It is 430am on Friday morning, and I am up to get work as much work finished as I can before the kids wake up. They are out of school today for parent-teacher conferences, but I am not off work! I have two intakes plus the paperwork for that, and retyping my Relief Society lesson because it was on my laptop just before it crashed (trying to save the lesson to the cloud so I could print it is how we realized something was wrong with it since the last automatic update), and a ton of school work that wasn’t posted until last night so I couldn’t do it until today but don’t want to lose all weekend on it.
Plus my Jewish school semester starts this weekend, so there’s that. My classes are Hebrew 4 (yikes!) and Jewish Pastoral Care and Tanakh. There is a ton of reading, and I have already started on that, and will be carrying books with me everywhere just to get through it. The fastest way, I have found, to get through so much reading, is to keep two or three in the car so I have choices anytime I am waiting. I spend a lot of time waiting in my car, because of the way my job is set up (meeting families somewhere, arriving to a school or daycare and waiting for my appointed time, etc.) and also on the days I do get to pick up my kids from school. That gives me a way to get through the heavier texts in bits instead of drowning in them at night when I am tired or in the morning before I am awake. Having different choices gives me some flexibility in whatever I am in the mood for or if I need to check something for a particular class. Regardless, it better spends those few moments than losing ten minutes of mortality to mindless scrolling through facebook (which is not the same as specifically posting something to share, reflect, or testify).
I have three weeks before my MDiv classes (Master of Divinity) finish, with finals right in the middle of April. This will be crazy because it will be post-adoption and around the time the baby arrives, so I am hoping (and praying) for smooth timing so I can finish them well. I don’t care about the grades being perfect, and I am aware my “best” during this season in my life is not the same as my “best” fifteen years ago when I was single and on my own and only had a puppy to worry about most days. I just need to get through the classes the best that I can, and let it go. My classes I will be finishing are Old Testament, Homiletics, System Leadership, and Spirituality in the Organization (which is becoming a thing far more than I knew). The new classes I will be starting in May will be New Testament, Hermeneutics, Matthew and Mark, and Spirituality and Spiritual Formation. These will finish the classes I need to be certified as a Spiritual Director, and finish my classes for the MDiv. I only need, then, to go on campus for a few days in the fall to take my comps. They are not making me do another thesis, which is a miracle, since I already have done a dissertation.
The other reason I need to get my homework done today for my first week of new Jewish classes next week is because I found out late last night that we get to keep Golden for spring break! I do not know why her grandparents are going on vacation with her, but selfishly I do not care. I am so thrilled to have her back, and so excited that they keep letting me spend time with her, and I am so in love with that child like no baby we ever had before. I cannot tell you. Each time I have thought I had to say farewell to her, and the connection I have felt with her has never gone away, and then these random times they call and ask me to watch her thrill me to no end. They seem really high functioning and well off, so I don’t know why they don’t have more resources, but I am glad they are following the safety plan and asking us for help instead of leaving her alone with bio mom and her drug problems. They always pay me more than the exact respite amount, which I wouldn’t make them pay me at all, except that I want to be sure they are doing it according to the rules so I am not just enabling them. I could not be more thrilled or excited, even if that means we are back up to six kids even before the new baby comes! I really love that child, I cannot tell you.
Speaking of new children, I got to hang out with Four last night. I had met her only once at a visit when I was dropping off the Baby at Burger King. She was so shy then that I only saw the top of her head poking around a slide. I let her be and didn’t push that day, but when I picked her up yesterday she remembered me and opened up more quickly – though she was still reserved. She was shorter than Five, which makes sense because he is six, but I couldn’t believe how big he looked compared to her, how much he has grown since he first came to us. She is thin, and has blonde hair, and her face is blurry somehow the way Baby’s is, but she has the biggest and brightest and most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen in my life. She has been super sweet and easy so far, though I don’t know yet if that is her or if that is her honeymooning. If she is really only here for “three days to two weeks”, then maybe her honeymoon can last long enough to keep things smooth until she goes back with her grandmother. None of us can believe the caseworker is okay with that plan, but at the same time hope Four doesn’t disclose anything while she is here that would cause a full investigation to open, because that would mean she stays. It’s a tricky thing, and not our role to decide what’s best for her, just to keep her safely here until it’s time for her to go back to grandmother. Allegedly grandmother is inpatient for a medication adjustment, and so we will have Four for just two weeks, but I have never known any inpatient units these days to keep people a whole two weeks unless things were really that bad. So we will see what happens and how long Four stays.
We are not going anywhere for Spring Break week. Because minivan. But also because of work, and because of projects Nathan is working on, and because it is my brother’s turn for the resort condo. We thought Jessica would come here for her Spring Break, but we never heard back from them and that was this week, so I guess she is not coming. We do have a small trip next weekend, just to stay overnight with a friend who is letting us use their house is a hotel, so that we can take the kids to the church sites in Kansas City. I have had already had enough cancellations for next week that I think we can maybe leave early enough on Friday to not make the trip a nightmare, get good sleep at our friend’s home Friday night, and then spend the day on Saturday at the sites before coming home so that we are home for Sunday. It will be a quick trip, but an easy one, and everyone is excited to try out the new van. Golden will be gone by then, and maybe also Four, so it will be an easy fit. Even if the new baby is born by then, she won’t be out of the hospital yet, so we are close enough to the weekend that we can make some quick travel arrangements and still be back in time. Allegedly. If Four is still here, she can easily go with us. It will be fun, and I am super excited because I have never been there (to the church sites there). I have been to Nauvoo and the other historical sites, but never the Kansas City sites. I am super duper uber excited, and so are the kids.
Today, though, is finishing work and homework, so that I can play with my kids tonight and tomorrow. ChildShare is open tomorrow, the amazing Methodist ministry that provides free clothing and shoes for foster children. I will go there – maybe take some of the kids with me – in the morning, and see what I can find for them for Spring now that we are finally thawing from winter. They approved us as one of their adoptive families as well, since we were already one of their foster families, which means they will also be our “agency” when the Pinnacle Plan knocks us out of being DHS families and makes everyone pick an agency to work with instead. I don’t entirely understand how that is going to work, but I am glad we have ChildShare as our agency and am okay with that arrangement.
What I don’t know, is how to re-type my Relief Society lesson before the Toddler wakes up, so maybe I should start on that.