I sat down with my aquatic bosses three weeks ago thinking that we'd be taking stock of the recently completed short course season, and making plans for the summer and next year, only to be told that they wanted to go in a different direction. One that didn't include me remaining in my position. Ironically, just before going into the meeting, I had done my daily bible reading and the verse that stuck out to me was that God is with us through all tests and trials. He doesn't say "IF" we make it through the trial, but "WHEN", and as I walked out of the meeting shell shocked after being blindsided, I kept from panicking by reminding myself of that reading. Negotiating to be paid the final months of my contract also helped ease the sting. If it was time for me to hang up the stopwatches and free my weekends of swim meets in favor of karate, hip hop dance, and swim classes, then that was fine. I have had a great ride as a swim coach. What was difficult was to see what was in store for me seeing as there were no tenure-track assistant professor positions being offered to fill the void.
On Wednesday afternoon, I sat in a HS classroom observing a student teacher practice her craft when I got a 911 text from the Mrs. saying that she had gotten a call from one of our many social workers saying that they had a baby that was a match for us as foster-to-adopt parents. A year ago we had started the adoption process through the LA Co. Dept. of Child and Family Services. We had become fully certified in late October, and hadn't heard anything since. Now out of the blue, we were about to be parents of two. "Should I tell her we'll take it?" texted the Mrs. and I immediately texted back that we would. We met the 3-day old on Wednesday night, and brought him home Thursday evening. Elijah Emeka Carroll now has us back in the mode where more than two straight hours of sleep is a luxury, but he is our blessing. Often newborns who enter the foster system have been exposed to drugs, and Elijah is no exception, yet he tested negative for everything. Many of the scriptures that I have read recently discuss the benefits of faith to God's word. Nkechi and I could not ask for a more tangible representation, and we thank everyone for the support and well wishes.