Sunday, March 6, 2016

The cost

Let me preface this by saying that I wrote this when I was feeling really low. I want to share because maybe it will help moms like me out there know they aren't alone. I know for a fact that I have been impatient with people and I am working on it...DAILY. I am so happy with my family and I think everyone should know that I know I am doing what God wants me to and I have THE BEST kids ever. They are AWESOME! I wrote this as a status and realized it was too long and personal for a facebook status and it doesn't even say everything I am feeling. It doesn't talk about all the things we have faced. It does touch on some things I don't share freely like my child that has special needs and our encounters with racism. I'm certain that some families that are like mine be in biological, adoptive, or foster can relate to this. I know I can't be the only one that sees the child hating culture we live in. Everyone goes around stating that it takes a village but when it comes right down to it people don't really believe that. If they did there would be a lot more love and patience. There have been times in the last 3 years that I have felt so incredibly alone in this. Adopting older children comes with its own set of struggles but something I never considered was the impact it would have on MY relationships of people who just can't handle what our life is now. Friendships have been lost (which I realize is probably a blessing) and relationships have been forever changed and it hurts. I think it helps to release this.

Adopting so many kids had some costs I did not consider. I knew it would be hard and that we'd have issues with loss and behaviors and a much louder home. I did not expect the cost of my relationships with others including the way I'm treated by neighbors, strangers, and people I thought had my back (some who were who I thought were my closest friends). I didn't expect the loss on our end at all. I guess I was really able to see a difference because I went from 1 that was the only for 5 years to 4 in just a couple months. I saw the dramatic difference. I didn't realize there wouldn't be anymore invitations to parties or that we'd even be uninvited to things. I didn't realize I'd feel unwelcome and uncomfortable every single place I went, even familiar happy places. I didn't realize there would be so much judgement slung at us. Feeling like I should maybe explain our situation to even complete strangers especially with the special needs we deal with or the fact they have ideas about my reputation when in reality I've been faithful to my one and only, but knowing I don't have to explain Jack because it's none of their business! But if I did Maybe people would be more patient or put their eyes, their shaking heads, comments, and sighs towards something else. Wondering why people who don't know my son treat him like a criminal with comments about spending his life in jail for playing with a ball that was in the street and phone calls because he went into someones backyard and it was suspicious even though it was actually a play date and security cameras because they just have a feeling "my boy" will steal something and why people who see how my daughter acts just judges my parenting or worse calls her a name like brat or tell her to her precious 5 year old face that she needs to take medication. And why they don't take even one second to consider that maybe the boy who's growling and hitting and kicking in the middle of the store was treated like he was unwanted until age 4 or that he was actually told that he was a mistake and that he is stupid (that's a very nice edited version) by a person he trusted and depended on and was made known of the fact he made even his foster moms life "a living hell" and that he doesn't even fully trust me yet because he spent the first years of his life knowing nobody truly wanted him. I wonder why even when they're being perfect angels people still expect them to mess up or wait for them to misstep in anyway. I feel like my innocence has been completely lost in this process, like the happy person I used to be just died because I have now seen how ugly the world and people in it can be, including myself. I'm so angry. I don't want to care that some people think I'm a white trash skank or an ineffective parent but I do care. It bugs me that it's automatically assumed what kind of person I am. Or like it's ok to treat anyone like a second class citizen to begin with like so what if I was on welfare or if I did have 4 different fathers for my children. Why would that make it okay to treat my family like we are beneath them. I don't want it to change who I am but I'm having a lot of trouble letting this go. I don't know how to go back to who I was when every day is a battle. Every day it seems a new challenge that tries to squeeze any kindness I have left for people from my heart. And no I'm no angel. These kids have done far more for me than I ever could for them. I am the lucky one to have them in my life. Adding children to my home (take this in) ADDING CHILDREN TO MY HOME has really shown me the ugliness of the world. The impatience, the assumptions, the racism, the exclusivity, the superiority, the belief that adoptive love is lesser than biological, the belief that foster kids are "bad". It's all changing me. My sensitive heart is becoming like stone. Today I've really reflected on one thing, if I had known the true cost would I still have done it? The answer is of course Yes, I would have but I sure wish it didn't have to be this way. I was so naive about the state of this world we live in. I wish I was still shielded from the hatred of the world but I am glad to know who really loves me and my family and who doesn't. It's hard to realize you have far less people in your corner than you thought. This has been such an unexpected painful part of this process for me. I think something everyone needs to remember is that usually when a child is acting out it is because something deeper is going on. A child that is in the situation my children are in did not choose or want to lose their first family. That is grief they will carry with them always. The feelings they feel are much deeper than they are able to express at times and just because a family that WANTS THEM and LOVES THEM adopts them doesn't mean it will be all rainbows and puppy dogs the second they have a stable home life. It is a LIFE LONG process.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meeting Marcus

Absolutely terrified. That is how I felt on the day we went to meet Marcus. We met at Chick fil a. We were meeting up with our case worker, his case worker, his foster mom, and him. We finally go and we get there early and I go in to use the bathroom since Claire fell asleep in the car. Mike stayed in the car with her. I saw the case worker was already there so I went to get Claire and Mike at the car. As we were getting out of the car we see Marcus pull up! I recognized him because we had pictures of him already. I really just wanted to wait until we got inside before we met because I was so nervous but Claire had different plans. Claire sees him and recognizes him and yells, "MARCUS!!!!! Hey, Bro!!!" So we met in the parking lot. It cracked me up. She really broke the ice. They immediately went inside to the play area. :) We got to talk with the case workers (where we found out we get another new case worker) and the foster mom. They all had great things to say about Marcus. So finally we get something to eat and Marcus eats all of his food and then mine. He has an appetite on him! We went in after to watch them play. The kids all played really well. Marcus broke his glasses which they said he did often. :) We asked some nervous questions to him about his favorite color (red), his favorite food (pizza), etc. It was awkward for sure but still went perfect. The evening came to a close and he said, "I'm going with you." and I was like "no, not today." and he got upset. He said he was ready to come home with us. I was SHOCKED. I walked him out to his case workers car and got a hug and said goodbye. We got to our car and Claire cried because she didn't want her brother to leave. Really it was awkward but it went perfectly. It really couldn't have gone better. The case workers left it up to us to decide visitation from there. We decided to meet up the next Tuesday, a week later. We were going on our annual camping trip that weekend. They said it wasn't a good idea for that to be our first visit. I understood that it would be a lot for him to take in.


We had a meeting with case workers today. I was very nervous. They set my mind at ease though and we learned a little bit about Marcus. Sounds like he has a VERY similar personality to Claire. I think that this is going to work out just fine. I really hope so. I guess we don't really know how it will go until he has been here a few weeks/months...after the honeymoon period. I can't wait to meet him and we get to do our very first visitation on Tuesday Oct. 9. Claire is so pumped she can barely contain herself. It is going to be quite awkward. His foster parents and case worker will be there watching us. I hope it goes well. I just pray that Claire and Marcus get along and that they are on their best behavior. They said he was really loving and sweet and affectionate. I dont think it will take long for me to fall head over hills for him. I have only seen his picture and I'm totally in love! I can't wait to see his personality. If he is like Claire he will be a funny guy. :) I guess it will be good to meet up with the foster parents so we can kind of learn a little more about him and some of his quirks at home. I just can't wait. I really hope it all works out. So far everything has worked perfectly. I mean stuff we prayed for has been answered. He wasn't being abused so I am happy that he at least had that working for him. He has been in a great foster home for the past 2 months. The workers just raved about them today. They love Marcus but they do not feel led to adopt. She said her purpose in life is to be the in between support between point A and point B whether that be reunification or adoption. It sounds like they were the perfect in between for him. He will only have to move 3 times. Thats really great for a foster kiddo! We will be his 3rd and final placement. I hope he likes us. We are already smitten with him. I look at his picture every single day. He is just darling. That is MY SON. Wow. Its so hard for me to be this hopeful. I've been let down so many times in this area and I'm afraid to hope. I know its a little early to let myself hope this much and get this attached to him because its still not 100% but I can't help myself. I even went out and got him bedding today. I plan to spackle his room tomorrow and then pick some paint after that. He likes cars so I got him a car comforter set. Its really cute! I got a decorative pillow and wall decals too! Looks like he is going to have a racecar room! He wants to be a drummer! I am going to look into drum lessons for him. How awesome is that!? Anyway I am going off on a tangent. The thing at hand: visitation. They said they'd like him to be with us full time by Thanksgiving. That is 1.5 months. She said it could be shorter or longer though depending on our connection. My biggest fear is that he will reject us completely...but he has to go somewhere and I think it will be a good fit for him to be with us. Who's better for an ADHD kid then parents who have dealt with behaviors like that already!? We'll see how it all goes. I could be crying next week over it. I am going to be praying for an instant connection. He still believes his first placement to be his Daddy. :( that may be difficult for Mike to deal with. There are extreme reasons why he is not there through no fault of him so its sad because he just doesn't understand yet why this has to be this way. I just hope we can make him comfortable and a part of the family and that he will love us as his mommy and daddy really soon. We will have patience and give him time though. It just may be difficult to hear sometimes. Well off to dream land. I will be praying for that connection. I just want him home with us so we can start our new life.

Next Thursday our lives may change

Well we waited a couple weeks for the call from our case worker but it did finally come. Honestly I think it was God's will for us to have to wait a little longer than a week because I got Pneumonia and I've been OUT for almost 4 weeks now. I was so ill that I wouldn't have been able to process the information. Well anyway I received the call on Wednesday Sept. 19 and she said "you have been selected for Marcus". My heart was racing. I was incredibly happy and I could almost not even talk because I could barely breathe. She asked if I remembered him and I said yes. He was the boy we originally went to the DHS office to see his file. She asked if race was an issue and we said no. He is half black half native American. We already knew though because we read his file. I told her my fears and she told me that we do hold all the control in this. She did put me at ease. I asked for a picture because I wanted to put a face with the name and see my potential son and so she emailed it to me. Friday Sept. 28 at around 10 to set up a day to meet up. His name is Marcus. I know it sounds weird but he has pieces of each of us in him. He is missing his two front teeth like Claire, He has my eyes, and he has Mike's glasses. He just had his birthday. He is 6. He is so freaking adorable. We showed Claire is picture and she was so excited! She started to jump up and down and scream with excitment! We have read his file. I don't remember it all except one part that was particularly disturbing. We are so scared and I am really ready for answers to my questions especially to this one part of the file. Our number 1 priority is Claire and we want to make sure she isn't abused in any way by him but we also don't want to introduce ourselves until we are 95% sure it is going to work out. I've come to the conclusion that in this situation you have to get the information then just jump in feet first. If we don't find out some terrible information that makes us think he will be a harm to Claire he will be our son. I think there is a pretty good chance that this precious little boy I see in this picture is my son. MY SON and He is beautiful. I can see he has sad eyes. I know that it will be a difficult road and that he will have to grieve but I so want this to work out. I already am falling in love with him. So basically this is how its going to go down...We will meet up with our case worker and his therapist on Thursday at 9am. We will go through a 150 page paper on his history. We will be able to ask questions to his therapist and address our concerns. Once it is over we will be able to decide if we want to proceed. If we do then we will set up visitation. We will meet him and hopefully his foster parents and have several visitations. He will come visit overnight too. When we all feel ready and comfortable he will come home to us. Hopefully sooner rather than later. We plan to set the date for Jan. 1. Hopefully he will be home for good before that though. Now I have a lot of guilt and shame over admitting that there is a chance we will say no to this little boy. It would take a lot for us to say no. We know he will be grieving and he will probably have some behavioral issues. (haha I think Claire has prepared us for some of that!) It would have to be something that would make us believe that he would be a serious threat or harm to Claire. We vowed to protect Claire and give her a life her birth parents couldn't so we are making her the priority right now. I think its important to understand that the right match for an adoptive family is of utmost importance. Marcus is a child that desperately needs a family to love him and provide for his needs. We may not be that family and I have to accept that. It would be devastating to me if it didn't work out. I want him home with us. I want him to have a normal and joyfilled life and I realize that we may not be the family that can give him that. I pray and hope we are his family. If you are thinking about adopting an older child...keep it in mind that when you see a childs face you may get a warm fuzzy feeling but that doesnt mean it will be the right fit. I also want to say to not get too scared when you hear the dirty details of your childs life. All children have baggage (even those in their natural families) and if you are open and honest with the case workers and therapists you can find out if this is the right fit for your family. Its a big decision and not one to be entered lightly. I think the decision has to be made with a rational mind not an emotional one. My emotional mind says I don't need to know the details, bring him home. My rational mind knows that his issues may be too much for our daughter or us to handle. We want to make a decision that is 90% before we meet him because it will harm him emotionally at that point. I am not going into this lightly. Honestly when you look up older child adoption you don't get many positive stories. When you tell people you are considering it or that you have been chosen for a child you will get responses like "I will pray for peace no matter what the outcome" and they will give you looks like they think you are making a mistake. I pray that I am that positive story. I want to inspire people to go ahead and pursue older child adoption. Once we found out about Marcus a few weeks ago I've struggled with a lot of emotions. I've read a lot of daily Bible readings which lead me to believe that this is God's will. If we don't get to adopt Marcus we are going to start foster to adopt. We wont be finished. ps. 68:19 - God bears our burdens (worries, troubles, etc) Gal. 6:10- Do good to others as the opportunity opens John 16:33- On Earth you have many trials, He has overcome the world (He's in control) Phil 4:9- Put into practice what you've learned and received from God Heb. 10:35-Endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God's will John 13:34-35-Love one another Ephesians 2:8-God saved you (we are adopted) Acts 20:24- I want to complete the work Jesus gave me, to declare the good news Phil 1:6- He started a good work and he will finish it John 14:1- Don't be troubled, TRUST IN GOD Ps 27:13- I know I will see the Lord's goodness in this present life The common theme I see is immitate Jesus, Trust Him, and know there will be good that comes from God out of it.


So it's been awhile. oops! :) A lot has been going on. We went to Disney World. It was a BLAST! We all had so much fun and I am already ready to go back!!!! We finished our application to DHS and we are now in the waiting process. There is actually a lot of stuff I'm feeling right now. We have been submitted to one staffing so far. We didn't get matched with any children that met our parameters (guidelines set out for our adoption. ie: Birth-age 4) but they sent us a list of all the children that needed a home and so we went and looked at files since there were a couple who were 5 or 6. We went up to the DHS office and got his HUGE stack of papers. There were 97 files of waiting children. These are children who are legally free for adoption. They are just waiting on a mom and a dad. Most are over the age of 5 and if they are under the age of 5 they usually have siblings that are older or several siblings. It was HEARTBREAKING. The kids that were older would actualy have quotes in their file saying stuff like "I just want a mom that will tuck me in and pray with me" or "the one thing that is special about me is that I can remember stuff really easily". Every single file had a picture of the child except one. He was the one we were going to see. He was the first file. We sent an email to our case worker saying we were wanting to know more and we found a couple of files we were interested in and told our case worker that we'd like more info. Well we got a call a few days ago asking if we would foster to adopt...well I gave it some serious thought and we prayed hard and came to the decision that we would wait a few months before we did foster to adopt because we are worried about all the stuff that happens with foster to adopt and we need more time to pray and think about it. So anyway the very next day we got a call from our case worker. Aug. 29. She was talking with the case workers of the kiddos we were interested in and they want us. So its turned into a possible adoption. I know its a boy and I know he is 5 or 6. I know there is only 1. He is 1 of 2 possilbe children. He is a few months older than Claire. I am struggling with all kinds of feelings. For one, its not for sure. We won't know until next week. For two, we don't know details, we have no idea what he has been through. My heart is longing for him but my mind is presenting me with all the what if's and possible problems. This is just scary. I don't want many to know about this yet because it is so up in the air. I desperately want it to work out. There are soooo many people who will be impacted by this. I know it will be difficult. I am sure it is normal for there to be some fear. I get this rush of panic at times about this and then I think about camping, birthdays, and going on walks. I think who is going to love this boy? I wonder if this is who God has chosen for us. It really has opened my eyes to foster to adopt though (which is really just basic foster parenting-a lot of foster parents do end up with adoptive placements). We are open to the idea now. Its scary because you may lose the child back to the birth family but its also has its perks. I would assume that with fostering you would have to allow yourself to fall in love with the child but also remember that you are trying to reunite the child to the birth family and thats the way it should be if it can.

Camping Trip

So we went camping and it was awesome! We went on some great hikes. Elk mountain nearly killed me! Friday there was a buffalo right by our tent! The whole time we were thinking of Marcus, of course. We called him every night. On Thursday Marcus' foster mom told us that Marcus was dying to see us and that he thought we were coming on Saturday so we decided to go get him Saturday morning to camp with us overnight. We went ahead and left on Friday night. That night as we were leaving a big buffalo came to our site. It was so freaky! Those things are big. Marcus had never seen a buffalo. So we go home and sleep without our pillows since we left them at the campsite... We get up early and meet Marcus and take him to buy a camp chair. The kids had a blast at the store picking out camp chairs, candy, and water bottles. Marcus told Mike that he loved him and then he hugged him. He told me that he wanted shoes just like Daddy's. <3 Things went well. Well we get to the campsite finally and everyone liked him a lot. It was awkward. We went on some walks and it was cool. I am not going to lie, it was extremely stressful for us. It was our first overnight, we weren't sure how to discipline him, there was too much candy, he was super pumped and amped up, it was just a lot to handle. I agree with the case workers that maybe camping for the first visit was just too much. What made it all worth it was the fact he had a blast. He found a buffalo and he really enjoyed that. All in all it ended up being a great trip. He is a sweet kid. He listened. The kids played well together. He was clearly bonding with us. He did have trouble sleeping in that tent which we thought might happen. He got to roast hot dogs and thought that was fun but he spilled chili on the front of his shirt. He worried about it for awhile then finally asked if we were still glad he was with us even though his shirt was dirty. That broke my heart. Thankfully I was able to show him Claire's shirt which was covered with something red from earlier...haha We then went to Meers the next day. I was still stressed by all the newness of our situation. He took his ADHD meds and we went to eat and fell asleep at the table. Something amazing happened at lunch. Claire actually sat there for lunch, she didn't get up...He peer pressured her into behaving! I could not believe it! lol. But we did see that he fell asleep after taking his pill. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was precious. Their heads were touching. We came home Sunday afternoon and he got to see our house and his room. His bed wasn't ready yet so he knew he wasn't going to get to stay the night. That made him sad. He was very clingy to us. The kids really played a lot. <3 They had a blast. We ended up taking him back to his foster mom that evening. It was really hard on the kids. We came home and finished up his bed so he'd have his room ready to sleep in.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Trench

I cut my face out because I looked HORRIBLE!!! lol. Going outside in the coat was tough considering it was over 100 degrees outside. EEK!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vogue 8597

So I finished my coat as I said yesterday but I can't post it until I get buttons on it. :) Today I made a long sleeve top for fall. I made Vogue 8597
I made view A (the gray one) but with long sleeves. I am just so ready for fall/winter. The picture stinks and it doesn't look like the color that it actually is. in fact I HATE this picture, it doesn't do this super cute top justice. It is actually a lot richer in the brown/taupe. It is the perfect length, perfect size, and it took about 45 minutes to make. Such a change from the coat which took about 6 hours total to make. (over 2 days) I totally want to make this again. Such a great payoff for time spent!

The Ice Tornado

So about 2-3 months ago we had a "microburst" here in my town. Basically what that means is a very heavy rain/wind storm blew in like a tornado and knocked down everbodys fences. We were looking outside because it started to hail pretty bad and I said "my car is going to get dented" becuase the hail was about golfball size. Then all of a sudden it started coming down like mad. We weren't sure if we should hide in the hallway (our tornado area) or not worry. The hail was hitting everything SO hard. I have literally never seen anything like it. It truly was like a tornado ran through our town. Our fence blew down of course and water seeped into our house through our window and ruined all of our laminate wood flooring. UGH. Now those of you who know me personally know that just a few years ago we had a plumbing issue that ruined our floors so badly that we had to replace them. Well we had to replace them again but I was not about to put wood floors back in. I mean I really doubt that we will get water damage again since we have taken care of those problems but seriously I don't want to deal with that. Laminate wood floors look TERRIBLE when they have water damage. They get all warped. We were walking around after the "Ice Tornado" and water was literally coming up out between the slats of flooring. So we decided to get tile. I wasn't sure about this because I didn't want my living room to look like a bathroom. So we picked out large tiles in a rust/black/brown combo. After we ordered them I just wasn't sure if I really liked them and so I just had to wait until they came in so we could put them in. Well they are here and we have begun putting them in. I LOVE them. I think I love them more than the wood. Here are some progress pics.

OH and the microburst really freaked Claire out. She is still talking about it a lot and she calls it the Ice Tornado. I think that sounds a lot cooler than microburst. ;)


The temps here have been over 100 for a month now. We are all HOT. SO naturally I am thinking of my fall wardrobe. I'm ready for jackets and long sleeves. Heck, I wish it was cool enough for capris. Anyway I have been dreaming. I almost can't sleep because I dream about sewing. Its an addiction for sure. I found some houndstooth a couple days ago at Hancock's and it was on sale...really good sale. So of course I needed it to make another trench coat from my McCall's 5525 pattern. Here is the first one: I got a coral satin for the lining. I made it SO much quicker than the last one. Maybe because of my shoulder injury but probably a lot had to do with knowledge. I had never made a coat before, this time I knew what I was doing. I had trouble with the lining last time because there is ONE direction that confused me but this time I worked with it until I got it. I am not going to post a picture right now because I don't have buttons on it yet. Everything else is finished but the buttons. In fact this is a huge issue right now because I can't decide on black buttons or coral buttons. UGH. I found some cute coral buttons the other day but idk if I want to do that. I mean I don't want it to clash with stuff I wear with it. (like maybe my red Chanel handbag...knockoff) or some plum colored pants. So maybe I should just stick with black BUT I don't want to be like every other houndstooth coat out there. See my dilemma? SO naturally I asked all my facebook friends...I literally got half for coral buttons and half for black buttons. I am just going to have to go look at buttons until I find the perfect ones. Here is the pattern. I made view B but with long sleeves.

I have about a million patterns pulled for my fall wardrobe and something amazing is happening...we are getting a JoAnn's on friday so the day after tomorrow I get to go look there IN MY TOWN. I am so glad to have another fabric store so close by. I have a few lined jackets, a winter coat, shirt dress, Jeans, sweaters and more all picked out and I am excited to get started and to be able to wear them in the COOL weather. ;)