We bought a new livingroom set last night. The kids and dogs destroyed the other set. It's tobacco colored leather, very pretty. We also checked out bedroom sets for our daughter. I fell in love with a distressed white bedroom set - it's so pretty and feminine. I'm just not sure a queen would fit in the room. I wasn't crazy about any of the youth sets and this one will carry her into adulthood.
I went to the local library today to see the Adoption Photolisting book. The copy they had was from Spring 2005. No wonder there are so many kids in foster care. Why aren't these books updated and distributed regularly? They are supposed to be issued quarterly - I just don't get it.
I don't blame the social workers, they're overworked as it is. I'm sure if people knew, things would get done. It's amazing when a fire or tragedy happens and the community rallies around and donates their time or money, how much can get done in so little time. If people could just see the faces of our beautiful children who need homes and parents and families, I'm sure the number of waiting children would decrease rapidly. It's just too hard to get access to these children and their stories.
Just venting...I want my daughter and I don't want to wait for months to get her. I can't even see who possibly might be my daughter or who is available. The website is so outdated, there are kids on there who I know for a fact have been adopted already and there are others who are available who are not put out there.
I picked up a Ty Beanie baby named "Fanciful" at the drugstore today for my daughter. I plan to get a gift bag and fill it with some age appropriate things and treats along with the family book when it's time to be presented to her.
I've been reading "Our Own - Adopting and Parenting the Older Child" by Trish Maskew, who is an adoptive mother herself. I'm really learning a lot from this book. It walks you through the process of adoption and life after with a mix of facts, stories from adoptive parents and kids and their experiences, and professional advice. It's packed with things the potential adopter might never have thought of. I can see this will become a source of reference for me over the next months and years.
Whew. First homestudy is over. I cleaned non-stop for hours, repainted my son's room, had the house perfect. We saw the car pull up and I told my son's friend to go out the back door and for my son to get the dogs in the backyard. We were all looking out the front but couldn't find her. She ended up coming in the back way. The sw had a skirt on and my girl dog went right up behind her and stuck her whole head up her skirt! Ugh!
I cleaned the house for nothing! She barely glanced around. We sat in the livingroom and talked for about an hour. I got all my paperwork, etc. We have to go to 9 classes between July and August. She was able to talk with the boys about their preferences and steered us away from adopting an older girl. She thinks one around my younger DS's age would be better - in the 5-7 range. She thinks a teenage girl would present too many problems for my teenage boy and the girl. I never thought of that, I just thought they would consider each other as siblings. But, I do see her point of view on this.
The best thing to come out of the meeting (besides my immaculate house!) was that when we were talking my older DS mentioned that he would rather have a boy his age. I mentioned that when we were doing the infertility treatments back in 1998, we started to look into adoption. There was a boy who was just a month younger as my son, they shared the same name, even looked like him. I was heartbroken that 8 years later, he is still in the system. The SW told us that we could become a visiting resource for him. It's a 6 month to 1 year commitment where he would spend day outings with us and share holidays. She's going to mail the application to us. (Hopefully, DH will fall in love with him and we can adopt him, too!). We'll see.
I have a few weeks until classes start. I just bought a new Kodak digital camera so I want to get some pictures of the boys in the pool and our house for the Lifebook.
I had a horrible dream last night. The family was at some type of amusement park and all the kids who needed families were there, too. I know I want a girl but I guess because I'm a mother of boys, I'm naturally drawn to them. There was one little boy who attached himself to me and was holding my hand and wouldn't let go. I had to pry his hand away and leave him there. How can you turn one child away when they are all so needy? I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
I should stop looking at photolistings before bed. Not until I made the decision to adopt did I realize the full reality of all the thousands of children who need homes. I wish I had the finances to take a dozen of them. Their faces and stories just break my heart. I commend people like Angelina Jolie who adopt infants from around the world but what about the older kids who languish in foster care right here in the United States?
I just realized I'm "pregnant". I was laying awake in bed at 4:00 am this morning with insomnia and I started laughing to myself. I'm acting like I did during my pregnancies - it was all I thought about, I devoured the internet and books to learn as much as I could, I couldn't sleep.
The difference is this baby I'm not carrying in my belly but in my heart. And the due date is uncertain! Maybe (hopefully) it won't take 9 months meet my daughter. Oh, and instead of watching "A Baby Story" now I watch "Adoption Stories". My hormones are raging, too, because I'm in a complete state of panic over my upcoming homestudy with the social worker.
With my other pregnancies, I wondered what he or she would look like and what we would name our baby. Now I'm wondering what our girl will look like too, but also what her name will be and what her history is.
I'm a planner...it's hard not to buy clothes (because I don't know what age our daughter will be, I put in for 6-18) or decorate her room (I want her to do that to her own taste). But, as with my other babies, each day that goes by, I fall more in love with my new baby even though I have yet to lay eyes on her.
This process goes soooo slowly. To pass the time, I've been devouring all the information I can online. I ordered a subscription to Adoptive Families magazine and I just placed an order for a few books on adoption. Since I'm planning to adopt an older child from foster care, these are the books I found that I thought might be relevent:
Older Child Adoption by Grace Robinson Adopting the Older Child Claudia L. Jewett Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah Gray Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child by Trish Maskew
Countdown to homestudy. Today I'm cleaning my younger DS's room which will eventually become our DD's room. I've been scrubbing walls and windows and sweeping like mad. I don't know if the social worker is going to pay extra attention to this room or not but I don't want to take any chances. I have no idea what to expect. I should do some research in the next couple of days. Back to cleaning!
I was searching the national adoption photolistings yesterday and I fell in love with a little girl. I know I have about a 0% chance she'll still be available by the time we have our homestudy completed in a few months. She looked just like me when I was a little girl, with big brown eyes and puppy tails in her hair. As if that wasn't enough, she was born the same month and year as younger DS. She's located in another part of the country so I doubt I would be first on the list anyway. Why can't the flipping homestudy be done in a week?! Frustrating.
Today is a bittersweet day. My baby boy turns fourteen and graduates from 8th grade. It seems like yesterday that he was born and now he's a handsome young man. He's 5'10, 160 lbs but to me he's still the little chubby baby with the huge brown eyes and long lashes. He was such a good baby, always smiling and happy.
He tried on his cap and gown last night. I'm smiling right now at the picture in my mind of him standing there with the mortarboard crooked on his head and the goofy smile on his face. He's so young and innocent yet he thinks he is so mature and invincible. He loves video games and manhunt and playing baseball but now he has girlfriends and the start of a moustache. He's kind of stuck in between two worlds - like that Britney Spears song, no longer a boy but not yet a man.
I'm very proud of the job DH and I have done with him. His teachers always comment how respectful and polite he is. He always holds the door for us and others when we're in a store or restaurant. Not to say he hasn't come with challenges. He has ADD and it's been a struggle since he was little because of it. He has to go to summer school for Math this year and school doesn't come easy to him. DS#2 almost seemed to parent himself he was so easy compared to DS#1. They definitely came in the right order, we had the 1st when we wee in our 20s and the second one when we were in our 30s. Now with the 3rd that we are hoping to adopt, DH will be in his 40s! One kid per decade, LOL.
I'm starting this blog so you'll know the full journey we took to get you.
I want you to know that you are very much wanted. I believe in God's plan and fate and that everything that happens to us is as it should be. As much I would like you with us right now, we'll have to let life play out and be patient. It's hard to comprehend that maybe someday soon you'll actually be reading these words that I've written to you and you'll be my daughter when you're reading them. I'll try and put as much of our feelings and the little details in here so you'll have it if you want to read it at some point in your life.
Just got off the phone with the DCYF worker. I am now scheduled for the first homestudy next Thursday, 6/22! Yikes. Where do I begin. Deep breath. I have a week or get the house clean. I need to repaint my son's room. Get the dogs into the vet for their rabies vaccines (I'm behind but they're indoor dogs so I didn't think it was a big deal until now!). Check the smoke detectors. Buy another fire extinguisher (that's a whole nuther story where the first one went). If anyone is actually reading this blog, what else do I need to do?
Oh s&*%, I can't believe we're actually in the adoption process! I'm about to burst. I'm laughing to myself here. After the flood of tears yesterday and the excitement right now, I can tell this is going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride.
We officially jumped into the process last night! DH was sick with the flu so I had to go alone. I had a company outing that day and I was so nervous that I wouldn't make it in time since I was so far away. I wasn't prepared to be at the other end of the state 2 hours before I was supposed to be at the meeting and I wasn't prepared that DH would still feel too sick to go. I think it all just got to me and I broke down. Fortunately, the long drive gave me time to clear my head and settle the butterflies a little bit. Once I got to the general area, I got to the parking lot 20 minutes before it began and there were already 3 other couples waiting in their cars. The meeting was to start @ 7:00 and when the first couple got out of their car, the rest of us followed and we all piled in the building 15 minutes before. I met the social worker that I've been bugging for the past 8 months!
I got the application, made the appointment for June 27th for the first homestudy (which I have to cancel because DH has a golf tournament that day, grrrr). Our classes begin next month. I'm hoping by September or October we'll be matched with a girl and a year from now, we can finalize.
I have to learn patience. I want to just get on with it already. I don't want my daughter sitting in a foster for a day longer than she should have to. I want to know who she is, what her name is, what she she looks like, how old she is, what she thinks of us, how she fits in with our family, does she like her room and how does she want to decorate it? I can't wait to take her shopping and to do mom and daughter stuff with her. This is definitely going to be an exercise in patience.
Our journey actually began 15 years ago when we met. I think we pretty much knew right away that this was it. He chased me, I wasn't interested. He convinced me otherwise and we were engaged within 5 months. Two months later we bought a house together. Four months after that, I found out I was pregnant. A month later, we were married.
Our plan was to have lots of kids, four sounded like a good number. Plans don't always work out the way you want them to though, and you either grow stronger and look to make a new plan or you crumble and lose it. Fortunately, we grew stronger from our struggles.
In the eight long years between having my first child and the second, I went through a dramatic transformation. I married as a naive, innocent girl and emerged a strong, battleweary but incredibly strong woman. January 19, 1994 is the day that changed our lives forever. It's the day my husband got sick and there would be no more babies for us. It was the least of my worries then, I just wanted him to live. As the years passed though and his health got better again, we realized we didn't want our son to be an only child. So began the infertility treatment years. Those were challenging years, everyone around me seemed to be pregnant. Round after round of donor IUIs failed. I prayed, I cursed, I got more and more dejected. Finally, there comes a point when you just say enough is enough. I broached the subject of adoption. We sent away for paperwork and then it happened. I was pregnant! When I saw his face for the first time, I knew everything had happened exactly the way it was supposed to. Had I gotten pregnant any of those other cycles, I wouldn't have this precious baby and I had gained a wisdom and an inner strength that I wouldn't have otherwise. Now, it's 6 years since I've birthed my second baby and I am ready to become a mother again - I need to become a mother again. My arms and my heart could embrace so many more kids than time or money would allow so I will be content with just one more. Since I was a little girl, I knew I would have a daughter. I used to play with my dolls for hours, dressing and undressing them. Rocking them, singing to them and mothering them. I was one of two girls growing up so boys were foreign to me. I never imagined that I would have any sons at all. Now, I can't imagine not being a mother of boys. It's fun! I've learned so much from them and I think I'm suited for the role. They're smart and handsome and they amaze me everyday. They're are as different and night and day. One is wild and carefree and funny and the other is quiet and sweet and loving. Now I'm ready for pink and ballerinas and hairbows.