Sunday, January 29, 2012

The End of the Beginning

We are almost there.

On Wednesday of this week, we will officially become foster parents to a 16 year old boy.

And then the countdown really begins.

Because in one year, we will begin the process of adopting this boy as our very own.

We didn't know when we began this process where this would lead.  We couldn't even get our heads around this whole idea.  We didn't know that God would forge this path or lead us down this road.  We thought we were just doing a good thing.  Patrick laughed and said that I had finally found a way to bring one of my students home with me.  We joked about gym socks and dating and drivers' licenses.

And then he asked if he could call us Mom and Dad, and we sat up a little straighter.

And then there is school.  Because we are there all day together, you know.  It's sort of like being a stay at home mom but not really.  It began with checking in before football practice and then overnight it seemed I was elected Wrestling Booster Club Secretary (what?).  Countless rice krispy treats later and a friend of his is leaning over to me during our in-class reading of Romeo and Juliet whispering, "Mrs. Herndon, are you adopting Calvin?"  I pause because no one had just put it out there like that yet.  "That is so cool," he whispers as I nod my head, very slowly.  Is it ok to tell people that? Is that the word he's using when he tells his friends--adopting? Is that what we're doing?

And finally the day and the question that we all knew was coming.  "So when Mrs. Herndon becomes your mom are you going to change your name?"  He was afraid to say yes in front of me because we had not discussed this.  I could tell this was not how he wanted it to come up, but then there it was, out on the table.  And that is how the conversation began.

And so in March we will go to court and change his foster care plan from "Independent Living" to "Adoption."  The process will take about a year.  Everything needs to be established.  Birth certificates will change.  Rights will have to be terminated.  The water will have to get a little muddier.

But the most interesting part is to watch those around us as we go through this process.  So many people simply do not know what to do with it.  Babies, people get.  When someone announces a pregnancy we know how to respond; we know the right questions to ask:  when are you due?  what will the name be?  are you so excited?!  We know to throw a baby shower and bring a gift and say "aww" over sonogram pictures.  But when it's messy?  When it's a teenager?  When the "due date" is a "move in date" and the child cannot look you in the eye or make cute noises or may be little scarred from the wreckage of life and the sin of others?  What do you say?  "Are you so excited?!" just doesn't seem to fit.

And that is ok.  This is a weird way to have your first child. We realize that. And it's ok if you think so too. We know.

And we don't really know what to say either. 

Except that we ARE incredibly excited.

And we so thankful to those around us who are excited with us and praying for us.  We are grateful for a family who has loved our boy like he's always been there.  Who come to wrestling matches and give him silly nicknames and Christmas and birthday presents.  For generous friends who throw you a "shower in a card" from far away and give you Lowe's gift certificates so you can put a closet door in his room.   For Scott and Krista who handmade a game of cornhole that we can play as a family.  A pastor who checks in frequently and has already made a connection with our boy.   Guidance counselors and co-workers and our school secretary who asks faithfully every week, "Are you a Mama yet?!" 

I am a bit overwhelmed by it all.  I'm still processing what it all means.  Still getting used to this whole idea.  So bear with me a little bit. 

Wednesday is coming.  We are ready.

And we are so thankful.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Opportunities

Some day I will get my act together and participate in the Hello Monday link up that Lisa does, pictures and all.  I love her blog and I love for enthusiasm for Monday and starting a new, fresh week.  I am not often prone to take that perspective.  But I did take a few minutes today to comtemplate my week and think about it in terms of "opportunities" and blessings, rather than the dreary, weekend-is-ending-how-will-I-function outlook I so often fall into.

Here are some things I'm looking forward to this week:
  • Finally catching up on grading, made a little better in my favorite spot at the coffee shop {I keep looking forward to finally not feeling like I'm drowning!}
  • Enjoying having my student teacher slowly take some leadership in my classroom
  • Family couseling session on Wednesday to help us all transition to this new adventure
  • Coffee date with a fellow teacher and foster parent {Looking forward to gathering some wisdom and encouragement}
  • Teacher Work Day on Friday!  {I'm looking forward to closing my door and tackling the To Do List}
  • A quiet and low-key weekend on the horizon {husband on a business trip and son at a wrestling tournament}
  • Celebrating my sweet grandmother's 80th birthday and the blessing she is to our family!
What opportunities do you have on the schedule this week?
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Things Friday: The Christmas Money

Happy Friday!  It's been a couple weeks since I've done a Five Things post, and in the meantime, we've had  Christmas!  So I thought I'd take today to show you Five Things that I've been excited to purchase with my Christmas money.  Patrick usually gives me money for Christmas, which I know is not all that exciting to those of you who like having some substantial to open on the Big Day.  But not me.  I love having some play money.  I love spending the next few weeks carefully planning out what I would like to purchase and I love having the freedom to just go to the mall or browse online and actually buy something if I want it!  (Instead of the "window shopping" I usually do.)  It's a luxury.  Here's how it's gone so far:

 I've been wanting a cast iron dutch oven in a bright fun color, so I finally got one!  It's Lodge and the color is Island Spice.  It just arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm excited to try out.  In the meantime, it looks very pretty just sitting on my stove.
I've been needing some new running shoes and what great motivation to kick off my resolution!

I bought this yellow and cream striped cardigan at Target.  I love having a little extra spending money when I go to Target so I can make a fun purchase with no guilt.  I love this cardigan!  It's a great length and it's super comfy and cute.  I have already worn it a ton.

So I've used about half of it so far.  I also have some birthday money to put with it to make it go a little further.  I've considered using the last of it to buy one of these:

That, or splurge and buy a really awesome pair of shoes.  I <3 shoes.

Just dreaming a little a bit.

Happy Friday!
I am looking forward to a 3-day weekend!  How about you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Resolution #1 - Read Through the Bible

So I'm already 10 days behind on my resolutions for the new year.  What can I say?  That seems to be the Story of My Life these days.  But I did make some moves in the right direction today.  I know my list-making, OCD self, and I knew that if I wanted to read through the entire Bible I would need a plan.  Something I could actually stick to so that I would not vere from the course so easily.

I tried reading through the Bible in 90 Days.  It was too much.  I couldn't keep up with it, and then I felt like I was drowning and always playing catch up, and I felt overwhelmed, so I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed, which is to crumble under the pressure and just give up.

And then I tried reading along with the calendar our church puts out, which was great.  In fact it is stuck in my Bible and is my go-to in the mornings right now.  But I just picked it up one day in the middle of the year and started doing it, and it bothered me that I hadn't started at the beginning.   I want to start at the beginning and finish at the end.

And then I came across this post which was filled with numerous options and plans!  So resourceful! 

I chose the chronological plan because I thought it would really help me to read things in context of the time period. 

So I'm ten days behind but I am starting this afternoon.  It's a couple of chapters a day, so I think it is very doable.

And with that being said I am adding these two things to my list of resolutions for the year:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dear People Who Hate Teenagers and Think They Are Only Trouble,

I am here to tell you that I have living proof that

despite their moodiness
despite their hormonal craziness

despite their sometimes (most times) serious lack of motivation
they are capable of love.

They have the capacity to be grateful and actually make you feel pretty darn special.

I used to take the day off on my birthday to have a whole day just to myself. But I'll tell you what. Spending the day with these students whom I have spent the whole first semester growing to love was a present in and of itself today. I love my job.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Still working on pictures from the holidays....  Maybe that should be a New Years Resolution?  Procrastination is really an art form, and I have worked long and hard to perfect it.  In the meantime I wanted to tell you Happy New Year!

Edie had the most fantastic post on Resolutions.  I loved it.  And I totally agreed.  Up until reading her post I had not made any resolutions, but she convinced me.  So here they are!  A new start and some new year goals.  And whether I accomplish them or not is not the issue.  It's the blank slate and the hoping and planning and allowing yourself to dream just a little bit.  I didn't get too ambitious so maybe things will work out this year.

Happy New Year everyone!
May 2012 be the year where you meet the Lord in fresh and new ways.
May your faith increase and your love multiply.