"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lucky Day

Wednesday was a good day.  However, it was also the last full day of school and super busy so you are just now hearing about it on Friday. 

1. We received an email late Tuesday night, after we'd already gone to bed, from our Home Study worker. Our Foster-to-Adopt Home Study was approved!  So that started our day off on a good note. But it also means more work for us. Since we have now expanded to the fostering world, we will need a fire inspection of the house. But before that we have to have our gas lines inspected. S the past few days have involved phone calls between myself and the fire marshal's office and plumbers.  A plumber is coming to the house on Sunday and we will see about the gas line inspection then. Friday brings the fire inspection so hopefully by this time next week those things will be taken care of and we will be ready for the next step. What's that you ask?  Well, I was just going to tell you. Within 2 weeks we I will be contacted by someone from Matching and that process will begin. Yet another step closer. Hopefully an easy and quick step???  Fingers crossed!

2. So, Wednesday was good. Bittersweet as another year came to an end. I had a great class and I'll miss them terribly. This past year of changes was amazing and I was I truly blessed with awesome coworkers, friends, students, and families.  The changes were refreshing and reminded me of why I LOVE my job and what ministry is all about!  But the end of the year came and went. On the way home Amy and I met at the doctor to get our TB skin tests (another step since we'd received our approvals). Upon leaving, luck once again visited us. Via a texting contest with my favorite radio station (104.1 KRBE) I won an iPad Mini!  I know right?!?!  I've rarely won anything in life so I was quite excited about this. Plus I got to be on the radio for a few brief seconds. What fun!  You know I love me some Apple products so an iPad Mini is something right up my alley. I have to go pick it up next week so stay tuned about that. 

So, this past week has been a good one for us here in Drosche Land. Amy's and Jackson's last day was today and they also had a good one to end a good year. Next week brings meetings and cleaning before summer fully begins and then we will be in full whirlwind status as we prep for Disney!  But it seems as though things are settling down and calming a bit for us which is good for a change, especially since we are about to (hopefully) enter into the fine stretch of the adoption process! For now though things are good. We've got approvals, an iPad, and summer is here!

All is well, lucky, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


You know what an asterisk means. 

An addendum. The fine print. Further details and information. 

Such is the case with our adoption journey. Last Friday we found out that our Straight Adoption Home Study had been approved!  What a relief. How exciting. But with it came an asterisk. A side note. The Committee wanted to be sure we knew that the wait might be longer than we anticipated. See, they tend to lean more toward families with one or no children. We understand, we are not frustrated or upset about that. It makes sense. But it does put a little hiccup in our plans. A Straight Adoption (no fostering) was still possible, just with a likely extended timeline. In addition to this they also were wondering if we would be interested in the Foster-to Adopt program. Bam. Asterisk. This would greatly reduce our wait time, but brings with it many new aspects of adoption that we thought we had decided on. 

Fostering. We obviously knew about it and learned plenty in our classes. It just didn't seem right for us. Plus we are seeking an adoption placement so Fostering is not the route we wanted.  Foster-to-Adopt is similar but with the end result being an adoption placement. Permanent. But with it comes a host of possible scenarios. We could get a placement right off the bat that works out as an adoption placement. Or, we could get a placement that results in the child(ren) being returned to their birth family. Not us. Not an adoption placement. At which point we would have to say goodbye and would enter the process all over again. You can see our dilemma and concerns. 

So we talked. Then we prayed. Then we talked some more. We finally decided that proceeding with a Dual Track program was right for us. Simultaneously working in the Straight Adopt and Foster-to-Adopt programs.  That felt right. That felt like where He was leading us. Will it be easy?  Likely not.  But then again very little in this process can be considered "easy". Might there come a time where difficult decisions need to be made?  Maybe. Who's to say?  Sure it's scary and it's unknown. Sure there are risks and the potential for heartache. But there is still just this nagging feeling that this is what we are being called to do.  To change the life of a child. To change our lives. To grow our family.

So that's where we are now. Our Foster-to-Adopt Home Study went to committee today and I haven't heard back yet. We were told that the Straight Adopt approval was more difficult to get so the odds of approval are in our favor. The one difference that we will need to handle between the two is to have a fire inspection of our home done. I've begun the process but we will see what that means for the approval; if we can get it with without the actual inspection done or if it will have to wait for resubmission once the fire marshal gives us the all-clear. Until then we wait some more. I believe that our Straight Adopt file will proceed to Matching where we will begin that process, but we have yet to get confirmation on this so we wait there too. Just waiting all around. 

In the mean time school is getting out for both Amy and I this week so that means summer is just a few days away. That also means that Disney is just a few weeks away!  I haven't blogged much about that so I'd better get started before we head out in mid-June. So, more on that later.  Back to waiting. 

All is well, reading the fine print, in Drosche Land. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hard Pill to Swallow

Today, May 16, Is Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. It's the first.  We found out about it through DePelchin and their promotion of it via social media. It's a day to acknowledge and promote the awareness of caring for the mental health of children, specifically in the Houston area. You're to wear a green band aid on your head as part of it. As you can see from above we didn't get green band aids but I think our homemade ones are awesome. We also didn't put them on our foreheads, opting for arms instead. There is also the #healyoungminds to use and I do love a good hashtag!  But nonetheless this is a cause that we support and find valuable. It's also one that is now near and dear to us. For several reasons.

The first is obvious. Being smack in the middle of the process of an adoption (Home Study update post forthcoming) we have been made extremely aware of this. Of how so many children are affected through abuse, neglect, heredity, etc. The likelihood that the addition to our family via adoption will suffer from some form of mental health issue is practically 100%.  I mean, regardless of diagnosis, any child who has been through the CPS process will have issues strictly because they have been removed from their family into CPS custody, that's a given. Add on to that any possible diagnosis ranging from very mild to very extreme and you can easily see how this is such an important topic.  I am so glad DePelchin has begun and is advocating for this.  So there is one reason we are supporting today. 

The second reason is something I have been meaning to post about for some time. I just haven't gotten around to it. Working on the right words. The right time. The right information. I have been mentally writing it for a long time. I think that today offers the perfect platform to finally publish this post. 

If you know us or have been following this blog for a while you know that Jackson is our active child. He always has been. He's always been the one referred to as "active", "all boy", "headstrong", and "busy".  He's been this way since birth. It's just him. He's just Jack. However, as he got older the behavior didn't change or diminish with maturity as we thought it would. This year in Kindergarten it became more evident that he had troubles with self control, impulse control, staying focused, calming down. It also because evident that these troubles were slowing creeping into all aspects of his life, social, academic, emotional.  So, working heavily with his teacher this past fall we began the process of evaluation. You can probably guess where this is headed by now. 

It came as no surprise really when Jackson received his diagnosis of ADHD. We were expecting it. Not wanting it, but also realistic enough to anticipate it. Being teachers Amy and I have extensive experience with this. We know the signs and symptoms. We know the evaluation and treatment process. We've recommended and supported and advised numerous parents and students over the past decade. But it's different when it's your child. It's different when it becomes your reality. It hits a little harder. 

After the diagnosis we tried changing his diet severely limiting the amount of processed foods he ate. Artificial colors and flavors were nearly eliminated from our house. We also worked with his teacher to implement behavior modifications. These all worked. A bit. We noticed changes. A bit. However, it just didn't seem to be enough. So, despite our initial hesitations, we pursued the route of medication.

As we already knew, this was not a choice to make lightly. These medications are serious. The side effects are numerous and can be severe. But in the end Jackson deserved better. He deserved a chance to be just Jack again.  He deserved some help where he needed it. From the first day he was on medication a change was obvious to everyone. Even Jackson himself noticed and commented on it. I will spare you the details of our adventures with medications and dosages. Suffice it to say changes and tweaks were made. Side effects came that were undesirable. He is now on his 4th medication and doing well.  The morning routine of dispensing his medicine has become second nature to us all. It is just now another part of our life. Neither good nor bad, just us. 

As calm as things have gotten (as calm as they can here) we know this is not the end of the road for this. This is just the beginning. Changes will need to be made as he grows and develops. This is something he will have to work with forever. But we have made it clear to Jackson that he is not defined by this ADHD. He is Jackson and he always will be. Wonderfully made by Him. Special in his own way. He just needs a little help in calming down and focusing to make good choices. That's what his pill is for. However, we have also made it very clear that ADHD is not a crutch or an excuse for him. The pill only does some of the work to help him. He is still in charge. He is still responsible for his words and actions. He and the pill are partners, so to speak, working together for one common goal.

So. There you have it. Yet another adventure for us. One we've been experiencing for a while here in Drosche Land, just working through and understanding.  So, you can clearly see the way today's awareness hits home with us in 2 very big ways, and it always will.  I also want to point out the positives that have come from this adventure, other than the help provided to Jackson of course. We are eating much cleaner and healthier, avoiding processed and artificial ingredients as much as possible (although don't get me wrong, I still love me some junk food, but all in moderation). We've also been educated and enlightened. Knowledge and experience that can be carried with us always and used professionaly for growth and advancement. It's also strengthen our faith somewhat as we have had to rely heavily on each other for support as we pray and grow closer to Him as His plan is made known to us. So, it's not been an entirely bumpy road wever traveled.

I also have to give a shoutout to my wonderful wife. She is amazing and has done so much for our family through this. Researching, meal planning, going to doctors, praying, etc. She is one of the strongest people I know, although she will never admit it. Also, since Jackson goes to Epiphany with her, she deals with the he lion's share of this on a daily basis. She is awesome and continues to be so as we make this our new normal. 

Well, I think I've made this post long enough. I'm sure I'll talk about it more in the future and often. But for now I'm finished and my fingers are tired. So, thanks for reading!

All is well, #healyoungminds, in Drosche Land. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

To Swim, Or Not To Swim

Not really much of a question anymore here in Drosche Land. 

You'll remember from my last post that Braeden chose to cut short his swimming career on Monday.  You'll also remember that we chose to let Jackson remain on the team since he was enjoying it and working hard. Well, then Tuesday came. 

I should back up a tad and give you some information you'll need to know. About a week and a half ago we received a check from the swim team. It has Jackson's name on it. Hmmmmm. That's odd. We wondered what it was for so I emailed them. We didn't hear back. Error. Glitch. Some misunderstanding.  Well, Tuesday Amanda (Amy's sister) texts me. She got an email about a similar check she had received for Audrey.  Turns out Audrey was on the original cut list from the beginning of April after Guppy School.  We'd discussed the scenario that Jack and Audrey had been cut but figured not since we hadn't heard anything about it. We then received a similar email about Jackson. Bummer.  Somewhere along the weeks the information never made it to us. Hmmmmm.  Frustrating. Not that he'd been cut, I'm a firm believer that cuts happen and support trying hard but knowing that not everyone is gifted in the same way. Not everyone is going to be the best, or even mediocre, at everything. Something's are just not for some people.  It's the communication breakdown that's frustrating. But, we moved past that. After all, there's nothing to be done about it now. 

So we broke the news to Jack. He was sad at first, afraid he'd let us down. We reassured him that he did is best and we were proud of him. He just wasn't quite ready this year.  That helped and he is over it now and has moved on, not really giving it another thought. 

Thus ends our brief foray into swim team. We came. We saw. We swam. We have 2 team swimsuits to show for our trouble. Looks like the boys don't need new ones this summer!  :) In the end all is for the best. We suddenly have a much clearer schedule as we finish up May and the school year. Our Saturdays will not consist of 4:30 am wakings to be at a meet from 6:30 until 4:00.  All in all I think we will survive. Maybe it's just His way of telling us to slow down. Clear our minds and schedules. Maybe to focus on the adoption?  Maybe?  Maybe?  Or maybe just to take a break and take a breath. Either way we are all fine with these happenings. Oh, and did I mention I dont have to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow morning!  Whew!

All is well, out of the pool, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Catching Up


Well, April is behind us now and all of the A-Z posts are behind us. It was a fun month and I am excited to have made it through my 3rd A-Z Challenge. But enough about that, I'll save the reminiscing for the upcoming reflections post.  This post is about what else happened in April. It was a busy month here and I wanted to be sure to share everything.  Hopefully it won't end up being super long, but I'm wordy and make no promises. Here goes.

Swim Team. Well we jumped in feet first with Guppy School in early April. It was hard at first for the boys. They both can swim, but it had been since September so they were a little hesitant. But we kept on, after all we'd made a commitment and we were determined to see it through. Daily practices are rough but we did our best. Sadly though Braeden ended up missing about a week's worth due to his involvement with the school play. Upon returning to practice this week he didn't seem to be in it at all. We'd had conversations with both boys throughout the month about trying hard and doing their best. Jackson seemed to be showing some improvement and worked hard. Braeden though was a different story. For some reason he just didn't want to try. We were surprised as he has always been the athletic one and has never had a problem trying sports. Swimming though must not be his forte. Despite our stance on quitting, we allowed him to withdraw from the team this week. The daily struggle and drama were just not worth it. For him. For us. For his coaches. He paid us back for the cost of his swimsuit and we have chalked it up to a life lesson, hopefully one he will learn from. Jackson on the other hand is still on the team, he wanted to stay so we are encouraging him to keep at it and try hard. Time Trials are this Saturday and thus begins our loss of Saturdays with swim meets taking them over. 

Speaking of the play, Braeden had a blast. Quite uncharacteristically he took this seriously and gave it his all. I heard great things about him from the teachers in charge of huge play. How he was paying attention, knew his cues, worked hard. It all paid off too last week as we proudly watched our little squire take the stage.  He's already wondering about trying out for the play next year, we've shelved that decision for revisiting. So April had a win-lose aspect for Braeden. 

Adoption. We completed our second Home Study visit and had anticipated our report and file to go before the committee about a week ago or so. However, we were once again reminded that not everything is on our timeline, but His. Due to illness and issues in the life of our caseworker, our file will not be presented until next Tuesday, and I will update once we know more. So we have been dealing with that. Sure it's frustrating, we've been in this process since September and are eager to get a placement and be finished. However, May is so crazy busy since we are teachers that it is also somewhat of a blessing because we know we will be through May before anything else happens. So we wait. Ugh, there's that word once again. Wait. But hopefully we can continue to be patient about it. 

What else happened?  Easter came and went. Stella was made for hunting eggs it seems as she went at it seriously. A toddler on a mission. I still haven't gone through all of our photos so hopefully there's a belated Easter photo post soon!  I served on an Accreditation team for another Lutheran school last week. Planning for and being out of the classroom for 3 days was crazy, but the experience was awesome and I had a blast. It is so amazing to get into other classrooms just to watch, observe, and talk to other teachers. Often this is far more valuable than any conference.  I hope to have these opportunities more in the future.  Oh, at St. Mark next year we are adding a second Kindergarten class and a former coworker, and great friend, of mine will be the teacher!  That was super exciting as she is Stella's godparent and it will be great to be on a faculty with her again after a year apart. We are already planning, along with the other Kindergarten teacher, fun things for next year. So there's some good news from April. 

I think that brings us up to date then. So, it may not sound like a lot but factor all of that into daily life, along with other stuff I'm sure I forgot to mention, and April flew by. As of now there are only 16 days left of school, gasp, and I don't know if I am ready to say goodbye to my students. Although, I never truly am anyway. These next 2 1/2 weeks will be a flurry of assessments, projects, cleaning, and fun. Just the way May is intended to be.  So, now that the catching up is taken care of, we can proceed with regular, current, posts about the adventures here. How was your April?  Busy?  Was it a blur or did you have time to slow down and enjoy it?  Regardless, I hope it went well!

All is well, caught up, in Drosche Land.