18 posts categorized "Michael"

June 15, 2007

Michael's new apartment

Guitar_on_bed_2

We used the van to move the rest of Michael's larger items into his new apartment tonight so we had our first chance to look around at his new digs.

The apartment complex is in a nice, clean, part of Saratoga and is walking distance to just about everything.  It looks like lots of young families live there.  The pool was full of happy splashing people and a table was set up outside where two young women were playing a board game.  The walkways were uneven and the landscaping consisted mostly of patches of dead grass and dirt but it looked like a good (ie safe) place to live.   

Michael's apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with two 19 year old boys in each room.  Yep, you read that right -- there are 4 of them in this apartment.  I can't help but imagine the smell of all those socks.  If anyone has a teenage male still at home, they know what I mean.

Their mattresses are sitting directly on the floor.  I'm sure all of them could have brought the frames but thought it was more stylish to be on the floor (Michael did: we're storing his frame in our garage).  There were several laundry baskets, obviously used for moving, overflowing with household items.  There were boxes everywhere.  Something tells me this is cleaner than we'll ever see this apartment again!

They're using paper plates and plastic cups and don't have plans to change that.  They have one pot and one pan.  We offered to give them some of ours but they didn't think they would ever need more.  I was just dying to open the fridge and have a peek inside but was afraid I'd be haunted by what I did (or didn't) see in there.

In the living room, they have two comfy looking hand-me-down sofas and a 36 inch TV.  Behind one of the sofas, and dividing the room, are two long folding tables set up side by side to accommodate four computers, keyboards and mouse pads.  Andrew laughed and said the room looked like an India call center.  Two of Michael's three roommates were playing an Xbox video game when we came in.  A fan was moving hot air around the room (saving on air-conditioning expenses, I'm sure).  The third roommate was stirring something on the stove and I'm pretty sure I recognized the smell of Macaroni (right before you add the cheese powder).  Gawd, it smelled GOOD!

There were colorful, abstract, odd art/paintings leaning up against the walls in the hall.  Gwen grabbed a hammer out of Michael's laundry basket and looked like she was going to get busy hanging something (or destroying something).  I stopped her. 

There was a 9 week old kitten playing with a shoelace.  He has a long tail which fascinated Maddy since our cat doesn't have a tail at all.  There were guitars here and there and boxes everywhere else.  In the breakfast nook of the kitchen (aka the Dining Room), I saw a small kitchen table but no chairs.

Oh to be 19 again!  This looks like incredible fun!

Michael said he's having a good time living with his friends.  I asked him how he's doing at work and he said he was Employee of the Month this month.  He's been promoted to Shift Leader.  Not too bad considering he's only worked there for two months!  He's still committed to trade school (eventually) but having fun living with friends and working.  For now, I think this will suit him fine.  But when the bills start rolling in, he's sure to see how hard it is to stretch his meager paycheck to cover everything. 

Hopefully he'll be ready to go back to school pretty soon.  Whatever path he chooses in life, I'm sure he'll be incredibly successful.  I just want his path to be as obstacle free as possible.  And, of course, I hope his path crosses ours very often. 

June 13, 2007

Baby birds always leave the nest

Driving_awayFifteen minutes ago, the pickup truck containing my son and all of his things backed out of the driveway.  It was 11:50 PM on June 12th and I watched my first baby leave my nest.  Tonight, he'll sleep in his very own apartment for the first time.   

As I waved goodbye and came back into the house, I paused to look at the bird nest in our wreath on the front door.  It's empty again.  The babies that were tiny just two weeks ago grew up and left home.  It made me wonder if their mother was proud of them but just a little bit sad too.

Good luck, my darling baby.  You know our home will always be your home too. 

June 07, 2007

My boy

Son_smI don't blog about Michael very much but he's every bit as much a part of our family as his two adorable little sisters.  He's just getting older (19 already!) and isn't in front of our camera as much as he was when he was younger.

But, in the week of his 19th birthday, I've thought about him more than usual. 

Recently, a friend posted on the MSN China adoption forum that her agency was about to obtain several files of boys ages 8 to 13.  These boys will be either healthy or have very minor special needs.  Thinking about these boys really made me emotional.  These are boys who are old enough to know what they have and don't have.  They know what they want but unlike kids who have families, they know what they need.  They're willing to risk huge social upheaval to obtain it.  To move to another country and live with strangers who don't look or speak or eat or live like they do. 

All because they want a family -- they just want someone to love them.

I have a son so I know, firsthand, how special the bond is between a mother and her boy.  They'll suck it up and not cry when they get hurt if their friends are watching.  They'll pretend like they're too old to give Dad a hug before bedtime but they'll absolutely fall into Mommy's arms if they feel vulnerable.  My heart breaks to think of boys out there in the world, all alone, who can't do this.  They have to present this brave face every single day but, inside, they're just little boys who need to know the tender touch and unconditional love of a Mommy (and a Dad too).  I hope every one of those boys (not yet listed) finds a forever family right away!  And I hope CCAA sends the files of more older orphans to the agencies who have families lined up out the door (and around the block!) to adopt a waiting child.

We didn't have a digital camera until Michael was 13 so there's not much on the computer to share with you.  But here are a few of my favorite pictures of my goofy/adorable boy (now a man!) when he was school age.    I hope this inspires someone with a big house and bigger heart to consider adopting an older boy or maybe even two!   

June 05, 2007

19 years old

Michael_19th_birthday_croppedMichael turned 19 yesterday.  I know I say this all of the time but here I go again -- time sure does fly!  Seems like just yesterday that he was.... well, you name it:  A newborn, toddler, starting kindergarten, graduating high school, entering college.

We celebrated by taking him and two of his friends out to dinner at an Indian food buffet.  He's never been keen on cakes so it was Key Lime pie.  His presents included socks, tshirts and underwear and a nice fat wad of cash. 

We love you, Michael!

July 26, 2006

Leaving home

Michael_school_years_cropped

This time last year, we were waiting on pins and needles for our referral.  We were a family of three with a son about to start his final year of high school. 

Fast forward to today and we're a family of four with a fifth on the way!  Our HS Senior is now a HS Graduate and will be leaving home in just a few weeks.

I created this collage of his school pictures just to help convince myself that he really didn't change into a man overnight.  Although I know I had good warning that he was growing up, I'm teary eyed typing this anyway.

If you have kids already, you know what I'm talking about.  If you're waiting for your first child, my advice is to be sure to treasure every single stage and don't be too impatient for them to be able to sleep alone, walk, talk, feed and bathe without help, ride a bike, stay home alone after school, etc.   Before you know it, you'll be looking into the face of your child and realize that they're an adult. 

So, one down, two to go.  Here's a picture of our next two!

Gwen_and_maddy_cropped_sm

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