommy, some day when I'm all grown up you'll wish I was still little." It was good to be reminded to appreciate the muddy fingerprints and other messes while they last because they won't be around forever.

How Much Can I Say in 5 Minutes?

Well, I actually have less than that now due to the logging in and all, but here goes! (If only I were talking! It would be so much faster!) Last week's interview with our social worker went fine. Tomorrow night will be the interesting one because he's going to talk to each of us (me and Lowell, not the kids--I guess he heard enough from them last week--especially Toby who he was so entertained by he said he would just play with Toby all day if he could. They'd go outside and build a fort with all of the pillows in the house... at which point I told him he couldn't ever come babysit for us.) (Yes, I really told him that. Thankfully, he laughed.) (Ummm... Where was I?) He's going to talk to us each ALONE to hear all about our childhoods and where we are now. The hard part for me will be figuring out what to tell him because as you all know, there is so much I could say! I could tell him about each and every one of you and about trying to post on your blog in 5 minutes and wandering around the country with my family and playing in ditches and making mudballs in the cotton fields and singing the Hallelujah chorus while doing the dishes (talk about worship!)... so you see my problem. He has already assertained from our first visit (being the astute social worker that he is) that his conversation with Lowell will probably go about 25 minutes and mine will likely go about 45. (I told you he was smart!) And he doesn't even know the half of it. You can pray that God leads me to say what matters and nothing else. And that I get my house presentable again because it's not so much anymore. Well, my 5 minutes was up a minute or 2 ago. This was still the fastest post I've ever done. (Though I haven't proofread it yet and being a former teacher I do that.) Maybe if I get good at this fast posting thing I'll do it more often because I have so much more to talk about. As you all know. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

What was I thinking?

Well, the social worker is coming this week to interview Lowell and me and the kids--at our house. I had always thought that as soon as the appointment was scheduled I would have all the motivation I needed to get my entire house clean from the closets to the cupboards in my laundryroom and that I would have all the time I needed to get it all done. (Are you laughing at me???) WHAT WAS I THINKING????? Well, what I didn't anticipate was that we would get "the call" on Mother's Day right smack dab in the middle of LIFE. The next day, Mikaela woke up with a cold that she managed to share with all of us before the week was over. Monday night one of my best friends called me and told me her mother had just passed away that evening, so I spent a little time Tuesday with her and ran some errands for her. And as you know, if you read the post just before this one, I am currently in Southern California because the kids and I accompanied Lowell on a business trip--which means I spent all day Wed. getting packed. Fun, but not helpful in the "clean up the house" arena. (This also explains how I have time to add to my blog twice in 3 days!) We are planning to be home this afternoon in time to get our house picked up for our Bible Study/Life group that meets at our place Sunday nights. Whenever we come back from a trip it normally takes me a few days to get back to normal, but I don't have a few days this time. And I've given up on the "closets to cupboards" dream cuz it aint gonna happen. But from what I've heard, that's ok. Adoption home studies aren't nearly as picky as foster home inspections and I figure that while I want our place to look as nice as I can get it this week, it doesn't have to be model home perfect... because that's not who we are. We are a family that values life and relationships more than having everything always in it's place (and we're just not naturally organized people) and the social worker might as well know that. I am going to do my best, but I am also going to spend time with my friend Lisa so I can hear how the services for her mom went. We visited our friends here in southern California before going home because we care more about them than going home to clean. And who knows what else LIFE will bring this week. But no matter what, we will do our best, be thankful my mom can come help me some :) and hope it all goes well. Derek, our social worker, is coming over Thursday night at 6:30, so you can pray that I won't freak out between now and then and that I remember what matters most... God and others (my family, friends and church)... and not a perfectly clean house. Thanks. :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Meandering in Santa Monica

I'm writing this while sitting in our hotel room at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. It's a really nice (expensive!) hotel we would never stay at if we were paying for it... but since Lowell's boss wanted him to attend a conference here, we came along! In case you've never been to a really nice hotel like this, let me tell you a little about what you're missing every time you stay in a Best Western or Motel 6. First of all, when you drive up to the front you are swarmed by valet guys helping open all your doors and unloading your luggage. Then they take away your vehicle so if you forget, say, your trail mix in the van you're out of luck unless you want to ask them to get it for you. And every time someone helps you, you give them a tip because you want to be nice and not have it be so apparent that you really belong at the Best Western in Pismo rather than here. By the time you get registered and lost looking for your room and finally find your room there is a bellman (or bellboy? I dunno.) waiting for you at your room with your luggage. And you give him a tip too, thankful that all this tipping is going to be reimbursed by your husband's agency. :)

The room is nice, but not so different from all the other decent places you normally stay. There are a couple of water bottles with water all the way from Fiji you could drink if you were willing to pay $6 for the tropical Fijian water or you can be glad you have a gallon of Crystal Geyser the valet guys got out of the van when they were unloading your van for you. There is also a little fridge and stash of goodies that you tell the kids they CANNOT TOUCH (because the Flyer Caramel Chocolate Bar costs $5 and the Banana Moon Cashews cost $12!)
But the beds! I finally figured out at least one of the reasons people would pay their own money to stay at a place like this (besides the joy of having someone else park your car for you). The beds (even though they're only doubles) are so comfortable!!! It was very, very nice... and I appreciated it all night long because I had taken some sudafed and kept hearing Toby and Mikaela roll over, making me think they were going to fall off their bed. But I was comfortable!

I also discovered a few minutes ago that they have babysitting services! Maybe I'll use them tomorrow when I go get my facial and massage after my morning workout at the fitness center. Or maybe the kids and I will just go swimming, grateful for the blessing of being able to come to Santa Monica with Daddy... after I enjoy my nice comfy bed for one more night. : )