Thursday, January 31, 2008

Black Belt in Tae-Husband-Do, and Shame On Society

Yeah, that's right. I be bad. I bought The Wife a brand spanking new laptop today. With a Wi Fi hub, to go with the built-in card in the laptop. This means that theoretically she should be able to go anywhere within like 100 or 500 or some damned number of feet from the hub and still be able to surf and do email and stuff. I am a marital god.

Not only for that, though...but for the reason I was able to do that. And that reason is that I got the taxes done and filed last Saturday and got our state return back today. Yeah, that's right all you procrastinators out there. While you're slogging to the mailbox to drop your snail-mail return on April 15, I won't even be able to remember how much we got back this year. Bwahahaha!!!1!


Now that I have the pride worked out of my system, I'll also say that the rest of our refund (which was considerable this year for various reasons), along with my yearly bonus and most of what The Wife is pulling down in her new job (which is more than we thought it would be) is ALL going to opening up room on our credit card.

Because we just can't wait on our agency any more. We've contacted another place who does NOT demand payment until there is a match...and they talk like they might actually be able to come through for us, or at least talk to us once in awhile for reasons other than to demand more money. That song is getting so OLD. They also have given us firm dollar ranges for various types of matches. I'm going to like working with them. Thanks to Mary for hooking us up.

The only thing that's depressing--and this is NOT a knock on this particular outfit but I guess against the world in general--is that they have to split out their cost by race. Until the last 5 or 10 years, I thought we had mostly moved beyond this whole race pile of crap. But, as the Democratic primary scrap advertises to the world, I guess race is still very much with us. And you get a discount on black babies. Like I said, I don't blame the agency. Apparently it's like that everywhere. The freaking MARKET determines it. And that means all of us.

How sick is that? Who CARES what color a child's skin is? It's a tiny little miniature person who depends on you for everything at first. It grows, it loves you, you love it back. It gradually demands independence more and more, it grows to disrespect you and demand the keys to your car. It pleads with you for college money, then learns to respect you again by age 30 if you did your parenting right. Then you get to laugh at it when it has children of its own, and you get to spoil those children rotten so they demonstrate to it how evil it had treated you. "The Lion King" lied to us. THIS is the TRUE circle of life.

If it is black, white, yellow or purple, the only important thing is that you get the last laugh on it. Am I being cynical? I guess I am. I have that right. Most people just get to go for a fun roll in the hay when they feel it's time to have their own. It's a lot more expensive than that for us.

And yet it's less expensive if the child is black, a little more if it's "bi-racial", and you pay a premium for *drum roll, please* CAUCASION. Somehow I think that if we get a black child, I won't want to point out that little detail of their adoption. It's not something that would be likely to help their self-esteem, I don't think.

People should be ashamed of themselves.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Letter to "Celeste"

It's been bad lately. How bad is it? "Celeste" has screwed up several times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, for what The Wife says is about a week and a half but to me seems like it must at LEAST have been 3 weeks.

We only suspected for awhile that she was purposely *trying* to get herself sent away. Now we have it from her own mouth. My answer? "That's *NEVER* going to happen." And that answer has the bonus value of even possibly being true. But I'm frustrated enough with her at the moment that it may be false, too.

There were many blowups tonight. It's the very first time I've ever seen "Celeste" in actual, uncalculated TEARS. Breakthrough? Probably only of the statistical kind. And yet...and yet...wouldn't it be nice if it really was a breakthrough? It could have been. It's hard to tell after you've been lied to so often and for so long.

We called over our best fostering buddy. This is a woman who I have written about before, but her position in our life has changed considerably since we met her. She used to be the fellow foster parent who usually hosted our Share and Support meetings. She struck me as a pretty woman, very smart, very tolerant of a rather fiery husband (long time readers will remember him as the guy who is one of my heroes, who raises horses and who does horse therapy as one of his sidelines). She is now my wife's boss, a professional psychologist, basically runs the day-treatment school and is an Absolute Authority On All Things Relating To Troubled Children.

So we called this woman over to witness a child's meltdown. The main reason was that we wanted to provide her a professional opportunity to witness dysfunction in action. It was only a side benefit that she could soothe us, calm our nerves, tell us that we in fact after all weren't the root of all evil in the world and in general keep us from running screaming from the fostering scene.

In the aftermath, I have nothing left that I want to write except the following letter. It is a private letter to "Celeste", but there are very few things in my life that I actually keep really private, so I'll let you peek in like the disgusting voyeurs that I know you all are.


You were very upset tonight. I know that. I have come to know a lot about you. I also know that that makes you very uncomfortable, and I'm sorry about that.

But girl, that's all part of the whole process.

You see, when you came to us, you had had some truly vicious things happen to you in your life. No, I don't know the particulars of everything that went on before...but I've had enough dealings with other people in your position then that I can guess more accurately than maybe you would give me credit for.

I know you're a smart girl. I know you're a pretty girl. I love you. I love fighting off the boys that chase you. Sometimes I even love your temper tantrums. Tonight is not one of those times, though.

I've told you many times that you'll never escape us, and I meant it, though maybe not in the exact sense that you thought. Oh, we'll keep you in our house as long as we reasonably can...but just as you suspected, you can ruin our lives to the point that we'll let you go if you try hard enough. You can do that until you end up in the state or federal penitentiary system, if you try that hard. Even then, you might be able to get them to ship you around from cinder block hotel to iron bar motel if you try hard enough.

The thing is, you're a smart girl. Why are you striving for these places? One of your favorite sayings, at least to spew in the faces of me and the woman I love, is "I don't care". The real question is, why don't you care? What don't you care about? I've tried many times to ask you these questions, and you just get agitated to the point where I never get a real answer and end up declining to defend myself against one false (and sometimes even true, like when I "accused" you of having tried to burn yourself) accusation or another. But you never answer the question.

And I know you are not likely to answer those kinds of questions to me. You don't consider me a legitimate authority over you, and I can live with that. I don't necessarily consider myself a legitimate authority over myself sometimes. But I've also lived a lot longer than you. Almost three times as long...and the most growing I did was in my 30s, which lie in your future...if I can convince you to hang around that long, anyway. Compared to you, I have wisdom. And I'm pleading with you to please answer those questions for yourself, girl. Whether you ever tell me or anybody else the answers, at least think about it long enough to give the answers to yourself.

I know whereof I speak on this issue. I was an unhappily married, rabidly practicing alcoholic at one point in my life. I would never wish the same situation on any human being, much less on a girl that I consider my daughter in spirit, if not in fact. But that's the kind of life you're hell bent for, if you follow your current path.

Life can be such a blessing. You know that. I've seen your eyes light up when you talk about your particularly good friends. I've seen that same light in your eyes when you've spoken of your father, though it's usually followed by immediate clouds then. I've seen the same light when you don't think I'm watching and you're drawing a picture that seems to be turning out especially good. I've seen the same light when you look at my wife sometimes. Why never at me? But that's a selfish consideration, I guess. The problem is, you don't even look at her like that anymore.

There was a time when you were welcome in our house without precondition (though there were conditions on you remaining here). You'll always be able to come here if life punches you in the gut and you need a little time to recover before you go out to fight again. The problem is, you still have 5 years or so until you even have to try, and you're already floundering, and we don't know how to help. You can't keep on mistreating us like this and expect us to ignore it.

There's a reason we've been telling you so often lately to look in the mirror when you ask us why one or another real or imagined problem is slapping you in the face. We understand that you want to be able to express yourself, but for your own good you're going to have to learn that your freedom to swing your arm freely ends immediately at the tip of the nose of the person standing next to you. The whole world is not going to be awed at your expression of yourself if you break the noses of those around you. They'll be repulsed by your presumption.

And yet...there is real beauty in you, girl. There is the soul of an artist. I don't know if you'll make a profession of it, or if you'll just use it to enrich the lives of those you come to know personally, but you'll use it well. You already do. I once aspired to be a professional actor, and you have much more talent than I ever had. But I came in my life to a point where now I spend a lot of my time, money and effort supporting young people like you who will go on to bigger things. If I can turn my own teenage rages, desires and drives to a productive direction, I know you can eventually too.

So what will it be, wild girl? I think you love me, deep down inside, though you've never said as much to my face. That would be showing "weakness" after all, right? But whether or not you love me, I'm telling you right now that your best shot in life is to trust me when I tell you that it's best you don't see this person or that. I'm telling you it's you're best shot that even if you don't agree, you just submit, or even argue mildly rather than in my face as your natural instinct seems to be.

Because I'm telling you right now that my spirit is wild, too. Just like yours. If you engage me in a heated argument, I'm likely to respond in kind, and that will harden my heart against what you want. I'm pretty stubborn, too. Just like you.

On the other hand, if you see my jaw set, and I give you a challenging glare, your best course is to soften your look. I guarantee that's the best way to win me over. Give in a little. I guarantee I'll meet you halfway, if not immediately then before very long.

I can be played like a fiddle and be left happy that you did so. All I need to know is that you are, overall, happy, healthy and progressing toward a life where you might be able to help others someday. Then you'll become the favored daughter that I know you long to be.

But right now it's nasty between us, and I KNOW I've had very little hand in that. The ball is in your court, girl. Yes, you can probably get yourself sent away from this house...for a time. But I have it on good authority that you won't go anywhere you'll have fond memories of, and you'll be back here when the bad part is over. Then you'll just have to start over, but with people who know the kind of crap you're capable of.

And then we'll continue to love you like we have all along, only we'll have lost a lot of time.

You remember the time I called you on the carpet (in the park, at the church group gathering where you made me leave my volleyball game early) last summer a few weeks after you arrived here and I gave you the ultimatum to decide whether you wanted to be here, and if you didn't then you'd better let me know right then? You said yes, you wanted to be here. I took you at your word. There's no turning back. From that moment, I loved you, though maybe you didn't think so at the time and maybe don't even now.

Even if you finally succeed in leaving here forever somehow, you'll never be able to change the love we have for you. Someday I truly hope you come to understand that completely. And I really hope that when you do, you let us know.


PS. I love you girl. I only repeat it because I know you haven't believed it any of the other times I've told you, and maybe just this one more time will drive it home.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Writing for Audiences

People who have read some of my older posts know that I'm a Stephen King (SK) fan. They also probably know that I have been trying unsuccessfully for some time to get up the mojo to begin writing a novel. I've considered the vanity press and just writing something and paying for it to be published so I can say I'm an author, but that seems like a cheap way out. I want someone to like my stuff enough to actually put their money on the line to take a flyer on the chance it might sell some copies.

And that seems to have bound me up in other questions. You see, those of us who worship Stephen King's every word also read his prefaces and so forth. Mr. King is, I suspect like all successful novelists, a complete and unreconstructed egomaniac. Therefore, he refers to me as "constant reader". I forgive him this because, after all, it accurately describes me. And also because the guy is a friggin' genius at getting inside my head and making me want his next offering even more.

Thing is, it's not lack of talent that has stopped me so far. I know I have a certain facility with words. I know I've hit some homers in this blog. I know I've dropped most of my posts in the sewer. What's more, I usually know the difference between the two, and I'm capable of writing enough bombs and stinkers to be able to pick out the gems and stitch them together into a pretty nice tapestry, if I give myself the time and put in the effort.

And therein lies the problem with writing your very best stuff. You are REALLY stretching yourself out and putting your soul on the line when you decide you're going to write a novel. You're going to go through all the crap that you've spent a month writing, pull out the gems, stitch them together and come up with probably a chapter that you can actually use. You have to do this over and over again, for maybe years, until you get enough stuff that will make an entire book.

And for what? Rejection letters. Often your stuff will never get a serious reading. I don't blame anybody in particular for this and I don't need to be told specifically that it happens. I just picture the poor sap who has to slog through 3 novels a week or whatever for minimum wage, and I understand. Then, in order for your bid for stardom to be successful, your offering has to make it through this poor sap to his superior, and to *that* person's superior and so on until it gets to someone who can actually make the decision to offer this guy a contract. Impossible. Or so it would seem.

SK, after he "became" Stephen King, decided to see if he could do it AGAIN. He decided to write as "Richard Bachman", and attempted to publish some works as this fictional writer. You may recognize such works as "Running Man" (The Schwartzeneggar movie was so far from the original that I suggest you read the short story to get the real taste of it). I'm not sure but I think that "The Long Walk" was also by "Richard Bachman". Also "Thinner". Both of those last two deserve to be made into movies, if they haven't already. Even a SK fan can't keep up with all the SK stuff that has been immortalized in film, it seems.

Anyway, the real thing writing-wise SK gave me was to say in some interview or other that he wrote about 10 pages a day. 10 PAGES A DAY. The way it was presented, I was given to believe that yes, there were editing hassles that took more time, but the original manuscript took about 10 pages per day. WOW. And from what I glean from the same sources, he only spends about 3/4 of the time making a living that I do, MAX. That would be about 6 hours a day or a little more. AND WHAT A LIVING IT IS, hey? This guy probably owns Maine by now.

I can only assume that SK does not share my affliction. He MUST have a better ratio of cream to crap. How does he do it? Don't know. As I actually approach the precipice of actually writing my own stuff targeted at non-blog-readers, I'm scared as hell. You guys are EASY compared to that.

On that note, I should thank Auntie J profusely for actually handing over her stuff to me for proofreading. She wrote an entire novel and gave it to me for some proofreading.

She seemed reluctant. I thought at the time that she was being wimpy. I know now what she was fighting with, and I haven't even had the guts to actually create the product, much less give it to someone else to read. For that, J, I apologize. Almost as much as I apologize for the fact that you haven't gotten a proofread copy back from me since you gave it to me. Hope you don't mind if I change some minor sentence structure issues and so forth. I am actually quite good at some things, though you have no real reason to believe that's true yet. Trust me.

Anyway, I've got writing issues along with fostering and adopting issues. That's all I really had to say, I guess. Sorry it took so many words to say it. The mark of a bad writer? Maybe. But I'm counting on you people to buy copies if and when I actually ever make the leap.

You are now returned to your regularly scheduled program.



"Celeste" has been a real pill lately. Unknowingly following in "Josie's" footsteps, she decided that it would be just a peachy-keen idea the other day to pierce her tongue. She has since been disabused of that notion.

Likewise the notion that she should assume that because she's walking with her new boyfriend, limits on walk time are magically erased (she usually is allowed 20 minutes...MAYBE 1/2 hour, and they took nearly an hour and a half).

Likewise the notion that she should feel free, while out on such a walk with her boyfriend who we've just started to get to know, to stop in at a friend's house. When I was around 19 or 20, I too took a girlfriend to a friend's wasn't very innocent. And at 13, she is (in matters such as this) about what I was at 25. No dice, little girl, and playing dumb won't save you anymore now that we know you're probably at least as smart as us (except with regard to things like wisdom and common sense, of course).

I wasn't aware, but apparently her new day-treatment school--the very same one where The Wife is not working--intrudes into her life more than I had thought, and is wonderfully helpful in keeping her youthful exuberance tamped down, or at least pointed in a direction where it won't hurt anybody. She spent today in in-school suspension. This sounds to me essentially like an all-day study hall, which is something that would be guaranteed to piss her off but good.

And as if on cue, as she got in the van with The Wife to head home at day's end, she decided to vent her frustration:

"Celeste:" "Thanks for the day of ISS!

The Wife: Just a second...(flips down visor with mirror on the back to reflect her innocent young face back to her)...okay, now say that again.

Absolutely priceless. I wish I could have been there.

But you know what? The Wife reports happily that it actually shut her up all the way home. Not only that, but when my time neared to get home from work, "Celeste" asked what was for supper. The Wife asked what "Celeste" was planning to make for supper? "Celeste" replied "I don't know. Let me look." She then proceeded into the kitchen, found some stuff that apparently appealed to her, went back out and suggested that she make that. The Wife (after picking her jaw up off the floor, I imagine) agreed, after which "Celeste" proceeded back to the kitchen and began preparations.

When I got home, supper was on the table with full settings within 10 or 15 minutes. WOW.

I made sure not only to make sure this girl understood that I liked the dinner (which was really quite good) but also that I HUGELY appreciated that she took some of the load off of The Wife. I didn't push it past that because it seems that if you push the compliments too hard her BS detector goes off whether you're trying to feed her any or not, and she just shuts it down. And that's something I'm trying to avoid.

Mom doesn't care for "Celeste" a lot of the time. I think she now likes her better than she used to, but overall I don't think it would hurt Mom's feelings if "Celeste" went back home. Then again, Mom fostered in what seems like a whole other era. Then, maybe 1/4 of the kids had severe psychological problems. Over half of them seemed like kids that could really make a go of it if they just got nurturing, structured support. Mom was very good at providing that, and did it often and well. Better than anyone I've ever seen.

These kids seem...more broken. They need a little more TLC maybe than the kids mom dealt with, and they need someone a little more willing to be abused, a little more willing to look for the good side to them. And they do respond, if you give them a chance. "Celeste" is one of those. "Jill" and "Josie" were definitely NOT. They were both as manipulative as they come, and I suspect they'll both end up in jail or even prison sooner or later (though I still have a massive soft spot for "Josie", God knows why. I won't cry very hard if I never see "Jill" again, as awful as it is to say it.)

I worry about the general trend society at large is taking, though. These kids are starting to come thicker and faster than I've ever seen them. Social workers are burning out. There is now an entire county who we categorically refuse to take referrals from (the same county "Angel" came from, as a matter of fact) because the whole social services system there seems so broken that they don't seem to know or care who is even supposed to be in their care, what those people are doing or what is happening to them. It's hard enough to help fix someone with the right supports, never mind when they decide that they don't have funds after all and we just don't get reimbursed for weeks of good care. Life's too short for THAT, am I right?

But The Wife got off a good one against "Celeste" today, and it seemed to really hit the target. That makes it all worth it. We're learning this thing, bit by bit, and we're helping the kids.

Oh. And thanks for the several private emails I received and the kind comments regarding our adoption situation. It means more than I can really say to know that there are people out there who don't know me at all outside this blog and yet keep us in their thoughts and prayers.

Which just may be working, by the way. The entity known here most frequently as "Auntie J", who would indeed by Auntie J if we are successful in our kidquest, called tonight. She knows someone who's maybe looking for adoptive parents. Finger-crossing exercises shall commence immediately. And, Auntie, if you could just give them a little push, or maybe a clobber over the head if it would help, we'd be most appreciative.

Hard as it sometimes seems, I love my life. Wouldn't trade it, and ESPECIALLY The Wife, for anything at all.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Anxious Times (And a Shameless Plug)

I originally started writing this as a post on our "journal", but it wanted to be more than that, so here it is. It will bring you up to date on mom as well as let you know how pathetically desperate we are to have a baby. It will also fill in some of you who maybe didn't read some of the archive.


Anxious times.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago. She had a mastectomy on Friday, spent the weekend recovering in the hospital and is now home finishing her recovery. All seems to be surprisingly well, thank God. Her prognosis is great, and she doesn't even need to go through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. What a blessing.

Mom is the main reason we ended up being foster parents. She and Dad were foster parents from the time I was about 7 for roughly 29 years. In that time, they had maybe 150 kids (we really lost count around 100) from the ages of 4 to 17 stay in their house...maybe half of those while I still lived with them.

Dad taught me by example what it was to be a man. Take care of your family, ignore your own needs when the family needs are greater, AT ALL COSTS keep your woman reasonably happy :), and so forth. Mom taught me what it was to sacrifice yourself for others. She taught me the need to put as much good out into the world as I can. Dad not being the talking kind, she taught me about the birds and the bees...and she made sure I understood that women were not a thing to be treated lightly, but rather with respect and almost reverence. The Wife is glad the lesson took.

Mom and Dad were an immensely great parenting team. They raised two successful, well-adjusted (or so they tell me) kids, plus they managed to foster ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY other kids. Think about that. These aren't just ordinary kids, either. They were in foster care, which usually means there are at least SOME issues behind the scenes that makes them "problem children". Kids that will soak up all the attention and love you can spare, and then spit in your face and ask why you didn't do more for them.

We know. We are foster parents now, and we are experiencing this very thing firsthand.

Mom was the driving force behind the whole fostering thing, too. Her whole life was centered around children...her own as well as any others that she came into contact with that needed her attention. Dad (I don't think) could not possibly have cared less about children as an abstract concept the way Mom did. He loved the foster kids we had, and FOR SURE he loved my sister and me, but mostly he just wanted to raise his family, be a good (to me, great) man, have his peace with God and pass his days in an honorable way. Problem was, the true love of his life had other plans. He probably wasn't the first OR last in that predicament. I happen to think he comported himself admirably.

Anyway, this woman who has done so much for so many kids is now doing fine. Matter of fact, she had one of her "model" kids on hand to wish her well on Saturday while we were there. This would be the friend who reads this blog, who roomed with me off and on throughout college, and who is one of my very best friends to this day. He's one of the ones that insists on showing up to the "college friends" reunions I keep organizing, and he's one of the reasons I keep organizing them.

All that said, I keep hearing about how there are so many babies who need homes. I am now publishing an official plea to anybody who might come across this post. We have a very stable home. We're both too old to party effectively, both of us having last done a creditable job of that a decade ago. We're finacially secure, we have a VERY strong marriage, and all our attention would be on any baby we can adopt.

We're willing to SERIOUSLY consider a sibling group of any size up to maybe 4 (5 if you talk to me when The Wife isn't around, and it's a thing I could possibly talk her into). We seriously need to get the whole family-building thing going. Mom's near-miss has just brought that home to me even more. I NEED this to happen for both Mom and Dad "In The Living Years" (Mike and the Mechanics reference).

So we're feeling really, really insecure right now, so let me just say this...if anybody out there is pregnant or knows of anybody who is and is considering adoption, please get in touch with us. There's an email link on the sidebar to email me, and I check it most days. We're willing to talk about financial support and we'll DEFINITELY give that child a life with loving parents and education commensurate with their ability (up to and including ivy league, if they're that type). We even have available living quarters for however many months a mom may need it (even after the birth for a certain amount of time, if necessary). We're willing to do an "open" adoption, depending on the circumstances. All we ask is that we be allowed to raise the child and be its "real" parents.

So enough with the plug. Thanks for reading, and I'll try to post more often in the near future.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Well, I just got the word...Mom's got cancer. She goes in Tuesday for surgery. I'm feeling a little out of sorts about it at the moment and don't have much else to say right now, but I thought you'd appreciate knowing.

Prayers, please, people.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Fun and Fear

Fun: we had a party last night. I was a little nervous because we had invited quite a few people and I didn't know how it would work out as far as space goes, but even with our basement not yet ready for prime time it was no problem. It's a large house we find ourselves in, and with the basement we probably could have another 5 or 10 guests than we had without a problem.

We had lots of conversation, food, and fun playing board games. We gave some good people a place to have a great time with their kids where there was no drinking. We strengthened some really good relationships with people we've known awhile but never really met in a truly non-church social setting and I think even most of the kids had a really good time.

It's amazing when you look around these small towns...everywhere you go on New Year's Eve, there's drinking (and often worse). It can be tough to find a safe way to spend the evening outside your home with your kids that won't break the bank. I was really glad that we could provide such a thing for our friends, and maybe we'll make it a tradition. Maybe it'll even inspire some of them to have a similar party at their own house for other people they know next year. A guy can always hope, right?

Fear: I haven't posted any thoughts on it because I'm still processing it myself, but we recently discovered that there is a good chance that Mom has breast cancer. She was in for a biopsy yesterday and we're supposed to know the results hopefully by the end of the week. The doctors seem to have given her their professional opinion that from what they saw so far, it looks like it'll be malignant, but we need to wait for the final results to know for sure.

Mom is a tough lady. She was a real survivor when she was a kid. The oldest of 10 in what many today would probably call a "hick" family, she left home at an early age. As I understand it, she put herself through college and then helped my dad through college (never mind that she then helped put her two children through college so they wouldn't have to do it by themselves). For the most part, my maternal grandparents didn't much care whether my sister or I existed as far as I was able to tell when I was a kid. Since my paternal grandparents were both dead when I was very young, that left my folks to face the world with two young children and no real emotional or financial support from either of their parents. Yeek. AND they had to be both parents and double-grandparents to us. I look at the mess that some of the mothers and fathers of our foster kids are with parents that have LIVING parents, and I cringe to think how my life might have been if my parents had not been the quality people that they are.

So. Mom being the hardass that she is (sorry Mom, but you KNOW it's true), she has no time for feeling sorry for herself. She's taken the attitude that if the docs say something has to be cut out, there'll be no pussyfooting around. It doesn't sound like there'll be any "lumpectomy" or any such nonsense. Off with it.

This is the kind of attitude I had to contend with when I was growing up. I'm glad to see that she's finally channeling it in a productive direction.


Anyway, any thoughts or prayers anybody could spare would be most appreciated in the next few weeks. This woman is one of the primary reasons that this blog exists. She's put (forced, more like it) more good out into the world for more people than anybody I've ever known. More people call her "mom" than any woman I've ever known. She's put up with more than most women have had to in her life...and all I'm asking is that she be allowed to be there to see us finally get one or more children, and be allowed to hold and love those children, and be allowed to see at least a portion--preferably most or all--of their growing years.

She deserves that. And I'm not ashamed to ask God to give it to her. I owe her that, and so much more.

Mom. If this goes the way we're preparing for it to go, please get better soon. I don't know if we're ready to fly completely solo yet. It's much better to have you sitting in the back seat giving advice, even if we insist sometimes on having our own damned wrong way. We love you.