We stayed in West Virginia for two weeks while Jack’s adoption paperwork was processed. It seemed like two months at times. Jennifer’s Dad, Stepmom, and Grandmother visited from Tennessee early on. Their assistance was quite welcome. Those first few nights with Jackie were tough ones.
All the while, we figured our new parish in Ohio was praying for us and anxiously awaiting our return. The first Wednesday after our return, we walked into my RCIA meeting carrying a baby. Nobody even blinked. Weird. Then I learned what happened. Unfortunately, our RCIA leader Father Betters accidentally deleted the email I sent him about leaving town to go get Jack. Go figure.
We got to tell the story of Jack’s adoption to our new friends from the beginning. Hopefully, my brothers and sisters were inspired and brought closer to God through our story. I know we were.
On the Move
I was baptized, received communion and was confirmed at Easter Vigil in 2007. Afterwards, we continued our assimilation into parish life but we were actually not long for Ohio. God’s grace visited us yet again. My dream job came open with Progressive, back here in Kansas. It wasn’t Kansas City, but it was Wichita – just 2 ½ hours away – and it was doing something I was very familiar with.
I knew it was a great move for my family, too. Once Jack was born, Jennifer’s attitude towards Ohio changed. She loved our neighbors, as did I, and she’d made some great friends through her time working at Progressive for sure. However, not having immediate family close by as Jack was growing up started to weigh on her.
The job back in Kansas was a dream job for me, but I enjoyed what I was doing in Ohio too. It was different and cutting edge and it connected me with a very diverse group of collaborators. It also was a 40 hour work week – I rarely brought my work home from the office. In fact, I had started a web business and my now normal work schedule gave me time to grow it.
Still…I knew what I needed to do for my family. We became residents of The Sunflower State yet again.
Second Verse, Same as the First
The dream job turned into somewhat of a nightmare within a short period of time. I struggled, I gained weight, I got stressed out and I started to feel like Texas was repeating itself. I was around more familiar faces but I still hadn’t developed the ability to stay the course in the face of opposition. I didn’t fight when I should have. I was as meek as a mouse when I should have been as stubborn as a mule.
Jennifer realized being a stay-at-home mom had its good points and bad points. There’s no substitute for being there for every single developmental milestone in your son’s life. But the scenery gets a little too familiar after a while. Jennifer discovered the fine line between a stable routine and the same old same old.
The parish we’d moved into was large – larger than our current home at Holy Trinity. And it felt like it too. We were never comfortable there. We were just showing up every week. There had to be something more, something that fit us better.
My job brought us to Kansas City regularly, though. We were able to come as a family and stay with Jennifer’s mom, just five minutes from the office. The convenience couldn’t be beat and we saved the company quite a bit of money, too. There were negatives, though. Being cooped up in a two bedroom apartment gets old after a while. Sure we could cook, but it was far more tempting to enjoy KC’s signature cuisine. That did no favors for my growing waistline.
Winds of Change
As 2008 stepped aside to welcome the new year, I knew change needed to happen and I was the only one who could get the ball rolling. I started with my health and a program called Body for Life. That was the first of many changes in 2009. Although I would have liked to initiate all the changes 2009 brought into our lives, there were some things I didn’t see coming.
The story continues soon…