Digging through drafts

ballerinaI found this as I was digging through my email drafts this morning. Apparently I started several emails to Ballerina that was going to be sent to the email address she would read later.

So much emotion and promise wrapped up in just a few paragraphs here. Maybe something like this is exactly what I needed to do to finally push past. In therapy, a lot of times you’re told to write a letter to whomever is causing you trauma whether alive or dead and whether you send it or not. I actually started a blog a while back writing letters/ blog posts to my very dear friend that had passed away. It was cathartic. I could write about anything and it felt like I was talking to her. Hopefully getting this out will be the closure I need for Ballerina.

Bc as it is, every time we go to an association meeting, I hope to see her. We watched an adoption special on TV bc my friends were all being interviewed and my heart leapt when her photo showed up. It’s bad.

So please, heart, let this be the closure we all need to move on.

##

May 23, 2014
Dear S,

We met you for the first time on Saturday for a play date and hung out again on Sunday. We both adore you and hope like hell that you like us too. I already feel super protective of you and wish we could fast forward the whole process.

To be fair, we have a lot of information about you from your therapists and case workers. We know what happened to you in your young life to bring you into care and the rough journey you’ve had since you’ve been there. We know what happened to both your parents, why you have the relationship you have with your brother and why you despise living in a group home so much. We know your family history, previous placement history, likes, dislikes, and more.

And we still want you in our lives.

And we hope, really hope, that you understand what that means.

We want you – YOU – to be our daughter.

One day you, my little tech savvy child, might find and read my blog. You will read about everything [Husband] and I went through from very early on in our relationship all the way until today. Our adoption journey was fraught with difficulties and frustrations and we pushed through. We prevailed. We might’ve gotten people in trouble along the way, but they weren’t doing their jobs properly. Yes, you will read the glossy version of it all. I don’t mention real names if I can help it.

You, my beautiful girl, are referred to as Ballerina in my blog. Feel free to do a search for yourself.

 

Filed under adoption, Ballerina, Foster Adoption, My child, play dates | Leave a comment

It’s Been A While…

Hi my lovely bloggy readers,

I know it’s been really quiet around here for the last 6 weeks 3 months. Yes, I started an update post 6 weeks ago and never finished it.

My life in a nutshell these days…

  • Celebrated my 38th birthday!
  • Our 4th wedding anniversary!
  • Paid off 3 credit cards
  • Started a Fiber and Fandoms podcast with my friend Kate – Muggle Yarns!
  • Successfully completed my Kickstarter campaign thanks to my 19 truly amazing backers
  • Dropped to half time – 20 hours – at my full time job
  • Took on 2nd part time job – 25+ hours – back in the development/ fundraising and event planning world at a non-profit
  • Half-heartedly searching for children on several nationwide sites – family-match.orgadoptuskids.org
  • House hunting like crazy – we lost the cutest little house in North Miami Beach bc we took too long deciding
  • Getting over laryngitis that I’ve had for 10 days

Coming up…

  • Getting my knitting out – 2 more projects to try to finish this week
  • Shipping all my Kickstarter projects out
  • Going back to the customers that wanted commissions once this knitting was finished
  • House hunting and hopefully moving north and much closer to my jobs. My current commute time is 1.5-2 hours
  • Paying down and off all my other debts – goal for total payoff is 3 years
  • Still trying to get over and past our failed placement
  • Parenting?

heart bandaidBut what about parenting? Yeah… no idea.

I still attend the meetings and events, but my whole heart isn’t in it anymore. It’s more about hanging out with my friends than hoping there will be a foster parent there to talk to if her foster kids get TPRd. Husband even commented recently about my no longer showing him kid profiles or telling him about more kids. I’m a little down on the whole subject even though I know I could never be truly happy without being a mother. We have recently spent more time looking for houses than at children.

So, yeah, I’m sorta back, just down. Trying to get my life on track and get back in the mindset of focusing on long term goals.

Sooo…. how are you? What’s been happening in your lives in the last 3 months?

Filed under adoption, anniversary, Ballerina, Foster Adoption, foster license, geek, mbjcc, miami, moving, Sheep2Skein, Timeline | Leave a comment

Live on Kickstarter #sheep2skein

No, this isn’t adoption related, but it’s still super exciting! I posted my very first Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to start my knitting business.

And I am beyond excited about it.

I’ve limited all the handknit rewards as I would love love love to get them posted to all the backers by the first week in December for gifts (even gifts to yourself!)

Even if you can’t or don’t want to support it, can you please spread the word?

Sheep2Skein Yarn Shop is Finally Opening. For Real!

Our shorturl for sharing is tiny.cc/sheep2skein

Filed under 1-year plan, crafty, knitting, Sheep2Skein | 3 Comments

What’s Been Happening…

Nothing.

Well, that’s not true. The only change is that we are currently working on paperwork for our foster license. That’s right, after so much discussion against being foster parents for our own personal reasons, we’ve come to the realization that it’s likely to be the best chance at us getting phone calls and a child.

That said, by the time we were assigned a licensing specialist (Z), Husband and I were both so sick that we kept putting off a home visit and filling out the paperwork. I finally printed the paperwork and started going through it on my own. Meanwhile, Z is using our Home Study to pull other information from.

..

Honestly though, after my first phone call with Z, I was a little more worried about what we are getting ourselves into. Every time I mention the licensing paperwork to the friends we’ve made along the way, I get similar reactions: disbelief. After 16+ months of being 100% certain that we do not want to foster, they’re surprised that we’ve changed our minds.

To a degree.

Our plan is to give Z the same criteria we have for adoption for our licensing, but give further criteria that we are willing to foster children with a very high chance of parental rights termination. She said when Placement starts calling, they don’t always review our criteria as it’s likely for emergency placements or a huge need. We do not want to take in every child that is offered to us. Does that make us selfish? Possibly. Will we end up changing our minds? Maybe. But for now, this is our plan.

We started talking about getting licensed during our visits with Ballerina. Both her CM and TH told us our best bet to push things along would be if we were licensed. That way she could move in with us immediately. It would have been a total immersion into parenting a teenager 24/7. Speaking of Ballerina, we still discuss her quite a lot. I knew it affected me quite a bit, but I didn’t realize how much it affected Husband too. He is the one that brings her up most frequently. I am of the mindset that if she didn’t want to be adopted, we should stop dwelling on her. That… is so much easier said than done.

I still search for kids nationwide, but no luck so far finding a good match.

In the meantime, I am keeping busy researching Doctorate programs for once Husband graduates from his Master’s program and finds a job.

In the meantime, won’t you pretty please help me out? Since it’s been over a month since my last post, my ranking on Top Mommy Blogs has plummeted. (No big surprise there.) Can you please click on this logo to help? The website has so much info on all aspects of parenting, but you don’t have to stick around if you don’t want. Thanks!

Please click! A visit a day boosts my blog ranking at Top Mommy Blogs - The Best Mommy Blog Directory Ever!
Filed under adoption, FLS, Foster Adoption, foster license, home visit, paperwork, Timeline | 1 Comment

Stagnant

I started writing this post last week and the only thing that’s changed is the last paragraph..

Going NowhereOur search is not going anywhere. In all honesty, I feel a little burned out constantly searching, seeing the same children, and submitting inquiries on them. I ask friends about their fosters and their foster’s siblings. I search nationwide sites. We discussed in vitro and pregnancy again. I… really don’t want to be pregnant. I – we – don’t want an infant. We want a child that can walk and talk and tell us what he or she wants. We want a child that spends his/her days in school learning and socializing with their friends while we are at work.

Sure, the older the foster child, the more likely to be problems from being in the system. We know. We are aware. We are prepared for it.

At least we are prepared in our minds. In reality, we don’t know. Well, I don’t. It’s been over a year since we decided to adopt. I’m exhausted.

There is a lot going on in our non-child lives right now – Husband in school, we are looking for a home to buy, and I am focusing my after-work time on pushing both my knitting and design businesses. My companies have been languishing for years as I focus on other projects. It’s nice to have something to think about constantly now especially since there is no child in our home or lives and we have no idea when there will be one.

Kiwi Crate
Filed under adoption, Foster Adoption, knitting, My child, RS Creative Solutions, Sheep2Skein | 1 Comment

Brief Non-Adoption Update

There is literally nothing at all happening at the moment with our adoption. Of all the kids I requested info on, I’ve received 4 case studies and are awaiting about half a dozen others. We’re reviewing them, but it’s difficult since the majority or them are out of Florida. The logistics of traveling several times to meet a potential child of ours is crazy expensive and we don’t have the time off from work and school to even begin to plan said trips.


We both knew foster care adoption wouldn’t be easy. But we’re dealing with a whole new set of issues that neither of us anticipated. It’s giving us time to reflect and evaluate if we want to get our foster care license as well.

But in the meantime, we are keeping busy by house hunting. Yes, something I swore I’d never do – looking to buy in South Florida. Right now it’s just dreaming as we clean up our (my) credit enough to qualify for a lower interest rate. As much as I love and adore the snow, the older I get and the more friends we make, the more I’m realizing that this little piece of hell on earth isn’t so bad.

Also, Husband is in school for his MBA so time is tight.

On the other hand, since he is now on a daylight schedule, we are getting used to each other again. For 4+ years of our life together (nearly half!), we saw each other at most 2 hours a day and partial weekends. He worked the night shift (9p-9a) and while I was at work, he was sleeping. I’d race home to make dinner, spend some time together then he’d go off to work.

The last month or so, it seems like a vacation. I’ve been slacking on the stuff I’d normally do at night after he’s leave for work – dishes, laundry, knitting – since we now spend a lot of time together… watching TV. We just finished Orange is the New Black (OMG!) and just started Weeds. Separately, he is watching House of Cards.

I hope you’re all well! If you missed any posts, just keep scrolling…


Kiwi Crate
Filed under adoption, household, miami, money, moving, school, steve | 2 Comments

Matchmaking and Adoption

I learned yesterday at work that when Orthodox Jews are “dating” (used loosely as it is more akin to matchmaking), they are not allowed to speak to other potential partners. Granted, this could be incorrect as I didn’t grill my friend about it. She was talking about a family member to another friend and mentioned that even though there was another very interesting young lady that he would be a good match with, he is currently committed to seeing if he is a match with another young lady. I asked why he wasn’t allowed to talk to both ladies and she said it just wasn’t done that way.

This got me to thinking about both “normal” dating (define that however it makes sense to you), job hunting and the matching process with our future child. There were definitely times when I dated 1-2 guys at a time until I determined which I liked better. OK fine, 2-3. But once I made the decision, I dropped everyone else. It didn’t always work out as I expected, but that’s how life works.

With jobs, when I applied to one that I [thought I] was perfect for, I would fixate on it. I’d do company research; learn about the employees, culture, upper management, office, local area, and more. All before scheduling an interview sometimes. When I’d apply for multiple jobs at a time, I would do the same for all of them. After all, I wanted to be super prepared to work there.

Not easy, but worth itAs much as we would have loved to be Ballerina’s parents, we have not heard anything in over a week since receiving the call from CW that she wanted to put a hold on being adopted at this time. For our peace of mind and hearts, we have moved on.

No, you didn’t miss the post about it. I didn’t post other than a few lines in my last post and with no details. I have been mourning (if you want to call it that) the loss of having her be a part of our family as our daughter. There will never be details posted as to the reasons on here or on FB although I might allude to it every so often. The lessons we learned with our first potential match will be carried forth throughout any future matches.

But back to my earlier point of “dating” one person at a time. With the adoption matching process, it feels strange to request information on several children at a time. We lucked out with how quickly things progressed with Ballerina and how well of a match we were with her. We really did. And even though it didn’t work out, it was still pretty smooth at first. Strange, yes. But we did it. Over the weekend I submitted inquiries on several children from across the country on AdoptUSKids.org. Matching when the child isn’t local is different and potentially difficult, but for the right child for our family, we are willing to do whatever it takes… within reason, of course.

And so begins the next part of our journey as we actively try to find our son or daughter from foster care.

Wish us luck!

Filed under adoption, Ballerina, Foster Adoption, My child | 1 Comment

People Question…

It Takes a Village to Adopt a ChildPeople question why I blog. I have been blogging on different platforms since 2000. I do it for myself. For my well-being. To share my story.

People question if I/we are adopting to just get a child. Yes, of course. We want a son or daughter. Or both. But also to raise them and make them even more amazing little people.

People question why my blog is all “me”, “my”, and “I”. Well… do you see a child placed in our home? I certainly don’t.

People question if I truly want a child or just the experience. Let me tell you, this experience is so difficult and emotionally taxing, so it’s definitely not for that. I want a child. We want a child. We want to be parents together.

People question how I am so open about everything. What do I have to hide? Don’t read it if you think I’m too open or if it makes you uncomfortable.

People question why I post so much about the adoption process. If it helps one person then it’s all worth it. Seriously. I felt completely lost at the beginning and would have loved to read a real story of someone’s process while I was going through it. So many adoption blogs are international, private, and/or infant. I’m not saying mine is unique, but also, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

People question what will happen if our future child reads this. Is that a bad thing? I have nicknames for everyone that needs their identity protected. It also shows just how much we want them and how far we’ve come to be their parents.

People question why we’re not longer visiting with Ballerina. It’s not a story to tell on a public forum. There are so many details and reasons, but the main reason is bc she no longer wants it. As a teenager, she had every right to put on the brakes for any reason and she did.

People question how I’m handling the loss of a potential placement. Poorly. I am even more emotional these days. Mostly bc we don’t know why. We did everything right as far as we can tell. We followed all the proper procedures. We were a great fit with her and for her. We would have rocked her 48+ months until she turned 18 and helped her in so many ways.

We don’t know if she will change her mind and want to visit with us again, but we’re not banking on it. It is honestly easier that way as much as it hurts.

People tell me that I am amazing for wanting to adopt an older child. Thanks. But we’re not doing it to be amazing. We’re doing it to complete our family in a way that makes sense to us.

And finally, to the people that never (or almost never) question my sanity, reasons and motives for doing all of the above, you’re awesome! Thank you for standing by our sides and enjoying reading about our journey. This has already been a 14 month journey and there is no end in sight. Even if we were to finalize an adoption tomorrow, I wouldn’t give up all the truly amazing friends I have made along the way. I honestly don’t know how we would get through this whole thing without the support of our family, friends, and new friends.

Filed under adoption, blog focus, Blogging, Foster Adoption, knowledge, support group | 1 Comment

NFPA/FSFAPA Conference & Ballerina

Untitled-1We had an amazing time this past weekend at the NFPA/ FSFAPA Conference. Between meeting folks from across the nation, to playing in the pool with our friends kids, seeing old friends and family, and all the sessions… And not to mention the pillows. OMW the pillows. My bed had 5 of the softest, fluffiest pillows.

But I digress. We both learned a lot about ourselves, the process, and how we can help to empower our future child/ren. We also had 9-10 hours stuck in a car together plus all the down time to talk and to discuss Ballerina. As an aside, we must’ve gotten the “how are things going” question about a dozen times and asked why we hadn’t brought her with us at least twice. We honestly didn’t know that was a possibility.

We decided that yes, we absolutely want to adopt her. We have so much to offer her to help make her way into adulthood in just a few short years. 54-ish months to be exact. (Why is it that things in months sound so much shorter?) We discussed her school, speculated on the kinds of books she liked to read, how she’s spending the summer, her hobbies, family trips we’d take, high school, colleges, and more. Then we questioned if she even wanted to live with us. Wanted to be our daughter.

That question still plagues me. I hope she does. WE hope.

I know in my past posts, I seemed ambivalent about that. But it’s a yes. We want her in our family. We want her to be our daughter.

But in the end, if this doesn’t work out, we only want the best for her. And I genuinely hope she knows that.

We’re told this process can take months and that she (or we) can decide at any time not to move forward. We’ve been asked repeatedly if we are sure. But in the meantime, we are going to do our best to show her that we do want to be her parents.

People question why I write and why I put my entire life out there. Aside from not having anything to hide, it’s cathartic. Writing about my life and our process really helps me. Getting it all out there helps. Sure, there will always be critics and folks that tell me to close the book, stop oversharing, that no one cares. To those people, I say… then don’t read it. I’m not going to change my life to suit you. Unsubscribe, unfollow, block me. I don’t care.

Filed under adoption, Ballerina, being positive, Blogging, conferences, Foster Adoption, knowledge, My child, play dates | 1 Comment

3rd Visit with Ballerina

ballerinaIt’s amazing what one week and one extra visit can do.

We were supposed to meet Ballerina and TH on Sunday at 1:30 for a 1:40 movie. I say “supposed to” bc they were 2 hours late, but honestly, that’s not a story for the blog. We’ve reported it through all the channels both as it was happening and after the fact. Let’s just say that it has given us a lot to think on about this whole process.

While we waited, we were able to get a refund on our movie tickets and had lunch at Fridays. We also saw a friend that we haven’t seen in years (omg has it been that long?!) walking around the mall with her new husband and family. We also had plenty of time to figure out what we were going to do. And I don’t just mean on our play date. We questioned – a lot – if she really wanted this. From us.

We assumed that she had to go to church in the morning which is why he didn’t pick her up until 1:30. Come to find out at the end of our play date that she didn’t go to church. We were both beyond pissed bc we tried meeting them at 11am. TH told us they were running errands all day since his agency knew he was working anyhow.

We are beyond frustrated with this whole process and sadly, since our earlier frustrations, it’s only marginally better. If it wasn’t bad enough that the home study process was killing us, this definitely is. And unfortunately we don’t know how much of it was her not wanting to spend time with us and how much of it was him taking a long time running errands.

By the time they arrived, we’d pretty much given up and are planning on moving on to the next child. But then, of course, we had the best play date so far and I think it was because we decided we were going to give up and were more relaxed. I think she felt it because she was laughing right along with us and seemed a little bit more open. “It” being our not trying to force a relationship with her.

For the first maybe :30 I was pissed. So pissed. I wasn’t asking any questions and barely talking. We went to Hot Topic and she got what she needed to buy for her roommate. We love this store and she seems to as well. TH is not a fan of it at all. By the time we left there, I was feeling better. The saleslady asked Ballerina a question and she turned to me so I thought that was a little ask for help. Who knows. Maybe she just doesn’t like strangers.

At the end of our play date, we gave her my business card with Husband’s name and number written on the back. Essentially, we are leaving it up to her if she wants to see us again. It is in her hands. We will be in touch with her CW, but won’t be seeing Ballerina for at least 2 weeks. We are out of town next weekend for the NFPA conference which we told them about so they are aware. What she decides to do in terms of contacting us is up to her. So yes, she very well could be reading this right now and every other post that I have written about her. (Hi Ballerina! I hope you like your nickname.)

I think, as a parent, it’s very important for your children to know what you are feeling towards them. I know that she is not our child yet but I’m still peeved and so is Husband. We’ve had a few days, many conversations and many phone calls to discuss and reflect on our relationship with her to this point. We want to adopt her. We haven’t made a definitive decision bc we truly cannot blame her for what is happening. Could their lateness partly have been her fault? Maybe. But she is a child. Yes, at [REDACTED] years old, she is still a child regardless of what anyone says. She may be a teenager, but hasn’t had parental figures helping to mold and guide her in several years into adulthood. She needs parents to help her make decisions between right and wrong. She needs to know what is and isn’t appropriate. Sure, she is a genius, but book smarts only go so far. Whatever does happen, we only want the best for her be it as our daughter or part of another family.

ETA, 2:35pm, 6/3/14 – It’s been brought to my attention that, based on this post, it looks like we’re deciding whether or not to adopt Ballerina bc they were 2 hours late. That’s not the case at all. Keep in mind that this is a public forum and I cannot and will not post every little thing that’s happened, been done, been said, etc. Any misgivings we’re feeling are for specific reasons based on everything involved with this procedure. One event/ chain of events will not derail us into saying no. Everything about this whole process involves so much emotion, thinking, feelings, etc that putting it in writing is really difficult. Thanks for reading about our story!!

******

So, I was voice posting this while driving to the train station yesterday morning. And when I finished I turned the radio on and this song came on. How appropriate! I mean aside from it being about romantic love…

Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake

I know people make promises all the time
Then they turn right around and break them
When someone cuts your heart open with a knife and you’re bleeding
But I could be that guy to heal it over time
And I won’t stop until you believe it
‘Cause baby you’re worth it

[...]
If I had a pair of wings
I’d pick you up and fly you far away from here
And you’d put your worries upon my shoulders, my dear
Now I know I can’t save you
From the troubles of the world
And this sounds like such a silly thing
But if I could I’d fly you away
On a big old pair of wings

Filed under adoption, Ballerina, child safety, conferences, Foster Adoption, play dates, support group | 2 Comments
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