BFF

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First, a little math:

Today my BFF turns 33 just 11 days before I do.

I met this BFF when I was just 8 and in 3rd grade.

That means we’ve been friends just shy of 25 years.

I drove 4 hours to come visit her for 3 days.

She has 1 son, I have 1 son and 2 daughters and we are working our hardest to let them spend as much time as possible together. We are both from small-ish families and we can use all the ‘cousins’ we can get.

I saw this music video several months ago and stopped dead in my tracks. I was cleaning out my closet and just came out and stood with my heart welling up. This song is so true and I immediately started thinking about all the friends I could call ‘old friends’. It was probably a hormonal day. Moving on… besides the BFF, I have a handful of friends from high school I still see and one or two from my college years. Of course, I’m Facebook friends with people I don’t even remember speaking to in school but these people are real friends involved in my life and people I still see on a semi-frequent basis.

Then, as usual, I got to thinking about how this goes along with the adoption of our children. Will they make old friends? Right now Agent K is going into 7th grade and has no friends from before he moved in with us. That means when he is out of high school, the oldest friend he could have is one he met this year, half way thorough his school career. I’ve been trying to get him to have sleepovers and playdates but he just seems uninterested. However, when anyone mentions hanging out, he is the first one in the car hollering at us to go drop him off. I think the disappointment has kept him from getting excited and putting himself out there but when he thinks he is really getting included, he is like a giddy schoolgirl. To be honest, we get excited for him just as much. We are worried about relationships and friends and bonding and all that stuff therapists have told us to make sure to help him with.

The girls are going into 3rd grade and I am praying they make some friends by having sleepovers and playdates like I did. My best memories are going to BFF’s house for the weekend and being included into their family like I was part of it. Her brother was older and out of the house so it was almost as if they just had us, the fraternal twins, to tote around everywhere with them. The mall, the dollar movies, Waffle House, it was just always a party of four and I loved it. I wish that fun on my daughters. I also hope they start to venture into separate friends because the co-friends never work out well with us. Friends always pick a side down to what bunk they are going to sleep in and someone feels left out and sad.

Now I know the fact that they were in DHS custody doesn’t automatically mean that they will have trouble making old friends but I will try my best to form and nurture those relationships if they arise. I am not even 33 and I have an old friend for 25 years. I am not naive enough to think that is the ‘norm’ but I also asked around the office and its not unheard of. Some people are just in your life forever and not because of any DNA. I have chosen her, and her wild family, as my own family for a quarter century and hope that when we are Kenny & Dolly’s age we can go karaoke this song to our grandkids.

 

 

Introducing The “Plano Baby”

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Ladies and gentlemen, I finally have a niece to play with! Plano Baby and I got to spend a few days together and mostly she lays on the floor but we did get to practice our selfie skills (seriously, she took like 4 of these all on her own). I got to watch her roll over from her tummy to her back once and either parenting has changed me or I’m losing my mind because I def got excited enough to clap. Anyway, we had a fun time together and I think we are going to be best friends!

 

My First Mother’s Day

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IMG_1983My very first Mother’s Day! I mean, I’ve been celebrating every year of my life as the person drawing bad pictures and giving lame gifts but its finally my turn. I’ve mentioned previously that when I find a positive to adoption, I feel like I HAVE to share it. Well here is one, no lame cards or gifts that my husband has to pretend are from an infant. Hello! My kids are 8, 9, and almost 12 so I can read, distinguish and cherish all the gifts I get. In fact, I can hint at what I want and my kids can effectively get their daddy to buy it. I mean, in the slim chance he didn’t get the hint when I slid him a very specific note in church. He told me twice that he was worried about Mother’s Day being before Father’s Day and was worried he would screw it up. I can see where that would be worrisome because we want all our “first” to be perfect so the list was to ease his mind. The kids also made things at school for me so we’re covered.

The weather kept us from going out of town but we had a nice day just the five us us. Madre came over Saturday and babysat while Husbando and I went on the best date ever. We went to Red Robin and I had a BOMB lunch (hooray goat cheese grilled chicken sandwich) followed by a movie and a pedicure. Then we went home and grilled. The kids gave Madre their cards and she opened her photo and necklace we picked out for her. Sunday I woke up to a beautiful tablescape of Legos and ‘confetti’ that Agent K stayed up late making. I made everyone eggs and pancakes before we watched church on TV. The kids played games, I opened my cards and charm bracelet/charms and it was just a great time. We got cleaned up and went to a dollar movie because ours is closing and we wanted one last hoorah before it is no more. The kids really went above and beyond to wait on me and even though it took twice as long to get everything done, their effort was adorable.

Also, dearest three followers, I’m sorry for getting behind. I’ll work on it.

You’ll Too Get The Ax!

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Recently I made a new, slightly starker-ish friend at work (hi Kirsti, I know you’re stalking this!) and so in turn, I checked out the ol’ Facebook feed of hers. To my delight, she had something I fell in love with hiding between pics of her kids. This blog could change your life. Its called Ten Reasons to Dismiss Someone From Your Life by someone named Gretchin that participates in the Burlington VT Moms Blog. Short story shorter is that it is okay to tell people to take a hike if they suck your life out of you. Wait, what?! You mean I shouldn’t feel overwhelming agony and guilt over wanting to do this? Gretchin confirmed that not only was it okay, but that her therapist gave her the permission. I mean if a rando therapist says its okay, I’m obviously ALL IN. Its practically like a legit medical treatment so LET THE SLAUGHTER BEGIN!

I’d like to share some things about the 10 reasons she listed.

1. I don’t have time. Okay, I was thinking she was going to be rude but then she elaborated that she didn’t have time in her life for drama and trivial things. I actually had to use this one this morning. I cut out 2,250 people who I’m in a foster/adopt group with on Facebook.  Those heifers got too snotty for me so I got the heck out of there. I enjoyed the idea of a community where I could be honest but I enjoy their drama much less. You gone!

2. I won’t allow you to judge me or my parenting. Agree again. Luckily, no one has had time to judge my 8 months of parenting so we’re good. Everyone is safe on this one.

3. We lead different lives. While I have a very eclectic friend pool, none of you are getting the boot for this. However, she did elaborate that if you dedicate much of your time and energy to spreading hurt or anger, you’d be out. This is great but no one is out to get me at the moment. Another free pass for all.

4. I can’t help you. I would like to think I can help/fix everyone so I probably need to be careful on this one. From what I can tell, you’re all still on a good level of self-sufficiency and won’t get the boot for that.

5. You are not kind. I’d like to think that most people in  my life are not hurtful intentionally but what about if they are intentionally nasty to others? Where do I draw the line on what I let them say to others I love or even innocent strangers. Just because you are nice to me doesn’t mean you have a kind heart. Better keep this one in the ‘to watch’ pile.

6. You are not adding any value to my life. This is it. This one was the hardest for me because this is the one that required me to be the most honest with myself. There are some of you out there that don’t add value to my life. Then I started wondering… do you feel like you do or do you know that you don’t? If I were to tell you that I don’t feel like you are adding value, would you try to change that? Should I try to add value to more people in my life? This morning I intentionally started trying to add value to the four most important people in my life, my husband and kiddos. I went above and beyond both financially and with my time so that they could start their days knowing I appreciate what they add to my life. In turn, I felt awesome all day so its a win-win.

Last year I had to make the long-coming and difficult decision to not let my father around my children. He is an alcoholic and although I have prayed for years that the possibility to have a relationship with me or his grandchildren would lead him to get help, it escalated to a point that I was embarrassed at my own lack in judgement. I took my children to my dad and step-mom’s house for the first time and within 75 seconds I regretted that decision. I will never stop wanting him to change enough to have a relationship with me but at that moment I allowed him to be around children that weren’t even mine yet and I should have braced for the worst instead of expecting the best. I learned my lesson and I severed all contact except texts and an occasional phone call while he was in the hospital a few months ago. I wrote my step-mother an email after we left and explained what Husbando and I had decided because it was the decent thing to do. My heart is broken and will continue to be but I will carry that alone rather than share it with the three angels I chose to bring into my life. I choose to protect them because I  know first hand what it feels like to want something so bad and not get it. They have been through enough in their short lives, inflicting inevitable pain on them is not in the cards. That relationship did not add value to my life and I was brave enough to sever it. See also: #10

7.You don’t agree with how I live my life. Girl, I’ve already checked yourself before you wrecked yourself. This trash has already been taken to the curb.

8. We have different political views. Ha!! There is no way you can hate me for my political views (or lack thereof). On the flip-side, if you don’t like that, please see number 7 and show yourself out.

9. The things that are important to you aren’t important to me. She is obviously talking about a specific person because her examples are snarky. I know that my passion for scrapbooking doesn’t matter to 99% of my friends. My husband knows that I will NEVER share his enthusiasm for soccer. My own mother tries to get me to care about Big Brother Season 42 but I just can’t. However, we DO share many things that are important to us. I guess if you find someone that doesn’t think anything is important, even your own relationship together, that person should go too. But seriously, can’t everyone always bond over at least ice cream?

10. I’m a parent now. This one can be tricky for new parents who are used to being around others without them. I have a very good friend that would rather stab his own eye out than be around a child. I love him to the ends of the earth and I will not sever my relationship with him but we both understand why we haven’t seen each other in a while. If any one tried to make me pick them over my kiddos or tried to jeopardize that relationship in any way (not unlike my dad), they would have to be out.

So how does she suggest we make these breaks? Directly with drastic or not-so-drastic phrasing. As I said, I wrote an email explaining my reasoning to my dad. To the Facebook group I simply said “I’m embarrassed to be associated with you so I’m out”. To friends in the past it has been as simple as a text that says “I’m sorry, but I can’t do this becasue…”. However you do it, DO IT if you need to. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed (that one was my hardest one) and don’t apologize for standing up for yourself. I shouldn’t be embarrassed that I have no relationship with you, YOU should be embarrassed that you acted poorly enough for me to break up with you.

The Judge

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I’m having a little guilt about not being more excited about this last go-to-court hoop DHS is making us jump through. People keep saying I/we/the kids must be super excited and I have to keep lying. I don’t want to be rude but are you serious? Of course we’re happy to change their names and get DHS out of our life but the actual day isn’t what we’re looking forward to. The kids are pretty scared and the closer it gets, the more Mr. Anxious Elephant takes over the room. Lady H is pretty silent and Miss D grins her normal people-pleasing grin, giving the answer they want to hear but secretly at night praying we don’t have to go. Agent K is the master of smile-and-nod just like his mama so we’ve all got our roles down pretty good. I know everyone is excited but until you’ve gone through this journey, I don’t know if I can explain it without sounding nasty. We’re all kinda irritated and on edge and having to mask that adds to the irritation.

Yesterday the attorney called to say our time had been pushed back from 10:30 to 2:00 because our judge had a meeting during our original time. Way to make us and our 35 out-of-town guests a priority.  Way to make us feel like there is a chance you will not even get to us tomorrow because by that time on Friday, what if we don’t get our chance? That fear lived deep in my gut for over a month and I dared not speak it aloud all that time. Thanks to this phone call, its right there out in the front of all my thoughts. I’m terrified that this isn’t going to happen, just like everyone else doing this is too. Will someone not show? Will the paperwork not be delivered properly? Will the attorney’s car break down? I kept all these questions out of my mind until that phone rang and now they are all I can think about. I got the restaurant reservation rearranged, everyone notified, cake pick-up time moved and our morning wake-up routine switched around but I still have this feeling I can’t shake. I was sitting on ‘go’ and now I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. What a way to ruin my day I didn’t want to participate in anyway!

We tried not to let the kids know we were worried because can you imagine how many things got blamed on ‘The Judge’ before we came around? The Judge said you can’t live with your parents anymore. The Judge said you have to live away from your sisters. The Judge decided you can never see your biological family again. Why on earth would my children ever trust The Judge again? They were too little to understand anything more than that The Judge is responsible for the collapse of their family. I hope this experience will teach them to trust but I can’t imagine it will be easy for them.

Okay, story/rant over. I’m just nervous and anxious and its growing with every hour. Last night Husbando and I spent 45 minutes picking out our outfits and thanks to him, I’ll be much more dressed up than originally anticipated because who can dress casual when he wears a suit? Obviously not me. I’m off to shine my shoes and iron something…

 

I Just Wanted A Blizzard…

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I consider myself pretty educated on childrearing. I’m no expert since I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve been around a while and think I’ve seen most things. I felt as ready as I could when the three kiddos moved into our home and for the most part, nothing has surprised me. Being woken up in the middle of the night, no problem. Bathroom issues, I can do this. Tweenage boy behavior, got it. I was doing so good until they settled in and started acting like ‘real’ kids. There reached a point when the honeymoon was over and they felt safe enough to start acting like they wanted to which meant testing boundaries. They wanted to argue and talk back like all kids try to do. I even handled that the way it should be handled… with fair but stern punishment. This is where the poopoo hit the fan.

No one ever mentions the sheer agony of trying to punish your kid without punishing yourself too. I can honestly say I never thought of this as a babysitter because I didn’t have to. But now I have to sit home if I want to make my kid sit home. This sucks! Last night Husbando got to take Lady H to Dairy Queen for a birthday treat while I had to sit at home and babysit the two that are grounded. I LOVE BLIZZARDS! Tonight we are supposed to be going to the OSU baseball game because the weather is perfection and my team is in town. However, my kids went cray-cray this week and decided that lying, backtalk, and not turning in assignments is how they were going to live their lives. The option then becomes 1) some of us miss the family fun time or 2) we all go and they get away with murder. The struggle is real y’all. Agent K was supposed to go to his very first concert with his dad on Tuesday. Does he care about the awesomeness that is going to see Nickelback on a weeknight?! Obviously not more then mouthing off and getting zero’s in Geography. So Husbando misses out on taking him AND has to find a replacement or he lets him have an awesome experience he doen’t even kinda deserve. What do we do? There is no obvious answer.

I had a little come-to-Jesus conversation this morning with them and explained that if they were going to make others miss things important to them, they were going to start missing out on things themselves. Missing the ice cream run last night didn’t seem to bother them that bad so I went harder. I told them if we hear one more sassy comment this week, they will sit in their room during the Easter Egg Hunt this weekend. I also explained if we had to give up one more dollar on unused tickets because of behavior, summer activities/camps would start to be taken away. The guilt hit me on the way to work but Husbando assures me we can’t let them fall into this pattern. We can’t be so selfish in what we want to do that we allow these kids to become brats. I’ve seen that happen with other adopted kids and I refuse to allow that in these. We are going to treat them like they were our own and they get no special privileges except to know we love them enough to do that.