Help John and Carson get home.

This family was in the process of adopting a special needs boy with a rare and often fatal skin condition from Eastern Europe. Then they found out that he has a brother with the same condition and they have decided to adopt him too. Siblings belong together after all…right? Anyway, they could be getting their court date soon. They could be traveling to get get their boys soon. And they still do not have the funds to fully cover the adoptions. But they know that God is bigger than the $15,000-25,000 they have left to gather. Here is their family blog. If you would like to give to help bring their boys home, that link is in the upper left of their blog.


And here is another blog post from a different blog that tells some more details about these boys with a link to give. If everyone who hears this story just gives a little it can make a big dent in what they still owe. We gave a little, not a lot. And we could probably give more. What can you give?

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Adoption subsidy.

So we’ve found out here and there after we agreed to take the girls that they will be receiving some great benefits after their adoption because they are a sibling group. They will have state tuition covered, Medicaid, a nice tax credit, adoption expenses paid, and a monthly monetary subsidy until they are 18.


So my obvious question has become… Can Mikey receive the same benefits? He’s part of the sibling group. Hello… we have the girls now because of him. I got an initial “no” from one of the powers that be, but I’m in the process of finding other people to check with. Because if we can get Mikey, who might struggle academically, state college tuition paid, then you better believe I’m going to exhaust every option to get it.


And just in case there’s a tacky person out there who might say that it’s all about the money. It’s so not! You don’t take on more kids (noses, butts, baths, poop, puke, hair, toenails, laundry, screaming, etc..etc…) for the money. There is no amount of money really that makes that stuff worth it. You do it for love. But if I can give my kid(s) an edge in life because of the disadvantage that they were born into, then I will take it. It seems to me that Mikey should be given the same advantages that the girls have been given.


So anyway, it may totally be a dead end with a final “No!” at the end. But if you’re the praying type, please pray that we will get the right answers, not the convenient answers. Because I sort of feel that the first “no” was said without a full understanding of our situation or the law.


Don’t give me these kids and then not expect me to advocate for them.

A call to be better.

Mikey can be a better person than we’ve allowed him to be. I know that he can.


We will no longer walk on egg shells. We will no longer change plans because of him. We will no longer ask his opinion and value it more than the other kids’ opinions. We will no longer sacrifice every other whim of the people who live in this house to make Mikey happy. I’m done making Mikey happy. I have absolutely had it with his fits and manipulation and constant disobedience. The inequality between him and the other kids is embarrassing.


He CAN be a better person than we’ve allowed him to be. And it is our responsibility to make him step up and be better. I’m SO DONE with letting him run the show. I officially don’t give a rip if he’s happy or not. Because to keep him happy constantly is a job that nobody in this world can do. He has to learn to be happy even when things aren’t going his way.


I’m done being a slave to his wants. What shows he wants to watch. What foods he’s willing to eat. What music he wants to listen to and how loud. Where he is willing to go and where he’s not.


He does not have any level of disability that should require us to consider every word or action and how it will affect Mikey. And I’m so exhausted from trying to preemptively prevent him from falling off the edge of the planet. And I’m exhausted by his desire to be in charge.


So there you have it. I’m done. And if you’re around us much, just expect me to a mean drill sergeant type person when Mikey is around. He doesn’t respond to nice. I wish he did. Maybe over time he’ll realize that I mean business.


I love him and I know he can be better. But he won’t unless we make him.

Come together.

I like it when plans come together. When things just sort of seem to work out. And I REALLY love when they come together pretty last minute just as beautifully as if they had been planned weeks out. I’ve learned over the years that I work better under pressure.


Tomorrow evening, in celebration of his 9th birthday, Jack will have four boys over to spend the night. They will go on a clue scavenger hunt all over our little town. They will go to seven different locations made up of the homes of close friends and family and they’ll also go to a local fire house. There are four not-so-clever rhyming clues and three picture clues. They will race, stack, eat, shoot, balance, bump, shimmy, run, and who knows what else their way through these clues. And thanks to some very last minute scheduling and willing grandparents, the three little kids will be out of the house from about noon on Friday until the afternoon on Saturday. And that means that we can play a loud game of flashlight tag in the house once it’s good and dark. The boys can stay up late and be loud and we won’t have to worry about waking up any little kids.


It’s all coming together. Friends and family coming together to do something special for a boy. A boy who is now 9.


And now I really need to go to bed because I have a very busy day ahead of me tomorrow.

books.

So as we are nearing the end of this homeschool year, I thought I’d quickly list some of the books we have read.


Books Jack has read on his own:
– The Lemonade War by Jaqualine Davies
– Sweet Farts by Ramond Bean (this book appears to be very educational)
– Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
– Choose Your Own Adventure #27 (Project UFO) by R.A. Montgomery
– Books 1-13?? (I think one got skipped somehow) of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
– The Percy Jackson books (don’t remember how many are in the series) by Rick Riordan
– 2 Edgar & Ellen books (Rare Beasts and Split Ends) by Charles Ogden
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney
– He also read about six Magic School Bus books that I made him read for “Science.”
– He started the Harry Potter series a week or so ago and he’ll probably read those during the summer.


Last summer Phillip read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and the Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl to Jackson. Since the fall I’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia series to him. We started A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle a week or two ago. I’m not sure what we’re going to read to Jack this summer, but we’ll figure something out. He loves being read to.


So anyway, I might be leaving something out but that’s all I can think of right now. I’m glad the boy likes books.

Contrarian.

I know I post about Mikey a lot. I post about him more than the other kids. I know. He’s not my favorite. He’s just kind of…the most interesting right now. It’s probably a phase.


Anyway, Mikey has known his right from his left for about a year now. Most three year olds (a year ago) do not know their right from their left. Mikey does. Since he was little bitty I would tell him which foot I was putting his socks and shoes on so he would learn him right from his left. However, he will almost always say it wrong just to be difficult. He not only knows his right from his left, but he has the ability to say it backwards on purpose almost every time without missing a beat. How do I know that he’s not just confused? Because I just know. He has a certain grin when he’s being contrary. Only lately has he been willing to say it correctly because a couple of months ago I got tired of him saying it wrong. I told him that we weren’t going to talk about right or left anymore until he was willing to say it the right way.


He also knows lots of shapes and how many sides they have. I know that he knows, but he will tell you the wrong number almost every time just to be difficult.


He knows every letter in the alphabet. When he’s feeling cooperative he’ll tell you what they are when you ask. When he’s feeling rascally he’ll tell you that they all are P’s.


Most kids have this desire to perform for the adults in their lives. Like show them how much they know. Mikey doesn’t give a rip. He never has. Just like when he was a toddler, he didn’t do animal sounds on command with any regularity. It wasn’t because he didn’t know what sounds certain animals make. He just wasn’t going to stoop to that level of entertainment. Like if you seriously didn’t know what a cow says then he was not going to waste his time telling you.


So anyway, I don’t really know how well this attribute is going to work out for him as he progresses in school and in life. Hopefully he’ll begin to realize that being right is more fun than being wrong.

Nine years

I told this story to Jackson the other night. I don’t know if I had ever really told him before.


On the morning of May 7, 2002, one day before my due date, I went to the doctor to get checked. I had my bags packed and in the car…just in case. I was by myself because Phillip was at work. My doctor told me that I was getting pretty ready to have a baby…4 centimeters with absolutely no pain or signs of labor. So I called Phillip at work and asked him if he was ready to have a baby.


I went to the hospital and got checked in. Soon Phillip, Donald, Donald, Debbie, my mom, Josh, Roger, Cyndi, and Carly got to the hospital for the big event. And we waited…and we waited…and we waited…


I never progressed past a six. I had one painful contraction and then I asked for an epidural. Because I’m a wuss.


And we continued to wait… All that day we waited with no progress. About 9:15 or so that night they could tell that Jackson was in trouble. His heart rate was going down and it wasn’t coming back up. So they decided I needed an emergency c-section.


The cord was wrapped around his neck twice. And I was terrified until I heard him scream.


And then…



There he was. Perfect. Healthy. Beautiful.


Jackson Gray Hintze born May 7, 2002 at 9:42 p.m., 7 pounds 11 ounces, 21 inches long




He’s our pride and joy. We would be lost without him.





Nine years…