chosen family

Moving North & Revisiting Adoption

Hello!

Thought I’d pop back in and share an updated photo. I’ve now lost over 165lbs. Also, this handsome little nugget is my amazing 16 month old nephew. The photo on the right was taken at his mama’s baby shower for baby brother due in 2 months.

Also ready for a crazy life update… Ready?
* I ran my first 10K in Disney World for the Princess Weekend. It was amazingly fun except that I got violently ill and spent 2 days seemingly on death’s door..
* We ran the Star Wars 10K also in Disney World for my 2nd 10K and his 1st. I shaved 10 minutes off my time from Princess and he finished about 40 minutes before me.
* We are moving! Getting out of Miami and heading about 80 miles north to Boynton Beach as I have accepted a position in Boca Raton.
* We have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get pregnant for a few months now since my body seems to be working for the first time in.. ever? This was definitely a result of my losing so much weight. Apparently my RE knew what he was talking about with weight and PCOS.
* There’s a lot more, but at this point, does it matter?
* As an offshoot of our moving away from Miami, we will be attempting to adopt again. We are both hoping that Palm Beach County has their shit together unlike Miami.
*Tonight I contacted the lead agency in Palm Beach and started looking again at the available children on AdoptFlorida.org. I am beyond disgusted that I recognized several children with updated photos from 3-4 years ago still listed and still looking for families. Children that we requested information about.

I’m not entirely certain if we are ready for this heartbreak again, but we want a family. We want a child or 2. We don’t know if I will be able to get pregnant and don’t want to miss out on being parents. We agree we’d love any child we bring into our family by any means. I always said if we didn’t get pregnant in X years, we would revisit adoption. Apparently it was more of, “if we get out of Miami, we will revisit adoption.”

So here we go again… adoption.

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Impromptu Playdate #2 with Ballerina

We crashed pretty hard Saturday night very early for both of us. To say it was an emotionally draining day would be putting it quite mildly. After all, it’s not every day that you get to spend several hours with a child that might be your daughter in the future.

OMW I can’t even write that without tearing up. Daughter.

ballerinaYesterday we woke up, dealt with what we needed to deal with then got out of the house to go walk around the mall. On the way there, we called Ballerina’s therapist (TH) to see if there was any way possible to see her again. About 45 minutes later after our first round around the [closed] mall, TH called back and said he’d see if he could coordinate it. About 15 minutes later he called back and said we could meet them in 2 hours. Great, we had time to chill and to take our lunch leftovers back home.

Our first stop was to get Ballerina some lunch, so we went to Johnny Rockets. We all got milkshakes, I had sweet potato fries, and Ballerina and TH had lunch. There was a balloon guy walking around and he called Husband “dad” when he asked if she wanted a balloon animal. She didn’t. I’m not sure if TH or B caught it, but we did! I also found out that she’s scared of balloons bc they pop and startle her. Of course while we were there, one popped and she jumped. She’d never had sweet potato fries and I offered for her to try mine. Apparently they taste like cake. I was seated across from her and we were trying to keep up the conversation but it was awkward and really loud in there. We would just look at each other then she’d get all shy and grin and hide behind her hands. Adorbs.

After lunch, we went to Hot Topic and she picked out a [Supernatural] Dean keychain and a Dean and Sam pin for herself and kept pointing out Doctor Who things for me. I picked out a car magnet and asked her which pin I should get. My choices were a Muggle pin, Whovian pin or Minion pin. She said to get the Whovian one bc I love it. Smart kid! I was holding the Dean keychain and she was going on and on about how he’s her future husband. I made a comment that I was holding her future in my hands… in more ways than one. Not sure the others picked up on that.

Afterwards we walked down to the Sanrio store. When we were walking around earlier, we spotted a sign on their door that said straight A students get 15% discounts and snapped a photo to show her. She was so excited bc she is a straight A student and loves Hello Kitty. I checked my phone and saw several missed calls and texts while Husband walked around with her. We were trying to give her some space but she was staying pretty close.

She showed TH her pin and keychain – he didn’t see us buy them – and he made a comment that [Crush] is out of the picture apparently. Of course, we had to ask her who he was. She got this big grin on her face and took out her phone to show us his photo. She showed me first and he was sitting with a dog. I told her Husband was going to mention the dog. He did. First thing. Crush is a cute kid, attends her school and they have 3 classes together.

Um, I never told my parents about my crushes, boyfriends, etc. they were lucky to know my friends names. They certainly never saw photos!

From Sanrio, we walked down to Game Stop to look at Wii and computer games. Ballerina and Husband bonded over games they’d both played and I picked out things that looked interesting. TH told us her ride was heading to the mall to pick her up so if we weren’t buying anything, we should head to the meeting point.

While we walked, I was in front with her and told her that this was her life too and, while we want to keep hanging out with and getting to know her, she had to be OK with it as well. I made sure she understood that. Her life. Our life. Everyone had to be good with it. She said she was. I said we had no plans next weekend if she wanted to see us again. She said she did. I kept getting that elusive smile of hers. What a gem it is!

She was exhausted – we all were – and sorta napped while we waited. I may have snapped a photo of her with her head on the table and hair covering her face. I may have posted it on my [private and very locked down] FB. Then again, maybe not. 😉 The group home van came to pick her up and she crawled into the back seat. No hugs today. But when they came back around the parking lot, her little arm waved at us from the back. [I think it was hers, but Husband says it was another girl’s arm.]

We sat there for a while talking to TH about Ballerina and the next steps. We’ve now had 2 supervised visits with him present. He is going to recommend that we be allowed to do unsupervised visits and pick her up and drop her off for some semblance of normalcy. He also suggested that we bring her to our house so she can see it and see her room. I don’t think the visit was supposed to focus on us staying here for a long time, just to show her then go do other stuff. Whatever the case, it means a deep and thorough cleaning as her room is currently storing boxes since we had no idea how long this process as going to take.

As we were leaving, he asked if we’d thought about names. He said calling us mom and dad [shiver. gulp.] was far too soon, but what would we like her to call us. I said “uh, Becca and Steve?” which I thought was a given, but whatever. He said he’d bring that up with her in their next session. Mom. Dad. Eeep!

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Play Date with Ballerina – the First of Many to Come!

ballerinaHi! I didn’t post after the CW and CM visit, but Thursday afternoon, Husband and I decided to meet Ballerina this morning. OMFG. I have been a ball of knots and nerves since we made the plans. We decided to go paint pottery figuring we could talk or not talk while painting.

We had a fantastic time!!

We started off the day at 7am even though my alarm was set for 9. Nerves. Nerves all around. While waffling on what to wear, Husband started playing fun music so we were dancing around the house in a wild frenzy. It was the perfect thing to help relax our nerves. I opted for a non-fangirl shirt which was, quite frankly, difficult. I have so many that they outnumber every other shirt in my closet. Anyhow, we planned on breakfast out our favorite diner, but the wait was just too long so we went to McDonald’s.

The pottery place opened at 11 and we were set to meet there at 11:15. We were there for about 20 minutes before they arrived. I was actually scared to pick up the pieces bc my hands were shaking so much! Husband was sitting up front and had started painting when he yelled back to me that they were there.

Poor Ballerina was so scared that she just stood in the doorway for several long minutes paralyzed with fear. We talked, tried to calm her then finally I said I was going back to pick my piece and he went back to painting. I did not want to rush this! We were all nervous as it was. I went back and talked to TH – this was a “therapeutic visit” – and he said she was really excited but so nervous. Yep, I get that. We were still talking when she came back and said she was ready now so we picked out a piece for her. She was deciding between a Hello Kitty figurine and a penguin piggy bank. I helped her debate the merits of both and she picked the penguin so she could save her money in it. <3

We picked paints, I grabbed a yarn bowl then we settled in at the table with Husband. The 3 of us proceeded to chat, paint, and learn about each other for the better part of 3 hours. The chaperones went “on a walk” but I could see them peeking around the corner to see how we were doing. When they came back, Ballerina said “oh do I know you? Who are you?” which I took to be a good sign that she was comfortable with us. While this was a supervised visit, they wanted to make sure we were able to get to know each other. For most of the time, they were in the back room.


Her penguin (Ms. Penguina), his drawing (Mr. Penguino), my yarn bowl and his chili bowl.
After we finished, we decided to across the highway to grab some lunch. She was really quiet, but sat next to me again. We were mostly talking to the chaperones, but still involving her. It seemed like she liked us, but was still super shy about everything that was happening. We talked about all the cool things to do in Miami – the zoo, Jungle Island, museums, the beach, etc – and for future visits.

As we were leaving, she looked sad and told me that it was her disappointed face. I wrapped my arm around her back and said this wasn’t the last time she was seeing us then steered her through the door. At the cars we gave her hugs then went our separate ways. TH told us that the ball is in our court, but we want it in hers too. We have tentative plans for next weekend but only if she wants to hang out with us again. This is her life and future too.

As much as we want this, it would not be fair to force anything upon her – or any child – if they were unsure or didn’t want it. I know that we made the decision to grow our family through adoption, but it didn’t fully click until we were matched what a huge and amazing decision this is for her as well. She is old enough to know and comprehend everything that is happening and decide “do I want these total strangers to be my new parents?” and in a relatively short time too. Yes, of course she has therapists, case workers and other adults helping her with the process as we have the same people plus our huge support system.

Honestly, I cannot imagine what thoughts must be going through her mind right now. I hope with all my heart and soul that she wants to see us again and move forward, but it is a huge and major decision to make in her young life.

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Missing Karen

Dear Karen,

I cannot believe I missed your birthday on Sunday! Does this mean I have finally come to terms with you being gone? Not likely. Maybe getting my memorial tattoo actually helped. I got an awesome owl in memory of you, my grandmother, grandfather and baby Kayla Rose. Oh Kay loved you so! Just like I did.

Life has been so crazy hectic lately. Between our upcoming adoption, working full time at one job, part time at another and freelancing 2 websites, I am bloody exhausted and barely know what day it is. Thank goodness for Steve keeping me grounded. I so wish you’d met him.. You would have absolutely loved him.

Actually, I so wish you were around to meet my future little Fletchling. On second thought, you have a ton of dirt on me, so maybe that’s not a great idea.I was talking to a friend today about all the places we loved in Gainesville and I was thinking about all our old hangouts.

And to talk to me. Oh I miss you so much that just thinking about you makes me start sobbing. In fact, right now my eyes are so watery and my nose is so runny that I can barely type.

I have so many wonderful memories with you as my surrogate parent and closest friend in Gainesville. Thank you so much for helping me through those 4 years of college. I am truly so thankful at having spent much of the last 2 years of your life with you before you and Harry moved to Colorado.

Still miss you muchly.

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Karen was my neighbor and surrogate parents during college. She passed away May 6, 2006 from a massive heart attack.

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Accountability.

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Last night, I made a one-year plan. I sorta wrote it in the dark so the mega huge Sharpie helped me be able to read it.

Why am I posting it here on this blog that I’ve virtually ignored for months? Accountability. I’m putting it out there into the universe. I want to accomplish all these things.

Some are obvious (lose weight, join a gym, pay off cards) but some aren’t so much.

– Publish 3 more patterns – 2 days ago, i published a pattern on Ravelry for a Cabled Owls Hat I made. The hat was super easy, everyone raved about it, requests have been made for different colors, so I write up the pattern and published it. Within 12 hours, I had 4 sales. Needless to say, I was stoked!

– Push RSCS! – did you know that I’m a web and graphic designer? Of course you do! No really, do you? Steve and I own RS Creative Solutions and it is my goal to push it as hard as I can so that we turn a profit. I even have business cards and car magnets. Woo!

– Dump crappy friends – OK, this one is kinda obvious too. We all have those friends (or family members) that are more dead weight then beneficial. When someone drags you down, cut the rope and let the anchor sink.

– Cultivate awesome friends – you know, those ones you meet and have tons in common with and can laugh and giggle for hours? Or those that have been with you through thick and thin for practically your whole life but you have no time for. Yeah those. They need to be cherished and brought more front and center.

– Teach a knitting class – I was in Joann’s Fabric yesterday and picked up their class schedule. I have wanted to learn to quilt for some time and figured this would be a good starting point. Apparently unless I wanted to take several hours off in the middle of the work day, I’m never learning through them. All their classes save a few are before 5pm. I am going to take some of my more awesome pieces and convince them to let me teach kids, teens and adults.

– Get a better paying job with a non-assistant title – I won’t tell you how much I make (it would probably depress you), but I need to make more. A lot more. After all, I have been working since I was 12, in the “real” work arena for 15 years (holy smokes!) and have an MBA. A freakin MBA. And it’s sitting dormant and not working for me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boss. I really have lucked out having a boss that appreciates me and tries to help as much as she can. And not just bc she got Steve and I tickets to see Bon Jovi!!! But being someone’s assistant is getting me no where. Sure, the experience is phenomenal as I do want to work in development and fundraising, but…. I need a change.

– Research FL and OH adoption classes – there’s a lot more to this one than meets the eye. We want kids. We likely will never have biological kids, but that is OK as there are thousands of children out there without families in foster care. Since we have no idea where we will be living when the stars align, I’m researching both states and downloading both states home study applications. We aren’t getting any younger. We want a family. If I don’t get off my butt and do the work, this will be something else that passes me by in life.

– Have a dinner party at least 6 times – I hate cleaning. Do I need to elaborate? OK fine. Having dinner parties and friends over requires a clean house and an organized kitchen for my crazy recipe hoarding. This will push me to not only clean regularly, but keep things clean.

– Organize, clean and make office into guest room or craft space – in our “next apartment” I have all these dreams for our clean and new space. Um, we live here now. We just signed through August. Why keep dreaming of a pretty craft space with a day bed/ couch when I can do it now?

What are your plans for the next year?

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Foster-Adoption on Television

So I have been watching the last and final season of Brothers & Sisters, which finally came on Netflix. Yay! (But also Boo! bc I adored that show and the whole Walker clan.) Anyhow, one of the brothers, Kevin, and his husband Scotty have been trying to have a baby via surrogacy for a couple of seasons. After 2 miscarriages they stopped surrogacy – and all forms of creating a family for quite a while – then eventually started looking into foster adoption.

Image source

The last couple of episodes I watched they attended an adoption fair, were matched with an older child and are doing the weekend visits with her in their home. At the end of the last episode I saw, Nora and Uncle Saul met the little girl, Olivia, for the first time. Isn’t she just adorable?!

Oh yes, there were tears streaming… and I do mean mine. It made me sad thinking that my parents will probably never be that excited about meeting a child that is not biologically related to them. I actually don’t know how they feel about grandchildren in general, not just biological ones. It’s just never come up. I have heard, through the familial grapevine, that my mother doesn’t even think I want kids. Clearly she has never met me before.

My not wanting kids is the same as Jack marrying Juliet. As in, it could only exist in an alternate universe. Or in their case, a sideways universe. LOST reference, ftw!

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4 Years Ago Today, I Met my Husband

4 years ago, Steve and I finally met. I say “finally” as we met online (OKCupid) and had been emailing and IMing for roughly 3 months. During my last decade or so, I was a very active Livejournal blogger and chronicled e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. about my life. Including our relationship. The below posts were all written the day of our date. The “friend” I sent the picture to was, of course, Steve and it greatly amused him. Back then, he liked his cell phone a whole lot more.

During the last 4 years together, we went from living separately, living in his miniature 1 bedroom apartment for 3 months, moving into a huge town house, adopting Lola, changing jobs (us both), unemployment (us both), a trip to Pittsburgh, experiencing several snows (aieeee!), moving to Homestead, my graduation from ECU with my bad ass MBA, a trip to Las Vegas to get Married, a trip to West Virginia/ Ohio, meeting new friends, and so many other things.

Basically, it’s been an amazing trip and I am so freakin happy that we finally had a mutual day off from work (him) and homework (me) to meet.

I loves you, Steve! <3

ps- sorry for the lack of caps and random sentences. I totally LJ’d with train of thought… Apparently I was busier typing than worrying about silly things like proper sentence structure.

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Nov. 28th, 2007 at 11:14 AM

cuz why not?!

i sent this to a friend and thought y’all should enjoy my dorkiness as well!
hehhe
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i have a date tonight. he’s 36, deli manager at [[Harris Teeter]] and lives in Chapel Hill. i met him within days of meeting asshat. stupid me for making such a bad choice. anyhow.. i emailed date-guy a few days ago to tell him i was single again and see how he was doing. we’d kept in touch over the months via email, but he totally backed off. i gave him a brief synopsis of what happened and he’s like “how the hell can anyone in their right mind walk away from you?? maybe he was blind? or just plain stupid?” haha cute ::ego boost::

he was seeing someone for a few weeks, but told me last night he dumped her. i kinda wonder if it has to do with me… if so, then i feel kinda bad! [[no, I didn’t feel bad. At all.]]

 

Fire
Nov. 28th, 2007 at 8:04 PM

date was good. more on that later. it got cut short because….

Nichole and Miles’ apartment complex caught fire. like the building next to theirs. they left with the clothes on their back and 1 of the kitties that they were able to grab before the firemen were kicking them out and making them leave. they’ve left to go buy some clothes to wear tomorrow. hopefully they’ll be able to get back into their place in the morning… or even later tonight. they certainly can’t sleep there. i’ve never so badly wished i had a bigger house! Phoenix and the cat they have, Minion are not pleased. Phoenix won’t come anywhere near her carrier and when i pick him up, he hisses. Minion is now in my bathroom with some food and water and howling like crazy.

the freakiest part is that there were 3 firetrucks in my tiny little cul-de-sac last night. there wasn’t a fire, in fact i’m not sure what it was. but i did go out and ask the firemen if i needed to evacuate. but Nichole said if anything happened i could stay with them. their place is considerably bigger then mine though.

 

date
Nov. 28th, 2007 at 9:46 PM

date went well. quite well actually. he unexpectedly got the day off so instead of meeting after 7pm, he called me around 5:15 as i was leaving work and we met for dinner. i had to go home to grab a package at my complex office then put on jeans and make it to the restaurant. i made it from morrisville to carrboro to durham (over by Sam’s Club) in just under and hour including changing clothes. i. am. good!

so we sat and talked and ate until i got Nichole’s call. i felt terrible leaving so abruptly and told him “i swear this isn’t the ‘date is bad, call and bail me out’ call.. it’s really an emergency and we;ll do this again very soon!” he sent me a text on my way back here telling me to be careful and not drive like a crazy woman. (oops!)

after Nichole and Miles left, i gave him a call to let him know what all happened. i guess i was babbling a little cuz he was surprised to hear that there was actually a fire and not just trucks. me, babble? heh. we tried to figure out another date and i told him that honestly i was crazy with finals until the 13th, but didn’t want to wait that long. he said he got saturday off. so i asked what his feelings on dancing were (not great) and then invited him to the PPD holiday party. he was only hesitant when i told him it was semi-formal. lol. though i think the vision of me in a floor-length gown kinda offset that. i love getting dressed up and sparkly! i told him i’d find out what the guys were wearing (co-workers’ boyfriends, etc) and let him know and he could make the decision from there.

so, uhh.. we’ve been talking sporadically for just over 2 months. our 1st date lasted about an hour and was super casual. our 2nd will be going to a work holiday party in semi-formal garb. hmm… interesting.

i don’t know the last time a guy i dated met any of my friends, let alone work people. can anyone think back this far? it certainly hasn’t been since i’ve lived here (july 21, 2006)

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Missing my Mama Karen

You know those people that come into your life and make you a better person? That was Karen. She lived across the street from me in college and was such an amazing woman.

And I miss her so freakin much.

She passed away in May 2006 and every so often I’ll think of her and get really upset that she isn’t in my life anymore. Her birthday is/would be 10 days after our anniversary. But I’ll never get to wish her another happy birthday.

I’ve tried finding her husband, but he doesn’t appear to have a Facebook account. He isn’t FB friends with Karen’s son, nor can I remember his daughters names. I wanted to tell him that I too got married in Vegas, as they did, and when we saw the ship show at Treasure Island, I thought of them.

I just really really started missing her today. To the point of going back through my Livejournal and reading everything I’d written about her. She was such a great friend and surrogate parent to me during the 12 years we were friends. Last night (as I was writing in bed at 4am) I was crying. Big fat tears were rolling down my face.

I love you Karen and I will always miss you.

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Old Friends, New Opportunities


Source: google.com via Becca on Pinterest

Yesterday was really rough for me. It started off on the bad foot, but turned around into a potentially amazing opportunity. I’m not going to say more about this opp until I hear something else about it. The outcome will be finalized in less than 2 weeks so one way or other it’ll be posted here. =D When I told Steve about it, he was pretty excited. OK, once he woke up and comprehended what I said he was. Poor guy has a messed up sleep schedule most days from his job and unwillingness to miss out on his life by sleeping.

It really helped a lot to text most of the day with my friend Marie. We’re in similar situations and wanting to make a change and she was an awesome friend and cheerleader today. Thanks Marie!

Today I am having lunch with one of my college roommates, her husband and their 4-month old little beauty. I haven’t seen Vic in what feels like forever and they happen to be in town for a few days from Ohio. It couldn’t have worked out better! Our last meeting was when I was living in Gainesville, part 2, and she came to my job to print up some stuff for their upcoming wedding. We had so much fun living together and I think she was one of my last roomies in the house I owned. My brain is a bit fried and spotty from back then from trying to graduate. No, not from bad behaviors! I gave up drinking long before graduation and never touched any drugs to this day. Go on, be proud of me!

What was I talking about?

Right, people that make me laugh and smile and make efforts to keep in touch. They’re pretty darn awesome. I am so fortunate to have so many amazing friends.

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