Saturday, April 28, 2012

At the Richmond NASCAR Race

Tonight we are at the Richmond NASCAR Race.  My oldest daughter Lauren scored tickets for all three of the boys and me through her internship.  We got to meet three drivers:
Bobby Labonte
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Newman

From left in the middle:  Lauren, Nigel, Chalid, and Jacari.  Driver Brad Keselowski is in front.
We are in a skybox with 40 veterans and their families.  It has been raining all day, but the skies are clearing with 30 minutes to go till the start.  Richmond is a 400-lap, 300-mile race on a 3/4-mile banked oval.

We don't know how long the race will run, but when we first met him, Chalid said he wanted to go to a NASCAR race.

Lauren just told me Nigel said, "I don't like Jimmie Johnson.  He's ugly."  I have noticed this before with Nigel.  Drivers he does not like he comes to think of as ugly.  I am not sure why.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chalid's First Bicycle Race--Getting Family Culture

Chalid is adapting faster than a chameleon on a green leaf to life in our family.  He is happily eating dinner as a family, helping with chores and cleaning, thinking of the F&M gym as part of life and riding bicycles a lot.

We are what Chalid's social worker calls an "active family."  Yesterday Chalid saw active means serious about participating in amateur sports.  I entered my fist bicycle race of the year because it was cold and raining.  I put my bike and racing gear in the car the night before and decided if it was pouring I was going, if not, I would just ride.  It rained all afternoon.  At 230pm I put the boys in the car for a 65-mile drive to race in an industrial park in Lower Providence PA near King of Prussia.

When we got there, the organizers were thinking about cancelling the 55+ race.  I showed up at 4pm and said I wanted to race--loudly.  They decided to run the race.  Only five racers lined up at the start.  I have trained so little I was just happy to have a top-5 finish.  We rode together for the first two of ten one-mile laps.  At lap three, the strongest guy took off.  I chased towing my teammate Kevin and the other two riders.  Or I thought I was.  Kevin got a flat.  I towed the other two competitors around, wore myself out and watched them ride away.  I caught third place with two laps to go.  We sprinted for the finish and he won.  

Nigel has been cheering for me since he could walk.  I parked near the course.  Each lap the boys would jump out and cheer as I went past, then get in out of the rain.

On the way home, I could explain to Chalid that showing up is sometimes the most important part of competing.  He wants to race himself.  

I'll ge thim started soon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chalid's First Day of School

On Friday Chalid and I went to J.P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster to get him signed up for classes.  This morning I dropped him off at school.  He seemed nervous.  He was nervous. And he should be.  Starting a new school is no small thing an McCaskey is a big school.

The teacher assigned to show him around seemed very nice, so I think he will be OK.  One of his sisters is picking him up after school--at McDonald's!!!!  Not Mom's favorite place, but the McCaskey driveway is very crowded and McDonald's is right next to the school so Chlid and his sister will have no trouble finding each other.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So Far So Great

Today is just six days since Chalid moved in.  He is rapidly adjusting to life here and is clearly the big brother to both Jacari and Nigel.  I have seen him smile more than I have heard him speak in the last six days, but he talks a lot to his new brothers.

On Sunday I changed from No Video Games in the house to allowing the boys to use two iPods provided by their sister Lisa.  These iPods come from her and her boyfriend Robbie.  Both are partially broken and are casts offs--Lisa has an iPhone that serves as her iPod.

But the boys love them.  The caveat on their use is the iPods are MINE.  If they fight over them, refuse to share or ignore family members in favor of playing games, I will take back the iPods since they are not using them correctly.  They also stay in the house unless a parent says otherwise.

Next we have to get Chalid in school.  Happy Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chalid Moved in Last Night

American adoption can be really fast!  We met Chalid two weeks ago and he arrived last night with all of his stuff and moved in!

Chalid is the tall one in the middle.  Nigel is to his left.  Kiersten and Jacari are to his right.  These are the four kids who live in our house right now.  The other three are in Virginia in or recently out of college.