Sunday, October 29, 2006

Forever Baby and a Gold Medal

Okay Susie, I'm posting so you better comment!!!

Yeah, yeah, October 11th was a long time ago I admit, but I was busy coaching a Colorado State champion marching band and colorguard and becoming a forever mommy. When's a girl to blog with such a schedule?

I'm proud to tell you all that the Sheridan Marching band swept 2A championship and won by 9 points! My girls won best colorguard in state too! I'm soooo proud of them!

My other proud moment is seen in the pictures above. The little booger became our "forever baby" on October 27, 2006! He's ours. He'll be issued a new birth certificate with our last name on it and can never get rid of us (hee, hee). I can't begin to tell you the exact time of the proclomation of adoption, but I bet John can... he says it was 11:20 AM. Figures. He's an architect!

Thursday morning I awoke to a thick blanket of snow which was accumulating rather quickly. By noon, the snow stopped and the melt-down began allowing the roadways to clear up for our Friday adventure.

I know I didn't sleep a wink Thursday night. I was too excited. My Muffin Man was going to become MINE! John was trying to finish a project for work, therefore I ended up sleeping longer than planned. I readied myself, got the Booger up, fed and dressed then sat him on the floor in the living room so I could fetch his car seat. When I returned to the living room, I found my smiling baby covered in icky-gooeys. He decided to have a second go-around with the bananas and oatmeal. Shaking my head I decided a wipey would have to do, and I prayed the judge didn't look too closely at the knit of Kyle's sweater to see some oats clinging. How awful would it be to miss our hearing - the one we waited YEARS for!

In our lateness, Stink and Perrball (my best bud and her hubby) made it to the courthouse to find out the Douglas County Courts had moved to a brand new justice center. Perry called John's dying cell phone to inform us of the change. We were headed to the wrong place!

At the justice center, a line stretched out the door on to the icy sidewalk. Children ran and slid all around. Turns out that Friday is "Adoption Day" at the court and all adoption cases are scheduled for 9AM. By the time we made it through "airport security" (Kyle set off the alarm with his car seat and John... why does that boy have to carry so many electronics???), our whole party was waiting for us at the top of the central staircase. The wait began.

When we were finally called in, the hearing lasted not even five whole minutes! The judge asked how the baby was doing. He then stated he had carefully reviewed all the paper work, felt it was in the best interest of the child to be adopted by us, and proclaimed Kyle to be Kyle Robert G. from that moment forward. That was it. Kyle was our forever baby!

Later that evening, over 30 people and various small children crowded our home to celebrate this momentous occasion. Three kinds of chilli were served, and Kyle was passed around like an Olympic hero! He was all giggles, grins and sweet potatoes.

October 27th will be Kyle's "Forever Day" and celbrated annually. John and I both want him to know that we cherish him and that his Forever Day was one of the happiest days of our lives.

I feel like I've been holding my breath for 7 and 1/2 months. Holding the decree of adoption in my hand was like making a giant sigh of relief. It's over. While we waited in line to pay Vital Stats for the new birth certificate, our social worker leaned in and said, "So, when are you putting in your ap for the next one?"


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My other kids

Vascilating between being a litterbox and a joy in the litterbox are the kids who make up the Sheridan High School Marching Band. I'm nearing the end of my 6th season as the colorguard coach, and what a ride it's been!

Sheridan is a tiny public school district in a very poor section of Southwest Denver. It is a 2A school almost lost in the shadows of the big 5A schools that surround it.

I can't remember the last time the football team won a game, and some of my soccer-playing girls explained the "mercy rule" to me. Many of their games ended with the mercy rule, and it wasn't b/c they were winning...

State assessment scores are low, more than half the school population doesn't speak English natively, and most of the kids are on free and reduced lunch programs.

But, in the midst of it all a troupe of kids dressed in black, blue and silver stand proudly plumed on a green field. Silks flap in the Colorado breeze while horns twinkle under the bright sunlight. No one moves a muscle while the drum major counts off. The audience gasps with the first crescendo and pop of flags. Underneath many uniforms hang gold medals - a tangible reminder of the rewards hard work yields. The Sheridan band currently holds the title of State Champion for class 2A. Two weeks from yesterday, they will march onto the field in Pueblo to defend that long-sought after title.

It's really hard to be a very small fish in a pond full of mongo-sharks, but the kids never give up. When they fall, they get back up and work harder. Marching band, for many of these kids, is the ONLY spot of success in their lives. For some it is the ONLY thing keeping them in school.

Over the years I 've been asked "Why Sheridan? You could easily teach at a 4 or 5A school." My response: "If not me, then who?" So many small schools don't have staff beyond the director. I see many guards who make up their own show. I admire their courage and my heart breaks for them at the same time. I wish more communities and districts valued marching band.

There are some very difficult students whose personal lives would give you nightmares. Other teachers complain about these kids and some have police records, but you know what? In band, the problems are few and not severe. They feel valued. They succeed. Pray for wisdom as the season winds down and the staff turns up the heat to defend the state title. Pray for the kids that they may take the lessons learned on the field and apply them to life. Support your local marching band!

Visit the band at!