Are we not the cutest rockstar couple of your life? Husbando was such a great sport to dress up for a party we went to last weekend. I LOVE going to couple parties!! This is probably only the second or third we’ve been to but hopefully when we meet new friends through the kiddos, we will go to more : )
I have been alone since Sunday because Husbando was at a conference about totally
boring important work-related stuff. He went with his boss so how fun could it have been, right? Well I heard there were expensive dinners, shopping, sightseeing, professional baseball stadiums, donuts (often), and casinos all involved. Sounds rough. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I just got word that instead of being home at 3:45, they now get home at 7:30 tonight. Boo!
My nephew came to visit for a few days last week and we had a pretty great time! He turns 2 this coming weekend so mostly we just played but we also went on several walks around the neighborhood, took a trip to Wal*Mart, helped man the garage sale and he provided the family with hours of entertainment. Please enjoy.
I finally stopped giggling long enough to get my phone out and get a clip of this. He was using a Pokemon card as a phone and had a LOT to say. After trying for several months and him mastering ‘uncle’, Husbando finally got him to say my name. Kinda. It came out like Aunt Ten all weekend and at the end of this video he realizes I’m recording and says it. Small victories.
My brother put a turban on him, stood him in a box and turned him into a fortune teller. Can you believe he didn’t get one nickel? Rude garage sale customers!
This is us staying up late watching the Cardinals make it to the World Series! Miraculously he can actually say ‘baseball game’. He uses it for all sports but hey, he’ll learn!
This is our version of helping set up the garage sale.
Is there anything cuter than a toddler sharing his Babybel cheese with his Pound Puppy kitty? Nope.
We have been practicing selfies for a while now and he totally has it down.
When I was in 8th grade my uncle passed away in a car accident. Unfortunately, he was the uncle that had spent the most ‘quality’ time with me when I was little and I never got to thank him for that. I have pictures of us playing jacks together, fishing, flying kites and hunting Easter eggs together. My fondest memories of him are us sitting on the curb outside eating Push-Ups together. When I heard that magical music, I could count on him to pull out a couple dollars, get us each one and pull up some sidewalk for a little date. Fast forward 20… okay, 30 years and I heard that same music. I didn’t have the dollars in my pocket (thanks Schnookie for spotting me) but we made it happen! We had our first Push-Up Date and I hope very hard this is the first of many he will get to look back on and smile about.
…and I’ll cry if I want to. Of course I did, I’m a crybaby. It was worse than I thought it could possibly be so I’ll try to keep it short. First, I’ve been defeated for several weeks now with not getting a single word from our caseworker. I didn’t get a reply to my email I waited two weeks to send THEN there was an unanswered voicemail a week later. I called and left a message asking to talk about the party (that was two days away at that point) and about the four groups of kids we asked to be recommended for. Radio silence.
Frustrated, we showed up to the party with very little info about how it would go down. We paused in the car about five minutes while I prayed for strength to make myself go in. When we arrived we were checked in, received our name tags and given ‘the book’ (a book containing kid pics and profiles from which you pick kids to spend time with at the party). Our worker spotted us right away and she seemed excited to see us, apologizing for not returning my call. She showed us to a table, walked us through how everything would work, checked in on us frequently and talked to all the caseworkers for us. Was this a different person than who I have been trying to contact?! Then the bomb was dropped that she is probably transferring to a different department in just a week and had been instructed she had to finish certain tasks ahead of
helping us other tasks. Great.
So knowing this was the last time we would probably get help for a while we thumbed through the book, picked out two different groups to talk to and then my heart dropped. I recognize this little boy but wait… My favorite group from when we looked through files at DHS was down from four kids to two. They split them up. My heart was breaking. In fact, I’m still having trouble with that. I understand the state wants to find a home for two rather than zero but how could someone say they would take two and not their siblings?! Especially when we were willing (and happy) to take all four.
So one group of four we liked is really a group of five AND already spoken for, the group of three wasn’t right for us, another group of four was cut to two and the news just got worse from there. The last kick in the pants came when a very perfect couple walked up with the kids that were spoken for. These were the people who beat us to the punch. I looked at Husbando and I didn’t even have to say it, he just hopped up and helped gather belongings. We walked out, cried the whole way home and hope we never have to go back.
Today Husbando emailed asking who our new contact person will be because we were promised an email on Saturday afternoon and nothing ever came. Shock, I know. After some apologizing (that I can’t decide is sincere or not) we were told we need to continue to be patient and if a new worker doesn’t pick us up, we remain with this same worker rather we want to or not and will try again in November. To me that translates to Christmas alone and it crushes my spirits.
I would like to ask for some prayer that we are not falling through the cracks. We know things take time but feeling like you’re as flexible as it gets and they still won’t match you is starting to weigh heavy on my heart.
Today was an updateless day. We have several of those but I really thought with my email I sent yesterday at lunch it would happen. Every time in the past we have nudged and gotten an update, usually telling us we’ve waited for no reason and we could move forward with something. Obviously that is not the case this week. It has been two weeks since we went to DHS and looked at profiles. It has been four days since the Statewide Staffing. I KNOW they are understaffed. I KNOW they are overworked. I KNOW they are underpaid and I KNOW we are overanxious but I can’t help it. It frustrates me and I need to say it out loud. Or at least write it out loud. We have been patient but when I feel we’re doing all the work for them by being so flexible, I start to feel walked-on. I had a couple new dreams about the kiddos and I think that is adding to my impatience.
On a happier note, my Madre-In-Love and Padre-In-Love are visiting. We are going to a concert tonight and hopefully Michael W. Smith and Jason Crabb will lift my spirits. With our house being under construction and helping Madre move out of her house, we could use a break. Hope all of you have a great weekend and as usual, I’ll let you know when this updateless period ends.
Once a month all the DHS workerbees from the whole state get together at the Norman ‘hive’ and buzz about matching children with Resources*. That day was yesterday. The parent caseworkers, Adoption Specialists, the kid’s representatives, etc. all sit in a big room and work on the giant puzzle that is Foster Care. They try to fit the pieces together the best they can. Who has new foster kids? Anyone have newly-approved adoptive parents? You over there, what about that one kid? Anyone have kids that went from foster to adoptable? Anyone have anyone that needs a new place? Yo, what about that one lady?…
I can’t imagine.
I also can’t wait to find out what happens.
We are not the norm because we are so flexible and are willing to take a sibling group with up to four kids. However, if we were a little more picky and wanted, say, a female, caucasian, under a year old, the system would go more like this: The kid’s workerbee would say hey, I have this adorable little girl who just had parental rights severed and now she is adoptable. Then our worker (and probably several others) would say hey, that is just what my Resources are looking for! So she would submit our paperwork to the kiddo’s worker who would look at all the Resources that were interested. She would pick a few she likes best and then ship them up her chain of command. Some queen bee would pick what Resource looks to be the best for that little girl and then that Resource would get to start into the adoption process. That means a few dates, a few sleepovers, then moving in. After six months that little girl would then be theirs forever and everyone lives happily ever after.
However, we probably won’t have that much competition. Apparently Resources willing to take a sibling group, especially four, are rare. That is sad to me but that is a whole different blog. So we are hoping that one of the workerbees out there has four kids who need us as bad as we need them in our lives. I have already decided we are emailing Thursday night if we haven’t heard anything. That is the a plan. I will not worry about it until then and I will not worry about it being too early when I actually push send. I am giving adequate time to update us without feeling ignored on. I think. Anyway, I hope to hear something by Friday on how it went. I’ll keep you updated!
*’Resources’ are foster and adoptive parents that DHS use as a resource, thus our title.
First lets all take a moment to watch one of my favorite bands perform one of my favorite of their songs. Hate to date myself but it reminds me of sixth grade.
Okay, now down to business.
I am a nervous wreck because I’ve been living right on the edge between reality and psycho mom-to-be this week. I should tell you most (or all) of my issues are severely compounded by the fact that we have been living at a hotel for three weeks while they work on the plumbing under our house. I loved our hotel and I really didn’t mind being out of our house but when a five day plan turns into three full weeks and I run out of clean underwear, stuff hits the fan y’all. I am a complete freak about pre-planning and having everything I need. Obviously I didn’t have enough shampoo or bottled water for tripling my stay. We actually went out of town twice during that stay, necessitating extra/fancier clothing than the norm so this OCD packer was pretty scatter-brained.
But we made it. Barely. We drove back in from Texas last night and slept in our own bed finally. I forgot how nice it was and how much I missed it. Sidenote to anyone thinking of buying a memory foam mattress topper, please realize it will ruin all other beds for you. Just a public service announcement.
As you know we went to DHS to look at profiles last week. We picked out four groups we liked and as of now, radio silence. The Statewide Staffing is tomorrow and we still don’t know who is going to represent us, our caseworker or an Adoption Specialist. If it is someone new, we don’t know them, thats for sure. We have a party coming up in two weeks where we could get to meet kids but I don’t know that any there will be different from the ones we’ve already seen.
Now to the worst part. I went to Human Resources today to find out I get ZERO maternity leave, contrary to the six weeks I believed they gave me. They will let me be gone, they just don’t give me any time. Husbando gets six weeks paid paternity leave and his normal four weeks of vacation and unlimited sick days. Because I am lower on the totem pole, I get two weeks vacation a year and earn one sick day a month. I have been banking my sick days to take the kids to appointments but now will have to burn through all six weeks, leaving me with just two weeks vacation to take kids or myself to appointments, stay home with them when they are sick, stay home myself and maybe at some point actually take a vacation day or two. I am shocked to say the least. We work at the same company! Why would our time not be valued the same when it comes to maternity/paternity leave?! Some things in life are just not fair.
So that is me on the edge. I’ll get over it soon enough now that my memory foam and I have been reunited. Promise : )
We went down to DHS and picked out all these kids to move in with us. Just kidding!! If you’ve ever read my blog, you recognize these crazy kids as my unofficial teenagers. They would be welcome to move in but their parents may miss them… eventually.*
However, we DID go to DHS and look at sibling group profiles. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We still rode up the pee-smelling elevator and sat in a waiting room with some very shady people but after that we were escorted to a super cute room with floral curtains and adorable decorations. We never once felt like we were at a meat market. No one was lined up like the kids above, no one was flexing to prove they are strong or smiling to prove they don’t need braces. It was simple. Sit in the chairs, go through the two binders and write down the pages of the profiles you feel could be right for you. We were left alone to look in private and we found four groups of kiddos that we think would fit pretty good with us. Two groups of three and two groups of four.
Now our caseworker sends their caseworkers our assessment (home study report) to see if they are available/interested/a good match. If any of their caseworkers think we’re compatible, we will make a plan to meet those particular kiddos in person. If those don’t work out or we don’t hear from them by Tuesday, our Adoption Specialist will take our file to Statewide Staffing and see if anyone there has a good match for us. We also have a big adoption party in a few weeks where they have a carnival as a way for adoptive parents and foster kids to meet and mingle. I’m a nervous wreck about that but we agreed to go to at least one so we are.
So this is where we are. I have been much more calm and patient throughout the process than everyone thought I would be but I’m starting to get so excited that I find myself daydreaming of us all riding in the car to a weekend at the lake or pillow fighting in the living room. Now that there are faces, its easier to see these things. Shoot, I am even daydreaming of the boring stuff like taking them to the dentist and shopping for school supplies. I just want to do ANYTHING with them! *sigh* Patience.
*I am always making the teenagers lineup so I can take their picture. Get ready adoptive children, New Mama is a picture-taking crazywoman!