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.

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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.

 

Still Struggling and Thunderstorms

Our household is still struggling with the death of our dog, Lilo.  We all feel guilty for one reason or another.  I feel guilty for not taking her to the vet sooner in the day. The house is so quiet without her.  For a dog that rarely barked, she definitely made her presence known.  She was incredibly sweet, but very strong-willed.  We have a bell hooked up by the door that she would ring to let us know that she needed to go outside.  Last night it rang.  It was our cat playing with the bell.  The cat misses her too.  We made some paw prints from her paws the other night with the technicians at the vets.  The Vet and the technicians were wonderful.

Not getting a lot of sleep the last few nights due to increased thunderstorms.  We had golf ball size hail too.  Sounds like we have a break in the storms during the day today, but more tonight.  No sleep again.  Only one kid woke up last night though, and he went back to sleep.

Lots to do today as I will be helping my brother move, and trying to complete yesterday’s goals. Right now I need to find out why the baby is so quiet…

OK, yes, God I am Listening

The last few days I have been discontented. There are many reasons.  The new year always brings on thoughts of change and self-reflection when I combine that with short, cloudy, cold days, I’m tired and grouchy. 

That being said there was an incident that happened where I felt like a blatant injustice occurred.  I don’t know when I have been this angry.  Partially because I feel my child was slighted, because of this injustice.  My mama bear instincts came out and I think my East-side girl kicked in.  I wanted to go whoop someone. 

I am lucky though that I also am in a position to change this from happening to any child in the future.  You think that would make me feel better.  So far not so much.  I’m on day 3 of seething. 

So this morning on my way to work, I switched my radio station.  On comes the DJ, “Are you holding on to an anger that is taking up too much of your energy?  You need to look at what you are holding on to.  Is it worth it?”

I already know I have the ability to change the situation for future.  My child is actually handling it with grace, honor, and a maturity his mother ought to imitate. 

So OK God, I am listening.  I will try very hard today to let go.  Why, oh, why is it so hard?

A Year of Change

This has been an incredible year.  Good and bad. 

A year ago I never dreamed I would be a mama to a toddler by summer.  Yet God just dropped him on our doorstep.  It an amazing series of events we sailed through all of the adoption work and he is now ours.  Talk about whimsy!  Whimsy with him is vacuuming the couch with his toy vacuum.  Today he stole the vacuum from the church nursery and was vacuuming the sanctuary before service.  He makes me laugh.  He makes me tired.

My other two are now in junior high.  How did that happen????  Then the oldest springs a girlfriend on me.  I’m not ready for this!  My three sons wear me out, keep me busy, but bring me intense joy.

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.

Forced to Do Nothing

I am a person that doesn’t sit well.  Yet here I am sitting for the last hour.  I struggle between knowing that I need to clean the kitchen, but knowing that this small child that is asleep on my chest will not be small for very long.  All it takes is glancing at his brothers and I know how much truth is in that statement.  I’m trying to enjoy this.  Breathing in his smell and covering his sleeping head with kisses, sounds hard eh?  🙂  If only I could get someone to come and clean out my kitchen.  Hmmm…

My Oldest Is Growing Up and It Is Blowing My Mind

We went to a lovely small Friday night celebration in our town tonight.  It was fabulous.  Lots of families, good music, and there were lots of things to do.  One of the booths is our Childrens’ Theatre.  We, of course, had to stop and talk as I am President of the Board of Directors.  After I got my temporary  tatoo, I realized that we had lost my oldest son.  Not in body, but in spirit.  He was no longer with the family.

I look over and he is perched on a cement bench surrounded by three cute, giggly girls.  He was gone.  He no longer heard anything I was saying, and no longer wanted to walk with us.  He was busy.

I’m not sure I’m ready for this.  I’m his momma, and of course I think he’s cute, funny, and will someday be a great catch, but not yet…  Thankfully another mom that I work with was standing there.  Her son is older.  He’s a great kid.  I just went to his Eagle Scout Ceremony last weekend.  Anyway, she told me not to worry.  This was “pre-flirting”.  Where the kids are just testing themselves.

That really didn’t make me feel any better though.

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.  🙂