The Googegs - Strangers in the World

The Googegs - Strangers in the World

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I've Lost My Focus

I started this blog in 2008 when we were in the midst of an international adoption.  It wasn't really my idea, I had seen other "adoption journal" blogs. Considering my fondness for writing and the far-flung family members, I thought it would be great fun.  It was great fun.  I was constantly writing blog posts in my head and taking pictures.  Anything funny, humorous or noteworthy would be deemed "blog worthy", even if it never really made it there.  Seven years and two adoption processes completed, I have lost focus.

Every so often I attempt to post a birthday or update or summer highlight, and it falls flat. I struggle with blog worthy items. Quick pictures have gone up on instagram and the deep telling of the story has been left in my heart. To be honest, some of the hesitation is due to the privacy of my children. The process of adoption is fairly safe ground as is the first adjustment period. However, some time down the road and the onion peels back and the deep layers are exposed - These are not necessarily public fodder. If we were all in agreement about sharing the story -- that would be fine, but I have never broached the topic; in some cases we are still wrestling through things.

My desire for my children, well for all of us really, is to gain the victory in Christ over whatever sin sick area the soul suffers in -- adopted or not.  I don't find it blog worthy anymore. There have been mighty struggles in our family and mighty victories and a whole lot of ordinary days and I can't seem to communicate it in a fashion that I deem interesting or purposeful. It's just my family.

At the time I began I was telling our story as we navigated an adoption process and even after as we continued to adjust and adopt again.  I wrote to keep my family updated, I wrote because it was on my heart to write, and it was a good story to tell whether anyone was reading or not. I still have a great desire to write -- and OH there are stories all over the place, but I can't tell them yet.

I have prayed for my writing -- Am I just done? Is there another venue I should be looking at?  Should I just keep writing and not care whether it gets out of a journal or not?  Should I pick a topic say, "homeschooling" and go again? Should I set a self inflicted schedule and just crank out weekly articles?

At this time I have no answers, no focus, just a nebulous idea that I should be writing something somewhere. However, life is busy and I can just keep going and never make time to put words on a page -- It is not hard to just keep zooming.

Sometimes I visit my blog and just remember our family stories and the pictures of the kids when they were so young. I cry and I smile and I generally enjoy myself.  I really wrote it all for me I suppose.  I will write again I believe, here or somewhere.  I am just waiting for the focus.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Appointed Day

It is a sad day in our house today.  It is the appointed day.  We have made the very difficult decision to put our dog, Dexter, down.  I have made the appointment for this afternoon.

We have had him for at least 13 years. Six of our children have never known a day in our family without Dexter in it.  My niece and nephew have swiped baby hands at his tail and stacked blocks on his head.

We made the decision to have a dog when Riane and Braydon were 5 and 7 years old.  We visited the pound and picked out this beagle mix who seemed very calm and "smiley".  We got home and had to pick ticks swelled to half an inch in diameter off of him.  I cleaned him up and then wondered why he didn't eat.  He tried to sit at the table like one of the children and thought their bathroom must be his bathroom.  We quickly trained those "people" habits out of him and took him to the vet.

The first news was devastating.  He had parvo.  I had just gotten him from the pound, I wasn't going to pay close to $1000 to have him hospitalized.  I took the medicine and advice they gave me and went home.  Just so happens we received our first foster placement that weekend.  I spent the next few days cleaning up after Dexter who vomited regularly.  Using Turkey basters to force feed water and a little mushed up dog food down him with his medication.  They told me I had a chance if I kept him hydrated.  At the same time I was dealing with CPS workers and a baby in a cast.

He lived -- I lived and the dog was forever devoted to me from that point on.  He loved me and wanted to be with me every moment.  I thought that I could cage train him to sleep downstairs in the laundry room.  Jerome left for work and wished me good luck.  After over an hour of that very rhythmic "RAR, RAR, RAR"  I capitulated.  For years he slept in the basket in the corner of my bedroom.

When we moved to a new house I thought he should sleep upstairs closer to the children.  I put his basket upstairs.  New house -- he would get this.  He wandered the house all night and sighed hugely at my bedside every hour or so.  He won again -- more years in my bedroom.

He was faithful, but in his early years he was an escape artist.  When we lived in town he was constantly finding ways out of our fenced backyard. I was forever looking for Dexter. We plugged every hole and attempted every fix -- he was truly an artist at getting out.  However, we lived on a very busy street and he eventually got hit by a car.  He never had a visible wound.  I thought he was dead for sure and we tearfully bundled him off to an emergency vet that Saturday afternoon. He was observed for a weekend and we were told that he was hit in the head and he didn't know what kind of dog we would end up with, but there was nothing he could do.

For weeks he looked confused and stumbled on the steps. He could not bark or make any noise.  One day we came home from shopping and he barked!  Dexter was back.  Of course, every goofy thing he did for years after that we blamed on his car accident and any brain damage he may have received.

But 13 years have passed.  Dexter is gray, is on arthritis medication, falls on steps often and the worst part, has no real control of his bowels.  Despite the every other hour schedule that the kids faithfully keep to march him out to the yard -- he usually has a problem every day.  He hurts.  We routinely purchase antibiotics for the swelling in his mouth -- eating has to be soft. He stopped rummaging for the trashcan -- he slowed down on drinking out of the toilet.  Things I was grateful for, but I know it is only because it's painful that he let those annoying habits die.  He hurts and we are so tired of mopping the floor. He can't sleep in my room anymore -- he doesn't make it through the night without a problem.  He has been relegated to a cage in the garage with a heat lamp.  He usually can make it through the night without an accident, and the heat lamp is warm, but he hates that cage.

It is hard, but if we are going to put him down after all these years and all these memories I sure didn't want to piggy back on some event that would forever be remembered -- like Easter week, or someone's birthday or graduation.  I picked a non-descript day -- just his last day.  The tears are falling the hearts are breaking -- he has been a good dog.

The early days.

One of his favorite spots.

Always at my feet.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ain't It Fine; Heaven is Nine!

It was a fine day celebrating Heaven's ninth birthday.  As homeschoolers, we do not have school on birthdays.  Other than Jerome had to go to work and we went to evening church, it was a relaxing day.

Heaven really wanted a stacked cake.  The local library has a new feature, cake pans to check out!  What a great idea -- Riane -- my local librarian took care of getting the pans in.  Mary is our cake decorator and let us use some of her tools while she was gone.  I will just be honest, I do not have patience for the decorating.  I was plopping frosting all over.  Adela took over and patiently finished the cake.  It turned out lovely.

She Looks very grown!

Here she is trying on her new outfit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Still Here, Still Writing

It's been an interesting season.  I am still writing, but technology is making me slightly crazy.  Jerome got me my very own laptop.  I am really enjoying that! It is just handy to carry around my own and use it as needed throughout the day.  However, moving my itunes to a new computer totally wiped me out, consequently that's a job only half done.

I decided flikr would be a great service for my pictures, but there are some snags there, and I have had to download some pictures to my hard drive for different things -- like my new wordpress blog. So, I have been writing, but not necessarily posting.  It just takes so much effort to navigate my technology.

Things at home have been vacillating between intense and very busy and sometimes both.  The kids have been striking out in all directions.  Five of them are in a community production of The Wizard of Oz.  Braydon is making plans for his high school graduation this year and the rest of us are hanging on.

I thought I would take a few minutes to post a couple of fun pics.

Riane's creation -- mother/daughter

Just Wokelle

My own selfie...

My Stuff

Mary's New Hobby