Monday, September 22, 2014

An Educational Post

I'm still blogging at my new site, but I'm also finishing my masters degree, so I needed to update this site for a class on Google apps. So here's an update!

The last time I wrote a long post here, we had been matched with a sibling group that we hoped to adopt. We were able to finalize in December 2011. Here's a photo taken just after we saw the judge.
You might notice there are 5 kids in this picture, instead of the 4 we knew about when I last updated. The week after our middle three moved in with us, I found out I was pregnant. Surprise! Collin joined us in October 2011.

Here's a picture of the whole crowd at Easter this year. I can't believe how much they've grown!
On the left is Grant (8), then Collin (2), Maya (13), Hannah (11), and Levi (9). I knew our lives would get a lot busier, but I had no idea just how wild this ride would be. My days are filled with kid schoolwork, toddler chasing, sports practices, shoe and jeans buying (seriously, how do they need new shoes and jeans every week?), and LAUNDRY. My nights are spent writing and doing my own homework. Exhausting as it is, I'm also incredibly happy. I always pictured us having a big family. Now that we do, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Collin will read you a bedtime story now.

Here are the photos before I edited them in Picasa. I changed the color settings on the first one and added a glow filter to the second.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The New Not-So-Simple Life

Take a walk with me! Just around the corner there's a sweet new space, and I'm moving in.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Some Exciting Stuff Happened

The latter half of 2010 was mostly normal. On the adoption front, we finished our homestudy, got set up with the state for foster adoption, and started working with a very small, private adoption agency. We didn't know what would happen or when, so I nobly spared you those details. Do you remember when David Letterman had "Oprah Watch" on his show? Dozens of nights in a row, he'd say, "Oprah Winfrey did not call today." That's how the waiting game is in adoption. The agency did not call today.

And so it went, from midyear, when all of our paperwork and fingerprints and medicals and whatnot were complete, until September, when our state social worker sent us some preliminary files on a group of 3 kids. "They look scary on paper," she said. "But give them a chance. I think they might be a good match for you." In this group was H, an 8-year-old girl, and her brothers L and G, who are 5 and 4. We read files, looked at pictures and did a lot of thinking and praying. A few other kids' files came along in that time, too. We heard nothing more until mid-November.

Our state social worker called to ask whether I wanted our homestudy considered at the best interest staffing, or not. It was time to stop floating along on a cloud of indecision, but actually making a solid decision suddenly paralyzed me in fear. More prayers ensued. I begged for some kind of solid indication from the almighty powers of the universe. We finally decided that we couldn't say no at this point, so we'd allow the homestudy to be submitted, and take it as a good sign if the kids' team chose us as the best fit.

The date for the best interest staffing came and went. Our social worker said it would be a week or so before she knew which family was chosen. That extra week also came and went. Not meant to be, I decided.

On a Monday morning, more than a month after the best interest staffing, our social worker called. "I just heard that SRS approved you as a match for these kids. Congratulations! I'm sure you're nervous, but I hope you're also excited." I think I was mostly in shock. I called G at work, then called my mom. Suddenly, in the midst of telling my friends that we were matched, I started to feel the absolute assurance that this was right. Finally! The excitement and love from my friends pulled me from my overwhelmed and shocked state, and put me squarely into thrilled territory. With a side of absolute terror, of course. I'm about to be a mom of four. Hold me!

Later that week, we drove 2 hours to an SRS office to read files on the kids. The information in the files was as heartbreaking as we expected it to be. It was a little scary, too, but mostly it strengthened our desire to give these kids the love and peace and stability that they've been denied for too long. After the file reading, we finally got to meet the kids!

We saw them in the hall on the way to the conference room where we were supposed to hang out and play. The oldest, H, kept stealing glances back at us, and I heard her asking her social worker "who are they?" I smiled at her, and she gave me a hesitant smile in return. She's a pretty kid anyway, but when she smiles? Watch out, world.

We played for a while in the conference room, chatting about our likes and dislikes. The boys made Play-Doh mustaches. It was an incredibly strange time, but oddly comforting, too. What do you say when meeting your kids for the first time? We managed, and by the time we left, I was hopelessly in love with all of them.

Two days before Christmas, we learned that we'd be able to have the kids with us for the whole weekend. So exciting! Except, omg. I have no gifts for three extra kids! Or clothes for the Christmas Eve service! Never doubt that I love my children, internet, because I drove to the city and went to approximately 28 stores in a quest to acquire last-minute gifts and attire. I had to go to Walmart. Two days before Christmas. In the toy section. Yeah, I love these kids.

Christmas was an absolute joy with a suddenly bigger family. Our extended family also rushed to get gifts to include all of the kids in the festivities, and embraced all of them instantly. We had a short break just after the holiday, and then the kids came back to our house to finish up their school break. We'll have them every weekend from now until the state decides they can move in forever.

So there you have it. 2010 went out with a bang in our household, with our family size doubling overnight. I predict that 2011 will bring Sam's Club memberships, basement renovations and four times the excitement of the previous year!

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Let's get this out of the way before I start, OK? I will no longer be pretending that I feel some massive level of guilt for not blogging on a regular basis. There are approximately three of you who read this blog, and at least two of you also have access to my antics on Facebook. It's pretty much the same antics. There. Now I won't need to start my 2011 yearly post with an apology.

This morning, M pressed her ear to the living room carpet and called me over in an excited whisper. "There's a stampede coming," she said. "Oh my," I answered. "A stampede of what?" She gave me a look that suggested I am not very smart, and said "stampedes are bulls, mom." Right. Silly me. "How long do you think we have until it gets here?" I asked her. She thought maybe 20 minutes. 30 max. "What should we do, then?" I asked in a faux-alarmed tone. "Well, you should probably gather all of your jewelry," she answered, "and meet me in the basement."

I may be squashed flat by the bulls falling into my basement, but dammit, I will be covered in shiny baubles when I go.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Much Needed Laughter

The other day, I had to be fingerprinted, TB-tested, hepatitis-tested, HIV-tested and drug-tested for clearance with various agencies that work with kids in our state. It was... exhausting. And not very much fun. On the up-side, I think my daughter may have an interesting story based on the fact that Mommy had to go into the booking area of the jail and later had to pee in a cup, but somehow I don't think her version of that tale is going to cast me in the best light.

I was at the point where I needed to find the humor in this process. My friend Jill was one of our references for our homestudy. I saw her tonight, and she brought a copy of the reference form with her. She thought I might want to see what she said, maybe even read it aloud to the group we were with. What follows is Jill's handiwork.

How long have you known this couple?
I met Heather during my incarceration, which was about 6 months ago. Heather and I served time together for tax evasion.

How would you describe their character?
G's character: Peter Griffin, the father from The Family Guy. Like Peter, G is irresponsible, a heavy drinker, and has an IQ that is borderline at best.
Heather's character: Nemo. She often seems "lost," but is also a fantastic swimmer.

How would you describe their parenting ability?
With the help of SRS, I think they have the potential to become great parents. It may be too late for poor M, though.

Would you recommend them to adopt a child?
Yes. The tax breaks that additional children bring to the family help people like Heather and myself stay honest and up-to-date on our taxes.

Additional comments?
Please don't hold Heather's illegal alien status against her. She's still a wonderful person.