Thursday, October 25, 2012


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. It's about 5:45 in the morning. I've been up for awhile and off and on all night. The baby it teething. The little sharp bones lacerating through his gums makes him uncomfortable. He's awake and he makes sure we are too.
Your Aunt Crystal and I get to meet our new son on the 3rd. Elijah is coming with us. The little ones will be on a visit with their biological family. It should be a good time. He could be with us permanently as soon as Thanksgiving. That would be nice.
Having four kids will keep us very busy. You can ask your grandma about that - but we will survive. We are made out of the sternest mold. Sternest mold? I know I'm mixing up my phrases, but I don't care. You get the idea.
Yesterday I actually sat down and wrote 400 words on my newest novel. I haven't worked on it in awhile. When I get any sort of break I'm just too tired to really invest in something like writing. That's kind of depressing so I'll talk about something else.
Tuesday started roughly. The baby kept us up all night with his teething issues. He only slept when it was time for us to get up, which makes you want to strangle the little buggers. The toddler was calling to get up so I got him. Two things happened to him during the night that don't usually happen. His diaper slipped and he had a bowel movement. His pajamas showed no leakage from the outside, but unzipping them showed a foulness that cannot be described without vomiting on my laptop, so I won't...yes I will - It was like he was wearing a Hazmat suit backwards - all the nasty kept inside.
I gagged all the way through giving him a shower and gagged while cleaning the shower after. Then Elijah and the baby woke up. They got baths/showers and breakfast and we went right into a pretty intensive homeschool session with Elijah.
We had to accomplish homeschool quickly since I had a meeting in Saint Louis to go over our adoptive son's file. It was also laundry day so I was washing and folding mountains of clothes. I used the stove timer to keep on track. This was a very busy morning.
Now usually I don't get my shower in until 10:00. I can shower earlier if we're going somewhere, but that entails putting the little ones in a bouncer and pack-in-play in the bathroom so I can watch them while I get clean. They hate this and let me know about it. I don't like showering amidst the screams of young children, so I was planning on waiting.
Things were in full swing when we heard a knock on the door at nine. I ignored it at first. I thought it was either one of Elijah's friends or a neighbor who needed to borrow something. It's not the nicest thing to ignore a knock, but I did. The person wouldn't leave and continued knocking so I answered the door.
There was the children's foster social worker. We had a meeting that morning and I had forgotten about it.
Usually when she comes for her monthly visit our house looks like the set on Masterpiece Theatre. Everything is spotless. The toddler walks in wearing his cummerbund. I pretend this is how things always are. We talk for awhile and she leaves.
On Tuesday she walked in and the sofa was full of folded laundry with a pile on the side that needed folding. Laundry that doesn't get put in the dryer was hung on the built-in bookshelves. Toys were everywhere. I was putting most of my concentration on getting Elijah's schooling done rather than cleaning up after the toy dumping duo.
The worst part was me. Now the boys were clean, fed, wearing clean clothes and happy. I was a mess. I hadn't showered. I needed a shave. To top it all off, I answered the door wearing nothing but jeans. My greeting went like this.
"Hi," I said, "I'm going to go put on a shirt." She didn't beg me not too, so I know I should hit the treadmill a little bit more. I'm kidding.
I was very embarrassed. Now the house was messy with toys and clean laundry, but it wasn't dirty. I wasn't showered and dressed, but the boys were. It was kind of a normal day here, it's just not the picture I strive to portray to the social workers that pass regularly through our home. I explained my appearance and apologized for forgetting our meeting, and the worker said it was okay.
"It's not the first time I've had someone answer the door that way," she said.
"That makes me feel better," I said.
"Never in a foster home," she said, "But it's not the first time."
"That's nice," I said.
Darn it Temple - When you start to take yourself seriously, God gives you plenty of reason for humbleness.
I love you much and miss you always,
                    Uncle Justin

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