Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Time Flies

Well, it has been a while since I last posted. So much has happened since then (I guess that's why it's been a while!). Let's see....Clarissa had her party on the 17th and it was absolutely wonderful. A princess party for a deserving princess. She loved it and so did we! The 20th was TAKS testing and that was quite a day! My last tester finished at 5:05 and considering that we couldn't sit down and had to actively monitor......my feet were KILLING me at that point! I came home and found my happy face because that day was also the day that Clarissa actually turned 6. We took her to O'hana Japanese Steak House for dinner and we all had a ball. Unfortunately, on that day, my parents lost someone very dear to them.....their dog Shorty. He had been a member of our family for 15 years and helped my parents through the death of my brother, my Mom's cancer diagnosis, my Dad's heart problems, not to mention, he helped them welcome the birth of my two children and three great-grandsons. It has been a very sad time for them and in turn for me. I didn't tell Jonathon and Clarissa until the 21st and Jonathon took it very hard. Clarissa has been asking a whole lot of questions about death and tells me that she doesn't want to die. I know it's a scary thing to understand at the ripe old age of 6. Jonathon had a gymnastics meet this past Saturday and I am proud to report that he brought home a silver and two bronze medals. I am so proud of him. I love watching him compete and my heart swells when I see him on the medals stand. We have now started a new week and tomorrow is already Wednesday! Wow.....where does the time go?

All I know is.....I have ELEVEN days until my family along with my Sister and nephew embark on a vacation together to the mountains. I can't wait. We plan on doing absolutely nothing that requires much thought! Her life is extremely busy as a successful business owner and I will have probably received our TAKS scores back right before we leave and God knows...I'm sure to need a vacation after that news! Not to mention....sometime in the next 11 days, this ole' gal will turn 41! I remember when that seemed so old! All I can say is.......time flies!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February 13, 2001

Wow! It is so hard to believe that it's been six years! Six years ago today my husband walked into my office and shared some news with me that changed my life forever. Now, please know that at the time, it was the busiest day at my office that we had had in five years. We were going through a NATIONAL audit and I was extremely stressed. He strolled in and said "Let's go to lunch". I thought he'd lost his mind! I snapped (as I'm sure you can imagine) that I was too busy to go to lunch. He soon got a very serious look on his face and said "THEY CALLED". They? I didn't have a clue who he was talking about. He said it again and stared deep into my eyes. "They???? You mean....the baby?" Yes, the baby. Jonathon had been praying for TWO years for a sister and now the adoption agency had called! Sal said the birthmom THOUGHT it was a girl and I said I KNOW it is. "So when is she due" I asked. Sal replied, the 27th. Still not all together, I asked the 27th of what? He said THIS 27th. My head felt like a tornado was in it. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! We were expecting a baby in TWO weeks! Well, those of you that know the rest of the story know that our little gift came ONE week later!

I'll never forget going online that very evening to purchase her bedding - even though we didn't have a nursery put together. I wanted the "girliest" thing possible and found it. White eyelet with BIG pink satin bows. We already had a name because her brother had told us what it would be....Clarissa Faith. There was so much to do to prepare for her that I really had no idea where to start. All I know is, I did good to function.

The week that followed included meeting her birthmom. We drove to Abilene and had lunch with Cristina at the Spaghetti warehouse. I felt so grateful to her but had such a sadness for her. She had lived such a hard life. I remember leaving Abilene and praying to God to protect my baby. MY baby.....wow! No one knows what it is like to adopt unless you've been there. My baby...I was driving away and leaving my baby in another woman's womb and trusting her, whom I didn't even know, to give her life. Truthfully, it is an emotional rollercoaster that is not for the weak of heart but it is worth the ride!

When we returned home, we finally told Jonathon (this was on a Friday). He couldn't wait! We finished out the week trying to take care of things at work and then with rocket speed, prepare our home for our new daughter. Well, the week went by quickly and sure enough she came early.

As I reflect back, since that time, I have always seen February 13 as a special day. It is the day that my life was changed forever. I think about where God has taken us during these last 6 years. Clarissa.....what a blessing it is being her Mom. She makes me laugh, cry, pray, and watch in awe as she develops into her own little person. Has it been an easy six years? Absolutely not! Would I trade it? Absolutely not! I often joke that my laundry hasn't been caught up since that day in February 2001 when they called us and my life went into a whirlwind. Well, tonight it is still in piles but she is growing up, right before my eyes, and one of these days.....I'll get to the laundry. Until then.....I'll continue to thank God for that call that came 6 years ago today and for Cristina, who saw in us, what she wanted for this little girl.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Soaps, Pits, & Aromas....Can you smell me now?

Yes! That was the title of Jonathon's Science Fair project that WE worked on until 1:00 A.M. Sunday morning. Only.....one part of the WE went to bed at 9:00. Yesterday was the judging and unfortunately, WE lost the bacterial battle! Our, I mean Jonathon's project is not advancing on. :( A friend of mine called me from his school today to "prepare" me for the news of the loss. I wasn't surprised and thought she was being sarcastic....she wasn't! She was so down because Jonathon didn't place!! She said she had checked on him twice today at school to make sure he wasn't depressed over the loss.....he wasn't. However, she didn't feel any better. As much as I would have loved for him to go on...I kind of knew that it wasn't going to happen. I just wanted him to participate this year. My friend says we're going for the KILL next year. She already has planted an idea in his head dealing with TOILETS!!!! He loved the idea! So....WE have a year to prepare for this one. Hopefully next time, I'll get to bed a little earlier! Until then, if anyone wants to know whether antibacterial soap (Dial) or regular soap (Ivory) works to take off the bacteria that causes you to smell when you sweat.......use antibacterial! Smell you later!

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Well, if I've ever come close to living my worst nightmare it was today. Actually, just about two hours ago! Sal picks up the kids after school and brings them to me at my school. Although I love teaching where I teach, it is not the safest neighborhood. As a matter of fact, it probably has one of the highest drug dealers/users/etc. rates as well as registered sex offenders in the neighborhood. The crime rate is certainly nothing to write home about and the apartments right in our back yard has been home to several murders.....YES MURDERS!!!!! My classroom is in a portable which is not connected to the building. However, you walk out my door and go straight down the sidewalk about 25 steps and you are in the building RIGHT by the restrooms. Clarissa asked today at 4:25 if she could go to the restroom. I said yes, she always goes and comes right back.....no big deal! Right after she left, I went into the building to make copies. I returned at 4:45 and Jonathon said she had never returned. A little panic set in but not too bad because she also goes over to visit the Math teacher in the portable next to me so Jonathon ran over there to see if she was in there. I felt certain she was. I WAS WRONG!!!!! Fear, panic, pain, you name, went through my body. I ran into the building, called into the bathroom...no Clarissa. By this time, the Math teacher and Jonathon had rounded up a few more teachers and we searched the building...inside and out.....one teacher got on the PA for an all call.....no Clarrisa. I opened the back door of the school and all I could see were those apartments and I SCREAMED her name......no Clarissa. At this point, Jonathon has said he would go back and stand by my room in case she showed up there. I ran to the other side of the building (meanwhile EVERY teacher remaining at school is searching) and the Math teacher came around the corner and said he had seen her at the corner of the building and she was running around to the front. One of the other teachers, upon her orders to grab her, ran out the side door to find the MAINTENANCE MAN and the CUSTODIAN standing in front of the building with her. THEY had intercepted her in front of the school! The teacher brought her to me and my knees were weak, I could barely see her because of the tears, and I wanted to hug her and beat her at the same time!!!! Once I reached her, the look on her face told me that she KNEW she was in trouble. I looked at the clock and it was 5:00. She had been OUTSIDE for at least 30 minutes!!! The thoughts raced through my head of what could have happened to her and I cried more. Jonathon met me in the hall, running, crying, so I cried some more. I seriously thought that someone had taken my baby. I can not think of another time in my life that I have been that scared. Needless to say, discipline has been handed out and I have attempted to explain to my almost 6 year old the dangers of that neighborhood but still in her innocence, she doesn't believe me. She told me that she was pretending to take a trip and told me everywhere she had wandered during her little excursion. I could have lived without knowing the details. All I know is that I ran through those halls, praying to God that she was OK. Praise HIM that she is OK.