Sunday, June 29, 2008

Latest on the adoption thing

This week we had an emotionally draining experience. We got a call on Wednesday to consider adopting a 10-year old girl. We had a lot of reservations about this because our target age is 3-6, and ideally, we would like some time with the kid or kids before they start school. But we were picked as a really compatible match for this girl, and we decided to find out more information.

On Thursday we attended a "telling." This was a 2+ hr exhausting meeting where we went over case history, psychological profiles, family history, medical information, and just about everything that CPS has about this girl. It was very sad to hear all the awful things that has happened to her in her young life. We went into the meeting looking for red flags - things that would tell us that she would not be a good match for us. To our surprise, we didn't find much. We thought that maybe this would be a good possibility for us. It was definitely outside of what we were thinking we wanted, but we were open to at least find out more.

Thursday night was about the most restless night we have ever had. I doubt I got more than 2 hours of sleep. This wasn't because I was concerned about this girl - it was just that my mind was racing about the possibilities, the challenges, the changes, the doubts about myself. (I'm sure those of you who are parents can relate to these kinds of nights). Jenetta was sick to her stomach most of the night, and she really didn't eat anything that should have bothered her, so we are convinced that was due to stress.

Friday was spent calling friends and family, thinking about the future, inquiring about logistical things like enrollment in school, and a host of other things that were on our minds. We were told to call the foster parents where this girl is currently living. So Jenetta did that on Friday afternoon, and after a lengthy conversation with the foster mom, Jenetta hangs up and tells me "I don't think she is a match for us."

I am really not comfortable going into the reasons for this on the internet. But suffice it to say, there were several concerns, and they were very serious concerns for us. And we feel very strongly that if she were to meet us, she would not think we were a good match for her.

So, we are going to pass on this opportunity. We were supposed to meet her tomorrow, but we are not going to pursue that. It has been sad, and we are definitely sad for this girl. She has been through a lot, and I hope she finds a good home.

We feel very strongly that since there are so many kids available for adoption, we can't just pick them all. We need to pick the one (or ones) who will really be a good fit for our family, and the ones that we feel we are drawn toward.

So, this was a very tiring experience. But we are learning to ask better questions, and we are learning to ask these questions to several people who interact with the children. The more perspectives we get, the clearer the picture becomes. We are also convinced that our social worker has our best interests in mind and is doing a really good job for us. She told us about this opportunity but was extremely careful to state to us that we should not feel bad if it didn't feel like a good match to us. We were picked by the social worker for this girl, and our case worker went along with it. I think our social worker had her reservations from the beginning.

So that was our crazy weekend. After church today, I went surfing and hung out at the beach and had a bbq with friends from our home group. Taking a nap under the beach umbrella helps a lot! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Death Cab for Cutie

For a birthday present, my friend David got us tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie up in LA. This is David:

They played in SD on Friday, but he was out of town this weekend, so we went to the LA show instead. I enjoyed the concert, but it was unlike any I had ever been to. They played a lot of songs from their albums before Transatlanticism which came out in 2003. There had to be 4 or 5 songs I had never heard before. It was interesting, and I liked being exposed to songs that were new to me, but I got the feeling that it was sort of off-putting for the audience. It created a weird energy especially when there was a section where they played three older songs in a row. I looked around and people were listening politely, but you could tell it wasn't what they expected. Close to the end of the first set, things started to click in and the energy picked up as they stuck to their more recent songs. Overall it was a cool concert, and I'd definitely see them again.

I brought a little point-and-shoot camera and goofed around with some shots. I'd made me wish I had brought the pro equipment and had a pit pass. It would have been fun to shoot. Sadly, none of the more creative ones I attempted (ones with more dramatic lighting, closeups, etc.) turned out with the camera I brought.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Movie recommendation

Maybe it is because we have children on the brain...

But we really enjoyed the film, La Misma Luna (or in English, Under the Same Moon). We found it to be a moving story seasoned with humor and love. I especially enjoyed the director's decision of how she ended the movie with a witty last shot. But the overall story line, while predictable, was touching throughout.

Briefly, it is the story of a 9 year old boy, Carlitos, who decides to leave his village in Mexico and travel through Ciudad Juarez and cross into El Paso on his way to attempt to find his mother who is working in LA.

At the very least, it opened our eyes a bit about the situations many of our neighbors have faced or are currently facing as they try to make it in So. Cal. Antonio, a guy who works for our landscaper, helped me out on some of the projects we completed while building the addition, and I have gotten to know him a bit over the years. He has three children in Mexico, and he gets home to see them only once or twice a year. I can't even imagine how tough that has to be.

Anyway, we enjoyed the film, and if you are looking for something to rent, check it out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saying Goodbye (for now)

We had a sad day yesterday saying goodbye to some friends in our homegroup. They are on their way and are probably somewhere around Yuma right now. Capt. Brandon Barnett is being deployed to Iraq, and his wife Crystal, and their son Austin, are moving back to Texas to be with family during the deployment. We helped to put their stuff in storage and clean their apartment. They are good people, and we will miss them.

These photos were ripped off, by the way, from their blog, which you can visit here:
We are going to be checking it a lot to see what they are up to.

Brandon has been told that he will be assigned back to MCAS Miramar when his tour is completed. So we look forward to their safe return soon!

Kitchen progress

We have made more progress on our kitchen. I still have to stain and install the brackets and put the countertop on and install our hanging pendant lights, but it is coming together now. I had my breakfast and read the paper on our barstools this morning :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jeremy's Birthday Party

Last night, a bunch of us got together at Miguel's down in Coronado to celebrate Jeremy's birthday. Shelley pulled off a surprise as we were all gathered at the table waiting when they arrived. We had a really fun time!

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mud Run

Well, I did it!!!

I wasn't sure if I would try the Mud Run because I still have blisters on my right foot from last weekend, but I ran some on Thursday and although it felt uncomfortable, it wasn't painful, so I decided to go for it.

Robbie and Jeremy were awesome friends today.  They got up super early to go to Camp Pendleton with me and cheer me on.

It was tough, and I need to do a lot more training on hills because I was not prepared for that many steep hills.  But the hardest part was running with shoes filled with beach sand and water.  After the pond crossing (nearly to my shoulders deep in the middle), I finally gave up on the inserts in my shoe - it had worked its way all the way up my ankle.  I would definitely do it again next year.  Who's with me?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Adoption Picnic Update

Just over a month has passed since we attended the adoption event down in the city, and we finally got some communication back about it yesterday. As you may know, we requested to be considered for three different options: a five-year old-girl, a six-year-old, or two sisters aged four and five. Well, we received word that the first girl is being placed with a relative who has come into the picture, the second is being adopted by her elementary school teacher, and the sisters were placed with another family.

So we continue to wait. But it was good to get clear communication about the requests we put in.

Plus it allows us more time to get the flooring finished :)

Roofing in Illinois

Last weekend, Joel and Emily flew me out to their place in Greenville, IL to help them re-roof their home. It was nice to finally be able to visit them and see their home and be introduced to Ella. I'll spare you the details on the roofing process. Suffice it to say that it was difficult, and the weather did not cooperate very well. But the task is finished and their home is now water-tight. I was experienced in roofing after doing my own a few years ago here, but roofing in So Cal in November is a lot different than the midwest in summer. I was glad to be able to lend my experience, and I was blown away by how hard Joel and his football guys got at it.

We finished early Sunday afternoon, so we had some time to celebrate my birthday and their anniversary with lots of phone calls, a pizza dinner, and yummy brownies. It was great to be clean and cool and enjoy the sunset out on the deck. Here are some photos from that evening.

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