About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Funny Picture that Answers an Often Asked Question

What you see here is a picture of the norm at my house. My kids are hysterical! Denzell is a typical 15 year old boy in many ways. What isn't typical in comparison with so many teenagers is how much he loves his siblings. Mine all really love each other a lot. He is the best big brother that any child could imagine and Dayton has had him for a big brother for as long as he remembers, so he is trying to be just like him. My kids have all taken their lead and are so good to each other. There is occassionally small arguments, but it really is rare.
This picture is of Denzell dressed up and goofing off with the other kids last night. Brent says he looked like a cross between Ray Charles and Steve Urkel. All the kids knew was that he was FUNNY. He danced around and carried on with them. None of this was Halloween inspired, in case you are wondering, but instead how my kids goof off.
Julianne was quite intrigued by him. He sat down on the couch quietly. He didn't say a word while she tried to figure him out. She looked in the sides of his glasses. She looked in the top of his glasses. She pulled his lip. She finally pulled his glasses down and his eyelid up. Once she was sure it was him, she gave him a big kiss.
I often here the question asked about the effect of having so many "special needs" children on my "typical children". Well, here you have it! It helps the children with special needs come farther and faster. It helps the children who the world considers "typical" into better people. They learn to respect people for who they are and not what the world labels them. They learn to enjoy those special times. They learn to see the world differently. They learn to let loose and have fun, but also that they need to do their best with whatever abilities God has given them. Most of all they learn to LOVE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Want People to Think I am Dumb!

Yes, this is what I am dealing with at the moment. Forrest, Crystal, Andrew, and Jose have been playing dumb pretty badly for a good portion of our construction for the addition. This is what they use to pull on homework when they went to public school. They did it at school too, but it isn't as obvious when you're in a classroom full of kids and mom isn't looking. I knew they were doing it at times and that they didn't care to get a bad grade, but at the moment it is really obnoxious. (Please don't tell them that I am even a little annoyed, because I am faking it really good right now.)

They have personalities that were shaped by foster care. They do as little as they can get by with of anything that requires effort. They also do as much as they can get by with of whatever they shouldn't do. It really isn't a good combination unless they are hoping to live in cardboard boxes down by the river as their life time goal! I've dealt with it before. Denzell is a good example of it. I fought hard to get him past it for many years and now he is doing much better. He is 15 and does have goals. He works hard at a lot of things. That gives me hope for the others!

Today I told the four of them that I would like for them to write a page in their journals about what is going on. I told them that it needed to include why they are pretending to be dumb. They admit that it is a game some of the time. Its the "why" that is hard to get them to talk about. I have found over the years that if they have to "write" about it then you are more likely to find out the "why".

Jose did the best job of writing about it really. The other three wrote about the same "whys" really, but not as articulate and well. The truth is that they want people to think they are "dumb". They say that their goal is for people to "feel bad" for them. Jose even went as far as to say that he was hoping that if he faked being dumb long enough then I would put him back a grade level so the work would be easier. They all acknowledged in their writing that they knew what they were doing was wrong and that they "should have known" that they wouldn't get by with it.

After writing about it, they all made some progress. They had a lot of papers to correct! Andrew was the funniest about it. I was talking to my grandmother on the phone while I graded his work. I checked the first page and he only missed three out of around 40 problems. As I was nearing the end he says "I know I shouldn't play dumb mom and I'm sorry". I knew at that very moment that I was headed for the next round of "dumb". I could hear in his voice that he was hoping I'd say 'oh Andrew its ok, just try your best from now on'. He was hoping that then I would see the next page and be disappointed that he had lied again. I instead said "Well Andrew, we will talk about that after I grade your math".

I was correct unfortunately. The next page of math was very much the same and within the first two lines he was already missing more than half of them. I handed it back to him and he looked very disappointed that I wasn't surprised.

I've never really wanted anyone to think I was dumb. I can't imagine being lazy enough to want people to think I was dumb just so I wouldn't have to do the work. I also think that "dumb" is somehow safe to them. There aren't expectations so much. There aren't rewards for doing well. There aren't priveleges extra because you completed it and can take a small break before the next activity if you want.

We've got a ways to go, but we will all make it. I remember when Denzell was about Forrest's age, I had to tell him that I'd get a box for him to try out during the next rain. The look on his face is one that I will always remember. lol It was amazing how quick he got some stuff done. haha

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Stuff Again

I hate to make people think I am crazier than I am, but I am crazy. lol I am a Christmas Crazy. I am a Kid Crazy. I am a "love to be with these Crazy Kids Crazy". lol

Christmas makes me happy. I am going to dwell on that tonight. I don't want to write another blog about "waiting", but it is really what my thoughts go to now as soon as my kiddos go to bed. I just think about how much more waiting I have to do. I've decided to visit my happy place. Christmas!

We finally got our Christmas window clings. These are a staple of Christmas decorating around here. I realized several years ago that they are a very inexpensive way to make things very festive fast. They go on the windows of course. They also will stick to all your appliances! You can put them on the stove and microwave and they don't even melt when they get hot! I have been blessed each year to also find window clings with the Nativity scene on them. This year I found some cute ones that look like kids playing the part. The kids really like them! We also have snowmen, Santas, snowflakes, and gingerbread men.

I will say that Julianne is messing with them a little much. She has some type of dislike for a certain set of snowmen. lol She continued to take them off the lower part of the refrigerator until I finally left them off. She is such a cutie though that I don't even mind. Crudola, that just put me back to the "waiting" thing. I wish "C" (and "P" too if God will bless me that way) were here pulling of my window clings. I really wish they would be here for Christmas, but I am betting that I will still be waiting. Ok, I think I better get back on a good note and end this thing.

Julianne is also very interested in the lights. She is adorable looking at them. :) I am hoping to make some ornaments this weekend and play some new Christmas music that I picked up. Finally the supplies of Christmas stuff in the stores are getting to a fun point where I can get some neat new stuff to add to the excitement!

Anyway, while I am protesting the scary stuff at Halloween, I thought I'd wish you all a Merry Christmas! (haha, You too Tracie!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Waiting on Kids for More Time than Mrs. Duggar is Pregnant

I was thinking today about the WAITING. Here is how adoption goes. They tell you something to do and then as an adoptive parent you - HURRY UP and do it. Then you WAIT. Then you WAIT some more. Then they give you a hoop to jump through and you HURRY UP and JUMP. Then you WAIT and WAIT and WAIT and WAIT. Then you finally see progress. You are matched! They send you an email and you HURRY UP and respond. Then you WAIT and WAIT and WAIT some more.

See when it comes time for me to do something then I HURRY just as fast as I can because I don't want anyone to think it isn't my top priority because it IS. I JUMP just as high as they ask me to JUMP. My agency is pretty awesome to do things speedy quick too I must say which is one of the things that I love about them. In general the system itself is set up for the adoptive parents to JUMP, HURRY, AND WAIT. The system is just making sure to keep things slowly moving at least some of the time and make me WAIT.

I'd love to reform the system. I really would. I would love to find some way to stream line the way that things work. It shouldn't take as long ( or longer) to get a child home from within the US as it does to get one home from another country. Our government systems should be able to fix that. They should be able to fax the info from one agency to the next and it go immediately into the hands of the person who can do something with it. Then they should be able to do what needs done and give the approvals, while keeping it moving. Getting a child home should take weeks or a month at most. It doesn't take that. It takes what seems to be forever. From the time I put in on Julianne the first time until I brought her home was 11 months! Departments switched around and her case was forgotten in the mix. They never even matched her with a family! About 5 or 6 months later they realized and we got matched with her. Then it took another 5 or 6 months to get her home, for a total of 11 months. Those are 11 months that I missed with my little girl! It makes me sick to my stomach.

So I was thinking today about how much time I've spent WAITING. Adoption after adoption leaves me waiting. I wait to get matched. I wait to hear back after a match. I wait to get info. I wait to get details of how to bring them home. I wait through ICPC. I WAIT. Then I wait more. Once they get home I WAIT more. See then there is the waiting for social workers to call. Waiting on workers in other states to get the paperwork together. Waiting for finalizations!

I really do think that I have been WAITING for more time than Michelle Duggar has been pregnant. I don't know for sure because I have twelve kids and I don't have time to do the math. I did WAIT through one biological pregnancy. You would need to add in all the time that I waited before that for a match and to bring home each child. Then add in the time that I WAIT for finalization. I think I would come out on top of the waiting category.

Right now I am waiting. I am waiting for a case file to read so that I can see a picture of my little boy. I am waiting for "P"s caseworker and whoever else is involved to decide if we could have the blessing of being her forever family. I am waiting for news of how long this is going to take. I AM WAITING. The blessings are worth it, but the waiting could drive anyone nuts.

Pray that the WAITS aren't that long.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Update to Get Me Through the Weekend

I emailed "C"s foster mother today. I have hesitated to start emailing her even though I had her email address from Julianne's adoption. I don't want to bug her and I have no way of knowing how long this may drag out. I just couldn't wait any longer though.

Weekends are horrible when you are waiting. You know on weekends that no one is working on any aspect of the adoption. No paperwork is being filed. No paperwork is being sent to ICPC. Nothing at all is happening. I really could go nuts on a weekend! I really don't know how to explain the drudgery of weekends to people who aren't in the adoption world. I feel the need to try though.

Imagine that you are very pregnant. You know the gender of your soon to arrive little one. You know the name of the little one. You are miserable pregnant. You are to that point in pregnancy in which every breath is becoming difficult. You are hot. You can't reach your feet to put on your shoes. You can't sleep well at night. Then imagine that a doctor somewhere decided that weekends no longer counted toward your number of days and weeks in the babies development. Imagine how it would feel when Friday at 4 pm came and you knew that none of the time between then and Monday morning at maybe 9 or so would count. The pregnancy was going to last longer than its expected time - heck, there was no expected end to the pregnancy! You knew that weekends were good time with your other children and you loved that, but at the same time it meant that your misery was prolonged every time you had one.

Ok, now I know that may not sound realistic. For adoptive parents who are waiting for their child to be in their arms that is exactly what it feels like. I have done pregnancy and I know the misery of that last little while. I have also done adoption waiting. The difference with the misery of waiting is that with adoption you have no long how long you are waiting. Weekends or holidays are days that nothing is getting accomplished!

I did get some good news today though. "C"s foster mom gave me great news about his sleep apnea and how he no longer is using a machine for that. He is walking and talking. He has a cute way of saying his own name, that I can't wait to hear for myself. He was into mischief and getting into her plants today. (Shame on him. lol I can't wait till he's into mischief here!) He knows his capital letters. He's doing great! I will admit that it is a little easier knowing that he is safe and loved where he is. It is still so difficult to know that I am missing more and more time with him though. It just about makes me mad that some of the days don't even count toward getting him home because of crazy weekends.

I also can't help but wonder if "P"s social worker has looked at our homestudy. I have to teeter a fine line between making sure that they at least give us a thought and not being too irritating. I mentioned to the foster mother that we would be interested in adopting "P" in my second email, but I haven't heard back yet. I'm hoping that it would give her a sense of relief to know they would all be together if that worked out as well. I wonder if I'll hear anything this week.

If you don't hear from me, I may have to check myself into a looney bin. lol Waiting is the thing you do most in adoptions and the thing that is hardest for me. You hurry to complete one section so that you can get to the next section of the process only to wait there and hurry to the next one to wait some more. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up for "P" too, but I can't help myself in wanting to keep those two little cuties together. What a joy they would all be as they got into mischief together!

Keep praying!