Our last big adventure while I was in town was on July 4th. We went to see the Altoona Curve, both the minor league baseball team and the train station. The game was sold out, but we were able to get standing room only tickets which were perfect. We were eating dinner sitting at a picnic table during warms ups. Nolin asked if he could go down to the seats in front, so we did. They started playing R.O.C.K. In The USA and Nolin put on a show. Shaking his hips, jumping from stair to stair like the platforms were his own personal stage. The boy has moves. It was hysterical.
When the song ended the pitcher came over and handed Nolin a ball. He tried to throw it back, I explained that this was his. But what are they going to play with? I told him they have other balls. Well I don’t want it, I already have a baseball.
I explained to him that it was his to keep and we headed back up to the picnic tables as everyone around us was cracking up.
Well Grace couldn’t be outdone, so she headed over to the arcade games with Jenn and her uncle Mike. They had one of those games where you can win prizes, so Uncle Mike put in a dollar and tried to win Grace a prize…no luck. Then a girl came over and handed Grace a prize she could have won…an Uncle Si Duck Dynasty doll. Grace ran around the baseball stadium hugging Uncle Si…again to everyone’s amusement.
We were patiently waiting for the fireworks, but it was getting too late, and we had two kids that were done. So Jenn, Nolin, Grace, Uncle Mike & I left. Everyone else was staying. This did not make Nolin very happy.
He was sitting on my shoulders as we left asking why we couldn’t see the fireworks. In hindsight, we shouldn’t have played up the fireworks as much all day long…like literally all day long anytime we wanted to get his attention we would ask if he was excited to see the fireworks. He began telling me that if we left he would never love me again, actually that he would never have true love for me again (thanks Frozen). In fact he explained that he would never love anyone again.
Well obviously I have made a mistake. Nolin was right, there was no way that his lack of sleep and his new-found loss of love for me were related in any way, so we should definitely turn around and head back inside. Before we did, I questioned this statement.
Really, you will never love anyone?
He paused…I will never love anyone but Pap-Pap, wait where is Pap-Pap? Ten minutes later both Nolin and Grace were sleeping in the car.
Grace woke up first in the morning, looking for Nolin because she wanted to play. Eventually Nolin woke up and lo and behold he must have forgotten about the previous night’s promise because he once again loved me and everyone else. Sleep must have been an act of true love.
This was my last full day at the bumpy road house and it would be capped off with a big party and huge fireworks display at Uncle Rich’s house. Apparently not learning our lesson, we told Nolin he would get to see fireworks again this evening and Pap-Pap even showed Nolin one of his infamous cell phone videos of the previous nights fireworks.
Nolin had a huge smile…I will get to see fireworks two nights in a row?! How cool is that?…how quickly we forget.
I think Grace realized that I was leaving because she paid extra attention to me all day which was awesome. As the night went on, it was obvious that Grace was not going to stay awake for the fireworks, but I told Jenn I don’t care what we have to do, I will make sure Nolin gets to see these.
We left early to get a good viewing spot, Grammy stayed at the house with Grace. Nolin thought the fireworks were amazing…and they were. The only problem is it may have been the longest fireworks show I have ever seen. It kept going and going and getting louder and louder. We got back to the house and Grammy and Grace were sitting up on the couch.
Let’s just say, Grace did not like waking up in a new environment to shaking walls, loud booms and no one around her. Nolin fell asleep as soon as we got back to the house, but Grace she wasn’t having it, she wasn’t going to close her eyes again and wake up in a war zone.
This was especially difficult because we were all sleeping in one room in one bed. Jenn made her way up and onto the floor to try to help Grace fall asleep. She eventually got up to get Grace a drink and see if that would help.
There was a loud thump followed by a crash. I jumped out of bed to find Jenn in the fetal position on the floor and Grace standing over her.
We were in an upstairs room with a low-cut ceiling towards the door. Having forgot that small detail while standing up in the dark, Jenn was now left rolling around holding her head. Grace always the helper was trying to figure out how to make the situation better. She put her hand on Jenn and said close our eyes?!
She walked back over to their make shift floor bed, laid down, closed her eyes and just like that was sleeping.
We both started laughing and wondered why we didn’t just do that earlier.
The next day I said goodbye to Jenn and the kids and flew back home for 3 weeks. Work has been crazy. I have been either doing house work or job work everyday until at least 11pm, but the mornings still start early. My latest wake-up has been 7:45. The house is super quite. I think I have grown accustomed to the noise, so the new-found silence has been deafening.
Jenn on the other hand has been running all over with the kids and family and friends. The nights usually go late with family get togethers and card games, but the mornings still start early. She tells me she would love a few days of peace and quiet. I tell her, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Today I will get to see Nolin, Grace and Jenn again. To say I am excited is an understatement.
Hello! My name is Elizabeth Arnold, and I work with the marketing team at Buckner International.
I have been following Our Modern Family and your heart for adoption is readily apparent, especially in the above post. Thank you for sharing your journey and for your honesty about the realities behind adoptive parenting.
In case you aren’t familiar with Buckner, we are a 135-year old faith-based global ministry dedicated to transforming lives. Shoes for Orphan Souls is our largest humanitarian aid project, and we annually help coordinate more than 1,500 shoe drives nationwide to collect new shoes for children and then deliver them on short-term shoe delivery mission trips worldwide. This year we are celebrating our 15th anniversary and counting down to 3 million pairs of shoes delivered.
We are gearing up for our annual Barefoot Run to raise awareness and support for Shoes for Orphan Souls® and would love you to join us in our quest to place shoes on the feet of the world’s orphans and vulnerable children. The Dallas Barefoot Run is Saturday, Oct. 4 and the virtual Barefoot Run Where You Live event takes place October 4-11. This is an excellent opportunity to educate your followers about the needs of orphans and vulnerable children around the world, as well as shed light on one simple way people can make a big difference – through a new pair of shoes! It’s also a little crazy and fun, too, and should make for some interesting blog content.
Would you be interested in participating in the virtual Barefoot Run Where You Live and blogging about your experiences? Don’t worry, the barefoot part is optional (but strongly encouraged!).
If you are interested, I will gladly send you a free race packet, running bib, a link to print off a photo of a child you can support and our official Barefoot Run t-shirt. We would also like to offer you the opportunity to help us select the winner for this year’s social media contest on Instagram. The person who posts the most creative picture while using #barefootrun (and liking our @Buckner_Shoes page) will win something BIG! (Think airline tickets, mission trip … we are still waiting to confirm the final prize).
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.