My child

The Changing Tides…

So I had this great post lined up talking about my new nephew, WEB. He is beautiful and perfect and I couldn’t wait to hold and snuggle him. But for various reasons, this is a different kind of post.

Now, this will just be a normal update.

San Diego Comic ConFor starters, we – husband and I – are ridiculously fortunate to have scored badges to San Diego Comic Con this year!!!! (Every single type of badge sold out in under 60 minutes…) Y’all know just how much we love our cons as we’ve been attending Megacon and Supercon for the last 5 years and this year we attended Magic City for the first time. Seeing as SDCC is clear across the country, we are making a vacation out of it and spending a few days before and after to really soak everything in. The OMG feeling still hasn’t disappeared 3 days later.

School is good. I met a lot of great contacts at an ASPA conference last week.

Work is work… you know how that goes.

I currently have a super mild case of strep that I caught from 1 of 2 sources, both at work.

We attended WordCamp Miami this weekend and it was fantastic! Of course it pumped me up again to incorporate and push my design business again. It happens every year, and every year I do nothing.

Adoption? Nothing really. As you know I am on the Board of SFFAPA and very involved in the foster and adoption world. Will our child come to us this way? I honestly don’t know anymore. We have begun to explore both international-ish adoption and private newborn adoption. Of course, there is an extremely high cost associated with both of these and the benefits of a foster adoption aren’t part of either option. For example, international and private adoptions don’t provide free college tuition which would suck! That was a huge thing for us as we want our children to attend some sort of college of vo-tech school.

For those wondering, WEB was born on the 9th and had initial troubles but finally went home on the 15th. He was preemie so they are under self-imposed quarantine for a few more weeks.

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It’s Been A While….

Hey friends!

I am still around. Things are crazy busy between my MPA (I ended my first semester with 2 A’s!!), working 2 jobs, freelancing, volunteering with my board and trying to keep my head above water. Husband graduated with his MBA in December and started his Doctorate this month. Needless to say, we’ve been keeping very busy since we have no children still.

To be fair, we did stop the foster license process back in August when I was beginning my Master’s classes. We do have a contingency plan in the instance of getting the opportunity to parent.

What we’ve been up to since the last post (I know, I always do these..)

  • We celebrated 5 years married on 10-10-10!
  • We found out we are having a NEPHEW(!!) in February from my baby brother and his girlfriend. For our longtime readers, they came to Vegas with us for our wedding.
  • I got a new laptop – only a big deal to my techies, but it’s lighter and smaller which means I can throw it in my bag and carry it with me everywhere to do homework and freelance work.
  • My Foster association created a petition to help foster children and within the 1st day we got over 1,000 signatures! We have surpassed 5,600 to date.
  • I became active in the Miami Geek Girls Brunch chapter and made awesome new geeky friends.
  • Puppykins developed a horrible ulcer in her eye and had to wear a cone for a month. She hated it and slept the best in her life the day we removed the cone.
  • Met. Richelle. Mead. Only one of my all time authors on the planet!
  • Decided to leave Miami. Like for real this time. There may be a slight bump in the plans, but I can’t discuss it at the moment.
  • Met Peter Davidson.
  • Met Jenna Coleman.
  • Met Billie Piper.
  • Meeting Matt Smith tonight!

I feel bad saying I’ll post more and then not. But I will try

 

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Hello!

helloCan we just ignore that I promised to update more and haven’t? Seriously, I am sorry about that. Life is, as expected, crazy.

In the last 2.5 months, we (I) made the decision to pause our foster application due to all the insanity in our lives. Between my starting grad school, the 4-5 hour round trip commute to work each day (it’s gotten worse 🙁 ), being Communications Chair for the South Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and my constant house hunting (I really want to own a home!)… PLUS Husband’s finishing his MBA and applying for a Doctorate and his work, we barely have time to sleep. Also, I have been actively job hunting and made it to the final rounds with 2 jobs but things happened and, wibbly wobbly, both fell through.

Then I turned 39! And we went to Painting With A Twist with a small group of friends. Husband, SIL, and I went off book and made our paintings our very own by not really following directions all that well…

And on October 10th is our 5th wedding anniversary!

Since we do, in fact, have the ability to time this avenue of bringing a child into our home, we are taking advantage. Also, in the last few weeks, I have been really drawn to changing our age range to teens or at least an older age range. Right now we are approved to adopt 3-8 year old children. I’ve been thinking about upping it to 12 or 13. The older kids are more rewarding from what I am getting from my friends that foster teens as you can speak to and reason with them. While I would love the cuddles of a little one, well I have plenty of friends with little ones plus, a new baby in my family is coming soon!!

Now, frequent visitors will have noticed that there is finally a new blog design. I changed my hosting, rearranged a few domains and hopefully it will speed everything up. Also, I plan on using FletcherFam.com as a family focused website as opposed to just this blog which is very child-focused. I will post here when that goes live.

From last post, my MPA classes are going well so far. This semester I am in an “intro” to Public Administration and a Human Resources course. I promised more info last time. With all the heartaches and hardship we’ve gone through with the adoption process in the last 2 years, I finally decided that something needed to be done. My ultimate “grown up” goal is to be the COO or CEO of a foster care agency or government entity working towards the protection of children. In 5 years, I hope to have graduated and be working in the industry. This MPA will supplement the knowledge I gained from my MBA to focus on non-profits and government agencies.

I hope you’re all well!

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Foster and Life Update

ty-elephant

I am so amazed and grateful for all the folks that have found my blog and FB page – WELCOME to each and every one of you and thank you for reading.

Since my last post in our Facebook page about our upcoming home visit on April 2nd, we had to reschedule as our entire neighborhood lost power just hours before her visit! But of course, it’s not that easy and we still haven’t set a new time. Not only that, but the original license person (Z) has been in touch and will be helping/ completing our foster license. We received the foster license packet a few days ago to start combing through prior to her visit. There is a long list of items to have ready for the first visit – half of which will take at least a month to obtain. Erg.

Another avenue has possibly opened up for us with a phone call from my aunt. She knows someone that works with children from Colombia who I am now playing phone tag with. I have no idea if it’s considered a private adoption or international adoption or what, but we’ll see. I’ll keep everyone posted especially once I find out the name of the charity/ company/ ministry. I’m not terribly thrilled about this option as it seems like it would be religious. We might not even be considered seeing as we have no religion in our home even though I work for a Jewish institution.

In 100% completely new news, I have made a crazy life decision and decided to get a second Master’s degree, this time in Public Administration. Yes, I might be crazy. In fact, I’m fairly sure that I am crazy since it will begin this August providing I am accepted into the program. It is an online program through FIU which is local to us so I can attend all the networking socials and whatnot. I will be able to take 1-4 classes each semester. With my first Master’s, I took 2 classes and worked full time. I’m actually super excited about it even if I think I’m crazy for taking it on at this point in my life.

Let’s recap, shall we?
Grad school – all application pieces have been submitted except the 3-5 page essay about my career goals
2 part-time jobs (oh yeah, I’m back to that…) with 90 minute one way commute
Foster license
Pursuing adoption
Everything else I do in my life on a daily basis

An update on Babycakes.. she had her surgery and is the proud recipient of a new liver! The surgery was 3 weeks ago and so far so good. She still isn’t alert and aware as they’ve kept her in a coma, but at least her body has accepted the new liver.

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Foster License and TWO Kids? Madness!

Sorry loves,

When there isn’t much to discuss, the posts are few and far between. Since last time, quite a few things have happened, just not terribly much in the adoption world.

Foster license: 2 weeks ago, we submitted our paperwork for our foster license. We are still waiting to be assigned a licensing person to complete the license and schedule home visits.

WHAT?! We’re finally getting our foster license? What madness is this, you ask?

How about some backstory, hmm?

A little over a month ago, I was called about a child fairly close to being legally free. The problem is that once she is legally free, she will be going to a pre-adoptive home. We are not currently one of those as we don’t have a foster license.

So a month ago, I called Our Kids and spoke to Donald about getting the paperwork for said foster license. I’ve been told repeatedly for months that we need to get it but have shied away for several reasons. It would appear now that the only way we will actually get a child in our home is to be licensed.

It took about 2 weeks to get our acts together and fill out all the paperwork.

2 weeks ago, we submitted our paperwork for our foster license. We are still waiting to be assigned a licensing person to complete the license and schedule home visits.

elephantChild 1: In mid-December, we met a beautiful little baby (Babycakes) and I fell very much in love with her. She is my friends foster child and in need of major surgery. She is far from legally free for adoption, but that didn’t stop me from cuddling and snuggling with her on multiple occasions. Fast forward the next several weeks of visiting, snuggling and generally loving on Babycakes. She is ridiculously cuddly and such a little love. And then her foster mom was told how large the family was and that they hadn’t been ruled out to adopt her. Then the family started visiting.

At that point, we realized our journey with her was futile and we’d be better off just loving on her but not in a potential adoptive parent type of way.

littleladysifChild 2: About a month ago, a 3 year old child (SIF) was brought to our attention by someone at Our Kids. I contacted her case worker to get more information. We texted and called back and forth frequently and then on Tuesday, CW called me to ask if we were still interested in SIF. If we were, would we be willing to go to court on Thursday (yesterday) to appear before the judge in order to get a court order for visitation. This was needed due to SIF not being legally free for adoption.

So we made our arrangements and went to court. I was a bundle of nerves and Husband was, as expected, calm and collected. We took the train downtown, found the courthouse, and met the GAL and CW’s supervisor. The both told us a little bit about what was going to happen and to basically stay quiet unless the judge speaks to us. Great. I can be quiet.

Court began late, but just sitting and watching everything unfold was very interesting! Mom and grandma were there which apparently threw a wrench in the plans. SIF has been in foster care since August and mom hasn’t done much for her case plan so this was supposed to be a TPR and request for visitation for us from what I understood. Things didn’t quite go that way.

Mom decided that she wanted to parent and take care of what she was supposed to do 6 months ago. Dad is still missing and everyone is trying to track him down. Everyone agreed to allow her. But they also scheduled mediation and a trial. We’re debating attending those as well.

In the meantime, we will follow her case and stay in touch with CW. Our contact at Our Kids will keep us updated on her as well.

And we work on our foster license, keep cleaning out the kids room-turned-storage room and prepare to be parents.

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Digging through drafts

ballerinaI found this as I was digging through my email drafts this morning. Apparently I started several emails to Ballerina that was going to be sent to the email address she would read later.

So much emotion and promise wrapped up in just a few paragraphs here. Maybe something like this is exactly what I needed to do to finally push past. In therapy, a lot of times you’re told to write a letter to whomever is causing you trauma whether alive or dead and whether you send it or not. I actually started a blog a while back writing letters/ blog posts to my very dear friend that had passed away. It was cathartic. I could write about anything and it felt like I was talking to her. Hopefully getting this out will be the closure I need for Ballerina.

Bc as it is, every time we go to an association meeting, I hope to see her. We watched an adoption special on TV bc my friends were all being interviewed and my heart leapt when her photo showed up. It’s bad.

So please, heart, let this be the closure we all need to move on.

##

May 23, 2014
Dear S,

We met you for the first time on Saturday for a play date and hung out again on Sunday. We both adore you and hope like hell that you like us too. I already feel super protective of you and wish we could fast forward the whole process.

To be fair, we have a lot of information about you from your therapists and case workers. We know what happened to you in your young life to bring you into care and the rough journey you’ve had since you’ve been there. We know what happened to both your parents, why you have the relationship you have with your brother and why you despise living in a group home so much. We know your family history, previous placement history, likes, dislikes, and more.

And we still want you in our lives.

And we hope, really hope, that you understand what that means.

We want you – YOU – to be our daughter.

One day you, my little tech savvy child, might find and read my blog. You will read about everything [Husband] and I went through from very early on in our relationship all the way until today. Our adoption journey was fraught with difficulties and frustrations and we pushed through. We prevailed. We might’ve gotten people in trouble along the way, but they weren’t doing their jobs properly. Yes, you will read the glossy version of it all. I don’t mention real names if I can help it.

You, my beautiful girl, are referred to as Ballerina in my blog. Feel free to do a search for yourself.

 

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It’s Been A While…

Hi my lovely bloggy readers,

I know it’s been really quiet around here for the last 6 weeks 3 months. Yes, I started an update post 6 weeks ago and never finished it.

My life in a nutshell these days…

  • Celebrated my 38th birthday!
  • Our 4th wedding anniversary!
  • Paid off 3 credit cards
  • Started a Fiber and Fandoms podcast with my friend Kate – Muggle Yarns!
  • Successfully completed my Kickstarter campaign thanks to my 19 truly amazing backers
  • Dropped to half time – 20 hours – at my full time job
  • Took on 2nd part time job – 25+ hours – back in the development/ fundraising and event planning world at a non-profit
  • Half-heartedly searching for children on several nationwide sites – family-match.orgadoptuskids.org
  • House hunting like crazy – we lost the cutest little house in North Miami Beach bc we took too long deciding
  • Getting over laryngitis that I’ve had for 10 days

Coming up…

  • Getting my knitting out – 2 more projects to try to finish this week
  • Shipping all my Kickstarter projects out
  • Going back to the customers that wanted commissions once this knitting was finished
  • House hunting and hopefully moving north and much closer to my jobs. My current commute time is 1.5-2 hours
  • Paying down and off all my other debts – goal for total payoff is 3 years
  • Still trying to get over and past our failed placement
  • Parenting?

heart bandaidBut what about parenting? Yeah… no idea.

I still attend the meetings and events, but my whole heart isn’t in it anymore. It’s more about hanging out with my friends than hoping there will be a foster parent there to talk to if her foster kids get TPRd. Husband even commented recently about my no longer showing him kid profiles or telling him about more kids. I’m a little down on the whole subject even though I know I could never be truly happy without being a mother. We have recently spent more time looking for houses than at children.

So, yeah, I’m sorta back, just down. Trying to get my life on track and get back in the mindset of focusing on long term goals.

Sooo…. how are you? What’s been happening in your lives in the last 3 months?

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Stagnant

I started writing this post last week and the only thing that’s changed is the last paragraph..

Going NowhereOur search is not going anywhere. In all honesty, I feel a little burned out constantly searching, seeing the same children, and submitting inquiries on them. I ask friends about their fosters and their foster’s siblings. I search nationwide sites. We discussed in vitro and pregnancy again. I… really don’t want to be pregnant. I – we – don’t want an infant. We want a child that can walk and talk and tell us what he or she wants. We want a child that spends his/her days in school learning and socializing with their friends while we are at work.

Sure, the older the foster child, the more likely to be problems from being in the system. We know. We are aware. We are prepared for it.

At least we are prepared in our minds. In reality, we don’t know. Well, I don’t. It’s been over a year since we decided to adopt. I’m exhausted.

There is a lot going on in our non-child lives right now – Husband in school, we are looking for a home to buy, and I am focusing my after-work time on pushing both my knitting and design businesses. My companies have been languishing for years as I focus on other projects. It’s nice to have something to think about constantly now especially since there is no child in our home or lives and we have no idea when there will be one.

Kiwi Crate

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Matchmaking and Adoption

I learned yesterday at work that when Orthodox Jews are “dating” (used loosely as it is more akin to matchmaking), they are not allowed to speak to other potential partners. Granted, this could be incorrect as I didn’t grill my friend about it. She was talking about a family member to another friend and mentioned that even though there was another very interesting young lady that he would be a good match with, he is currently committed to seeing if he is a match with another young lady. I asked why he wasn’t allowed to talk to both ladies and she said it just wasn’t done that way.

This got me to thinking about both “normal” dating (define that however it makes sense to you), job hunting and the matching process with our future child. There were definitely times when I dated 1-2 guys at a time until I determined which I liked better. OK fine, 2-3. But once I made the decision, I dropped everyone else. It didn’t always work out as I expected, but that’s how life works.

With jobs, when I applied to one that I [thought I] was perfect for, I would fixate on it. I’d do company research; learn about the employees, culture, upper management, office, local area, and more. All before scheduling an interview sometimes. When I’d apply for multiple jobs at a time, I would do the same for all of them. After all, I wanted to be super prepared to work there.

Not easy, but worth itAs much as we would have loved to be Ballerina’s parents, we have not heard anything in over a week since receiving the call from CW that she wanted to put a hold on being adopted at this time. For our peace of mind and hearts, we have moved on.

No, you didn’t miss the post about it. I didn’t post other than a few lines in my last post and with no details. I have been mourning (if you want to call it that) the loss of having her be a part of our family as our daughter. There will never be details posted as to the reasons on here or on FB although I might allude to it every so often. The lessons we learned with our first potential match will be carried forth throughout any future matches.

But back to my earlier point of “dating” one person at a time. With the adoption matching process, it feels strange to request information on several children at a time. We lucked out with how quickly things progressed with Ballerina and how well of a match we were with her. We really did. And even though it didn’t work out, it was still pretty smooth at first. Strange, yes. But we did it. Over the weekend I submitted inquiries on several children from across the country on AdoptUSKids.org. Matching when the child isn’t local is different and potentially difficult, but for the right child for our family, we are willing to do whatever it takes… within reason, of course.

And so begins the next part of our journey as we actively try to find our son or daughter from foster care.

Wish us luck!

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NFPA/FSFAPA Conference & Ballerina

Untitled-1We had an amazing time this past weekend at the NFPA/ FSFAPA Conference. Between meeting folks from across the nation, to playing in the pool with our friends kids, seeing old friends and family, and all the sessions… And not to mention the pillows. OMW the pillows. My bed had 5 of the softest, fluffiest pillows.

But I digress. We both learned a lot about ourselves, the process, and how we can help to empower our future child/ren. We also had 9-10 hours stuck in a car together plus all the down time to talk and to discuss Ballerina. As an aside, we must’ve gotten the “how are things going” question about a dozen times and asked why we hadn’t brought her with us at least twice. We honestly didn’t know that was a possibility.

We decided that yes, we absolutely want to adopt her. We have so much to offer her to help make her way into adulthood in just a few short years. 54-ish months to be exact. (Why is it that things in months sound so much shorter?) We discussed her school, speculated on the kinds of books she liked to read, how she’s spending the summer, her hobbies, family trips we’d take, high school, colleges, and more. Then we questioned if she even wanted to live with us. Wanted to be our daughter.

That question still plagues me. I hope she does. WE hope.

I know in my past posts, I seemed ambivalent about that. But it’s a yes. We want her in our family. We want her to be our daughter.

But in the end, if this doesn’t work out, we only want the best for her. And I genuinely hope she knows that.

We’re told this process can take months and that she (or we) can decide at any time not to move forward. We’ve been asked repeatedly if we are sure. But in the meantime, we are going to do our best to show her that we do want to be her parents.

People question why I write and why I put my entire life out there. Aside from not having anything to hide, it’s cathartic. Writing about my life and our process really helps me. Getting it all out there helps. Sure, there will always be critics and folks that tell me to close the book, stop oversharing, that no one cares. To those people, I say… then don’t read it. I’m not going to change my life to suit you. Unsubscribe, unfollow, block me. I don’t care.

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3rd Visit with Ballerina

ballerinaIt’s amazing what one week and one extra visit can do.

We were supposed to meet Ballerina and TH on Sunday at 1:30 for a 1:40 movie. I say “supposed to” bc they were 2 hours late, but honestly, that’s not a story for the blog. We’ve reported it through all the channels both as it was happening and after the fact. Let’s just say that it has given us a lot to think on about this whole process.

While we waited, we were able to get a refund on our movie tickets and had lunch at Fridays. We also saw a friend that we haven’t seen in years (omg has it been that long?!) walking around the mall with her new husband and family. We also had plenty of time to figure out what we were going to do. And I don’t just mean on our play date. We questioned – a lot – if she really wanted this. From us.

We assumed that she had to go to church in the morning which is why he didn’t pick her up until 1:30. Come to find out at the end of our play date that she didn’t go to church. We were both beyond pissed bc we tried meeting them at 11am. TH told us they were running errands all day since his agency knew he was working anyhow.

We are beyond frustrated with this whole process and sadly, since our earlier frustrations, it’s only marginally better. If it wasn’t bad enough that the home study process was killing us, this definitely is. And unfortunately we don’t know how much of it was her not wanting to spend time with us and how much of it was him taking a long time running errands.

By the time they arrived, we’d pretty much given up and are planning on moving on to the next child. But then, of course, we had the best play date so far and I think it was because we decided we were going to give up and were more relaxed. I think she felt it because she was laughing right along with us and seemed a little bit more open. “It” being our not trying to force a relationship with her.

For the first maybe :30 I was pissed. So pissed. I wasn’t asking any questions and barely talking. We went to Hot Topic and she got what she needed to buy for her roommate. We love this store and she seems to as well. TH is not a fan of it at all. By the time we left there, I was feeling better. The saleslady asked Ballerina a question and she turned to me so I thought that was a little ask for help. Who knows. Maybe she just doesn’t like strangers.

At the end of our play date, we gave her my business card with Husband’s name and number written on the back. Essentially, we are leaving it up to her if she wants to see us again. It is in her hands. We will be in touch with her CW, but won’t be seeing Ballerina for at least 2 weeks. We are out of town next weekend for the NFPA conference which we told them about so they are aware. What she decides to do in terms of contacting us is up to her. So yes, she very well could be reading this right now and every other post that I have written about her. (Hi Ballerina! I hope you like your nickname.)

I think, as a parent, it’s very important for your children to know what you are feeling towards them. I know that she is not our child yet but I’m still peeved and so is Husband. We’ve had a few days, many conversations and many phone calls to discuss and reflect on our relationship with her to this point. We want to adopt her. We haven’t made a definitive decision bc we truly cannot blame her for what is happening. Could their lateness partly have been her fault? Maybe. But she is a child. Yes, at [REDACTED] years old, she is still a child regardless of what anyone says. She may be a teenager, but hasn’t had parental figures helping to mold and guide her in several years into adulthood. She needs parents to help her make decisions between right and wrong. She needs to know what is and isn’t appropriate. Sure, she is a genius, but book smarts only go so far. Whatever does happen, we only want the best for her be it as our daughter or part of another family.

ETA, 2:35pm, 6/3/14 – It’s been brought to my attention that, based on this post, it looks like we’re deciding whether or not to adopt Ballerina bc they were 2 hours late. That’s not the case at all. Keep in mind that this is a public forum and I cannot and will not post every little thing that’s happened, been done, been said, etc. Any misgivings we’re feeling are for specific reasons based on everything involved with this procedure. One event/ chain of events will not derail us into saying no. Everything about this whole process involves so much emotion, thinking, feelings, etc that putting it in writing is really difficult. Thanks for reading about our story!!

******

So, I was voice posting this while driving to the train station yesterday morning. And when I finished I turned the radio on and this song came on. How appropriate! I mean aside from it being about romantic love…

Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake

I know people make promises all the time
Then they turn right around and break them
When someone cuts your heart open with a knife and you’re bleeding
But I could be that guy to heal it over time
And I won’t stop until you believe it
‘Cause baby you’re worth it

[…]
If I had a pair of wings
I’d pick you up and fly you far away from here
And you’d put your worries upon my shoulders, my dear
Now I know I can’t save you
From the troubles of the world
And this sounds like such a silly thing
But if I could I’d fly you away
On a big old pair of wings

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Moving Forward

ballerinaI spoke to both TH and CW last night about Ballerina. We have our 3rd play date on Sunday, but aside from picking up the pottery, not sure yet. We’re going to come up with some ideas and see what she wants to do.

CW said everything sounded great – she had also spoken to TH – and I told her we are ready to move forward towards adopting Ballerina.

!!!!!!!

Husband and I have been non-stop discussing everything involved and feel good about our decision. There is uncertainty not really knowing how Ballerina is feeling about us, but aside from “time” we don’t know how else to truly know. TH says she’s happy and excited, but we want to hear it from her. Does that make sense? We know they talk a lot and she trusts him, but we’ll be her parents and we hope that she will open up to us more about our combined future.

We are still making assumptions about her based on being a teenager, super shy, scared of rejection, etc, etc, etc and none of them are really fair. We cannot generalize how we think she feels when she is a totally unique kid. I mean, if she turns out being the kind of teenager I was, we are golden. However, if she’s like my best friend, well, we’re in trouble. (Love you, my Zeffer!)

A-N-Y-W-A-Y… back to the CW’s call. She said we should do a few more weekends of supervised visits. It will take her a few weeks to get the paperwork done and approved for us to have unsupervised visits anyhow. Then she asked me if I could help her get a copy of our signed home study.

Um, what?

I thought we were the only ones that didn’t have it! Silly me, I thought when we were told our home study had been sent to Our Kids, that it meant the completed and signed one. She said without the signature, we cannot move forward as she can’t submit the unsigned one to the judge.

Grrrrr!

So this morning I sent off a very nice email requesting for FRC to please send the signed home study to CW as we had been matched and would like to move forward. And 3 minutes later received emails saying both our ACW and her supervisor were out of the office until next Tuesday.

Patience is SO not a virtue that I willingly possess.

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