Life often takes many twists and turns, and when mental illness crosses a worldwide pandemic, it can become difficult to maneuver. Josylin did not adapt well to being schooled at home, especially by a former teacher who had expectations. When she returned to school in the fall to start her senior year, the pressure was too much. She left home and moved about 100 miles away. She was a legal adult, so we had no recourse. She cut communication with us, but through secondhand accounts, we learned that she has graduated from high school and is working. We wish her the very best and we hope that someday we can rebuild our relationship. Josylin, if you're reading this, remember...we will always love you.
In 2019, I was focusing on Simplicity. Newly retired, comfortably tucked into my retirement home by the Lake, former house sold, focusing on me, and a new SIMPLICITY blog. Those were my goals. But God had other plans.
In early January, my Dad received a call from Colorado Family Services. You see, in 2015, my baby sister Andrea had passed away, leaving my niece behind. Although my husband and I had asked several times to raise Josylin, we had always been told no. After my sister's funeral, Josylin went to live with her father and stepmom and her little sister. The call to Dad asked if he would be willing to take custody of Josylin. Dad had to say no. He wasn't financially or in any way suitably ready to take custody of a teenager.
Dad called me, upset, and explained the situation. I was communicating with my husband throughout the call, and in the language that married people have, we agreed that we needed to try to get Josylin. I immediately called the caseworker and the ad liteum, and that started the wheels rolling. In February, I flew to Denver for the first court case. In April, I flew out for the second. On June 2, after she finished her sophomore year of high school, we drove to Kansas City and picked her up and brought her home.
I won't go into details of why Joss needed a new home. Suffice to say, it was a pretty drastic move. She is now in an environment where she is cherished. We love her deeply. We believe in her. We expect a lot, and she usually delivers. A child who barely passed her classes before, is now on the honor roll...TWICE! A child who never realized her worth...is now a national pageant queen. A child who never knew that she was important, now feels cherished. This has been one of the most difficult things we've ever done, but every second is worth it.
Oh, and in January this year...we officially adopted her. She is no longer our niece. She is our daughter.
That was the biggest thing to happen to us in 2019, but we also faced other challenges.
- We added 1400 sq' to our home
- We lost our chicken flock to a raccoon
- One of my best friends moved away from our new home
- Michael left college, lived with us for 6 months, then moved 2 1/2 hours away
- Matthew switched majors just before he got his student teaching assignment
- I decided to go back to work (a really cool, fun job)
- We had car problems. LOTS of car problems.
So welcome to 2020.. It's a new decade. It's a new time. Maybe it's simple. Maybe not. But we will trudge through it together.