Well, we have survived June. A lot has happened. Darik's dad went in for some tests on his heart and needed a triple bypass. He went in on the 23rd and he had a great surgery. Darik has been trying to be up in Idaho Falls as much as his schedule allows to help. I would like to go up and help as well, but I thought that an extra three rugrats would hinder more than help, so we're waiting for him to be in a little better shape before we bring the rest of us around.
Darik has also just finished his MBA advanced finance class. It was a really hard class and as a result of that we ended up having a lot of discussions about if he wants the kind of job you usually get with an MBA = financial analysis, accounting, supply chain support, etc. The answer was no. As a result of how the class turned out and our discussions we've decided to switch majors. Beginning in fall he will start a Masters in Athletic Administration. They will count his MBA courses as electives towards graduation so we only lost one semester in the change. I think it will be a good switch, it fits Darik so much better and his goal is to be an Athletic Director or Assistant Athletic Director someday . . . we're having a hard time remembering why we didn't choose this degree in the first place. I guess it takes a bad grade sometimes to figure out where you're supposed to be.
Another thing that has happened is foster drama. On the 19th was the one year anniversary of their official placement in our home. I can't believe it's been a WHOLE year. I can't believe we have fit a family of 5 with 3 carseats in our Sonata sedan. We have resisted getting a minivan because the kids were always supposed to be moving out in just "3 more months" or something. Well for dang sure if we find out we get to adopt them that is my first order of business = buy a minivan!
We had some drama with the dad about a month ago, one day he came over to drop some birthday presents off for Stina. He had his psycho girlfriend with him (he knows I don't like her, and I've told him before she can't be around the kids) anyways she barged her way into my house and boy was I not a happy foster momma. Then we were supposed to have a hearing for termination of parental rights on the 23rd. It got bumped to the 30th. Then on the 26th they had a pre-trial hearing and the mom got a new lawyer that's a pitbull and they filed all these crazy petitions, including immediate removal of the kids from foster care and guardianship being granted to a friend of the family. They requested a new date for the new lawyer to familiarize herself with the case . . . and it was moved to July 17th. Then they filed another petition to have Judge Murray kicked off the case . . . which - sheesh people, he's the best family judge in the state! Anyways, I spent over an hour on the phone with the prosecutor and after talking to me he did indicate that I'll be subpoena'd for testifying. I'm actually really nervous. They say that usually you can tell which way the case can go but they've said this one is 50/50. The mom has a chance of getting them back because she has been so stable (job, apartment, etc.) for 12 months and she has done everything that's been asked of her (clean drug tests, parenting classes, etc.). And compared to how I feel the dad has treated us the last 3 months, she does look like parent of the year -- but I still feel that we should keep these kiddies. I know I've lost my unbiased point of view . . . but I cannot handle knowing that Christian would leave my house and I would never see him again. The attachment between Stina & I isn't as strong but we are getting a lot better.
Just so you know this is how the process goes: the hearing will probably take two days, one for each side of the case; then the judge has 30 days from that point to make a ruling; if he rules for termination full rights are then passed to the state; then they have a committee meeting to choose which families get to adopt the kids; if they choose us we still have to go through all the legal paperwork of actually adopting the kids; during that point we find out if we can continue to receive any subsidies at all through the state (sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't - usually for special/high needs children); then (I don't know how long) we have to wait a while after that until we can bring em to the temple for a sealing.
There's quite a bit hanging in the balance, not only if I'll be able to adopt two kids and have them sealed to me . . . and not only the minivan! But I feel strongly that I would like to raise Christian in Pocatello. He NEEDS the support that scouts, a good ward, tons of good influences from the Church, etc. can have on him. I wouldn't hesitate raising Ellie in Alabama or South Carolina because I think she has such a strong foundation; but Christian's biggest problem is that he's a follower and thrives on any kind of approval that he can find. And if we end up staying here I would like to move to a different neighborhood that has LOTS of young families with lots of kids his age in the ward. He doesn't have ONE other kid his age in our ward, and the kids his age in the neighborhood are punks. I'd really like it that when I sent him out to play with friends I wouldn't have to worry if they were going to get hit by cars or set something on fire. We'll see what happens but my friend Janna has a house in the neighborhood I grew up in (Paradise Acres) and it's a really nice, family-based neighborhood. When her husband graduates next year they said they'd sell it to us for what they owe on it. We'll see if that works out but that's kind of the plan.
So for now we are just . . . waiting.