Coach Chapman's Blog

January 26th. What is so special about this date? Four years ago today we were in Luoyang, China. We were there to get our daughter. This is Fahin’s official “Gotcha Day.” Gotcha day is ‘thing’ among adoptive families. We usually celebrate by going out to eat, or going to some event, or having a little party. Today, however, was a pretty special “Gotcha Day’ for Fahl Fahl. She got to spend the day with her big sister, Abby in Chattanooga.

Let’s step back just a bit. This special day all came about because our twelfth-grade daughter, Izzy, had a little Honors College obligation at UTC (University of Tennessee Chattanooga). So, Since Izzy wanted Abby to ride along with her, Abby decided to take Fahlin with her. They made a day of it by going to the Chattanooga Aquarium where Fahlin fell in love with the fish and the penguins. Her favorite fish were the sharks. The penguins were hands down her favorite, however. Of course, if you ever saw and of the Penguins of Madagascar movies, you know why they are everyone’s favorites.

“Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave!”

In case you’re wondering, I was at the middle school regional swim meet downtown watching two more of my daughter’s swim, while my wife was at work. Sometimes, we find it difficult to be four places at once, believe it or not. We’ve tried…it just doesn’t happen.

By the way, she HATED the butterflies. She hates bugs anyway, but she apparently fails to see the beauty of those little winged creatures. She closed her eyes, held Abby’s hand and ran through the butterfly room as fast as she could. [Side note here, she runs like C3P0]

After the aquarium, they had lunch at Champies then took in Mary Poppins for the second time. By the time Izzy’s festivities ended and they headed for home, she was exhausted, felt terrible and had trouble relaxing on the way home. When they finally arrived back home around 8:00, she climbed up on the couch and didn’t move. Four years ago, in her condition, we could never have even attempted a trip like that. Her little body could barely walk up a flight of stairs. My, how far has come (understatement of the century).

She ended the day in our bed, plopped right smack between Yolanda and myself. I guess compared to where she came from; scared, sick, alone, it must have felt like a pretty safe place to be. It didn’t take her long to pass out, asleep…ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Read More about January 26, 2019

With Fahlin’s surgery behind us, the holidays in the rear-view mirror, and life sort of getting back to what we know as normal, it is hard to find things to blog about. So now I look for small things. Or, I wait for things to ‘happen’ like today. We go out to get in the car after church and the left rear tire has completely fallen off the rim while we were in church. What is that? How did that even happen? There is not even a hole! I changed the tire, but now, you know, that makes our next couple of days more difficult as we deal with that. When we get to the neighborhood, our car loses power, sputters up the hill, lights start blinking and it tell us, ‘reduced engine power, check traction control monitor, and blah, blah, blah…research tells us it the throttle body and there is a recall. Just what I need.

I guess the entire point of all of this it to keep us on our toes. Just when everything is going smoothly, something happens. Always does, it seems always will. Is it ok if I interject here? PLEASE STOP! Enough already!

On top of that, it causes great irritation. Then, my girls, Jayne and Fahlin start in, “Way to go Dad!”

“I did not do anything!”

Now I’m taking deep breaths while I type, calming down, and realizing there’s nothing we can do today, so why worry about it now? Tomorrow we have a day off. Perhaps we will get it taken care of then. Perhaps. But you all know how that goes, nothing is as easy as it should be when it comes to car repairs.

So much for reflecting on where we were just five months ago compared to now. So much for normal. So much for relaxing and taking it easy for a while. I only hope it’s an easy fix. Oh, and I hope the tire is under warranty. And…

I guess I will watch football for now!

Read More about January 20, 2019

Let’s write a blog. About Fahlin. Post Christmas. Post Holidays. She’s watching me type, “You’re doing another blog?”

“Yes.”

She thinks I’m crazy. I might actually be…and it’s probably all her fault anyway. Everything she’s been through has a way of making parents crazy.

“Meow,” she says, getting into Sasha character mode. “Prrrrrrrrrrrrr,” she follows. Do you suppose she needs counseling? Perhaps. Maybe we all do?

As my wife and I reflected last night on life, love, family and our own mental health, we talked about everything we’ve been through. From being run out of a small town (super long story involving my basketball coaching career), to moving to Nashville while pregnant with child number two, signing a record deal, losing the record deal (another super long story which includes losing to Lone Star at the ACM’s for new group of the year) to where we are

now (another long story, part of which involves all these adopted children we have) has been actually, quite a ride. One we should be proud of. We’ve lived life. We took risks (most of which involved my career with my supportive wife by my side). We’ve raised great kids. We now have the three cutest grandbabies on the planet.

And yet we are weary. But I think that’s part of the grand scheme. My wife is awesome. She has been the rock, always has, always will. We will run here, run there, pick up here, pick up there. I think what tires us out is that by the time we get to our eighth kids, we are exhausted (that’s why I work out, got to in order to have the energy). The Bible never promises us ‘ease and comfort.’ But yet it does promise us crowns, blessings, mansions. I’ll take that! It just takes us a while to get there.

“Fahlin, do you have anything to add?”

“Grrr, grrr, prrr, grrr,” she says.

I think that means, the end…

Read More about January 9, 2019

The day after Christmas. I waited ‘til today because I wanted to take it all in yesterday. The excitement level at our house was higher than usual. Our annual Christmas Eve party for our way-word Nashville transplants which has been going on for 28 years was once again a huge success. As an aside, the group is comprised of families who came to Nashville around the same time we did, all in search of some sort of success in the music business (not everyone, but a large majority), all of whom have experienced one level or another of said success or who have gone back to civilian lives at some point. The rule is once invited, the invitation stands for life. I suppose if everyone came who has ever been invited over the years, including kids and now grandkids, we would have 300 people in our house. But lives change, and families grow up and people move on, but still, the invite stands forever. There are times we won’t see people for three or four years, then all of a sudden, there they are, knocking on our door and renewing old acquaintances. I miss people. Anyway, the excitement level began at the party.

 

Fahlin was beside herself excited. She couldn’t go to sleep. We couldn’t let her in our bed that night because the girts are all in our room. I tell her I’m Santa Claus, but she refuses to believe. Hilarious. She finally nodded off around midnight. So, my crew of elves sprang into action. The gifts were under the tree in no time. There was barely any room left in the living through which to walk.

 

5:05 AM. Fahlin is awake! Just standing there looking at me. She knew Mom would get up, but Dad, well Dad would. It was good. She actually cuddled with me as she stared at all the presents. A rare treat. We cooked the casserole for everyone. Her brother Canaan, my second son, had been driving though the night with their little girl from Dallas and pulled in our driveway at 5:30…AM that is. They said hi and went to bed for a couple of hours. Fahlin could not stand it she couldn’t stop smiling. “When’s everyone getting up?” She would ask repeatedly.

 

I love the calm before the storm, when everything looks so beautiful, undisturbed, peaceful. Our tree with all 2200 lights was beautifully decorated thanks to our daughter Abby. We faced timed our eldest son in DC. They stayed home this Christmas because Natalie, our Daughter-in-Law just gave birth to their first on the 17th. That alone is great Christmas gift. Anyway, as the kids tore into their gifts, the fun began and as I type, still has not abated.

 

I love Christmas. This Christmas was the best ever because we have gotten to celebrate with Fahlin for the third time when we told we may even celebrate one with her. How far she has come. How miraculous her journey. How wonderful Christmas this year is…

 

Read More about December 26, 2018