Random things

I’m sitting in a salon chair waiting for my hair to be purple and blue highlighted. I’m excited to add some fun to my appearance and hopefully my office doesn’t freak out. It’s highlights underneath so it shouldn’t be too bad.

The other day at the bank while opening an account with my mom, she tells the banker I can’t have kids. I was mortified! The banker had asked what big life events are happening and I mentioned we are trying to foster/adopt. The banker goes on to talk about her own infertile sister and how she wishes she could have kids. My mom says, and points at me, “that’s her, she can’t either.” Omg!! I said “thanks mom” as tried to push it away. I don’t generally discuss my family planning situation within 15 minutes of meeting someone. I’m not embarrassed of my fertility issues but I don’t want it publicized either. 

My mom was smoking on our enclosed back porch recently and that’s a huge no no. We can’t stand smoke and we have to be entirely smoke free for foster kids. I did not let the moment pass and told her how this affects us. Hopefully she doesn’t try that trick again!

Tomorrow we fly out to Florida for a week with family and friends. I’m really looking forward to it. I started seeing a therapist a few weeks ago and working through childhood stuff ain’t easy. Now I get to see my dad who caused a lot of my childhood stress and dysfunction. I’m trying to prepare for whatever feelings arise without being afraid of them. Feelings are often scary for me. 

Still no kids in the home but we are so close to matching with two different kids/siblings. I’m getting impatient but it’s worth the wait.

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Day trip in NYC

Yesterday we took a trip to New York. One of our friends in Ottawa came down for the weekend so we went to meet her. We had arranged in advance to go to the United Nations Headquarters because we love stuff like that. Plus, they have a post office with their own unique stamps and postmark. We couldn’t resist! I sent so much mail, lol.

The UN was great and a real learning experience. The guide was very informative and the rooms range from very nice to places I wouldn’t want to sit for hours during a meeting. The art and gifts from various countries was really cool to see. 


 


After the tour we went to Patsy’s Pizza for lunch because who doesn’t love a delicious bit of pizza?

We initially had planned to go to Roosevelt Island but we were running kind of late and it would be pointless to go there at that time. So we went to the library and poked around their recent acquisitions and the gift shop. Definitely a fun way to spend the afternoon. 

After that adventure we went for cookies and coffee before catching our train home. 

It was a nice day away. I’ve been really swamped with work and home adjustments since my mom arrived. Some times it’s really nice to be somewhere different, even for a short while. 

More life changes

My mom is moving in with us. C is driving down to Alabama to pick her up this weekend. She finally left a really unhealthy relationship and has been with my sister for a week. My sis can’t afford to support my mom while she gets her life back. My sister also is a stress-inducing person sometimes and my mom doesn’t do well in constant drama, I mean that’s why she’s leaving her relationship. So rather than stay on my sister’s couch we are gaining a roommate. We are completely ok with this new arrangement. 

It means come tricky work regarding our license as foster parents. Mom will have to get added to the home study and do clearances. Who knows how that will set us back. But at least my mom will be safe and able to be her true self. These past few years with this guy have really changed her and left her really depressed and lacking independence. Her health isn’t good either so we’ll be helping to get her medications and in regular care again. I hope this time next year she’ll feel a little stronger and in control of herself. We’re on it for the long haul so whatever happens, she’s got us. 

Here’s to wherever the road leads

Progress

I’ve been in Weight Watchers for 9 weeks. Today I hit my 20lbs down!! This hasn’t been a cake walk but also hasn’t been overwhelmingly hard. I do a very little bit of exercise. I eat really good and splurge on fast food or fancy coffee drinks once every so often. I don’t feel deprived or miserable. I’m starting to see the changes. My pants now need a tighter belt, some of my shirts are a bit baggy. I feel good, too. Just this week other people started noticing my change so that was nice. If I keep up this rate I’ll be down 50lbs by the end of the year! I can’t let myself get off track during the holidays or our vacation in November. I’ve struggled with weight for as long as I can remember and I’m pumped to be making this effort for myself.

Plus, yummy food! I’m getting healthy recipes from Skinny Taste.com and Hungry-girl.com. Both provide decent portions and all the good things you need to stay on WW plan. 

Here’s to much more success!

The matching process

So here we are working our way through the matching process. We’ve inquired about a few kids and siblings over the past 6 weeks and we finally struck some interest last week! Our worker contacted us when she received the full profile on a sibling set we are interested in. We feel like we could be good parents to these kids, ages 6 and 8. 

Today we were able to review their profile and are even more interested. Unfortunately so are “many” other families, including another family that our worker is pitching to the kids team. Yikes!! We were feeling good about matching with them until we found out about the stiff competition. Due to the amount of interest, the child worker is screening everyone by phone. That will happen this week sometime. If we pass the phone call screen, we will have an in person interview with the clinical team in October. The team is aiming for the kids to move in with their pre-adoptive parents over the Christmas school break. That’s so soon! 

Please send all the good vibes that these kids find the right parents (and hopefully that’ll be us) for their unique needs. 

Psychic reading

Do you believe in psychics and their ability to connect with your deceased loved ones or tell you the future? I hope so. I’m kind of a believer.
Yesterday C and I attended a house party where a psychic was present. She was ok. There were a few random things that were very incorrect in relation to my deceased loved ones but I didn’t correct her. She did hit on that there was an older man that I was very close to. That’s my grandfather and I’m named after him. He was Bill and I’m the feminine version, without the e at the end. She kept calling him William though which I found annoying. But she was right on about his illness and called him my spirit protector. She also said he wanted my dad to watch his sugar. My dad is a diabetic and had a heart attack last week. His diabetes is a hindrance to the healing he needs to be doing. Wow!

She then picked up an older woman, Helen, who is my mother’s aunt. I didn’t explain the relationship but she thought Helen was Bill’s sister and went on about the German descent there. Helen’s parents were Native American, definitely not German. So this line of chat was not handful.

She said that I’ll be parenting an older boy and younger girl. I didn’t ask her about kids, only about work and my parents. She professed that I have nothing to fear, she could sense my hesitation in parenting. She also mentioned that we might need a larger house. I surely hope not because I love my house! 

Then we talked about work. She said she saw something legal in the future and asked if I was going to law school. I said no but that I’m considering another degree. I do work in a law firm, though. She also said I’d be at my current position for a long time. And that I’ll be furthering my education and I’ll publish something. We’ll see how that shakes out.

She was a card reader and pegged me as an Earth sign with many water qualities. Maybe it’s because I love water? I dunno. She said C and I have a good marriage but someone (a man) from my past with a name starting with M will come to me for closure. I laugh because I’ve never been in a relationship with a man until C! Bahaha. I have an ex girlfriend that I’m best friends with and her name begins with M. I doubt there is any need for closure there. 

In all I’d rate this psychic 50/50. You win some and you lose some. 

Making lemonade

I can definitely see why so many people give up on being foster parents. The process is really frustrating just to get started. We’ve been dealing with our agency for 6 months now and we still aren’t technically foster parents. What we are is a pre-adoptive home. Our social worker wrote us a few days ago to say we have graduated from her services and our next agency contact person will be the matching coordinator.

Though we have been talking for 2 months about her getting us on the list for foster children, we are still being steered towards pre-adoptive only. Maybe this is a sign. Perhaps they think that we have more to offer a child/ren that need a forever home? I don’t know. I have been holding on to this frustration for months now and yesterday C and I finally talked it out. What do we want to do? Our options are (1) force them to start referring foster children to us or (2) bide our time until we are matched with kids and take it from there.

Option 1 pros: we’d get more familiar with the foster care system, would get to use our parenting skills, offer a refuge for kids in crisis or need of caregivers

Option 1 cons: if we take in fosters and then get matched, we’d likely have to remove the fosters to make room, we might have several kids in and out which would disrupt our adult routines/jobs, we might really get fed up with the agency and quit altogether

Option 2 pros: we’ll have a better chance of being able to offer kids a forever home, less in and out of short term foster kids, less time with daily/weekly agency contact once kids are placed and eventually adopted

Option 2 cons: we could end up matching on paper but not in person and that would disrupt the kids, we might be waiting months or years to be matched, our kid rooms sit empty

Given all the pros and cons that we considered, we decided not to force the agency to place foster children with us for short term stays. If there is a child that needs care long term, we will take that one child. We would like to reserve our other rooms for children that we match with. We don’t want to disrupt a settled foster kid for our pre-adoptive kids. We also don’t want to deal with our employers being difficult about needed time off for various kids if they were coming and going frequently.

So, we wait. We will sit tight and wait for the matching coordinator to call and start the process of pairing us with available children who we might click with. Then we’ll wait some more, probably a long while, to get the call that there are children whose parental requirements match up with who we are. This is not the decision that we started this process with and I’m still sitting on it to be sure that I feel okay with it. I know that I have so much energy for parenting and would love to help children. The truth is that I can’t save them all and I need to take a different perspective on the situation. Waiting for pre-adoptive kids isn’t a bad thing.

I know there is a lot to be said for “foster to adopt” and I understand the intricate issues and delicate nature of the term and people’s feelings about families who build their family this way. I hope that folks won’t be too hard on us for waiting for the right child who doesn’t have parent options on the horizon. I think that any child could benefit from our open and loving home environment, not to mention our cute dogs. We aren’t going to take anyone’s children away from them and if we ended up with a failed match, we are okay with that. Time isn’t that important and though we aren’t getting younger, we aren’t worried about not having time with kids that are in our home.

This was a hard decision for me, harder than for C, I think. I’m going to try not to look into the kids rooms too often so that I don’t get that empty feeling of “why aren’t there kids here.”

When the stars don’t align

Sometimes I think our case worker is an idiot. In my June 16th post “Unofficially Official” I provided false information- that was provided to us by the social worker but I just realized it last weekend. So yea.

We have one more class before we will even be submitted to the agency board for approval. Our social worker had told us in early June that everything was good to go since we approved the profile and it would go to DHS for approval and we should hear in a few weeks. She noted that these July classes would not hold us up since they are adoption specific and we had expressed that we wanted to foster. Yea, lies.

We are in the midst of the 2 part adoption classes now. Last weekend we were there for 6 hours with adoption workers who are coworkers of our assigned person. They laid out very clearly the process. There were 2 other families there who were in the same position as us, everything was completed except this class. The class leaders explained that once you complete this class your profile goes to the agency board and then you meet with the matching specialist., not before Our social worker had told us we’d meet with the specialist prior to our license being approved. Can you see how frustrating all of this is? Grr! So I have a clearer picture now that we are not going to hear from the agency board about approval until some times in August. We had kind of rushed and got a lot of items, put the beds up, etc. thinking that sometime this month we might be getting calls. Little did we know.

Meanwhile we are planning to go to Florida for Thanksgiving to spend time with my dad’s side of the family. My mom also recently relocated to Florida so we’ll get to see her also. We bought our plane tickets and are holding out hope that if we have children they are long term placements that can go with us on this trip. We bought trip insurance just in case we have to cancel or reschedule. Right now we are looking at accommodations and it’s hard not knowing how many beds we’ll need and things like that. I’m geared towards an Airbnb place or VRBO so that we have privacy and the kids don’t feel like we’re hounding them 24/7. Everyone likes to have their own space, ya know. I hadn’t realized how difficult it can be to plan anything in the future without knowing what the children situation will be like. Even making plans with friends for the fall is “it’ll depend on what the kid situation looks like” and luckily people are very understanding.

We attended the Pennsylvania Adoption and Permanency Conference at the end of June and it was really informative. That whole experience deserves its own post though so look for that soon.

Today we celebrate C’s 41st birthday with a pool party with our nearest and dearest! ❤

Sweet memories from vacation

C and I went on vacation last week to the Finger Lakes region of New York. We have friends with a cottage there and we took up their offer to use it any time. This was our first ever week long vacation and it didn’t involve family or other responsibilities! Bonus= the cottage had no cell service or internet. Every evening we were alone with each other and our crafts and had a blast. There’s no other person I’d rather spend a week with in a non air conditioned cottage with well water and bugs galore.

The cottage:

kayaking:

 Susan B Anthony’s house:

Niagara Falls:

This was such an awesome trip, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Hopefully this was our baby moon. We are still waiting to hear if DHS approves our license!