Thursday, October 30, 2008

Adoption (and Parenting) Require Persistence and Stamina

Anyone who says adopting is the 'easy' way to have a child has obviously never tried it. (And no, I'm not trying to start a discussion on the relative difficulties of pregnancy versus adoption. Smile) Take the seemingly simple task of wiring money internationally. Wednesday morning I went to the bank and requested a print-out of our account activity since the last statement. I wanted to make absolutely sure there were sufficient funds to cover a rather large withdrawal. So I was sitting there in the parking lot adding and subtracting away when I realized it was almost 11:00 am-time for Caleb to be out of preschool. Thankfully, we only live 3 or 4 miles away.

At 11:30 I had an appointment with Stephanie, the new director of the company that provides developmental therapy for our oldest son who is 14 with an autistic spectrum disorder. It was time to re-do a questionnaire that seems like it has about 20 categories with a couple zillion questions in each one that must individually be rated with a 3 (my child does this all the time), 2 (my child does this about 75% of the time), 1 (my child does this about 25% of the time) or 0 (my child never/almost never does this.) And for those of you who have never had the opportunity to fill out this glorious form, the questions cover everything from whether your child gazes at objects to whether he can fill out a job application and keep a budget. Then in each section you identify what you child's strengths are and what areas need to be worked on. Well, about 2-2 1/2 hours later, both Stephanie and I looked at each other with glazed eyes and decided we were too fried to do the individual plan at that moment. We scheduled again for Tuesday morning.

After everyone got home from school I loaded them up in the car and we headed back over to the bank to withdraw the funds to be wired. And we scurried off toward Twin Falls only to discover we didn't have time to make it to Kmart which has a Western Union office so went to Ridley's in Kimberly instead. We went to the desk and found out the fee to SEND the funds has to be in cash as well. So I drove to the ATM to withdraw that money.

Then hurried to the elementary (and was a bit late) for J's parent-teacher conference at 4:40, T's at 5:00, Caleb's at 5:20. By the time I got everyone rounded up from the gym and down the hall and outside it was nearly 6:00 p.m., the time that conferences began at the Junior High for S and B. Their conferences are not at set times; instead, you pick up the report cards in the school office and then just wander around from classroom to classroom to find a teacher who isn't talking to someone else already and chat about how your kiddo is performing in whatever subject. It was enlightening but exhausting. We stumbled out of there at nearly 8:00 p.m. Needless to say, we missed Bible study and ate at Arctic Circle.

Right here I really want to put in a public plug for our school system and the FANTASTIC way they have worked with B. Last year he had around 5 of his subjects in the resource room and 2 in the regular classroom. This year they were trying to almost reverse that. So in one subject he goes to the regular classroom but has a one-on-one aid. In Social Studies he works in the resource room preparing presentations on subjects such as US presidents, the judicial system and the Revolutionary War. Then he goes to the regular classroom and presents in front of everyone as a way of introducing them to their new chapter. His teacher said the students are very supportive of him and that he does quality research. And you could tell B was very excited about the posters he had made for these presentations.

Early Thursday I drove J to Gooding to the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind to have an auditory processing test. The test took a little over 2 hours followed by showing me the results, though not the actual scoring. Oh, that is a 'mean' test!! In one sub test you listen to a series of numbers and have to repeat it back in REVERSE order. And of course, the number of digits increases each time you do it correctly. I really hope that all this testing will result in a plan to make school much less of a struggle for J. I got him back to school at 2:00 p.m.

Then--back to the persistence story-- zipped back over to Ridley's, filled out the necessary paperwork for wiring money and the gentleman behind the desk asked if I had TWO pieces of ID. Well, I had my driver's license--which was good--and at least 30 other cards--but none of them would suffice. Back home, get passport, back in car, back to Ridley's, back to Western Union counter, back to paperwork, and finally, finally, FINALLY got to hand the man the 2 pieces of ID, the cash money, the fee money and get a receipt!! Just one piece of the adoption puzzle.

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