Tag Archive: How did I get here from there?

Throwback Thursday – reflections on a young bride

I recently read an article on Lifehacker: 10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was Planning My Wedding, which of course, caused me to reminisce about my wedding and the planning thereof. It also made me appreciate all the ways I’ve grown in the last 11 years and all the ways my life has changed. And to marvel at the things that haven’t changed.
 
When I got married: I hadn’t yet found my way to college… I had NO idea who I wanted to be when I grew up. 

Today: I have an advanced degree, my CPA license and a career that I love. 

 
When I got married: I ^knew^ I didn’t want kids. I laughed at people who said I’d change my mind and I avoided *at all costs* those obnoxious people that talk incessantly about their kids.

TodayI’ve been blessed with the most amazing kids a mom could ever hope for – I’ve become one of those obnoxious moms who talks incessantly about nothing BUT my children – because they’re just that awesome (did I mention Lil Bit found his feet last week? he was SOOO proud – almost as proud as Mommy).

 
When I got married: SuperDad was my best friend – and not just because he was the one person I knew I could count on to have back no matter what, but also in that there was no one on the planet that I ever wanted to hang out with more. We didn’t have a lot of friends, because we just enjoyed each other’s company enough that we didn’t need other people around. One of the reasons I ^knew^ I didn’t want kids was because we didn’t want to share each other with anyone.

TodaySuperDad is still my best friend – and I still enjoy hanging out with him more than anybody in the world. I LOVE parenting with him. I couldn’t have chosen a better man to be the father of my children. And I couldn’t have chosen a better rock, or partner in crime, for this crazy roller coaster.

The demands of parenting have caused us to drift a little bit from the fun, best-friend relationship, but I’m making a commitment today to figure out how to get back to that (hopefully he’ll join me in that commitment, or this could be awkward).

I have more friends now. Some really awesome women that I wouldn’t trade for anything – even the ones I don’t actually know in real life.

When I got married: I thought I had a loving and supporting family that would back me up and stand by me no matter what.

TodayI realize that was an illusion. But I’m grateful to be released from the strain of maintaining that illusion.


When I got married: I wasted way too much time and energy on what other people thought – whether they were happy and whether they approved of me.

TodayI’ve made a lot of progress on that. I am proud of who I am – and not willing to change my beliefs or principles to suit anybody. *I* like me – and if you don’t, that’s okay.

I still spend too much energy on whether people approve of me. Not just anyone, mind – which is an improvement – but the approval of certain people is still far too important to me. And while I do what I think is right, regardless of the opinions of others, the lack of some people’s approval can still be emotionally crippling to me.


When I got married
:
 I was terrible about asking for help. I thought if people cared, they would see what I needed and offer help.

Today: I’ve figured out that people aren’t mind readers and for the most part I no longer expect them to just offer help I haven’t asked for. 

I’ve gotten a little better about asking for help. But I’ve been hurt so many times by people that I thought I could count on that it’s still really scary for me.


When I got married
:
 I expected people to behave the way I would behave and was frequently disappointed when they didn’t.

TodayUm…. yeah… Does it count that I at least know now that I do that?

 
When I got married: I was a Christian. I was saved. But my faith had never been truly tested.

Today: I’ve learned that a faith that has been tested comes out stronger and purer and more comforting. I’ve learned to cherish comfort in the arms of the One who knew me before I was born.

I still sometimes struggle to remember to rest in the knowledge that He works for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose. But when I do remember, I know that I will find peace. 


When I got married: I think I took a lot for granted. I was so busy trying to figure out where I was going, that I don’t think I ever really stopped and appreciated where I was – in the moment.

TodayI still don’t have much patience (word of advice: NEVER pray for patience – because God doesn’t give you patience, He teaches you patience – and that lesson sucks), but I am truly grateful everyday for all my blessings. My life is pretty freaking wonderful.

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”.

N.A.A.M. Blog Tour: Where did all these boys come from??? (Part 2: Squirm)

In January, just before Squish was reunified with his birth father, I told our agency, “No more boys. Only girls. Girls are more fun and boys’ clothes are boring.”

No more boys.

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, I’m participating in an Adoption Blog Tour (AND GIVEAWAY!). Since we’re hoping to finalize a couple of adoptions in the next few months, I decided to write about 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.

Because I’m incapable of making a long any story short, this will be a multipart fairy tale. Hang in there, because I’m pretty sure we all live happily ever after. If you missed it, you can go read the bit about how we got Squish-ed (I’ll wait). Today, let’s talk about

Where Squirms Come From
  • I mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth noting again: when we were initially licensed, even though we were adamant that 2 was our limit, our licensing specialist licensed us for 3 beds, “just in case”.
  • Two weeks after Squish left, I got a call about a little boy. “I know you didn’t want any more boys,” starts our Licensing Specialist, “but we have to move him from his current foster home, we need someone on this side of the county, and it’s only for a few weeks – he’ll be reunified with his dad soon.
    • Squish’s birth father was identified in September 2012, but due to stupid paperwork delays and unnecessary red tape, Squish wasn’t reunified until January 2013. If Squish had left any sooner, we would probably have already had another baby by the time Squirm needed a new placement, and he would have gone to someone else.
    • We decided to accept the placement because it would help our agency out and it would only be a few weeks anyway. When the Licensing Specialist told me his birth-date (exactly the same as Squish’s), I did a double-take – “Wait, this isn’t [Squish], is it? He just went back to his dad.” “No,” she said, “it says the name is [Squirm], and he’s coming from another foster home.”

SuperDad picked up Squirm from the CPC office and sent me a picture. He was freaking gorgeous! We decided that it was a good thing he’d only be around for a few weeks, because we could oh-so-easily fall in love with those dimples and we definitely wanted only girls.

  • Then I got a call from Squirm’s Case Supervisor – we knew her from a previous case, and she was thrilled when she heard Squirm was coming to our home. He was being moved because the previous foster mom went a little nutty when the case plan goal wasn’t changed to adoption right away.
    • The CS had told Mr. Stork that she needed a home that would support the current case plan (reunification) but that was open to adoption, because Squirm was very likely going to be available for adoption!
  • Squirm has several biological siblings (not enough for a baseball team, but enough for a hockey team and backup goalie). The three siblings just older than him had been adopted by a maternal uncle and aunt. They were asked to take Squirm when he came into care, but passed because they also had three biological children and they just didn’t feel they could handle 7 kids.
    • If the uncle and aunt had had room for him, Squirm would never have been placed in foster care, and we never would have met him.
    • If Squirm had been placed with anyone else when he first came into care, he wouldn’t have needed to be moved, and he wouldn’t have needed us.
    • A friend of mine actually got a call when Squirm initially came into care, but she didn’t have a spot for a boy, so she passed. If she had said yes, we wouldn’t have Squirm!
    • To be honest, from the beginning I was very intimidated by the idea of transracial parenting (I still am, but that’s another post). I was far from convinced that I was up to the task, and I was certain that Squirm deserved someone anyone better than me.
      • Then the maternal aunt reached out to us and asked for a picture of Squirm. My first thought was that she was maybe having second thoughts.
        OH, HELL NO! SuperDad and I instantly circled the wagons – She had her chance, she passed on our baby, and we weren’t going to give a chance to change her mind. That’s when we realized that he owned our hearts and began to pray that Squirm was here to stay.

Like I said, I’m pretty sure we all live happily ever after, but you’ll have to come back for the happy ending because we don’t have the final chapter yet.

* if you’re unfamiliar with any terminology, it might be helpful to check out my primer on foster care lingo.

Foster2Forever positive foster parenting adoption blogs support

Please check out the other foster/adoptive parents who have contributed to the National Adoption Awareness Month Blog Tour by clicking the photo above!

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N.A.A.M. Blog Tour: Where did all these boys come from??? (Part 1: Squish)

In January, just before Squish was reunified with his birth father, I told our agency, “No more boys. Only girls. Girls are more fun and boys’ clothes are boring.”

No more boys.

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, I’m participating in an Adoption Blog Tour (AND GIVEAWAY!). Since we’re hoping to finalize a couple of adoptions in the next few months, I decided to write about 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.

Because I’m incapable of making a long any story short, this will be a multipart fairy tale. Hang in there, because I’m pretty sure we all live happily ever after. Without further ado, here’s

How We Got Squish-ed
  • When we were initially licensed, even though we were adamant that 2 was our limit, our licensing coordinator licensed us for 3 beds, “just in case”.
  • In May 2012, we got talked into taking a sibling group of 2. This brought us to capacity and meant that when Squirm initially came into care, we didn’t get that call.
    • If we had taken Squirm when he first came into care, we couldn’t have taken Squish in July.
    • The sibling set was moved in July 2012, and I asked my agency to find us another baby ASAP. Meanwhile, AS A FAVOR TO MY AGENCY, we agreed to provide respite for two boys.

On July 20th, I got a call about a newborn baby girl just being released from the hospital – without even checking with SuperDad, I said we’d take her and happily began prepping for the new addition. Before I even finished making up the bassinet, my agency called back and said I couldn’t have her because Mr. Stork, the placement specialist at CPC wouldn’t give me an over-cap, even though I was at capacity only because of the respite. To put it mildly, I was furious. My agency relayed how unhappy I was, and Mr. Stork promised that the very next infant that came into care was mine. Sure. Whatever.

  • That baby girl actually never came into care. If Mr. Stork hadn’t denied my over-cap that evening, I probably wouldn’t have been the 1st call for Squish – I definitely wouldn’t have been the only call.
  • Less than a week later, the phone rang at 11 pm. A 4-month-old boy was coming into care and even though I was still doing respite, my over-cap was already approved. The mom had several kids already in care with paternal relatives. This little guy had a different unknown father. Which meant that odds were very good that this case would go to adoption. Mr. Stork kept his promise & Squish landed at 1am.
  • In a major plot-twist, Squish’s birth father was identified and Squish went to live with him in January 2013.

This is when I told my agency “No more boys.”

    • In yet another plot-twist, Squish’s birth father changed his mind, and Squish came back into care. Normally, he would automatically come back to us to ensure as much continuity as possible.

But by then we had Lady Bug and Squirm – and the state says that foster parents can’t have more than 2 children under 2. There’s a waiver, but the state had gotten really tetchy about  waivers and it definitely wasn’t a sure-thing. Mr. Stork was contacted by Squish’s CM, our agency, Mother Goose (as my mentor), and Rainbow Brite, the Foster Care Liaison. Everyone assured Mr. Stork that SuperDad and I could handle 3 infants and that this was the best option for Squish. Mr. Stork agreed, and Squish came home!

Now check out Where Squirms Come From to see how we wound up with the second of our sweet boys.

* if you’re unfamiliar with any terminology, it might be helpful to check out my primer on foster care lingo.


Foster2Forever positive foster parenting adoption blogs support

Please check out the other foster/adoptive parents who have contributed to the National Adoption Awareness Month Blog Tour by clicking the photo above!