My Family

My Family

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm still here!

It has been a while since my last post, but I am still here!!  Things get really crazy around the holiday season at work and at home. 
I work with 24 little people and you never know what is going to happen next.  We had an awesome Thanksgiving potluck and the children sang a couple of generic thankful songs.  We met in a new place having outgrown our previous location.  It went well.  There were many compliments on the singing for which I refuse to take credit for.  I can't sing to save my life.  My boss despairs and laments over my lack of rhythm, timing, tune, pitch, you name it.  I can't say that I blame her.  I have many talents.  Singing just isn't one of them.  But the children don't care and I lip sync at events.  After a horrible bout with vocal polyps and the fear that I was going to loose my voice permanently I don't really give two figs over whether I can sing or not!

On the home front I am in my full element.  Baking season is here!!!  Well, it is always baking season around here.  Just more so over the holidays.  I have become obsessed with pumpkin.  I have made pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin sauce for pasta, pumpkin soup, and my newest addition is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  To be honest, they didn't turn out cookie like.  They are more like a muffin or bar, but Marvin just polished off his third one so I think they taste fine.  I bring a lot of my goodies into work as I have a very picky eater for a husband and Marvin doesn't need tons of junk food.  So far it gets eaten pretty quickly.  The cookies/bars/muffins/I don't even have a clue what to classify them as go into work next week and home with some dear friends this evening. 

Some things have been happening on the adoption realm.  The first is that our last home study is either this Thursday or next Tuesday.  Yay!!!!  Our teen worker comes to our home, looks around, checks our pantry (I'm not kidding they will do that) and looks at where we will stash a kiddo or two.  Yes, two.   They are pushing for sibling groups and seem to think that they will be able to cram a couple kids in here.  I told them good luck.  If they try that I may have to move out!  Then we complete legal paperwork, I muster up the courage to go get a physical where they will check me out like I am some sort of farm yard animal (also not kidding, you should see the list), and then they put it all together and we find out if we are approved or not.  I am guessing we will be, but people are funny. 

Another thing that has happened is that I have been trying to faithfully post children who need homes.  One of the children's social workers remembered me from when we were adopting the first go around.  She has been in touch with me and has a couple of kids that she thinks we will love and may be a good fit.  That's the good news.  The challenge is that they are teens.  I am not opposed to taking a teen in, but it will have its challenges.  Shannon and I would like something a bit younger.  But you know the old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."  So what God wants for us and what I want may be two different things. 

We have also been contacted about a little boy with autism.  Again, not impossible, but it can have its challenges.  I enjoy working with special needs and find true satisfaction in my calling to do so.  But I worry that a child may not be fully accepted and loved by some of our family members.  I would understand.  After all, many family members freaked out the first time we did this.  Then we got Marvin.  And peace and joy was restored to the kingdom.  But for all Marvin's needs he is so normal.  Only glasses and a few slight developmental delays mark the tragic start he had.  Any child would be loved and nurtured in our home, but I can't keep them sealed in a bubble forever.  They would have to interact with family eventually.  And if they are treated badly because of something that isn't even their fault, that would be so super hard for me.  I would be beyond angry and hurt.  Shannon says he no longer cares about what the family thinks, but I am super sensitive. 

So only time will tell.  For now I am going to relax and enjoy the rest of my holiday before I start going berserk over the last visit.  I am thankful for my son and the traditions we are creating during this special time of the year! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Speak Up, Stand Up, Show Up

Today was a special day for us.  We journeyed to Petersburg, VA to attend an adoption reunion.  This is the first adoption celebration I had been to in such a long time!  There was great food, good friends, and most of all people who get you. 

Most everyone knows some family who has adopted.  Or are going to adopt.  But unless you walk a mile in my shoes you don't know.  I know it sounds cliche and silly, but you don't understand it fully unless you live it.  Add to the fact that I am an adopted child and have adopted a child and I am adopting again, it gets complicated.  But these people knew all about it.  We swapped social worker stories over lunch.  We laughed.  We cried.  We left feeling uplifted and supported.  Really supported. 

We had an amazing speaker.  He talked about the importance of showing up wherever your child was.  He showed up at his children's schools randomly.  He knew where they were.  He cared enough to take time out of his work and do this.  He stood up for his children.  He was their champion and advocate.  He also spoke for them.  He spoke out against his daughter's first grade teacher when he walked into her classroom and saw her lifting up a child BY THE EAR and dragging them around the class.  He also warned of the danger in raising a child as a friend and not your child. 

Speaking as a teacher myself, I worry about parents who don't do these things.  If you don't speak up, stand up, or show up, who is your child going to feel protected by?  There were some other alarming statistics, but most of it was positive.  Knowledge is power was the theme today.  I learned more today than I have learned in a long time.  I recommitted myself to speaking up and standing up for my child.  Sometimes I don't do such a hot job of it.  I let myself be influenced when I know in my heart of hearts that it isn't right.  My husband and I are a good team and together we can make the best choices for Marvin. 

We also saw Marvin's old social worker.  She said Marvin looks just like me.  Scary.  I told her he acts like me too.  I wish he was a little more mellow, like daddy.  Shannon said he wished that too.  We had a good laugh over that one.  She also is up to something.  She was asking a lot of questions about how soon we were going to be certified, how old so we want the next one to be, that sort of thing.  I am getting more excited about a new little person.  So is Marvin.  He is driving me crazy, but this journey is teaching us patience. 

I am glad we went.  I am glad I learned so much.  I am glad I was able to offer support and be supportive.  Knowledge is power. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Home Study Visit Number Two

Well, we survived the second home visit.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either.  Our teenage social worker got to fly solo this time.  She had her pens and stacks of questions.  It took me about 45 minutes, but it felt much longer! 

There were no off limit topics.  My past was dredged around and it was decided that I had a pretty normal, slightly boring upbringing.  I also was declared a pretty decent human being=).  There were harder questions too.  They asked if I would take a handicapped child.  How handicapped would I be willing to take?  Blind, wheelchair, trachea tube, autistic?  How about a child of a different racial origin?  Could we raise a sibling group?  Teen?  Then we went into my present and future plans.  Work?  Schooling?  Care? Montessori or traditional?  French Fries with that? 

Yes, I am willing to take an older child, sibling group, handicapped, and a different race.  Hopefully, not all these items at once. Shannon and I are very open to possibilities.  It will require changes in our lives, but these are changes we are willing to make.  I am starting to feel that we might survive this process and end up having another awesome blessing in our lives.  We have lots left to do.  Tons of paperwork and then lining up our profiles with AREVA. 

Meanwhile we hope, plan, and dream.  I dream of the day when we welcome the next Fields' family member home.  When I can burn my home study and declare our family complete.  But for now I am off to tackle paperwork!