Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ooops... Sorry....

When I went back to my blog and saw that I had not blogged since Wednesday I was shocked!  Where has the time gone!  My life has been so full and so busy that I haven't taken time to do so.

Thursday I was in or near Owatonna for most of the day at my Downey Side Office and then I headed home for dinner.  Yesterday was packed as well ending with dinner with our friends Deb and Nate and their kids and trying out Spirituality, a coffee house event at our new church.  I personally loved it and our kids did pretty well, but the space was cramped and a bit unorganized.  I don't think they were prepared for the numbers (Nate and Deb and their kids plus their respite boy and Bart and I and our kids, including Sadie coming home for the weekend) added 14 people to the small crowd.   It all went pretty well considering -- ok, except for the part where Jimmy stabbed Dominyk with scissors and he started obsessing about calling the police....

BUT I loved the music and the atmosphere, so I'm planning to attend every one.  If you like praise and worship music and an informal atmosphere and great snacks and treats, you should consider coming  :-)  It's the last Friday night of the month at 7, except for on July 27th.

There is something going on that I can't blog about yet, which I think is the reason that I'm not blogging as much.   I have a hard time keeping things a secret.

When we got here we received a movie gift card from perishioners so we are considering that option -- if Salinda doesn't come over to buy a car, which she is suggesting she will be.

Plus I'm working on a big project for Task Force.... so I must go but I want to leave you with a thought.

A new Jewish friend of mine shared this quote with me from the Talmud which I keep thinking about in regards to the work that I do:

"You are not expected to complete the task of repairing the world ... but neither are you free to desist from trying."

(Rabbi Hillel in the Pirke Avot)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Things are So Nice at the Moment

This morning I had some hours to spend in my office and then had lunch with a blog reader (hey Hilary -- GREAT meeting you).  The lunch was awesome because Hilary gets a lot of what she needs to get in order to adopt -- something she is hoping to do.  So it was really fun hearing her dreams and helping her take the next step forward.

Since I was leaving early and I knew that Bart was going to be gone all morning, I left a note for the four boys who live here all the time asking each of them to do a few things around the house before I got home.  Bart's mom and a couple of his aunts are stopping by sometime today on their way back home from seeing his sister in New York. 

I came home and the stuff was all done and the boys were all quietly occupying themselves.  I'm sitting in my office getting work done and the house is blissfully quiet thanks to electronic stimulation.

I have myself calmed down in regards to Tony's return and some ideas of how to help him move forward with the plan that is best for him.  

I also have a possible opportunity for something exciting professionally, so that always keeps me distracted from being anxious about other things.

It's nice to have days like these.  A nice clean new house,  (even though there are many unpacked boxes and several windows with no curtains), well behaved and cooperative teenagers, and a passion and vision much beyond myself guaranteeing that I'll never be bored.

Contented sigh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Living One Day at a TIme

Over breakfast in our new well-lit dining room this morning, my husband and I shared breakfast alone and an argument.  Isn't that lovely?  And it's primarily my fault.  OK, it's all my fault.

I have been incredibly anxious because Tony is coming home from Job Corps in a week with both barrels loaded mentally to explain why he can't go back.  We both know that he needs to go back there -- it's best option -- and yet he hates it.  It's in his best interest and there are no other options that really work for him.

So I was attempting to express some concern... and just for a little background, let me tell you how the next month is going to go.  On July 2nd, Tony will fly home.  On the 6th he will go on the missions trip with the Mankato church.  He returns on the 14th.  On the 17th Bart is leaving for Orlando for his Academy for Spiritual Formation.  He returns on the 23rd and Tony is supposed to be leaving to go back to job corps before he even gets back.  Then on the 24th we are supposed to be leaving to drive to Washington DC .. and we've never planned to take Tony (and I'm pretty sure with he and Dominyk both along that someone would be either dead or insane by the time we arrived in Crystal City, VA and it would be tough either explaining to the folks at NACAC why I couldn't show up because I was either in prison or an institution).

So when I mentioned all this Bart suggested that I was borrowing trouble by worrying about it all today.  Now if you know us, you know this is not characteristic for our personalities.  He is typically the worrier and I am the one who wonders why he is worrying.  But when it comes to the month of July, I can't stop thinking about how hard that whole thing is going to be, especially if Tony is as stubborn as he has been acting.

So I am trying to force myself to live one day at a time.  Yesterday was a fun day --  lunch with some new friends from our new church and then lots of friends from Mankato and Brunswick both at the Twins game.  The weather was perfect though I was freaking out about the height and stairs a bit, it was all in all a fun night.  The four kids that were with us had a good time.

Today I get to go to two different Dunn Brothers to meet with various others about some adoption related stuff as well as this conference we're planning in October.

So it's all good -- for TODAY.  It's just the trick of worrying only about today and not every other day that comes in the future. 

I never struggled with anxiety until I lived through the past ten years.  Now it kicks my butt sometimes.

But I'm determined to manage my emotions and my thoughts and the best I can do is to live one day at a time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

July and August Trainings in Minnesota

 Click here for more information.

An Open Heart

Yesterday's sermon, preached by my husband at Brunswick UMC in Crystal, was a challenging one.  He used this scripture from 2 Corinthians 6:

 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children —open wide your hearts also.
He ended his sermon with these words:   Open you're hearts.  It's as easy as that.  And as difficult... but God goes before us.

As I listened to his sermon I thought about the task that we have as adoptive parents of opening our hearts.   Looking back over my years as an adoptive parent, I have seen how opening my heart has gotten my heart broken again and again.  Sometimes I have felt as though my heart has been demolished and that I must close it in order to survive. 

But somehow, someway, God has always been able to mend it and help me to reframe things and open it up again.  Here are some examples of how God has asked me to open my heart:

1)  To one of my children.  This is probably the most common.  When I have been hurt deeply by the actions or words of one of my children, God has slowly and gently reminded me that I must forgive and move on, opening my heart again.  Sometimes I re-open it knowing that it is going to be broken again very soon, but my task is simply to control me, not anyone else.

2)  To an idea.  There have been times when God is asking me to do something and my heart is closed to even listening to it.  I have a long list of excuses:  I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I'm too overwhelmed -- and yet He coaxes me to open my heart.

3)  To the people around me.  It's not very easy to offend me or hurt my feelings.  I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin and I don't get easily ruffled.  But occasionally I have found myself in a situation where I have to ask God to help me open my hearts to people I'd just as soon walk away from.

Living with an open heart is the healthiest, though not always easiest, way to live.   Is God asking you to open or re-open your heart today? 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Unusual, I Know...

It's not often any more that I find time to write two blog entries in one day.  But at the moment I've been giving the task of listening for Isaac as he naps.  The house is perfectly quiet right now.  I think everyone is asleep or playing a video game with headphones except for Bart who is snacking.

It's been a great morning.  Our new church is great... people are so welcoming.  We got many gifts and many more warm smiles and handshakes and even a few hugs.  People seem genuinely happy that we are there and all of my kids were perfectly well behaved.    It was a great first Sunday.

I have been thinking more about what I wrote this morning and about passions and how each of us works together with cooperating passions to make things happen.  I'm excited to find my way in doing so.

For those of you who are in Mankato -- don't think for a second that we don't miss you just because we like it here... because it simply isn't true....

Gotta Wear Shades

Today is the first Sunday that I have woken up in the city to go to a church that my husband pastors in the city.  I've been surprised at how much I enjoy living in the city again.  I was raised in Denver so this is like home to me.

Yesterday I had coffee with an adoptive mom who has a big vision for supporting adoptive families in the Twin Cities.  Mark your calendars for October 27th because if you are in or near Minnesota you need to plan to join us.  Looks like Bart and I and Kari will all be speaking in some form or another and that it's going to be a great day.  Many more details to come.

Only if you are part of a clergy family can you fully understand what today is going to be like for us.  We are going to be walking into a room that contains a few people that we know, and many many more who we do not know.  They will be nice to us, in that "Minnesota nice" sort of way, and we will enjoy meeting them.  But today they will be strangers.  We know that in 5 years or 10 or 15 or whenever it is that we leave this church for the next one (or maybe even for retirement???) that we will be leaving dear friends.

I can't help think of our first Sunday in Mankato six years ago.  We walked into a room full of strangers on that day and a few weeks ago we cried because we were leaving so many good friends.   

The kids were much younger that first Sunday in Mankato and I was much more stressed about whether or not they would be appropriate and apparently they weren't.  Leon and Wilson were both strangers we had not yet met, but we still headed to church with 8 kids, I believe.  Today I'm pretty confident that the the five who go with me today will all appear to be perfectly normal and actually some of these going with me today are.  I will have the privilege of introducing people to Isaac as well ... someone who didn't exist several years ago.  Salinda and Gabby didn't make it as planned, but another day I will be able to introduce them as well... but this congregation is lucky in that they are going to meet people in shifts.

Last night we went to the park after dinner and it was really fun watching Isaac and his uncles play.  He enjoyed having Bart push him in the swing so much that he kept refusing to get out.  It was super fun to observe.

Things are good here... for some reason we all feel settled.   Maybe it's simply because there are fewer of us, or because everything is new, or because some of those who love to instigate or who over-respond to stress aren't here.  But it's nice to feel like I can focus some energy in other directions.

The way I explained it to Bart last night was like this:  When we were in Luverne and Mankato I felt as though I was looking at life through a very dirty window that was tainted by the constant and insistent needs of some very troubled kids.  In Luverne they were younger without as many issues, so it was more the physical exhaustion and stress of so many.  In Mankato we faced some really difficult situations with several of our kids.  I feel now that the window of my life has been wiped clean.  I can see clearly the opportunities around me and I have energy to do something with them.

My friend Ginny, who many of you who live in Minnesota know, sent me this quote about vocation:

"The best definition I have ever heard of a vocation is that it's the place where your great joy meets the world's great need. ... We need all of you to find your vocation. To develop your joys, your passions, and to match them to the world's great needs."
~ Eric Greitensm, US Navy Seal & Rhodes Scholar

In the coming years I hope to do this with more energy -- the energy that comes from looking out a clean window and finding the needs around me.... matching them with my passions and joys. 

I may need to buy some sunglasses though.... up until now I didn't need them, but it appears at this point, with a clean window... that my future's so bright I gotta wear shades...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Webinar with Author of "The Primal Womb"

"Who Am I? Dealing with  Genetic Confusion in the  Adoptive Family and Beyond" is coming on June 26th!

Time Goes By So Fast

Time just keeps tickin tickin tickin and days are going by very fast.  Yesterday I taught all day and I must say it was nice to leave at 8:15 to be there by nine as opposed to leaving at 6:30.   It was a great final day of the class -- I have loved meeting the people I have and really enjoyed teaching the class.  I'm hoping to do it again.

Had friends over last night.... Fun times.... everyone did very well together...

I'm in a hurry again this morning but wanted to share these awesome pictures with you from Thursday....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Importance of New Friends and Old

As you know, if you've been reading my blog, our friendship with the Coffees (who now have a private blog) was an integral part of our lives in Mankato.  They as well as Tim, Sue and Sarah, were an amazing support system.  There were also another 10-15 people, unnamed here, who I (or we) spent time with on a regular basis and then a hoard of others who were there whenever we needed them.  Tonight we get to spend time with a couple of them who I have blogged about before.  We are looking forward to seeing them.   We also get to see Tessa and AJ.

Last night we had dinner with new friends/parishioners who I won't name because they might not want me to.  But we had great conversation, all of our boys were appropriate and the food was delicious.

On Tuesday afternoon Wilson, Dominyk and I went to visit my friend Deb -- one of the masterminds behind Toolbox Parenting which you should definitely check out.  Deb is a trip -- fun, outgoing, and loud (maybe even louder than me sometimes) but a great mix of nurturing and toughness that has served her four children well.  She and her husband have four children who were all adopted at young ages and all have FASD.  Their oldest, Nick, is so much like our next-to-youngest, Dominyk, that we both laugh constantly as we watch them.   In fact, Dominyk did something while we were there that made his younger sister Brittany suddenly raise her hands and make a face of horror and shriek, "He IS Nick, he IS Nick."  Dominyk actually saw the humor in it himself as he watched himself.   Wilson reluctantly played video games with their son Tom.... (reluctance on the with Tom part, not the video game part -- he's trying to make a point that there are no cool people in the Twin Cities).   Deb had some staff their so she and I snuck off for some Dunn Brothers...  We all had fun. 

Kari and I have been teasing each other about finding new BFFs.. but the truth of the matter is that nobody can replace her and I don't need anyone to.  But I do know the value of relationships and support when raising tough kids.   We have been building a team of friends/support people since the early days and most of them are still our friends even if we only see them once and a while.

The trick of relationships in this busy day and age is that you have to be intentional.... VERY intentional.  Planning is crucial and if you don't take time to develop friendships, they won't happen.  Attend a support group or a church that has other adoptive families (hint, hint, Bart's first Sunday at Brunswick is this week -- 9:30 a.m. service.  If you come you can meet Isaac in person cuz his mom and he are coming and spending Saturday night). 

I encourage you to make it a point not to be isolated.  Sometimes our kids behaviors push us into a very strange world that is void of good relationships and it's not healthy.  Make those new friends, keep those old friends, build that team of people and make life more interesting, more fun, and easier to handle.  You'll be glad you did.

I'd love to hear comments about others of you who have made friends that have made your journey more bearable....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Craving a Regular Routine

Last night I was up fairly late listening to drama via text and phone from someone who doesn't live here.  I try to be supportive because for so many years as kids they didn't want my help or advice, but I do get a little annoyed that now that they are at the point that there is very little I can do about the messes they find themselves in they reach out to me for support.  But I have been giving it for the past 24 hours off and on regardless...

Then this morning Bart decided it was time to head out and get the furniture taken care of and we were miles away at lunch time and basically all I can say about our new neighborhood is, "So many restaurants, so little time."  SO we enjoyed lunch out and then I headed home.

Last night we attended a very animated and passionate meeting at the new church.  Bart brought me along and I introduced myself as his trophy wife which brought about much laughter from people I have not yet met.  Of course, that was the intention, because it's fairly obvious I'm no trophy wife.  I promised to keep silent, but there is no way that I can keep my mouth shut when I think I have something important to say.  I was fairly self-controlled, but I still said too much as a person who wasn't even really supposed to be at the meeting.

Sooo.... we now have furniture selected for our living room and I am home trying to make dent in some of my work.  I really would like to get into some kind of a routine so that I can be on schedule.  It makes me feel much more secure.

But for now I'll just keep plugging away.  Everything is exciting.  And I like that.

Tonight we have been invited over to dinner by some people from our new church.  And in case anyone is curious, Bart's first Sunday is this week!  

Tomorrow we head down to see AJ, hopefully!  By the way his name is Aiden Jamison -- and Mike is choosing not to have him be a Fletcher but to use his mom's last name.  I am still in awe at how cute he is.  I'm looking forward to holding him!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Feedback please...

Not much time right now to explain all the uses of this card, but I was trying to design a fairly catchy business card that I could use in any setting that would let people know about my passion and about all my affiliations.

Wondering how this grabs people -- you can be honest... you'll probably all disagree with each other and I won't be able to please you all ... but am interested in your thoughts..

Click on it to make it bigger so you can read it......

They Did it and He's Here!!!

On October 12 of 2010 I was sitting in this same room waiting for Isaac to be born.   He was a little more cooperative than AJ is being -- I only had to wait about 90 minutes.  I've been here for 5 hours now after getting here and taking Mike to a PO meeting and to the store so he could buy a new phone charger.  She's been texting me periodically and Mike has come out a couple of times.

The last report she was dialated to 8 cms.... and she has been given her epidural.  So now we wait.  Her parents are planning to be up here in a half hour and I'm guessing they won't have to wait long.

I'm glad I chose to come even though some of my conversations with Mike haven't been exactly pleasant.  He is very anxious and exhausted because he hasn't been sleeping and when he when he gets tired and anxious he can say some kinda mean things.

Hopefully you will soon see pictures on Facebook and by tomorrow here -- praying all goes well.

No matter what the circumstances surrounding a birth, every baby is a miracle.



I must have not hit publish last night.  Sorry :-)  So....., I think I wrote that about 5:15.  Tessa's mom came about 6.  At 8:15 they told her she could start pushing... so her dad came over.  I was pretty entertaining for a while, but then I got pretty bored.  About 9:50 or so the doctors all came out of the room but nobody would tell us anything.  FINALLY at 10:15 we were allowed to go in for 15 minutes.  Turns out he was born at 9:30 but they had to stitch him up.

oh my goodness... this baby is CUTE.  He did not look at all like a newborn.  Perfect.... Tessa is breastfeeding so they now keep him on her chest, skin to skin, for the first two hours after birth without even cleaning him much.... but for a new born he was amazingly alert and calm.  He was wide awake taking it all in.

I was so proud of Mike.  At noon he had told me how anxious he was about the whole thing, and how exhausted because he hadn't been able to sleep, but he stayed in that room with only one twenty minute break for something to eat and he stepped out during the epidural because the doctor asked him to.  Otherwise he was in there from 6:30 to 11:50 and from 12:30 to 10:30 and beyond.

When I walked in the look on Mike's face was so serene.  He couldn't take his eyes of his son.

I got home at 12:30... but it was way worth the wait just to see him 45 minutes after his birth. 

So here he is -- 9 pounds, 14 ounces,  23 inches long, and his head is 14.5.  He has huge hands and it looks like the possibility of dark red hair though who ever knows with a baby....

Tessa was amazingly brave and calm.   We are supposed to head back down today or tomorrow to hold him and take some pictures....  Can't wait!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's not about me (I think I may have said this before)

In an hour or so I'm going to head down to Mankato to the hospital.  I know that today might not be a fun day.  I recognize that in the midst of his  anxiety and stress that Mike not be nice to be.  He might not even want me to be there.

But today has to be about AJ and about the future.  Seven years from now I don't want to overhear Gabby and Isaac bragging to AJ about how their grandma was at the hospital the days that they were born and have him not have a story like that. 

Yesterday Salinda took Gabby's dad out for dinner.  He wasn't very nice to her and she felt really bad.   She called in tears and I explained to her that sometimes it's not about us.  Gabby won't remember that it was a sad day -- but several years from now Salinda will be able to let Gabby know that she made every effort to allow Gabby to be with her dad on Father's Day.

Sometimes being a parent really isn't all that fun.  Sometimes the pain is intense and life very injust.  But there are times when doing the right thing takes precedence over whatever pain or uncomfortable feelings might be present.  It's not about me.

Today it's about Aiden Jay who hopefully will make his appearance.  It's about being supportive to his mom like Mike asked me to.  The hospital has wifi.  i can work anywhere.

I'm getting older and more tired.  But I'm also recognizing that without the pain there is no gain.   Today's pain will be tomorrow's gain.  I've experienced it before and I know it to be true.

Saturday Salinda was taking a nap and Gabby came down to visit Bart and I in our new bedroom.  She and I read books and I did her hair.  I helped her go potty.  We made a picture together with stickers.  And I remembered this day,

We had driven up in a storm for false labor a few days before that, but this time it was C-section in 2 hours and then suddenly receiving a picture on my cell phone that she was already born.   But we got there a bi afterwards.

Salinda's whole pregnancy was super stressful, but the rewards... dang, they are good ones now.  And I think I'm going to be strong enough today that I can handle the stress and there will be good rewards after the pain with AJ as well.

SO, wish me luck, godspeed, and say a prayer -- but make it for AJ.  God's already promised me the strength I need to be the target today :-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to Him

Wow, what a weekend. We finally got the air fixed by 5:00 p.m. yesterday. I think we set it a bit low though because Wilson was wearing a parka....

Today we went to Park Avenue like we did last August and last Memorial Day Weekend.  We always love going to church there.   

Then Kyle and Christy joined us for a nice long lunch, with Gabby and Salinda and Sadie still with us.  Unpacked a bit during the day and then Salinda and Gabby rode with me to take Sadie back to Job Corps.  Then Bart and I did a bit of shopping for more things for the house and now it's bedtime...

Tomorrow I"m heading back to Mankato IF there is a hospital bed free and they can induce Tessa.  I'm pretty sure there will be some stress involved, but I'm going because I don't want AJ to tell Gabby and Isaac someday that Grandma wasn't at the hospital when he was born....

Hopefully some day soon we are going to get back to a regular routine and I will blog on a regular basis....

Happy Father's Day to the best two dad's in the world.... that the best Father in the world gave to me -- Claude Bangs Flye, turning 90 this year, and Bart Allen Fletcher.

I am so blessed to have had them as part of my life!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zero Kids Waiting June 2012 Edition

You can find it here -- always interesting stuff.

And what if we really could get the number down to zero... it's more doable than you think.. The trick is to find families willing to take kids over 10 -- because most of the ones who wait are...


We. Have. Internet!!! Yay!

I feel like I have rejoined humanity. It has been a long week with way too many annoying phone conversations with people who speak languages other than English and being put on hold. Now before anyone jumps on me being a racist, I'm not. I actually have a very high tolerance for people learning another language -- I used to be one when I lived in Mexico. But I didn't sign up to do phone tech support in Spanish. Just sayin.

So I was on hold for the majority of several days and had many frustrating conversations and finally, last night by 7 p.m., we had TV, phone and internet.... although the phone service on our cells is horrible.... but we may be able to live with that. I just don't want everyone getting a hold of our home number and then calling it all day and night.

Our anniversary was last night. Bart is really getting the short end of the deal this year. He often does, but with the move falling the same week as his birthday, our anniversary, and Father's Day, he's not getting much attention. At least this year I remembered -- last year I saw his birthday on Facebook -- it was Jimmy's graduation day and life was super hectic too -- but it was nothing compared to this year.

Had a great conversation with an amazing woman from our new conversation over lunch yesterday. I'm excited about the things that we talked about.

Salinda, Gabby and Sadie are home for the weekend and Kyle and Christy are coming tomorrow. Tessa is scheduled to be induced on Monday if they have an open bed... anybody know about how many hours it takes after inducement for the baby to be born. She's going in at 6:30. I'm not planning on going until mid day. Think I'll miss it?

I suppose I could just invite my Mankato friends to come hang out with me in the hospital waiting room ... I know, I've got some astonishing social skills.

I have as many new ideas as there are people in this city.. I'm sure you'll be hearing way more about them soon.

Today we are planning to celebrate Bart's birthday and possibly buy bikes and rollerblades for the boys here who want them.

As always, we are trying to take one day at a time with the ups and downs of it all.

But even though the changes are hard, I love the energy they bring and I've been idling really high lately. So you may be grateful if you haven't been around me.

If you're in the Twin Cities and a blog reader, let's meet in person! Email me at maeflye at mac dot com and let's put something on the calendar.

Or, if you're from Mankato and are now "old friends" or somewhere else and coming up soon, let us know. We'd love to have you for dinner. Actually, we'd love to have you over for dinner. I'm not sure having you for dinner would be very tasty.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Can't leave you hanging...

So it's morning and I slept well considering. Poor Bart must have gotten food poisoning because he is pretty sick. The house is a disaster, probably less than half unpacen called. ked, and we have kids coming home tomorrow (at least Salinda and Gabby maybe others) and I really needed to get some work done.

I woke up and found that one of the kids had moved my laptop (probably on purpose, and probably Jimmy) so I frantically looked for it. Finally had to wake Dominyk up who found it on a chair across the house from where I had it last and called me a re-re for losing it. I am particularly fond of re-re because it's just so dumb and much better than other things I've be But I digress.

One of the challenges that I've been having with limited internet is that I am so unorganized. When I finally get online it's like this surge of things that I need to do that come pouring into my mind... and then I'm in this frenzy state and don't relax and get organized and the time flies by and then I have to leave and I've gotten so little done.

I am surprised at how much my computer and my world here settle me. Everything in my world is electronic now -- and without internet access I'm frozen. For example, I may decide while I"m at the house that I am going to write a to do list to get more organized. But every 3-5 minutes I'm clicking over to Safari to google something or into my mail program to search it for a phone number or a name of someone.... and it's nuts.

So, my first priority this morning was to let you know that Jimmy did come home -- just in time for supper -- and that he went off to meet someone he met on some online forum. He did it because I specifically told him not to. Fortunately, the girl was harmless and she had brought her brother so she wasn't stupid enough to meet him alone either. The thing with Jimmy is that while is is sweet and has nothing but time on his hands and therefore is a fairly good online stalker boyfriend, most girls after they spend a few hours with him really arenEnno't interested. He is not allowed to have texting or facebook because of the way he has used it in the past. He simply cannot comprehend that if he texts something it can be saved for ever and prosecuters can use it. The things he have said to this point are quite inappropriate but fairly harmless (i.e. I just played tennis. My balls are sweaty. (I know, I know, a great turn on line) but it's the fact that he can't comprehend that his texts are recorded that keeps us trying to keep him safe. Of course, he still finds ways. But I digress. Wow, I'm digressing a lot. See? I told you I was unorganized.

Today Gabby and Salinda are coming -- Sadie reports Salinda is bringing a friend -- she may have wanted to ask first as I'm not even sure where Salinda is going to sleep. But we'll all manage -- we always seem to.

I have so many exciting things to share but they all have to be placed on a back burner for the moment.... I'm starting to schedule some times for breakfast, coffee, and lunch with people who are going to give me ideas about my current latest way in which I intend to live out my passion to keep kids from aging out of foster care.

But first, I need to do things like get a bed long enough for Dominyk and make sure there is a place for people to sleep, and take care of my time sheet so I get paid, and answer a hundred emails....

But this time I was at least organized enough to make blogging a first priority :-)

And in case you were wondering: Caribou Ice Tea tastes nasty. Sigh. Dunn Brothers is about 7 miles. Caribou is one. But I'm not having tea. The Sparkling Juice is good but it has calories. I hate coffee.

See, EVERYTHING is changing. AHHHHHH. I forgot that with moving it's not just a new house!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


So.... life is a whirlwind....

This morning I volunteered to lead the Task Force for Permanency in Minnesota and they agreed to let me. I'm not sure anyone would view this as an honor, but I'm excited about it's potential. There are a lot of great minds in that group as well as some very passionate people who really want kids to be adopted. I'm looking forward to the future and seeing what is going to happen when that group puts it's mind together.

We are still without internet at home. But the people are coming tomorrow between 2 and four and after that we should have internet, cable and phone. Then I have to fight with AT&T because there is no way I'm paying as much for phone service as I am now when I can't get a signal in my own home....

Jimmy got into an argument with me and I threatened to turn off his phone. He stomped out of the house and so now I'm not turning it off... until he comes back. I'm pretty sure he won't be gone long.

Leon and Wilson are with me ... Wilson is kind of wishing he would have listened to the conversation when asked him if he wanted to come. I had already told Leon we were just heading over here to get online and use the wireless.

So Leon is fast and furiously connecting with friends on his phone and I am trying to catch up on answering the 145 emails piling up in my box.

We had fun with Mike and Kari last night. If you are able to access her blog you shouldn't read it. She has such little discretion. :-)

Sadie came over for dinner and the evening. It sounds like she is doing quite well -- she actually won a cooking contest competing against several others who had been there for months so she's pretty excited. She has plans to finish quickly and move home -- I'm still thinking about that. Don't need anyone here who isn't planning to be cooperative.

Jimmy wasn't this afternoon so he has apparently run away. Except that he's 20, so hopefully he'll figure out he needs to come home. He's much braver than he should be -- but he usually sneaks in soon after he leaves.

Yesterday our son Mike put a deposit down on an apartment. His son AJ is overdue now by 2 days. Tessa is going to the doc tomorrow and they will talk about whether or not they will induce next week if he doesn't come.

We are supposed to be having the kids come home Saturday to celebrate Bart's birthday.

I'm feeling quite disjointed -- overwhelmed with work stuff this week -- Bart doing most of the unpacking. I need to get busy helping with that as well.

So many things I've been waiting to do as "soon as we get settled." I forgot that it was going to take so long to get settled. I'm ready to start doing and stop settling!

Hope all is well with everyone. I haven't even been able to read blogs for a while. :-(

I'm going to start filling up my calendar with new friends, old friends from Mankato, and old old friends from long ago. it's all good....

but I'm a bit disconnected from even my own reality....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

OK, This is Way Too Stressful....

I typed out a very long email last night with my fat thumb on my little Iphone keyboard.

It never published. My Blogger App for my phone, though it couldn't manage to publish it, did just let me email it to myself.

it said this:

I'm sitting at the dining room table in our new home. I am surrounded by full packed boxes. I am tired. .

The DirectTV guy came to do the installation and couldn't because we have too many trees. We are back to square one for tv.

The Internet company made an error and is now saying we might not have Internet for another week.

We ordered digital phone service. Awesome idea except it doesn't work if you don't have Internet.

My phone only has a signal in a couple rooms of the house.

So... Our completely digital world isn't working so well.

Our oldest son Kyle came over to help move furniture. I love him. He makes me smile. Considering the fact that we didn't have a civil conversation from the day he moved in at 11 til after he turned 15 it's nice hanging out with him. He's turning out to be a contributing member of society, married to a great girl, making plans to build a house and has tenure as a 6th grade teacher. It's fun to be with him now.

Mike is still homeless. AJ his son (Aiden Jay) was due today. He has made no indication that he's interested in coming out.

Tony is still texting his angst from JobCorps. Sadie is still living as if no rules apply to her.

I had an all day meeting for my job today. I'll be blogging more about that.

I'm tired but happy to finally be here.

I'll be happier when we have Internet.


OK, so now it's Wednesday afternoon and we still don't have internet. I have a ton of stuff I need to do and I spent the morning dealing with the fact that there was water backing up in our basement. Several phone calls later that explained to us that the Home Warranty we purchased didn't apply to drains.... we ended up calling a guy who was happy to stop by and for a mere $180 fix the problem.

I also spent the morning trying to get figure out a TV/internet/phone option. Ended up having to cancel all of the stuff I originally ordered and try to order new stuff. It's still not done.

Right now I'm sitting in a Caribou coffee trying to figure out more about all this stuff... I can't even make phone calls from the house -- I spent most of the morning with my comptuter in the van and it kept honking the horn. That was annoying.

At lunch time the kids burned a pizza and the fire alarm kept saying FIRE FIRE... with words.

Mike and Kari are coming for dinner and picking up Sadie on the way. Bart is going to make us a dinner. That is going to be nice. I hope I have patience for the Sadie part of things....

I was up until 4:00 a.m. with my mind spinning with ideas after I met with the corporate guys and our Minnesota staff from Downey Side yesterday. I have so much I want to do -- so little time. I felt that the hours of great ideas were almost divinely inspired -- or it could have been that the waiter at B Dubs didn't hear me say CAFFEINE FREE diet coke.


My task tonight other than being with my friends and setting up Sadie's bedroom is self install cable and internet...

My stress level is pretty high. I'm kinda on the brink of insanity.

Hopefully my posts are going to get better.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Almost All Falling Together

Sorry for not blogging. It's been a marathon weekend pretty much completely consumed by packing, cleaning, sorting, etc. We didn't even make it to church.... I know. Naughty.

Today the moving truck came and things went surprisingly well. A Big Shout Out and many thanks to those who stopped by to say hi or to help clean or pack. Most of them don't want to be mentioned but we could never have done it without everyone. We were actually out by 4--- I was really surprised.

Tonight we are at a hotel and tomorrow the truck will be unloaded. Our kids that were home (Dominyk, Wilson and Jimmy) and Rand who stopped by -- were a huge help today.

Mike has had two different apartments fall through this week... so he still has no place to live.... and his son Aiden Jay, though due tomorrow, apparently has no intentions on leaving his safe warm place and entering the world any time soon.

As I left the house this afternoon I was reminded of the many things that have happened there, good and bad. I was reminded of our many wonderful friends who have been with us through the good and the bad. And the song below popped into my mind once again. And I confess to crying....

Never once did we ever walk alone....

Never once did You leave us on our own

You are faithful, God You are faithful....

Friday, June 08, 2012

Trying not to Rant....

Simple things simply aren't simple in my world. You'd think they would be, but they just aren't.

I have to be careful how and what I blog right now, but let's just say that the process to get Mike a place to live is very stressful....

and let's just say that trying to counsel my grandbabymamas about what they should do about my sons is not an easy task....

and let's just say that sometimes Facebook can quickly show me when I'm being lied to...

and let's just say that desperate people shouldn't be picky...

and let's just say that I really hate it when I have limited time and end up wasting some of it...

and let's just say that there is way too much stress involved in a move for anyone, much less for me when all my kids are everywhere trying to adjust to adulthood...

and let's just say that my phone text messaging section is a depository for the angst of many many folks who have a LOT of angst.

Is that vague enough for you?

This is what I put on my facebook a few minutes ago:

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Especially if you're the horses mother.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Anybody in or near Mankato have a men's bike you want to give away?

Trying to find some kind of transportation for Mike so if he gets the apartment I'm trying to get for him he can have a way to work. He found a job but it's a couple miles or more away from the apartment we're trying to sublease....

Praying for a Trevor or Three

Wow. It's been 13 years ago now since we moved from Belgrade, a very small town in MN, to Luverne, where we lived for seven years. Kyle was between seventh and eighth grade and had only lived with us for about a year and a half. He had moved way too often in his young life and he wasn't exactly thrilled.

But in Luverne, in the background, as we were getting ready to move there was a mom of a seventh grader who had moved with her parents, and very reluctantly, at 15 years old, so she knew exactly what it was like. And she was determined that Kyle was going to have a good transition. Before she even met us, she had nearly commanded her son Trevor to be Kyle's friend.

And so, reluctantly at first I'm sure, Trevor obeyed his mama and befriended Kyle. Turns out he actually liked my son, and they formed a friendship that lasted through high school and our families are still in touch today. Both of the boys are married now, have finished college (Trevor even further than that) and have moved to different parts of the country, but we still credit Trevor and his pushy mom for making Luverne a place Kyle grew to love and call home. This is an Iphoto photo of his senior picture.

Right now Sadie and Tony are struggling with their transitions. Job Corp isn't a place for wimps -- there are high expectations and they are being pushed way harder than they anticipated. Sadie is trying hard to be positive and has made a couple friends, but she gets to see us nearly weekly. Tony is especially homesick because he is five hours away. He texts me every night to tell me he loves me, sometimes more than once, before he goes to bed. This is something he hasn't done for years. It makes me a little teary eyed. I remember days when he was this little and would hug me and tell me he loved me and I miss that little boy.

Leon is anticipating a move and really can't find a single good thing about the entire Twin Cities. He is worried he will be bullied because he is not very big and he is also reluctant to bother to make friends since he's only got one year and then he may go off to college somewhere.

SO for the last several weeks I've been praying for a Trevor or two or three. Preferably a female version for Sadie. Someone who can come along and be a friend to each of my kids as they transition.

Today Jimmy is going to his Job Corp orientation as well, as he had so much to say about how he wouldn't be homesick that we told him he should sign up. He took us up on the offer.

I know that we have been fairly easy on Tony and Sadie -- they came at the end of a long group of tiring kids so we haven't held their feet to the fire very often. And now they have jumped into a hard life. But a friend -- one good one -- would make all the difference in the world.

And when we move Leon immediately needs someone to hang out with who he will think is "cool" and will enjoy. And that isn't easy.

So in my list of miracles (we've had so many already we may not be allowed to ask for many more) we're praying for a Trevor or three..

and a place to live for Mike. But that's a whole new blot post and I have a doctor's appointment....

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Can't Think of a Clever Title

Not that very many of my titles are clever, but this morning I got nothin.

Yesterday we got a lot accomplished. I pushed through several more work projects while we watched Isaac and packed. Rand came over as it was his day off to help us pack as he had agreed to do. Was nice to have someone else to drive to goodwill and the land fill and drop off more loads. Had a delicious dinner -- Mike joined us and Courtney and Isaac had stayed for dinner. Then Bart and I went for a drive and a little walk together in the evening at Minneopa

. It was a beautiful night.

Tony is still very homesick but we didn't hear a word from Sadie yesterday.

Today we are having lunch with Mike and Kari. Fun times ahead. We are going to Grizzly's, a place where we have had many a good laugh and good meal in the last 6 years. I was thinking this morning that while Kari keeps saying that they are going to miss us, we are going to miss them more. These guys are the most amazing, self-sacrificing, servants and I just know we will never be able to replace them. We will definitely still see each other a couple times a month if not more, but it's not like we can just call at the last minute and say "did you make dinner already? why not come over?" or "Hey, it's Sunday morning at 6 and we have no hot water... can Mike come over and fix it for us." Eighty miles isn't that far but it's too far for those kind of things.

But I"m so tired of good-byes and thinking about how I'm going to miss people. It seems like two years since April 11th when we announced we were moving.

Today's agenda also includes (hopefully) getting our driver's licenses changed if they will do that here and getting Jimmy's ID -- as well as getting his paperwork all done for Job Corp as his orientation and interview are tomorrow.

I also hope it involves getting a couple more work projects done. I just have three or four left and I'm too a point where I can stop stressing about it.

So much left to do -- so little time left. Five days from right now and the truck will be coming....

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Minnesota Trainings in June -- SIgn up Now

Can be found here.

Better Write Now....

...before my rare settled and good mood is altered by something!

Things have gotten a bit better since I last wrote. I apologize for my sporadic blogging -- I've been cramming way too much into the day. Yesterday I left immediately after I got the kids off to school and headed to my office and hour from home to participate in a conference call and meet with a prospective adoptive family. I then pushed myself through several projects that had been waiting for me before heading to another home visit.

During the day I had had a very good text conversation with Sadie who at least momentarily has realized how important it is for her to stick it out at Job Corp. I also had a not so great conversation with Tony who is convinced of the opposite, but I finally got him to understand that I didn't want to talk about him quitting quite yet...

When I arrived home Mike had arrived from prison, which sounds so much different than what a person would expect. I'm guessing that prisons may have several kids like my son in them -- confused, disorganized, impulsive, but not hard-hearted, evil, or dangerous. He's gained about 30 pounds of muscle since we last saw him.... and he was in good spirits. He was appropriate, grateful, and nice to everyone. We always enjoy this stage of the cycle.

I slept well and am facing a day where I get to have breakfast with one of my favorite people and lunch with another one of my favorite people. The cardiology appointment in the middle doesn't sound as fun, but there is also a possibility that I might get to sneak in a few minutes with Isaac between there because Bart is watching him. Courtney got a new job yesterday and is going to fill out paperwork this morning -- she may start tomorrow. It's a CNA job.

Other good news is that even though Salinda is struggling with loneliness and not getting along all that well with Henry, she did get promoted to shift lead at Dairy Queen yesterday and got a raise. She is also working part time at Super America so she is dead tired most of the time, but she feels a lot better about herself than she did when she was laying around watching TV.

A week from tonight we will be sleeping in our new home. It's going to be a very busy and long week of packing and tying up lose ends here, but we will survive.

Then the fun of getting things settled begins. Don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but Jimmy has asked if he can go to Job Corp as well so his interview is on Thursday. I didn't think he would qualify because he wasn't adopted from US Foster Care and thus didn't have an MA card. He already graduated as well. But it turns out that having an IEP means that he qualifies based on his own income not ours, so he will qualify. He is hoping to go to the Center where Tony is in Wisconsin.... and we're hoping Tony will agree to stay at least long enough to help him get acclimated.

Long days, short nights, and lots to do, but as my husband keeps reminding me, happiness comes from within -- not external circumstances.

But having nice external circumstances sure doesn't hurt. :-)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Great Article about Pediatric Psych Hospitalization...

By my friend Deb Fjeld -- and sponsored by Adopt America, you can find it here.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Vowing to be Happier

Yesterday I was pretty sullen all day. I was going through attic stuff again and we got everything out of it and sorted. It was a very annoying task because in the past I have paid people -- adults, not children, (though they were my kids) to work in the attic. I had given them clear instructions. Sort out the clothes to be taken to goodwill. Throw away what is obviously trash. Keep aside things I need to go through to see if we want them. What they actually did was take a package of garbage bags upstairs and throw all of that stuff together into bags and toss them into another part of the attic. So yesterday I went through dozens of bags that were a mixture of keepsakes, important items, trash, and clothes that haven't fit anyone for ages and are way too out of style to be hand me downs. I tried to convince Wilson that the Jnco jeans that Kyle wore when he was 13 were still awesome, but he wouldn't buy it.

The results of our efforts this past week have been 740 pounds dropped off at the land fill and over 50 bags of clothes taken to the goodwill. Everyone needs to move every few years just to declutter. The interesting thing is I was previously proud that most of our house wasn't cluttered .. until I realized it was because all the clutter got thrown into the attic.

Last night as we were heading to dinner we heard from Sadie.... who asked if we were coming to pick her up for church this morning (a previous plan). I told her that I was waiting for her and that she never returned my calls after I found out she was missing. She said, "I'm not missing" which led me to assume she had come back to Job Corps. But no, she was with a Mankato friend who had a dead in the family and was in the Twin Cities preparing to leave from the airport this morning. Apparently she thought we were going to come somewhere else to pick her up. I encouraged her to call the center and let them know she was safe before they called the police. In the same series of texts that she's telling me to leave her alone and let her be independent she's asking me to call the center for her. I told her it was her mess and that we would be happy to pick her up today as we are going to be in the Cities to spend the day with us IF we were able to pick her up at Job Corps and they gave her permission to leave. She never texted back so I have no idea whether or not she called them or if she is going to call or text today asking for

Texts throughout the day and night from Tony saying the same thing. The program isn't for him but he's going to stay a month and try hard but yeah it's not for him so yeah. I finally told him to start texting me about other things because I had nothing more to say about that. I had repeated myself again and again that you can't decide about a place in a few days -- that it takes at least 3 weeks.

Texts from a very tired and frustrated Salinda took up some of my day -- she is really stuck in a difficult situation and working way too many hours...

We had a nice dinner out with our friends Tim, Sue and Sarah last night but I was so tired by that point I was almost comatose. I spent a lot of time sleeping last night and feel a bit more energetic today.

We are heading up to our new house today -- stopping to buy just a few things on the way. We are also going to be bringing some stuff up -- not sure exactly what yet but that is the plan.

I've vowed to be a bit happier today. I guess it wouldn't take much compared to yesterday. :-)

When I get tired it is really much more difficult to deal with the unnecessary drama created by stupid decisions made by my kids. I always see down the road, whereas they don't.... and then I get anxious.

So just for today I'm going to try to take things a day at a time and not get too far ahead of myself. Not sure I can, but I'm going to try!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Should I Whine?

Sorry -- not sure this is going to be that fun to read....

By the time we closed on the house yesterday, I was emotionally spent. It was as though I had been running a marathon (if a person could do that sitting down) and just crossed the finished line with no energy left to celebrate. It had been a really difficult and stressful procedure to get the banker everything she needed... and by 9:06 they were still missing one document even though closing was scheduled for 9:30.

However, by 10:45 we were proud owners of not only one, but two homes, since we haven't sold the other one yet.

Thursday I had taken Wilson and Leon to see their new schools. The schools are very large and while neither of them are typically very negative, they were having trouble being very positive about the schools. I picked what I thought would be a very nice lunch place for them and spent more than I should have only to have them say they didn't like it. The day actually had some fun moments, but over all it was kind of a downer.

One part that was particularly awkward and funny was when the guidance counselor at Leon's school said, "Do you have any older siblings?" To which Leon responded and said, "yes." He said, "Do you have any that you want to emulate? Someone whose path you'd like to follow?" Leon sort of chagrined said, "Not really." When I asked him later about Kyle he said -- Oh, I kinda forgot about him. All I could think about was Mike and John in jail and everyone who had babies and stuff."

So we got home Thursday night and Sue and Kari came over and we went through a huge number of boxes to separate trash from keepsakes and clothes to give away. It was a wild few hours and I fell into bed exhausted only to wake up and head to the closing. The night before and the morning were spent with more texts from Tony about how the program is not for him and he needs to come home. Reports were that Sadie wss doing better - the counselor texted me and I hadn't heard much from her so I figured she was doing better. But all the texts coming in are a lot -- there is also pressure from John for us send him more money.

So if you happened to see me crying in the Davanni's lobby in Golden Valley (yes, where Obama was yesterday at about the same time) yesterday noon, now you know why.

I came home and was going to nap but there was a need for emails to be exchanged with an attorney friend to get the ball rolling to switch over some financial stuff for the mortgages on this house so I never got my nap. We headed out to dinner -- just six of us -- all in the same vehicle (WEIRD).

Came home to a meeting with our potential buyers that went very well -- then basically sat and stared at the walls for a while until I went to bed.

Slept a long time.... but woke up to a call from Job Corps that Mercedes was missing this morning when they did bed checks. Since she is a minor they had to notify me. Of course I was worried -- she's in a big metro area and of course she wouldn't pick up when I called.

And I also woke up to a text from Tony -- long and involved about how he is only staying a month.... I'm having a hard time with him giving up so easily. He has a history of quitting everything he does and I was hoping that he was finally ready to make something work instead of scheme on how to make it fail.

WE found out yesterday that Jimmy qualifies for Job Corp. I really would like to give him that opportunity-- but I am not sure if the other two are going to either quit or get kicked out if I can make myself do all the paperwork that is required for a 3rd to try. Not to mention the the humiliation of the possibility of three kids blowing such a great chance in a good program. Hope is a nutty thing sometimes.

Today involves a few more trips to the landfill and a trip to the library to get rid of books (I actually got Bart to be willing to part with a few) and hopefully finishing the attic.

So, whine whine whine. I know. Sorry.