The last few days have been so nice, I planned for the kids and I to head out to the zoo today. It was definately warm, but was predicted to be overcast with 40% chance of rain. You just never know what weather will be like, so we went regardless. We passed through a few overcast areas, a few with sprinkles, and one with just a downpour. We were close and I was nervous, but when we arrived, there was no rain, and lots of sun! The weather was perfect, and just started to drizzle and we headed out to the car to go home.
We love going to the zoo! And today we brought no stroller, a first! They did really well and crashed on the way home - ok, Braeden didn't, but that is quite rare for him to sleep during the day! :)
We have an adoption date for Liam!!! It will be May 28 at 9:30 am! I am so excited! Not only that, but my mom will be in town at the time and will be able to attend! I wish my dad could've been here as well, but he heads back to FL that Monday before. :(
This picture shows Liam today. I had to take him to our Sheriff's complex to be served his summons to appear at the adoption! Too funny! He had no clue of course, and kept asking if we were seeing the doctor. He wouldn't smile or say a word to anyone! They gave him this adorable beanie baby german shepherd named "Sarge". So cute! He is loving the dog!
I read this on another blog and LOVE what it says. It is so absolutely true. I get and have gotten comments such as these constantly. I know they weren't/aren't made to be mean, but maybe by reading this you can get an idea of what they feel like. Many of these can be applied to adoptive families as well...
How to Lose a Friendship with a Foster Parent By Carrie Craft, About.com
1. Tell the foster family how you could never do foster care because you would love the children too much. This way the foster family feels cold hearted as that is the only way anyone could do foster care according to your statement.
2. Bug the foster family with questions about why the children are not with their birth mom and dad. This is a great way to push the foster family into breaking confidentiality and ruining their reputation as a professional part of the foster care team.
3. Advise the foster family that the foster child just needs a good spanking to solve behavior problems. The foster family will then feel further overwhelmed not only in dealing with behaviors, but in constantly having to explain and defend discipline choices.
4. Devalue the foster family's choice to serve the children of the community by criticizing their decision. Explain how you would never do foster care because it brings bad influences into your home and into the lives of your children.
5. Say things like, "you're too strict", "all the kids need is love," and "you should baby the kids more they've been through so much," undermining the foster parent's ability to make parenting choices for the children within their care.
6. Refuse to understand the need for the children to have boundaries within relationships and triangulate with the kids every chance you get. Try siding with the kids against the foster parents, they love this!
7. When the foster parent is venting to you as one of their much needed support systems, say, “I’ve never seen him/her act like that, he/she was perfect for me,” or “I would take him/her in a minute if I could”. This will cause the foster parent to think that they are going crazy and doubt what they are seeing in the child’s behavior.
8. If the foster child drives you crazy then feel free to tell the foster parents about it. Don’t worry about saying anything rude about the child within their care, it’s not like they are his/her REAL parents anyway. Say things like, “how can you stand that kid?” “ I would have shipped him/her off long ago.” Be sure to complain about the child every chance you get, ignoring any hint of hurt from the foster parent.
9. Drive home any feelings of ineptness by telling the foster parents how you’d have “that kid straightened out in two weeks." Nothing makes a foster parent feel unsuccessful like comparison of parenting skills. This will cause the foster parents to doubt their parenting ability and to second guess every choice and decision.
10. Ask the foster parents if they feel terrible about taking away from their own children with their choice of doing foster care. Guilt is a very effective tool if you want to destroy someone’s self-worth. This is even more effective during times of high stress when the foster child is having behavior problems and the family is in crisis mode.
If you follow these 10 easy steps you too could end a perfectly good friendship with your pal who does foster care!
Yes, I’m only kidding with these suggestions, unless of course you do want to lose your foster parenting friend. But these are statements that I, and many of my foster parenting friends, have personally heard from other well-meaning friends and family. I know hurting me or my family was not intended, but I do hope that through this snarky article others can see how simple statements can affect others
Now that you've seen some of the pictures from our Easter vacation, perhaps you'd like a little dialog about them! :)
We had a great time. Mostly we played outside, relaxed, and just hung out together. We arrived Thursday evening, unpacked, and got acquainted with our new abode. Each of the kids picked their own bedroom. We stayed up late and watched tv together before bed.
On Friday we played outside, bought some towels which weren't provided, and saw the new Hannah Montana movie. The kids loved it (OK, I did too!). That night we had a bonfire and cooked hot dogs and smores, their first time ever! I think they loved the idea of it more than the actual event. :) They loved the hot dogs, but only Olivia liked the smores. Cracked me up! We don't eat a lot of junk food like this, but as it was vacation and their first time, I had bought LOTS of graham crackers, marshmellows, and Hershey bars! The boys took only a tiny bite each and were done. Luckily Olivia did eat a couple! :) At one point I felt my arm getting hot and couldn't believe it when I shook my sleeve and an ember fell out revealing a hole that had been burnt through!!! AND IT WAS MY AHOPE SWEATSHIRT!!!! :( No fear, I'll still wear it with pride! :)
Saturday we just spent the whole day playing outside, coloring Easter eggs, going for a walk, playing inside, and seeing the creek - where Braeden slipped and fell, getting covered with mud on his backside (I thought for sure those clothes were done for, but they completely came clean!). (He did NOT want me to take a picture, but I HAVE to blog about it, right!?) :) I packed only play clothes for them, and had actually planned on letting them play IN the creek, but it was still pretty chilly for that.
The cottage had many many lady bugs near the windows. Inside. Luckily they didn't bother me, and Braeden had some new found playmates. He loved them! I had gotten each of the kids a bug box/jar for our trip and his was kept full each day. :)
Sunday was Easter!!! We talked about the holiday and why we celebrate it, and of course the Easter bunny had hid the eggs we colored (as much as you can hide them in a small cottage), and each of their Easter baskets. The baskets I've purchased on clearance after the holiday a few years ago and we use them each year. We set them out empty and during the night they are filled and hidden. I had TONS of stuff in the "Put it away for future gifts" box in my storage area, so chose things out of there to fill the baskets and purchased only a little candy to add to it.
After opening the baskets and seeing what was there, I started getting breakfast ready. I took out the bread, and there was a hole. A hole that hadn't been there the day before. A hole that looked like something was hungry during the night, and I don't mean my kids. Not two minutes later Olivia yells from her room where she's getting dressed: "MOM, either a huge black bug or a rat just ran under the bed!!!" Oh. My. Goodness. Of course it was now not there, not that I checked, but Olivia looked a little later. But I just could NOT wrap my mind around staying two more days. I began packing our things. :)
After a morning of packing and watching some tv while we ate breakfast, we headed out to eat lunch and go to another movie! We love movies! And there usually aren't many kid ones available. This time we saw Monsters Vs Aliens (2D not 3D). It was cute, the kids of course loved it. :) We went home from there, cutting our trip short, but it was still very fun! We had a wonderful time together and our spring break was still continuing.
This week I am getting a lot done around the house, doing some shopping, and some yard work, and tomorrow night Olivia, Braeden, and I get to go to see Mary Poppins in Chicago!!! Fifth row!!! I CAN'T WAIT! :) The week is flying by, but it's been very fun!
Tonight upon arriving home there was a voice message from my lawyer for Liam's adoption. His subsidy is BACK! I can go sign the petition for adoption tomorrow and then they will get a court date!!! I'm praying for either May 19 or 26, leaning for the 19th. My parents will both be in town on the 19th for Olivia's huge dance recital, and my mom will be here on the 26th as she's staying with us until we leave for FL, stopping in Atlanta for a week on the way down. If we weren't able to get a date in May, we'd have to wait until July, and I'd love for one or both of my parents to be able to be here for one of the adoptions! How exciting!!!
Also, Liam has wanted nothing much at all to do with potty training lately. I'm not worried, Braeden did it in his own time too, no big deal. Yesterday at day care however, Liam went twice on the potty, and tonight in the bath tub he told me he had to POOP, got out of the tub, and POOPED IN THE TOILET!!!! So cool! You go boy! :) He got TWO candies for that! :)
We're back! A couple days early! :) We had a WONDERFUL time and have many pictures to upload and share. The mouse we found in the cottage this morning was a little more than I could handle. :) I'm glad we didn't know about it sooner, but wish it had been later. Oh well! Here's a picture from this morning to tide you over until my dial up will allow me to upload more! :)
We had a fun day yesterday! The kids and I went to the planetarium, a new experience for them and especially fitting since Olivia is studying the planets in her Learning Explorers program currently. They had a blast, even though Braeden was overly jittery and on the move while we were there (Only 40 minutes!).
I also hit the thirty pounds lost mark yesterday! Woo Hoo!!! :)
Now, to hope that the snow we may get tomorrow and/or Tues doesn't come! Tomorrow my class is going to a dairy farm. And on Thursday the kids and I leave on our Michigan cottage Easter vacation! We Want Spring and Warmth!!!
Well, they ended up finding a relative home for the two little boys. I'm glad they are able to be with relatives and pray they are in a safe, loving environment. I also will continue to pray for the next child or children who God will bring to our family. It's scary to think that they could be in this world somewhere, hurt, or lonely, or scared. I pray He protects them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and that if they are in need of removal from their family, that someone is able to get them the help they need. It's a strange thing to think about and pray for, but that is where my children once were, and it's breaks my heart to think of others going through those very same things.
We're still here... I promise... and we're doing great! Just very busy! :) Sorry no posts for a while!
Let's see... first of all, a lot of my time at night (which is when I'm able to get on the computer and blog) is being spent right now on what I kindly call "Liam duty." :) Two weekends ago I put up Braeden's new bed. It's a short bunkbed basically, where the bottom mattress sits on the floor. He is "on top" and loves it! We don't have a mattress on the bottom, yet, so have in essence three twins, another without a mattress, and a crib. I was ready to move Liam out of the crib and into a twin. He isn't. :) He is up constantly and I have resorted to standing behind the boys wardrobes (they have the whole upstairs half attic room and the wardrobes separate the stair area from the sleeping area) in order to take him back as soon as he's up. He can't see me there so doesn't really know if I'm there or not unless he gets up and tries to play. :) It's been about a week and he's had good nights and not so good nights. I don't remember work like this with Braeden... hmmm... seems backwards to me. :) By the time I'm "done" there, I'm beat and barely get on to check Facebook and email before doing some excercising and heading to bed.
Speaking of excercising, it's been just over 12 weeks now into my new healthy living lifestyle. I feel so great, and have lost a total of 29.5 lbs so far! 4 more to my first major goal! Such a good feeling!
Olivia's been doing well, no major issues, and is currently studying for a planets quiz in her Learning Explorers class.
Braeden is READING!!! He is doing great and I just love his teacher!!! He and only one or two others are reading right now! They bring home Dick and Jane books and are taking Spelling tests over many of those words and some other high frequency words. I also just heard that all day kindergarten MAY be passed at this month's board meeting for our school district. I was going to keep Brae in his day care for kindergarten next year for a few reasons: one, he is doing SO WELL there and they know him and work with his ADHD issues, two, he doesn't do well with transitions and going to day care, bussed to kindergarten, then back to day care, wouldn't be beneficial to him, and three, since I'm paying the same amount either way why not keep him there all day? BUT, with all day kindergarten, he would be able to come to my school in the morning like Olivia does, eat breakfast there, take the bus from there to kindergarten, and then come back to my school at the end of the day. PLUS - and this is HUGE for me - it would mean a savings of 500-700 each MONTH!!! That is too good to pass up! I would have that much more to roll that debt snowball onto my van and pay it off that much sooner! I'm extremely excited!
Olivia and Braeden both are signed up for our local soccer association which begins in mid July and runs into October. This is new for both of them but we're all very excited about it! They usually do one or two "camps" through our park district, but chose soccer this year instead. I just bought some cleats on ebay and still need to find them shin guards and a ball each.
I had a home visit for Liam on Friday. He said he's hoping to have Liam's subsidy back soon! That means that we MAY be able to get an adoption date in May (they only do juvenile court dates on Tuesdays) which would be awesome! Especially since my mom and dad will be here for the second to last Tues and my mom the last Tues. It would be great if they could be here for one of our adoptions! :)
The kids and I are headed to Michigan for Easter! I'm so excited about it! I found what looks like a GREAT place with four cottages, a creek, a lake, a small beach, rental boats, etc. Our cottage has it's own fire pit, four bedrooms, and a living/eating area. I'm throwing them in play clothes each day and we're going to just get dirty and play and hopefully catch some frogs! Problem: We leave next Thurs and it's supposed to snow this coming Monday! :( Let's pray for warmer weather!
And in my most recent news... we may be adding on to our kiddos next week!
I originally had a call for a potential placement a little over a week ago. It was for a 5-6 year old boy who was with relatives. I said I was very interested, then never heard anything more. Today, while I was in Grand Jury duty, I had a voicemail about a placement of THREE boys! By the time I was able to call it went to voice mail and I figured they would have found a placement anyway. I didn't think there was a way I could take all three. Not at the same time right now at this time of year. I left a message explaining that but for some reason it slipped out that if they had to split them up I could maybe take one or two. She called me back quickly and told me the three were 8, 3, and 2. I was then glad I said what I did, because I really haven't wanted to take any older than Olivia. They then told me there was actually a fourth, an older girl, but that they had a place for her. They went on how they were siblings, etc. I felt so guilty, but I also feel "right" about not taking them. I don't know how to explain it. She asked which two I WOULD take because she didn't know if they could find a placement, but did have a place for them for the night, possibly until Mon or Tues, and I said the younger two. She sounded like they may take me up on that, but you just never know. All I can do is pray that if they are meant to stay together a family will come forward to take them all. Otherwise, I'm hoping to know more tomorrow so that I can get day care and such going. I have to say I'm excited about the prospect! :) I love the idea of three littles about the same age running around! Not an infant who needs TONS of attention and nightly feedings. We'll see... I know God will lead the way.
That's life in a nutshell right now. Sorry the void. I'll try not to make it so long!!!
I am a single mom to three amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted through foster care. We're now on the path of an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!
Olivia - 11
Braeden - 9
Liam - 7
Macy - 3 - waiting in Haiti
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Haiti Adoption Vocabulary
Pre-IBESR - We are preparing your dossier to go into Haitian Social Services. There are some legal documents that must be made after you accept your proposal and some of them must be legalized at the Ministry of Justice. If we have problems getting a document, this can delay this step.
IBESR - Haitian Social Services
Parquet - Pre-Courts, they interview the birth parents and give permission for the dossier to go through the Haitian court system.
Courts - The dossier is in the Haitian Courts having the actual adoption declared and legalized.
Attestation - After court papers are finished, the Act of Adoption must be sent to the National Archives and they declare that the signature on the Act of Adoption is legal.
Legalization - All court papers must be sent to the Ministry of Justice to be legalized. They declare that the signature on all of the paperwork actually is the signature of the Judge who signed it.
MAE - Ministry of Foreign Affairs must legalize the signature of the person in the Ministry of Justice who signed your paperwork in the step above.
MOI - All Adoption passports must go through the Ministry of the Interior for approval before Immigration will print the passport.
Passport - Your dossier is in Immigration waiting for the passport to be printed.
Visa - Your dossier is in your country's Embassy waiting for a visa to be issued.
• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition
-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).
- HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives.
- People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do.
Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources
Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong
Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow
Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that two souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom
But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we three should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you