Foster Care Day 158: A Sad and Fun Week to be a Foster Parent

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This has been an emotionally up and down week for my household. On Sunday, December 1st I finished my first marathon in Seattle. Monday we drove back to Oregon, where we cleaned the house to begin the transition period for one of our foster kids. On Tuesday morning my wife met the adoptive parents who live in the Midwest. On Thursday morning my wife drove the adoptive family and our foster kid, Chipmunk, to the airport at 5:30 a.m. By 6:30 a.m. our foster kid was on a plane to the Midwest. That in itself has been mentally/emotionally draining.

In addition, I was frustrated by a meeting with my advisor for my comprehensive exam. Despite my best efforts I am not as close as I want to be to pass this monstrous exam. So more weeks of reading are needed. However, I was approved to teach my first class next summer. The class is a food studies class looking at contemporary political issues pertaining to food.

Furthermore, it is snowing in Oregon’s Willamette valley region, which normally does not happen. We have 5 or 6 inches of snow in our yard, which is more than we’ve had the previous couple years combined. This is fun because I like snow, but it makes me miss Colorado. Five or six inches of snow would not be a big deal in Colorado, but in the Willamette valley it is a snow emergency! Seriously.

We took DC, our other foster kid, outside to play in the snow today. DC is approximately 18 months old, and was afraid of trees when we first got him. So we weren’t sure how he would react to snow. We took DC out in the snow. He laughed, he ran, he fell down… and after 107 seconds of incredible fun… he was done playing in the snow, so we went back inside.

The snow here is cold and wet, whereas Colorado snow is typically dry. My wife and I, although fully capable of driving in this Winter Wonderland, do not trust the other drivers who have limited or no driving experience in snow. So we are staying inside today.

That is our week in a nutshell: Seattle Marathon triumph, foster kid left with adoptive family, comprehensive exam frustration for my academic career, got confirmation to teach my first class, and snow which both made me miss Colorado but was also fun to see our foster kid’s first romp in the snow. An emotionally exhausting week!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are staying warm during this snow storm!

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A mighty tower walking through the Philippines

I am a giant! I am a hulking mass of muscle. I duck to get in through some doorways… and where I walk, I am the tallest of the tall. Some homes I am forced to watch my head so I do not cut it on the edge of the tin roof (honestly).

The truth is I am only 5-9. But I am in a country where the maximum height for things is 5-7 (I think). The chairs, the cars, the toilets, showers, tables… all have been made for someone smaller than I. The Jeepneys force me to bend over, and sometimes I crawl… because my legs are too long to comfortably move around inside one of the famous Philippine taxis. How did this happen? In America, I am barely above average for my height.

I can feel it in my knees when I sit at a chair made for someone slightly smaller. I feel it in my back when I walk in a door and duck to avoid the tin roof.

In the Philippines I am a mighty tower. This is all so very strange because in high school I was one of the shortest kids in my graduating class (boy or girl) at 5′-6″.

I do not feel taller or more powerful as I walk down the streets of the Philippines. But it is definitely different at 5-9 to be a giant.

Now I know how NBA basketball players feel in America… because nearly everything here feels made for someone smaller than I.

The Problem with America’s Failing Education System

I am on the way to becoming a college teacher so I don’t expect to encounter this very often. But I have many friends who teach elementary school. Their stories seem very much like this video created by Sleepyprincesszzz. If you are a teacher, I am sure you understand…

Obama (or Romney) … Will you Buy Me a Car?

Dear President Obama (or Mitt Romney),

Please buy me a Ford Fusion Hybrid to help compensate for the outrageously high college tuition rates which have been sweeping the nation (and to offset the high gas prices too)! I can barely afford pizza and beer. If you are unwilling to buy me a car, then please do some SERIOUS work to get college tuition rates down. Also do some work to get the cost of college textbooks down!

Thanks for your time! Have a nice day.

How to be a Christian

Below are links to 3 videos from one of the most powerful sermons I have heard in a long time. It is from Glenn Packiam. This sermon is about how to live like a Christian. If you live like a Christian… then you are living in opposition to the world. You don’t need a sign to show people that you are different. If people know you, they should be able to tell by the words you speak and the things you do that you are different.

I really identified with the NFL metaphor he uses. There are times as a Christian, that I feel like a Bronco fan… sitting at an Oakland Raiders game… in Oakland. I feel like this because I am a graduate student, and if you are in academics then being a Christian means “I automatically lose 50 points off my IQ and that I hate everyone.”

But honestly, I don’t hate homosexuals (but I believe homosexuality is a sin). I don’t hate people who drink (because I also drink) but I believe alcohol in excess is a sin. People who know me know that I am a Christian… but it is not easy to live the life of a Christian because it immediately puts me in opposition to the “world.”

If you have time, I sincerely hope you will check out some of the videos below from Glenn Packiam’s sermon. To me it was one of the best messages I have heard in a few years. I saw it live when I when I was in Colorado.

If you enjoy the message below… share it with others!