Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mentor Sentence Freebie for The Name Jar

I made this week of mentor sentence materials for The Name Jar to use in my 4th grade class last year. It's a great book to use at the beginning of the year, and this is a great freebie to give you a chance to see if mentor sentences are right for you and your kids! Click the image on the right to grab the freebie. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

One journey ends and a greater one begins.

So, as many of my readers know, the whole reason I started putting my teaching materials on TpT in the first place was in an effort to make a little money to help with the adoption journey my wife and I have been on.

After years of saving and waiting and worrying...I'm happy to announce that our beautiful daughter, Amelia Erin came into the world on July 6th! AND the papers have been signed and the court hearing has happened, so she is finally ours as legally as she has been ours in our hearts for months now!

It has been one of the most stressful things I've endured in my life, and I can't even begin to express how thankful I am that this part of our journey is coming to an end. 

We set out for St. Louis, MO on July 4th in preparation for the birthmother's induction on the 6th. We were really lucky to be matched with a great set of birth parents that made this decision out of love, and did more than they had to to make her birthday special for us. We were even allowed to be in the delivery room for her birth! After she was cleaned up the hospital provided us with a post partum room and we were able to spend the two nights she stayed in the hospital with her in our room. 

After that we had to wait patiently for our court hearing. We were kind of led astray in our understanding of how long the whole process took, and were really disappointed to learn that our court date wasn't happening until July 15th. So, we sat around in our hotel room for DAYS waiting on our hearing (which took 15 minutes and happened 2 hours late!!!) But eventually the hearing happened and everything worked out!

EXCEPT for the fact that there is this crazy law in place that requires an Interstate Agreement to occur between my home state of PA and MO before our baby is allowed to leave the state of her birth to go home. That paperwork can't be sent off until after the hearing. They have told me that it is going to be at least NEXT Wednesday or Thursday before we get the okay to leave the state with our baby. I've already been here for 13 days, and I have at least another 6 to go. Sigh!

To make matters crazier, my wife really needed to return to PA to go back to work, get our dogs out of boarding (to save us the money, especially now that we have over a week more of hotel bills! Aargh), and was actually called to interview for a better job. So she left about an hour after the hearing to return to PA, leaving me and the baby here in St. Louis until we get the go ahead to leave. As soon as I do, we'll be catching the next flight home! 

In the meantime I'm going a little bit stir crazy here in the hotel room. This should be the perfect time for me to catch up on blogging, put the finishing touches on the 8 different products I have in the works, and start planning for the new school year...except I am so tired! With the normal waking up to feed and change Amelia plus the 3 times I'm waking up each night just to make sure she's still breathing...I'm getting about an hour or two of sleep at a time between 1am and 8am. It'll be nice to get on a sharing system with my wife when I get home!

I'm also definitely stressing out a bit about raising a newborn alone in a hotel room in a strange city with no transportation! Aagh! Luckily I've had the support of my blogging buddies who have given me a little parenting advice and support, AND were kind enough to even send me a surprise dinner today! The hotel has breakfast luckily, but dinners have been interesting. Haha. Luckily, little Amelia has been a great baby so far and hasn't been causing too much trouble. I do wish babies came with built in gauges. A temperature gauge, an energy gauge, a diaper gauge, and a sleep gauge would all be really handy right about now...

Either way, despite the challenges of the journey getting here...I've never been happier in all my life. Every day I've had with Amelia so far has been the biggest blessing in my life, and I can't wait for all the rest to come. 

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