Monthly Archives: July 2014

Dates 2-4 With Our Kids

Standard

This last weekend was wonderful and magical and exhausting so get ready to start having to wait longer between updates. I’m sorry but at least I’m preparing you, my three followers, now.

 We went to see the kids in their stomping grounds and had so, so much fun. When I think about it, I can’t think of it going any better. I can’t imagine having a better time or doing better things. Can you tell someone is on Cloud 9? Its ridiculous, I know. Anyway, break down of what we did:

DSCN0037

Friday: We met at 3:30 at the indoor Sonic with the kids, their worker, and our worker. Our worker stayed just a little while but was there to oversee our first meeting with Agent K since he wasn’t there last time. When we arrived they were surprisingly excited and even Agent K had a giant smile on his face. They could not wait to have us sit down and start chatting. We all got happy hour drinks and since the kids are ALWAYS hungry, they got snacks. We sat at a big table just the 5 of us and made crafts, answered a million quetions (Agent K was playing catch-up), took pics, and laughed a lot. After two hours, they had to go home and we made plans to see them the next day. Their foster parents, specifically the foster mom, are ‘having a lot of trouble with the transition’ so we weren’t allowed to go pick the kids up or drop them off and their awesome worker had to do it. More on that later.

IMG_6451

Saturday: Around 10:30 we met at the fairgrounds to watch a horse-jumping show. The girls both love horses and all three seemed to like the competition. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the best free activity I’ve found b/c we were 5 of 30 people in the whole giant arena and also because you have to be silent while they jump. Would have been nice if it was fuller. The kids hadn’t eaten breakfast so they started whining about being hungry at noon. We left and went to CiCi’s pizza where everyone filled up mostly on brownies and cinnamon rolls. Sometimes you just need a brownie in your life. Next we headed to Dollar Tree where they picked out things for our house. Shampoo, soap, hair accessories, brushes/combs, toothpaste, etc and one toy (only our big guy picked a Bruno Mars hat and shades).

IMG_6450

Next we headed to the movies to see Rio 2 and when that was over we had to head back to the DHS office to drop them off. Their worker swept them back to their homes and promised to see us the next morning bright and early. Apparently he had to pick up the girls before their foster parents left for church and that is 8:30.

Sunday: Their worker met us bright and early in his pajamas. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and Bro-In-Law and Edmond Girl met us. The wait was longer than we anticipated but we did enjoy sitting around playing the peg game for a bit. The girls played with every toy in the store while Agent K picked up and inspected just about everything they sell. He is a curious guy!

DSC_1471

Around 11 we went to a park to play at the splash pad and have a picnic. Schnookie, Sis-In-Law, and Nephy-Niece met us there (and brought the picnic). When Miss D caught a glimpse of Nephy-Niece she pushed everyone out of the way, yelled his name and ran to him. Apparently someone has been studying their picture album I gave them with everyone’s name in it. We splashed for a long while then sat down for sandwiches and a bountiful kiddy feast with goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, apples, chips, carrots, and anything else you’ve ever wanted. After lunch we played a long time more then broke out the watermelon. We shared with several people at the park (our kids make friends fast apparently) and then packed up the whole mess to head back to the DHS office. The kids were sad to go but getting pretty pooped from not having been home for 2 1/2 days. I could relate.

10563032_10101858090414086_4788014536395576888_n

We lingered outside the DHS office for a bit since the foster parents were still not home from church  and their worker knew it was more fun to play together than try to entertain them in their driveway for a half hour. We took LOTS of funny pics together, ran around, talked about our house, talked about when we would see each other again and then finally said our goodbyes. They were sad to go but eager to get in the car since they were tired and it was hot. Hugs were given, plans made and we will see them again this weekend when they come to our house for the first time. How exciting for us all!

What Do You Gift Your Future Kids?

Standard

What would you give a child that is getting ready to move into your home and heart? I hope blankets because I’ve raided the fabric section at Joann’s and created these four masterpieces. Why four? I found some clearance monkey material and Nephy-Niece needs to keep warm too! Lady H gets pink dogs and cats. Miss D gets purple kitties and birdies and Agent K gets the Thunder Up blanket. I know everyone wants to have their blanket when they are on the couch (even myself) so I hope these make them feel a little more comfortable.

IMG_6344

We still don’t know what belongings they will come with and that is a small hash on the ‘Con’ list of DHS adoption. Will they come with lots of clothes, books, toys, and toiletries or will we be scrambling to get things before school starts? Do they have bikes? Do they want bikes? Are their foster parents going to keep some things they want to bring and add to their hurt? I just don’t know!! I’m hoping, like everything else lately, I’m worried for nothing. In fact, I’m hoping to be wrong but preparing to be at Wal*Mart at midnight the night before school starts. Better to be pleasantly surprised than sadly disappointed I always say.

 

Pay It Forward

Standard

url

Today I took a trip to Walgreens during lunch. I was just going to pop in, pick up my Rx’s and come back but I made the mistake of picking up the sale ad. If you have time to go to Walgreens once a week to  just buy the deepest discounted sale items, you’d save a ton. I usually don’t have time to shop there once a week but do grab laundry soap when it is buy one get two free. Anyway, I saw that 15-25 count boxes of freezer storage bags were on sale for $.99. Normally they are $2.49-$3.99 so I grabbed a few. Then I grabbed a few more. And a few more. So I bought like 18 boxes.

After that score I went back to skimming the ad and realized school supplies were on sale. Normally I happily skim over that part but then a lightbulb went off… I’m going to need to buy school supplies this year and in triplicate! My mind goes into planning mode and erasers start flying. I’m having an inner struggle between ‘Carynn, stop being a hoarder’ and ‘Carynn, buy all you can now because you don’t want to have to live on Ramen in August’. I buy index cards, pencils, folders, pencil sharpeners, glue, erasers, and a few other miscellaneous things. Most everything was $.39 or less. Even if we just use them for art time, thats a great deal! I also stocked up on Kleenex tissues because they aren’t cheap and they had them BOGO.

My cart is now heaped full of the bargains and I’m getting worn out. The nice cashier is very patiently ringing up all the items and applying the discounts/coupons. We hit a snag with one item and the manager went to go check it out. While he was gone a woman who had been checking out behind me walked over, laid two $20s down on the counter and pushed them toward the cashier while she said ‘I would like to pay it forward so please use this to buy her stuff.’ She ran out the front door barely leaving me enough time to get over the shock and yell thank you! She was beaming (like you do when you know you’ve done something amazing) and I hope some day the blessing comes full circle for her. I was speechless and very, very close to tears. I had been struggling while waiting in line wondering if buying this stuff was crazy or a good call and God settled my heart almost to tell me its okay to get excited because this is really happening.

I left the store with my head down and the second the shopping cart hit the parking lot pavement the tears started flowing. It was so hot out that I just threw everything in the back of my car, returned the cart and then sat in my hot car crying for a bit. I have had someone buy me a drink or pick up my lunch but never buy my children’s school supplies. Children I don’t even have yet but would give up all our money for! This truly was a genuine moment between God and I and I am very grateful for Him reassuring me we are doing the right thing.

Since I was a hot mess in the store, I’d like to publicly thank the young, dark-haired lady at Walgreens for the blessing she gave me (and my kiddos) today. We really do appreciate you and hope our Pay It Forward moment is as impactful as yours.

Our First Adoption Date

Standard

Yesterday was our ‘first date’ with our kids. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Agent K couldn’t make it so we had lunch with the girls. There was a pretty sad elephant in the room but we did ok. When they got to McDonalds, they ran to us and Lady H gave me a big hug that let me know everything was gonna be okay. I was surprised at how natural they were and how open they were with sitting close, chatting away, and lots of eye contact. They were super excited to order their Happy Meals so we got in line and started fixing drinks. After we ate every last morsel of food, we looked through the adoption Smashbook I made for them with pics of the house and all our family. Then Husbando and Miss D went to get our McFlurries and McSmoothies. I wasn’t there but supposedly Miss D and Husbando had the following exchange. Get a tissue…

D: Whats her name again?

H: Who? Carynn?

D: Yeah, her. I’m  just gonna call her Mommy and you Daddy, ok?

H: Yeah, I think thats great.

So I didn’t even know that went down (obviously) and it wasn’t until we were alone in the car that he told me. While we were coloring, she asked for the blue marker. When no one handed it to her, she asked again with ‘Mommy, will you hand me the blue marker’ and it took me a beat to mentally pick myself off the McDonalds floor and hand my child her marker. I looked around and no one seemed to have heard/be shocked it came out of that babe’s wee mouth so I just sat there holding back the tears. When I told Husbando about it later, he said he was not surprised because of what she had asked.

It was just wonderful in general. My highlight may have been them asking to listen to music on my phone and so we sat in a McDonalds coloring, listening to Adele, and having a great time. Or maybe when Husbando taught Miss D about his Cheeseburger Fries knuckle bump handshake and I watched as Lady H worked my camera like a boss. She even figured out how to video on it before I did so we have quite a funny video of us and 46 strangers partying like rockstars in Micky D’s. Oh, or maybe when it was time to leave and they both gave us giant hugs and asked when they could see us again. Could have been when they asked if they could spend the night with us. I CAN’T PICK A FAVORITE MOMENT!

10259227_10154428513845220_5657639553683531677_o

Our next meeting is Friday afternoon and this time we’re going to their stomping grounds for a little Happy Hour visit at Sonic. SLUSHES FOR EVERYONE! Then we plan to stay around for the whole weekend so we can spend time with them both Saturday and Sunday as well. May find a splash pad to visit if we can. Sunday perhaps back to school clothes shopping if we get the time. Everyone needs a new back to school outfit, right?

Thanks to everyone who is sharing this experience and excitement with us. Please continue to pray they will get to move in before school starts because that is our major goal. We want to make their transition as smooth as possible and hope to help by being at their school the first days.

Say ‘Mama’!

Standard

There is a huge list of pros and cons for adoption vs. conceiving. I try to focus on the positives like no (additional) stretch marks, no diapers, being able to ask a kid ‘what hurts’ and other things like that. The longer we’re in the process, the more things for that pro list come up, both joking and not.

But… and this is a BIG but… it will be hard to not be called Mama right from the beginning. It will be hard not to hold a baby and tirelessly try to get them to say it. Every parent I’ve ever known has encouraged the ma-ma/da-da words from very young and when the baby finally says it they are filled with joy to the point they can barely contain the love in their heart.

As adoptive parents we don’t know what these kids will want to do. If they call their foster parents Mom and Dad (like you would if people took care of you for three years) then it could take us quite a while to go from being their parents to Mom and Dad. They may want to use it right away or it may take years. *puts hash on the con side*

IMG_6026

Lucky for us all, from the get-to they will be referred to as our kids, not our adopted kids. Duh. I’m sure when we run into people we will get asked about our new sidekicks and will have to come up with an answer quickly at the Wal*Mart checkout. How do you give a two-year answer in a two-minute interaction? You don’t, apparently. At our adoption class, we were told to say ‘these are our kids’, introduce them by name, and just move on. Most people will put the puzzle together themselves and hopefully if they have more questions, they’ll ask us in private. There is no need to go into detail each time because the kids don’t need to be talked about as if they’re not standing there and their stories are theirs to tell, not ours.

Looking back I am sure I’ve said some stupid things to people but soon we are going to talk about what NOT to say to adoptive families. I’m sure it will be a series…

 

 

I Can’t Even Come Up With A Title

Standard

I’ve been trying to come up with a clever title for this post for at least ten minutes and it is just not coming to me. I want to tell you why… Yesterday around 3pm I was talking to my boss when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but the area code is where all my family lives AND is the area code to where all the adoption workers/kids/therapist are so I decided to answer. Best decision I’ve made this week!

It was the girls’ therapist asking if she could ask me a few questions. Of course I said yes but then found out she was having a session with the girls at that moment and it was actually them I would be speaking with. Not only that but they wanted to FaceTime so they could see me. I was frantically looking for a quiet (and private) place to hide myself and a co-worker very kindly agreed to let me use her office. What I originally asked was for five minutes but that turned into around 32.

IMG_6343

So begins me not showing their faces :/

When I saw them I got all warm and fuzzy. When I saw me I immediately wished I had worn better eyeshadow and thrown on some earrings. Luckily they didn’t seem to mind. They rapid-fire questioned me about everything under the sun and the ones I can remember off the top of my head are:

  • Do you have a horse? 
  • Do you have a dog?
  • Can we get a dog?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your job?
  • Where is Jeremy?
  • Can we get a dog?
  • Can I see your office?
  • Will we be able to call our ‘Grandma’? (thats what they call their foster mom)
  • What will Christmas be like?
  • Will we get SO many presents?!
  • What color is your car?
  • Can you bring the red car Tuesday so we can check out the seats?
  • Do you have a boat?
  • Can we go fishing?
  • Can we get a dog?
  • What grade will we be in?
  • What time will we have to wake up?
  • Can we go to church?
  • Can we go to church camp?
  • Is your hair green?
  • Can OUR hair be green?
  • Can we get a dog?
  • Where are we gonna sleep?
  • DO WE REALLY HAVE BUNK BEDS?!
  • When will we see you again?
  • Where is lunch on Tuesday? (Answer: McDonalds)
  • Can we get a HAPPY MEAL?!
  • CAN WE GET A MCFLURRRRRYYYY?!

Aren’t some of these hilarious? I love what is at the top of their list for potential parents. You know, not ‘will we be clothed and fed’ but more about fishing and dogs. It really proves to me they aren’t worried about the basic needs but more about the day-to-day. I’m so glad they were excited and it wasn’t the least bit awkward. It could have been a lot of the therapist asking and them sitting nervously but that woman couldn’t get a word in at all!

I also got to see/meet ‘Grandma’ but she didn’t say much. In fact I didn’t hear her say anything. I’m sure this is hard for her so I’m choosing to not take it personally. It would be the second hardest part of foster parenting. The number one would be when they go back to a bad situation that you know is going to be bad again.

It was the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I haven’t stopped talking or thinking about it since it happened. I haven’t been able to sleep and my only regret is that Husbando was at training across campus (normally would be just feet away) when it happened. They asked for him a dozen times and I know he is sad he missed it but he assures me he is glad I got to experience it for us both. We have now officially entered the IS THIS REAL LIFE?! portion of adoption, folks. Hold on for the ride!