Adopted Joy Our Family's Adoption Journey Into Joy Sun, 19 Mar 2023 04:18:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Adopted Joy 32 32 Sir Rupert Has Arrived Sun, 19 Mar 2023 04:18:48 +0000 Before I even begin, I need to make 100% clear that this mighty little king is NOT OUR DOG. He is the brand new puppy of the Vic Heidmann household, and we could NOT be more jealous.


I had completely forgotten while I was off enjoying my hiatus from real life in the hospital that today was the day Daughter #1 would be retrieving her long awaited puppy! Then, I found out after I woke up from a much needed afternoon nap that they had stopped by to visit while I slept. My feelings of high dugeon were only mollified when I was told that Dad had taken a bunch of pictures.

I was not disappointed. 8-week old basset hound puppies are NOT to be missed, if you can help it. I will be loving on Sir Rupert as soon as is humanly possible. Those ears!!! Those jowls!!! Those drooping eyes!!! All that loose, saggy skin!!! I can’t, I just can’t.

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Golden Mon, 13 Mar 2023 02:52:07 +0000 You know how hard it is to wait for your Golden Birthday when you are 8 and about to turn 9? It’s suuuuper hard!!

Some how, some way, we managed to get through this Golden Birthday week without revealing what presents were awaiting her, no thanks to Ellie’s impatient and repetitive inquiries. And it was especially tedious that, although her birthday was Thursday, she had to wait all the way til Sunday to have her party!

Yesterday was a whirlwind of preparations, not least because it began with a trip to church for confession. Back home again, there were chores and extra cleaning, a date for mom and dad that included stopping in at Costco for cake, preparing of the antipasto salad, and Jordan even made a Cherry Pie after supper.

After mass today, a trip to pick up Ana, stop at QT for the requisite fizzies for one and all, and then back home to prepare Ellie’s favorite – spaghetti! We waited lunch a little later than usual, since Laurent, Geneva, Megan and Patrick were expected around 1:30 pm. What a happy day it was, for Ellie and for all of us, to have the whole family here together!

With a grateful heart, here are pics of our day.

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Finishing February Thu, 02 Mar 2023 07:20:42 +0000 I’m thankful to say that as we slid into the last few days of the month of February, it seemed that healthwise, everyone in the family took a turn for the better and we were able to finish out on a strong note, with everyone in school every day this week. I only had to go pick up one kid early, and that was for a mild ankle sprain which is already recovering enough to be back to classes with no “devil sticks” as Natalie used to call her crutches.

I was really disappointed today to hear from Ellie the saga of overt bullying she underwent from a classmate, not just one instance, but on going throughout the day. She went to the school counselor to talk about it, but was so distraught she couldn’t be comforted. The counselor caught me in the parking lot as I was picking up Natalie after softball practice and I told her I couldn’t believe this mean-girl stuff is already happening in third grade. She said it’s already happening in FIRST grade! I blame Disney TV starlets and shows that glamorize snap-back sarcastic dialogue… and parents who give first graders phones. Who are these people?! I could go on a rant, believe me… for now I have to figure out how to support my kids in this kind of environment.

Our kids – and by our, I mean that on a societal level – our kids need so much prayer and understanding and support. I know there are so many (diagnosed or otherwise) neurological differences, mental health challenges, learning difficulties, which all play into behavior and socialization. Added to that the negative effects of social networks, technology and the media, broken families and the impact of various kinds of addictions, and it’s really unsurprising that even the youngest kids act out as they do. Navigating these waters is a complicated process.

We’re hoping that our experiment in sports participation will be successful for the older three this season. Looking at the schedule it seems overwhelming, with daily practices, plus weekly track meets and softball games. Hoping against hope that they can all keep their grades up, homework turned in, and that we can get everybody to all their events and still keep the home fires burning for the rest of the crew.

Here are a few shots from a relaxed Sunday afternoon at Grandma’s last weekend.


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Dropping the Ball, and New Bling Fri, 24 Feb 2023 04:00:48 +0000 This week has been a lot. We are suddenly juggling so many different new things in our schedule and we’re definitely feeling the adjustment factor.

This semester we have 3 kids in sports: Natalie is trying girls softball, and Xavier and Jordan are trying track and field. That means that we have had to manage getting the three of them to their various practices, plus getting all three of them last minute appointments for sports physicals. We managed to get two of them in on Monday with our doctor (Paul took that appointment), but the third couldn’t be seen till April, so I had to go to an urgent care facility outside our network to get that done on Tuesday evening after supper, while Paul was at St. Vincent de Paul. In addition, there was youth group on Monday for X and J.. There was a therapy appointment for Ellie in the middle of the day Tuesday (meaning pick her up, do the appointment, bring her back); then I got a call that Jordan’s glasses were ready to pick up from the eye doctor, so I had to run across town to do that Wednesday morning. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, meaning we were fasting except for a meatless supper. I worked with Natalie in the afternoon to put together a big pot of vegetable stew for an early supper; then Paul had to leave around 5pm to get the kids to mass, because Ash Wednesday is always standing-room-only and he wanted to get a pew. I had to stay home with Ruben, who has been sick with a fever ranging from 101-104 all week. Thursday morning Paul took Alyssa to her initial consult for braces. As he was leaving the school parking lot after dropping her back off at school, the orthodontist called to say if he could bring her in today to get the braces put on, they’d give us a $250 discount. We like discounts, so that meant he had to run back to the school to pick her up around 2pm. In all of that, we missed the fact that there was also a therapy appointment on the books for Efrain, and I thought Paul was going to take it, and he thought I was, so neither of us did. So THAT was the ball that got dropped!

But Lyss came home to supper tonight grinning from ear to ear, with a mouthful of bling.

Tomorrow is another day of running around… Ruben still has a fever tonight, so I have an appointment for him at urgent care in the morning. In the afternoon, Paul will take Jordan and Efrain to Grandma’s house for their weekend (she takes the kids by twos every other week), and I will have to pick up some of the kids after school and then the other two after their sports practices.

It’s probably true that this is not that unusual of a schedule for a lot of families. But it does seem like there’s a lot piling up all at once here, beyond even just the addition of the sports schedule. Anyway, upward and onward!

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Sunday Traditions Mon, 20 Feb 2023 08:16:23 +0000 I can’t remember when it started, but our family has developed a Sunday routine – at least, on the Sundays we are at home. We got to mass, stop at QT on the way home for a fizzy, come home, Dad cooks hot-diggities, and we eat them outside under the Lid. There are occasional variations to the menu, such as when I get a craving for some sort of salad, or decide I’m sick of hot dogs and want burgers, but generally, Dad is in charge of lunch, and it’s Jalapeno Cheese dogs or Hotlinks, and either regular beef hotdogs or Polish sausages, with various Takkis and Jarritos (for the kids).

Today, as you can see, was a typical Sunday. The only irregularity was that, for the second day in a row, I went outside with my walker and walked (soooo s l o w l y) around the side of the house, back up to the front sidewalk and across to the far corner of the yard, and back again. Twice. Half of what I did yesterday, because my back hurt twice as much (from what I did yesterday) but I still call it a win. Upward and onward to health and wellness, strength, movement and independence!

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Happy Birthday, Ma! Sat, 18 Feb 2023 01:15:14 +0000 I am finally getting around to posting my pics from last weekend. It’s been a rough week, with lots of sickness in the house, this time including me. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to wake up better this morning.

In celebration, I got out both the cameras and uploaded the photos that Ellie and I took at Grandma’s house. I had such fun looking, as it were, through Ellie’s eyes! You’ll just have to see if you can tell which ones are hers and which are mine. 🙂

One last note, for all you Mamas out there: Get In The Picture! When your kids want to take your photo, or get a selfie with you, just do it. DO IT! I used to hate being in photos SO MUCH! But, to quote Monty Python, “I got bettah!” Now I look at these pics Ellie took of me and I don’t even cringe a little bit. I’m grateful because she’s looking at me with love from behind that camera – how can I not send it right back?

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Familiar Faces Sun, 05 Feb 2023 05:43:31 +0000 While we were all occupied getting our Saturday chores done here at the house, Paul took a break from his to pop over to Malinda’s house and see her and Jonathan, Damian, David Jr. and wee baby Landon. We haven’t seen Jonathan and Damian in a long time! Paul let Jonathan play around with his phone and take a bunch of pictures so it was great to see how much they’ve grown! Only one of Efrain’s brothers was missing from these, David Jr., who was taking a nap. What an adorable, messy-faced bunch!

One of these days I will have them over to get some proper portraits.

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Daisy Fri, 03 Feb 2023 07:22:25 +0000 It’s been the subject of discussion, on and off, for a few months now. The idea of getting another dog. Should it be a puppy? From a breeder? A rescue dog? What kind? We hadn’t nailed anything down, but we all agreed that it was time soon to give Gwinny a little sibling to keep her company.

It was Wednesday afternoon, Paul had finished working at home for the day, and as he walked out of the office, he paused and said, “I think I’m going to go get a Boxer.” I swiveled on my chair and looked him in the eye. “Excuse me? When did you hatch this plan?”

He’d been perusing the shelter advertisements and found a 4 year old female Boxer pup over in Mesa and decided to go nab her before someone else did. He aimed to be back before the kids got home from school to surprise them – and sure enough it worked!

The shelter didn’t know her name so they called her “Delilah” – which was not on our list of name choices. Natalie and I both agreed that, as delicate as she is, Daisy seemed appropriate. But the problem was, Paul had already started calling her “Putt-Putt”! I don’t know how he came up with that, but for some reason it stuck. The kids thought it was cute, she started answering to it, and no matter how much I stood on the sidelines jumping up and down pleading, Daisy was not the favored choice. To keep peace in the family, we decided to call her Daisy for all paperwork and name tags, however, Putt-Putt is the nickname that will go down in history.

Daisy “Putt-Putt” Heidmann, Welcome to the family!!

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Breadventures Fri, 20 Jan 2023 09:36:35 +0000 It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to make my signature whole multi-grain Nettie-Bread for the family. My back has not been cooperative and it’s a pretty big process to try to talk the kids through from a chair, so I had kind of given up on bread making.

However, I’ve been seeing so many of these “no-knead” artisan bread videos everywhere, I decided it might be worth a try. I found a simple recipe for a larger batch to make multiple loaves, and yesterday evening got a nice big lump of dough mixed up and set on the counter to grow. The recipe is very simple:

60 oz. cool tap water
2 Tbsp. table salt
1 rounded tsp. instant yeast
1 5lb bag of bread flour

Mix to a shaggy ball, cover and let sit for 8-24 hours.
(see this video for the rest of the process)

By morning, it looked like this:

No-knead bread at 10 hours.

I was excited to see what would happen if I waited the full 24 hours! However, after the kids came home from school I got their help to punch it down and get it into loaf pans to rise, so we could get it in and out of the oven before Dad had to go to bed.

For a first time effort, I would call it a modest success. I would still like to see a little more browning in the crust, and the rise was not everything I could have hoped for. I was also pretty confused by the tiny amount of yeast in the recipe… not sure I trust the process yet, but I will give it a few more tries before I start thinking I should tweak something. At any rate, there was a unanimous judgement from the fam that it was delicious, so it appears we are off on a new “breadventure” again!

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2023 Tue, 17 Jan 2023 04:22:31 +0000 “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

With everyone home today, it would have been a prime opportunity for a family hike in the desert… except that it was raining for much of the day. That, however, did not prevent the kids from getting out and breathing the free air. Big sister Vic came over with her electric scooter and was set to take the kids on a bike and scoot down the linear park toward the stadium… but right when dad drove them to the starting point, the rain really started up, so they decided just to bike/scoot back home through the neighborhood. They got thoroughly soaked and quite cold, and Ruben was riding a mostly flat tire, but apparently it was a good time.

Meanwhile, I had to deal with two traumas today. First I had a preliminary interview with a therapist. I knew I had the appointment but I had completely forgotten why. It only took a few questions and I was sobbing so – yeah there was definitely a reason my very good and helpful primary care doc had made the referral. I do tend to stuff my emotions completely down and out of sight! So, I guess I will try doing some therapy.

The second trauma of my day was a cardiac ultrasound. You know, as a mom, you go to plenty of ultrasound appointments when you’re expecting, and they are usually very calm and comforting and pleasant. This was NOT THAT! There aren’t words for how excruciating the pain was… but thanks be to God it took less than 15 minutes and then I was done. Wow do I not want to do that again. Thankful for my husband being there to help and support me. And we got to have a little lunch date after, which helped me calm down (we had a van-picnic outside Firehouse Subs!).

In the afternoon, Paul and Vic went with Jordan and Xavier to Shooters World and this is what they did:

Later still, Vic was back to make home-made pizza with Ellie. I should have had pics of that process, the kitchen was a sight to behold! Next time I will – they had a grand time, and the results were stellar – and there are leftovers (though that wont last long!).

It was a good day. Thankful for the time with everyone, and thankful always for a chance to stop and remember a great man who inspired and continues to inspire so many to work for justice.

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