Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shift Happens

Jim named this blog post, and I think it is perfect for it. He also talked about the old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

Our plans are shifting and changing. We don't know if we are just indecisive flakes, or if God is sending us on a wild goose chase. The only explanation we have to offer is simple - we are trying to do what is best for our family and carry out what God has planned for us. Making plans is a great thing, but making them in pencil is even better. We are open to change. We want to keep moving forward and never stand still.

For a multitude of reasons, we never took our names off of the Ethiopia waiting list. We couldn't bring ourselves to do it, especially before we received our foster care license. Something as easy as paying for a pool fence to obtain our license has taken much longer after many other things have unexpectedly come up.

What is also unexpected is that we are number 11 or 12 on the Ethiopia waiting list. We are much lower on the list than we thought and are probably 2 months away from a referral of a child. The changes in the Ethiopia program have happened (i.e. higher cost, travel twice, etc.), but the increase in wait times did not happen. It actually decreased. We thought there would be plenty of time to get our foster care license and make sure it worked out before removing our names off of the list. That is not the case. A decision has to be made.

This has been probably the hardest 2 weeks of my life. I don't think I have ever cried so hard in my life. If you ask close family, they will probably tell you that they have never seen me so --- I can't even think of a word to describe it other than different. Full of anger, bitterness, anxiousness, jealousy, depression, etc. It has been a rough two weeks, and it doesn't help that the boys just started full day kindergarten.

Deciding between foster care and adoption is not easy. Our hearts are in the foster care program, but I dream of my little girl. However, we decided to finish what we started and continue to pursue foster care. That was the hardest decision ever. We just wanted to talk with our social worker one more time before taking our names off of the list. After talking with our foster care social worker about our issues, she suggested we adopt first. She stated that she believes it is God's plan for us to foster, but maybe not right now. We live in a more affluent zip code, and there are not many, if any, foster kids available. DES places kids according to zip code. We knew our zip code would be a hindrance from previous conversations with our social worker; however, when we asked her if she could tell us that we were needed, she said no. Other families in our area are getting a sibling set after waiting more than a year, and more families are just dropping out after waiting with no placements.

Even with that knowledge, it is tough to make this decision. We began praying about it on Thursday night. We have had some miraculous things happen (i.e. letter from immigration -- first letter in 9 months about the adoption came in the mail on Friday; we found a way to cover the adoption costs but yet we could never find a way to cover the small pool fence expense; etc.) There have been miracles, signs, and just a sense of peace. My mom even suggested that maybe God is granting our desire to have another child in our home, and either option is okay. Just because we choose one doesn't mean the other would have been a mistake.

Anyway, I'm rambling. The bottom line is that we are withdrawing from the foster care program for now. Helping kids is still a huge priority for us, but there are so many ways to do that such as working in a local shelter. We hope and still plan to foster in the future, but right now we have decided to continue with the adoption.

We feel at peace. We are happy, and we aren't ashamed by being open to a change in plans. This is the route we are pursuing, and we hope to see it to completion. Grandma Jones, this one is for you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

And you thought I don't sing in church . . .

Check out this video from 1986 (ish). Recently, our pastor was just giving people (like me) a hard time for not singing in church. A few days later, I found this video. Getting the nerve to sing in front of the church has to at least make up for many years of not singing with the church. :-)

(For the people who get this blog through e-mail, you'll probably have to go to the blog to view the video -- www.thefischerfamilyonline.com)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Words that I never want to forget

One of the main reasons I do this blog is to be able to go back and remember these stories years ago. So I'm sorry if this is a boring post, but I wanted to write down some Wes & Cal words so I never forget them.

Bampire - vampire
Ganks - thanks
DisCappeared - disappeared
Casplode - explode
Bam you - means hitting something
Elligator - elevator
Chick a Flack - Chick Fil A
Mickey Donalds - McDonalds
Each Uddy - each other (Wes)
Each Olly - each other (Cal)

Jesus vs. Vampires

In the car the other night, I heard Calvin talk about Bampires (aka vampires). Wes asked what a bampire was, and Cal said that Bampires are on the Batman and Joker movie. "Ya know, they have sharp teeth and they chomp people's necks and slurp their blood. Then the people die and become bampires." Okay, so I guess Cal has learned was a vampire is. His grandpa Fischer must be so proud. For a few minutes, they were playing with their toys and pretending they were vampires.

However, Wes had a different story. He was talking about how the sun was "shotting" through the windows. It "shotted" the bed and "shotted" the guy. But then, Jesus came down in a hurry just in time to save the guy before he dried up. To Wes, Jesus is this amazing super hero action figure that wears a cape. It is so cute to hear his Jesus stories.

The boys have a great imagination. They have recently been asking where bampires, dragons, tigers, and Batman live. We just say things like "in a cave far away". We don't want to crush their world and tell them that these things are pretend. On the other hand, we don't want to scare them either. Today, Wes asked why bampires slurp blood. I just said I didn't know. He then asked where they lived and if they do that to real people. I said that they live super far away. Wes then asked if they lived in "our world". I said no. Calvin then interjected and said that they live on a different planet like Batman and Spiderman -- not on our planet. Okay, I'll go with that. :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of School

I have been dreading this day for a while. I am just not ready for my boys to be gone all day. I cried hard in January when they started preschool -- just two afternoons a week. I am not ready for a quiet house.

I have done a lot of soul searching recently. With the boys starting school, I feel like I am losing part of my identity. There are always things to do during the day to fill the time. I even switched salons 2 weeks ago so that I could work more hours if I wanted to. I know that in a few days, I will begin my new routine and this will feel normal. It will be a new phase in our lives, and each phase has always been better than the last. I am excited about working more on my business. I am excited about being able to go running in the mornings after I drop them off. I am excited to have a cleaner house, and more time to spend on cooking dinner. However today, in this moment, I am just sad. Today, I am allowing myself to have a pity party. Today, I am eating ice cream for breakfast.

I have been thinking back to a little over 5 years ago. I had been in labor for almost a week and had no clue. I thought it was just back pain (never heard of back labor). Shortly after this was discovered, I was on a helicopter flying to a Phoenix hospital that specializes in preterm labor. I labored for a week, and I begged the doctors to deliver the boys because I was in so much pain. The doctors, rightfully so, kept telling me they needed to stop the labor. It was too late though, and a week later I delivered two premature little guys. For the next 2 years, we spent that time praying that they would grow and be healthy. Especially during the first 6 months, we were praying that they would get big and we could get past the point where they would stop breathing several times a week. By the time they were 2, they were finally caught up with other kids their age. We got excited for them to learn to walk; learn to crawl; be potty trained; sleep in a big boy bed. And today, I want it all to stop. I don't want them to get bigger, older, smarter, etc. I want them to remain 5 years old. It seems silly, but I think I have shed more tears over them starting kindergarten than I did their first 2 scary years of life.

Like I said though, Wes and Calvin were super excited to start. They are going to Dreaming Summit Elementary which is a school in our neighborhood. They are in separate classes, but the classes are right next to each other and they will spend lunch and recess together. The school mandates that twins be in separate classrooms. We didn't want this at first, but the principal explained that normally one twin is more dominant than the other. By having them in separate classes, the non-dominant child will flourish and be able to celebrate his successes better. This made perfect sense, and is so true with Wes and Cal's personalities. The boys were fine with being in separate classrooms with only slight apprehension.

Dreaming Summit is a K-5 school. The good news is that the kindergarten classes are in a separate building. This made us feel so much better as they transition into the "big kid" school. Their teachers, Mrs. VanDeCar and Mrs. Field, are very nice and the boys were so excited to meet their teacher and look at every detail in their classrooms on "meet the teacher" night.

Wes had trouble sleeping last night because he was so excited for school. He told me that he was going to wake me up when it was 7:00. I agreed to this, and we even put a clock in his bedroom so that he could watch for 7. However, inside I was laughing because Wes and Cal sleep until 9:30 on average. We have been slowly getting up earlier the past month, but I have to wake them every day. I knew that Wes could think he would wake me up at 7, but in reality, I would be waking him from a deep sleep.

I was wrong. My alarm went off at 6:40, and at 6:45 I heard Wes and Cal talking in their room. What? At 7 on the dot, Calvin came in and said, "Mom, we see a 7 on the clock. Is it wake time?" I was pretending to be asleep, but I told him that he was right. I asked if Wes was awake (surprised he didn't come in our room with Cal), and he said, "Yeah, but Wes is guarding the clock." Oh, okay. The boys ate their breakfast, got dressed, and we took our first annual school day picture. We drove to the very crowded school, and Adam took Cal into his room and I took Wes. We held back our tears until we got back into the car. The boys were a little nervous, but didn't hesitate to go into their classrooms and sit down. I can't wait to hear about their first day.

For those reading earlier posts, Wes made it clear last night that he wanted to "drive" to the school and not ride his bike. I understand. He then made it clear that when he turns 6 and has to go talk to the teacher before it is time for school, he wants me to drive then too. :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bad Idea

Last week, the boys went to their new school for the first time to have a kindergarten assessment. My dad had just arrived in town for a few days, and I thought it would be fun to ride our bikes to the school (it is in our neighborhood). The weather was "only" 100 degrees which is actually pretty cool for this time of year, and it was pretty overcast which is also rare.

We take off on our bikes, and Wes immediately crashes at the bottom of our driveway. He gets back on his bike, and starts riding again . . . very slowly. About halfway to the school, he crashes again. I realize that his training wheels are a little bent, and it is causing his bike to lean. I fix it as best I can, and we take off again. By now, I'm pretty nervous because Cal has to be at the school within a few minutes while Wes' appointment isn't for another 20 minutes.

Because of the two crashes, Wes is barely moving on his bike. I ask my dad to stay with Wes and slowly ride to the school, and Cal and I take off on our bikes fast so that we aren't late. Instead of that nice, leisurely ride, I keep telling Cal "faster, faster, keep moving". We get to the school with red faces and all sweaty. We ended up being about 2 minutes late. Whew. We made it though. Cal goes back for his assessment.

15 minutes later, Dad and Wes walk in. Wes' face is as beet red, almost purple, that you can imagine. His head is all sweaty. My dad asks for a bandaid because Wes had crashed again right in front of the school -- this time leaving a big gash in his leg. Blood is dripping down his leg. The teacher raids the nurses station, and she brings gauze, band-aids, and alcohol. Wes has never had alcohol on a cut, and so it was quite an awful surprise when my dad was cleaning Wes' leg. You have this poor kid who is all hot and sweaty, and injured, and now crying because of the alcohol. Once Wes gets cleaned up, they take him back for the assessment.

As we are sitting in the waiting room, Cal tells me "Hey mom, I don't think you had a good idea about riding bikes. I think taking the car would have been a good idea." I could only agree.

Memory Loss

The boys are very curious about Jesus and God ever since they started pre-school at Trinity Lutheran last January. They ask so much about things like "Mamma, why is God STILL making it rain?" OR "I know someone in Heaven --- grandma & grandpa's cat Ramsey" OR "Jesus loves kids, but he is too busy for big guys." They have also learned a lot about kindness, except they don't sound out the second "n" and just tell me how I am "being kindess". It is really cute.

This past Sunday, when we picked the boys up from their class at church, the teacher told me that Wes had a lot of stories to share in class about how he is a good helper. Wes is a big talker (by "big", I mean "non-stop, never takes a break" talker), so this isn't a surprise. On the way home, I asked Calvin what he learned in class today. I got a quick "Don't remember." Cal likes to give the "I don't remember" or "I don't know" answer lately. I then asked Cal if he learned about Jesus. "uh-huh" he said nodding his head. I then asked if he learned about God. He said, "Uh . . . who's God?" My dad and I couldn't help but to laugh.

Later, I asked Wes what stories he shared about helping. "I don't remember."

Questions about Daddy

This is a little late, but I never posted what the boys got Adam for Father's Day. They had made him a few things at school, and then we did another question/answer session about Daddy. Here it is:

1. What is something Daddy always says to you?
CAL: We don't do whatever we want to do
WES: We have to go into time-out sometimes

2. What makes your Dad sad?
CAL: When we do bad stuff
WES: When we fight

3. What does your Daddy do to make you laugh?
CAL: When he tickles me
WES: From he farts

4. What makes Daddy happy?
CAL: When I do funny things
WES: From "I love my boys"

5. How old is Daddy?
CAL: 50
WES: 30

6. How tall is Daddy?
CAL & WES: Tall as you (referring to me)

7. What is Daddy's favorite thing to do?
CAL: I don't know
WES: Go swimming with us

8. What does Daddy do at his work?
CAL & WES: works

9. Where is Daddy's favorite place to go?
CAL: Restaurant
WES: To the place we don't want to go to eat

10. I love my Daddy because . . .
CAL: He always lets me play Spiderman
WES: He's hairy