Our lives have been consumed by paperwork, school, and photo shoots to pay for said paperwork.
The paperwork started with getting approved by our home study agency and the placement agency (two different agencies---home study agency is local). To make sure we aren't serial killers and that sort of thing. Part of the approval process was begging people that we think like us okay to write nice things to the agency. A portion of the reference letter asked for "talents/skills" for the husband and wife individually (should I be scared to know what people filled in about me?? Possibly "finds trash and sells it" would be frowned on). I will not name names, but after we had been approved, one of these very kind friends called me to say that she and her husband had a difficult time coming up with "talents/skills" for Zak, bless his heart. Her husband mentioned that he "makes a mean cherry pie" (true) and then "is obedient to what his wife tells him to do" (not a talent AND makes me sound a bit abusive). I love our friends. Also, for the record, while Zak isn't usually the one to dream up projects or crazy ideas, he is talented enough to execute them. So there.
Besides paperwork, we also had to have a couple of doctor's appointments-physicals-and blood work (let's not talk about it. It's making me sweat just thinking about the pain) to ensure we aren't carrying around crazy diseases.
Side note: I read somewhere many years ago that if you redirect the pain to another area of your body, the pain that you really feel will dull. It doesn't make a ton of sense, but let's go with it. And in case you haven't figured it out, needles = death. IMHO. Because I'm brilliant, I went with the whole redirect the pain idea (and still do, frankly), and chose to dig my fingernails into my forehead (the consequences of this did not occur to me--I was young and my frontal lobe wasn't fully developed. Or something like that.) Over Christmas break from college, I had to get blood drawn for some reason I can't remember (it must have been serious, because, NEEDLES!) and when I walked out with fingernail marks across my forehead, my mother informed me that she was embarrassed to be seen with me. Now that's love. But it was a good lesson (mother knows best, right STOREY??!?!) and since then I've been pinching myself in more discreet places.
In other news, we've started our annual "apply for grants to pay for Jak's therapy" party a little early this year because once we get our home study back (should be mid-October), we'll have about 20 adoption grants to apply for. Many people say they apply for 20 grants and only receive one for $1000. But hey, that's $1000 I didn't have before. Good thing I was obsessed with applying for scholarships my senior year in high school and have lots of practice with this sort of thing. And that most of these grant applications look about the same. Too bad there's no "copy/paste" function in my pen. Technology has spoiled me. I will say that its a million times easier to find grant information now that Google has been invented (though part of the scholarship fun was the thrill of digging through the school counselor's file cabinets, which I'm sure the internet has eliminated). Googling is one of my talents (did anyone mention this in the "talents/skills" section of their reference letter to the agency???!??!).
This summer, I convinced a friend of mine to teach the kids piano. Though she wasn't sure she would like teaching or be good at it (she's great!!) she has since picked up several more piano students. Like, all of her afternoons are now full of piano lessons. Another friend (a talented seamstress and former home ec teacher) was trying to come up with a way to earn some extra money and I laid out a plan for her to teach a class on sewing while we were at a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. Zak says I need to start selling my business ideas instead of giving them away for free. Ha.
The kids like piano and are doing well. All of the banging in the afternoon can sometimes give me a bit of a headache while I'm cooking dinner, but we all have to make sacrifices. I can think of much worse instruments. Storey doesn't exactly stick to the prescribed practice songs. She enjoys making up her own songs and the words to go with them. We are used to this as she makes up songs all day long. Especially when she is going to the bathroom.
Last Sunday I was asked to sub for the Primary chorister at the last minute. I walked in to the Primary room just as the teacher was talking to the kids about being honest and why they should be honest. Storey raised her hand and informed the Primary that when she tells lies her mom washes her mouth out with soap. So she doesn't want to lie anymore. I got a couple of looks, but just said, "Dang straight, I do" Storey realized I was in there and came over to give me big hugs and kisses. Feeling repentant for telling on me?
Children do make life interesting.