Archive for the ‘Nancy Spoolstra’ Category

When life throws you curve balls, either duck or swing!

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

It has been my intention to post another blog here for quite some time, but we all know how intentions don’t always materialize into reality. I did post a guest blog at this site and announce my intention to begin blogging, however sporadically, here on the ATN site. Many of the bloggers and readers who were a part of my earlier blogging gig at are regulars at Adoption Under One Roof. ¬†Although I hope to submit occasional guest blogs at the other site, I intend to make this (ATN) my “regular” location for pontificating …

The summer has flown by. Beth and I have started homeschooling already, so we can have some “days in the bank” when we want to blow off schoolwork and go trail riding on a beautiful fall day. (Dora will be attending public school.) This post that I wrote on shows the horse trailer we bought used last winter. Well, you know how we all got thrown curve balls after we added emotionally disturbed kids to our family, and our lives unfolded with one crisis after another? That was my experience with that first trailer …

I had never hauled anything bigger than our two horse straight-load trailer that hitched to the bumper of my SUV. Suddenly I was hauling a trailer that was longer than 30 feet, hitched to the bed of a truck I had never driven before. First I turned “too sharp” (and it really wasn’t that sharp of a turn) and I busted the back window glass in our truck. (Actually, that wasn’t the first incident with the trailer … my husband hit a pole at the gas station 15 minutes after pulling out of the place we bought it … ) After putting the gooseneck part of the trailer into the window of the truck, we decided we needed an extender on the trailer to put it farther back from the truck window. When the local trailer place (not where we bought it originally) added the extender, they “leveled” the trailer, meaning it was lower down than it was originally (and I didn’t know it.) Pulling out of that trailer place, I put a dent in the sidewall of the truck by barely getting the trailer and truck on irregular ground. The “gusset” of the trailer was designed in such a way that it had almost no clearance over the truck bed. So by now I’m paranoid about driving the rig at all. (Sound familiar, in terms of our conditioned responses to past bad experiences with our kids?) And of course, we are hemorrhaging money. ($800 window repair, estimated nearly two grand for the crease in the side wall … still not repaired … Sound familiar?) Not to mention the fact that the trailer repair guy didn’t clue me in to the altered height of the trailer … Ever feel like you are out of the loop in terms of what others share with you about your children?

Finally, I cried uncle and we traded in this trailer and ordered a different model … one that will play nicer with our truck. That was sometime in April I think. Since we were starting over with a new trailer, we got to pick some of the stuff they used to finish the living quarters. But then, we had two trailers that were earmarked for us damaged by hail storms in Oklahoma. Finally, our trailer was delivered about a month ago, but we are still waiting on a couple of things that were not yet on or in the trailer. So we still don’t have it home. Life just doesn’t unfold the way you planned, does it? And of course, it isn’t a problem for the trailer folks … they don’t return my calls, they don’t track down the missing items … not a problem for them that we are waiting. Sound familiar? Just because our families are in crisis mode doesn’t mean it is a problem for mental health professionals, social workers, teachers or anyone else that is supposedly on our team.

However, this too shall pass. One day we will have our trailer. One day our kids will have moved on, one way or the other. We will have some great experiences in our future, and some tough ones. We will have memorable moments and not-so-memorable ones. I just watched a great movie about Ron Clark, a fabulous teacher who had high expectations with tough kids and helped them achieve the “unachievable.” Hang in there with your kids and keep the bar high. Keep your head high, too.

By the way, if you find your way over to this site you’ll find Part Two of a radio interview I did for Speaking of Adoption. It will be available at that link until August 12th, after which time I will post both segments somewhere here on the ATN site.

Nancy Spoolstra

Welcome to ATN’s Blog Page!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

It is indeed exciting to announce the formation of ATN’s blog page. We hope this will be a place where several (or many) of us can post our thoughts, comments, trials, tribulations, successes, heartbreaks and hallelujahs! After two years of blogging on, Julie Beem and I hung up our keyboards for a couple of months … but we both miss connecting with other parents and professionals through this medium.¬† We hope you enjoy reading our blogs as much as we enjoy writing them. Kelly Killian is still active on, so you can check out her blog over there! Julie and I have archives still available at that location as well. (

We’re glad you are here. Please tell us what you think as these pages unfold.

Nancy Spoolstra