Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Phase of Transition Nearly OVER

I hardly know where to start. I find it a challenge to write when the mood isn't right and interestingly enough, it is precisely when there is so much going on and so many feelings and emotions to work through that the inclination to write escapes me. Though, Of course, NOW would be a great time to put thought on paper!

Have I told you the kids might move in for good tomorrow? I wish I knew for sure. It seems foster mom feels it is time. She plans on driving here Monday morning to drop off the kids, but I haven't heard from the Social worker at all since last week. Last time we talked she was thinking in the next two weeks. It all hinges on how the meeting with the psychologist and bio mom and the kids went yesterday, I suppose. I'm guessing they finally told the kids what is going on. Poor kiddos~ they were really getting confused.

The two day visit turned out very well. The children were excited when we met them...foster mom had filled the car with all their belongings and they happily transferred all their things from her car to ours (we met in the middle of the 3 hour distance from our house to hers). They were jabbering away and so thrilled to see Steve. They've missed a Daddy figure in their lives! Upon arriving at our house they quickly toured the place and finding their bicycles all assembled they were anxious to learn to use them. For hours they practiced riding with the girls and Steve. I sorted through the boxes of clothes and toys and organized everything. After lunch the kids were back out on the bikes. They had progressed enough to move from the concrete drive to the lower barn area where the road is flat. Thankfully we live at the end of a country road and we never see cars at all. After awhile the Little Girl was exhausted and she found me folding clothes to put in their drawers. She asked what I was doing. You have to remember no one has told them that we are adopting them and they are moving in. She surveyed her little stacks of folded clothes and slips out to the hall where a couple of little tears trickle down her cheek. She wasn't sure what to make of things. I picked her up and carried her to the couch where I rocked and sang and held her for a half hour. She just melted in my arms and only made attempts to snuggle deeper. From that moment on she was mine wholeheartedly. I'm still looking for that breakthough moment with Little Guy.

The kids loved family worship and story time. Little Guy was totally enamored with the girls instrumental music. It was like he was seeing a vision when they played Jesus Loves Me on harp, violin and flute. Little Girl sang lustily. They know Jesus Loves Me - sort of. They don't know all the words and they don't carry their tune very well. I know from teaching children's choir that this is normal at this age even though that wasn't our experience with our three big girls. They will catch on after exposure to good solid melodic tunes. Because they don't know very many songs.... we've been singing the ABC's for worship! *Smile* The Lord understands~!

Little guy is very interested in the piano. We just might go a little crazy. I wonder if he has true musical talent hidden away somewhere. He is SOOOO drawn to the instruments and singing. He wants us to sing all the time, but he hasn't figured out that you don't change songs before you finish the first one. He is kind of that way anyway, he moves from thing to thing unless it really catches his attention.

Little Girl eats everything placed before her. She has shown no preferences. She eats what we eat with gusto. It doesn't matter that we are vegetarians and ... she asked for milk and I thought she might object to the soy milk but she drank it without hesitation. I just shook my head. Doesn't this child have any taste buds? I mean, people don't usually switch that easily. Little Guy, on the other hand, is another story. He doesn't eat fruit or vegetables. However, he didn't notice that our "meatballs" are not the usual... He never wants to stop playing to eat. It's the only time we had to deal with crying. He never asks to eat - EVER. By the time the two days were over, though, he had built up an appetite from all his bike riding and he was eating carrot sticks and actually ate a whole bowl of potato soup ... partly because everyone who finished their bowl was given a cookie. I'm not going to make an issue of the food and eating. We just eat at certain times and if you want a treat you eat the healthy stuff - within reason, of course. If he really hates oranges then I'll let him decide when he's going to like them. This leads me to the diaper issue...

I don't know if they were sort of constipated or if they've been eating a no-fiber diet, but EVERY. SINGLE. DIAPER . I changed was poopy - just a little. The longer they were here the more there was . . . But by the time they left it still wasn't what I consider an normal, healthy bm. Sorry, I'm sure you really needed to know that! This is part of the adoption journey for me so if I have to deal with it, you are going to hear about it :-P

Taking the little ones home Friday night was hard. They were excited to go see "grandma" and I was relieved to see they missed her. Little Girl was ready to pack up everything they had brought with them, especially her dresses. I tried to explain that they were going to come back again so it was okay to just leave them here. I told her to put her toothbrush in her diaper bag and she was okay with that. Then she went to the dresser and thoughtfully opened each drawer and quietly said, "This is my drawer." Then she went around the bedroom and pointed at each thing and said, "This is my bed. Those are my dresses. Those are my toys. This is my room." It was like she was working through something in her mind and figuring it all out. She happily got in the car.

Little Guy is particularly attached to Grandma and Grandma talks more about him than her. He appears more needy and I think that is why she is more connected to him. Truthfully, I don't see little girl as less needy. She just doesn't exhibit her feelings as loudly and she doesn't stand up to conflict. If tw*n brother wants something from her she lets him have it. If he wants to push her she moves away. She doesn't defend herself. She's more content. She doesn't cry.

They were thrilled to arrive at Grandma's .... but then Little Girl wouldn't let me go. She hung on in a tight hug - cheek to cheek. She would have turned around and gone home with us if we had invited her to. She would let go of me long enough to go to Steve and then she was back. I was quite concerned about Little Guy. He was clearly confused. He hid and became grumpy. It didn't help that people were teasing him and trying to ask him tons of questions about his visit and IT DIDN"T HELP that Grandma wanted to send the rest of his things home with us! I said no. He was struggling and I was helpless to do anything about it. Before I left I cornered him in a room away from the others and just hugged him. I didn't ask anything of him and I told him I would see him again soon.

In my mind it is time to make the move. This back and forth is confusing especially since no one has told them what is going on. At least until yesterday. I was really, really worried about the effects of yesterdays meeting on them. How would you like some stranger psychologist, your bio mom and who knows who else to corner you and tell you are moving away from "Grandma's" (fostermom), the only safe home they've ever known ! I've done a lot of praying for them. I have to wait until tomorrow to know anything.

I'm praying they are coming home for good tomorrow. They need stability. The more I visit fostermom's house the more I see that her house is grand central station with children and adult children and teenage grandchildren coming and going in an unending flow - which is fine. I think big families are fun, but these little ones need consistency, and the peace of our little country home where they can play outdoors all day. I promise I'll love them to pieces.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Year Ago

I started this blog exactly one year ago.

The adoption journey was only the beginning of a dream then. I started the blog with a prayer and it was only a few weeks before we made the leap and began the process. Here we are a year later and about to bring home our tw*ns.

God began to lay on our hearts to adopt before we actually started the journey, but it became urgent Jan 1, 2009 and my husband and I started discussing the possibilities together. We now know the children had been in care a month at the time. We were in Africa when they were taken into care and I believe that is where God began the groundwork - especially in my husband's heart, to push us forward in faith believing He had a greater plan for our lives than we were living at the time. Our youngest had turned 11 at the start of the trip in Africa. (We were there 2 months.) And since then she has turned 12. I don't believe she was ready for the changes that are about to take place in our lives before she developed some maturity. She's a good kid, but she was a piece of work character wise... and not that she has arrived, but she has matured and made the commitment to follow Christ and character development is going forward smoothly. And anyway, the kids were not ready for us, yet, but now they are and so, I can look back see how the pieces are coming together... "for such a time as this". How very blessed we are.

Our visit with the tw*ns went exceptionally well. Steve and I are becoming attached!!! It's going to be hard to let them go back home after their over-night visit here this week. Steve actually asked me to talk to SW and ask to stretch the visit for one more night if possible.

We did not get to meet bio mom. We were on time. She was there, but the facilitator did not show up and so SW did not want to move forward with the visit. Steve was rather taken aback by that.

I have in my hands some of the file on the kids and their most recent IEP evaluation from last week. We've got our work cut out ;-)

We brought home a car load of things. They have new bicycles and helmets that were still in the box. Christina put them together last night. We officially moved Christina downstairs and now we need to finish the quilts.

Oh, and an update on saying no... I guess those children I could not babysit will get to go to Peru now. They ought to thank me for saying NO! LOL.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saying NO

I had to do something hard this week. I had to tell someone who is going on a mission trip for 3 weeks that I could not take care of her children for her. The timing was awful with the tw*ns coming and all. It's never easy to say no.

BUT I did it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunshine To YOU!


I was never more surprised to receive this little sunshine award from a fellow blogger whose blog I frequent nearly every day. Kelly is an amazing mom of 8! Three of those 8 are foster children that she and her husband are adopting. I know every adoption story will be different. The challenges areas varied as the kids are, but I inhale everything she writes because it has helped me understand and learn and and I appreciate her reliance on God in dealing with her needy children. Visit her blog here: http://nomoremoves.blogspot.com/

So back to the sunshine award.

The rules are:
1. Post picture on your blog or in your post.
2. Link to the person who gave you the award.
3. Spread the sunshine to 12 blogs.

1. One of my favorite blogs to visit is http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/
God has given Adeye and her husband an incredible heart for orphans. I am blessed whenever I visit her blog. Besides the fact that she's South African and I identify with being a foreigner in the land :-) and she actually had the courage to become an American just so she could adopt, I am encouraged by her devotion to God and His calling in her life. I'm Praying for Haley and Harper and that they will SOON be home with their loving family.

Oh, dear... I have exactly 6 minutes to shower and dress and do my hair before we leave for town. I'll have to continue this post later.

*******************

Okay... long day, but I'm back, so on to a few more favorite blogs to spread sunshine to.

2. This next person probably doesn't have the time to take note of the sunshine I send her way. That's okay with me. A 20 year old mom of 12 adopted children probably has more important things to do. You know, I am so impressed with how God can use willing vessels like Katie. It inspires me!! If you haven't read Katie's blog then you need to. I'm amazed at what my mom is accomplishing in Africa all alone.... but it's unfathomable to think that a 20 year old is doing what Katie is doing. God bless her! http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

3. The next blog to highlight has a strange name : Stinky Tofu and Other Things These people live in China serving the tiniest of sufferers in that strange land. Life is hard, but they press on. I know the Lord sustains them. Bill and Lindsey adopted their two daughters and Bill ....Bill has an adoption story of his own. When I read it I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that it was GOD that was leading us to domestic adoption. His story was the encouragement I needed to carry me for months. You can read it here: http://james127adopt.blogspot.com/2008/04/testimony-of-bills-adoption.html

4. A Bushel and A Peck is quite a treasure trove of information, ideas, and experience. Lisa calls herself One Thankful Mom... and she's got 11 kids; some of the bio some of them adopted. She pours herself into her children and drives hundreds of miles - sometimes weekly, to get the therapy to facilitate the healing of her hurt and needy children. She's one dedicated mama!

5. 6. & 7. Little Cabin in the Woods , Just Family, and A Baker's Dozen are three gorgeous blogs written by moms who LOVE photography and who heard and obeyed the call to adoption. If you like pretty blogs check these three out!

OH boy!! This is taking me forever! I'll have to continue later.
Blessings,
Acceptance with JOY

Monday, February 15, 2010

So Much to DO!

I have so much to do to be ready for the kids to come. I finally finished painting Vanessa's room. Steve plans to wash her carpet Tuesday night so we can move her in on Wednesday. My house is a bit chaotic since we are trying to accomplish so much.

Our visit with the tw*ns went really well. The children are very sweet. They were quite happy to go with us and they were little angels the whole, entire time. They laughed easily, used please and thank you and excuse me, and were content to hold our hands on the street. We took them to the aquarium because it was pouring rain and so this was an indoor place to go. The aquarium is very hands on. The girl was completely at home, but little Guy shows more insecurity. The cavelike atmosphere scared him a little. He handled it fine, but we could sense his fear in the dark parts of the place. He's cautious, too. We ate at a restaurant and the kiddos were very decisive in what they were ordering and ate everything. Our girls are quite taken with the twins and the twins liked them immediately. The girl was looking for hugs before we left and Little Guy obliged - so very boy!

It was weird waving goodbye to "my kids". I just wanted to take them home. I know they are a good fit with us.

Apparently, SW has been looking for a home for them for a long time. What's going on? I've BEEN here!! Six months ago foster mom had both shoulders replaced and then she went septic... She was a very sick lady with 6 kids and at her age... WOW! She's amazing to me. She always seemed tentative on the phone about our adopting them. She was worried. It was important to her that they have a Christian upbringing. After we returned the children to her Friday and chatted with her for a bit she looked more relaxed and at peace. She said, "I can see good things in this move. This is going to be good for the kids."

I felt relief that she saw us as a good match.

Both Steve and I were exhausted on the drive home. We used up a lot of emotional energy . Because we were just "friends" to the kids we had to act like everything was just normal... It takes energy to restrain emotion when you are meeting your kids for the first time : - P I don't remember just smiling, saying hi and introducing myself to my first three children!! Anyways, we were very intense on getting to know the kids and evaluating their every move....so the 2.5 hour drive home was very sleepy after we had discussed everything there was to talk about.

All 5 of us are at peace that this is a good match!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Perfect

Everything went perfect! Couldn't have asked for better.

More later... got to run!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The PLAN

I have been clued into the plan.

We are not going to tell the kids. We are just friends for now. The SW was afraid the kids would become fearful and refuse to go with us. We are building a relationship and then we'll tell them. I'm okay with that.

We are taking the girls with us. That pleases them very much!!

Oh...we've been okayed to homeschool - I'm very happy about that. I think it will facilitate bonding!!!

TPR preliminary hearing is April 20. A new IEP evaluation will be done next Wednesday. Court hearing in the early summer if need be. Everything is lining up.

I'm suppose to be painting...

Today Will be a LONG day

Because tomorrow is our first visit day and I'm anxious to go.

I made a phone call to foster mom. Found out some interesting things. She is as concerned as I am that SW has not told the children what is going on. They don't know about us. They don't know they are being adopted. They don't know we are visiting tomorrow. Someone has dropped the ball and it soooooooo not fair to the kids. I emailed the SW to let her know what I think about that. I insisted that someone tell the kids before I arrive on the doorstep at 10 am tomorrow morning. Haven't heard back.

We think we'll take the kids to the zoo if the weather is decent and if it is, I requested they allow us to take our big girls with us. I know they would help to make the day special. I made the kids a little scrapbook album all about our family. I had told the SW weeks ago that I could mail it to her if she wanted to use it when explaining to the kids the changes happening to them... she said I should just take the album with us on our first visit...making me wonder if she was sort of making me be the one to tell them?? Doesn't seem right.

According to the Foster mom the kids are naughty. I expected that. Foster mom is 68 and foster dad is 76. I'd say TIRED is the word to describe them. They have 6 kids in the home. The youngest is 2. Two have some sort of syndrome and the twins are a handful.


Apparently the kids have lots of stuff. Brand new bicycles still in the box, etc...

We start painting Vanessa's room today. That's a step in finishing the move of Christina out of the tw*n's room. The house is a bit chaotic.

Found out some other friends are thinking of adoption. :-)