REMEMBERING AFTER EIGHT YEARS!

February 19, 2015

In spite of our grief we can still see God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Although we are still grief stricken, life moves on.  We are thankful for new seasons, new life and new relationships.

I can still see it all (vividly) unfolding in front of me. I feel that helpless feeling. I can hear that moaning… that deep guttural moaning. The screaming and tears are still so real to me.

However, I am now able to see past the profound heartbreak, past the eternal events of that fateful night.  I am able to better (not completely) understand part of His Divine plan for our family.

Here now, eight years later, we still grieve his untimely death. But we celebrate the life he once lived. We celebrate life with those left behind because that is what Buddy would want and expect. He died so that others could live. So live we must. Enjoy life we will. And remember that our American Hero will always be with us in some way or another.

Remembering the husband, the father, the son, the friend.

Saluting the Soldier:

SGT BUDDY JAMES DOC HUGHIE
KIA, FEBRUARY 19, 2007
NURISTAN PROVINCE
AFGHANISTAN, ASIA
TWO BRONZE STAR MEDALS (V)
PURPLE HEART

Always smiling

Buddy and Cooper

Like father, like son

Advertisements

MODERN DAY PARENTING

November 7, 2010

smoking baby girl

The following is a glimpse into how some parents are…. well you read it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Below is text that I copied/pasted from one of my Facebook friends.  I have changed the names.  Everything else is just as the commentors have written it.

CAST OF CHARAC TERS;  Haley is the daughter of Alicia.  TEEN GIRL is friends with Haley and Alicia and apparently not very fond of how Haley speaks to Alicia (her friend’s mother).

TEEN GIRL: @ Haley, I dont know you other than seeing you with Betty or at Alicias. But i just want to say that i have known Alicia for going on 2 years and she does not lie. She is an adult and doesnt have to explain her self to you. If anything she tells it like it is and you are being rude and ugly to her when all she does is …try to help people. She doesnt deserve the way you are talking/messaging her, and she doesnt have to put up with it. She doesnt let her kids talk to her like that, so why should you be any different? Again she is the adult you are not. Im sorry, but this had to be said. Hope you have a good night.    Thursday 10:48pm 

THE MOTHER: well, as Hellens mother, I know that Hellen gets angry and says things she shouldnt but I also know that I kind of understand how she feels. Its not nice to keep secrets and be the target of the secrets. It is also not nice to purchase phones… for children and have them keep it s secret from their parents. But maybe thats considered the same thing they are telling Hellen….you didnt ask so we didnt tell. As a parent, I think that is unacceptable! I shouldn’t HAVE to ask my child if someone purchased her a phone or anything else. If she doesnt have one, then maybe I, as her parent, have a reason for that. You think?    Friday at 8:19am

THE MOTHER: Personally, I love Betty and I love that she is my daughters friend. And I try to stay out of Hellens business, but I still know her business at the same time….but I feel she needs to live her life and make her mistakes, I will be here to help her through tham. But I was already a teenager….I think I’ll let her be one too. However I am not sure if Betty will be allowed to remain friends with Hellen now and if not…it will not be my doing….. Friday at 8:24am ·

TEEN GIRL:  i understand and get all of that, and like i said i dont know Hellen except for passing by. But it seems to me a child should never talk to an adult the way she did alicia. Thats just my opinon. and you can let her be a teenager and at the same time have rules. Friday at 8:39am ·

THE MOTHER:  yes, I agree. She should not talk to an adult like that AND I told her that….to her face, not on fb. But as you said you dont know Hellen, NOR do you know me. However, it sounds like you have already formed an opinin of me, but I will say that I have rules! Fortunately, they donot include lying to the parents of my childs friends or sneeking around them with the “dont ask, dont tell” theory.  Friday at 11:00am ·

TEEN GIRL let me just say that I have not formed an opinin of you, i dont know you. I was simply stating that I thought it was rude for her to talk to an adult like that.   Friday at 11:33am

 ‎


Some of Our Experiences These Last Four Years

February 5, 2010

My wife and I are each in our early to mid 50s and just adopted a five and seven-year old brother and sister.  We have three bio-daughters.  Our eldest married with a four-year old son and is due to have our third grandchild in four days!   Our middle daughter is widowed (Afghanistan, that’s another story for another day) and they have a three-year old boy.   Our youngest (bio) daughter is working  and going to a local community college (the jobs is in her career field at a local hospital).

We know the family where our “new kids” came from.  Their bio parents just wore their family down with promises of we will quit doing….. we will get our life on track, etc.  The family was so put off by these two (insert negative adjective here) that when it came time for the Department of Social Services to remove the (then) two and four-year olds the maternal grandmother actually said to either put them in Foster Care or in the orphanage up state.  That’s when the mom asked DSS to check with us to see if we would be willing to care for them while they finished getting their act together.  Originally it was only supposed to be for a few months but weeks turned into months and months turned into years.    After more than a year and a half of failed drug tests, court appearances and failures to complete court ordered Anger Management classes my wife and I began to pray about the next step.   Eventually it became clear that the Lord has placed us in relationship with this family as His back-up plan for these innocent children.  So we talked to our girls and we all agreed adoption is what the Lord would have for us to do in this season of our life.   Now keep in mind we received these children under the state’s safety plan.  Which means our home is a safe place and we don’t get any money from anyone.  So automatically we needed to come up with money for pullups, wipes, extra food and all the things young children need.  The big one was the $800 a month in child care!  Ouch! 

We originally got involved with the family when our church called to ask if we would be willing to help out a single father who was raising a four months old infant.  We all talked about it and since my wife is out of school for the summer…  So we would go and pick her up at 6:15sh and bring her back in the evening about the same time.  Some times we would keep her over night and on weekends.  Not only to give him a break but we had come to love the little  baby girl too.   That was the summer of 2002 and we had no idea how providential that summer would be. 

Eventually we learned that the reason the birth father had the baby on his own was because when mom was PREGNANT with the baby she got so drunk that she ran over a guy and killed him!  What a beginning for this little girl!  So mom get’s out of prison when the girl is two, they seem to get their act together, get married, start going to church, start saying all the things people want to hear, she gets pregnant and dang if the little boy isn’t born addicted to drugs!!  Now remember, because she was drinking and doing drugs during her first pregnancy, she killed an innocent pedestrian!  But I guess that’s not a big deal because DSS let her take the baby home under the supervision of the birth-father.  Did I mention that birth-father has already confessed to DSS that he has a cocaine problem?  Unbelievable! What do you think would have happened if these two children were little puppies?  And you know what else?  The birth-mother was still on probation from her previous vehicular homicide conviction!  Why wasn’t she violated and sent back to prison?

Anyway, the birth-father says he didn’t even know the birth-mother was doing drugs (he should make a good supervisor) so he is a bit ticked off.  He won’t have anything to do with the little infant boy and I think he (the baby boy) spent most of the first two years of his life either in his crib or play pen. That is complete speculation on my part.  But I have been around a bunch of two-year olds and when he came to us he was very withdrawn, walked with his head down and barely made any sounds much less speak.

The bio parents did not passed a  drug test in three years and both were convicted (again) of domestic abuse in October of 08.  But if you ask them they will tell you “I love my kids”.  Okay, really?!  I guess I can throw in the reason Social Services finally decided to remove the children is because mom got caught driving drunk with the kids in the car!  Heck, she’s already killed one person driving drunk!  Now she has the kids in the car driving drunk!!!  I mean what does it take?  But she loves her kids?!  Right.

Anyway, I will give the mother a little bit of credit… but just a little.  It took her a few years but  eventually she relinquished her parental rights.  No one has heard from dad for quite some time.  He hasn’t been around much since the judge ordered him to take his pay stub down and sign up for child support.  That was October of 06.   But he loves his kids too!

We went to court on July 31, 2009 for a trial to decide if the dad’s parental rights will be terminated.  Everyone says it looks like a slam dunk, but I guess you never know.

As I looked back over those last twenty-six or so months I can see God’s faithful hand.  As sad as it is, for some reason it’s easier (for me) to recognise His faithfulness when it comes to finances.  How sad is that?  Coming up with the extra eight hundred dollars a month for child care in those early months was a challenge but it was always there.  I remember that first Christmas someone walked up to me at church and handed me a check for four hundred dollars and said they wanted to make sure the kids had a good Christmas.  I knew what he meant so I didn’t go into my spill about what Christmas was all about.  Then some time in 07 the transmission in my wife’s Buick Regal went out.  So since my son-in-law had been killed in action in Afghanistan that same year she began driving his Dodge truck.  It sucked the gas and that was when the gas was over $4 a gallon too!  You will never believe what happened next.  Our “new kids’ maternal aunt and uncle, who by most standards are a bit affluent had an 02 Chrysler Town and Country with AM/FM/CD/DVD/PLAY STATION II/monitors in the head rests, a thirteen inch TV that folds down from the ceiling, leather and wood trim throughout with less than seventy thousand  miles… they gave it to us!!  Well that’s not EXACTLY true.  My dad died about eight years previous to this and we had just gotten back (I mean within two weeks) from the six hundred something miles one way trip to visit my mom.  Since my dad’s estate was in Louisiana and their law is different it took some  time to settle the estate.  I have five siblings so after all was said and done my part of my dad’s estate was eight hundred twenty-four dollars.  Before these people gave us the Chrysler Town and Country they said something like, “We want to give you guys the van but we have had some work done on it at the dealer (they were going to sell it) and if you can come up with the money to pay the dealer we will give you the van.  Guess how much the dealer bill was?  Eight hundred dollars exactly… but it needed gas so we put the other twenty dollars in the tank!

Honestly, at times I do wonder… what do people who retire do with their lives?  There is so much excitement and challenges in raising children.  You have to stay active (both mentally and physically).

After all what did Jesus say, “Let the little ones come unto Me.” (my paraphrase)

I have often heard our pastor say, “God’s will done God’s way has God’s provision.”

The adoption was finalized in December 2009.  We are still waiting on all the necessary paper work for the legal name changes, etc. but life is good.  Our youngest daughter is currently taking dance  and has her first recital in May.  Our son is currently playing flag football in with our local Recreation Department.  I have been the oldest daddy on a few field trips and I look at those 20something year old parents and sort of smile to myself.

We pray that He continues to provide and that we do our best to hear His voice and to be obedient to It.


What makes our family so special?

June 30, 2009

Many of you who regularly (or even sporadically) read this Blog know that at the tender ages of 49 and 51 my Mrs. and I took custody of a (then) 2 and 4 year old brother and sister.  We are currently waiting on the final court date so the judge can change the names and finalize the adoption.

My wife and I have been married for a little over 35 years and have three grown biological daughters ages 29, 25 and 20.  We also have two grandchildren ages 3.5 and 2.5.  So now our “new kids” will be Aunt Lindsay (age 7) and Uncle Porter (age 5).   What a hoot!

There have been many challenges with our “new kids”.  Children who are the byproduct of years of neglect and abuse have (I hate this term but…) special needs.  They don’t see the world as children of an intact, healthy “normal” family.  Children who are old enough to remember their biological parents have even more issues.  They have fantasies of a miraculous biological parental healing resulting in some sort of relationship with their biological family.

We, of course, are were clueless as to these issues and how to handle them.  We are still learning and so are the kids.

Our biological daughters, their husbands and children have all been 100% supportive through the entire three year process.  In fact, we talked with them before we agreed to take Lindsay and Porter under the State Emergency Safety Plan.  Then after much prayer and discussion we talked to the girls again concerning their feelings about us adopting.  They were and still are completely supportive.

The thing that I find difficult to understand is:  “Why does everyone think that we are so “wonderful”?  I just don’t get that.  So we are not “traditional” parents at our age.  So what if we are basically giving the next 15 – 20 years of our lives to (intentionally) parent  these remarkable young children.  What else would we do?  Sit around and read books, play games, travel and just have a life of leisure?  Not likely. 

I think everyone’s life is busy.  We have just determined that our life will be busy with doing what God has ordained us to do. Who else would choose differently?


Adopted, blended family?!

June 20, 2009

 I’m just so confused about what to do.  I mean we want to allow our two “new kids” to have access to their biological cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents but at this point our little girl’s counselor says NO WAY!  

Bless her little heart she is still so confused.  A few months ago there was a big incident which I wrote about  (https://mssc54.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/i-hate-you-yuore-not-my-mommy/). 

Our little girl goes to therapy twice a month for an hour.  We’ve had both children for thirty-seven months now.  For the first year her counselor would come to our home every Monday morning and “visit” with her from eight to nine.  Now, at this point, she has “graduated” to a twice a month schedule.

Here’s the most recent quandary.  One of her maternal aunts asked if the kids could spend the night a couple of weeks ago.  Although this aunt is the sister of our new kids’ biological mother they have been pretty good at not letting bio-mom have any contact what-so-ever.  However, on this particular sleep over night our little girl’s eleven year old cousin somehow brought up bio-mom during prayer time.  So much so that when our little girl came home the next day she came up to me with a huge grin on her face and said, “Daddy, I know how to spell my other mommies name!”  Then she blurted out the proper spelling of bio-mom.  What’s even worse is that she began talking about bio-dad by name!  For about a year now she had been referring to bio-dad as “that man.”   So now she not only knows how to spell bio-mom’s name correctly but also now remembers what bio-dad’s name is!

The aunt and uncle don’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation.  “It was just a mistake.”  Well “just a mistake” had our little girl writing a letter today in her counselor’s office saying that she’s sorry her other mommy is sad because she can’t see her.  The counselor told us that she feels guilty and responsible because bio-mom is sad!

So extended bio-family just slips into their life whenever it’s convenient for them, stirs up there little hearts and causes more psychological issues and doesn’t even say “sorry!”  It was “just a mistake.”

I guess we will have to go back to how contact was in the early months.  They can talk to them on the phone while we are on the extension listening but to give them unsupervised access is out of the question.  Needless to say there won’t be any more sleep overs for a very, very long time… if ever.

A couple of things that really ticked me off:  I shot off an email to bio-aunt and  uncle.  Mater of fact here it is.

To be honest I’m a little confused and more than annoyed that “L” came home telling me that she knows how to spell her other mother’s name.  That’s never happened here and has not come up for quite some time.  Not even during to her regular hourly (weekly) counseling sessions she returned to about six weeks ago.  And talking about Gene too!  She told us (and her counselor) that she couldn’t remember “that man’s” name.  Now she spends the night with you guys and she comes home talking about Mary and Gene!!  Great!

 
I’ll just be brutally honest. I want L and P to be able to continue a relationship with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents but if it will serve to further confuse her as to who her ONLY parents are we’ll have to reevaluate that.
 
Just to be clear, I’m more than a little ticked.
 
Michael
So then bio-aunt responds:
If you are confused then ask questions.  If you’re ticked and you are, ask yourself what is at the root of the anger.  After you’ve calmed down please call me and we’ll discuss this. You might ask L how she knew how to spell Mary. There’s a perfectly good reason.

Love,

K

Later bio-uncle responds:

Michael I know that you are upset. I just heard about it tonight. L  brought it up when she was praying. She prayed for you and B then she prayed for her other mommy and daddy. That is how it all  started. That was with E when the 2 were praying before going to bed. Have you found out what happened? Have you even asked what happened? I really want to know if this is how Jesus would handle this situation? S

Are you friggn kidding me?! WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? You’re asking ME what would Jesus do?!  Coming from the biological aunt and uncle who when their niece and nephew were four and two years old would rather let them enter into Foster Care or a state run orphanage then to alter their life and take them in and raise them?!!

My (calmer) response to the bio-aunt and uncle was this.

S:

After carefully considering your and K’s response I felt as if one last response may be in order. K and your letters indicated a couple of things that deserve some clarification. It basically revolves around two things you mentioned.

1. My anger
2. What would Jesus do

First, to be clear, my irritation is not rooted in any selfish, carnal, or immature reaction. It is rooted in what is best for two children whose biological parents ejected them from theirlives because of their selfish, carnal, and immature actions. This isn’t about you or how I may feel. It is about them and what is best  not okay or good but best. Their lives are not “normal”. They are being put back together again and to be candid, everyone needs to develop some sensitivity to that concept. B and I deal with this on a day to day basis. We are talking about therapy, counselors, lawyers, DSS, judges, and it seems a little disingenuous to me that you havedifficulty understanding why that would be a sensitive subject to us. Maybe it was time you got “put out” with the people who created this situation and exercised a little bit of attention and grace to those of us who are “in the hunt” with regards to these two children’s lives.  In fact, if we had not stepped up and did as Jesus told the disciples one day “let the little ones come unto me” I dare say that none of us would know where L and P would be today.  They would be with strangers, somewhere in the United States and we all would be left to wonder the rest of our days what ever became of them.

Secondly, what would Jesus do? Are you really so blind as to ask a question like that? Are you really so self-consumed that you cannot see that you have faced that very question on numerous occasions (regarding L and P) and did not pass the test. Do I have to list the ways that you have disqualified yourself from ever asking that question? If this didn’t involve L and P, I could almost laugh at the sheer hypocrisy of that question. Their very extended family who conveniently enters and exits as time permits…asking the C’s…what would Jesus do? I think you may need to seek the Lord on this one more than I.

Having said all that, I do think there can be value in L and P maintaining a relationship with some in their biological family. However, we are the parents. Period.  This is a big, sensitiveve topic in our household; not because of our personal insecurities, but rather every health professionals’ opinion is telling us that the relationship with their biological parents is harmful. You and K are going to have to decide how you will handle this appropriately and develop better strategies of keeping L and P on target from where their support is really coming from. It is time you all made the attempt to get in the game on this one as well.  L spent the first year of her life without her “mommy” only to have her suddenly appear then over the course of the next three years of her life to have strangers (DSS) remove her from her parents twice before we were finally asked to take them.  Imagine you are a little two or three year old girl and haveto wonder if each time these “strangers” came to visit your home if they would take you away from your mommy and daddy….again.  S you can not imagine the psychological, emotional and yes even the physical problems that continue with L to this day because of the extensive neglect she suffered at the hands of those who professed to love her.  This isn’t about you…it is about them. And because of that, I will be ever vigilant to defend the defenseless.

What is really sad, is that all you or K had to do was say, “Sorry Michael, we’ll try to catch these moments and bring better direction to it”. It would have all been over and I would have had incredible respect for you both.

I guess I will take your advice and keep asking, “What would Jesus do”? I feel like I have the fruit to show I have done exactly that. Will the cardiologist check his own heart too?

Standing for the innocent.

Michael
You know in a divorce it is pretty easy to determine what everyone’s role is.  But in an adoption case like ours where the bio family did not want their young niece or nephew and the maternal grandmother actually is the person who told DSS to put them in Foster Care or the orphanage and the bio-parents then asked DSS to ask us to take them….
Well, the lines seem blurred at times.  But for now I have decided to draw the line with a Sharpie marker.  It’s going to take a very long time for the line to fade this time.
Any suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading.


Happy birthday from a TV celebrity.

June 17, 2009

If you had to guess which television celebrity would most likely send this cake to a twelve year old girl; who would be your guess?

fail owned pwned pictures


MOTHERS’ DAY 2009

May 11, 2009

You have no idea just how exactly precise the verbiage to this “cartoon” is!

So yesterday was Mothers’ Day.  Ours was quite enjoyable and a good time was had by all.  EVERYONE went over to my mother-in-laws for a back yard shindig.  Let me see if I can recall the menu: Marinated (fried) pork loin, spiral-cut honey (baked) ham, hot-dogs, pulled pork, deviled eggs, vegetable tray with that yummy dressing, sausage-baked beans, cake, ice cream, cookies and I’m probably forgetting something but it was all good!

I figure all the good mommies were addressed and affirmed yesterday.  So let me address those women who have no business reproducing.

You disgust me!  You make me sick with your selfish “it’s all about me” attitude and lifestyle!  You have a child not a frigging pet.  Well, thanks for not having an abortion but why didn’t you put the child up for adoption?  You continue doing drugs, drinking and fighting so why in the world do you keep that little human being in such an environment?  You slap them around because they try to talk or want some attention from you!  You beat the tar out of them because they did something that may make your shack-daddy want to leave you.

You are a pathetic excuse for a mother!  You SAY you love your child but your actions show that you could care less for them.  Your child is not some sort of ornament that you show off every once in a while to try to make yourself look like you have some modicum of success in your life.  EVEN A GOAT CAN GET PREGNANT AND HAVE OFFSPRING!! 

And don’t give me that crap about you have a “disease” and you can’t help your behavior either!  Fine, you have a disease.  Take you child down to Social Services and tell them that you have a disease and you need help!  But nooooooo, that might make you look like the person you truly are!

You know what?  I would rather see a woman have something happen to her that renders her unable to reproduce than to have any more of these selfish, self centered, “diseased”, abusive, drug addicted, alcoholic females bear a child into the lifestyle they lead!

NOW PUT DOWN THE BOTTLE, THE WEED, THE CRACK PIPE OR WHATEVER YOUR MOOD/MIND ALTERING SUBSTANCE IS AND TAKE YOUR ABUSED AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN DOWN TO SOCIAL SERVICES.  

That may be the best thing you ever do for them!

END RANT