Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Home Stretch

Well, our last interview with DHHS was yesterday. All of our children had to be interviewed.
Isn't that funny?
Our 2 year old. What would she have to say that they could understand??
And Ty, our 11 year old. The boy of few words. Most of them are "I guess" or "I dunno". What could he share? What did he share?Not much, as his interview lasted 3 1/2 minutes!!!
Fallon's (16 yrs) lasted the longest. 9 minutes.
But who's counting???

More waiting is at hand.
I spoke to "M's" adoption case worker. Our last conversation ( the BOGO convo) left me feeling deflated and very pessimistic about our chances for "M".
This time, MUCH BETTER!
I was assured that even though "M's" bio aunt, legally has to be considered...it was no more than a formality. She had no expectations of them seriously being considered. There has been to much negative in their home studies. To much negativity in "M's" past, from them as well.

The case worker also agreed that placing "M" in the same home as his foster brother, ( 2 1/2 yrs with down syndrome) may be to much to expect from any one family. I had voiced my objection to having "T" placed here as well, because I didn't want to short-change "M" or my other children. Apparently she listened.

Now, she didn't say that we were a shoe in or anything. She did, however, say that she thought that we were great, and again at the top of her list. We have heard that before, and are cautiously optimistic.

For now, I have a picture in my wallet, one on the fridge, and a bed decked out in John Deere garb. Hoping for our "M" to fill it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Deep Breath

So, almost there.

The baking is done. The gifts purchased (just about). We are coming to the end.

The end of a difficult start to the winter.

Time to breath.

Smell the pine and holly.

View the lights. 



See the season through the eyes of our toddler.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Like sands through the hour glass......

I talked to "M"'s social worker yesterday.

I am not feeling at all hopeful. I had mentioned in my last post, "M" has an aunt that wants to be considered. She hasn't even begun her newest (she already had been denied) home study.  That will need to be completed before a decision is made. She was given the chance to have custody of "M" as an infant, AND RETURNED HIM INTO STATE CUSTODY.  I do applaude the states efforts to reunify children with their bio families. However, when is it over kill?

If that wasn't enough, the  SW also told me that another family has expressed interest in "M". They are unable to have children of their own, and are business professionals (have $, is my guess). She told me that they would "be able to focus all of their time on "M" alone, and give him all the best."

When did that become most important?

We have "great advocacy skills, and a close knit family", I'm told.

AND..."M" has become very close to a foster sibling. "T" is 2 1/2, and has down syndrome. We would be given special consideration if we would consider taking both children.

Made me feel like I was at a BOGO sale at Payless.

"M" may go to the professional couple because he can be "the only child", yet if we would take the both of them we would move to the front of the list.

I don't get it.

I feel a little "played".

Andy and I have agreed that taking two young special needs children at the same time, would not be best for us (or them). With the baby (5 1/2 months), Gabi (2), and Ty (10), AND the teenagers...someone would be short changed. I am unwilling to chance it.

We want to be the best parents we can. To all our "babies".

 So, That's the latest.

I guess time will tell. If not "M", than another child for us. Maybe "M" is just the vehicle.....


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One Step Closer....

Yesterday we had our home study.

This is the second time that it has been rescheduled, and I am glad that we FINALLY made it! One more visit is scheduled for next week. Our older children will be chatted with. They are a little nervous. I think they view it as an interrogation, when actually it was very relaxed. We had coffee and chatted. Easy enough!

We started this whole journey to "M" in mid September. Our application was filed, references contacted, and fingerprint cards requested. Andy and I were told that it would be possible to have him placed in our family by Christmas. After jumping through numerous hoops, and 3 different caseworkers, we are told more likely late January.

We were fortunate enough to meet this little 3 year old, when our daughter started preschool a few days a week. Gabrielle no longer attends that program (wasn't a good fit for her), and we have stopped contact with "M" to eliminate any attachment issues that may arise if in deed, this does not work out FOR HIM.

Parental rights have been terminated late November, and he has an Aunt that has just now decided to "throw her hat into the ring". I have been assured that this may not be the best fit for "M" and his needs. So Andy and I continue to plug away.

We have told all of our children, of course, and they have no idea what is taking so long. It is amazing, and touching, how our children are so willing to welcome ANOTHER child. Even this child with special needs.

So, we continue to mull through the bureaucratic "junk", and hope. Hope for the day we will have "M" here with us.  Hope for his happiness. Hope for a Merry Christmas for him.

Hope for a family for "M" .


Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Day!

Do you remember the excitement of a snow day! Waking up 15 min's earlier than usual, just to check to see if school was cancelled. Building a snowman with your sibling. Sledding until your nose was frozen.

Well' today is our districts first snow day. We live in a rural area, so I am sure their will be many more.

The kiddos are elated. 

Me? Not so much!

As an adult, and a daycare provider, I have grown to hate snow days. Frankly, I think that a child's education is worth the risk (I'M KIDDING!!).

It is sleeting outside, so no sledding. No snowmen either.

We have made snowflake's, and Christmas tree hand prints. What else can we do? Christmas specials. YES!!! That should entertain. FOR ALL OF A MINUTE AND A HALF!!

I also have to endure the wrestling of brothers, the tattling of a sister, and the excitement of the Christmas season. That is in addition to our normal routine of potty training, circle time, and story time. Squeeze in snack, and lunch, and then....Aaaaaa NAP -TIME! A glorious time of day.

Rest, relax, eat, and DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Need A little Christmas

I recently went to a fundraising event in our area. One that raises money for Christmas gifts for children. It surprised me who was there. Mostly families that looked like they could use a hand. Ones, like us, who are strapped for every dime. The cashing-in-bottles-for-extra-cash type. All of us donating some of that extra cash, to buy a coloring book or some matchbox cars for an area youth.

With times as tough as they are for the majority of us, I can only imagine the numbers of applicants requesting help from this program.

Then there are the "too proud to ask for help", types. The coupon clippers. The sales flyer shoppers. The bottle collectors.

That's the rest of us!

Yet we scrounge enough to buy a package of PlayDough at our local dollar tree.. Jeans marked down at Walmart...plan a "handmade" holiday.

I like to think that this teaches my children humility. The value of a buck. That it is better to give than to receive.

I am reminded of a story.

My then 13-year-old asked me,  "Mom, are we poor?"

"No honey. We are thrifty. I am teaching you to appreciate what you have. Building character," I said. 

I remember being proud of my answer. Knowing that I said just the "right" thing.

She responded,  "Yeah, that's what all the poor mothers say!"

So again this year, I plan my handmade holiday. Clip my coupons. Shop the sales racks. Cash in our bottles.

I know that we are "poor".

But, that's OK.

I have a roof over my head. Food in my belly. Beautiful, thoughtful, and kind children (really!). And a husband who adores me.

That is the magic of the season.  

And that's exactly what all the poor mothers say!   

Thursday, December 4, 2008

5th grade Math

When did 5th grade math become so hard!


I am here helping 3 of my daycare cherubs with math (never been my strongest subject). Man!

They want three examples of how they find the answer to each problem.


I am having difficulty finding one. That is even with the help of my daughter's $60 calculator. I try my best to look moderately intelligent. After all, they look up to me, right? I have a feeling that they can see right through my bluff. Funny, I am not very good at poker either.

I wish that I had paid more attention in school.

I was way more concerned with who was sitting next to me in my classes...what party I would attend that Saturday...or who I would be going to prom with.

Now, I am a thirty-something year old woman. Sitting in my slippers and clearance rack sweat pants. Dried spit up on my shoulder. Old snot rags in my pocket.

I am sitting next to a 5th grade boy eating a donut hole..and two girls with braces...and a date with my husband (the hottest boy on the block) planned for Saturday...and I still suck at math!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Alone time

Do you ever feel as though you have to make a reservation to take a pee?

That taking a shower is a luxury. Putting on make-up means something special is going to happen.

I was sick yesterday. I mean on my back sick. Up to vomit sick. My two year old came in while I was heaving..."oh gross! That's 'iscusting!" She then proceeded to call in her day care friends to see Mommy on the potty throwing up and pooping (what is that fascination?). In between hurls I was able to yell "GET OUT!!"

They got the point. The scattered immediately.

I sometimes wonder why I signed on. And why I may do even more.

Then, I look into their faces (often when they are sleeping). I see them as a blank canvas. Maybe even do something big one day.

Our 16 year old...a photographer and Mother 

Our 14 year old boy....a coach or teacher

Our 14 year old girl ... doctor, lawyer, Queen of Everything 

The 10 year old...a cop or game warden

Our toddler...a lesbian flame thrower

The baby...president

Who knows. We will be surprised, I'm sure.