Thursday, October 15, 2015

Summer Projects

Along with two rooms worth of new windows, the master bath took the remainder of my savings from working in Alaska last summer. The contractor for the bathroom, a friend from running, discovered terrazzo under the old tiles so I decided to have the floor restore rather than re-tiled. While the terrazzo guy was here, I decided to have him restore the foyer as well. Bye-bye budget.

Floor and windows and the entire house looks fantastic. Gus and I will add a window seat under the bay window and do a minor roof repair. Other than those two things, the summer rehab projects are done.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Frustrated, Inc.

I'm really frustrated with the 420 crew today. After pushing my window install out for weeks, they finally started the work, but showed up a week early. Basically, using a calendar is not in their sweet spot. Now a tape measure. The windows in the extra bedroom do not math the rest of the windows in the house and the bay windows are the wrong size. All of which could be fixed, but would only be expensive and time-consuming. Yes, it's their "fault", but contractors never have to work so it's the homeowner left shaking her head.

Today is 4 on the Grrr Scale. One bright light, TyTy is staying here while his biodad is doing a 3-week training :) I love having that little nugget home.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why I Haven't Commented on Phoebe Jonchuck's Murder

Two days ago, Phoebe Jonchuck was thrown off the Sunshine Skyway bridge by her biological father. Phoebe and I live in the same county. She died about 40 minutes from my home. Phoebe Jonchuck was 5-years old.

When I heard the news of her murder, less than 8 hours after it happened, I couldn't help but think of January 2008.

On the same day as Phoebe's murder, I saw Facebook tributes and shared articles that showed pictures of her parents. I read so many angry comments. Scouring the online articles, stalking her mother's own Facebook page, I stared at the pictures of her father, captured and booked less than an hour after he killed his daughter. And I thought of January 2008.

On the same day as Phoebe's murder, my foster son's Guardian Ad Litem (volunteer legal representative) called me. Her voice was shaking, her words bordered on frantic. She asked me if I had heard about Phoebe and I told her about January 2008.

In 2008 I was finishing graduate school in Honolulu, Hawaii. On January 18 of that year, just a few minutes from my home, a low-functioning meth addict walked into the apartment of another meth addict, picked up her 1-year old son, carried him to a nearby pedestrian overpass and threw him into H-1 traffic. I passed under that bridge everyday. The baby's name was Cyrus.

You see, even though my son is a healthy, bouncing 6-mo old, his Guardian knows he, and 999 other children in Pinellas County, are Phoebe Jonchuck. The only difference between those kids and Phoebe is that little Phoebe, just like baby Cyrus, never spent a single night in foster care. Tonight, 1,000 luckier children will. 

I haven't commented on Phoebe's Jonchuck's murder because I, along with every other foster family, have been busy preventing another tragedy. Being busy doesn't make us less angry, it doesn't take the shaking out of our voices when we talk about our kids' cases. And nothing about being a foster parent makes you feel good about any tragedy. While we all hug our little ones closer when we hear about children like Phoebe and Cyrus, I know every foster parent pauses, thinks, or prays---this is why we do.