Friday, September 30, 2011

In loving memory of Anna Brulotte
April 17, 2008 - September 30, 2010
--- 1 ---
Zachary's 3+-years-in-the-planning-stages Eagle Project may yet be accomplished.  Zachary (17) received permission to cut down 2 trees to secure the structure and the building plans have been formally resubmitted and properly permitted.  Last night Zac presented an update on the rectory carport project to our parish's pastoral council; one of his friends from another troop was there to discuss his Eagle Project: bench building. Zachary hopes to begin actual site work and complete construction in October. {Note for future Eagle Projects: NOTHING requiring a building permit will be allowed in this house!}  Zachary's discernment regarding his higher education beginning next year continues; his second year in Running Start at the local community college underway.
--- 2 ---
13 years old, and longing to begin orthodontia, Joseph received his wish: a mouthful of metal.  The Herbst Appliance contraption is shocking to behold; it replaces the need for headgear with a semi-permanent {torture device} appliance.  On a positive note, Joseph achieved Life Scout Rank, after a shocking disappointment in June when he was (unfairly) denied rank.  Joseph is formally enrolled in his very first classroom: Algebra 1.  The highly recommended teacher lives a few blocks away, and although it's expensive, we're determined not to repeat the same mistakes we made homeschooling upper level maths with Zachary.  Joseph moved up to pre-seniors on the local swim team, and rides with Zac to the later practices each evening.  Our dining room now has two dinner seatings on weeknights: one for the younger kids who need to be in bed by 7PM, and one for the older kids and Tim.
--- 3 ---
Formerly the youngest child in our house, Peter (11) has probably changed over a hundred diapers these past few months.  Always ready and eager to lend a hand with the foster twins (now almost 14 months old), Peter feeds, changes, entertains, and dearly loves these precious little ones.  Peter created his own schedule for 6th grade home school, which details moment by moment his academic and other daily requirements.  Keeping up with it exactly has proven challenging, but he's responding well to a tighter structure (self-imposed due to my weakness in this area).  After much consideration, Peter agreed to continue with swim team (as home school PE); his ongoing difficulties with some teammates will hopefully help him to continue to grow in virtue and self control.  Soccer season is underway, and Peter chose to simply play club soccer rather than move up to select soccer to remain with his amazing coach and avoid overloading his schedule.
--- 4 ---
Certain he's being tortured by our plan for his high school education, Ezra (19) now attends half day vocational training in food services and half day at the local high school.  Unfortunately, the only bus able to meet his transportation needs leaves at 6:30AM, so Ezra's day begins very early.  In the top tier of the varsity cross country team, Ezra trains daily and works hard to improve his times.  This being his last year of athletic eligibility, it's like a senior year in some ways.  In other ways, it's like 4th grade; his academics so far behind due to his years in survival mode during Liberia's brutal civil war and in the orphanage before being adopted by our dear friends and becoming a US citizen.  More unsettling information about Ezra's family of origin and the realities of life in the orphanage have recently come to light.  We continue to pray that Ezra will be healed emotionally, and deepen his relationship with Christ~ with whom all things are possible.
--- 5 ---
Tony: 5 years old, struggles daily to make sense of the many changes and upsets in his young life.  Visits, appointments, sessions, drivers, day care: his time in foster care has a yo-yo feel to it.   Tony misses his former foster mom dearly, and often asks if he can go back to live with her.  He cries out daily for his mom and dad; he misses them so much.  It's heart breaking to witness, hard to understand or explain, yet we just keep keeping on.  He's learning his letters at pre-school, and his speech therapy is helping his pronunciation greatly.
--- 6 ---
Foster twins Luke & Leia (screen names) continue to grow and develop in leaps and bounds... and almost steps!  Considering Leia wouldn't even put weight on her feet in July, her pulling up, standing and creeping is exciting to behold.  Luke is very close to walking, and only lacks the final tid-bit of confidence. Their chances for reunification with mom are very strong; our time with them will be brief.  What a grace to be able to provide a safe and loving foster home for them in this time of transition.  Zachary has grown used to his new room downstairs, and says he may remain there when the twins depart (he admits being repulsed by the baby smells, so perhaps he's actually not willing to endure the new scent in his upstairs room?).
--- 7 ---
Today is the one year anniversary of Anna's tragic death.  Our prayers are with her family and all who mourn her sudden loss and all those who mourn the loss of their little children.  May the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension be theirs now and always.

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