And She Lived…











It’s the last day of November which means an end to NaBloPoMo. Ya, I am glad to put an end to that. And for those who subscribe to my blog, I am sure you are glad to see an end to it as well. Nope, I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. Over and over I have had a tendency to put undue pressure on myself when it comes to blogging. Over and over again I tell myself I won’t pressure myself again. But I keep doing it anyway. Blogging reflects my life in that way. Taking on things I know I shouldn’t, but doing it anyway.

There is one thing that I wonder whether or not I should take on. Something I have been thinking about for a very long time now. That thing is a second adoption. While right now isn’t the right time to bring another child into our family, due to financial issues and getting Meechi started in all his therapies and school, I still think about it. It is something we really want to do. Meechi’s adoption took 15 months from start to finish. That is time from signing the contract to him actually arriving in our home. I think about where we will be 15 months from now and I think the timing for bringing another little one into our home would be pretty good then. I will have finished school and hopefully started a new job. Meechi will hopefully be caught up with some of his developmental skills and happy in his 2nd year of pre-k by then. So, the timing feels right. Also, it seems that adoption is taking longer these days, so it could be even longer than 15 months this time around and that would be ok too.

We are not jumping right into adoption. Instead we are going to go sort of slow with things this time. Lesson learned! At this point we are not even sure where we will adopt from. Our most likely choice at this point is actually US foster care. We were afraid to go that route the first time. Afraid of the emotional and mental damage that has been done to those children. See how naive we were back then? To not realize that the same is true for any orphan, anywhere. Of course we also wanted a baby back then, anddidn’t think we could adopt one from here through foster care. I do know that it is harder to adopt a baby when you go that route. We don’t want a baby this time around. Give me a child that has some emotional trauma, as long as he is potty trained and can talk! I know that sounds like I am diminishing the importance of a child’s emotions, but honestly if Meechi could talk it would make everything he has to deal with SO much easier.

One thing that we were a bit disillusioned on before adopting was thinking that babies do not suffer all the emotional and mental damage that older children do. We did not realize that it was possible for a baby to experience RAD. We know better now. We know full well that a child of any age will experience trauma from being abandoned by their birth family and from life in the system. Whatever system they happen to be stuck in. Meechidoes not have RAD, he attached to us quite easily. He does have separation anxiety though. I can not leave the room without him following me everywhere I go. If he doesn’t see me leave the room, when he realizes I am gone he screams in terror. If Hank tries to take him somewhere without me he reaches back in the door screaming “mommy! mommy!” because he doesn’t want to leave without me. If I go somewhere without him it leads to a meltdown as well. (first few days of preschool ought to be fun, eh?) Well, the point is that we understand a lot more now. We are better prepared for what to expect.

Sometime after the first of the year we are going to start doing the PS-MAPP training. (PS-MAPP stands for Partnering for Safety and Permanence Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) This is the required classes for people to adopt from foster care here in Ks. In this course we will learn about loss, attachment, managing behavior, birth family connections, and how to help children transition into their new family. Even if we decide not to adopt from foster care and do adopt from another country, this class will be helpful. It is what I think all prospective adoptive parents should do. No matter where they choose to adopt from. I truly believe it should be required for anyone entering into adoption.

When we decided to adopt the first time it never entered our minds that we would ever want to do it again. We simply wanted another child. A son that the two of us could raise together. It is because of our amazing son that we want to adopt again. He has brought so much into our lives that he has us craving more. We want another child to love and care for. Another child to bring more joy into our lives. Also, we want our son to have a sibling closer to his own age. He loves his brother and sister but there is such a big age gap. We think he would benefit from having a brother closer in age. Yes, we want another boy. I am just not a princess and ruffles kind of person. Besides, as I parent a teenage girl I realize that I don’t want to live with the worries I have over her again with another child.

Today is also the last day of adoption awareness month. That is the reason I have chosen to announce our plans to adopt again in the not too distant future. I want to share the magic of adoption with everyone. We have gone through the trials of adopting through an unethical adoption agency, getting less than average treatment from adoption coordinators, losing a job due to the adoption, huge financial setbacks, unexpected developmental delays in our son, living every day with his SPD issues… and we want to adopt again. If we can make that decision then I hope we can inspire at least one more family to adopt. There are thousands of children out there who need parents to love them. They are hurting andsuffering from loss. They aren’t perfect, but neither is any of us. I truly hope some of you will find it in your hearts to consider adoption.

al    oli

 

        co-ma

ty   da                                                      vjjjjj

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{November 25, 2008}   A Very Good, Really Nice Day

Yesterday I had such a great day with Meechi. We read books, we played outside for an hour (weather was nice for this time of year) without encountering any dogs, we read books without having to read EVERY book we own, and he even ate after a near 2 week hunger strike. Ya, it was a great day! If you want to know more about the hunger strike or what the big deal about dogs is, you can read about all that at Life With Meechi.

But for now, enjoy these photos of our wonderful day.

 

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{November 24, 2008}   Just Let Me Do It!

See that title up there? That is what I wanted to shout at my husband today. He went out for coffee and came home with Christmas presents. Doesn’t sound like a problem does it? Ya, well it was.

You see, I went shopping for coats for the kids the other day and while we were at Gordman’s the kids saw some thigns they wanted. Shy has been wanting a keyboard and they had a pretty nice one for a decent price. As she was looking at it, Bucky saw a drum pad thing and he wanted it. Since I was struggling with finding stuff for him it was perfect that he pointed something out. Of course Shy and Bucky didn’t want Meechi left out of their little band and they saw a toy guiter that would be perfect for him. Naturally, I told the hubby about all this later and we planned to go back and get all this for the kids.

Well…. today while going for coffee, he decided to go to Gordman’s himself. He came home with Shy’s keyboard, no drum pad and an Elmo guitar. Elmo? Really? Yuck! I did not want to get Meechi a baby guitar. I wanted something that looked real so he would feel like he was actually doing what the big kids were doing. (sigh) When I asked about the drum pad he said he didn’t find it. I asked him where he looked. In the toy section was his answer. That is another reason why I wanted to go get this stuff. It wasn’t in the toy section. It was on a display table near little girl’s clothes.

This isn’t the first time he’s taken it upon himself to shop for something I wanted to buy myself. Last year I wanted to get Meechi the Fisher Price farm. Hank said he would pick it up for me since I had to work and he was on 2nd shift at the time. I said ok and trusted him to get what I wanted. He came home with the Fisher Price zoo. No, he didn’t get confused at the difference between a farm and a zoo. Once he got to the store he decided he liked the zoo better, so that’s what he bought. Never mind the fact that I had already picked out the farm. He had already picked most of Meechi’s gifts, and that one was supposed to be one that I got to pick out. grrrr!

So did I shout at him? No. I simply said “oh, that’s cute” to the stupid guitar. Then I drug him across town to Toys R Us and got Bucky a drum pad there. I wanted to look at the store and find out where they were putting all the stuff that’s going to be on sale on Black Friday anyway. I need to know exactly where to find what I need at 5am Friday. The drum pad we got Buck was $15 cheaper than the one I was going to get him. It only has 5 pads instead of 8, but I think it’s fine and he’ll like it. We also got him a skateboard. It’s pretty cool. I was going to get him one that going to be on sale on Friday (ya, i got sneak peek at the ad, more on that in my next post). I looked at them and they were ok, but then I found this one and it was too cool to resist. It comes with 2 different decks and 2 sets of wheels so he actually will build it himself and can change out the deck or wheels whenever he wants.

I think from now on, when I find something I want to get the kids I will keep it to myself and just go get it on my own.



{November 13, 2008}   He’s Just At a Tough Age

We are deep into our Christmas shopping. Which basically means that we are buying one or two presents a week until the big day arrives. We started in early October, so we’re almost half way through. The problem is, the present count is really lopsided right now.

Since Meechi is only two, shopping for him is easy. It’s too easy actually. There are way too many toys and things geared toward the preschool crowd. Which means right now he is in the lead on the present count. That’s not too big of a deal because his birthday is three days after Christmas, so anything over the number the other kids get just gets set back for a few days until his bday.

Shy is actually pretty easy to buy for as well. Some clothes, a couple of CD’s (no she does not have an IPOD and I don’t intend to buy her one anytime soon), a bit of jewerly, and a couple of books. Give her all that and she’s a happy girl. Her present count is just a couple under Meechi’s right now.

Bucky. Oh, Bucky! His present count it low. Way low. It is just too hard to shop for a twelve year old boy. What the heck do they want anyway? He’s too old to have much of an interest in toys. There are still a few that he likes. Like those little tech deck finger skateboards. You know, you can take the wheels off and put on new ones. Whatever, I don’t get it really, but he likes them and so do a bunch of other boys at his middle school. Of course I can’t just buy him those. He also loves video games, but I am not buying him a ton of those when he already has a ton and wastes too much of his time playing video games anyway. The only books he’s into right now is the Twilight series and Shy has those so he can just read hers. He’s certainly not into clothes right now. He’s just at a tough age to buy for!

I am on a search for a great gift idea for a tween boy. There has to be something. Any suggestions?



{November 8, 2008}   A Day Late, But What The Heck

I just found a flashback friday post that I wanted to take part in over at Storing Up Treasures In Heaven. She asked that If you are an adoptive family and have a referral photo…. please share it with us…. and put the link of your post below, so we can all visit your blog and see the beautiful children God has given you

It’s perfect timing for this post in our home because tomorrow will be the day that Meechi has been home with us for a year and a half.

It’s hard to believe that it was almost two years ago that we received that first photo of Meechi. The first thing we noticed was his huge smile. My husband made the comment that any kid that could smile like that while living life in an orphanage had to be a happy, playful little guy. I wasn’t sure about that, but I did see a smile that held a lot of personality. I saw eyes that sparkled with life and joy.

We had friends and family that tried to convince us not to accept his referral. We heard things like “he doesn’t look healthy,  he’s so pale” and “look at his hair, it’s so thin and patchy”. None of their words got to us though. We knew. Somehow we just knew that this boy would light up our lives like no other. He has done just that. The magic of his smile and laughter, the beauty of life and love in his eyes, have lit up our lives and brought us joy beyond what we imagined.

                                                             ilyas

Oh! and let’s not forget about his golden skin and massive head full of hair! Pale? Thin patchy hair? HA!



{November 6, 2008}   Almost Beyond Hope

I am beyond frustrated with the people who are supposed to be helping my son. Insurance has denied coverage for Meechi’s physical and occupational therapy. I just don’t understand this. Meechi is 35 months old and his evalutaions found him to be at a 26 month level. He is nearly a year behind and insurance DENIES him help. How the hell do they justify this??? He has been diagnosed with SPD. He needs an occupational therapist to assist in giving him the therapy he needs to overcome this. He NEEDS help and support to learn how to simply live with what the rest of us accept as normal. And insurance DENIES him that help!

I’ll be totally honest here and admit that right now my kids are on medicaid. When I lost my job we lost our insurance. My husband has not been at his job long enough to qualify for insurance yet. So in the meantime we have had to seek some help so the kids will be covered. We go without insurance for ourselves.

If THIS is what government regulated health care is… if it is denying a child the services he desperately needs…….   well, we’re all pretty much screwed aren’t we? If the future of our country is having someone in power who wants to put the government in charge of healthcare…….  will any special needs child be allowed the services they need?

I’m worried, and I’m pissed off. I’m sad and I’m frustrated. I am confused and I’m almost beyond hope.

All I want is something simple. Help for my son. Why? Why will they not help my son?



{October 22, 2008}   SPD Awareness

October is Sensory Processing Disorder awareness month. It is also breast cancer awareness month,  National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, National Brain Injury Awareness Month, energy awareness month, Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month, domestic violence awareness month, National disability employment awareness month, national home indoor air quality Action & awareness month and I am sure a few more that I am not aware of. With all these “awareness month” things out there it is hard to believe that any of them actually get much focus and gain much awareness by the general population. Okay, breast cancer awareness is huge on a national level this month and that is a really good thing. But what about the lesser known issues that share October as their “awareness month”?

This is why I want to bring a little attention to Sensory Processing Disorder. If you were a reader of The Bitter Ball then you might remember me mentioning that we believed Meechi had SPD. He received the official diagnosis a couple of months ago.

I had never even heard of SPD until I came across a post on one of the adoption groups I am a member of. A woman was talking about certain behaviors her daughter had and that they were because of her SPD. Well, the behaviors were the exact things I had been seeing with Meechi and suddenly there was an explanation for things that had been a mystery to me up until that point.

I am not going to try to explain the technical details of SPD. I wouldn’t do it justice I am sure. Please check out the SPD Foundation for that. What I am going to do instead is describe some of the sensory issues that Meechi has and how they affect his day to day living.

  • When he is off the ground he feels complete terror. This is an irrational fear of falling. Even if he is safely in our arms he is afraid he will fall unless he is held very close. We can not lift him up above our heads like many people do when playing with their toddler. It terrifies him. He can not sit in a swing at the park because it terrifies him. (this is not from the motion of the swing but the simple fact of being a few feet off the ground)
  • Certain clothing bothers him to wear. If his pants legs ride up on him it bothers him and he will completely obsess on it until the problem is fixed. He actually will scream and cry while pulling at his pants leg trying to fix it. Nothing will distract him from the fact that the pants leg is up and as soon as it is fixed he goes about whatever he was doing as though nothing happened. The same thing will happen if long sleeves ride up his arm. It is almost impossible for him to wear a mid length sleeve shirt without him obsessing over the sleeves.
  • He seeks or avoids oral sensation. I know it sounds crazy but he both seeks and avoids oral sensory input. He will lick his hand to get the sensation on his tongue. He avoids things like tooth-brushing. I have mentioned the hand licking before, it caused him to get impetigo. The tooth-brushing thing is hard on both of us. I literally have to hold him down to brush his teeth while he cries and fights the whole time. I hate doing it but I don’t want his teeth to rot, so I have to.
  • Over sensative to auditory input. This simply means that he hates loud noises or excess background noise. Remember that photo of me and the kids at dinner on the cruise? The one where Meechi had a dvd player in front of him. That is a necessity in almost any crowded place. It helps him to block out the background noise. Otherwise he would be holding his ears and growling. Places with too much background noise are overstimulating for him and he doesn’t know how to handle it.
  • Certain touches bother him. A light touch or tickle might feel kind of funny for most of us, but for Meechi they are beyond annoying. This kind of touch really bothers him. There are many ways we play with our toddlers that involve light touch or tickling and this is one way I simply can not play with my son. This little piggy? Nope, can’t do it. He hates for his toes to be touched. He does respond well to deep pressure touches. This means I get to have really great big bear hugs, so that’s a plus. One example of light vs deep touch comes when washing his hair. If I use a small cup to pour water on his head to rinse he screams and fights me. However if I use a small bucket and dump it on his head all at once his response is much less severe. He still does not really like it, but the deeper pressure of more water being poured on his head at once is less bothersome.
  • He can not stand to be leaned backwards. This leads me to more on hair washing. I can NOT tip him back to rinse his hair. Tipping back will send him in to a total freakout. Not a good thing to have in a bathtub. I learned this lesson quickly when we went from rinsing, to him nearly drowning himself in a twisting motion that flipped him face first in the water in an attempt to get out of the leaned back position. I also learned that if I am holding him I need to squat down to pick something up because if I lean down it tips him back and again we have freak out.

There are a few other sensory issues that he has that affect his day to day life, but I think the list above gives you a good picture. There are times that we will be in public and he will have what looks to everyone around us like a temper tantrum. It isn’t. It is my son reacting to some sensory input that his brain just can not process in the correct way. We get stares and looks and whispers. I know strangers often think my son is a spoiled brat. They are so very wrong. My son is a good, sweet boy with a disorder that is beyond his control. Something to think of the next time you see a child having a “temper tantrum” in public.

For Meechi SPD was caused by a lack of sensory stimulation in his first year of life. He spent those first 15 months in an orphanage where sensory input was almost non existent. The children there simply do not get the touch, motion, sights, sounds and smells that a child would normally receive. This is why SPD is common in adopted children. Especially those coming from an institutionalized environment like an orphanage.



Bucky’s hockey season starts tonight. This is his 9th year playing. Wow, that doesn’t seem possible. It’s true though. He has been playing since he was four. The hubby was saying just a couple days ago how it’s only going to be about a year and 2 months before Meechi is old enough to play. He is incredibly excited about that idea. Of course, really it is only a year because he doesn’t actually have to be 4, he just has to be 4 by January of the current hockey season. With a December 28 b-day he falls right under the cut off date.

Anyway…. I was talking about Bucky. I have seen so many changes in him this year. He is starting to get tall, he will have caught up to me soon. (Shy is already passing me) He is also starting to become more centered on his friends than he used to be. I am afraid we are starting to become the boring parents that it’s not fun to hang out with. At least he waited until he was 12, since Shy hit that phase at about 11. Bucky is also noticing girls now too. Well, I think he’s noticed them for some time but is just finally at a point that he is comfortable admitting it. He will only tell me and his sister though, and we are not to mention it to the
Stad (step + dad = stad). He got some serious teasing from his Stad about a girl he had a crush on in Kindergarten and hasn’t forgotten about that yet.

The other thing that I have really noticed about Bucky getting older is how much his feet have grown. He wore a size 4 shoe all summer. When we went to buy his new shoes for school (that was quite an adventure by the way) we ended up having to get him a 5 1/2. Now with hockey season upon us, this major foot growth meant new skates. Fortunately he fits in to my old skates, so I just gave him those. They are boys hockey skates anyway and they are barely used. Back when the kids were really little and I was still married
to Mr. Wrong, I decided it would be fun to learn to skate and maybe even play hockey myself. Ha! I was totally wrong. Skating is hard and hockey is even harder. Totally not fun for me at all. So, I leave it to the guys in my life. Well, Shy played too for about 5 years. She started at age 4 as well. After a few years she decided she wanted to be a cheerleader. Now she can’t stand cheerleaders and wears odd clothes, has hair in her face and has become a “drama kid”. (it fits… she is very dramatic anyway) Hmm…. what was my point? Oh, yeah. So Bucky now has my barely used skates to wear on hockey nights when he is with us.

He always has 2 sets of hockey gear. One at our house and one at his dad’s. We don’t want to have to worry about lugging everything  back and forth. Also if we don’t have to deal with handing off the gear, then we don’t have to deal with each other. During an average year I would say Mr. Wrong and I say less than 200 words to each other. (and 200 might be a bit high of a guess) We like it that way. Bucky has hockey two nights a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Since he is with Mr. Wrong on Tuesdays he goes with him and wears the gear from his house. The guy actually bought the kid all new gear this year which is shocking since he had him wear pants that were way too small, and therefor dangerous, a  couple of years ago. That was the year we went to Kazakhstan and before I left I sent the pants we had that fit and offered much more protection with him to his dad’s. The next year he had new pants over there. (i think i made him feel like the putz he was by sending pants that would be safer for our son) So, anyway, we take Bucky to hockey on Thursdays. So even though this is his first night, we won’t actually go until Thursday. The first couple of practices are brutally boring anyway. Actually, all practices are boring but we stick around since it’s easier to stay than drive home and then turn right around a few minutes later and drive back. The games are fun to watch though.

Mr. Wrong and I have this sort of unspoken understanding that we won’t go to anything that happens to fall on the other persons day with the kids. At least not things that are a recurring event like sports. When it is a one time thing then we suck it up and simply sit as far away from each other as possible. This is for things like Shy’s plays and concerts. Of course this year we didn’t have to go on the same night since the high school production of Parade ran for three days straight.

I am just not feeling this whole high school thing. I have issue after issue accepting Shy being in high school and all that that entails. It really has nothing to do with the fact that she is actually old enough to be in high school though. Even though I tend to say things like, “I can’t believe my daughter is in high school. I feel so old,” I don’t actually feel old becuase of that. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know this was coming. I have had 14 years to get used to the idea. High school is just so different now from when I went. It’s like a full time job now. More than full time really. Well, this subject is all a whole other post of it’s own. So I will leave it for that.

There are times when I stop and think about how we can’t keep avoiding each other (mr wrong and i). Eventually we need to get over all the crap we have put each other through over the years. (although anything i did was totally justified and he is just an ass… ya, i know i gotta work on this attitude too) If nothing else we certainly need to become civil with each other by the time Shy gets married. I keep thinking that is years and years away, but I always thought high school and dating was too. But here we are. I’ve thought many times about sitting down with Mr. Wrong and his wife and having a discussion about putting our past in the past and keeping it there. I have been thinking about it for years actually. I even mentioned it to him once about a year ago. But then something will inevitably happen that gets one of us mad at the other and any thoughts of talking fly out the window.

So how did a post that started off being about Bucky and the new hockey season end up being more about the horrible relationship I have with my ex? Probably because this is one of the times of year that I feel like we are failing our kids in this area. It would be nice for the kids if Mr. Wrong and I could get along. At least be able to have a conversation. Hockey season is one of those times that it is really obvious that we can’t. It  is something we need to work together to change. I think that’s the biggest problem, we need to work together. How do you work together on being able to do things… together???



{October 10, 2008}   A Date

Shy has a date for the homecoming dance. A DATE! Lord help me… my daughter is dating!



{September 28, 2008}   hockey was life

How many of us can say that we actually chose our careers as children? I know I certainly can’t. I’m 36 and I still haven’t figured out what the heck I want to be when I grow up. This, however, is the story of a man who is one of those rare people who knew what he wanted to do when he was a very young child and actually grew up and did it.

Did it. Not does it. A very big difference. And it was not his choice to stop.How does a man who decided what he wanted do in life when he was just 4 years old cope with losing his chosen career? In my experience, he doesn’t. He doesn’t deal with it at all. He acts as if it doesn’t matter. He acts as if he was going to make the choice to walk away from that life anyway. He acts as if there is nothing wrong. But an act is all it is.

Deep down he is angry. He is hurt. He questions everything he has ever done and what he could have done differently. He is resentful and bitter as well. He doesn’t show these things. At least not often. But for the one person who knows him better than anyone else, it all shows.

His wife can see all the emotions that he holds inside. She can see it in his eyes and hear it in words he doesn’t say. She can tell that when he doesn’t want to talk to an old friend that it is because that friend is a reminder of what’s gone. She knows that when he sits and reads books about hockey teams that it is because he misses the game.

I barely remember when I was 4 years old. I certainly don’t remember what I might have thought I wanted to be when I grew up. Not him though. He remembers. He remembers walking into a locker room and seeing the sticks and skates. The jerseys and helmets. He remembers being in awe of it all. And what’s more, he remember the man who let him help hang up all those jerseys. Each one hung just so in each players locker. He remembers because that is the day he knew what he wanted to do.

It may not have been a definite plan. He was too young to know exactly what he wanted in life. But he knew it involved hockey. He knew that he belonged in a locker room. He knew it as much as he knew he needed to breath. Hockey was life.

For years he played the game. Pee Wee hockey was more than just fun for him. It was the one thing he truly enjoyed. Afternoons he would play. At night he would return to the rink and work. Baseball has batboys and hockey has stickboys. Stickboy. He’d been one since he was 4. Helping with the equipment. Throwing pucks on the ice. Being around the players. It was a thrill. It made a kid feel connected. A part of the team. Hockey was life.

As he grew older he realized that any dreams he had of becoming a player would never come true. He’d stopped growing long before the other boys. He would never stand much more than five foot. Much too short to be a player. The game was still in his blood and in his lungs. If he couldn’t play he would still be a part of the game the only other way he knew how. He would work with the equipment. Still be a part of the locker room. Still a part of the team. He learned to sharpen skates and to repair equipment. All through high school he continued to work as a stick boy for the team. Until his senior year when he was officially made the assistant equipment manager. At 17 he was finally being paid to work the game he loved.

After high school he went to college with intentions of focusing his studies on athletics and management. One year into college he was offered a full time job with a team out of state as their equipment manager. Unable to resist the lure of travel and of working the game… he took the job.

Hockey truly was life now. He traveled with the team from city to city. And when a team would fold or a better opportunity would come along he would move on to another state, another team. Over the years he worked in almost every state in the country, including Alaska. There was always travel. There were always parties. Always fun and excitement. It was the life he had wanted. A life of hockey. It was a young man’s dream.

As he got older he still loved the game. Loved working a few hours a day while the team practised. Loved that two or three nights a week his work mostly involved sitting on the bench watching the game from the best seats in the house. The party’s didn’t matter anymore. The travel wasn’t as exciting as it had been. But he still loved the game and loved working it.

He had tried marriage once as a young man. The travel, the parties, it was too much for his young wife. It didn’t work. Now as he grew older and the partying was getting tiresome he was pleasantly surprised to find a woman he wanted to marry. He made sure she knew about all the travel. Made sure she could handle him being gone for days or weeks at a time. She could. They married and she became the one person in the world who truly knew him. She knew his heart. She knew she filled one part, her kids filled another and hockey, always hockey, would fill still another part.

It was a few years later they decided to make the decision that would change their lives. They decided to adopt. The process was long. Longer than they had anticipated. It was hard. Harder than they anticipated. It was expensive. More expensive than they had anticipated. At the end of the long, hard, expensive journey there was their son. He was worth it. Worth it all.

There would be one more price to pay for this journey of the heart they had taken together. That price would be hockey.

You see, when it came time to go get their son it was March. March meant playoffs. Playoffs meant the man was supposed to be busy with work. With travel for work. Instead he traveled for his son.

Now there are good people and bad people in the world. The good people would understand the importance of traveling to adopt a child. They would see it as a blessing and a wonderful thing to do. As more important than a game. The bad people would see the act of traveling to adopt a child, instead of working the game, as a betrayal. As failing to meet a commitment. They would fail to care that someone else was trained to do the job while the man was gone, so the work would indeed be done. They would fail to see the placement of an orphaned child with a loving family as more important than a game.

Unfortunately the man’s boss was one of the bad people of the world. Even more unfortunate, the someone the man trained to fill in for him while he was gone, the man who was supposed to be a close friend… well, that someone turned out to be a bad person too. The kind of person who would lie and say terrible things about someone in order to take their job away.

So when the man and his wife return home with their beautiful new son…. his career is gone. Stolen away. He is paid for the rest of his contract and then let go. For over 20 years hockey had been his life. It had been the air he breathed. Now, it was gone.

The chance to find a job with another team at his age was low, but it could be done. That meant moving. Moving his wife, new son and step children. Maybe the step children, because moving them meant a custody battle. Hockey had been life until he had a family. Now they were life. He had to make a choice. He could choose to do what he knew would be best for the family or he could choose hockey.

Hockey was no longer life.

He misses it though. His wife knows he does. Even when he says he was ready to walk away. Even when he says he didn’t want to travel anymore because he wanted more time with her and their son. Even when he tries to act like it hadn’t been stolen away from him. I KNOW.

 

 



et cetera