My Family

My Family

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The choice we made

So when we last left off we had been presented with a child.  After long nights of debate, talking to social workers, family, the pet rabbit, reading the information, weighing the information, talking to more social workers and loosing a lot of sleep in general we made a choice. 

It wasn't an easy choice.  We had to say no.  It was a mutual break up like in dating when everybody agrees that it is no one's fault and best to part ways but you still feel really crappy anyway.  Shannon asked that I not blog about some of the reasons we discussed and I am good about that.  What I have told people is that this young man is happy and thriving where he is now.  He may have had a really hard time with a nearly five year old underfoot and feeling like he needed to compete for attention.  We (Shannon and I) lacked resources to make this a successful transition for him and we live far away from his friends and girlfriend and brother and sister.  He has so little family that every member is precious and dear to him.  Moving him away could be more harmful than helpful. 

So I have kind of been off sulking and licking my wounds.  In adoption you never know if you made the right choice or wrong one.  My mom assures me it is.  I am sure she is right too, moms usually are.  Plus the really good thing that I keep telling myself is that he has people who love him and surprisingly, are fighting so hard to keep him where he is now.  And it is a good place.  And he is a good kid.  I wish him love, happiness, and joy throughout his life.  But now it is time for me to let go and move on.  Easier said than done.  I am just a bleeding heart and wish I could keep them all.

One of the good things that came out of this is that Shannon, who had been quiet for so long (he usually is, Marvin and I are such talkers he is lucky to get a word in edgewise) spoke up and out for what he wants.  For those of you who know my husband this is a rare event.  When I ask what he wants or what he would like he is pretty much "It doesn't matter honey."  or "Whatever you want" or the one that irks the crap out of me the most "I don't care.".  Well glory be, I got an opinion out of the man=).  We were able to define what is going to work for us, age range, and gender.  The logical conclusions will save us a lot of heartache in the future.  I have an idea of what to look for now. 

So now we are ready to move on.  Sort of.  It takes me a little time to rebound after these things.  I haven't even looked at Adopt Us Kids for a week.  Shocker.  But I still believe that there is a child out there for us.  Or children.  It may take us time to find him, her, or them but I still have faith that the time will come when it will be time to fix up the guest room for a permanent occupant.  I hold on to faith and hope as I march forward in everyday life and focus on my everyday blessings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

So the dance begins

So we have some news......  Yes, we have finally heard from our teen social worker.  She has been in contact with another social worker from another agency.  We have been presented with our first child. 

I was very excited and extremely nervous when I saw the e-mail.  This is big stuff.  Life changing. 

Our social worker did a good job.  She was able to balance the pros and the cons of this young man without being too scary or too "he is just perfect" about this young man.  Yes, he is a young man.  Fifteen to be precise.  And yes, I know 15 is not young.  I may teach little kids all day long but I am very well aware of how old 15 is. 

It is not his fault he is 15 and not adopted.  There were a lot of roadblocks in his way.  The big one right now is that where he is at is not supportive of his adoption.  I am sure they have many (stupid) reasons (that are probably stupid).  We had this problem the first time around.  The good news is that his social worker, adoption advocate, and the young man himself are all excited about adoption. 

I can't say too much about him and his history.  Even though I am pretty open on the blog there are lines that I won't even cross.  There is nothing as horrible in his closet as there is in Marvin's, but since he is still in the system and has not been adopted yet I need to honor his privacy. 

But here are some things I can tell you.  He is an avid reader, loves to take pictures, and wants to be adopted.  Don't get me wrong.  He's not perfect.  He has a few special needs and quirks.  But don't we all. 

So now we will take the next few days and really think this out.  It is a big decision.  Shannon and I will be praying and talking it out.  It will mean some drastic changes in our lives.  In the end we will have a choice to make.  We will have to choose what works for our family.  It may be a fit and it may not be a fit.  It will take time.  Because once we choose a path we have to plan on following it no matter how rocky or hard it gets.  That's what being a family is all about. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Adopt Us Junkie

O.K.  I have a confession to make.  Dunring the long winding process we call adoption I have become a website junkie.  Not just any website (mind out of gutter please) but the golden children's shopping network.  Know to everyday people as Adopt Us Kids. 

This website has gathered kids from every state in the U.S. and has put them all at the click of a mouse.  It has handy organizational tools that allow me to search specific criteria and organize it all.  I am then able to add children to my favorites list and send information to social workers.  It also works the other way around as well.  Social workers have access to my profile which I keep fresh and current.  If I am a match they contact me. 

I have also been able to network with other parents and offer tips, support, listening ears, and a shoulder to cry on.  Because sometimes you really want to cry after all is said and done.  No one gets it like these women and men who slog through this on a daily basis.  Believe me we do slog. 

The system is not perfect.  Often a picture will be posted and you will get one of the following responses.  The child is not available at this time.  Translation:  The child has just gotten their heart stomped on by a family who said that they were going to take this child home, love it, and it would be theirs forever.  Then the child has an episode where they test and see if this is true by acting out.  The family returs the child saying that it is not a good fit.  The child is greiving and needs time and now even more therapy.  The other response is that the child is on hold.  Translation:  The child is in a placement.  That is good.  I offer congrats and move on.  The last reponse is silence.  Translation:  Crickets chirp and you never hear from this worker and you pray that the child is not rotting in foster care limbo. 

Even when I pick a child out and send my info to the worker I still cheer when I see or get the on hold message.  We are all on the same team and I enjoy rooting for the trophy holder even if it wasn't me.  I know that someday I will be the one people are cheering for.  I am content to be on the playing field for the time being. 

I have been on the playing field a lot these past couple of weeks.  Our teen social worker got back from spring break with promises to get in touch with these leads and get back to me on Wednesday or Thursday last week.  Guess what?  She didn't.  She probably doesn't know that you can't make these types of promises.  Social workers are painfully slow due to large case loads and little pay to show for it.  But I am still a little irked.  It would have been nice to at least leave a little message saying that she wasn't quite ready.  I could have lived with that.  Silence makes me bonkers! 

But I am still busy.  I visit Adopt Us Kids on a more regular basis than I care to admit.  Today the message boards held no cheer for me.  A little boy who was supposed to be placed fell through.  His status changed from hold to reviewing all families.  My heart broke for the child.  The last time I spoke to his worker she sounded so sure that "Mr. D" as she called him, would be placed.  I cheered for it.  Now she is back to the drawing board.  But there are others waiting patiently in the wings who are hoping to help mend little hearts and put the pieces together again.  So the social worker will find a remember me e-mail when she checks her inbox on Monday.  I am hoping it won't be long before I see a hold status on him.  Even if it isn't us. 

I know there is a child out there for us.  Last night a friend of mine told me that I am such a nice, caring person that she hopes I get exactly what I want.  I told her that it wasn't what I wanted that mattered.  It was what child needs us the most and is going to benefit from being in our family unit.  I find that the items and people I treasure the most are not the ones that I picked out.  They are the ones that chose me.  So how will I know?  I will know the same way I knew when Marvin walked up to me and gave me his hand. He looked at me with somber blue eyes and nodded his head.  It was a powerful moment.  I had been chosen and my life would never be the same again.  So I will know.  A mother always does.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We've been tagged!


It has been a busy few weeks in the family.  It feels like every time I sit down to blog something stops me.  Usually its Marvin.  He caught a rotten bug and was down a whole week.  Shannon has allergies and I caught the stomach bug de jour going around.  So between all that we have had enough plague to last a really really long time=). 

As a  family we are taking time to heal emotionally as well.  We are adjusting to my brother in law being in "grown up time out".  His son is having a hard time as is his wife.  We are loving on them and praying them through.  It is hard on my husband and since he is a guy he tends to be more bottled up. I have been giving him a lot of extra TLC as well.  But we are healing.  There will be scars, but we will be stronger because it is either get tougher or roll over and die.  Our family doesn't roll over and die. 

On the adoption front we have been very proactive.  If we wait for our agency to do something we will be about 80.  That is just how agencies are.  They have lots of other families waiting for children and children needing help and healing.  We are not top dog.  But I learned some things last time around.  The seeds I have sown pre-approval are growing into nice healthy plants.  I have social workers asking for our home study and excited to keep a look out for us. 

The little boy we were interested in may be placed with some of his family.  This is the best solution for him.  However, we now have several other little boys that have cropped up.  So off went the home study.  I also haven't taken no for an answer.  I inquire about a child and if the social worker says they are not available, don't want to be adopted, or the rain is green on Mars I simply send a cheery e-mail saying I understand blah blah blah.  Then I attach my home study and say that I am sure you have another child that you are really seeking a match for.  Here is our study.  Let us know.  Thanks=).  So in other words I am annoying. 

But being annoying has paid off.  I had a social worker contact us.  About a boy.  He is a little older than what we envisioned, but she says he looks like a good fit with our family.  We are his "wish list" family.  So now we begin a new part in the journey.  The courtship dance.  So information has gone to CHS and now we turn control over to our teen social worker.  This is where it will get annoying.  You see she is on spring break this week.  I don't begrudge her the break time.  I am counting down the days until our spring break at school.  I am just annoyed that we have to wait a whole week before we can talk with her.  Even though we have just started the journey it seems like we have been waiting for so long already.  I also hate to have kids rot in foster care limbo.  Even a week extra is a week too long.  I asked the director if she could help us since she is overseeing the teen worker and us as well.  I got a no.  I guess that is good in a way.  That means she really wants to give our teen worker a chance to run the show.  Plus whats one week in the grand scheme of things?  I am sure I will live=). 

We also want to proceed with caution.  After all we want to make sure that this is a good fit all the way around.  It will give me time to pray and start thinking over plans if this comes to pass.  And time to work my way through if it doesn't happen.  If it does happen lots of changes will occur in our family unit.  Marvin would be a little brother.  The baby.  A status he would probably be fine with.  Plus it would solve other behind the scenes angst we have been having about his school year next year.  It would require us to rethink lots of other things as well.  But no pain no gain, right? 

So we will spend time thinking, hoping, praying, and wishing that soon we will be a family of four.