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Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Wow…it’s been over a year.  I suppose I have some catching up to do! 

First things first…life has been crazy.  The adoption process has been put on hold, and Scott and I have both been stretched beyond what we can handle on our own.  I know, I know…many Christians out there say that God won’t give us more than we can handle, but I disagree…and this post here explains my thinking on this topic.  But I won’t get into this one right now…

I’ll just focus on summing up the last year:

1.  Started the adoption process.  We completed the classes, turned in all the paperwork, completed our home study, and waited for the phone call from the adoption specialist.  Instead, after finally calling the office myself and being told our file was in order (after they found it…yes, it was lost, then found), we get a letter in the mail stating that we were still missing information and needed to send it in.  Frustration settled in, I lost motivation, and didn’t even bother trying after that point, which turned out to be okay because…

2.  Scott’s sister and oldest son ended up moving in with us.  It only lasted a couple of months, and it was a very hard, trying, learning experience for us, but God has taught me so much through everything that happened and I am thankful that God knows me better than I know myself.  He knows what’s best for our entire family and I trust and am thankful that He is in control of all things…even when things don’t make sense!

3.  Scott has been working two roles (equivalent to TWO JOBS) for his company the last several months and it has been very, VERY trying and hard.  IF we’d had a child placed in our  home during all this other stuff we’ve been dealing with, we would have certainly failed.  However, God has continued to stretch, grow, and teach us through all of this…and I feel that Scott and I are closer than we’ve ever been.  He is still working both roles, but I’m confident that the company is going to finally start transitioning him off one role so we can stop living in survival mode and get back to living our lives with direction and purpose!

So…where does that leave us?  That leaves us back where we started over a year ago.   Several days ago, Scott felt that God told him that we are still supposed to adopt.  I felt the same thing, but didn’t really say anything to him until he mentioned it one night.  For me, it was just confirmation.  I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight…it may be another year before we have a child placed with us.  And I know my husband is still dealing with too much with work to pursue this, but I am going to take the first steps towards getting the ball rolling again because I know that even if I do my part, it’s still going to be a very long process! 

So I’ve found my motivation and am going to turn in the rest of that paperwork.  The state may make us start completely over at this point…and we may even decide adopting through the state isn’t the way we want to go…but for now, it’s where we are at.  Dwight is heading off to his first year of college next fall…and I don’t think we will have a child placed in our home before then.  But God’s timing is perfect and I am learning to just be patient and let God’s plan catch up with me and when I think things should happen.  So I am just going to be obedient, do what I can do, and let God do the rest.  If it all happens in three months…then okay.  If it takes 10 years, I’m okay with that too.

Trying to force things into my timing never works anyway!

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Here We Go Again!

It was just another ordinary, beautiful Wednesday.  I wanted to be lazy.  But after arguing with myself for about an hour or so, I got my lazy butt off the couch and got myself and the two littlest ones ready to go to the gym.  I made myself go on my easy 3 mile run.  It’s funny how a three mile run is now considered an easy run for me now!

After that, I picked up the girls from the childcare, and just as I was heading out of the gym, I noticed there was a new issue of the free Peekaboo magazine sitting on the rack.  I stood there for a minute, trying to decide if I should pick one up.  I enjoy skimming through it and finding local stores, ads, and stories of interest.  I am after all, trying to get more familiar with the area!

But do I really need one more magazine to take up counter space in my kitchen?  Again, I was arguing with myself in my head.  Oh, just take one!  And I did.  I tossed the magazine in the diaper bag and headed for the car.  I buckled in both girls and then grabbed the magazine for a quick glimpse.  That’s when I came across an adoption story.  I sat there with the car running, reading away as the girls waited patiently for me to drive them home.  I flipped through the pages, thinking of our own adoption story, when I came across another one.  I started to read it, then stopped as the baby started fussing.  I have to get these girls home!

I quickly flipped through the booklet again as I consoled the baby.  “Okay, America.  We’re going, we’re going!”

But I was still flipping through the pages.  It appears that this month’s issue is dedicated to adoption.  And just as I was about to put the booklet down (for real this time!) so I could start driving, there was Chuck smiling straight at me.  Chuck is a 13 year old boy looking for a forever home.  He sat there on that page, as if he were waiting for me to give him the okay to move on in.

That’s when I remembered my dream from a few weeks ago where Scott and I adopted two older children…both boys who were either young teens or preteens.  I suddenly felt the strongest urge to pray for Chuck…and maybe consider opening my home to another child.  “Okay,” I thought.  “This is just insane.”  I started the drive home.  But the insanity didn’t stop as the thoughts spinned through my head for the entire 7 minute ride in the car.  I got home and as soon as I could, I pulled up my laptop and typed in the website with Chuck’s information on it.  There, along with his picture and little tidbits of information on him, were about 10 other children’s stories.  Some had pictures, some didn’t.

I read them and teared up.  I want them all!  But of course, that isn’t possible.  Regardless, I just felt like God wanted me to do something.

I ended up calling one of my best friends and told her about Chuck and what I thought God was saying to me.  Then as I was talking to her, Scott called.  He wasn’t feeling well and was coming home.

“God, are you wanting me to talk to him?”  I prayed.  “I couldn’t possibly approach my husband about…adopting! Again!  We have SIX kids!”

That’s when the butterflies, which were already there, began to flutter even harder.  Okay…I’ll just wait until he gets home then.

About 20 minutes later Scott was home.  I made him some grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  As he sat at the table and ate, I showed him Chuck.  “I really feel like the Lord wants us to be praying for him.”  I told him.  Then I said, “When I read his interview, he just reminded me of you as a kid…and of Patrick.”

I watched him as a half smile slipped upward while I showed him the little interview they did on Chuck.  Then I grabbed my laptop and read him some other stories.  “Here’s Christian.  He’s nine.  He says if he has three wishes, he wants to be rich, to be an animal cop, and fun to be around.   His favorite holiday’s are Christmas, because he can worship Jesus, Halloween because he can scare people, and trick or treat, and Easter–celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.”

We laughed at some of the cute things these kids said.  “You knoooooooow,” I started, “I know of a great Christmas present that would make our kids happy and one of these kids happy too…”

And to my surprise, my wonderful, God-loving husband said, “Well, go ahead and give them a call.”

Really?  Oh.  Okay.  I wasn’t expecting that.  What I was expecting was for this man to reason with me.  I was expecting a logical explanation, a reason why we couldn’t do this.

But I did.  I called up the lady listed as the point of contact in the magazine, and left her a message.  Then I got online and emailed her.

Then I took the girls upstairs and got them down for a nap.  Only I accidentally fell asleep myself.  I woke up snuggled up with the girls and snuck out of bed.  My first thoughts went straight back to these kids.  “What was I thinking?  Am I crazy?  Adopt more kids???  No, I must have had a temporary moment of insanity.  This isn’t happening.”

I went downstairs and checked on my husband, who was sleeping on the couch.  He woke up a little bit later and said, “You know, this feels right.  I prayed about it some while you were upstairs, and I really feel like this is what we are supposed to be doing.”

I am convinced that if Scott had not come home when he did, I would have convinced myself that this was not meant to be – that I’d just had one of those crazy moments!  I would have fallen asleep, woken up and had those same thoughts, and then not said a word to my husband.

So maybe this temporary moment of insanity was meant to be.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough!  Two days ago I made the initial call.  I ended up being referred to another social worker.  I talked to her yesterday and she told me that she was holding an Inquiry meeting at 6 p.m.  “I know it’s short notice, but if you can make it, you can start the process from there.”

So I went…and ended up going home with a manilla folder full of forms and questions that I am once again filling out.  We may start this process and find out that for some reason or another we don’t qualify to adopt at this point, but I will be very surprised if that happens!

Oh boy…here we go again!   Now the big question is…how to tell the kids?

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I took Patrick to the pediatrician yesterday.  He ended up referring Patrick to a neurologist.  So, I’m going to call and set up another appointment since it might take a couple of months to get him in.  I think his doctor is thinking it’s Tourettes.

I have to say I was a little frustrated with the pediatrician yesterday because he was asking me “which kids are yours?” 

I freaking HATE that question! 

Sure, I understand he was digging for a little medical history, but don’t you think that if these doctors are smart enough to earn a medical degree, shouldn’t they be smart enough in how they approach such sensitive issues, ESPECIALLY if children are involved???

What makes it worse is that 4 of my 5 children were sitting there listening to him ask me that and I kept trying to skirt around the question because I really didn’t know how to answer that in front of them, especialy Kelly.  They are all mine (which is what I should have said, but I was just so shocked he asked me that way!) 

Even when I tried to tell him which ones I gave birth to, he still pushed me to say which ones were adopted, and which one was my “stepson.”

When people ask me that question, I feel like they are trying to separate out my family.  Like, these are YOURS, and then these other ones over here are the outsiders – the stepkids, the adopted.  The ones who aren’t “really” yours.

Kelly doesn’t know that she’s adopted yet, so having to answer that question in front of the doctor was just very hard.  He obviously either didn’t get or didn’t care that his question made me uncomfortable, nor did he consider that we haven’t talked to all of our children about it yet.

And I know we need to tell Kelly, but now is the worst time of all to tell her.  We are about to have a baby.  I don’t want her to feel like “these kids are mine, and you are just adopted.”  I don’t want her to feel like an outsider.  I want her to understand and know her story is special, she is special, and that God brought her to us. 

Lately Kelly has been asking a lot of questions about when she was a baby.  Fortunately, her foster moms created a beautiful scrapbook with pics from birth up to the point where I was able to come get her in Washington when she was 15 months old.  I am almost finished with her adoption story and will read it to her when the time is right.

Until then, I show her the pictures, and share my experiences with her – how stinky her diapers were, how she wouldn’t take a pacifier, and her favorite – how she tried to “run away from home” before she was even two years old.  She thinks that story is hilarious!

Scott and I agreed that we should wait until after the baby is born and we’ve all adjusted before talking to her about her adoption.  I don’t believe it’s something we need to hold back or hide from her, but it most certainly should be the right timing!

That experience along with a few others just reconfirmed to me that this pediatric office isn’t the best one for our family.  I’m hoping the one that is opening up by the Children’s hospital by our house will be a little more sensitive to our needs, especially considering how much business we’ve been bringing into them! 

It also made me realize I need to stop cowering down to people, and stop feeling obligated to explain things, when they ask such an insensitive question.  Yes, the doctor needs to know as much as he can about the child’s medical history in order to provide him with the best medical care, but I do not believe that this doctor was being sensitive to the fact that we may not have discussed everything with our children yet.  (And this isn’t the first time this has happened with this particular doctor). 

I understand they want to understand our history, but there is a way to ask without separating my children into categories or making some of them feel isolated from the rest.  There is also a time to ask, and doing so right in front of all of the children is not the time to do it!  I also need to accept the fact that acquaintances don’t have the right to know our entire personal history. 

So lesson learned.  From now on, that’s my answer.  THEY ARE ALL MINE.  Because they are.  God gave them to me, one way or another, and how they got to me is not nearly as important as the fact that they are mine, that God chose me to be their mom, and God chose them to be my children.  God’s love made us a family.  Nothing can separate that!

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I know so many people around me who are desperately wanting a baby.  Just one!  And here I am about to have another baby, by accident.  I have to confess, it makes me feel a bit guilty.  I SO want these dear ones to be able to have a baby of their own.  I pray so hard for them, even the ones (bloggers) I haven’t officially met. 

 And my sister, who has been trying to have a baby since this summer, I’m sure is getting frustrated even though it has only been a few months.  I will be waiting a while before I tell her I’m pregnant  (by accident!)  Honestly, a part of me hopes she will get pregnant before I have to tell her.  Then there’s another part of me that just wants her to get through her first year of marriage, because she and her husband have a lot of growing to do in their relationship with each other.  For those of you who’ve been married for more than a year, you know what I mean.  That first year is a growing period! 

Anyway, as I’m waiting for reality to set in that I am going to have another baby, my heart cries out for those who are waiting for their little miracle. 

I’m also contemplating the dream I had the night before I found out I got pregnant.  What does it mean?  It just makes me feel like we’re not done, like there will be another child.  Is that crazy?  Can I chalk it up to crazy pregnancy dreams or is it really a dream within me, to adopt another child?  I can still feel the love that grew in me when I held that baby in my dream.  I just knew I couldn’t let her go.  It scares me to think I may never experience that in real life.

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I took a break from blogging yesterday so that I could have some time to think about the last week.  I wanted to process the situation with Patrick in my mind thoroughly so I could figure out some things.  I found myself getting really upset by a couple of comments on a couple of my posts on my blog, and even irritated that my posts were being linked to other blogs set to private.  If you are going to say something about me, why not share what it is you have to say? 

So, in my frustration (and soul-searching), I removed a couple of my posts because I was simply venting and some people, I’m assuming people who haven’t read my blog very long or came across it for the first time, read what I wrote and left comments that bothered me.  I decided to set these posts to private so that other people wouldn’t assume things about Patrick, or myself, that are untrue due to my post regarding his birthday.

I eventually got over it.  But it took me lying in my bed the other night, asking God, “Why?  Why did you make me this way?  Why did you make me to where I care so much about what other people think?  I do not want to be this way!  Why does it bother me when I feel that I am misunderstood or judged – even by complete strangers?  I WANT to know!” 

And because God is good, the answer hit me once I quieted down and readied my heart to listen.  God made me this way because my husband is just the opposite of me.  He often could care less what people think.  (Most of the time).  The great thing about it is we balance each other out.  When he doesn’t care enough about a situation, I can say, “Honey, this person probably feels this way about this situation you two are in…” and when I care too much, Scott says to me, “Why do you care?  What is the truth?  Don’t live your life for other people!”  So these things that can be a weakness in both of us, are also strengths, especially in our marriage.  Funny how God works.

So I talked to Scott about the comments I got and about how frustrated I was on Patrick’s birthday.  The truth is, I felt like a failure.  I couldn’t give him the party I wanted to give him.  And with every comment he made on the situation, I just felt worse, and worse, and worse.  I felt worse because I LOVE PATRICK and I wanted to celebrate him.  I wanted him to see the efforts I was making to make his day special.  He is a blessing to our family and I couldn’t imagine life without him as my son.  So I put all this pressure on myself to make his birthday a memorable one, and then he put even more pressure on me to make it the kind of day that he wanted it to be.

But the way he behaved, he came across as being very self-centered.  His behavior reminded me of a time when I behaved in a similar manner and my mom had to sit me down and set me straight.  And you know what?  She did the right thing.  I needed to hear that the world did not revolve around me – not even on my birthday.  And not once did I doubt that she loved me.  But I did realize I was not showing love, nor gratitude to the people who were there to celebrate my birth.  I realized that I was hurting them. 

So while Scott and I were talking about the situation, things began to make more sense.  Oh. my. gosh!  “Scott?  I know why he was behaving that way!  What did we do for Patrick’s last birthday?” 

Last year we had a HUGE birthday bash in our backyard.  School had already started and Patrick was able to invite his classmates.  We had a great turnout, and the waterslide and bouncer we set up in the backyard was a hit.  (So was all the mud the kids created from all the sliding and climbing back up the slide…great entertainment!)  Then there was the birthday in Maine when Patrick got to celebrate with his new family at a cabin on the lake.  Lots of presents and everyone was happy to be with him on his special day. 

But this year was different.  We know ONE kid around his age and that kid is never home.  We realized that this move has been more stressful on Patrick than we realized.  That’s probably why he’s been over-eating lately.  We’ve had to literally say, “No, Patrick, you can not have another cheeseburger, you are full.”  Trust me – he was full.  He’d already had two big cheeseburgers and some fries!  The poor guy was stressed and probably wishing he was back in SC so we could celebrate his birthday the same way we did last year. 

But even with the stress, Patrick still needed to hear that his behavior was a bit self-centered.  I’m not saying I couldn’t have been more patient.  At the time I did not understand why he would behave in such a way.  But I did NOT say to him all the things I wrote on my post.  I was simply venting and you know what?  After what I went through to get that boy, and with all the things we’ve overcome, I think I deserve to be able to just let out my frustration on a very bad day. 

Being a mom is not easy!  It’s especially hard when you are doing everything you can to bless your child on his very special day and it just isn’t good enough!  The anger and frustration kind of builds up after rejection, after rejection, after rejection of all the attempts you make to show your son you love him.  It HURTS. 

Still, it was a lesson learned.  I can see how my post came across as sounding unsympathetic and mean. 

While I know that someone who’s been adopted could easily read into our situation and interpret the situation into being similar to their own, this situation just isn’t.  Patrick was not mourning his birth nor mourning the fact that his parents gave him up.   

If you could see him…If you could see our family…you would understand.  God moved and he’s melded us into a family.  It’s miraculous.  People who’ve witnessed how God has moved for us have been brought to tears by the beauty of it all. 

So I guess taking the time to stop and think about our situation helped me to realize that I know the truth.  I KNOW my family better than any stranger who just happens upon my blog.  I understand how easy it would be to misinterpret our situation into being something else.  After all, it’s easiest for us to relate a situation to our own experiences, is it not?  That might be why one blogger chose to comment with this:   

When you are negative about us you are being negative about our children. They may very well be terrible people but he might be picking up on the fact that you have a very low opinion of them.

It would be easy for this reader to assume that Patrick would pick up on this, but the truth is, she doesn’t know me.  Does she know that Patrick’s biological father is my husband’s cousin?  That the two of them were once very close (until Scott’s cousin started taking drugs and destroying his life?)  Probably not.  I know there are times my husband misses the relationship he once had with his cousin.  And the truth is, while we are honest with Patrick about the choices this man has made, he knows we still love him and would like for them to have a relationship one day.  But we aren’t going to allow this man the opportunity to drag Patrick down.  He has to clean up and stay clean first.  He has the power to be such a big influence in Patrick’s life – positive or negative – that we feel it is our job to protect Patrick until we know this man is doing the right thing, or until Patrick is a grown man who is strong in the Lord and can resist the temptation to follow into his biological dad’s footsteps. 

And another comment I got about making this woman sad…I truly am sorry my post hurt you.  I can understand why you would think that my son was grieving on his birthday.  But he wasn’t.  And sometimes…sometimes a Mom’s heart hurts too.  Even a mom who has adopted a child can sit there on her child’s birthday and think, “I wish I could have been the one to carry you in my womb.  It isn’t fair that I didn’t get to.  I love you so much!”  My heart was hurting that day.  And because I was hurt by some of the things Patrick did and said, I became angry and frustrated and just needed to let it out.  I’m sorry that venting my frustrations reminded you of the pain in your life.  And I’m thankful you shared what you did, because while Patrick does not grieve or mourn on his birthday, I have yet to find out how Kelly will handle things once she learns that she was adopted.  Your insight has helped prepare me for the possibility that she might one day feel the same sadness you feel on your birthday.  And I hope that you know that you are special and you are celebrated and loved and created for a purpose.  There is a plan for your life – God created you for a purpose.  There is no sadness in that!

Patrick was actually very happy on his birthday.  And just to be sure, because I certainly think it would be something to mention to a counselor if he was going through something on this birthday, I asked him how he felt on his birthday. 

“Great!” 

“But were you happy?”  I asked.

“Yeah!  Why are you asking me that?”

“Were you at all sad?”

Why did I even ask?  Because I wanted to be sure.  But the response I got said it all.  He looked at me as if I had three eyes on my forehead and asked, “Why in the world would I be sad?”

“Because, Patrick…I forgot to give you your birthday spankings!”

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I know, I’m cheating. I changed the date on this post so that it would be properly filed on Kelly’s actual birthday, even though it’s May 2nd.

My little girl is 4 years old. Time flies by so fast. She was only 15 months old when I brought her home with me, and now she is FOUR. How did that happen?

I love her so much…

My little Cover Girl

Grandma took us out to Olive Garden so we could celebrate the big day. And look at what Grandma gave her!

I know as she gets older, the questions will start coming and I’ll have to share our adoption story with her. Who knows, I may have to start explaining things to her within a matter of days. Just the other day, she asked me for like, the 5th time, “Mom, are you my mom?”

I said, “Of course I am. Why do you keep asking me that?”

“Because, I just love you so much.”

I love you too, Sweetheart. Sooooo much. And nothing will ever change that.

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On My Adoption Story…

Boy did I mess things up. It’s funny how the brain works, getting details mixed up. I was wondering why I was having such a hard time getting my story together, but now I know. I had the dates all mixed up! This is what happens when I wait so long to write my adoption story. So….I am going to have to revise my story. Please bear with me.
I wrote that I met Patrick for the first time in the Spring but it was actually before that. I actually met him the Christmas before, but it didn’t seem like I did because it was such a miserable trip. Needless to say, I need to work on getting my story straight!
I’ve had a couple of questions regarding our adoption experience, and wanted to let you all know that yes, Kelly and Patrick are brother and sister. Yes, we adopted them both and don’t worry, her story ties in with Patricks. You’ll be able to read about it very soon!

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