Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well well well, 2 posts in a day, it is definitely a record. My worker called a few minutes ago and informed me the kids will not be moving in Wednesday. It seems we are dealing with a county that is very limited financially and has these kids all on the basic level of care. None of them should be that low. Many of them should be MUCH higher. Now, 4 have RAD, 1 has CP, 4 have severe speech delays, and 3 are borderline MR. At least that is the latest information about them, it seems to change depending on who you talk to.

Their county has not completed the assessment packets that are required to place them as foster to adopt. They were trying to get out of it. Now their move in date is delayed indefinitely. It could be a week or a month, we just have no way of knowing.

The best part is I get to tell the foster parents and kids! Isn't that nice? Gotta love how these people delegate. At least they are going to be flexible about visits. They don't care how much or how often as long as we work it out with the foster parents.
I received a call this morning, it was bad news, a dear friend from our younger years has passed away. I was friends with his entire family (cousins, Gma, uncles, and mother). He lost control of his car on his way home from work and hit a fence. He died instantly. He is an only child and his Mother is devastated. She is bringing his body back tomorrow.

My husband and I will attend the funeral. I am sure it will be packed with our friends from our youth. It seems the only time we ever see any of them is when one of us dies. It has been awhile since we have had to do this, the last time was for his uncle.

I am not sure how we will work out care for the kids but this is very important to us and we will manage. I can't imagine taking them and hope it does not come to this but we both need to go.

He was a friend for more than 20 years. We will think of him often and miss him terribly.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

We all survived our first night together!!!! My nieces and daughter road with me to pick all the kids up so it was 10 to 1. We got there around 11 AM and it took until 1:30 PM to go 6 miles dur to a serious accident on the highway. It was a very hard trip back to our house b/c of all the traffic. I am begining to see a trend in the trips to and from their house, the 2 hour trip sometimes takes 4+ one way.

We stopped for lunch and all went well. The 7 year old got her feelings hurt b/c one of the 4 year olds did not want to sit with her. She ended up pouting for a good hour and then was fine. All in all, they did very well for being in the car for 4 1/2 hours.

We picked up pizza and they played around the house. They loved the house and the yard. They ran around playing with everything. Everyone cleaned up w/o an issue.

Bath time was an experience. Before we headed up, we sat all the kids down and explained we will not for any reason touch their private parts. They would be responsible for washing themselves, we would help with hair if needed. They thought that was funny, we wanted to get it out in the open that their private parts are their own. The oldest girl understood why we said this, we have always had a simular conversation with our girls when they first moved in. It leaves the door open to talk about appropriate touching later.

My husband went to the store to buy pullups and our son went with him. A teenager pulled out and squealed a tire, so our son started talking about his father doing such things and his temper. He then asked my husband if he does these things. My husband is a very calm fun person and does not have much in common with his father and told him he wold not be squealing his tires when he gets mad. He said, "My Daddy spanks me hard, do you spank hard?" My husband was surprised this came up so early on but replied, "I don't ever spank, that is something you don't have to worry about here." He was thrilled with it and started talking about other things.

Everyone went to bed fairly easy and were dry in the morning. I was so worried they would need me in the night, I barely slept or ate for that matter. I may have stumbled onto a much need weight loss program, adopt 6 kids simultaneously.

We went to the park on Saturday and played for about 30 minutes and the heat became too much for them and we went home. My husband had to take our son to the restroom while we were out, now this does not seem like a big deal unless you consider we only have had a girl and I did all of the bathroom stuff. Anyway, I tell him to go with dad and my husband's eyes became huge, like a deer caught in the headlights. He whispers to me that he had no idea what to do. I just laughed him off and when he came back they were very proud of themselves. He was afraid he would have to hold him over the seat or participate in some way. It will be something I will laugh about for some time!

Ok, time for me to vent a little bit. The older kids foster mom traded in her minivan for a truck. She laughs and tells me the kids wanted to know where they were going to sit. Duh! How else would they feel? She does not enforce seat belt laws either and the 10 year old rides in the front seat. What do I do? I am trying to maintain this relationship for the kids but some of the things she does really bothers me. She has stopped taking them to therapy and is just waiting for them to leave. I guess there are only 2 weeks and they will be here. I did say something to her about the seat belts and I hope it will help. But then I found out she drove the younger ones without car seats.

Friday we will have them all again for the weekend and our son turns six. We are making brownie sundaes and going to the Laser Show at Stone Mountain afterwards. My sisters and their families and both of our families will join us for sundaes briefly. I am keeping it small so the kids are not overwhelmed.

I am completely aware we are in the honeymoon phase but I love it. They are so good right now, none of the behaviors we have heard about. Can't wait until it all starts , you know, get it over with.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We lost the keys to the van and were in a state of panic the morning of the visit. We ran to the nearest Dodge dealership and had another key made. Guess what? The key did not work. Luckily as we were freaking out my husband looked down in the grass and there they were! We were then only about 15 minutes behind and would have easily made it up had we not encountered road construction. So there we are frantic about being late and the highway comes to a dead stop! It took us 2 hours to go 5 miles!!!!! I am not kidding. I had not eaten breakfast b/c I was nervous and now I was starving. My dauhgter was in the back asking every 2 minutes if we were almost there. My husband kept trying to tell me everything was ok. We did warn the FP about the traffic but I hate it when people are late and the poor kids were very anxious about our visit.

We get there and pick up the older kids first and then head over to get the younger ones. They were laying down for a nap and were thrilled to see all of us. Everyone was hungary so we headed to Fire Mountain (the kids chose and it is a buffet). We spent $60 and with the 25 trips to the restroom and 55 trips to the buffet, I never ate a bite! We were approached by 3 other familes and told how wonderfully behaved our beautiful children were. I would have been grateful but I couldn't look at them long enough to see who was saying it. The kids were great, I need more practice in coordinating the kids. I have no idea what they would eat and I don't know how long they can hold it so most of the experience for me was in a standing position and running back and forth to the potty.

Then we rented a hotel room and took them to the pool. That went very well. We painted toe nails and swam. The kids were really good. Of course someone had to push the limits a little and the 8 yr old did. She sulks when she gets caught doing something and she recovered. I didn't have the time to focus alot on it and she got it together quickly.

We took them to eat McDonald's before going home and that went fairly well. Big kids went home first and we took tons of their stuff home with us. When we got the younger ones home they bawled. It was very hard leaving them.

We have them this weekend from Friday morning to Saturday night. They will stay at our home. I have so much to do to prepare.

I was finally able to talk to the kid's therapist. Turns out 2 more of the kids probably have RAD. I am not surprised but am pissed that DFCS probably knew this and did not tell us. She feels the kids will do fine with our daughter and we seem like a good match. She encouraged us to seek attachment therapy and not to give up.

I feel like we can handle these kids. I think we are a good match. I worry about the financial strain the first few months. My stomach has been invaded by a flock of butterflies on caffeine. I am having a hard time going to sleep (not unusual for me).

Can't wait for the kids to come here!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tomorrow we have the kids for the whole day! There is NOTHING to do in their little town for that huge window of time. We have decided to rent a hotel room to use the pool. I bought the younger 4 swim suits with the life jacket built in so they don't drown on our first outing.

We have gotten to talk to them a couple of times this week and it was great. They are so cute in the phone. Our son got back on to tell me he loves me and I am his new Mommy. The girls all want to talk to my husband. I am ok for a minute but he is the funny one. They are all excited to meet our daughter. She refused to get on the phone but was comfortable yelling across the room things to them.

We have decided after a long talk that we are going to have to spend the money on a 15 passenger van. I am nervous about having a payment again, it's been 6+ years since we have had one. I looked around and found one that is a great deal but needs a paint job. It's only 4 years old and was used as a work van for painters so they took out all the seats in the back and destroyed the carpet. The guy removed the carpet so now you see the metal, I don't mind b/c it will be easier to sweep out now. The roof has rust spots on it from the ladders they had up there. I hope the kids are not embarrassed until we can repaint it. The payment is something I think we can handle and it is only for a couple of years.

My worker called today and they want to move up the placement date to June 3 and June 10. We are still waiting to hear from the kids SW about this. The foster moms called me upset this week that the kids are having a hard time between visits b/c none of them understand time and days of the week. We are only moving things along a tiny bit but we are getting closer.

Anyway more later, I hope we are able to sleep tonight. I am keeping my fingers crossed it does not rain!!!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We met the children's parents last Wednesday and it went well. They were as nervous as we were. The kids gave me a plant for my Bday and for Mother's Day. My fingers are crossed I do not kill it before they move in. You know it will be the first thing they look for in our house.
Not a ton I can say about the visit, it went by too fast, only 1 hour long. We have an all day visit this Saturday and we are really looking forward to being alone with them for awhile. Our daughter gets to meet them then. She is really excited and has been counting the days.
We are falling in love. It is amazing what happens to your heart. I feel responsible for them already. Getting to know them is a whole other process, love comes easy with this group. They are thoughtful and sweet, let's hope that part lasts.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

We met the kids!!!!!!! The honeymoon has started. They were on their best behavior. I can not tell you how gorgeous they are. They were all over DH and he thought it was great until I asked him to think about our daughter and what her reaction is to new people. She would NEVER hang or hug a person within a few minutes.

The oldest three were first and they showed us all their cheerleading tricks. They fipped throught the yard for an hour. One child repeatedly got hurt, DH fell for it but I was a bit weary of her falls. The only thing they wanted to know was what color was our house.

The oldest is a mother hen but sweet and smart. The next 2 have a hard time speaking and are delayed mentally as well. It is as if they have the word they want in their head but can't get their mouth to say it. The foster mother was kind and had a finger foods ready for us with fantastic sweet tea. She is having ahard time with their move and how she found out.

I love the other foster mother. She is a single mom with 5 kids between 3-5 yrs old. She has her hands full. She was visibly upset when she left us to our visit. I convinced her to please join us and that seemed to really help. She wsa telling the kids how lucky they were to have such nice new parents. She asked questions for them that she thought they would like to know. They have so many things to move with them it is not even funny. She offered to send their beds and everything, we declined b/c we have their rooms set up.

The younger three are adorable and after they warmed up a bit they were all over us. We had a very hard time understanding the older 2 and the youngest had to interpret for them. She seems to be their mother hen. SHe has braces on her legs and has CP but it did not slow her down at all. The boy is so darn cute, he is all boy! He loves trucks and cars. He is very happy he will have a Spongebob room. He is very delayed, proably about a 3 year old level. The other girl was fascinated with my breasts. She had a hard time not focusing on them. Nothing inappropriate, just amazed at their size. She, too, is delayed a little. We all think stability will provide them what they need to grow.

I am so thrilled to have finally met them. You start falling inlove the minute you have the names and when you meet your kids it starts to sink in...they are my kids. Good or bad, we will love them and are prepared for an extremely difficult first year. Both foster families insist they are great kids, we are still assuming it will be a hard transition and are committed to seeing this through.

I worry about our daughter getting jealous of the atention these kids will need and demand. She is used to having all the hugs she wants, now she will have to share us. She is a great kid and I am sure she will benefit from having siblings even if it hurts alittle at first.

Speaking of our daughter, she had a visit with her sisters that did not go well. I will talk more about it tomorrow b/c it is a whole page in itself. I do not know how to continue that relationship. It must be done but i do not know how.

Friday, May 05, 2006

We met the kids tomorrow! I called the foster parents last night to arrange a time to be there and WOW what a conversation. I talked to one of them for about an hour and a half and the other for over 3 hours!

The foster mom of the younger kids is thrilled they have found a forever home. She has had them for a year and will be supportive of us as best she can. She was very frank and helpful in giving info about their needs and what behaviors to expect. She keeps the older group sometimes on the weekend and said this group is as good as it gets with foster children. (Her words not mine) She claims they have problems but as long as they are supervised they are manageable. They do struggle to do simple tasks but not out of anger, just b/c they do not know how. She says she will miss them terribly.

The foster mom to the older kids had all 6 of them for 2 years when they were returned to their parents and eventually got the older 3 back but did not have room for all of them. SHe said she was very mad at this situation and I was worried the first 10 minutes of the conversation that she might sabatoge this for the kids w/o meaning to. She really opened up about her feelings and I comforted her by telling her we do want the kids to maintain healthy relationships in their lives. SHe has had an important role in their young lives. She apologized for refering to me as "that woman" prior to our conversation and we both laughed when I told her she could call me anything as long as she did not call me late for dinner. SHe is supportive of the children being together and agrees to help make that happen.

She does have a close relationship with the kids parents and warned me to watch out that they may try to take them and run. She says they will not harm us or the kids and that they really love them and want what is best for them. They are heartbroken that they won't ever get their children back. She also warned me they have an extensive history of false allegations against the foster parents, all of them except her.

DFCS begged the parents on Wed to consider dropping the appeal in exchange of an open adoption. It makes me feel like this is some sort of bribe. We agreed to an open adoption either way. The parents have low IQs and may not understand what open adoption is or thatthis is a bribe of sorts. We get to meet them on Wed so my fingers are crossed that all goes well. I am hoping the foster mother says some god things about us and that will ease their minds a little.

Byt he way, I have a pop up blocker on here that does not allow me to spell check. It is driving me crazy!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I have been focusing on educating myself on Cerebral Palsy and cleaning out the garage. One is very interesting and the other is a nightmare. I feel like I have the basic info now to move forward and look for the specialists that our daughter will need. I was amazed at all the great help I got from parents on a Yahoo group I belong to. They responded quickly and gave me lots of helpful hints and told me what to expect. In the begining, I felt kinda overwhelmed about the CP. I had no idea what to ask or how to get started. These people told what kind of treatments to expect, where to go to find doctors, and even how to deal with the school system. Thank you OurCPKids!

About that garage.....I hope to have a yard sale in a couple of weeks to get rid of everything so the little kids have a place to ride their bikes off the street and I can sit in the shade to watch. It is not going as well as I planned. I am forced to babysit a little boy whos mother works for my husband. This does not allow me the time to go out there and get it done. I was able to work up the nerve to tell her I can't after this week. I will still have my niece but she does not require 100% of my attention and understands what "NO" means. So I am thinking I may put the garage off until next week. (Yes, I am procrastinating!)

My husband is out of town this week and my daughter is sleeping in my bed. I have not slept well. I do not know how some families co-sleep. I have a whole new respect for them to do so for the sake of attachment. I will not be doing it. I am woried about breaking my daughter from the habit of crawling into my bed early in the morning on the weekend. I am afraid I will have 7 children in there every Saturday and Sunday. At the same time I remember doing it to my parents and loving the smell of their pillows. I have a feeling they will just boot me out and take over.

Still no word from the SW confirming the schedule we have. I guess the foster parents are either ok with it or are having a really hard time with it. I hope they are ok. I would be heartbroken. I hope they decide to continue a relationship with the kids. They have been a big part of their lives. We will definitely encourage them to do so.