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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

There is nothing quite as crushing as the weight of grief when it comes fallling down upon you. Sometimes it leaves you flattened. Unable to move, to stand up, or to keep going. Other times it propells you in directions you would not have imagined. The day before Thanksgiving at 1:30 AM I was struck with the news that my Grandma had passed. My Mother's words on the other end of the phone were clear but my brain could not understand. And in just a few minutes my world went from peaceful slumber to restless shock. For hours I sobbed not knowing how to process the ache in my heart. I was glad she was not suffering. I was angry she didn't get one last Thanksgiving with her family all together. And scared because I knew that there were many moments still to come in my life in which I would need her wisdom and I wouldn't hear it directly.

Then she hit me. Like Literally. I was digging in a trunk of pictures and scrapbooking supplies and the top of the trunk came crashing onto the back of my head. The thought "finish this for me" hitting me instantly.

Then the day before the wake I got a phone call from a friend. His cousin was in college and pregnant and had decided on adoption. Were we still interested? And as bad as it sounds the only reason we wouldn't be is because we were not sure about affording day care. I told him that yes we would like to meet her. She was having a girl and due in January. I told my husband the good news. He was upset. Why would we want to get our hopes up if we financially can't do this? And I told him I couldn't explain to him logically the reason behind it but my heart was telling me that we needed to seek this further. To not close the door until we had too. Besides she might not even like us.

Then I got a call about a job interview. And at the wake the next day my cousin came. My cousin with the adoption story. She had just been discussing taking in children during the day to supplement their income. One of my favorite Bible passages is from Matthew. Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened. And it seemed like the door was being opened at least to the possibility that this child could become ours. And even though my husband does not often discuss his faith - He agreed that he felt like it was Grandma up there opening the door propelling us in a different direction. And we agreed that if we did adopt this baby we would name her after Grandma. And if God's plan is different it will at least have enabled us to hope at a time when it would be easy to be stuck in doubt and sadness.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Perspective

Our journey to foster/adoption was impacted along the way. From the time I was a child young enough to need a babysitter to the time I was the babysitter and now as an adult. But yesterday something odd happened and I was reminded of the Safe Haven Baby that was in fact not placed.

It was May of 2009. A co-worker of mine was talking at lunch about her Sister who was pregnant and giving the baby up for adoption. We had friends that were going through the process of working with a domestic adoption agency. I decided to open my big mouth.

Oh are the adoptive parents going to be there?

No she didn't do that she was just going to leave the baby at the hospital under the Safe Haven Law

Oh. Well you know we have friends who are trying to adopt.

Do you think they'd be interested in the baby?

I could ask.

So I did. I e-mailed with the details I knew. Baby Girl. Due in a month. Bi-racial. Dad in Jail. Mom Drug user. No Prenatal care. The friends were interested. So I texted my co-worker. I recieved one back. I talked to my Sister she wants to give her to your friends. WOW. Just WOW.

These friends of ours had tried for years - undergoing every fertility treatment possible. Even trying massage and acupuncture and there was no medical explination for their inability to get pregnant. They didn't have any trouble with their first pregnancy and they desperately wanted to give their child a sibling. I was excited! Maybe working in this office finally had MEANING. We were facilitating a much wanted adoption helping everyone out. (Yeah I was that arrogant.)

Then the sister went into labor. That night. She labored for 2 days. The families talked. They decided to go forward. Could we come and introduce them at the hospital the day she is born? Sure. We walked in and saw this tiny beautiful baby girl hours old. I got to hold her. And went to change her diaper not realizing it was her first diaper change. We listened as her Mother told the potential adoptive parents how she wanted her to have better and that she was sure of her decision. Hire the lawyer. Hold your daughter. I would never tell you I was going to give you the baby and then change my mind. Until she did. And the social worker told the adoptive family's lawyer that there was no baby to adopt.

I was angry and upset. I felt responsible for bringing this heartache into our friends lives. How could she do that to them? To her Daughter? These people could give her EVERYTHING. I was concerned about the $1,000 retainer they plunked down. And this was all complicated by the fact that I worked with the Aunt. Maybe this is my Sisters chance to change her life around. Perhaps now she'll stay clean (apparently her 15 year old wasn't reason enough, or her boyfriend who over dosed and died at her house the previous year). She quailifies for state insurance and she can get a voucher for a free high chair. The updates on the baby started to sting as I heard them. My office was careful not to mention it around me but I did hear things here and there. I found out the Aunt had taken custody of the baby in order for her to leave the hospital as she tested positive for drugs at birth. I saw her picture and her beautiful curly hair. And a gigantic smile.

Then we ventured down the road of foster parenting and adoption and I learned a ton. That drug abuse is a common reason for children to be taken by DCFS. That an adoptive family in a "better" situation does not give the chid an automatic pass to a great life. That often adoptive children have trouble coming to terms with how they came to be adopted and that knowing their birthfamilies becomes very important for many of them. That the best interest of a child is to stay with their birth families if at all possible. In reading the blog of a woman who did place her baby up for adoption under Safe Haven I learned of the pain that birth mothers go through. I know that with the joy of adoption for the adoptive family also come with a great loss to the birth family and the children.

Yesterday I was sitting at my desk working at my computer with my back to the hallway. I heard little feet running down the hall and I turned to look. It was her. Full of energy, same big smile. She came running straight to me. Her Aunt laughing. She came straight to you. Thats so wierd! And instead of the prick of heartache I felt joy. Joy for this little girl that her Mom was able to parent. Happiness that she looked well cared for and adorable. Relieved that she seemed healthy. Blessed that she popped into my life. I have a different perspective now and I'm glad I was able to be a part of their difficult journey so that if ever faced with the situation again I'll have a better understanding of the emotion involved.

You might ask what happened to our friends. They found out they were pregnant not too long after going through this situation. Their baby was born in May and while she had some serious health problems she is now home and doing well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We Don't Have Kids

Ok I'll admit I was a little mean. And it wasn't the woman's fault.



This week I had to go to Babies-R-Us to get a shower gift for a friend of ours. Now as I've stated before right now we don't have fertility issues. We have an autoimmune disorder that won't go into remission and I'm sure the feelings and experience I'm about to share are 1% of what women who go through fertility problems and treatments experience. The person we were buying the gift for had one such struggle and after 8 years of treatments and testing she finally got pregnant - out of nowhere. This couple is apart of our adoption journey as they opened our eyes to the possibility and at one point was had tried to help facilitate a private adoption for them for a baby that was going to be placed as a Safe Haven baby. (The mother changed her mind.)



I was not in the mood to be shopping I was tired and hungry and irked. Irked that my Husband had discussed my lack of going to the store to get a gift with the person receiving it. (I couldn't make the shower.) And the moment I walked in the store and saw all of the pregnant women registering I became annoyed. I tried to keep my feelings in check - Its silly to feel that way no one has told you you'll NEVER have kids. You haven't even tried yet. We couldn't afford a baby now. Don't you love being able to flit here and there and only have to think about who will take care of the Dog? its not always about you - you are here for the baby who has struggled to get here and you should be happy she's home. Then I started with the registry computer and my patience flew right out the door - I couldn't find the registry and then the printer wasn't working. And as I'm swearing under my breath my Honey tapped me on the shoulder. He decided to meet me there to help me out. And I felt better that he was there it was really sweet of him but at the same time I resented that my opportunity to wander the aisles and dream was gone. As we started to walk past the clothes section my heart started to break. All the cute little glittery dresses and shoes for Christmas. The Halloween costumes...the nursery decorations and then the cribs with THE MONKEYS on them.... We found the toys and aisle we were looking for and its safe to say that my Honey had a blast. And really everything was cute. We picked up a bib that said "I'm Stuffed" to go with the toys and headed to the checkout.

Then the inquisition began:
Did you find everything?
Did you need the registry back?
These take batteries. Do you have them?
You sure?
Did you want to open up a charge account and save 20%
No?
You sure?C
an I have your rewards card?
What's your phone number? I can look it up.
You don't have one?
Do you want me to start a card for you? It only takes a drivers license?
No?
Ok Well how about an e-mail address?

To which I answered - "We don't have any children" and then looked away.

Now I know she was just doing her job. I worked 6 years of retail I know that she is just following prompts and that someone at the corporate office thinks its a great idea to annoy the customer as they leave. And I know it sucks to work a Monday Evening. And I hated when customers took their personal issues out on me. Normally, this makes me a very patient and helpful consumer BUT at that moment I just wanted to get the darn transaction over with. I wanted to grab our bag and get the heck out of the store. Those questions wouldn't normally stir up feelings of inadequacy and anger. Fear would not normally bubble to the surface when being asked. Fear of being told I won't be able to have kids, that it will be too late when I'm told I can try, that my disease will not go into remission. Helplessness at this thought that I could be in real pain forever. Fear that if we only adopt no one will throw us a party because they just aren't as excited as we are. Sadness that I can't start a job I feel I'm meant to do, that of Mom. Frustration that I can't keep these feeling in check and then shame that I took it out on the lady.

The rest of the transaction happened in pretty much silence. As we walked out of the store my shame started to creep up. I said to Honey "I'm sorry I just could't take the questions anymore." Now normally he would tell me I was in the wrong but he replied "I know..it was ridiculous."

I didn't share with him my feelings. But I suspect that maybe he was having some of the same ones and it occurs to me as I write this that perhaps I really do have a sensitive soul for a husband.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Blog My Soap Box

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/22/florida-gay-adoption-ban-unconstitutional_n_735751.html



I rejoiced as I read this story at 1:30AM because I could not sleep. Especially since the Republican Party just voted agianst the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Now I am not what I would consider a political person. Legal stories intrest me becaue I have a paralegal degree. At one point or another I've wanted to go to law school and while I classify myself as a Democrat with fairly Liberal Views I'm not one to discuss/debate political topics as I don't feel well versed enough in all sides of arguments. And also because I feel like if you can't win the debate why have it? My belief system and morals are pretty set and it would take a whole lot of debate for someone to change where my moral compass points. Several comments about this ruling popped up on a forum I follow about homosexuality being wrong, not Christian, a choice, and a lifestyle.


First of all as foster/adoptive parents we should understand the goal for all kids is a permenant, safe and loving home. So I have to wonder how a foster/adoptive parent could be upset that a family that has been in a state of flux by an antiquated law could be unsupportive of the fact that the law is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and goes AGAINST the goal of permanency. How can you give permancy to foster children who become available for adoption if their foster parents CANNOT adopt them legally. It would be better to let the children stay in the system? It would be better to disrupt the placement and add to whatever emotional, developmental, and behaviors they already have? Should ready, willing and able to parent people be barred from foster parenting because of who they sleep with? Should DCFS be able to get in our business and ask about our sex lives? Should they be able to comment that you are sleeping with the right person? Or having too much or too little sex?

I know for many homosexuality is a hot botton topic due to personal or religious beliefs. And while it makes me mad that people can spew hatred and discrimination while hiding behind their "God" I have to accept that as their right as Americans. But this is my Blog and I can also say that I think its crap! Anyone who has been in love or lust can tell you its not a choice. And while you might choose to walk away from that love or lust it doesn't mean it wasn't there. I have a long held belief that God promotes love and friendship And I can't get behind organized religion that tells people that even if they are good people they won't get into heaven if they are Gay. I also have trouble with this concept as those same people seem to say MY way is the only way and if your Religion calls God a different name or doesn't think Christ was His Son then they won't get into Heaven either.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I Haven't Told My Grandmothers

The term family has been on my mind a lot this week. My Aunt came in from Hawaii and my Uncle and his partner came in from Florida. they are on separate sides of the family and came in for very different reasons. My Aunt came in for a class reunion and my Uncles came in because my Grandma is very sick. My other Grandma is actually very injured and neither of them know about our plans to become foster/adopt parents.

I have lots of reasons why I've not told either of them. Since their last names start with the same letter I'll refer to them as Grandma and Gram. Perhaps the most complicated reason is my relationship with Gram. We don't really have a relationship. I've felt she favored my other cousins over my Brother and I and she wasn't a super huge part of my childhood. She also made choices on important days that I really felt were hurtful. For a while I tried very hard to form some sort of relationship with her but it was not reciprocated in the way that I needed it to be. I explored some of this with my Aunt during her visit. She's probably the one person in my family that can listen and not take offense to how others feel. She's also incredibly honest with me and I appreciate that. We have worked to form our relationship even though she lives so far away and while we might not have too much in common we both desperately want to understand our family and get to a place without tension and hurt.

A big part of Gram's personality is her tendency to brag. And generally you don't brag to the people you are bragging about so I never hear her say anything about me and ALWAYS about others. This makes me feel pretty crappy. I have a second cousin who lives near Gram who adopted a child internationally and got involved in charity work surrounding orphanages and such in the country her child is from. Through the grapevine I have heard that she is planning on adopting another child from the same country in the next few months. Now I need to state that I think what my cousin is doing is wonderful and probably sparked further interest for my husband and I to consider adoption as a way to form our family. However, I just don't feel for my family that international adoption is the way for us. Kids all over the world deserve to be taken care of and belong to loving families and I'm thankful people like my cousin can help in this effort.

To be frank - I really don't want to hear it from Gram. And that's why I don't want to tell her that we are planning on fostering to adopt. I don't want to hear how my cousin has to go back to a war torn country and live at the orphanage and how she got all the kids shoes and how what she's doing is so selfless and courageous and amazing. And that she's the perfect mother and you should call her to get advice. Now that might sound a tad bit jealous and if I'm being honest it might be a little bit as she has such a great relationship with Gram and I feel pretty rejected. Do you think my Gram knows I've helped to raise $57K for the World Vision foundation that feeds children who need it? That I've mentored teens in their faith. That I help people with cancer cope on a daily basis? No because I'm not outward with it but that doesn't mean that sometimes I don't need recognition just like everyone else especially from my family.

Now I haven't told my Grandma because she was just diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. And she's not dealing well and she's very sick. She's pretty much not eating and is disappearing in front of our eyes. I told my Grandpa and there was too much on his mind to process. So I'm not sure if this news would be something for Grandma to hold onto to work towards or if she would start to worry. This happened right around the time we started our PRIDE classes and I think this is also part of the reason my parents haven't said much. They are simply overwhelmed and hypothetical grandchildren are just not in their grasp at the moment. But that's life isn't it? The moment you think everything is starting to come together other things begin to fall apart. And it drives me nuts Grandma not knowing because I have all kinds of questions and conversations for her. In my heart I so very badly want all of my future children to meet her and know her like I do because she is someone very special. And she might not make it. She might not make it to Christmas. And she might and this whole living in the unknown part is really starting to aggravate me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bedding

After our Session 5 PRIDE class on Saturday we decided to take a ride to Bed Bath and Beyond to cash in some gift certificates and get the bedding for the bunk beds. I think this was worse than trying to register for our wedding!

I loved Bed Bath and Beyond for our wedding. They had pretty much everything we needed and they were great with returns and shipping and even price matching (savy consumer here got all 12 Lenox Soup Bowls free by threatening to return all 12 place settings of our china if they did not price match - and they were shipped free THANK YOU VERY MUCH.) But something happens to my Honey when he gets in that store. My Dad calls it Mall-itus. You start to get tired. You get a headache and after a little while you just can't take it anymore and the only cure is to leave the store and get fresh air. So to prevent this I suggested we go to lunch before going - and we ended up at Hooters. (Yes I will go into Hooters. In fact I like their food better than other wing places by us. Which interestingly enough my Brother thinks I'm crazy for this preference.)

I had done some research prior to going into the store. Looking on-line for some decor ideas and what the store might have and I fell in love with this monkey sheet set with bright lime and turqoise on it. So of course we go in the store and we went up the wrong side and my Honey was distracted by the coffee pod selection and the clearance fixtures. So by the time we got to the bedding I already knew we were going to be in trouble.

Our first mistake was going to the smaller BB&B in our area as the selection was BEYOND limited. No monkey design. In fact pretty much no design for little boys at all. They had 2 sets of sports themed converters. Thats it. Everything else was very girlie or for college kids. Do little boys not have rooms? Can they not have cool bedding? To say that I was frustrated was an understatement.

But then the struggle for my Honey to understand the decorating vision that was in my head began and when he finally got it he said my color scheme was too girlie. Apparently lime green is not a color for boys. He became fixated on the costs of course and wanted this reversible comforter that had 2 different plaids. So after about an hour in the bedding section debating the colors I ended up caving on the comforter with a promise that once we adopt the kids could get what they wanted even if it is lime green.

PS - has anyone tried to make a bunk bed up before? I was sweating when I was finally done!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Boys are gone

As I mentioned before we had our "eye" on a few kids on the Waiting Children websites. Last week both sibling sets disappeared from the search engines. And surprisingly this was ok in my heart. They found forever families and that felt right to me.

I was worried. Sometimes our intentions don't match up with our feelings. And this particular situation was one where I thought maybe my heart had become more involved than I had intended. Their little faces and descriptions of good deeds and likes and dislikes had become familiar to me. And the potential to become their Mom was in my heart too. My Honey cautioned me at the begining - don't get too attached because you don't want to be crushed if they can't become ours. Well they didn't and I'm fine. They found the people who were really supposed to be their parents. I'm happy for those families as I'm sure that there is a woman or a man who is extactic that they became parents. And that feel right to.

And a new feeling came. Perhaps my unanswered prayer was given to someone else. And that made me confident that when the time is right my future children will find me too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spreading the Word

Dinner with my in-laws went well. Really well. After asking the initial questions of why we weren't going to have biological children (I don't think my In-Laws knew how much my neurosarcoid effects me) they wew totally excited. Their main concern was becoming attached to children who might have to go back to their biofamilies and how hard that could be.

My sister in law was really excited about possibly becoming an aunt. She told us she was proud of us and expressed her desire to do the same thing we are doing. So maybe we aren't nuts. Maybe the initial feelings of fear was just fear of taking a different path. Or it was the fear of becoming "instant" parents. LOL We were discussing the number of children (we will be licesnsed for 3) we would want to take and we never got to a answer....

We also got finger printed today and will have our medical stuff all done by next week. The finger printing process was actually pretty cool as it was all digital. And we know that our references were all sent back. Which reminds me that we need to send out some thank you gifts.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

PRIDE Sessions 1&2

So we had our first PRIDE training today. It was an all day class as it consisted of 2 sessions. It was a lot to take in. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I'm trying to keep somewhat of an open mind and so I didn't have too many pre-conceived notions. I was really surprised by the diversity in the room. There were some couples older and younger, some with biological children, a few single Moms, a few with kinship situations, and one family looking to do traditional foster care and not foster care to adoption.

We talked a lot about the birth parent perspective and trying to keep that at the forefront of our minds as well as what kids feel coming into foster care. I guess I wasn't expecting to be discussing emotion - but of course that's what we are talking about that's what families are! Our instructors seem very nice and have a lot of personal knowledge as they have all been foster parents and have adopted children.

We are going to my husbands Parent's house tomorrow to tell them what we are up to. I'm not sure what the reaction will be. In the end I'm sure it will be supportive but I've never heard my Mother-in-law's opinions or experiences with adoption of foster care so I really don't know. My Father-in-law is always bugging us about babies so he might be the happier of the two but he is definitely a character and sometimes what comes out of his mouth surprises me. But we need to tell them first as we need to tell his siblings as well in order to vacation plan for the next year.

I did tell my Aunt today as we were trying to make plans and the classes conflicted. Her response was "Right On". And I didn't expect anything different from her. My Aunt is pretty laid back and is very accepting of the non-traditional.

And now comes the hard part deciding if we even want to open ourselves up to non-pre-adoptive placements. Or go with only kids who are available for adoption. And this is the hard decision I think we'll have to make. I rely on my faith for stuff like this and take the what's meant to be will be attitude and my husband does not. So we will see where this goes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Well our first visit went well. I don't know why I was so worried. Well OK I do....My home was being judged, my competency was being judged, our ability to be good parents was being judged on a 1st impression. And I HATE that. But CW was really nice and laid back and she came in. Looked over our paperwork. Looked at the house and then told us our room was big enough for 3 kids.



And somehow in the course of an hour we redefined what we were willing to foster and it became 0-13 and any gender. As lately they have had sets of 3 siblings come into care. So now its hurry up an wait. Well that and somehow furnish a room for the unknown. Could someone please tell me how to do that? Right now we are looking for bunk beds. Is it better to buy a less expensive frame from Ikea or go all out and get a substantial set at 10 times the cost? I think we are going to go with less expensive but it feels like throwing money away. We shopped all day saturday looking at different places trying to get an idea. It is now August. We need to get something in place for October. And I'd prefer a room that wasn't thrown together. (This is something I feel about the majority of our house EXCEPT our basement which is beautiful.)

So after all of this my husband and I told my Mom about our plan. And she took it much better than I thought she would. She had some concerns mainly about the issues the children may come with but told me she understood our reasoning behind our decision. And while she wasn't over joyed about the news she wasn't negative about it either. She even confessed to wanting to adopt children from Romania at one point. I guess I've always had the dream of a big family in common with my Mom. My Mom told my Dad and his big concern was cultural differences and babysitting. We made plans to see my husbands parents next weekend. I'm not sure what they will say. My father in law has been bugging us about kids for a while so I'm hoping he'll be our champion in all of this.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home Study

Friday is the 1st day of the licensing process. We will meet CW (her initials but could be used for Caseworker) on Friday at our house. Which of course happens to be a disaster zone at the moment. Honey and I were cleaning out closets on Saturday trying to get ready for "The Boys". He had been using the closet in the 2nd Bedroom and we needed to make room in our closet for all of his stuff. So we have piles of donatable clothes, clothes for family members and then the regular stuff we just have no place for in our house. I think its safe to say that tonight and Thursday will be the MOST productive cleaning days I've ever had. Did I mention our cleaning lady has also been on vacation and its been a month since our last visit? And we still have to buy a bed!

Cleaning out the closets was actually really theraputic. And it was cute. Honey kept saying we need to do this or that for "The Boys". Truth be told there are two brothers in another state listed on line that we fell in love with by looking at their pictures. We can't find out more about them until our Home Study is complete and we can officially inquire about them. Now we know that they may not be able to be adopted across state lines or they may not be a match for us but I think having a "visual" is helping us work towards a goal. I'm taking the attitude that what is meant to be will be and if we are meant to be their parents then somehow that will happen.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baseball Game

My husband went to a baseball game yesterday. We live in a city with two MLB teams and this one was not "Our" team (because Our team wins World Series occasionally but I digress). It was a work event so he had to go. So in the middle of my fairly crazy day I get a text from him.

This little kid was staring at me. So I said Hi and he said - Hi...this is my Dad.

I think my heart actually swelled in my chest. In that instant I flashed to the first time I saw his desk at work and saw a picture of his niece proudly displayed. I loved him in an instant. And I was reminded how much my husband wants to be a Dad.

On the surface the text was innocent. Something silly that happened. But I know my husband. We've been married for almost 4 years, living together for 7 and together for 9 years. He wanted to be DAD. He wants so badly to have a son he can take to a baseball game. To play video games with to teach Math to. Even before we got married he's wanted a son. Maybe because his own Dad passed away. Maybe because he was the only boy in a family of women. Maybe its just whats in his heart. And as this process has started I think he's been able to visualize himself in that role. I've seen him in that role always and one of the reasons I married him was because I knew he'd make a great father.

My text back? Someday soon honey. If possible I love you more today than ever.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Turtles

So after speaking with J a supervisor at DCFS I felt instantly comfortable with their process. He was all for helping us find potential children to adopt and was a straight shooter which I appreciated. So my Honey and I will be going this route. I hope to have some more information next week and start our training classes in the next month or two. The process is going to feel TURTLE SLOW.....

Meanwhile we went and played laser tag. Myself my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law. My brother is newly home from the Army and this seemed like a fun activity. And of course as randomness would have it we were matched up against 9 eight year olds and their dad. They were screaming big kids vs little kids in this tiny little room and I couldn't hear myself think. They were too cute but finally I said - You can have whatever teams you want just don't scream - so of course they screamed even louder! Red or Green? GREEN of course that's their favorite color! More screeching! Hey your gun has the name of the bad guy in Spiderman! No one had the heart to tell him all of the gun names were bad guys. I was Dr. Evil hmmmm.

Their excitement was infectious as they were let into the arena. The screamed the countdown and then came at us. I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did in months. My 6' 2" brother geared up and took the bridge sending me tactical hand signals to wait and hold my position. Around the corned they came - groups of little turtles. Seriously that's what they looked like. Their little bodies not big enough for heir packs so they had green flashing shells. I guess I had forgotten how little 8 year olds can be as I'm use to the teenagers in my life and my 8 year old God Child is well, tall. At first I felt bad. They were clumping together being caught in the laser beam cross fire. It felt too easy. Picking them off one by one. Until Spawn came from behind and shot me in the back then it was ON.

But the whole time I was picturing my future potential children. Would they be skilled at laser tag. Would they think their parents and Aunt and Uncle were dorky for taking this so seriously (we could win a competition in competitiveness)? Would the packs fit them properly? Will they roll their eyes at as reminiscing about our high school laser tag days? And I have to remind myself that I can't get my hopes up yet and that its a slow process. Slow like a turtle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Confusion

I'm a smart girl. I have a college degree and a paralegal certificate so why is it so hard to figure out the way to start adopting a Waiting Child. I've read forum after forum, link after link on adoption in the US, specifically adoption of children currently in Foster Care (Waiting Children) but no one can seem to give me a straight answer about how to go about this.

You have to become a Foster Parent in order to Adopt. But when they start giving you the information about Foster Licensing they tell you the goal of Foster Parenting is reuniting the child with their birth parents... Huh? Didn't I call the adoption hot line? What if I just want to skip straight to the adopting part? I mean understand needing to go through the education part and getting the home checked out as suitable but why does all the information talk in circles.

Can the terms adoption/foster be used interchangeably. And if not why are the people needed to to do either of this type of parenting always lumped into the same descriptive paragraph. And why did the person from the agency tell me adopting a foster child was a long shot when I just read on the state website that 40% of kids in Foster Care never return to their birth parents and instead get placed for adoption.

And then I get a little skittish. Is this why you always hear about the system being broken? Could this be why these children have such a hard time finding permanent homes? Am I up for this? Are WE up for this? As this seems to be an idea placed safely in my heart I think the answer is yes but I guess a call to DCFS tomorrow is in order. Perhaps I really need to go through them instead of the Private Agency that we were referred to for licensing.

A New Journey

I find blogging theraputic and as such have decided to start putting down some of my feelings about a new journey I am taking: Motherhood. The last 18 months have been something of a rollercoaster. Definate highs and ultimate lows and the same feeling when the ride stops - Let's go again. And so here I am about to embark on a new journey into previously unknown territory foster care/adoption. Ultimately, I feel empowered and prepared and this is how I know this is the right thing for our family.

For those of you who don't know anything about me currently I have an active bout of Neurosarcoidosis. This is an autoimmune disorder that can effect any tissue structure in the body and currently the disease is residing in my brain. If my head were a map the House of Pain is located on Trigeminal Nerve Ave. Left side. Next to The Temple. For reasons unknown my body has decided it doesn't like normal courses of treatment and as such has failed to respond to them. I'm a bit of an unusual case and fully expect to end up as a case study in a medical journal one day. For nearly 18 months I was in chronic, constant pain. And until I tried acupuncture I thought I would stay there. But after nearly two months of acupuncture treatment 2-3 times a week I am almost back to living my life normally and relatively pain free. (Realtivity is an interesting world to live in.) I have found a new normal and a new set of circumstances and information that I live by. I've learned an entirely new language of medical terminology and procedures and have recieved a crash course in hollistic care.

Why is this important? Well 1) because all this has defined a new me 2) because it led myself and my husband to consider a new path to having a family. One of the challenges I was giving to my doctors was treating me with medication that would be relatively safe to give to a pregnant woman or one who wanted to become pregnant soon. If I take that restriction away it buys me some time so to speak to try new therapies that might send the disease into remission. But what about starting our family.

Hmmm