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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Game On

Ooff. I feel like I said "Sign me up. I'm ready to be a Forever Mom." And the Universe said, "Game on."

Same week as Adoption Day:
Lice- Check
Bonus Points for all 3 older girls- Check
Stomach Flu- Check
Bonus Points- Stomach Flu in the back of the minivan- Check
Infant Fever- Check
Infant Teething- Check
Hubby- "death by illness"- Check
Mom- Fever and stomach flu- Check
Mom- Lice- Check.

Now it's 1:39 AM and Hubby is sleeping beside me and I just got the baby back to sleep after 15 minutes of her "calling" to us and crying. 

What the Hell Dude? You literally just said "Aww how and I supposed to sleep when my baby is calling out for me 'Da da da'?"

I'm totally going to mess with his bed settings when he starts snoring. I'd rub my hair on his head if it didn't mean more literal nit picking for me later....

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Letter to my Children on the Eve of Court

My Dearest Stella, Sarah, Simon, and Smiley,

Tomorrow we go before a judge and our family and promise to be your parents forever.  It's a big deal and all of us are excited.  And while tomorrow is not the "final, final" day it is the day we will forever call "Adoption Day".  We have come a long way.  Each of us as individuals but also as a family.  We have inside jokes. We have "remember when" stories.  We know each other's favorite colors and who is likely to have the stinky feet.  We sat around a table tonight with one of our dearest family friends and you impressed her with your polite manners, quick wit, and loving words. We were our crazy selves and it was the best example of who we are as a family.  Our family. A Forever Family.

You have waited a long, long time for this Adoption Day.  And it makes my heart happy to learn that you are excited and happy about your adoption.  I want to remind you that its okay if there are times you don't feel that way, or the feelings are mixed up inside.  Dad and I will love you no matter what and we are always here to walk beside you as you try to understand what adoption means to you.  You also have a whole host of other family members who will join us tomorrow and will be there for you whenever you need. 

Each of you are amazing people.  Your intelligence and creativity always astonish me. You are hard working and resilient and those traits will take you very far in life. You can do anything you put your minds to and you have two parents who will always do everything they can to help you achieve your dreams.

Thank you for letting me be your Mom.  It's the most important thing I will do with my life and I couldn't be happier that you are my kids.

All my heart,

Mom






Friday, May 13, 2016

Twinsters

We watched the documentary Twinsters tonight. It was shown on Freeform this week but it's also on Netflix. The documentary is about two women who look identical that find eachother on the Internet. They also happen to share the same birthday and are both adopted from Korea. 

It was a really interesting story. Beyond the whole "how small is the world" aspect, the documentary does a good job highlighting how people experience adoption differently. One of the women, Sam, feels really positive about her adoption. The other woman, Anais, is very angry about it. 

It's worth the watch.

**Spoiler Alert**
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I shared with Sarah and Stella that I had watched the movie. As we head to finalization, I want them to understand more fully that others may experience adoption differently, or even they themselves, may have different reactions over time. With four kids each of them are bound to have different thoughts on adoption being a positive or negative life experience.

My first reaction when learning that these girls were separated and presented as only children at different adoption agencies was anger.  Maybe that's because I'm all about keeping the siblings together (when it's safe). Sarah had the same reaction. Actually she cried. "Mom that's so sad! How could they do that to them!?" I mean like real, ugly cry tears. And she didn't even see any of the documentary! 

I may not have birthed her but she is on the same wavelength as me most of the time.

I went on to explain that my point wasn't to make her cry, especially since the women didn't seem to feel cheated, rather they felt their lives were fuller. My point was to help them understand that even twin sisters have different reactions and experiences regarding adoption.

The twins go to an adoptee conference in Korea and visit their former foster Moms and their "mother country". I imagine one day taking my kids on such a journey to the state where their family is from. So important to support my kids as they try to sort through all of these complex emotions.








Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

**This post did not upload so I'm re-loading. Pretend you read this earlier in the week*

I know this past weekend is hard for many of you. It's incredibly hard for me. It's never quite the greeting card commercial I conjure up in my head. For many of the past years it was a weekend filled with rages and tantrums and overall nutty behavior. There was a Mother's Day after the Fab Four left where I was a Mother without children. And that totally sucked.

Last year and this year I literally ran away. I spent last Mother's Day running a 1/2 marathon through  Disneyland and the city of Anaheim. This year I did it again and brought Hubby with me. 

The past few months have been sleep deprived, school and work filled and so I had zero training for this race. It's my 4th 1/2 marathon so I knew I could walk it and probably be ok. My only goal was to finish. And if I didn't, that was okay too. (I did finish.) 

We got a break together. We got sleep, like 9 hours straight. We've had great food and enjoyed the magic of Disney. So we've had a great time and relaxed and that's what we needed. (Even if it's warmer at home than it is in California this week.)

I hope you get a break and the ability to re-charge. If not for a week, at least an hour. I hope you remember that as a Mom- you are doing a great job even when it feels like you aren't. Even if your kids don't wish you happy Mother's Day, even if you have no kids at the moment. And if you decided to ignore the day entirely, that's also okay. You do you! 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Mountain

Today I went to a reunion of sorts. It was a Boy Scout function my Dad was in charge of, a training for a backpacking trip to Philmont. Philmont is a high adventure camp in Cimmaron, New Mexico. Within the camp is a major mountain ridge that belongs to the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and has a famous landmark called the Tooth of Time that the settlers used on the Santa Fe Trail. In fact, you can still see the ruts from the wagon wheels in the valley there.

Tooth of Time, Philmont Scout Ranch

In 2005, my Dad convinced me to go on a trek with him. We did a 7 day, 75 mile, backpacking trek through the camp.  In fact, I hiked the entire length of the ridge line pictured above. We went with a crew of 12 and all made it back, mostly in one piece. It was one of the most defining weeks of my life but the time leading up to the trip was critical. We trained. We practiced. We did group outings to shake out the group dynamics and for 7 days we relied entirely on our map, a compass, and each other. At the time, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. At the end of the trip I was changed. I had a new appreciation for nature and a new confidence in myself. I had LITERALLY climbed a mountain and came over the other side of it.

Two years later I was married, and had experienced a lay off, unemployment, and the beginning of a very deep depression.

Five years later I was beginning the process of becoming a foster parent.

While driving to the reunion, I realized that I was driving the same route we used to take for court for the Fab Four. I became aware that by that point in the route, I was usually in full anxiety mode, near panic.  Tonight, I was at peace. And I couldn't help but think of the distance we've covered as foster parents or the visual of foster care as a mountain we've hiked over and come out the other side.

We trained for this mountain too. I would argue we got the most useful training while we were already "on the trail".  But we learned none the less. And like Philmont, we came back mostly in one piece.

Philmont is no joke. Neither is foster parenting. 

As I walked into the reunion shelter, I was greeted by a few of the crew members that were on the trek with us and other Scouting friends of the family who have known me nearly all my life. Each of them ready with hugs and hearty congratulations on the near finalization of the adoption. Once again, I felt at peace.

My kids are really going to be my kids forever and I am eager for that day to finally be here!