8 Months, 8 Classes

Nathan and I endured a very long day in Broken Arrow, completing the final three foster care training classes.

That’s a big deal.

It took us almost eight months to even get them scheduled, and it was three days of nine hours of classes each day.  We missed the one class for the funeral event, and will make those three hours up next weekend.

We are exhausted!

It meant working at night on my theology final, and taking a cut in pay this week.  It meant Nathan working on his sign language workbook on breaks while I prepared for my Hebrew final.  It meant eating a light lunch, taking a good walk outside, and missing each other for the rest of breaks while we worked on our laptops for the rest of lunch break. It meant packing two meals a day, plus snacks, for both of us, to save money and health from eating out each time.  It meant dodging tornadoes, getting soaked, and giving up our weekend.

It seems a small price to pay to help a child.

We were so moved by the stories we heard of the kids that need so much help.

We also feel much more informed about how the system works, what our role will be, and what kinds of limits we want to set for our family so that we can care for ourselves well and best help the kids for whom we have something to offer.

We also got really good at pipe cleaner art.

In other news, Cochlear Americas announced that the new “aqua accessory” has finally been approved for the US.  This is an official bag (besides the DIY gear we tried last summer with the swimcap) specifically for my cochlear implant processors, so that I can hear underwater.  It even has a special hole to hook into to attach the processor and bag to clothing or swimwear, so that I can for the first time also use them at the lake or when we kayak at the river.  I am so super excited, despite the unattractive and gawky look.  Check out THIS BLOG that an amazing teen girl wrote about the new product last fall when it was released in Canada.

In other-other news, I came home and worked (almost) five solid hours after the nine hour training today, and just barely finished my Jewish theology final in time to turn it in with time still left to protect my Sabbath.  If I did not get it turned in, I would have had to get up super early Monday morning to try and finish it before work.  I am so excited that it is finished!

Also, that means that I can use my Monday morning to tackle my garden, which has been sorely neglected because of miscarriage, mom’s-ashes-weekend with my brother, two weeks of tornado, and foster care training classes.   Everything is still growing well, but it needs a good weeding.  I think we only lost one of the apple trees in the storm.

Tomorrow is the three year anniversary since I got my left cochlear implant, and I am in awe.  I love them so much!  We are concerned somewhat with this left one, though, as I am still having trouble understanding what I hear and it is still making the weird sounds like what started just before my last visit to the audiologist.  Another person with CI’s said that my implant might be failing, but we really hope it can be fixed by fixing or replacing the processor.  I will have an appointment soon not just with the audiologist, but a rep from the cochlear company itself.

Nathan starts ASL 2 this week, while I look more and more at what I can cut out or say no to in our schedule.  I try to be discerning, but adding in foster care is going to require an extra level of saying no – both at home and to other activities.  Some things have been easy to let go of, like extra things I did to help or speaking engagements simply because I was free and available to do so.  Other things, like disaster relief, were harder to let go of – except I did feel prepared to do so and confident in my decision.  It is right.  It may not be forever, but my season there is past.  It may cycle around again, or maybe not, but I am okay just being in the present.

It is good to breathe again.

Tomorrow is Fast Sunday, and that always helps with breathing.

And discernment.

And “hearing”.

And rest.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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