I needed to be sure to blog about GLEE. If you aren't watching this show this fall- or if you don't watch TV at all- you might want to think about it.
Take a look at this clip from last week's episode. Be sure to turn the music off at the right so you can hear the sound ok.
A definitely must watch show for the adults!!! You will laugh so hard that you will want to DVR the episodes so you can watch them again.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I needed to be sure to blog about GLEE. If you aren't watching this show this fall- or if you don't watch TV at all- you might want to think about it.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I can't wait to get home. We miss the kids so much but I can't help admit that we have enjoyed this time together.
Both hubby and I have colds now. Go figure.
Yesterday we had a couple really interest travel experiences. Most of the drive has been through very rural parts of the country.
We stopped in a small town in Oregon for tissues and ended up at the Dollar Tree. The woman checking out in front of us had three dollars in pennies and was buying soup and mouse traps. She needed $4 but only had $3. We tried to offer help but she left upset without her mouse traps. What a reality check. To have to scrape change in order to buy dinner (canned soup) and mouse traps to only realize that you have to make the choice between catching the mice in your home or feeding your family is really just unreal.
At times I am far too quick to forget about the poverty that exists in my own backyard. I need to be more aware and conscious of my choices.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Things went well last night. The van looked good in the dark. They put our last name down wrong on the paperwork so it had to be redone and took awhile as "our guy" wasn't the paperwork guy typically and had to have someone walk him through the process of printing it all out over again. (We were the only ones at the dealership as we arrived at 10pm.)
Our sales guy is now our friend- we spent way too much time talking and it was great to get to know him better. After things were signed and done we headed out. The van floor is still quite wet from the detailing that must have taken place in a hurry when they knew that we were coming.
We stopped at the store for a GPS and headed north- we made it to somewhere Idaho at about 5am and decided to get a hotel and sleep for awhile. They charged us $80 and we have to check out by 1pm. So that's not a ton of sleep. :)
Right now I am typing this and eating fruit salad prepackaged from a walmart. My husband is flipping the tv between Nascar and Boxing and we drove a car last night all night that we still haven't seen in daylight yet. Life is good though.
We miss our kids and have another long day or two of driving until we are HOME.
More soon.... pray for our safe travels.
This morning when we woke up we were determined to get things figured out with the van situation. We still have a file full of paperwork that needs completing before we are able to collect any money from our insurance company and that has been put on the back burner because we have been living life and things can't get notarized without my husband being off work. Well today he was off work and sweet RAD was safely away with family for the weekend- so we were going to get some moving and shaking done.
We had found a great deal on a 12 passenger van but had spent the later part of this past week trying to get financing figured out. The vans in our area- well in our entire state were actually costing thousands of dollars more. So we knew that we had to be thrifty and only finance the bare bones that we had to and keep those monthly payments low. The car lot was trying to find us financing at a good rate- but they came back with something totally unacceptable given our good credit. Because we were buying from out of state they just weren't producing the kind of rate that we were hoping for. We called our bank who said that sure- they could finance us but they couldn't do much better than what the car lot had come up with.
We prayed and decided that we would just buy a van in our state and save the hassle as well as the interest rate instead of dealing with traveling and the hub bub that had been going on with the back and forth phone calls. We knew that we could get a decent rate at a credit union here in our state- but because we didn't have an account at the credit union my dear hubby would have to come in and apply after opening an account. So that means that he would need to take a day off of work- no work equals no pay- so that really wasn't an option for us right now given the need for the money to buy the darn van in the first place. (Catch 22- your damned if you do- your damned if you don't.)
So this morning we called the out of state car lot to give them one more try at finding us a good rate- and they told my husband that they only had that ONE bank that they worked with that was willing to finance people from out of state. They said that because if we didn't pay and we were out of state- then that would mean that they would have to come all the way to our state and get the vehicle. Seemed logical- but there are banks that are the same in our state and in their state- you think that they would be able to figure it out.
My husband then asked about the "hold" that we put on the van of $1000 of our credit card. They said that likely that wouldn't be refunded because they did find us financing it just wasn't agreeable to what we were hoping for. Well sheesh- someone could have told us this earlier in the week- that would have been fair. How about a little explanation as to how these things work folks?
Then the water works started- to add insult to injury here we were weeks out from the van fire, and we still had no settlement from our insurance, we were paying some out of pocket for our rental car as the insurance only was paying a portion, and now we were facing being out another $1000. I talked to both the finance guy and the guy handling the sale and told them how upset I was. I cried on the phone and just laid it all out there- what a bunch of crap.
The only reason I believe that I felt that I could even trust this situation in the first place was because we had bought our old van from this same type of dealership (car rental sales company) in Columbus Ohio years ago. We had a great experience and they have fantastic prices. Also the guy that we were working with was the oldest of 15 children! He understood large families-and even large adopted families as most of his siblings are adopted. We had great conversations on the phone all week long and he basically hand picked this van from the nine or so that they had at the beginning of the week.
They took it off the lot and held it for us- which was truly wonderful- but I never knew about buying and financing a car out of state and I had hoped that they would be the experts.
After my tear filled phone calls a bit of time went by and I got a phone call with an offer for an interest rate HALF of what it originally was. The interest rate that we got was really great for a used car and unreal truly. Then they told me how they got that rate for me which made me shudder a little and question the ethics of it- but at that point I thought I better keep my mouth shut and pray. Certainly nothing ILLEGAL occurred just something slightly unethical. I bet your dying to know and I would love to tell you... someday soon.
So we were all in agreement that we would move forward and they said that they would fed ex the paperwork to me and that I needed to fedex it back to them before the end of the month. Then a wave of panic came over me...
I wasn't going to sign anything without seeing the van first and making sure we are actually getting a van and this is going to go OK!
So we scrambled.... my sister headed over to help without questions, Kim offered back up, Lauren assured me it was going to be fine, my dear neighbor got a frantic last minute email which I know she's there in case of emergency, a dear friend Sandy had emailed offering to bring dinner over even without knowing we were going to be leaving town last minute (what a blessing and so God's timing that my family at home will have dinner tomorrow night without worrying about it!!)
We found some last minute decent airfares ONE WAY, my husband called the rental car company to let them know we were headed to the airport two hours away and we would be leaving the car there instead of at the local branch- DING $50 fee- oh well.... and we were on our way!
I smuggled on some chips and salsa without remembering them in the backpack and the planes about ready to land. Praying that a nice guy with 15 younger sibs is there to pick us up with our new *used van. Or else we are spending the night in lovely Salt Lake and I will go to Provo for a cupcake (Nienie's favorite place) and I will hunt down these people and head home on a plane tomorrow night.
Either way- fun times.
Friday, September 25, 2009
And I can vouch that they tasted
Thursday, September 24, 2009
In other news:
I think that we might have a new van.
And I believe I bought it over the phone last night without
seeing it first and its in another state.
Who's the one being irrational now?
We should know in a couple hours if the funding goes through.
And if so we will make a plan to head out soon to Salt Lake City
to pick it up. As far as BIG vans go SLC has far more than Seattle.
In our state they call BIG vans a liability. In SLC they call them:
"a reliable family vehicle".
Have a beautiful day.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The van issues, and insurance BS and all that will come later.
I think we have hit rock bottom and there is no
place left to go from here but up with RAD.
Praying this is it this is the end the bottom the finale.
So if you see me and I look tired.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Everlee's mama created a lovely website and jewelry in her
medical expenses as well as 25% of the proceeds
materials- so you can't go wrong.
KYST by Everlee!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"I really hurt myself Mom. I think that I might have broken my foot in the dunk tank at church." I should have realized that the rest of the day was going to be filled with surreal moments of numbness. If there is a bone to be broken- Grace will break it! So far she has elevated and rested and thinks it might just be sprained. We will give it until tomorrow- if she is still in pain- she will get an x-ray. She has broken two bones already and she is only 12.
Dunktank and Church should not be in the same sentence right? (Only at our church really.) And I love our church. Its the best and filled with the most awesome God filled folks who know how to keep it real and have a good time on top of it.
Dealing with insurance claims and interviews and the like isn't fun at all. I just want things to be over so I can move on. I just want the garage repair guy to actually show up and give me an estimate on fixing the door. I just want the burned up van from in front of my house moved. Why aren't these things happening? I can't replace my lost GPS if I don't have a car. There would be no where to plug it into when we walk places. :)
And then after coming off of a 24 hour "keeping my cool" episode with one raging RADish. (Read back to see what I might be talking about.) I just want a shower and ask David and Grace to help with Bean and Bear so that might happen for me. David is having a mood because he stayed up too late the night before talking to Cole and I. And Grace of course can't stand because of her foot. They reluctantly agree and because there is so much paint caked on my arms and legs from the garage interior painting that is happening in my free moments... I take them up on the reluctant agreement because I am that desperate.
I decide to check my email before I get in the shower and I get this email:
MOI requested an archive of the adoption decree. When (the attorney) went to Archive National, they could not make a copy, because it was not in the register.The original adoption decree was filed in the court sometime in 2008, but the civil officer failed to put in the register.It can take up to one year for that register to get filled and ready to go to PAP, and since it was never in a register and an archive was not requested before this, they are just realizing this mistake now.
To further this problem the civil officer left the country yesterday for the States.Another civil officer cannot make a new paper (to go in the register), because a judgement was made about Issac's adoption decree that stated a specific civil officer responsible for this case, and once a decision is made by a judge, is is irreversible.This is a real problem, A. just got off the phone with (the attorney) to see if there was anything else that can be done, but to no avail, they said that nothing more could be done. A. said that we will have to wait for the officer to return and then wait for a new register to be ready. The officer left the country yesterday and will be gone for about three weeks, in the meantime A. said that he will try and get a new register ready so that when the officer returns he can put his stamp and signature on it and it can go to PAP.
I bet your thinking- wow what does all that mean?
I bet your also thinking- how much more time will Isaac sit in Haiti at the orphanage?
Good question there too.
No answers. Just anger. I have never said that work F*CK so many times. I knew that MOI needed an archived adoption decree. I KNEW THAT. How the hell did my attorney not know that? How the hell did they not see it didn't have the archive attached to it when they got it almost a YEAR AGO? Why doesn't anyone seem to be running around screaming and yelling and pushing to get my son home? Why are we allowing his life to be wasted by complacency and an inept process? WHY WHY WHY?
Numb. Empty. Lost. Sad. Confused. Done.
And all the while as the day progressed....
Angeline is desperately trying to keep her balance and take steps without her walker. Yesterday she refused to use her walker most of the day which resulted in a half crawl half walk sort of movement all day long. She was so damn determined to get around without the walker I kept having to leave the room because its so hard to see her struggle so much.
I told her that I really liked her walker and I hoped she would use it and she said:
"I don't want my walker. I don't want to be the girl with the walker."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It was hard to see Clepson leave. I guess because my children really bonded with him and seeing how sad they felt was difficult. And because its just hard to say goodbye! I know that with hosting babies its hard to let them go for an entirely different reason. Even with Clepson talking about how excited he was to get back to Haiti I still sensed that he was sad to say goodbye to everyone here.
Before the van fire last week I was already feeling overwhelmed with paperwork and things to do. And then the fire happened and its been one insurance claim, document or phone call after another. We are fairly sure that the fire was caused by the work that we had done on the A/C unit in the van over the summer. The piece that caught fire was the same part we just had replaced. Lauren and I watched where the flames were coming from and so there is just a mess of stuff going on with regard to that.
I still have no clue what we are going to do about getting a new car. We are thankful for a rental car even if it only seats eight people but we know that this won't last forever. I am not looking forward to having a car payment again. I have been watching eBay for a good deal. I had someone suggest to me through the grapevine yesterday that they hoped someone would "donate another van to us".
I want to make it clear that although we have a large family we aren't getting any kind of donations for anything. Occasionally we have friends or family give us bags of clothes or items they don't need. Just as we pass on many things that we don't need- but we don't get donations of vehicles or anything like that! It made me laugh at first but then the more I thought about it the more it annoyed me off that people might assume we get things for free. We have to pay for everything and work for it just like everyone else. Even our adoptions- shocker I know!
There is a part of me that is feeling really numb about the whole incident just because I see how fast everything can be taken away from you. I really could envision myself on the side of the freeway and pulling Bean and Bear out of the back of the van and not being about to get them out of their car seats fast enough. Its a lot of climbing around to get to different seats in that van. I don't ever want to experience anything like that and its horrifying to think about.
Angeline started preschool yesterday. She had some tears yesterday and today but she is loving riding in the wheelchair on the bus. Especially on the bus lift... going up and down on that is almost like a carnival ride to her. (Not that she would truly know what a carnival ride was like- but you get the picture.)
We are working on making our garage into a playroom. Winters here in the Pacific Northwest are rainy and dreary. I have been feeling more and more that Angeline, Bear and eventually Isaac need a bigger place to play. The tiny bedroom playroom just isn't going to cut it. So its been quite the family project getting everything re-organized and put into a shed in the back yard and painting etc. When its done its going to be wonderful!
On a final note- I am finding myself getting more and more depressed and feeling hopeless at times about Isaac coming home. It is hard for me to admit that and to be real about it. I feel like we are so close some moments but then to think about THREE YEARS and how much life has gone on without Isaac being here is so hard to get over. I feel like I am constantly talking about this on my blog and in person with people but I can't get over it. I can't figure out how to pray it away- it haunts and me and robs me of sleep. I want my son home. We need him here. Its as if a part of my heart has been dying and is now lost forever without him. I know that's a bit dramatic but to think of the past three years from that moment we committed to him how much life we have lived and how much change has occurred kills me.
Please also pray for my Great Aunt Bo in Texas- we lost her beloved sister- my Great Aunt Patty on Sunday and I know the transition of life without her is going to be especially difficult for Bo. (These are my Aunts that Isaac and Angeline are named after "Patricia and Josephine" Isaac and Angeline have the middle names "Patrick and Josephine".)
I sure wish she could have met her namesake.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Leishan had called and asked for a ride to work.
Lauren managed to lose both shoes and her sweater
while I was on the phone to 911.
It was stuck- but I got it shut.
That extra layer of protection over the fire
saved my house.
Thank you Kendra...thank you for
knowing just what to do.
The dispatcher told me to get the kids out of the house.
I grabbed the babies and the dog- we ran to Kendra's.
And we waited... and watched it burn- and the other neighbors
came out- and the ground started on fire too.
The gas tank which is HUGE was half full.
We thought it might blow up.
I was so grateful because he had on NO protective gear.
5. Full coverage doesn't always mean
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
2 years since I have seen him
Dear Lord, Your timing is seldom my timing, but Your timing is always right for me. You are my Father, and You have a plan for my life that is grander than I can imagine. When I am impatient, remind me that You are never early or late. You are always on time, Lord, so let me trust in You . . . always. Amen
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I will never regret spending three years home schooling my children. But for us- for right now- it is so the right thing that my children are in public school. I feel as if I have a great relationship with my children. Especially those whom I home schooled. It offered us so much time together and so much time to get to really know one another. There were many things that I loved about it. But somewhere along the course of the last year- I lost the hop in my step and found myself just drowning in life. That is NOT the way that it should be.
I don't feel like I failed at all. I feel as if I was able to step outside of my situation and see the big picture. To see how much Lauren will need me to herself in these last years before REAL adulthood sets in. I regret NOT taking that time with my other older children who also needed me so much but I wasn't there for them in the way that I am going to be able to be there for Lauren. I also feel like the worry that I had for my children had been that they would forget their moral grounding and where their roots are. I don't worry about that anymore. They are so grounded in so many ways despite having moments where they seemed ultimately sucked into the mass peer pressure scene that exists in all their little lives. They know who they are and what part of life is most important to them.
SO with all that being said what had happened over the course of the past years of my life was certain things were thrown by the wayside in order to make time and energy for those things that needed to be taken care of in the moment. Never did I slip up on the childrens medical appointments, or dealing with children who were in crisis, or even being sure that they had their workbooks and school work done in a timely fashion. The things that I slipped up on was ME, my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband- and being able to ENJOY a social life. Lately I also admit I am not as on the ball with things with the Medical Advocacy Team as I used to be.
I am energized and excited about the possibilities. About time to just enjoy Baby Bear, to play tea party with Angeline, to listen to Lauren play guitar, to take the dog for a walk, to pray and read the bible, to finish books I have started, to catch up with friends I have thrown by the wayside, to have ample time for my son Isaac when he comes home. Wow. What a blessing to be able to access public school for my children.
Did I get them in Angeline's school where I wanted them to go?
Was I able to get them into another elementary school so that I don't have to deal with the bad feelings I have for the closest elementary?
Sophie, Dominick and Lulu are in school exactly where I DID NOT WANT THEM TO BE.
and you know what?
It's all going to be OK. I don't know why- but somehow I do believe this is just the way that it should be for now. It feels right. I feels sad that they don't get to be together with Angeline- but it feels OK. They are all enjoying school and that is what is most important. Grace and Cole are loving junior high. Cole joined the soccer team at school. David of course feels that high school is just where he wants to be.
The only issue now is that going without them all day means that each evening is non stop talking and getting filled in on what happened during the day. I had worried about our relationships becoming one where they would come home from school and it would look something like this:
"How was school today?"
"It was OK."
"What did you learn?"
And that is SO not the case.
So what have I learned through this process:
1. You can't always get what you want- even when you try.
2. Its ok to say "I can't do this" and "this is too much for me"
3. Its ok to take time to take care of yourself.
4. Balance is key
5. Doing whatever it takes to have peace in your life is a good thing :)
This past week was the first week of school and I have a cute Lulu story to tell.
Although Lulu is in the second grade- it was her first time at school this past week. I had spent many hours making sure that she had all the right school supplies and I labeled them all with her name just as the instructions told me to do. She was so proud to have her own things and she would go through her packed book bag many times before the first day of school. I watched my type A sense of order rubbing off on her as I saw her putting all her pencils in her purple pencil box.
When I went to take her to school, hers was the first of the three childrens elementary classrooms that we came to. I just wanted to have a moment with her teacher to be sure that he understood that this was "Alyssas" first day of school and that everyone calls her Lulu- so if he were to call her Alyssa- she might forget he is talking to her.
Then I rushed out the door to get Dominick to his class. I peeked back in at Lulu and she was smiling and just sitting in awe of her desk that had her name on it and a worksheet for her to complete.
That afternoon when she came home from school I asked her how her day was. She told me that it was fine but I saw that her book bag was really full. I thought that was strange for the first day of school to have such a full backpack but I was busy listening to all the stories everyone had to tell so I made a mental note to check book bags later on. At one point after dinner Lulu told me that she had cried at school. This is what she said:
"Mom I did cry at school today. My teacher came by my desk and while I was doing my math he saw that my pencil box was FULL of pencils. He told me that I didn't need so many pencils. Then he took them all and left me four of them. I started crying and felt terrible that he took my pencils. I went to him and told him to give them back because my Mom got those for me and those were MY pencils."
I said... "Oh no Lulu- I should have explained that sometimes teachers take some of your supplies and they keep them in a big box for all the children to use as they need them. I don't think that he put 36 pencils on the list because he expected you to have them all to use right this week."
She looked perplexed and disturbed at the thought of her very special pencils having to be shared amongst the entire classroom. She told me- "that's ok Mom- he gave them all back to me when I told him to."
I am proud that she can advocate for herself (big surprise there NOT). That day and every day since Lulu has brought home every single one of her things that I had sent to school with her on the first day.
I asked her why and she said:
"Because those are my things. If I leave them in my desk- someone might take them. My own teacher might take them."
She will certainly learn in due time that sharing her supplies is better than carrying a heavy backpack up and down the road twice a day.
I hope that your life is filled with peace and balance.