Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Final Word on Savanna

Barbara called yesterday - actually called me - amazing. However, her news wasn't so amazing. We are not going to committee for Savanna. I'm pretty sad about this, even though I was pretty darn sure that was how it would fall out.

In addition, two more of the new kids we put in for have already been scheduled for committee. One of the one year olds and one of the sibling groups. So far, we've found out that five of the kids we put in for the week after we had Zach and Kohl's committee have already found placements or had families chosen for committee.

Barbara also said that all of the new bulletins are kids that are incompatible age-wise with Davan. They are all within a year of her.

I'm feeling like it's been a long time sense we've gotten any good news.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Barbara Did Call Yesterday

Amazingly enough, Barbara did call back yesterday afternoon. Of the slew (12 singles and 2 sibling sets) of kids we inquired about last week, we now know that three of them (two of the 1 year olds and the 2.5 year old) have been placed. There are two or three more whose case workers Barbara wasn't able to make contact with and so are unknowns. The rest have asked for our homestudy.

Also, she made contact with Megon's (14 year old) case worker, who's selected some (?) families for committee, but it interested in seeing our homestudy. This is odd to me in more ways than one. First of all, why wasn't our homestudy sent when we first inquired? Second, families are selected but she's still open? I don't know. That seems strange. We'll see how it turns out.

Friday, July 21, 2006

No Steps Forward and About Six Steps Back

I wrote a short post yesterday morning, but Blogger ate it, it seems. When I went to post it, the screen went blank and froze up until I finally had to force it to close. Anyway, all I said was that I hadn't heard back from Barbara and was feeling unsurprised, but still annoyed by that.

However, she did call yesterday afternoon. Right in the middle of game group. I try to take the phone calls when I can, though, as who knows when she'd get back to me if I didn't take them. We had to go over pretty much all of the kids yet again because she seems to need that every so often. I guess that, even with the new system, she is still overwhelmed. I wonder if this is part of the trouble. There are so many kids that we've put in for that she's having a hard time working the system for us on all of them at the same time, so, instead, we just end up falling through the cracks. I don't know.

What I found out, though, was that Jordan, Cayla, Kamau, Tamia and Robert K. have all either had committee or have had families chosen for committee and that we're not one of them.

In addition, Barbara spoke with Elijah's case worker and, even though Elijah's case worker thinks he would be safe for Davan, Barbara is strongly recommending that we not proceed. Anthony feels that it's risky, as well and I'm sort of on the fence. This poor kid hasn't demonstrated any behavior that would make him unsafe for Davan. We're just judging him based on what's happened to him. On the flip side, though, is that we certainly don't want to put Davan in jeopardy at all. Right now, our priority has to be the safety of our already existing family. So, I guess we'll be passing on Elijah, but it makes me feel sad.

The whole conversation yesterday made me feel sad. That makes six kids that are out of our mix and no ray of hope by getting another child's adoption child summary or anything. The two sort of positive things (maybe three, but I really doubt it) were that Megon's case worker was interested in us a few weeks ago. Megon used to be on the web site, but was taken off, so I assumed she was adopted, but apparently not. Barbara is supposed to contact her case worker again and see what's going on there.

Thorn's case worker says that he has a new evaluation soon and Barbara wants us to see what it says before proceeding. I can respect that she's looking out for us here, but I also want to say, "Don't make us miss this opportunity by being overly cautious!"

In addition, there's no word yet from Savanna's case worker. While this could be seen as a hopeful sign, I'm thinking it means that we weren't picked for committee for her. I just went to look at her page to link her name and she's not listed on the site anymore. This is even more indication that her committee has been scheduled. And, as we've not had word yet, that we're not a part of it.

I'm not feeling positive about all of this. I'm wondering if we should even keep trying. It's just so hard to look at these kids without feeling some sort of attachment to them and then to not be chosen is rough. It's hard not to feel rejected. I (probably concededly) think that if they could just meet us, they'd be happy for us to raise pretty much anyone. However, probably all of these other adoptive families out there feel the same way. And, of course, I have the opposite moments - those moments when I am less than patient with Davan and I think, "Maybe I shouldn't be parenting anyone else!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time to Bite the Bullet Again

It's time to call Barbara and see if she has any new information for me. I don't even have an excuse for calling this time other than to see if she's done what she said she'd do. Usually, I call on the pretense of, "Should I come in and look at the books?" but I know that there aren't any new bulletins.

What I want to know is, "Have you made contact with the case workers for the kids that we're in limbo on? Particularly Elijah, Kamau and Thorn, as they are the three that we've gotten more information on and still have an interest in? Have you contacted the case workers of the kids that we picked out last week? Are they still available? Have you sent any of them our homestudy?"

The thing is that these are questions she should be calling me with the answers to after she's done with those tasks. So, it's hard to call and ask, but I will make myself. I promised myself I would if she didn't call yesterday and, surprise, surprise, she didn't.

It'd be so much easier if I could just do it, but instead I have to badger Barbara to do it and that's hard.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Interesting Conversation

I met a woman whom I barely know at the grocery store the other day. I know her because her daughter and mine took dance classes at about the same time at the same place for a period of time.

During this time, she started fostering. She fostered a little girl who was something like 8 years old. At the time, Davan was 6. The foster child (who's name I do not remember) signed up for the same dance class Davan was in.

Anyway, we met at the store. She recognized me and said hi. Then we figured out where we knew each other from. We chatted a while and then I asked if she was still doing foster care. She said no, that it was taking too much from their family to be foster parents. She said the needs of the foster child was just too much. There are too many things outside of the norm that they need (therapists, social worker visits, parental visits, ect.), which caused her to be just too busy.

I said that we were in the process of adopting. She was somewhat alarmed by this and thought that we should really only consider babies and toddlers. This was somewhat distressing to me because she's actually had experience with a foster child! Of course, I feel like we'd be okay with some amount of running around. I figure that happens with any child. And there's a lot less in the way of social worker visits and parental visits when adopting. After the adoption is finalized, there are no more social worker visits, in fact.

So, I said that I felt like adoption was a different deal and that was part of why we weren't going the foster route. Also, we felt like the child would really be ours, so we'd feel it was worth it to put the time in. She said, "Yeah, when you adopt, you're hands aren't tied in regards to discipline like with fostering. I mean, you can't do anything!"

This is where I started to feel like I didn't need to worry about anything this lady told me. Anthony and I looked at the long list of things that you were not allowed to do to foster children (in the name of discipline) and thought, "Well, yeah, that's abuse. Of course you wouldn't hit them. put them in the yard and turn the hose on them. use showers as punishment. withhold food. speak nastily about their biological family."

Apparently, though, this lady looked at the list and thought, "Well, there goes all of my discipline options." I imagine she did have a hard time with a foster child.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Moving On, But Feeling Discouraged

I wonder how long it'll be before we do finally adopt. I wonder if we should keep going with it. I wonder if we should just give it up and be happy with the family we've got. I wonder if no one (that we feel capable of parenting) really needs us, as there seem to be so many people out there who want to adopt. It's hard and it's so much up and down. I'm really tired of the process.

Barbara, who said she'd make inquiries Tuesday afternoon about the many kids that we're still in limbo on, hasn't. She says she's been busy. I feel like we're missing chances that we wouldn't be if we were allowed to contact case workers. This is an aspect of Oregon's system that I don't care for.

There's a lot I don't care for, actually. I think that the system of 3 families needed to go to committee causes a lot of delay, for example.

Wednesday evening, though, I took home the two (one for single children and one for sibling groups) books of bulletins. We found 9 single children and 2 sets of 2 sisters each to inquire about. Four of them are babies less than 2 years old. Two more are 2 year olds.

It's amazing to me how many babies are available for adoption. In our informational class, we were told that if we wanted to adopt a healthy, single under 3 year old child to not bother, as there was a 3 year waiting list to adopt kids like these through the state. Gee, what they didn't tell us is that there seems to be a 2 year waiting list to adopt anyone, but back to the babies. It seems that there are more babies than any other age and most of them seem healthy. We usually pass them over, thinking they'll be snatched right up.

The four babies we are inquiring about, though, have all been waiting for months. I suspect that they aren't really available anymore and it just hasn't been updated, but if they do still need homes, we're open to the idea.

The other single kids are 3 year old Tyler and 6 year old Robert. One set of sisters are 4 and 3 year old Khalaysia and Kenya. The others are 6 year old Kyra and 3 year old McKenzie.

Shortly after I dropped the books back off on Thursday, Barbara called to say that some new bulletins just came in and did I want to look at them? I did, so back to the office I went. And added three more possibilities to the mix. There is 6 year old Tanner, 5 year old Shyloe and 4 year old Shawn.

The other two "new" single kids are actually Elijiah's brothers, who are being placed separately now. The bulletins say that their needs are such that it would be hard for one family to meet them for both boys. They do not sound like a good match for us, due to their needs, so I see their point. It's too bad, though, as they seem close.

Again, I'm at a loss to figure out how they decide who's going to be put on the web and who isn't. Robert doesn't seem particularly difficult to place. I don't really get it. "Our" kids who are currently on the web site are: Robert, Robert, Savanna, Kamau, Tamia, Thorn, and Elijah. There are, of course, lots of others who supposidly don't need the extended recruiting.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Staph! No, Strep! No, Both!

Thanks to Anthony's urging, I took Davan into see our family practitioner today for some sores on her face. At first, we thought they were just pimples, but they hurt her and no longer really look like pimples. Turns out that it's good that I did because she's got a staph infection and is now on antibiotics.

While we were there, I asked our fp to take a quick look at my throat to see if I should be checked out and, yup, she sent me for a culture and I've got strep. So, I'm on antibiotics, as well. Good thing I cancelled our activities for tomorrow.

I also had to cancel Davan's dentist appointment for today due to the staph. She was supposed to get some sealants. We ended up running around way more than I was up for. We went to the doctor, to the pharmacy, back to the pharmacy to pick up and back once more because I'd forgotten to take my debt card for our health savings account. And I picked up the books with bulletins from Barbara. In addition, we did make a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up some fruit, some peanut butter (because that's how Davan will be taking her meds) and a few things for easy meals like chickenless nuggets.

I'm home and planning on resting and napping all afternoon/evening.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Outcome

No more waiting, but it’s a sad thing. We were not chosen. This time I cried. I’m really disappointed, but I rather expected not to be, also. I’ll get over it, but I’m bummed out. We weren’t even selected as the back up family.

Part of what counted against us was that we never contacted the foster mom to talk about the boys. We weren’t given her information by Barbara, which made it difficult to contact her. Barbara did claim responsibility for that, but it still didn’t look good for us. The other issues raised by two different workers were:

1) Davan might feel disappointed about not being the youngest and with two younger, that was a concern.

2) There might be too much stress on me, personally, and I might have a relapse with depression.

For those who don’t know, I had a brief bout of depression after being injured in a car accent about 5 years ago. I got some therapy and, between that, and regaining my health, was fine again in less than a year. And this was a pretty mild depression. I was functional the whole time. It makes me regret being upfront about it, though. I could have hidden it, as we have a new doctor (due to a change in insurance) and none of our references would have mentioned it, if they even knew about it.

Also, Davan would be the most excited about an older sister, but she is very open to younger kids and was very excited about the possibility of having two and one of them being just a toddler.

Apparently, the family who was chosen is some particular experience and education (What exactly? We don’t know.) which is particularly applicable to parenting these two boys.We did get a whole long list of positives and some are different from last time.-Anthony and I are both calm and even tempered.

-We’re patient.

-We have a sense of humor.

-There is good communication between us.-We have a strong marriage.

-We have good experience with parenting Davan.

-We’ve demonstrated our ability to research and meet any challenges that come up.

-We’re comfortable with adopting children who have had exposure to prenatal drugs and alcohol.

-We individualize children.

-We’re respectful of birth families.

-We’re involved parents.

-I’m an at home mom.

-We’re an active family in regards to camping, hiking, and other physical and recreational activities.

-We have friends who have adopted.

-We have a good support system.

-We’re actively involved with our group of homeschoolers.

-We’ve (I in particular) have had involvement and success with counseling.

-We’re open to contact with the foster mom.

-They really enjoyed our video and got a good feel for how comfortable we are in our home and how child friendly it is.

-We’ve involved Davan in the adoption process.

Lots and Lots of Waiting

I’m writing this in Word so I can keep my phone line free. I’m waiting, waiting, waiting for Barbara’s call. Last time, it was 2:00 when she called and we’re expecting that again. Anthony is on his way home (it’s 1:22 as I type) and should be here to get the news. However, I haven’t spoken with Barbara in over a week. I was laying off last week because it seems like not much happens when you’re waiting for committee. I think case workers are reluctant to send adoption child summaries. It also seems like they just don’t schedule you for committee, even though this isn’t supposed to happen. So, I didn’t call last week. In retrospect, I think this might have been a mistake.

Here it is, 1:25, on the afternoon of our committee and I have no real idea about several things. One is, how is Barbara going to notify us? Last time, we talked about it before hand and worked out a plan. This time, a couple of weeks ago, she said that she’d talk with my when we were closer about how we’d like to find out. There’s been no talking.

Another is that I didn’t get a morning phone call this morning. I expected one. Even though I felt like crap yesterday, I read through all the information we have about Zach and Kohl so that I could answer the, “What about these kids makes you think you’ll be able to parent them well?” question. But, no morning phone call. What does all this mean? Maybe it means that we are a filler family and Barbara knows it, so she didn’t bother with those sorts of questions. Maybe it just means that Barbara’s a bit of a flake. Who knows?

I’m still sick today, as well, although, I’m not as sick as yesterday. My throat is still sore and I have a low energy thing going on, but I’m not feverish and I’m able to be up and about doing mild activities for periods of time. I took Davan to Target this morning because she wanted to buy herself a black leotard with a skirt attached for her gymnastics class. We also went up to the farm (a day late – I was so sick yesterday that I just forgot) to pick up our produce. I was pretty wiped out by those events, though, and laid down for a bit after we got home.

Davan got invited to her friend, Laurel’s house to play this afternoon. Luckily, Laurel lives close. We usually walk or ride bikes over, but today I threw her in the car and practically kicked her out moving so I could get back to man the phone in case Barbara calls. Okay, not really. I walked her to the door and chatted with Laurel’s mom, my friend Katie, for a few minutes before I dove back in the car and high tailed it home. Pretty much, I’m feeling anxious, sick and ready for Anthony to be home. Oh, also, it’s my FIL’s night to come to dinner and, in a fit of feeling somewhat better this morning when he called, I said he could still come. I’m rather regretting that now, but maybe Anthony will be able to make dinner. I wouldn’t say maybe except that there’s not much in the house and what I was going to make will be challenging enough for him that I might as well just make it instead of sitting there, answering questions. So, perhaps we’ll just take my FIL out to eat. Maybe there will be something to celebrate. We actually decided after the last committee that we’d eat out every committee day, as it’s such a stressful day, but weren’t going to today because of the combination of having my FIL over and our Tai Quan Dou class. That might be scrapped, though. Or, even though Anthony picked up a pizza last night because I was too sick to cook (and we don’t have much in the house – time to go grocery shopping – or at least it will be when I’m well), maybe we’ll just do that again.

Okay. Off to sip tea and get what rest I can while I’m so busy waiting, waiting, waiting.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Black Bomber is back in the hanger

Tomorrow is the big day - committee! However, I've had a lot to distract me from thinking about it. Saturday was a busy day of Girl Scout scrap-booking, a company BBQ for Anthony's office and an evening with my parents.

Sunday, however, really gave me a lot to think about. Around noon, I called about the tandem and offered the seller a finder's fee. His story was that he bought it from a guy at a swap meet for $600 because the guy was desperate to make rent. He called in the serial number to make sure it was clean both then and when he went to sell it. I told him that I'm sure it was clean because we had never written the serial number down, and, therefore, the numbers would be clean.

I offered him $200, but he said that he couldn't take that much of a loss on it. So, I upped it to $500. This is where I think I went wrong. I should have stood firm. However, after a few hours of back and forth, we arranged a meeting time with his "lady friend" because he was "at work". It was definitely his home number that we called, though, so the whole story was more than a little fishy.

We got to a park that they'd picked to do the exchange. The woman was an obvious druggie, making me know that their story was a bunch of BS. She was all twitchy and nervous. It was like doing a drug deal. He was standing off to the side with her puppy (not at work). I'm guessing she wasn't supposed to acknowledge him, but she messed that one up.

They had our bike locked up and the money was exchanged for the key. They just gave us the lock, rather than sick around. It was all very weird. Sadly, the handlebars now turn to the right if you don't hold on to them, but Anthony (who's good with bikes) can't figure out why. The rear handlebars were not attached because they'd stripped the screws that attach it. Anthony was able to get it back on, but he says, "It's not pretty."

I'm regretting that we did this deal and, particularly, that I went up to $500. I should have left it at $200 and let him call me back if he changed his mind. It'll cost us to get it back in shape (if we can even figure out the pulling issue). We need new pedals and crank extenders. It'll cost a couple hundred, I'm thinking.

I rode the bike home and then made dinner. I'd been so stressed all day about the bike - calling, waiting for call backs, picking it up, riding it home (wondering if I was being followed or anything - I don't think I was), figuring out that there were things that were wrong - that we considered going out to eat. I decided to make something, though, for our financial sakes. Not to mention that we have fresh produce to use up.

However, as soon as I sat down to dinner, I started feeling sick. After eating, I thought that I was maybe going to throw up. I went to bed and stayed there from about 7:00 last night until 7:00 this morning. I was a little sick at the end of last week - a bit of a sore throat and some body aches - but had felt fine all weekend. I think it was a stress induced relapse. Or maybe not relapse - I'm a lot sicker now! I'm so achy that I couldn't really sleep, even though I was exhausted. I had a fever of 101.4 this morning.

I've taken acetaminophen this morning and that and a warm bath helped some. I still feel very poorly, though. I hope it passes quickly. Tomorrow is committee and I want to be well if we end up starting transitioning!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Less than a week to go

Kohl and Zach's committee is less than a week away now. I'm working on that balancing act of trying not to get too involved, but also mentally preparing myself for the possibility that we will have two sons.

We haven't spoken with Barbara in a while. I think I'll just let things rest until committee, then start badgering her again. While we're told it doesn't happen, I do think that multiple committees are not scheduled for a family, so probably nothing will happen until after this committee one way or another.

We had a quiet 4th of July by ourselves. It was nice, though. Anthony took a 50 mile bike ride with tons of hills in the morning while I prepared a picnic lunch. We had rutabaga, carrots and sugar peas with a parsley pesto dip, cherries and cornmeal fritters with key lime cupcakes for dessert. It was yummy, but Anthony was jonesing for a hamburger when we smelled all of the bbqs going at the park. We spent about 3 hours picnicking and playing at our near by park, which we just walked over to.

After coming home, we did an activity we enjoy. The game changes depending on how much time we have, but the basic idea is that each of us comes up with a set amount (3 last night) of activities that we'd like to do with the family. The activities are written down and then picked one at a time until they're all done or we run out of time. Last night we skated around the park, played sock wars, played Shrek Super Party on the Playstation, went for hamburgers (Anthony's idea - we went to Burgerville where Davan and I got fries and milkshakes. Usually, we do free activities), shot a few hoops in the driveway, rode bikes "in the ditch" (just up the street from us, there's a ditch which Davan enjoyed riding in), went for a walk, did "Popits" (those small fireworks you throw on the ground), and did Yoga Pretzels (chose a few cards from a yoga deck for families to do). By the time we were done, it was dark enough to do fireworks.

We did a small assortment (about $30 worth) in our street. Davan just loves doing this - much more than going to a big display. We do mostly ground flowers and other small fireworks with a couple of fountain. Neighbors in streets all around, though, were doing some pretty amazing up in the air firework. People must spend hundreds!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Our Crazy Weekend

I did not obsess about the committee very much this weekend, even though I was fully expecting to. There was just too much else going on to obsess about.

Thursday evening, Anthony mentioned that he'd seen a tandem for sale that was just like the Black Bomber (our stolen tandem). I asked him if he thought it was ours, but he said no because it had different tires and different saddles and such. We talked briefly about buying it and I fell asleep thinking, "Does it have a rear seat shock post?" The reason for this thought is that a rear seat shock post is standard on this model of bike, but we took it off of ours so that we could put the seat low enough for Davan to ride it.

Friday morning, we discovered that our neighbors were having a garage sale and decided at the last minute to put some stuff out ourselves. We didn't do well at the garage sale and should have saved ourselves the effort, but oh well. We also spent the morning getting ready for an overnight bike trip. Davan had been wanting to do a bike trip on her own bike, so we planned a ride out to my MIL's place. The route out ended up being 8.6 miles and back was 7.5.

Anyway, just before we were going to leave, I decided I'd better check my email and see if Freecycle needed any attention (I'm a moderator on a Freecycle board). Anthony decided to take another look at the tandem for sale, as I was online already. We discovered that it's our tandem. It is missing the rear seat shock stem and, even more importantly, it has our trailer hitch on it.

Anthony called the guy, pretending to be interested in buying the bike, and the guy didn't know a thing about it - age, size, nothing. He claimed to have bought it used from "some guy". Anthony set up a time to go see the bike, in his effort to make the call seem real. Then he called the police who said that they could do nothing for us without the serial number, even though there are distinguishing characteristics which let us know for sure it's our bike. I doubt there's another bike of this type and size in Oregon, much less with the modifications we made. Anthony also sawed off the ends of the handle bars to make them fit Davan better. It's possible that the thief changed the handlebars, but you wouldn't know unless you took the grips off.

Once the police said they weren't interested, we decided that maybe we should keep the appointment Anthony had made with the guy, take $200 with us and tell him, thanks for finding our bike - here's a finders fee and just leave with the bike. However, Anthony had made the appointment for 4:00, which is well after we were supposed to leave on our bike trip. He called back to change the time to 2:45 and we made arrangements for Davan to go to a friend's house.

On the way to drop off Davan, though, Anthony realized that he'd actually said 3:45 on the phone, so, after dropping Davan off, he called back on the cell phone to try to reschedule again. The guy couldn't make the changed time. After some deliberation, we opted to just pick Davan back up, proceed with our bike trip and try to come up with a plan.

We had a nice trip and Davan did really well on the ride. We had her two older cousins camp out with us in the yard and a good time was had. Then we came home Saturday morning and it was time to tackle the bike issue.

My MIL had the idea to look at other things this guy is selling, so we did. We did a search on his phone number and discovered that he's selling three other bikes - one other is particularly high end. Now, seeing as how he knew nothing at all about our tandem, he's not a collector. He's just plain stolen these bikes. It was our hideous bad luck to have the tandem out in front of the Winco when he was there shopping and he took advantage (is my theory).

I opted to call the police again with this new information. The officer we spoke with did take more information from us, but after having to respond to two different emergency calls during two different phone conversations, finally called back to say that we were pretty much out of luck. He did say that he'd talk to his supervisor to see what could be done.

Meanwhile, we called Anthony's friend, Matt, whose cell phone Anthony had used to call the previous owners when he first bought the bike. We're trying to see if Matt can get the phone number record so that we can call up that owner and say, "Hey, by any chance do you have the serial number off of that tandem you sold us?" If we can get the number, then the police will intervene.

Also, in the meantime, we formulated tons of different plans, ranging from confronting the seller to just taking off with the bike during a test ride. On Sunday, Anthony even called the seller to set up a time to see the bike, planning on just taking off, but ended up talking to his wife. After that fiasco, though, we were both so worried and keyed up that we changed our minds. A few issues...

1) We might be on fine moral ground by stealing the bike back, but we wouldn't be square with the law. This could put the adoption in jeopardy.

2) It puts Anthony (and all of us, if the guy manages to figure out where he took the bike to) in danger's way.

3) After stealing it back, even if we painted it, would I ever feel comfortable riding it again? I don't feel like I would.

So, we're back to:

A) Seeing what the police can do. We still haven't heard back from the cop after talking to his supervisor, so something may still happen there. Plus, we have the serial number plan in the works.

B) If plan A fails, we're thinking of calling him up and playing it straight. "That tandem is our bike which was stolen from Winco. We are offering a finder's fee of $200. Let's meet and make the trade." Chances are that he'll say no, but at least we'll have tried and then it's all on the up and up. Also, we're thinking he'll have a hard time selling it (due to it's size and special nature - tandems that are more in the main-stream size-wise, often take a month or more to move off the boards and even then, we don't know that they've sold). So, we'll also tell him that the deal stands and give him my cell phone number if he wants to get something out of it.

Plus, both of these plans are ones that we can share with Davan. This is also a moral guidepost for me. If I can't tell Davan about it, then it's dodgy. Also, we'd already written off this bike as a loss. Even though it would be ideal to get it back, free and clear, I don't feel happy with paying for it or with stealing it. I'd rather it go to someone else if those are our only options. We've been saving up for a new one anyway.

So, it was a weekend of a lot of pacing and worrying. Anthony and I were both quite drained by last night.

That wasn't all, though. On top off all of this, Davan's mouse, Suzie, had to be put to sleep yesterday. Suzie sustained an injury from one of the cats a few weeks ago. It was a fairly bad scrape across the back of her neck. The cat had gotten to her through her cage bars with her claw while visiting Davan in her room. We applied Neosporine a few times in the first few days.

At first it looked as though it was healing up alright. About a week ago, though, we realized that it wasn't healing anymore. Suzie had taken to scratching at it and was actually opening it back up with her claws. It was wider than it had been when she first was injured. We debated what to do, but Suzie is not a young mouse and we did feel comfortable with a large vet bill for her.

I opted for all the first aid I could do. We decided on buying some NuSkin - a liquid bandaid sort of affair, which is water proof and lasts for days. It was hard to get it on her, but we did manage it. By the end of the day, though, Suzie had cleaned it off herself. As she was eating it while cleaning, we opted not to put it on again. At this point, Suzie was still very animated - eating, drinking and playing.

However, this weekend I started noticing a distinct lack of energy on her part. When I finally got her in my hands and looked at her closely yesterday, it was obvious that something needed to be done. She was oozing blood and there was blood on her claws from scratching. The cut was much worse - deeper and going down her side. Her eyes looked like they were swollen and, after first, I thought she was unable to open them. She did open them as I was holding her, but things were bad. Davan tearfully agreed that the best thing to do for her was to not let her suffer anymore. It was a sad thing to do.

Davan spent the afternoon grieving on and off. The first hour or so, she spent laying down, crying off and on while being cuddled by her dad (I had the duty of taking her to the vet). We had a memorial service for her, where we talked about her and then had ice cream (because you always eat at memorials). Every so often, Davan would say she was thinking of Suzie and she'd be sad or crying. She ended up sleeping in our room last night because her room was too quite with Suzie gone. She spoke of her again this morning.

Between all of this, she's been playing normally. She's happy that the cats can come into her room now, and has made a few places for them to sleep.

All-in-all, it was quite the weekend. Although we're still in some limbo about the tandem, we're glad the weekend of high stress is over and we're comfortable with the decision we've come to regarding the tandem.

Tomorrow is the 4th and then next week, we're on to committee for Zach and Kohl! Speaking of Zach and Kohl, we tried to show Angie (SIL) their pics on the site this weekend, but they've been taken down. Zach and Kohl are on their way to being placed. With us? We'll see....