Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Wrap Up, By the Numbers

I feel like I have not written on this blog much this summer -- other than the highlights of vacations and lowlights of Urgent Care visits.  But a quiet blog does not a quiet summer reflect!  In fact, Pete and I have now dubbed the summer of 2014 as Our Most Productive Summer Yet.

It feels like we've done a lot... but, of course, I still come screeching up to the very last day, frantically looking around at what is yet undone.  Last night as I was washing dishes I was again contemplating this constant battle -- how the undoing never stops, and we will always have to keep redoing, and then we die.  But then, then there is Heaven, so that's good.

Our 2 big goals for the summer were to make decisions about 1.) Whether we should move or add on to our house, and 2.) Whether or not we should start the process for international adoption (which we have been talking about for years.)

I am happy to say that both goals were accomplished, and we think we have clearly seen God's answers to both questions.  In answer to the first one He seems to have said, "Neither," and in answer to the second, we feel like we've been given a green light!

So, for the last month or so Pete and I have been rapidly charging through stacks of paperwork and a multitude of computer screens, trying to get as much of the adoption pre-work done as we could before school starts.  It has taken a  LOT of time!

One of the books I've been reading (dumb, happy novel) summarizes each chapter at the beginning with a list of numbers, so I guess I'm now thinking of our summer in the same way.  Here is my list of numbers:

108:  Number of pages involved in the initial paperwork to get accepted into the adoption program, many of which needed to be notarized.

11:  Different forms for criminal/background/child abuse clearances we had to send to various states and agencies, all with different instructions, of course.

47:  Other forms we had to collect/copy/order/find, including birth certificates, tax forms, employment sheets, asset verifications, etc., etc., etc.

6: Friends we had to request reference letters from, hoping they won't say we're a terrible family for an adopted child.

3:  Trips to a notary over the last month.

5: Appointments we had at our doctor's office this past week for all the checks, tests, shots, bloodwork.  (Good thing we live close enough to ride bikes to the office!)

65: Number of pages of short-answer questions we had to fill out for our first adoption homework assignment.  (Questions like, "What would you do if your child ____?" and "How will you prepare for _____?"  and "Describe some of the holiday customs Bulgaria has."  HARD questions!   65 pages of these!)

5: Number of states visited by at least part of our family.

23, and counting:  Number of football practices we've carted Strider to.

2:  Bathrooms in our house that Pete painted this summer.

475:  Number of rocks (+/- 100) that Pete set in our front yard as edging around our garden beds.

475:  Number of books (+/- 200) that I sorted through to reorganize all of our shelves in 2 different rooms.

4: Bedrooms that I sorted through over the last few weeks, emerging with 10 bags of garbage.

5:  Cabinets and/or closets that I organized at the beginning of the summer, which now are a mess again.

4:  Number of children that were largely left to their own devices this summer so we could get all the above done!  They did a lot of this kind of thing:

 And, of course, even more climbing:

12:  Number of Strider's new classmates who came over for the first social of the year last night.  I did not get any pictures of the actual party (because that would have been sooooo embarrassing), but here's glimpse of the pre-party set-up.  It was a big bonfire and the idea was that the students could roast hot dogs, make s'mores, play games, etc.  But they mostly just played newcomb and huddled around in clumps talking.

5.5:  The age at which Miles has stopped sucking his thumb.  (We thought he would be well into his teens before finally motivated to stop -- but the cast on a broken arm which does not allow him to bring his thumb to his mouth has done which no other forms of motivation could accomplish!)  As a celebration, we went to play mini-golf today, the last day of summer:

He did great playing left-handed!
And did we mention there was ice cream, too??

And that's a wrap!  Summer of 2014, you've been great.

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