Squish

Getting to Know Our #Partyof8

#AdoptionTalk: Getting to Know our #Partyof8

For the moment, everyone in our household is a forever-member, so I can actually share our family photo with no stickers or strategically turned heads.

Without further ado, please let me introduce our #Partyof8 (from left to right):

Squish (adopted from foster care 3.4.14), Jamie (me), SuperDad, Lil Bit (adopted from foster care 10.23.15), The Boy (our oldest child, SuperDad’s bio son), Squirm (adopted from foster care 8.22.14), Punky (our youngest daughter, SuperDad’s bio daughter), and Princess (our oldest daughter, SuperDad’s bio daughter)

Yes, you read that right, for the first time in 4 years, we have no foster children! How long that continues to be true is still under negotiation. After finalizing Lil Bit’s adoption in October, SuperDad wisely realized the importance of a little fostering break to semi-cocoon a bit and focus on family-bonding. After successfully getting Squeaker home to her forever family in time for Christmas, we began to discover life as a family of 8. For the first time in recent memory, there was no fence around my Christmas tree!! SuperDad is convinced that makes me sad – mostly it’s just weird….

With approximately 37 children under 4 years old, we get the “hands full” comment very frequently. Just the boys and I went to the zoo last weekend – when anyone mentioned my “full hands” I couldn’t help but respond how much easier 3 is than 4. Like, seriously, y’all. When you’re used to wearing an infant, while pushing a triple stroller full of toddlers, only having three to wrangle is a piece of cake – and just weird….

On the other hand, we’re starting to explore the things we have wanted to do with the boys, but are just too complicated with an infant. Next weekend we’re going camping. Later this month, we’re rejoining the sailing club we belonged to before we starting fostering. Now that everyone in the family gets around under their own steam, we can start planning to get back out on the water.

It’s also been nice to be able to just hang with the older kids when they stop by – with no one needing constant care, we can actually listen when The Boy tells us about his latest business venture. And it’s been a real treat to just enjoy the boys playing together in the evening. Without a baby who might be trampled, we can let their imaginations run wild and just enjoy the show.

If you’re new to Starfish Confidential, please check out:

When I decided to be a foster parent

How we found “twiblings” (and part 2)

Adoption stories: Are they twins? and The Sequel (Lil Bit’s to come soon, I promise)

And finally: our family’s journey (through 2014 when I apparently forgot this post should be regularly updated)   😳

Now on to the #AdoptionTalk Linkup!

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Today’s topic is Getting to Know You. Grab a button for your post and join Ashley, Erin, Jenni, Jill, and me!

New to linking up? We’d love to have you join us, here’s how.

No Bohns About It

 


#AdoptionTalk: Four under 4 is nuts!

How far should you go to keep siblings together?After Lil Bit, we're done adopting. The addition of Squeaker has proven, unequivocally, that four under 4 is nuts - anything beyond that is terrifying....

Four under 4 is nuts!

 

When Lil Bit was sheltered, and placed with a relative who had no intention of adopting him, I fought (and fought) to have him placed with us.

Not because I wanted another boy (remember I said no more boys three boys ago), and not because I was in a hurry to adopt a third child – but because siblings are important.

Squirm has 6 older siblings (that we know of). I know where three of them are and will be able to give him some direction when he’s older and ready to find them. I would love to start play-dates with them now, but they don’t know he exists. And their adoptive parents apparently plan to keep it that way. I have no idea where to even start looking for his three oldest siblings.

So when it looked like he was going to lose another sibling – because this relative wanted to give her friend a child – I got mad. And I got vocal. Eventually, when Lil Bit was about 3 weeks old, the relative officially stated that she had no intention of adopting him, and the paperwork was finally started to move him to our home. He was four weeks old when he came home – exactly one week before his first Christmas.

People frequently ask if Lil Bit and Squirm know they are biological half-brothers. I honestly don’t know. They definitely know they are brothers and that Squish doesn’t look like them, but I have no idea if they realize they’re related to each other in a way they’re not related to Squish. We’ve discussed the fact that Lil Bit and Squirm have the same first mom, and Squish has a different first mom, but I have no way of knowing how much they understand.

Obviously, they’ll know someday. And I worry sometimes that Squish will feel left out because he doesn’t have a biological sibling in our family – or because he’s the only blond.

SuperDad and I have recently agreed that we are done adopting. We want to foster for a long time and if we adopt any more kids, we just aren’t going to be able to continue. The addition of Squeaker has proven to us, unequivocally, that four kids under age 4 (all in diapers) is nuts… And it doesn’t help that she doesn’t appear to be anywhere remotely near sleeping through the night….

So one question we will probably have to address at some point – if Squish and Lil Bit end up with another biological sibling, are we willing to take that baby, if necessary? At least right now, the answer is “probably not”. Even a few months ago I wouldn’t have even considered turning away a biological sibling, but…. four under 4 is nuts!

It’s crazy to me to think of saying no, and I feel a little guilty even contemplating it. But SuperDad and I have realized that the last thing we want is to get to a point where Squish has a new sibling that needs a home – and we have to say no. And the worst case would be continuing to say yes until we’ve gotten ourselves more children than we can handle.

Four under 4 is nuts and, quite frankly, anything beyond that is terrifying.

 #AdoptionTalk Link Up

Adoption Talk Linkup Hosts

This week’s topic: Anything Goes!
(optional topic: Transracial Adoption)

Grab a button for your post and join ErinJenni, Jill, Madeleine, and me!
New to linking up? We’d love to have you join us, here’s how.

Starfish Confidential #AdoptionTalk

And that’s it! We’re so excited that you are joining us!


#AdoptionTalk: Finding families for children

Welcome to the 3rd Installment of #AdoptionTalk: Adoption Ethics!

Adoption ethics - the emphasis should be on finding families for children, rather than finding a child to fit a familyIn this installment, I want to revisit a question that was asked the first week of the Linkup. A reader asked whether our agency gave us any problems about creating “artificial twins”.

They didn’t, but that got me thinking about all the things you’re “not supposed to do” when adopting: don’t adopt out of birth order, don’t create artificial twins, blah, blah, blah. 

All the don’ts basically boil down to: “Make sure you find a child that will fit your family.”

But, wait. Shouldn’t adoption be about finding families for children, rather than finding the perfect child for your family?

To paraphrase a cliche: What’s more important – the needs of a family or the needs of a child that needs a family?

Honestly, when we got the call for Squirm, we weren’t thinking about twins or birth order or any of that. In fact, I had already told my agency that I wouldn’t be taking any more boys. But he needed a bed. And we had one. He needed love and security and arms to rock him to sleep. And we had more than enough to go around.

And then when, we got the call about taking Squish back, SuperDad and I discussed how we’d have to juggle and what we’d have to adjust to manage three kids under 2 years old. After we had already said yes. That’s actually the one call I’ve ever said yes to without talking to SuperDad first. Because what else would we do? He needed a family. We were the one that he knew. Since he couldn’t remain with his birth family, the next best option – the ONLY option as far as we were concerned – was to return to the home and the family where he had some familiarity and some continuity.
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#AdoptionTalk: Are they twins?

Our Twins
Did you know that there’s a term for “artificial twins” created by adoption?

Twiblings

There are lots of interpretations of the term, but in adoption circles, it typically refers to two (or more) siblings who are less than a year apart in age.

I belong to a Twiblings group on Facebook, but we don’t call our boys Twiblings.  They’re twins – just not biological. Seriously. The blonde is less than 7 hours older than the brunette. And they were born in the same hospital. And we get to keep both of them forever.

These two boys were meant to be brothers. Spend 5 minutes with them, and you’ll know it, too. If you need more proof, you can read the sequence of far-too-many-to-be-coincidence events that aligned and blessed us with two happy, boisterous, affectionate, spirited, funny, exasperating beautiful boys here and here.

When I wrote those posts, in November 2013, I was pretty confident that we would be finalizing their adoptions very soon.

But, foster care. (more…)

A Letter to Squish’s 1st Mom

This is something that I’ve been wrangling with for a while. Then Mimi at I Must Be Trippin, who’s Bug is Squish’s Forever Day Twin, wrote a letter to Bug’s birthmom after his adoption was finalized. The whole story was inspiring.
Then I spent my first Mothers’ Day weekend as a no-adjective mommy. It honestly wasn’t that different from the last couple of Mothers’ Days (the ones since we started fostering). Except that I couldn’t stop thinking about my boys’ first moms.


We have limited contact with Squirm and Lil Bit’s first mom, since Lil Bit’s case is ongoing (I promise an update soon!). In fact, we’ll see her in court tomorrow and give her a little Mothers’ Day gift of Lil Bit’s framed footprints.

But I’ve never had any contact with Squish’s 1st mom, other than the day she surrendered him and said good-bye to a baby who really didn’t know her, all without being allowed to touch him.

I really want to send her a letter. She’s still a guest of the state and I have her address. I don’t know what I’m going to say yet, but I’m pretty sure that I’m probably definitely going to write to her….

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.