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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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?

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.  🙂

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.

Ice, Ice Baby!

So we had a very beautiful ice storm.  However as pretty as it was it caused havoc everywhere.  Yesterday many of our schools were without power so we had another day without school.  This week we have had school twice.  Good grief. 

This morning I look out my front window and I have a huge limb from one of our trees hang limply broken from the trunk.  I haven’t been brave enough to look in the back yard yet.

At my mom’s house last night we were pulling off ice from her siding.  Her entire house was completely sealed in ice.  We actually went for dinner, but heard the boys making some strange noises outside.  When we went out her deck was completely covered in ice chunks.  I looked like someone had dumped 10 big bags of ice on her deck.  They were having a good time, and so we joined them.  We had a contest to see who could pull off the biggest piece without breaking it.  Then we would karate chop it.  It was hysterical.  When we finished we swept her deck and had a foot and half of ice chunks that we were standing in.  I have NEVER seen anything like this. 

I’m a bit sad about my tree though.  Now I am off to deal with crazy 2nd graders!  I will try to get some pictures posted later.