Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Inside the Placement

So, I was talking to one of my best friends the other day and she asked me a question that really set me back a bit.  First, let me give you some back story so you understand why she asked.

This week has been one of the CRAZIEST weeks of my life!  After getting a placement just 3 weeks after getting approved to Foster-to-Adopt, life changed drastically.  This placement was a very fast one. I got the call on Thursday and we had a child by Friday.  Then we got our second child on Tuesday! It was crazy and a bit stressful.  Now, my husband and I were not expecting children older than 4.  As a matter of fact our preference for this first time around was 0-2 and we would consider up to 4 if in a sibling group where one child was under 2.  So you can imagine our surprise when we were asked to take a 7 year old!  We weren't prepared at all and they got to us so fast!  So life changed literally in the blink of an eye.

Well, as one can imagine I had been pretty emotional.  The slightest thing could set me off and make me burst into tears.  It had nothing to do with the kids, but the fact that life became so different so fast.  If you know me, you know that I am a very routine person.  I plan out everything, I have to know whats going on and whats going to happen next all the time.  It's my way of preparing myself for whats going to happen next.  So this was a little harder for me than I anticipated.

So I was sitting with my best friend one day, venting to her about everything that was going on and how emotional it has made me feel when she asked, "So why did you pick this placement? Why these kids if they weren't in your age group?"  I was a little taken back.  I was not offended by the question at all because she was genuine and not trying to insult me, but it made me think.  Why did I choose these kids? They didn't fall in our age group, so why them?

I seriously had to think about this for a little bit.

Hello... I'm Still Here!!

So I have not posted in quite some time.  The reason... WE GOT KIDS!!! If you've read my last post, you know that already :)  We got 2 kiddos in May/June and another in August, so these past few months have been a complete blur.  We went from a family of 2 to a family of 5 almost instantly, so you can only imagine the kind of adjusting we have been doing. 

Anyway, since I have had SO much happening these past few months and I have SO much to share!  Some of these next few posts are going to be very honest and sometimes that means information will not always be so positive.  Just know that I am in NO way trying to discourage anyone from adopting or going through the foster care system.  As a matter of fact, I am completely for it!  These are all simply my experiences and I want to be honest and as raw as possible with them.

These past 6 months have been such a huge learning experience for my husband and I.  We have learn so much about each other, parenting, and kids in general.  I have 2 degrees in Early Childhood Education and sometimes I feel as though I know NOTHING about children.  Parenting is completely different than teaching.  Honestly, parenting is one of the hardest jobs I have ever done and parenting foster children is even harder, especially because our kiddos are all placed with us with the intent to adopt.  You literally want to give these kids the entire world and you try, but you always the fact that the future is so uncertain tucked away in the back of your mind and don't worry, the biological parents are always ready and willing to remind you of that any chance they get.  It's hard.  I don't even know how else to describe it because there isn't a word to describe this feeling (or at least I haven't found it yet).  It's a mixture of being hard, exhaustion, vulnerability, anxiety, joy, and so much more. 

I will get into more detail in future posts, but I wanted to check in and let you all know that I am still writing, I am still gathering topics for more articles, and I am planning on posting regularly :)  Keep an eye out for my next article that is going to talk about the emotions that go along with this process.  This article is going to be very personal and hard for me to write, so it is going to take some extra time, but it's something I want to share because I know I am not the only one and these emotions need to be talked about.

Talk to you soon!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Coke Bottle Signs and Target Tantrums

So, originally I was going to come on here and write an article about how hard it is to wait for your child.  Pregnancy is different, you have sex, get pregnant, and you know in 40-ish weeks your baby is going to come and you can count down and prepare.  Now, I know it's not always that easy (trust me, we have experienced our share of fertility issues and I pray for those who have lost their babies), but in a nutshell, that's it.  Foster-to-Adopt is COMPLETELY different!  You fill out mountains of paperwork, get interviewed and have to tell your life story (sometimes twice), take hours of training, CPR, First Aid and Blood-borne Pathogens classes, wait for approval (sometimes twice), get approved, and wait more! We have been going through the adoption process for a year and a half, but we have only been going through the Foster-to Adopt process for 7 months.  We got lucky and trust me, I was pushy.

I know the hurt of fertility issues because I am going through them right now.  I have gone to doctors appointments, ultrasounds, started medications, and started using a tracking method all trying to help my husband and I get pregnant with no lucky yet (YET!).  I know that hurt of looking at a negative pregnancy test month after month and I know the pain of watching other parents with their kids throwing a fit in the middle of Target and just praying that God would give me the opportunity to experience it because I just know that I can be a good mother.  It hurts, it hurts even writing about it.  Then getting on Facebook and seeing article after article of people abusing their children or abandoning their infant in a dumpster and not understanding why they got picked to be that child's parent.  It just doesn't make sense.  I still don't understand why there are so many people out there who take advantage of the "parent" job just to be a shitty parent, when there are SO many people out there just longing to love a child.  It's truly heartbreaking.  Humans can be so incredibly cruel.  

But I can tell you that there is light at the end of that dark tunnel...  or maybe a silver lining? Either way, there is light!

Three weekends ago, I was doing weekly ultrasounds to make sure I was ovulating and it was time to do the deed!  I was so close to ovulation that we were told to get it on every day and even twice a day! Hahaha!! Trust me, I died of embarrassment.  Well, time comes and nothing.  There was just too much stress too much pressure and it just wasn't happening for us.  It was a VERY emotional weekend for my husband and I both.  We got the job done once that whole weekend.  Now, normally that would be fine because it only takes one shot, but my husband is diabetic and there are a lot of things that can affect our chances of getting pregnant because of his diabetes.  If his diet or meds are off then that goes against us.  We just happen to be having his 30th birthday party that weekend so his diet was poor AND in the midst of the party and all the people at our house, he forgot to take his meds.  Double Whammy!  So needless to say, we did NOT get the job done that weekend.  We were both heartbroken, yet still had hope, and I truly believe God showed us a sign that it was going to happen soon!

Ian and I went to Coney Island for dinner one night.  Before he went in I asked him to get me a bottle of Coke (they sell Coke in the glass bottles and I love getting them when we go).  He came back out very excited to tell me, "I asked the guy for a Coke and he reached in the fridge and randomly pulled out this!"  So ya know those Coke bottles with everyone's name on it? Yea, well this one said it, in big white letters, just for me, M-O-M,  Mom!  I was so shocked I started laughing and told Ian, "I asked God to give me sign!"  I guess I got it!  That weekend we were supposed to do a pregnancy test and I ended up starting my period.  Once again heartbroken, and starting to believe that Coke bottle message was just a coincidence, we went on knowing we would be able to try again soon.

5 days later, I got the call...

A social worker was calling because she had 2 boys that needed to be placed immediately.  She gave us their information over voice mail and asked us to call her back if we were possibly interested.  I immediately called Ian to listen to the voice mail and call her back.  So, he did and got back to me with even more of their information.  We talked about it and decided that we wanted to go forward with taking these children.  We had the option to just take the youngest boy, but we just didn't have the heart to split up brothers.  So the very next day at 12:30 in the afternoon our first angel was brought to us!  We are beyond thrilled to have him with us and he warmed up so fast!  We will be getting our other little angel this week!  We have met him and are so excited to be their parents.  We do still have some legal hurdles to go through, but if all goes in our favor our little boys will legally be ours by the end of the year!  We also were able to meet the boys very first foster mother and she is an incredible woman!  We are so excited to have her be apart of our family and want to keep her in our babies lives.  She did such an amazing job preparing our Littles.  We are so blessed!

This weekend has been so crazy that I have been forgetting what day it is, that I have a job, and that I have responsibilities because I am just trying to settling into this new role and life!  We are Mommy and Daddy now, and it's just so hard to believe that it all happened so fast!  We have waited almost 3 years to be called parents and in a blink of an eye our world was turned upside down (in a good way!).  I now have the joy of hearing a little voice say "mommy!" every 5 seconds and I get to wipe away tears and give hugs, and have temper tantrums in the middle of Target.  I'm a Mom! Let the annoying photos of my kids lives commence!

Boy bathroom is taking shape!  Pretty sure we are just buying everything with Ninja Turtles on it at this point.

New clothes because I can't help myself and I have a slight shopping problem addiction ... I like to shop!

As a new dad, Ian had to pick out his first outfit (with my supervision of course!)

Pretty sure my kid is going to be the next Picasso :) Bath tub art!