Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Thought of the Day

It's a good day when you check your GoFundMe dashboard...

...and discover that your 2nd grade teacher apparently still remembers you, because she's just contributed to your fund.

This is so very cool

Monday, November 17, 2014

10.5 Hours

I am beyond gobsmacked (which is, by the way, a really great word).

It's been ten and a half hours since I posted my GoFundMe link here, and the campaign was live about half an hour before that.

As of the last time I refreshed my page, we were a scant $10 away from meeting our goal of $1200.

I'm overwhelmed. Our God is so gracious, merciful, and and generous.

And so are our friends. And even a couple of strangers.

If you're just now seeing my GoFundMe post or this one, and ...

Breaking news! We just made our goal! *cue confetti cannons*

As I was saying.

The link to our campaign is there in my sidebar, under the picture of my family from Christmas, 2012. If you're just now seeing this, and would still like to do something, the campaign is still live. We can still accept donations. Anything above and beyond the $1200 raised for our legal fees will be set aside for the huge party we plan to have next spring (we don't want winter weather to keep people from coming) to celebrate.

So, if you still want to help us out, please do not think that us having met our goal means that you're out of luck. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who's contributed.

A Personal Bleg

As you know, we've been in limbo for what feels like years regarding the termination of the Fries' biological parents' rights and thus the ability for the adoption of the Fries to proceed.

It's been nearly two weeks now since we heard from our lawyer that the Superior Court upheld the trial court's ruling to sever the bios' rights.

We received information last week on the background checks we need to have done to prove that we are stalwart, worthy folks who should be entrusted with these children (three of 'em, folks), and started to do that, and my black printer cartridge promptly went out of ink. Feh. I ordered ink through Amazon, and then turned my attention to the more pressing issue:

The $1000 retainer that our lawyer said she needed.

Gleeps.

We hadn't been expecting that, although I suppose we should have.

So, in the process of filling out forms and remembering every address I've ever lived at for my whole freaking life, along with every person I've ever shared a dwelling with, and the same for Hubby, we also had to figure out how to come up with the $1200 for the retainer and the fees for running three different background checks.

We do not have the money. We have growing kids, a growing grocery budget, and Christmas next month. We have a shoestring budget, and back child support that's still owed (but not being paid) from during the appeal process. And our usual benefactors have said they unfortunately cannot help with this one.

They're our kids.

We will find a way to do this.

To that end, we have our own GoFundMe campaign now running. GoFundMe offers secure online donations. (I've also put up a link in the sidebar.)

I'm hopeful we can raise the money by the end of the week.

We need about 24 people who can kick in $50 each, or 60 people who can kick in $20 each. Every little bit helps.

We all want to have Hubby's last name by Christmas. Can you help us make that happen?



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Reflections

My dad asked me earlier this week if I could scrounge some pictures of the kids or our family around Christmas time. The big choir he sings with (I forget what nom de blog I've used for it in the past) is gearing up for their Christmas concerts, which are always a big deal, and they're putting together a slideshow presentation of choir members' Christmas pics. I'm always taking pictures, and I knew that I also had a number of wintry-scene photos for filler, if he needed them.

I finally found the time to hunt through my (rather extensive) archives this afternoon.

It was a walk down memory lane.

Christmas Eve, 2008.
 Goodness. I can hardly believe how little they were!

We helped decorate! (2009)
We got a new artificial tree this year, and they were very proud that they got to help. They helped the year before, but this tree was bigger, so it was even cooler to hang ornaments on.

Christmas morning, 2009, at Gramma & Boppa's.

Daddy reads out of the Advent book Gramma bought. (2010)

Post-decorating, 2010

This was our 2010 Christmas card picture.
 Hubby's brilliance in those last two pictures.

Christmas morning, 2010
Taking pictures on the stairs before going down and seeing the the tree on Christmas morning is a tradition I grew up with. Up until this year, I wasn't sure that we'd have Christmases forever with these little goobers. But with the August court decision, we knew we would...and so I insisted on starting this tradition with the Fries.

Post-decorating, 2011, in our new house.

Christmas morning, 2011.
 Yeah, they're about as thrilled about the tradition as I was at that age.

Medium in front of the lit (but not yet decorated) tree, 2012.

Large in front of the tree, 2012.

Small in front of the tree, 2012.
 Yeah, if you were wondering, those last three were Hubby's idea, too.

Fries wrapped in lights! (2012)

2012

Our "nice" family picture, 2012.

Let's get silly! (2012)
 Those were my idea. Yeah. Turned out really well. But when did the Fries get so big?

Medium Fry, 2013.

Large Fry, 2013.

Small Fry, 2013.

Twinsies! (2013)

Fries, 2013.

Christmas morning, 2013.
 My goodness. Just yesterday, they were how they looked in that first picture.

I look forward to this year's picture on the stairs. They've grown so much. Even since this picture back in May...

Family Day celebration, 2014.
But this year will be different, I hope.

The pictures will feature the same subjects, of course. That hasn't changed.

The stairs will be the same, too.

The jammies will be new. But then, they always are.

What's different this year?

This year, if the scheduling works out the way we want it to, we'll all have Hubby's last name by Christmas.

Yes, the Superior Court rendered their decision this week. They unanimously upheld the trial court's decision, determining that there was no judicial error or abuse of discretion and that there was sufficient evidence to grant our involuntary termination petition pursuant to adoption.

We still have to wait 30 days for the appeal timeframe, but it's unlikely that Bro will appeal to the state Supreme Court. (The county will no longer pay for his attorney, who has indicated that she will not appeal further anyway.) And, realistically, we would not be able to schedule the adoption hearing earlier than 30 days out as it is. We've asked our attorney to see if we can schedule the hearing before Christmas, for we'd all love to be Hubby's-Last-Name-ers by then.

It would truly be the best Christmas present we could all ask for.

**If you're wondering how many days it was, total, we got the court decision on Day 187, if you count from the date the appeal was file. It's 220 days from the day that the judge rendered her decision on our petition.

Dinner Conversations

Medium: Daddy, have you heard the saying, "the more, the merrier"? I think it means that it's more fun when there's lots of people there.

Hubby: That's right.

Medium: Is it always true?

Hubby: No, not always. Sometimes it's good to have lots of people around. Other times, like when I'm in the tub, I want to be alone, without any other people. I don't like people watching me while I'm in the tub.

Small: I don't like to take baths in front of boys. Only you, Daddy.

Friday, November 7, 2014

At the Table

Hubby: I said I was normal and boring. You said I wasn't. So what does that make you?

Medium Fry: Talented!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Word's Worth

Yesterday evening, after dinner, this happened...

Medium Fry: Mom, what does "frolicking" mean?

Me: Playing.

Medium: I just made that word up.

Me: You did not!

Medium: Yes, I did. I've never heard it before. I just made it up.

Me: That word was in existence long before you were born.

Medium (anticlimactically): Oh.

I realized too late that the perfect response would have been to ask her how I knew the definition of a word she'd "just made up."

She certainly keeps me on my toes...