Black Friday Shopping

Mom and Ashley waiting in a cold line at 11:30 Thanksgiving night around the back side of Toys R Us in Lynnwood

The painful memories of crowds, lines and not finding what I wanted had faded since I attempted Black Friday 2 years ago. And with the fading memories, came another mission of finding the deals and joining the masses of crazy people out, basically, for a good time and a story. One big difference between the previous trip and this year was that Ashley wanted to go this year.
Didn’t know if she was serious or not but when we got home from John and Mary’s on Thanksgiving night at 11:10, we unloaded and then got back in the car and headed to Toys R Us for their midnight sale.
Not really expecting they’d do a store opening at midnight, I planned on getting to the store, doing my shopping, and then going to the cash registers at midnight to make my purchases. Easy squeezy. Couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Upon entering the parking lot at 11:20, a line of people was already evident. The question was whether to sit in the car until the doors opened at midnight or to go stand in the line. After 5 minutes, we headed out to join the masses.
However, we weren’t anywhere near prepared for this. As we walked toward the doors and began to follow the line to it’s end, we rounded one corner of the building, grabbing a cart on our way, kept walking, and rounded a second corner. We were now on the complete opposite side of the building from the doors and still had to walk half the distance of the building to even reach the end of the line. Thankfully it wasn’t raining, but the wind was blowing and it was chilly.
It only took a few minutes before we were both cold. A quick text to Willie and he was on his way with gloves, coats, and a blanket. Whew!
When midnight finally arrived, we started moving and entered the building – clueless as to what awaited us. It’s almost impossible to describe. I thought we’d make a bee-line for electronics. But they had blocked the path off so you had to go all the way around the store to attempt to enter the skinny little detector doors where people with carts were attempting to go in, out, and every other possible (or impossible) direction. It was a traffic jam of carts if I ever saw one.
After about 45 minutes of trying to find the items listed in the ad, which I’d carefully studied and listed out by department on my shopping list, we hit the line – frustrated by the fact that we’d found only ONE of the items we’d come for. (We did find a couple more as the line wove through every single aisle along the back and left side of the store on its way to the register.) We were in line for over an hour. The bonus of having a shopping buddy was having a place holder who could switch off if we saw or remember something else we wanted to check on. Being able to roam just a little while we waited broke up the monotony quite a bit. I recommend shopping with a buddy!
By 2:15 we were out of the store, and by 2:30 we were in the house and our ‘morning’ plans were made. Ashley went to bed.
I shopped online – disappointed that even though it was only 2 – 1/2 hours into Black Friday, several of the best deals were sold out online at Best Buy. I did however make several purchases at Target that I figured I’d never get my hands on in the store after having seen what we’d just endured at Toys ‘R Us. I shopped online until 3:45, and finally shut my eyes a little after 4:00AM.
The alarm went off at 6:30 and by 6:50 Ashley and I were back out the door and on our way to Best Buy.
The items I couldn’t find online were actually in stock in the store! So exciting! On a $150 purchase, I saved $90! Sweet! And the gifts will be such hits.
Next target? Target – ugh. I’d done this one before and knew the line would wrap through the entire huge store. We did find most of what we were looking for before spending another hour + standing in line.
After quick trips to REI for snow socks and Walgreens for their Webkinz deal (Ashley’s friends’ gifts), we finally made it home about 11:45. I was so exhausted that it didn’t seem right that the sun was up and people were up and moving around.
Thankfully, I got a couple hour nap before my amazing husband put a gorgeous Thanksgiving Day round 2 meal on the table for us and our friends.
After a good night’s sleep, I’m happy with the purchases and the deals, and most happy that I had a partner in crime to enjoy it with. Ashley was a wonderful addition to the mayhem.
You’ll see the results when Christmas Day pictures are posted!

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Adoption homework is turned in! Now what?

(Lots of detail. I’ve bolded some of the key points.)

With our homework turned in, we are now in waiting mode for Antioch Adoptions social workers to write it up. After some preliminary writing, home visits will be scheduled (2-3 different times at about 2 hours each). Once all visits are completed, the home study will be written and we will acquire our foster license. Estimated length of time is 6 weeks to 3 months to complete this phase of the process. During this time, I am working on creating a picture profile of our family that will represent us to the birth parent or social worker for the child. (Appreciate your prayers for this tender subject.)

Once we are licensed, we WAIT for a call from Antioch that they have a potential child match.

When the call comes, get some info and then hang up and pray. We won’t call back for 2-24 hours with our answer.

Then, our caseworker, Chelsea, will present our case and picture profile to the birthparent or social worker on behalf of the child. The birth parent or social worker may have up to 4 profiles to look at along with ours, and then we are either chosen us or not. We receive a 2nd phone call giving us the ‘verdict’. If not chosen, we await another child match and begin that part of the process again.

If chosen, (WOW!) we make an appointment to read the child’s records.

Next, a transition plan is formulated which includes our first visit with the child (adults only) where we also get to meet the current foster parents. This visit is typically a couple hours long, and since the kids can’t come we may bring a special toy on behalf of them to present to the child.

In subsequent visits, Ashley, Jordan, and Bekah will be able to come and meet their new sibling. We could go do something fun together. We may also have a weekend visit where the child comes and stays for the weekend. When all involved think the child is ready, the child moves into our home. (Typically a month-long transition process.)

During the next few weeks, Antioch social workers and foster care social workers will be coming out to the house just to check in and make sure all is going well. These are called post-placement visits and are carried out as a help during the transition. These social workers are also always just a phone call away.

How long this entire process takes is only in God’s wisdom. Our job is to stay following Him. Only by staying close and intentionally letting him lead (not asking him to hop on board with US), will we be in the right place when the calls come. It will be an emotional rollercoaster. We appreciate knowing you are praying for us.

BAHA surgery went great!

Wow – time flies!

Jordan’s Stage II surgery for the BAHA went great and the doctor was very pleased with how the posts had osseointegrated. The soft tissue work was done at this last surgery as well as adding the abutment. He’s had his post-operative appointment and is scheduled to receive his processor (hearing aid box) on MONDAY!

Here are a couple photos…

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This is what Jordan's head looked like the day after surgery - 10/24. There is a disc covering the surgical site which is wrapped with a strip of Vaseline gauze.

 

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This is what the site looked like the day after the post-op appointment when the disc was removed. (The disc snaps on and off, and stays in place except for times when we add ointment to the site.)

The site is healing very well. The biggest issue seems to be a disturbance to his balance for some reason. His aid at school, therapist at horse riding, and also a volunteer at riding therapy all noted some atypical instability in Jordan. Not sure what that’s all about. Appreciate your prayers.