Book Review: Choosing To See

January 24, 2011

Choosing To See

I asked for this book for Christmas and received it. (Funny I asked for two books…before this I don’t even know the last non-children’s book I read cover to cover!) I was able to pick up this book when we went camping over new year’s and got about half of it read.

Choosing to See was a book that I honestly didn’t want to put down. I wanted to just sit and read it straight through, but even camping, that wasn’t possible. I did try and get some reading in at night and nap time once we got back. It didn’t take much longer before I had finished the book.

It was a great read. Lots of ups and downs, happy and sad, you’ll laugh and cry. I learned a lot about the Chapman family that I didn’t know before (For instance, Mary Beth’s last name was Chapman even before she got married to Steven! How handy was that!). The book shows their amazing faith and strong belief in God and how he will provide in all situations. No one wants to bury their child and they certainly don’t want to have to do so because of the actions of another child.

Mary Beth tells about life before Steven, life with Steven, life with their kids, adopting their three girls and all that comes with it. I was amazed by their belief and faith in God. Not sure why, because of course they have great faith in God, but in the unbelievably hard times they still did and while they may have questioned God and his decisions, they never questioned that he was in control.

I would recommend this book, especially to moms, but really anyone could get something great out of it. I have already loaned out my copy but once it comes back, I would consider reading it again as well as loaning it out more.

Thank you Mary Beth Chapman (who by the way has no clue who I am or that I’m writing this) for your willingness to share your experiences with the world. It was a blessing to read how God has changed your family through every circumstance. From being a SCC fan, it was cool to read about how things came together for you guys back in the day. I remember The Great Adventure-we sang that music with our church youth group for choir tour!


MAPP Class Update

November 18, 2008

You may recall, here and here, when I have talked about MAPP Class. You may also notice that there has been no recent talk about our class. There is a great reason for that. We quit going. Yes you read that right, we quit going. We had a talk a few weeks ago about things and decided at that point it was best to put the adoption on hold. There were lots of things going on: Big Monkey quitting his job, Big Monkey trying to get another job, Big Monkey figuring out what he would be doing in the meantime. You get the picture. There was a lot of unknowns and not quite stable enough for us to continue on the process. There were also some issues that we had learned from class about the children in foster care and we were not both on the same page with how we felt about different things. So for now, we are just living life with Little Monkey and Amy. Once Big Monkey gets into his new job (It starts on December 1st.) and gets settled, we may revisit the adoption idea or we may not.

MAPP Class Update

October 16, 2008

Last night we went to week five of our ten week class. We also found out that our case worker was sick and had asked her supervisor to call us to let us know that we would reschedule our visit. Unfortunately, the supervisor forgot to call us. We now have our first home study visit scheduled for this afternoon around 3:30pm. The supervisor will actually be doing our home study.

We were told last night that there is a LARGE packet of paperwork that we will still need to fill out before she can get started on writing our home study. We’ve got to have five references each, copies of our social security cards, driver’s license, marriage license, dog shot records, doctor records, etc. It will take awhile to get it all completed but our case worker is hopeful that she will have our home study 100% done and in our hands within 90 days of the end of MAPP. So…it could be 2009 before we have our home study to give out to try and match us with a child.

So patience…not one of our best qualities but something we will be learning to have even more of while we work through this process. Even once we get all the paperwork done and background checks completed and we have our home study, it could be awhile before we are matched with a child. It doesn’t help us that we are looking for a younger child (younger than Little Monkey) either. There tend to be less of them and they go quickly.

MAPP Classes

October 15, 2008

Tonight is week five of ten weeks of our MAPP classes. We have to complete these classes before we can continue on the path to being matched with a child. We also have to have our home study done. We thought that last night would be our first home visit for our home study. Something either came up with our caseworker, or we had the date wrong, hopefully we will find out tonight when we go to class.

Class has been interesting and I do think our teachers are doing a great job at showing us some of the issues that can come up with children that have been placed into state custody. I do find it interesting that a class on Partnership Parenting is taught by people who have never been married and who do not have kids. But the state does a lot of things odd so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. They are doing a great job with the knowledge they have though.

I am eager to get finished with our class and our home study so that we can start the process and try and match with a child that would best match up with our family and that we could best met their needs. Last week, we told our case worker about two little girls that we saw on the state’s site. They are both one year old, so we know they are not going to stay up there too long. She told us, exactly what I thought she would, that we should really stop looking at the website until our class is over. We have too long to wait to get through class and kids, especially that young, will not last long. So I am trying to not look at the site and wait it out until our class is over and then start looking.


June 30, 2008

It seems many people are blogging about the books they have been reading…herehereherehereherehere…I think you get the idea. Since it is the last day of the month and I’m not sure what to write about…I will also be writing about books.

I got quite a stack of books for Christmas this year (I also think this was the case the year before too!). Two were craft books and some others had to do with parenting. I finally decided I should try and read them instead of just using them to support the remote control on my nightstand! I actually went through the craft ones right after Christmas and marked a bunch of ideas that I want to try. To date I have only tried to make one thing though!

I have these two books:
99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim
Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt
Both books are full of fun ideas and many that I want to try. I just need to find some time to get all the supplies out and actually work uninterrupted. Hmmm One can dream right?

My Mom also gave me these parenting books. The first one I finished right before vacation and the other I read and finished while on vacation. They both had LOTS of information and will be on our bookshelf to refer back to later. There is no way anyone can remember all the stuff they told you to do!

Praising Boys Well: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers

Raising Happy Kids: Over 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers

My sister-in-law sent me a book to read to give me some insight on the idea of adoption. I got in in the mail right when we got back from vacation and started reading it. It took less than a week to read (not reading everyday and usually only reading at night before bed). It was a good read and did help provide some insight even though the child adopted in this book was adopted at birth and we will be adopting a child that is already born and likely a couple of years old. The second book is one she also suggested that I read. I have just started it but hope I can read it more over the next week or two.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Adding to our family

April 25, 2008

As was mentioned before, we have discussed adding another child to our family. We feel like adoption is the best way for us to do this at this time. After much discussion, we have now begun talking with Melanie at Place of Hope in West Palm. This is where my sister works and they are helping us to get started in the process. It is very helpful to have someone who knows us already than to jump into the process totally blind.

We are looking to begin the process of filling out paperwork, taking the 30 hour MAPP class and having our home study done. Once all of this is completed, we will be able to send our paperwork to agencies across the state. This way there will be lots of eyes looking for the child who will be the best fit for our family. The process could take a while so we are trying to get started on it. We are looking forward to finding a child who will be a great fit for our family and who we can give a forever home to. We are excited to begin the process but we are also trying to remain level headed and rational about it. We know it could be a very long process and possibly be years before a child comes to join our family.

What did you want to know?

April 8, 2008

I must say that I am quite surprised by the lack of participation from my “What would you like to know?” post. I have approved ALL the questions that were asked. If you check down there, you will see that only one question was asked. I did not censor ANY questions; there really was only one question posted.

Amy asked, “Does Little Monkey want a brother or sister?” I have checked with Little Monkey on this one. When I asked him if he wanted a little brother, he said yes. When I asked him if he wanted a little sister, he also said yes. I told him it was not too likely that he’d be getting both.

There has been some discussion recently around our house about more children. We’ve discussed a few options. 1. Have no more children. 2. Try to have another child. 3. Adopt a child. We are leaning somewhere towards number 1 and number 3 at this time. Big Monkey has expressed interest in wanting a little girl. We’ve also discussed that if we were to adopt that we would possibly want to have a child that also has PKU. Obviously this is quite a request when looking to adopt a child but it could be a possibility. With possibly adopting a child, there are other concerns- most which are financial. Can we afford to have another child in the first place? Can we afford to adopt a child? Both of which answers are probably: not right away.

So there you go. Sorry more people did not participate in the question and answer post. Maybe we’ll do it again sometime.