2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Friends

Have you ever met someone new and found you could talk and talk and they understood you and you just knew you'd be friends?

I just met a whole bunch of women like that!

I love my family and friends.... They are helpful, compassionate, thoughtful and they challenge me spiritually.

But I have very few friends who understand this crazy LEO life that my family leads.... Many really, really try to understand and I appreciate that about them... But in the end, they really don't get it because they don't live it.

I found a group on Facebook (yes, the dreaded Facebook!) dedicated only to wives of Law Enforcement.  It has become a place where we feel safe to share a little about our lives without fear that someone will start threatening our loved ones, as is all too common in the online world.  The group is "closed" so no one outside the group can see our posts, which lets us open up to each other about things we would probably never talk to anyone else about...

We've shared funny stories, scary stories, schedule problems and quirks of the LEO life...

The black sock drawer?  We all have one!

Uniforms and gear taking over the closet, bathroom and bedroom?  Yup, here too!

Coming home late from shift or off duty or being called in on a day off?  Been there, done that!

Not being able to contact your husband for hours and wondering if something BIG is going on?  Too many times to count...

Hubby missing out on Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, church, soccer games due to his schedule?  We're so used to that now...

These are just a handful of the things that you just can't understand if you don't live it.  Now don't get me wrong, my non LEOW friends DO empathize with all we deal with but I think even they would admit they don't truly get it since it's not their life.  I can empathize with a friend whose husband travels a lot for work or is deployed in the military, but I can't tell her I understand what she's going through because I've never experienced it.  I am not better than anyone else because of my husband's job or the crazy life we live, but it's just a different life and  it's hard to truly understand if you haven't lived with your husband putting on 20 lbs of gear, including a bullet proof vest and a gun each time he goes to work. 

I have spent WAY too much time over the past few days in that Facebook group.  Thankfully, I've also been able to get everything done around the house, or there would be trouble!  But, it's so refreshing to find like minded women who truly understand!  Who know what it's like and love it anyway... 


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eleven Weeks Later....

It has been 11 weeks since I broke my foot.  And when I say broke my foot, I really mean severely sprained my ankle and broke a bone in my foot in 2 places.  It hasn't healed completely and never will.  I will have to see if it gives me pain or discomfort and if it does, I can choose to have surgery to have a pin put in.

In those 11 weeks, I've had a lot of time to sit and think.  I also spent a lot of time sleeping (pain pills will do that to you), and a lot of time watching Downton Abbey.  I didn't feel like reading, I couldn't move around well, and I was in pain. 

You really start to appreciate the little things when you can't:
  • drive
  • get in and out of the shower by yourself
  • get yourself any food or drink
  • easily get on or off the toilet
  • leave the house except for a doctor's visit or maybe church
  • clean the house (sure a break is nice, but 11 weeks?!?!)
  • cook dinner
  • do any kind of chores
  • sit at the dinner table with your family
It wasn't that I couldn't do all of these things the entire 11 weeks.  Most of them lasted at least 6 weeks and others the full 11.

The break, the resting, the sitting and doing a lot of nothing was fine for the first few weeks.  But then you get restless.  You want to go out into the world and do something, but it's too much effort to even get out of your pajamas and your husband is working 50+ hours that week so there's no one to even go out with.  You get in a rutt and you want to get out.

I don't remember much of the first 2 weeks.  I watched episodes of Downton Abbey that I don't remember and I apparently had a conversation with a lady at church that she remembered but I didn't.  I felt bad that my husband had to work 50-60 hours a week, including 12+ hour days with some of them starting at 4:30am, and then he had to come home exhausted to help out with the evening routine.  My teenagers were VERY helpful, but there are certain things that needed to be done that they just couldn't do.  My poor husband is so tired!  I think he's more excited about me FINALLY being able to drive than I am!

I had friends and family that helped out a lot along the way.  They took me to the grocery store, drove me to church and homeschool group, brought me delicious homemade bread and took my kids to their activities.  There were people I only knew through Facebook (law enforcement wives are VERY supportive of each other!) who checked on me, encouraged me, and asked me how I was doing.

I know this period of time happened for a reason, and I may never know that reason.  I know that I had very important plans that were changed and God knew that all along and still allowed me to miss a step off my back porch.  I also know I could've used my time better, but I didn't.  

I look forward to the changes that will come from being mobile again.  I look forward to slowly walking up and down my road to get back in shape and see how my foot holds up.  I look forward to getting back into a routine and getting some order back in the house.

And I hope I never break a bone again!


Monday, April 8, 2013

It's That Time of Year!

Spring is here and with it means....

  • Warmer temperatures
  • A growing garden
  • More time outside
  • Homeschool planning!!

I have to admit.... I actually like planning for homeschool better than I like teaching!

So, these last 2 years have been nice as my teenagers have transitioned to a time where they do their schoolwork completely on their own.  I answer questions and I grade tests and papers.

I LOVE it!

Life is going to change next year!  We will be homeschooling our youngest, who has been in public school his entire life.

We couldn't homeschool him until our adoption was final and since that didn't happen until late March and school is out in June, we decided to leave him in public school for the rest of this school year.

W has some learning issues, so that is bringing a perspective into our homeschool that I've never dealt with before.  My teens were very easy to plan for and they could do a lot of work on their own or with minimal intervention on my part, even in elementary school.

It's going to be quite the learning experience on my part.

We've realized during W's spring break that he has a difficult time even playing on his own!  He wants someone to play with him all the time... He doesn't even respond well to ideas of what he can play with.  Seeing all of that developing last week, even our summer break is going to be "interesting".

I already know we'll be playing lots of games, doing a lot of reading, and having short blocks of instructional time.

I also know that this will be labor intensive on my part....  I'm going to be exhausted!

So, why would I choose to tire myself out, have little to no "me" time in order to homeschool a child with some learning issues?  Because I've seen what public school has done for him.  And I'm not impressed.

Now before you think I'm going to bash all public schools, teachers and parent who send their kids to public school, think again!  All I'm saying is that for THIS child and THIS situation, homeschooling is the way to go.  

I hope to address some character issues, increase our family bonding, improve his academic learning by teaching him according to his learning style and ability, and teach him important life skills.

We learned already this past year that for him, getting home at 4pm and trying to address all of the above issues is impossible.  So, while I enjoyed the quiet day time of this past year, I'm giving it all up to homeschool a child that is so very different from my teenagers.

Even planning is harder.  It's overwhelming.  Internet searches aren't even very helpful.

So, I've got a school schedule of 5-7 weeks of school and 1 week off... we can use that week off to regroup, if necessary, sleep late, take a field trip, do nothing....

I've got a basic schedule of things I want to do with W, but I'm sure that will change as I look toward the details of his day.

You may think I've got plenty of time to get this planning done, but I really don't.  With the chance of me having foot surgery still there, I need to get things done earlier than normal in case I lose weeks of prep time.  My teens are going on a mission trip in June and I'll also need to get them ready for that.  

I like to have all my prep and purchases done by the end of June and this year, it may even have to be done by the end of May.  So, time is ticking and I'm not ready yet!



Friday, March 22, 2013


We weren't expecting to hear this news until mid April, but here it is...

 The adoption is final!!

Even though this is a BIG day in our family, it still doesn't change much.  From the day he moved in our home last summer, we considered him part of our family.  Now we just have the paperwork to prove that!

It may seem funny or odd to the rest of you but there are two things that make me most happy now that it's official:

  1. No more paperwork!!  We had to fill out a daily grid that tracked his behavior and experiences relating to his goals.  We filled out daily paperwork for his medication.  We filled out a monthly list of contacts.  We filled out a monthly list of doctors or therapist visits, activities we took him on (at least 3 were required each month for the type of care he's in), and the date we had a fire drill.  I understand why we had to do this, but it was still annoying to keep up with.
  2. More freedom!!  Only our approved support people could be with him without my husband or I present.  Our wonderful neighbors agreed to be support people (they didn't know what they got themselves into!) as well as my parents.  I can't imagine getting through this process without having those support people!  Now that we have more freedom, I can leave him with friends of our family too and that's a HUGE help!
 When he got home from school today, I told him the exciting news... As we had thought, his reaction was minimal and he just wanted to play some Wii!  I had to actually show him the adoption decree stating his new name!  Thankfully, he already had a therapist appointment scheduled for this afternoon so they can talk and help him process this new concept of adoption.

We had already planned on having take out for dinner tonight, so we are adding a special candy treat to that and having a small celebration!  A friend of mine is going to make us a special cake next week.  He also gets his traditional Friday bubble bath tonight, he can play Wii and on his IPod and can stay up just a little bit late as a special time to mark this special day.

So, now we are officially a family of FIVE!  Sure, we've lived like this for almost 9 months, but there's something a little different today. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Getting Closer...

I got an email the other day from our adoption social worker that this long process is soon coming to an end.  The word from the clerk is that they will mail our adoption decree the beginning of April!

From the moment he moved into our home last July, he has been a member of our family.  He calls us "Mommy" and "Daddy" and refers to the teenagers as his brother and sister.  He even argues with us all as if he's been in our family for years!  But his last name is different than ours and that is what this decree will change.

It has been a long time in coming.

We were told we could file for adoption in early October, except we were waiting on other people to get their paperwork in order and that didn't happen until early January.

Then when we filed, there were problems with how the paperwork was filled out (not on our end) so the process was delayed while those things were corrected.

It's a 30-90 day process and when it's all over, I think we will hit over 80 days... With the way things sometimes go for us, that was expected by us even when no one else thought it would happen that way.

By the time we have the decree in our hand, it will have been 2 years from when we first made the phone call saying we were interested in adoption through foster care.  To some, that may seem like a long time, but it really isn't.  There were countless hours of training (and we have more to go to keep our foster care license current!), homestudy visits and meetings. 

It was actually pretty fast in the adoption world because from the day we submitted our list of children we were interested in learning more about until our first meeting about our soon to be son, it was only 6 weeks!  

From the day he moved into our house until the day the adoption is final will be right around 9 months... Just like a regular birth!

We plan on having a small family celebration once that decree is in our hand... Some take out from a favorite place and a cake that my friend is going to make that will show our new family.

I'm sure some of you are wondering if we're going to do this again.  And I can give my answer with great confidence.... MAYBE!  I have my eye on a young boy on the website, but I'm afraid that with the uncertainty of the healing of my broken foot, we won't be able to pursue anything right now.  So, who knows.... maybe later this year?  Maybe next year?  Maybe never.... God only knows at this point.  We do hope to do some respite care (taking care of someone else's foster child for a short period of time) and maybe even foster again.

So, what will I miss from this process?
  • Our wonderful therapeutic and adoption social workers.... We have laughed together and they have been with me through pneumonia and a broken foot...
What will I not miss?
  • Paperwork!  Oh my goodness, just when you think the pre-placement paperwork is over, there's the therapeutic paperwork!  In our state, there are 2 levels of foster care- family and therapeutic.  You get different amounts of reimbursement and so there are different levels of work involved.  With therapeutic care, there is daily medication paperwork, daily behavior paperwork, monthly contacts and monthly information, including what activities you have included the child in.  I will NOT miss this aspect of things!
  • Asking permission to give OTC meds, take him out of state, etc.  I understand WHY we have to do this, but it's still a pain to have to defer to others who may not care what our choices or plans are.  Thankfully, his worker has been very accomodating.
  • Training, training, and.... MORE training!  I also understand the need for training, but at some point you realize they're saying the same thing over and over again...

 We're looking forward to that day when it is all official!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's Been Awhile

It's been over 3 weeks since I blogged.

There has been so much going on, but yet nothing much.

My foot is still broken and I still can't drive. 

We are still waiting for the adoption paperwork to be processed and finalized.

I've finally healed enough to be able to get around better.  I'm trying to make the transition to using only one crutch around the house so that frees up one hand to be able to carry things.  It feels great to not always have to rely on others to bring me even a drink of water or the phone!  We'll hear more about how the bone is actually healing at my appointment next week.  Apparently I have a bad enough break that I was a candidate for surgery the week after it happened.  When I got my 2nd xray a week later, the Orthopedist told me that if the break was in a slightly different place, I'd need surgery NOW... Oh my goodness, I am thankful that was not the case!  The doctor will see how I've healed after 12 weeks and decide if I need surgery to put a screw or pin in and I'm really hoping that's not the case because that's almost the last thing I want to do this summer!

We had a particularly busy week with lots of appointments, meetings, church and night shift.  And not just regular night shift, but the early one where my husband has to be ready no later than 6pm.  Of course, he is usually ready around 5:45.  There's nothing like cooking dinner at 4pm (well, cooking for me these days is sitting on the bar stool chopping vegetables) to eat at 5pm and then showering and getting your jammies on at 5:30 because you can't get in and out of the shower yourself.  Life could be worse of course, so it's important to keep things in perspective.

So, I am learning that the things we think are so important in our schedule aren't always.  If the house doesn't get a good cleaning every week, your family will survive.  If all you can do is lay in bed and then move to sit on the couch and then back to your bed again, do it with a good attitude.  If God sits you on your rear for a few weeks, you better not try to fight it and instead make the best of it!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Change in Plans

I had it all planned out...

I was going to work really hard last week getting a ton of things done, so that my daughter and I could go out of state to help a relative who is going through a health issue.  Then we'd meet my husband and the boys for a school trip/family vacation.

But that's not how it all turned out!

I'm not an outdoors kind of person.  I do like to hike, but we don't get to do that much.  If I have the choice between reading a book inside or doing almost anything outside, you'll find me snuggled up on my couch with my book.

But last Tuesday was such a beautiful day that I decided to kick the soccer ball around with the kids after our youngest got home from school.

I was standing on the back steps and not paying attention as I turned to walk down... That was a bad choice, to say the least!

I missed a step, or landed wrong, or something...  I ended up breaking my foot.  I was hoping it would be a simple break, but it turns out that it was a pretty bad one.  Apparently, the bone broke in 2 places.  The good news is that I am in a boot and not a cast.  

So, for the past week, I've been home bound and bed/couch bound.  I've been instructed by the doctor to keep all weight off my foot and I've been following those orders.  Perhaps I've been overdoing it on the doing nothing, but I want the bones to heal.  

I'm forbidden from driving for SIX weeks.  After 12 weeks, the doctor will see if I need surgery to put in a screw.  That is absolutely NOT in my plans for the summer, so that's why I'm doing a lot of nothing.

So far, I've watched almost 2 seasons of Downton Abbey.  I've played on my Kindle Fire.  I've folded a load of laundry (mostly socks and underwear).  I've organized our taxes.  And that's been spread out over 6 days!

I have no desire to read a book, to sit on the porch or to play any games.

It's not even easy to just quickly use the bathroom.

Showering and getting ready for bed at night is exhausting.

Getting dressed and ready in the morning makes me want a nap when I'm done.

Normally, I'm not good at following doctor's orders.  About 7 years ago, I had a stress fracture in my foot.  My doctor told me to use my crutches and rest it a lot and it would heal in about 6 weeks.  I did none of those things and it was probably 12 weeks before it felt completely better.  So, that's why I'm resting this time around.

I'm not a person who is normally on the go every minute, but I do keep busy during the day getting stuff done.  I am a homebody and don't like the weeks where I have to be out every day.

But being able to do NOTHING and go NOWHERE is getting pretty frustrating!

My family has been helpful and my friends have been checking in on me and offering their help.

And in the end, compared to health issues far worse than mine, I really have nothing to complain about.  I should just sit and enjoy this time to rest, read a book, play a game with the kids, and quit my whining.

I'll let you know how that goes!