Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vacation and Kids

We had started talking about taking a vacation a couple of weeks ago.  We thought it would be a good idea to take a nice vacation before anymore kids move in.  We don't have too much more time to take family vacations before Brooke heads off to college (or whatever she chooses) so we wanted to make this a good one.  We've finally settled on Myrtle Beach, SC.  Both girls wanted to go to a beach, Brooke has been once when she was four and Lexy has never been.  I wanted someplace that had other things to do too and this destination has both!  The girls are VERY excited and to be honest I think some relaxation on the beach will be good for all of us!  Now to keep the girls from trying to pack too soon!

Nothing like planning a vacation to get the possible adoption situations popping up again!  A friend told us of two new sibling groups that we are going to look into...

Sibling set of four - g-5, g-4, g-2, b-1...yes FOUR but we both agreed to at least get more information about them. 

Sibling set of two - g-3, b-1...this one REALLY pulls at my heartstrings but it might be a situation that the agency won't look at families that aren't homestudied through them (which we are not) unless they can't find a family in their own agency.

There's also a new baby at the far away special needs agency...hmm....

Friday, May 27, 2011

The end of school year 2010-2011

I can't believe another school year has flown by!  I'm in shock that come August I will have a 2nd grader and a sophomore!!!  I am really hoping there are more little ones in the house before that to make me feel needed around here! :)

Brooke had her last day on Friday, May 20th since she didn't have to take finals, if they miss less than 4 days during the year they don't have to take finals at the end of the year and get out two days early!.  On Monday while Lexy went to school (for a movie day), Brooke and I had a little Mom and Daughter shopping day!  We both found new swimsuits for our upcoming vacation and a few other odds and ends.

On Tuesday Brooke and I joined Lexy at school for her last day.  They have a field day with lots of games and fun, eat a sack lunch outside and get out early!

We haven't done much since school has been out, the weather has been stormy, rainy and gloomy but we did have a couple of very leisurely days sitting at home.  Lexy and I had a fun day with Robin and her kids today at Jumping Jax (inflatable place).  I am putting together a Summer Fun Jar with slips of paper with craft/science/baking/fun things to do at home and then on a different color of paper, places to go.  I don't want the summer to slip by without having as much fun as we possibly can!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Decision

Our adoption worker took the easy way out when informing us of the decision, she e-mailed us.  Because who wants to call with bad news!

The best interest staffing has been postponed in order for the foster parents to get a homestudy done.  Our worker said it would be 30-45 days...I still say 3-6 months.  I e-mailed back and told her that we are heartbroken, we were so close that we had already started preparing our family and home for three new little ones.  I also told her that we can not compete with the foster parents, where the kids have been living and bonding all this time.  We just really wish that the fp would have realized earlier in the process that they wished to adopt these kids, before we started to consider them part of our family.  Knowing the system like we do, we know that there is absolutely no way that we would be chosen over the foster family.  Which if they truly want to adopt these kids, they should stay where they are/know.  I just hate that the foster family has been so undecided about all of this up until now.

So we are back to square one :(

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adoption Update

Got a call from our Adoption worker just now.  She went over the typical schedule for moving children into an adoptive home...
  • BIS to choose family
  • SRS approval about 1 wk later
  • File reading - we go to the office to read the kids files/write down any information.
  • Transition plan set up - transition with little ones is usually about 30-45 days.  We will have to travel to where the kids are and provide all transportation.
  • During transition plan - Meeting with SRS subsidy person and sign subsidy agreement and APA (adoption placement agreement).
  • Kids move in to our home.  Kids still in state custody (we must get ok for out of state travel).  Our worker will visit about 1 time per month for 3 -6 months to help with getting services set up, etc.
  • After 3-6 months we are able to finalize adoption.
I knew the steps from being a foster parent (and adopting before) but things will look a little different since the kids aren't already in our home.  Everything sounded good and I was getting excited...and then she DROPPED THE BOMB...

The current foster parents have AGAIN decided that they want to be considered for adoptive placement.  The team is deciding if they will include this family in the BIS or not.  If they choose not to (b/c the family has went back and forth on this) then the BIS will go ahead as scheduled on May 24th with just us.  If they choose to include the foster parents then the BIS will be postponed so that a homestudy can be done on the foster parents.  We will still be included in the BIS when it takes places (probably 3-6 months) b/c there are concerns about the foster family but my guess is that in the end the children would stay with the foster family.

I am sick over this, my stomach is in knots and I want to cry.  We were SO close.  I keep telling myself that if these kids are meant to be a part of our family then it will all work out but my positive self talk isn't helping much right now. :(  The worker said that the team will make their decision before next Tues. and she will let us know...

Extreme Makeover...Car Edition

We had been looking for an inexpensive car that we could customize for Brooke for about six months when  Uncle CJ found a very inexpensive and VERY ugly car! Brooke used the money that she saved while working last summer to pay for the car and we said that we would pay to get it running and painted for her birthday. For about a month CJ worked on getting the car running and Mike and Brooke helped where they could (Brooke spent an entire day sanding!).  The week before her birthday we got the paint that Brooke picked out and Uncle CJ painted the car. The car still has some mechanical things that need to be done but we revealed it to Brooke on her 15th birthday and she was thrilled with how it turned out!

This car truly did get an Extreme Makeover, just take a look...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The BIG Reveal

This year I had the pleasure of sharing Mother's Day with Brooke since it was also her birthday. Brooke wasn't really thrilled about sharing...that is until Uncle CJ pulled up with her birthday present...HER CAR!!!

I think she's IN LOVE!! :)  Everyone that sees it says that it is "so Brooke"!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

For Mother's Day this year we decided to have a cook out at our house instead of going to a restaurant.  It worked out so much better and the kids had so much more fun!  We had our family, Papa & Grammy, Mammaw & Grandpa Tom, Uncle CJ & Aunt Jessie w/ Ashley, Tori, Sheila & Toby and Uncle Bill.

For Mother's Day this year I got a swing for the back yard, a very special card and magnet from Lexy and a beautiful jewelry hanger that Brooke made for me in wood shop class...I'm so blessed!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adoption Update

I still need to get pics up from Mother's Day but we interrupt the regularly scheduled program for this important message...

We have a date for a best interest staffing to choose a family for the sibling group of three (b-3, g-2, b-1).  The date is May 24 AND as of right now we are the only family being considered!!  We're trying not to get too excited because we know that with "the system" anything could happen but it's hard not to dream, plan and FREAK OUT! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brooke's 15th B-Day Party

Brooke had a difficult time deciding what she wanted to do to celebrate her birthday this year but once the decision was made everything came together nicely.  Brooke invited her three best friends to spend the day and night with her.  Lindsey had to work during the day but she joined Brooke, Taryn and Suzy later in the evening.  On the agenda was...
  • hair and makeup done at a beauty school
  • lunch at Golden Corral (Brooke's favorite)
  • shopping at the mall and other places
  • lots and lots of pictures
  • pizza for dinner
  • doing nails
  • making custom flip flops together
  • getting BLT'S dolls and necklaces from Brooke **
  • Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake
  • presents
  • movies
  • lots of snacks
  • lots of talking, giggling, singing and dancing
  • staying up too late
  • breakfast of blueberry muffins and bacon (Brooke's favorite)

Brooke has the best friends ever!  I love those girls, they did everything possible to make Brooke feel special and loved on her birthday!

** Brooke found dolls that looked like herself and each of her friends and then made necklaces that had a picture of them (the girls) on it.  BLT"S = (Brooke, Lindsey, Taryn, Suzy)...cute huh?!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Brooke!

I asked Brooke the same questions I had asked Lexy on her b-day, here's her answers...


color - PINK
animal - dolphin
food - chicken
dessert - ice cream cake
place to go - World's of Fun
movie - Killers
toy - cell phone :)
singer - Taylor Swift
song - "Better Than Revenge"
friend - BLT'S (Lindsey, Taryn, Suzy)
boy - Unknown right now
restaurant - Golden Corral
store - Claire's
subject in school - Dazzlers
tv show - NCIS
thing to do with mommy - shop
thing to do with daddy - drive
thing to do with sissy - read
thing to do in summer - swim
thing to do in winter - wear boots

What do you want to be when you grow up? Cosmetologist
Who will you marry? Ashton Kutcher...or someone that is funny, outgoing, caring, easy going, loving and good with children
How many kids will you have? between 2 and 4
Where will you live? New York

Brooke, I can't believe that I have a 15 year old!!!  It's amazing to me how fast you've grown up. :(  I remember staring down at you when you were just a few days old and trying to picture what you would look like and be like as a teenager and I just couldn't picture it!  You amaze me every day.  I don't think you even realize what a beautiful person you are on the outside and the inside!  I'm so proud to call you my daughter.  I love you, Mom

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adoption Update

We found out that one of our adoption situations is no longer available.  The 3 yo girl/4 yo boy sibling group are AGAIN taken off the available list to try to "salvage" their current placement.  The back and forth of all this is really getting to me. :(

Our worker did say that they "think" that they are going to receive the court journal entry that we have been waiting 3 months for.  This is for the sibling group of three (3-b, 2-g, 1-b).  She also said that as of right now we are the only family that has come forward for them.  In some ways that really surprises me when I know there are a ton of families that are looking for that age group but I guess the fact that there are three, they are all close together in age, they are of a different race and the oldest has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum scares a lot of families away.  I have asked our worker if they will go ahead with a BIS to choose the family if we are the only family interested or if they will continue to look until they can come up with at least one other family...she has not responded back.  I'm ready to be off this roller coaster!  I by no means think the next step (getting the kids transitioned to our home) will be any easier but at least it will be a NEW roller coaster :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lots and Lots of Lexy

I found some pictures of Lexy that were taken in April that were never shared.  Lexy had her first ride on the mower with daddy, helped in the garden and had fun on her 1st Grade field trip to Wonderscope!  Here's some Lexy cuteness...