Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fill in the blanks

I posted this on another social media page, but in case you want to participate too...

"I've always thought about doing that..." or "I'd like to talk to you sometime about foster care and adoption..." I feel like people are timid when wanting to as me questions or actually set up a time to talk about these topics. How about this? In honor of May being Foster Care Awareness month, feel free to ask me just about anything. You can comment here, private message me on social media or email me. You can call too! I'd answer you individually, but if you'll allow me to, I'd also like to answer you in a future blog post. (I wouldn't use your name, but I'd ask your permission to use your question.) Please share this post w/anyone you think might have a question/concern/wonder aloud. Thanks! If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find it! I won't be pushy or preachy, but I'll attempt to answer w/facts and personal experience. I am not an expert, but I do know a few things. We've had infants, teens and a few in between! We have only done public foster care/adoption, but I know people who have gone the private route and would be willing to help answer questions too. I'd like to think that dialoguing about this will help educate people and put a stop to false impressions about the nature of foster care and adoption, so thanks for participating!


Monday, February 13, 2017

The thing of the month

In about a month, the TPR (termination of parental rights) trial will start for Bert and Ernie's bio parents.  That is, of course, unless it is re-scheduled like last time.  We never hold our breath - I'm sure I have said that here before...but we are looking forward to the trial beginning.  And ending!!
It's been 13 months since the boys have come to live w/us.  So much has happened in that amount of time!!  This past month to 6 weeks has reminded us that for as many steps as we take forward, we take a few back every now and then too.
Ernie is still a happy go lucky kid who keeps his emotions just under the surface.  He's our little mayor, making friends and leading a charge to do the next best thing.  He is quick to do kind things for others and enjoys the attention of his classmates and family.  Bert has dropped a lot of his insecurities, is starting to really read, and is flying through the swimming classes!  This kid taught himself to ride a bike, do back flips and just the other day he was working on teaching himself to skate like a hockey player.  His awareness of body mechanics and movement is a fun thing to watch - I'm pretty sure he'll excel at most sports if he can get the rules/'the plays' down.
Life has been busy for the rest of the family too.  We're in the thick of the gymnastics season for Moses, which means bleacher butt is a real thing we complain about.  =)  I have a very small part in a play with a faction of the same group I acted with in the past.  It's good to be around 'my people' again - no one gets an ESFP like other performers...!  I've been attempting to cook a few new recipes.  No one has died yet, so they've turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself!  I wanted to write all these big 2017 goals and I'm still not ready.  My head is filled w/things I need to get better at - but the rest of me is still in the mode of putting one foot in front of the other.  Baby steps.  The past 13 months have been pretty intense and although that intensity has decreased, I am being kind to my aging self and taking the 're-entry' process slow.  I've volunteered at the kids' school a few times, I've taken some naps, I've tackled a few house projects, I'm going to attend a 2 day conference, etc...things I couldn't do most of this past year.
I've seen some others post -read, do, be- lists...or something like this...and I've decided to try it this time!  It seems like a quick way to put down some short term goals.
Do: Fix the shelf in my room.  Go through the winter wardrobe and consign clothes.  Better organize the alcove area and get the boxes out of the front hallway.  Get more pictures on the wall!
Read: I'm slogging through some child development/discipline/parenting books right now.  I'm also trying to finish Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker.  My reading of that book has been interrupted many times - snort!  I'd really like to pick one 'for fun' book to read and of course, establish a better Bible reading time/routine.
Learn:  I'm challenging myself to memorize 5 Bible verses.  I have one down.  Four to go!  I hope to accomplish this before spring break.
Be:  Calm.  This is so hard for me!!  I'm always loud, boisterous and making a fuss about something!  My goal is to bring it down a notch and help my kids in the mornings.  I've been learning so much about regulation and hello - it's pretty hard to model something I probably would benefit from myself.  Last week 5 days went by (I was pretty calm each day) and I gave myself a B+.  I'll take it but I'd like to see that more consistent and sustained over a longer period of time.
One more thing I'd like to 'document' about these days...we've lived on the outskirts of this tiny town for 2 years now and even though I haven't really made any close friends from here, I finally feel like this is home.  I was thinking the other day about the kids growing up as 'country kids'.  It didn't seem like they really were - I mean, c'mon, we run into 'town' a good 4 times a week for activities and therapies, but it feels more real now.  We drink well water and think nothing's 'wrong' w/it, the kids prefer walks in the woods or time at the beach in all seasons over boring city parks, soon they'll be riding bikes to friends' houses which are not really that close, they might get their first job on a neighbor's farm, they'll tell their friends about their house in the woods when they leave 'the nest'...I don't know.  It all feels a lot more like home now.  I still hope we make more connections but we love our church and the friends there, we love the space we have and the wonder of God's creation all around us.  I'm so grateful that we've all found each other and a place to call our own!