Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Early morning just for me

I used to be a work out fiend.  When we only had one child, I would go to the gym after he went to bed.  I did all kinds of things, aerobics, free weights, you name it.  Then I gradually morphed into a 12 year study of martial arts.  2 to 3 nights at at the dojo working out and learning, and using a Soloflex in our basement on the off days for strength and conditioning.

Then our family grew. And my exercise is pretty much the time I play with the kids, walk and hike with them and run around picking up after them.  It is active, but it isn't really enough.  It isn't so much a diet/weight loss kind of not enough. It is just not a healthy amount of exercise.

So I got up today at 5:30 (which is pretty much my usual time) But this time I spent 20 minutes walking to start the day.  I will be able to walk a full 30 minutes when I add a few more streets to the jaunt.  I started with something slightly longer than what I walk when I am with the kids. I obviously have proven I walk faster on my own.  It was really pretty outside. The sunrise was amazing and the moon was still riding high in the sky as well.  The birdsong was delightful also.  Our city is never silent but it was about as close to that as we get on some of the streets I was on.

Then I came home and K left for her walk with our dog. I also need to remember to bring a piece of fruit with me to eat when I go as I was starving by the time I got home.  In all my years of exercise I was never a morning workout gal--it was always evenings. So it did not occur to me that (insert duh here!) since I had not eaten since 4:30 the evening before, I was going to be seriously hungry.  Thankfully my morning smoothie and my blessedly hot cup of tea have solved that problem as well!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scouting musings

None of my kids have been part of Scouting.  It would not have been a good fit for Chet or Rob and frankly the Boy Scout position on gays troubles me too much to find a way to re-closet myself for the sake of my children.  The Pinewood Derby always intrigued me and I had a dear friend who was a life long Scout.  As an adult he became an awesome leader, taking boys on winter overnights and such.  But I could not reconcile what the organization said about gays, and thankfully as I said, it was just not a good fit anyway for the older two boys.

I am hoping that the Scouts are going to change their views--I have read some potentially positive things about this recently--because it would be a good fit for KC.  He is at 9, just really starting to spread his wings and to want to do things with friends when family are not present.  Camping is something dear to all our hearts, it would be great.

I myself was a Girl Scout up through Cadette level and worked at Scout camps in the summer.  I have always hoped that my daughter would experience Girl Scouting.  They haven't the language and the out there ban on my lifestyle.  But Girl Scouts sure have changed since I was involved.  There are quotas on the amounts of cookies that must be sold and my friends kids spent literally hours with their troops week after week standing in the cold hawking cookies.  I bought an untold number of cookies that I don't eat because I felt so badly for the kids.  (thankfully Chet also loves thin mints but I think even he got sick of them after a while, I bought so many!)

Badges have changed too.  One of my friends has a daughter who is going for her cupcake badge.  Yup, you read that correctly.  She posted pics of some very beautifully decorated cupcakes that her daughter did for the badge. But I still can't wrap my mind around a cupcake badge!

Maybe we will look at 4H!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fiona's visit

Fiona had a great visit!  I am so happy.  We had our photoshoot last night and in a few weeks, a picture of all 7 of us together will hang on our living room wall.  Like those Visa commercials--priceless!  :-)  Today in the morning we had to spend most all of it at the dance school while KC had his classes and then Lissa had hers.  Fi was gracious and patient, during what had to have been sort of a boring time. We chatted some and she and Rob spent a lot of time looking at videos on his phone and listening to his playlist.  After that, the littles wanted to go to the park across the street and play with some of their friends for a bit.  Fiona hung in for that, playing tag in the field with abandon.  Like Chet, sometimes she is so child like that it belies her years.  Other times she speaks with the wisdom and pain of her life experience. It is a strange dichotomy and one of the hardest things I deal with in parenting her.

Then we went to the shop where we were bringing her dress for alterations.  The owner was quiet and hard to understand when she did speak. I think she may be Eastern European as I usually can glom onto an accent and get a conversation done pretty easily. But something about her cadence and inflections were very hard for me to get.  However she clearly knows what she is doing and the dress will be completed by May 6th.

Then we got picnic food and went to a couple of parks to hang out and play for a while.  It was fun and the weather was so beautiful.  We have been starved for spring.  Not so much as my Minnesota and Michigan friends for sure, but it hasn't been a great or early spring in the Northeast like that darn groundhog promised! When we came home, Fiona was tired and needed some down time. So she and I made some peanut butter cookies while the littles played outside with Rob.  She enjoys cooking and it is a companionable thing to do together.  We brought the completed snacks out to share with the rest of the family and the neighbors who had by this time joined in the play and just hung out and chatted for the remainder of the time she was here.  It was a great day and we will travel into town on Tuesday to see her schools annual Art Extravaganza.  I hear she has a dance number in it.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Fiona is here for a visit and today was "picture day" at church.  The photo will be used in our church directory but additional shots were taken to lure families into buying more pictures.  Which we did.  We have not had a real portrait sitting since Lissa was a baby. They are typically very hard on Chet and we decided it was not worth it. But this one, while loooooong (as one would expect with 7 people in the sitting) was very well done.  The photographer could cue Chet without touching him and for probably the first time in many years, he does not look strained or somewhat feral in the shots. It was worth any amount of money to me to see that.  Rob and Fiona are both very good photography subjects.  KC is typically but has a problem of blinking at the wrong moment. Great smiles, eyes closed. LOL  Miss Lissa hates having her picture taken and it was very hard to get a shot where she was smiling.  She is not smiling in the big picture of all 7 of us, but she is not scowling either.  Just somber looking.   Smaller groupings of us were taken as well.  My wife and I alone.  Have not had a professional picture of the two of us ever.  Then ones of just the boys and ones of just the girls.  I bought a trio frame of those as I loved the way they came out. In the "girls rule" shot, Lissa was almost smiling.

It all took about 2 hours start to finish. Of course part of that time is looking at the photos and choosing what you want. But the kids were amazing and hung in there so well.  We had reward of "dinner and a movie"  (pizza and an on demand movie) when we got home.

It will be so great to have a picture of all of us hanging soon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kid Magnet

Rob showed me a text from his friend D tonight.  Apparently D turns 19 this weekend and he wants to celebrate it at our house!  LOL  Well I am kind of honored I guess (though also feeling sad as I know there are some tensions in his own house) but this weekend is out.  So D has invited himself  here for next weekend and is looking forward to it.  He and Rob will see the new Ironman movie together, and I told him I would make whatever kind of cake he wanted.  He likes chocolate with chocolate frosting apparently.  I make what I have been told is a very excellent chocolate cake (I am allergic to chocolate so I have never eaten it myself) so I will whip that up for him. I told D that the only caveat to his spending Saturday and Saturday night with us was the Kentucky Derby.  He had to watch the Derby with us because that is a J-E tradition going back to when I was about 9 and was going to be a jockey.  He said he would find his inner jockey.  ROLF

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Visit Plans

Fiona's visit will happen this Friday starting at noon. She will be here till about 3 p.m. on Saturday.  I am super excited as are the kids. This change in plans means that she is here for a family photo.  Our church is doing a photo directory of the congregation and everyone who comes for the shoot gets an 8 x 10 of their family FREE!  I am loving that, though I know i will probably buy some others as well if they come out 1/2 way decent.

K is not sharing our joy in this as she comes to the relationship with Fiona from a different place. She says she is fond of her, but she does not feel we are family. Extended family, or a resource, but not family.  I am a weirdo I guess. She is my daughter.  She is family.  I think families are created in different ways and that parenting a child, particularly a child of trauma can look very differently.  We have talked about it but at this point, it is more agreeing to disagree.

On Saturday, Fiona is stuck coming to the dance school and hanging out with me for a long morning.  I am going to bring the kids DS and my cell phone which has a couple of games on it so she can amuse herself.  It is mere weeks to recital and I know the kids can't miss. I also know KC would have a breakdown if I asked him to miss. He loves his sister dearly but he takes his dance very seriously--way more seriously than I did at that age. Actually make that more seriously than I did EVER!  LOL  After we get out of the studio, we will go and get Fiona's prom dress fitted for an alteration. She wants it shortened and I have found someone who appears up to the challenge.  From there I hope that the weather will cooperate for a picnic. That would be fun and low key and different for her.  She will head back to school about 3 so it would be just about right time wise.

It was a good phone call tonight as Jane and Fiona and I hashed out all the plans. We also talked about how scared we all felt last weekend when the citywide lockdown happened.  Fiona I know had behavioral issues but I think that between the disappointment of not seeing us and the anxiety caused by knowing what was going on, it was understandable.  She sounded surprised when I said we were nervous and worried too--about her.  And that is not a lie. She was in my thoughts and KC was the first to ask if she was okay when he heard what was going on in the big City.  

So our plans have morphed and reshaped and I find myself all ready looking forward to the weekend!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Plans and prom shopping

And in the whirlwind--nothing stays the same for 2 seconds--reality that is my life. . . the visit did not happen.  Saturday morning staff called and Fiona had an incident of unsafe behavior.  While she has not lost the opportunity to come, they felt she was too unstable to come Saturday.  So I have all ready emailed Jane to find out if she can possibly come this weekend. Friday afternoon and stay through Saturday. We will see.

Meanwhile Rob and his girl have accomplished the great Prom Shop. Egads, I have never been through Prom Shop before as Chet never went to a prom.  It is a Big.Deal.  Even when it is a junior prom.  K has a  bit of a hard time seeing how important this is to the two of them.  She keeps saying "it is just junior prom" when she and i speak about it. But it is one of those rites of passage that most kids crave and that Rob certainly wants.  How much does he want it?  He chose dress shoes!  This young man has refused to wear dress shoes since he was about 12. He has always had a pair of "dress sneakers".  Which were pretty stylish and I have to confess that fighting about a choice of footwear is pretty low on my list unless safety is involved.  But he has chosen dress shoes, has a nice suit and he and his lovely girl friend found a coordinating shirt and tie that will apparently match her dress perfectly.  The best part?  I did not have to go shopping.  I dropped the two of them at the mall and said, "get it done!"  They did, with time for a movie afterwards.  Life is good. :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Plans change yet again!

The school staff called last night after they had told Fiona that they visit was cancelled. She was predictably very upset and sad but she did not hurt anyone and although she left the res floor, she came back voluntarily. These are both very good things.  We talked of trying to make the visit and overnight happen for next weekend which would require some shuffling of things all ready scheduled for that date by Rob.  I was willing to do that.

Then about 20 minutes after we spoke, the driving ban was lifted and the staff and I spoke again.  They wanted to know if she could come for a day visit today. I said absolutely but we would not be able to do an overnight next weekend if we do, as i have those other commitments that also need attending to for the kids. (Fiona would not be happy hanging out with us while Rob spends hours prom wear shopping with his girl friend.) I suggested we let Fiona choose and she opted for todays visit.  I am fine with that, but hope that when next weekend comes, she will be okay with not being here.  Time is such a hard concept for her, as is the concept that there are things adults can not control. She tends to see the world as :  you promised me and you didn't deliver."

Friday, April 19, 2013

Issues and evaluations

The ongoing issues in Boston have nixed Fiona's visit for this weekend. The school, like the rest of the city is on lockdown for safety reasons.  I am trying to reshuffle the things planned for next weekend to this weekend so that we could have her come next weekend. Rob and T are supposed to go prom shopping next weekend and I am trying to bump that up to this weekend.  Never a dull moment.

I had my annual review at work today at long last. I was getting pretty nervous as I was the only person who had not had the eval yet.  Then this a.m. our company VP showed up and so did our regional.  (cue the scary music)  They stayed and then ordered pizza for the staff for lunch.  Most readers would see that as a good thing.  Except that my former boss and two former co workers were let go during our first year with our new owners and the scenario was --fire the worker, feed the remaining ones.  In a bit of dark humor, apparently the rest of the staff somehow knew I had not yet been for the evaluation review and they were all worried on my behalf.  I appreciate the team anxiety.  LOL

However this time, the pizza was just a pizza, to paraphrase Mr. Freud.  My evaluation went well, and I scored better than last year.  I am proud of that, though disappointed that the upshot of the conversation is that there seems to be no real interest in allowing me to pursue property management.  In their words, I do compliance so well and this is such a vital role that they hope I will continue to fill that role.  I will, unless I win the lottery I guess, though I am looking at other options.    I really love working with people more than a silent office filled with papers and numbers.  In my former company this was only a portion of my duties. With my new company it is my life. Still and all, I am lucky to have a job and I never forget that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thinking of Mom Y

KC crept into my bed last night. I was barely awake but I remember him saying "I just can't sleep."  I cuddled him in and he was asleep in minutes.  I asked him this morning if he had watched or seen something that had frightened him. He is pretty honest about stuff like that and I thought he might have been thinking about the Marathon bombing.

He said no, it was nothing he had seen on TV or on the radio.  I asked what it was. He said he couldn't stop thinking about Mom Y and that when he was in bed alone it was making him cry. I gave him a hug and said that I knew she would have been thinking a little bit extra about him yesterday too as they both share a birthday. I reminded him that in her letter she wrote that the shared birthday is a blessing to her.  He hugged me tight and it seemed to be enough.  I hope so.  And i count it positive that when he felt that way, that he could seek out comfort with me.  I can't make those hurts go away, but I can hug him.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tragedy and Terrorism

We celebrated a birthday last night.  At the same time, families were torn apart, not 60 miles from us--hurt by injuries that came unexpected, and   unexplained.  I did not discount what was happening in Boston. In fact it is not just the physical proximity that makes this tragedy hit close to me.

My former employers main office was very near the finish line. For many of the more than 20 years that I worked for that company they held a wonderful family friendly gathering with a brunch, raffles for the kids, tickets to the Sox game and then gathering to watch the end of the Marathon. I have stood where people were standing yesterday.  I have guided my children past that fencing on Marathon Day.  I have taken my children, two under 5  at the time onto a crowded subway and stood cheek to cheek practically with strangers because that is Marathon Monday in Boston.

That company is no more and probably, the innocent joi de vivre of Marathon Monday in Boston is also no more.  But I refuse to surrender joy utterly to those who would transform the world with shrapnel and hatred.  So last night, after a quick prayer to the goddess and relief that at least so many personnel were on hand to help, I turned off the television.  We had planned a surprise party and we had it regardless.  An 8 year old died there. Yesterday, my son was leaving 8 behind and celebrating the on set of 9, the last of his single digit years.

To me, the ultimate way to deal with terrorists of any kind is not to be cowed. They will try to break our spirits. To make us jump at shadows and peer at our neighbors with distrust.  Make us cancel dreams and derail our own opportunities with fear.  I will not do that.  I will live in hope and possibility and promise.  And I will instill that in my children.  Blessed be.

The Nearly 9 Surprise Party

 The surprise party was a huge success!  KC was totally blown away by it. We called him in from playing out side and unfortunately I was right behind him as he went into the decorated dining room.  His face was that classic look of surprise that you see on TV!  Here is the nearly 9 guy playing with the stretchable money from his loot bag.
 A snippet of the family mural that they painted this year.  KC is Mickey Mouse and Miss Lissa is Minnie of course!
Blowing out hte candles is  harder when there are 9 of them! KC has grown and matured so much in the past year.  Though he still loves to play with his stuffed animals, he is more reliably in his own bed at nights. He is interested in having a sleep over and going on a "guys only" camp out this summer with his godfather, and Rob and friends from church.  That he is even considering this is pretty huge.  A year ago he would have been reduced to anxious tears by the thought of it.

The training wheels are off his bike and watching him race around with his ball cap on backwards it is hard to believe that this is the guy who used to be shorter than my forearm!

Monday, April 15, 2013


KC's actual birthday is Wednesday.  Given the fact that my wife works from 4-8 every evening having his party on his actual birthday is kind of challenging.  But he is really a "this is THE DAY" kind of kid.  However he is also sort of intrigued with the idea of surprise parties--something we have not really done much in our family.  So we are having a surprise party for him today as we all have the day off.

I am nervous that Wednesday will come and he will feel that his day is not properly feted so I have some plans to make that day special as well.  But he has created his birthday mural all ready. We are there in all our Disney glory as he decided his theme was Disney on ice.  This is incidently, the first year that he and Lissa have done all the painting of the mural totally themselves and they are so proud.  I printed out our faces and did the fussy cutting of that for him.

We have a white tablecloth and yesterday morning KC spent the hour before church coloring stars on contact paper with permanent markers. This way the table cloth will resemble how he remembers the ice looking when we were at the ice show.  Again, he thinks he is preparing for Wednesday, but he is one who really likes to be involved in his own party.  He also likes to decorate his own cake and we haven't quite worked out how that can happen.

This afternoon my job is to get him out of the house for several hours while the party prep happens.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My busy teen

I just returned from bringing Rob to the nearby big city (30 minutes each way).  He and his friend are doing yard work for a parishioner that has health problems.  She is paying them, but they would do it without that, and likely will only accept a token payment.  It is good for kids to reach out and help others. aAlso, I had Rob be the point person, coordinating the emails and planning where people would meet, how we would get the yard supplies she needs etc.  He needed a bit of guidance of course, but did very well overall. This is a good skill to develop.  I am not bragging when I say I am proud of the young man that he is becoming.  Yes, I have loved, nurtured, exposed him to things I thought he should experience, but that doesn't mean that a teen follows a path you hope for.  It is up to them to discern from the experiences and opportunities, from the conversations and the texts, (yes we do communicate by text!) what a good choice is and when to step back.

He posted a comment on Facebook a week or so ago about a disturbing incident when he was at our local school park shooting hoops.  Apparently a kid he did not know was making racial slurs to him.  Rob opted not to do anything because the jerk  kid's younger brother was also there and he was significantly younger.  Rob felt if that "cute little kid" wasn't there he might have made a different choice, but he just walked away.  We talked both on line and face to face about how he acted with maturity and integrity.  I said how proud i was, but that personally I wanted to do something to that kid as well.  I shared that I was angry and felt pretty helpless and that made me even madder.  He laughed, but I think it was good that he knew that I was there.  I had his back as much as one can in a situation like that.  I hate that racism is still so pervasive.

In our area it is what I call "sneaky" racism.  Rarely is it as open as what he got at the school yard.  More often it is being followed in a store, or ignored at a check out.  People who do not have family members of color are shocked when I talk about this and think I am a whacko.  My black friends know that this is truth.  This means that I am endeavoring to raise strong young men of color who will be able to be open and loving but also know when to step back and when to step up.  It is a challenging road.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Balancing Family Emotional Needs

My wife and I were speaking several days ago.  It was a this and that sort of conversation.  I was trying to nail down a date for KC to have a sleep over with a buddy and I mentioned about Fiona's next visit.  K took a breath and said that she needed to talk with me about Fi.  She said that she worries every time Fiona is here that she will rage and that something will happen that will physically or emotionally hurt the other kids. She said she had not shared how deeply she felt about things because she feels guilty and she knows we are totally not on the same page here.  The trauma we went through in 2008 is still fresh and raw to her in ways that it is not to me.She is "stuck" mentally there, remembering the rage and destruction and fear.

I knew that K didn't feel the level of commitment to Fiona that I feel. I  did not realize she was still afraid.  Due to her work schedules she is often not available to visit with us when Fiona is here and is usually never home when Fiona calls. I imagine that I should have come to the conclusion that she was afraid, but I am a creature of almost unfettered optimism.  I totally missed it.

The resulting discussion was hard but honest.  I said that I would write to Jane and explain how she felt and keep the overnights to single nights for the foreseeable future.  However I also said that I would not walk out of Fiona's life because I truly believe that when you sign on to parent, you are there forever.  Part of K does not feel that she "is" Fiona's parent.  And I can't speak to that.  I do know that I am.  I also know that the bonds I have worked so hard to knit between the kids are deep.  To do anything that did not honor that would be incomprehensible to me.

Jane was amazing as usual when I explained the situation in a very lengthy email .  She said that it was likely my wife had PTSD and she recommended EMDR as a resource to her.  I told K about this and also about the tapping that I have learned about from the wisdom shared in Blogland. I don't know if she will reach out to those resources, or not.  I do know that life just got a bit more complicated!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cheese and Whine

Well, just whine really.  I have a sore face.  As in it feels like someone clocked the right side of my face.  I have been dealing with this for about 4 weeks and it is slowly getting worse.  I even abandoned my typical "wait and see" attitude and sought out the dentist a week ago. He saw nothing, but we also did not take an x-ray.  So today, as the pain reached new lovely heights, I went and had an x-ray, sure than my 10 year abstinence from the things would reveal an abcess or something vile lurking.  Only it didn't.  And he has no clue why I have this pain.  It hurt so much after I got home from taking the kids to the park tonight that I had to find an empty room and just lie there for a minute and breathe.  I don't have a lot of time in my life to lay around and breathe while simultaneously wishing 1/2 my face would fall off.

The dentist suggests I see my primary.  Which seems silly and a waste of $25.00 co-pay.  On the other hand, my primary might fall down with the shock of seeing me as a patient so it might be entertaining.  LOL  I strongly suspect that the primary will find nothing--about all that the dentist thought he might check for would be an ear infection.  Which I do not have and have not had anything congestion related in months.

Now that I have whined, I will share a funny KC and Lissa story.  Lissa wakens early in the morning.  She has been waking KC who really needs sleep  more than she does.  I told her she could not lie in bed and holler for her brother.  She agreed.  Instead they decided apparently that she would lie in bed and call "meoux meoux" and if KC was awake he would answer "woof woof."  Needless to say he is still being awakened too early but it was so funny that I couldn't do anything about it at all.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Plans for summer fun

I booked our second camping trip last night.  Oh how I love this place!  We discovered it last year with our friends and it has the most AMAZING pool I have ever been to in my life. Ginormous.  Multiple water slides and this cool "pirate wreck" that is a play area as well.  For as commercial as this area looks; the campsites for the tent campers like us, are wooded, secluded and very rustic.  I was able to reserve the same site we had last year which was amazingly spacious.  The coolest feature was that the fire pit was built right into this clefted glacial boulder.  I had to reserve for more nights than I really planned on, because of the way the campground is operating this year. But I am hoping that perhaps my wife will be willing to come up for a few nights with us.

Her job at a well known fruit store chain may be ending at some point before then so she would actually be free on a Saturday!  She loves the job, but the store is being sold and it is uncertain how the new owner will handle things.  There are all ready rumors of changes and some of those changes would not work for my wife.  Luckily, she has a second job that has been eager to increase her hours.  It is closer to home and is perhaps the better fit for our family long term.

Now if the temps would just stay over 40 degrees!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hanging at the courthouse

Court today for work--when I facebooked in my status location of the local courthouse I am glad I thought to put in parentheses (here for work!)  LOL  Never actually had to testify as the individual we were there about had all ready gone and gotten seriously afoul of the law last night. Crazy actions resulted in his becoming a guest of the commonwealth and  he will remain so for some considerable time to come.

As this was a work related thing, we had a number of residents who were witnesses and who had to be there.  This is something that is always hard.  Either the residents have had negative legal experiences (read this: been to court for bad choices in their own life) and are thus charry of being in a court room again. Or, they are simply intimidated by the whole thing and want no part of it. The fact that we were successfully able to bring in 6 witnesses to the very disturbing incident is amazing.  I spent the morning keeping the witnesses calm.  One was so nervous she was breaking out in hives. Conversation goes a long way to keeping the mind busy and calmer.  Another of my residents asked about my children. She has a biracial daughter herself and I commented on how lovely her daughter's hair is.  It really is too.  It is fine and sort of floats in this halo around her chubby little baby face.

My resident is white and said she "hates" her daughters hair because it is "nappy."  I said her hair was gorgeous and she just needed to know what to do with it.  The poor woman had been told to put vaseline on her child's hair.  I gave her some product tips (none of which involved vaseline!), some easy style ideas and suggested that she scope out You tube for natural hair care info.

I felt so sad for her little baby that her mom thought her hair was ugly.  I honestly think Elisabeth's hair is beautiful.  I love to style it and I love that it is healthy and curly , and as bouncy and vibrant as my spirited young daughter..

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Plan for a Search

Finding Mom Y for KC was eye opening.  I didn't realize how many adoptive families (not to mention the non adoptive friends and my extended family) would feel threatened by the search for a first mother.  I am amazed. I am also glad that my child decided to do this now because I  was the one who got the wonky questions, not him.  I do understand that all the people who asked the questions and made comments like "but he needs to understand she decided not to raise him" love him.  I get that they feel threatened by this search.  I wish they could understand that love is not parcelled out from a small finite dish.  Giving love to Mom Y does not mean less love to give to them, if you can follow my babbling here.

I picture a child at an older age, doing a search on their own, and hearing those comments.  And feeling even more lost and confused.  Not good.  So for the record, I think all adoptive famiilies should go into this family structure with a plan for finding first family members. A real plan.  And I didn't have one.  All I had was my pack rat and scrapbooking tendencies that had made me keep every scrap of paper for everything related to my kids homecoming.  Be honest with yourself and your own family.  Accept the fact that your child may want to search.  Embrace the fact that this will be a likely outcome and resolve to help him.  I think saying "if they should decide to search as an adult, I will not mind" is a huge cop out.  And I feel that I can make that judgement because those very words came out of my own mouth at at least one of our home study meetings.

The sad thing is that those words satisfy most social workers.  That isn't enough, folks.  Not nearly. Because if we distance ourselves from the process-- If we say we must "wait' till adulthood or some other arbitrary age, we make our children feel that this very natural desire is wrong and counter to what they should really feel. I look at it that those actions are requiring them to emotionally choose who to bond with and love, and that is wrong.

Adoption agencies need to re-think their stance too.  There must be a way that they can be more supportive of adoptive children in the search.  I guess it is unreasonable to accept actual help from them but in an ideal world there would be an arm of the agency that did just that. At the very least, they could have an informational brochure on how to start a search and agencies such as the one I wound up using, that can facilitate a search for a fee.

I have to say that our home study agency (which is not the agency we adopted through as it was an out of state adoption for KC and Lissa both) was very supportive.  They gave me a few ideas early on when I wrote to them asking for help (and I'll be  honest, for validation that I was doing the right thing).  They also volunteered to facilitate the contact somehow if I was not comfortable doing this myself. I am not quite sure what that would have looked like, but didn't need it.  I did appreciate the offer, though.  I wrote to both agencies right after we heard from Mom Y.  I immediately heard back from the wonderful home study agency. They were supportive, and they reminded me that I should ask her for a picture as well.  In the flurry of excitement, I had forgotten that and I am glad for the reminder!  Somewhat tellingly, I have heard nothing from the adoption agency itself.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Things That Make Me Smile

Listening to my kids giggle.

Watching Fiona's face as KC read this poem that he wrote on a large poster for her:

"Fiona, you make the world a better place
You fill my world with grace
Thank you for being the best sister ever.
Love KC

Watching Lissa clap her hands with delight when she realizes she has read a page of her book correctly aloud

Reading Rob's quirky posts on Facebook.  It is the perfect venue for his off beat sense of humor.

Tomato seedlings sprouting under our grow lites!

Chet's excitement for Tuesday night magic games with Rob.

Longer daylight hours.

Monday, April 1, 2013

KC's Mom writes back!

As readers may know, KC has been wanting to make contact with his birth mom.  I have been trying to help him and used a tracing agency to find her current address.  We sent one letter.  No response.  Because I am stubborn (LOL) I sent another one. Actually it is not stubborn.  I pictured someone trying to work up the courage to write back and then losing the contact info.

Today, KC called me at work and said that Mom Y had written.  She wants pictures (I had offered to send these) and she wanted him to know that she loves him very much and always remembers him.  I am glad she had the courage to write.  The joy on his face tonight was indescribable in words.  He has been worried that somehow she would die and he would never know her.

I had a lot of people tell me that 8 was too young to help him search. I had a lot of people wonder why I would even help with this.  I do it for love. I do it because my son is really our son (us and Mom Y). They share more than just genes, they share a birthday and they share the months they he grew under her heart.  As my son, KC needs to know that his needs matter to me, that I don't fob them off.  I could hear the joy in his voice when he talked to me on the phone. He said he could not believe it, that he had thought the day would never come.

I believe in miracles.  Because this was one, for sure!