Our Adoption Story

I am a 44-year-old mother of two teenagers, 14 and 15, and a 2 1/2-year-old.  People have commented about my “accident.”  (By the way this cracks me up when they say it to me(white) and my husband (white) while looking at my obviously biracial son.)  K was not an accident. K was a wondrous gift.

A little over three years ago, my cousin committed suicide.  His wife of 20 years became pregnant by someone else 3 or 4 months later.  For reasons that I’m not going into, the family was pretty sure the baby would be taken into foster care.  We inquired about taking the  baby when he was born.

His birth mother made decisions that didn’t include our side of the family, after all we are “blood” to this baby.  Now his brother and sister are my 2nd cousins. I never got to meet the baby.  He was with mom for a while.  Then he was placed in foster care.  Family rumors had him being adopted by a cousin of his birth father.

Then on a Monday I got a phone call from another cousin, “Are you guys still interested in adopting the baby?  He MIGHT need another home”  The baby is now 9 months old and has lived in 3 homes.  Absolutely. My husband and I spoke a bit with his Social Workers.  It sound really iffy.  They didn’t want to move him again if they didn’t have to move him.  I totally understood.

The next Monday I got another phone call asking again if we were really committed to taking him. We decided we better tell the older boys that this might happen.  Like us they considered this baby that we have never met, part of our extended family.  They thought it was  a cool idea.  I stressed this probably wouldn’t happen, as they didn’t want to transition him again to a new home if they didn’t have to do that.

That first meeting in the driveway.

That Friday morning I got a call at 10:30.  I’m at school teaching.  An hour later I am in my driveway holding this sweet little boy and falling in love.  He seemed like he had been there from the beginning.  He bonded very quickly, and is loved beyond measure.

Now almost 2 years later I am so grateful that my cousin(not his birth mom) remembered that we wanted him, and told the Social Workers about us.  There were other family members that would have taken him, but I really feel that it was God’s plan to have him here.

In less than two weeks our lives were turned upside down and inside out.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Did I Sign Up For All Of This?

In my last post Sleeping Mom commented, “sometimes I wonder did I sign up for all of this.”  Of course, that was specifically about temper tantrums.  It got me thinking though.

Before I had kids I know that I didn’t think about some of the challenges that I am facing.   I’m not even talking about the ADHD and Autism Spectrum stuff.  I’m thinking specifically school and girls.

As a teacher I expected my kids to excel at school.  I mean, why wouldn’t they?  OK, the ADHD, Autism thing… still I think my children are brilliant. 🙂  And they are, except they won’t turn in their assignments.  I’m not saying won’t do them. They just don’t turn them in….AAARGHH!

Then there is the girl thing.  When my 15-year-old got his heartbroken, it broke mine.  I wanted to smack the little girl who did it.  Now, I actually like her, but she hurt my baby.  I’m going to have a hard time when he actually MARRIES one.

The things I know that I didn’t intentionally sign on for:

  • obsessions…toddlers/Blues Clues and Thomas….teenagers/screamo music and video games
  • hour-long showers
  • holes in the wall, that no one can explain
  • 92 loads of laundry a week

and probably the most important thing that I didn’t sign up for was that grow up in the blink of a second.

 

Ice Cream, the Tongue Slide, and the Vortex Cocoon

After spending my non-whimsical day pricing garage sale clothes, I took my children to a new ice cream shop.  We tried about 10 flavors.  Cookie monster was awesome!  Almond joy was to die for!  But in the end I got caramel popcorn.  My 13 month old ate most of it, but we sat there with ice cream dripping down our chins.  N had blue ice cream everywhere.  It’s hard to believe he’s the oldest.  🙂

Afterwards the boys argued with me about which park to go to, but I won.  They were so glad.  Our town has redesigned a lot of the city parks.  This one just got finished.  It is really cool, but different from anything I’ve ever seen.  The slide seems like it is dangerous. It looks exactly like a tongue.  You straddle it as you go down.  I can’t get past that it looks like a tongue. 

I’s (my 13 yr old), favorite thing he nicknamed, the vortex cocoon.  You stand inside of a spiral and have someone spin you.  He begged me to spin him over and over.  Now he’s laying on the couch green.  Poor guy!

Whimsy wins over garage sale.

The Pool

Today we are going to the pool.  My friend Suzanne has one directly in her back yard, so they swim a lot.  I have a child with sensory processing issues that for years couldn’t do water, I got out of the habit of taking my kids to the pool.  Thankfully, E can handle the pool and even knows how to basic swim.  That is due to a lovely friend of mine that gave him private lessons.  She was beyond patient with him. 

Today we are taking the baby, the boys, and 4 cousins.  One of the cousins is the baby’s big sister.  I am hopeful that this will give them some good bonding time.  It’s hard to be 14 and trying to bond during weekly visits.   I am really hoping that this gives them time to play and bond in a more authentic environment.  Really not just for them, but for all of us.  We are not the usual family, but we are family. 

I am a little afraid that maybe I have put too many hopes into one trip to the pool.  Well that will be alright, we have all summer.  We can go again.

Life Changes, Ready or Not

The Past:  This year has been hard.  I’ve had an extremely needy class with 29 students.  5 Special Ed, ELL students, 1 probably on the autism spectrum, and 4 in counseling.  It completely exhausted me.  I had to reduce my commitments in other areas of my life, just so I could function.  This has not been my best mom year.  My oldest needed more attention, and I see it in his grades.  Not that they were bad, but could have been better.  Thankfully I won’t be repeating this year again.   

The Present:  It is SUMMER!  Time to re-energize myself and rebuild myself mentally.  However, the biggest change is that 3 weeks ago today I became mommy to a 10 month old.  We will be adopting a gorgeous little boy.  Kobe is extended family, and we are thrilled to love him.  I want to come up with some summer goals, and plans for me and my kids.  One of my goals is to be writing again.  (Hence, why I’m blogging again.)

The future:  Next year we have a 3rd, 2nd grade teacher.  Since I won’t be working with the SPED teacher directly next year, I won’t have many SPED.  I am designated as the low ELL room.  So we will really be pushing language and lots of verbalizing.   I’m excited about that change.  I am also excited that we will have air-conditioning.  No more 120 degree days in my classroom.  It will be wonderful to have the kids physically able to learn the first month.  Usually they lay lifeless on their desks, looking ill.  Sadly, I’m not exaggerating.

All in all, life is good.  I wish this year had been easier, but God doesn’t promise easy.  Perseverance has been my word of the year.  Now my word for the summer is relaxation or maybe it should be rejuvenation.  I like that one better.  🙂

A Super Fun Mid-Week Date Night

Ok maybe “Super Fun” is a small, slight, moderate complete exaggeration.  However we still had an hour to ourselves.  I’m counting it as a date.  Between my husband’s weird hours and me being sick or just busy, we haven’t had any alone time together.  So tonight we were going to try to go to the movies. 

It didn’t happen.  The kids needed help with this, that, and another thing.  Eventually we realized that we needed groceries, and you can see where this is going…

Yep, Wal-Mart.  Todd and I romantically walked the aisles picking out crackers, soup, butter, etc.  Our date got really exciting when we stalked  noticed a local anchorwoman buying wine. 

I really need to get a life.

I’m a Boring Cook

I am a very basic, comfort food cook.  There are some things I make really well.  My soups rock!  I make a great lasagna.  My family loves my cheeseburger casserole and my chicken and noodles.

There you go that’s about it.  I’m not allowed to make tacos or anything too ethnic.  I live with a child that is VERY particular about his food.  My husband also has high cholesterol, so I watch that. 

Now if I’m really truthful this is where I admit that the last 6 months we have probably eaten out more than in.  I’m not proud of that, but I was basically working two full-time jobs.  However I am not doing that any longer.  I also cleaned off my table so that we can now eat there again. 

In the mail today I got my new issue of Clean Eating.  I started flipping through it and was very pleased with the articles this month.  I really like the Multiply Your Meals, $10 Family Dinners Fast, and the 14 Day Meal Plan.  I won’t lie my youngest probably won’t eat any of it.  I’m still going to try.  The Sesame Garlic Chicken recipe looks wonderful as does the Crustless Italian Quiché. 

I was drawn to the Moroccan Buffalo and Chickpea Chili until I realized they meant REAL buffalo not buffalo chicken.  I don’t think I’m ready to try that.  Now there is also some awesome pizza recipes.  That is an easy one to modify for E.  I just make his cheese, cheese, and only cheese.

Hmmm…I will try something this weekend and let you know how it goes.

A Blizzard Really? No, Really?

Today we had a blizzard….again.  I am so sick of snow and cold and ice and snow and cold and ice.  Ok you get the picture. 

It was pretty in December for Christmas, but now that we have had 6, count them…6 snow days, it’s not pretty anymore.  We are going to school until the end of June.  Crud! 

I will say though at least we had school today.  Lots of the surrounding districts closed, but not ours!  Yeah!  We went and we stayed the whole day.  Around 10 I started thinking an early out would be nice, but it didn’t happen.  Although it did for my boys.  They loved being home alone for a few hours.

Sadly after my husband was laid off from Nationwide last year, he reinvented himself.  He drives a truck now.  He’s driving in this blizzard.  In fact he has driven in in every weather system we have had this year.  He called a few minutes ago to say that he is currently going 3 mph.  Great!  My gray hairs are showing up faster than that!

My Mom

Last week was my mother’s 69th birthday.  I was just reminded from another blog what a gift it is to have my mother still with me.  You see she is a cancer survivor 4 times over.  She has been cancer free 4 for the last 11 years. 

My mom is an amazing woman.  She is probably the strongest person that I have ever met. 

Things I Love About My Mommy

1.  She loves me no matter what I do.

2.  She is smart.

3.  Her cooking 🙂

4.  She tells it like it is, even when it hurts.

5.  Her independence.

6.  Her creativity. 

7. Her ability to forgive.

8.  Her expectations.  She always expects more of me and is ruthless.

9.  She is my friend.

10.  She doesn’t give up.  She  is always there for her children.

I am blessed with my mom.