Friday, December 24, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow and Sick - Sick and Snow

I mentioned in my last post that we had a little bit of snow last week. We did indeed and we had some friends over to go sledding and then we all enjoyed some chili, hot chocolate and other libations. It was a TON of FUN! Here's the proof:

Did I mention we had FUN!!! All good things must come to an end however, and I woke up on that night with chills and a horrible sore throat. It's last all week and gotten progressively worse. It SUCKS! I had 2 negative strep tests, and then they drew some blood to test for mono. I will get those results tomorrow, but i don't think I have mono. Instead I think I have some yucky funky virus that Zachary had lingering on for a few weeks. Anyhow, just yesterday I was starting to feel somewhat alive again. We went to a SUPER fun birthday party for Kyle last night. It was an "Amazing Race" party dashing through the city for clues, complete with pit stops and yields. Our team failed miserably, since we never go in to the city for anything (except Vandy games). But it was still a BLAST and ended with dinner with some good friends. That brings us to this morning. Lydia came into our room whiny and complaining that sh can't breath and has a sore throat. :( I'll be so sad if she gets my junk the week of Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let it Snow Let it Snow...

We got several inches snow yesterday. Today is a SNOW DAY! We'll see about tomorrow and the rest of the week is supposed to be WINTRY too! I LOVE winter! I know... I know... I'm NUTS, BUT I DO!!! A pot of chili is cooking and we have friends coming over to go sledding in a bit...More pics to come!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Head

Is barely above water...

It's Christmas time. I'm so busy at work modifying behavior, only to have it all undone over Christmas break. I'm fighting the potty training battle with Zachy, but I'm winning, so yaaaa for ME! My Christmas shopping is coming along, but I haven't even started with "my hard to shop for peeps." SIGH... Oh, wait... Did I mention that seth is SOUTH AFRICA for two weeks!!!! I'm still breathing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It Just Is...Part 1

When I started this blog, I had the idea that I would share my kids stories. I thought I would use my experience and my knowledge to help others out there - mostly foster parents and adoptive parents - mostly b/c we got screwed over and over again for several years from the foster care and adoptive system.

I wasn't necessarily jaded or angry. I just had NO IDEA what in the world we were going to encounter or what to expect, EVEN after acquiring my LMSW degree and working for a private foster agency years earlier. I just know that I wished so very badly that I had known someone who had gone before me, in both arenas. I would have LOVED to have been warned. I would have given my left foot to have had someone to process it all with, someone who truly GOT IT. My friends and my mom can love me and listen all day long, but until you have traveled these roads...You can't know. You can't understand, even if you want to.

With all of that said...My thoughts and intentions of this public blog changed. Not only was I taking myself back to incredibly raw, harsh times that I was not prepared to do, but I was telling a story that also belonged my husband and more importantly, my kids. It wasn't only mine to tell - at least not so publicly. So this blog has become more about our lives as a family with an occasional blurb here and there about Foster Care/Infertility/and or/Adoption. Because I DO still care about couples hoping to adopt, or foster, or struggling to build their family genetically. While this may not sit well with so many jaded adoptee bloggers out there, WE are people too, and we have also dealt with loss, grief, abandonment, anger and sadness. We are NOT immune to the adoption process and all of it's tragedies.

We are carefully trying to keep cautious communication with our children's birth parents, but it's not easy. Secretly, in the selfish heart of my hearts, I would love to quietly run away and never tell my kids they are adopted and live in the perfect world of a family that is created biologically. Not because I don't want my kids to know their bio families, or vice versa, but just to spare the hurt - The hurt that is bound to show it's ugly head from time to time when my kids are assigned a school project on genetics in Science class, or the dreaded day that I discipline one of them and hear the words every adoptive mom or step mom fears..."You can't tell me what to do...You're NOT MY REAL MOM!"
There is no way around it. These things WILL happen. They won't happen every day, and they won't define us as a family (I hope and pray), but they WILL happen, and IT WILL HURT.
As humans, we don't want to hurt. In fact, we do everything humanly possible to avoid painful situations. We humans, and other living beings on this earth, do one of two things - We either FIGHT or FLIGHT! We choose to battle back to avoid the suffering, OR we run like hell and try to move on pretending we aren't affected, disturbed, sad and wounded - But either way, we always are!
Hurt, Pain, Loss and Gain...
None of us are exceptions. We all fall onto the spectrum during life. It doesn't matter. You can be an adoptee, an adoptive couple, a foster child, a birth mom, a birth dad, an infertile woman, and so on... We are all victims to these hardships in life. None of us are spared.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Halloween and Fall Fun!

Wow...We've been busy with work, college football, recently started basketball, Halloween, parties, potty training, Grandpa's birthday, and OH YEAH... Our house is FOR SALE!

Speaking of our house being for sale... I am crabby today b/c we found the house and YARD of our dreams and we have only had 5 showings. The problem... we can't do *jack* until we get a contract. And how are we going to get a contract when no one is coming to see our house? :( Of the 5 showings, 3 of them has been the SAME couple. They have looked at our house 3 times!! BUY IT ALREADY! OK, I'm done with that rant...haha. I'm trying to work on the instant gratification trait of mine, and you would think after the hellacious time we went through to build our family it would just be old hat for me... Ughhh. Not so much!

Life is GREAT though and here's the proof!
The Bug's Halloween Dance Class


Monday, November 1, 2010


Zachy, you are a little better than 2.5 years old. I cannot believe it baby boy! My goodness how sweet your kisses are and I love nothing more than snuggling with you. Of course 2.5 year olds say funny things all the time, and you are no exception.

Here are a few of the crazy things you say and do all of the time these days.

  • "I want a awful" = I want a waffle
  • "eww cummin mommy?" = You coming Mommy? -When I am walking behind you.
  • "I want Monkey Cheese!" = I want to go to Chuck E Cheese
  • "I want yellow muffins..." = I want banana nut muffins - You say this in the winiest voice you have and it's usually the first thing you say EVERY single morning!
  • "NO Yidia!" = NO Lydia!
  • "I want wovy, binky" = I want my lovey and binky (But just the other night the Binky Bunny came and got all of your binkys and took them to the babies that needed them!

In fact, you don't need your binky anymore b/c YOU are a BIG BOY!!! 2 weeks ago you started wearing UNDERWEAR and you're doing GREAT! You have a few accidents from time to time but we are SO PROUD of you!!!

You also LOVE playing with Lydia's little toy computer she has but you don't really play the educational games on it. You like the VIDEO games. Hahaha. You are ALL boy! You like to pay with Lego's and trains and cars and trucks. You also LOVE stuffed animals and every few months you pick a new favorite. Right now it's a little tiger that I think Grandma bought you once. You LOVE to play outside and ride your big wheel. You can't quite reach the pedals yet, but almost.

You are so sweet and love to cuddle, which makes mommy very happy! You have a beautiful smile and a sweet disposition. You say "please" and "thank you" all the time and and "bless you" when we sneeze. I love it! You are also VERY smart! You can count up to 20, I know, but I think you can even go farther than that. You know your ABC's and recognize all of your letters by sight. You know the days of the week and so much more! We are amazed by you! I think that big brain you have also makes you think everything is about YOU! Oh wait...maybe that's just b/c you are 2! ;) You can throw an awesome temper tantrum like nobody's business! Most of the time I just giggle to myself b/c I know it won't last forever and it's exactly what you are supposed to be doing my big 2.5 year old boy!

I love you more than you will ever know! Sweet Dreams little man...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Teen Mom

Dear Paparazzi and Media,

PLEASE, I BEG YOU, PLEASE STOP glamorizing the Teen Mom's from MTV. Everywhere we look we see their faces. You have plastered their pictures all over every magazine in the grocery store right next to Angelina Jolie and Katy Perry. Since when did a young, struggling teenage mom earn the cover of your digest week after week after week as if she is Madonna herself. I know you realize the message you are sending our wee ones, I just ask you to consider the ethics behind it. A recent People cover showed a cute picture of Catelynn and Tyler (the young couple who placed their baby for adoption) and the headline read: "We miss our baby" - leaving the millions who simply glimpse at it as they walk by to assume they are saying they made a mistake by placing. But if you actually read the article, or know anything about these sweet kids they are clearly happy with their choice - Irresponsible journalism at it's best!

Teenage pregnancy is a crisis in our country. There is nothing glamorous about being a teen mom yet, you are sending this skewed message to our youth every time you chase them around with cameras on the street or sit them down with beautiful hair and makeup to do a photo shoot as you would a rock star. It's really sickening. Please STOP this madness.

A responsible ADULT mom who realizes the true realities of motherhood - unlike the 14 year old KIDS you are marketing too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's just MY perspective Part 2

Ok, But first... My team ~ Vanderbilt ~WON BIG this weekend! We are a SEC team that can't usually pull our weight on the field, due to our high IQ's. And I mean that literally. Vandy is the only team in the SEC that carries extremely high standards when it comes to academics. It doesn't matter how well you carry the ball or how fast you can run. If you can't cut it in the classroom, you can't play with us. I have mixed emotions about this. But that's not for today!

Carrying on..... I started searching and reading in my newly found blog world, I found some great blogs of adoptees and birthmothers and also some really, really, disturbing blogs. And I am not here to judge. In fact, that's my whole point. But my g-d I had NO IDEA there were so many ANGRY adoptees out there. I pray that is a time of the past, as some of us adoptive parents are now realizing the importance of OPEN adoption and COMMUNICATION. I am the communicator to both of my children's birth families. I don't do that for Seth and me, I do that for my kids and their families. And honestly. We love Lydia's birthmom and also Zachary's family - but truth be told - it would be the easy life to disregard them and carry on.

Both Lydia and Zac's parents put us through HELL! They also put our kids through unnecessary trauma ~ but I get it. We were all living our own situations. At least in our tiny little world for OUR kids ~ I get it. And maybe one day I will share their whole stories - with their permission.
Anyhow - For this part of MY PERSPECTIVE - I just Can't BELIEVE HOW MEAN others can be on one another's blog. Whether you are an adoptee, an adopter, an infertile couple or whatever... For the love of G-D - We are all suffering - Can't we all just GET ALONG???

Apparently NOT! - MORE TO COME, I guess.

Just because we were CUTE way back when...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

From My Perspective....PART ONE

Ok, not that my perspective means a hill of beans in this ginormous blogosphere, but when it comes to my experience with infertility, fostering, and adopting (both almost internationally, and domestically) I think I know just a little something. But yet, it's still just from MY perspective.
Recently, I fixed up two of our single friends. At first they hit it off quite well, but a month later (actually yesterday) one of them broke it off. I quickly learned my lesson as a matchmaker because I was caught right smack dab in the middle. It was entirely fascinating to me how DIFFERENTLY both of them perceived how the relationship was going and eventually its demise. I mean, they both shared the exact same experience and both saw it sooooo differently. NO wonder it didn't work out.

Anyhow, as I have had this post brewing in my head the last several weeks, I couldn't help of thinking and linking that example to all of the controversy I read all over the blogging world about adoption and infertility. Wow! I had NO idea there was so much disagreement, but there sure as hell is.

I have had a private blog since 2005. My blog started simply through a google search on international adoption. Five years ago I didn't even know what a blog was. I remember asking Seth and he vaguely explained it. I clicked on the site Journey To Me and wall-ahhh, I was able to read hundreds of different blogs from others who were also adopting/adopted overseas. What an awesome resource as we were blindly about to begin this journey. I have always loved to read and write and since we had just recently decided to abandon fertility treatment and move toward adoption I found a home here for my thoughts, fears and excitement. It started out so innocently. We were so excited and wanted to share our BIG news of our choice of international adoption! Little did we know it would turn into a blog about LYDIA and not the baby we were hoping to adopt from China.

That blog went on for a little bit better than three years. It became our safe haven to update our friends and family about Lydia and C and court dates, trials, advocacy, tears, joy and all the rest. It was RAW. It came from my heart. It spared us from coming home from disappointing visits and court hearings and having to rehash it a thousand times over to everyone that was loving us, supporting us and praying for us. We were up and down and all around and it was a journey I hope I never have to repeat. My blog was a therapeutic life saver for me at the time.
When we finally adopted Zachary and then two months later were FINALLY able to adopt Lydia I felt the need to share. I wanted to help. I remember the many conversations with Seth and a few others while we were fostering Lydia. I saw firsthand how terribly screwed up the foster system was and I was determined that once this ride with Lydia was over, I was going to change it! I was going to write letters and maybe a book. I knew I had to be a voice on behalf of all the foster children and foster parents out there. Even if it took screaming at the top of my lungs, I was going to scream! Well, you know how that goes. I did try. I did make a couple of lame attempts with a few connections I had made and ranted and raved a little. But I am ashamed to say, that's as far as I got at least from a community stand point. I'd like to place the blame on my sudden parenthood to a newborn and toddler, but honestly, I can't. I could have done more. I still could and should!

My guilt (remember I am Catholic haha) about not pursuing change in the system crept up on me and one day I had the brilliant idea of changing my private blog to a public blog to reach out to others who may have questions or need support in the arena of infertility/foster care/adoption and so forth. I could at least do that! I had all of this knowledge and experience from the inside out (I am also a Social Worker) and I would have given anything to have someone to talk to who had walked in similar shoes when I needed support or questions answered. And with that, my public blog started here.

Ok, so you know how when you are going through a horrific time in life you always feel like YOU are the ONLY one dealing with this hell, and NO ONE else could possibly understand - well - that was the place I was coming from after my experiences of finally having children of my own. And with that, I just knew what a HUGE help and difference I could make here on this PUBLIC blog. Hahahahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Ok, I had NO IDEA. Really? There are others out fact I am finding, there are TONS of others out there. It's been awesome to connect and read all of your stories - many that are still going through the heartache of infertility - or excited to begin their journey to adoption - OR- those that are battling for their foster children's rights against the ugliness of the system. I mean hell, I didn't even know what "followers" meant or how to comment - so you can imagine how surprised I was by all of YOU! LOL. But then, by accident through comments and other various posts here and there, I saw the flip side of the coin. I saw the strong community of adoptees' blogs and also birthmothers that have bonded together and I was hooked. I wanted to read and read and absorb absolutely every word they write. I wanted to know that world and try to understand and experience from THEIR perspective. I wanted that for Seth and me, but so much more than that, I wanted it for MY Children, and my children's BIRTHMOTHERS and FATHERS!

And I STILL DO! Every day I am reading their blogs and trying to learn from them.

To Be Continued...I Have to go switch the laundry around and pick up toys - More on simply MY perspective coming soon.

My (pre) Thoughts on Adoption Issues

Thanks for all the comments and thoughts on potty training and such. I think Zachy will be sporting undies this weekend. Wish us luck. ;)

On another note. I have noticed a lot of controversial blog posts and comments regarding adoption. I have been thinking about this for several days now and have a post of my own brewing in my head. Hopefully I can get my thoughts to the keyboard this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conquer and Prevail!

Our Vanderbilt Commodores WON this weekend. So did Purdue. It was a GREAT day in the Taylor house on Saturday.

Now can someone PLEASE tell me how to "Conquer and Prevail" (which by the way is a Vandy cheer!) with the binky and potty training?? Zachy is 2.5 and needs to tell the binkys and diapers GOODBYE!

At this point I feel like he is going to be starting Kindergarten with them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Daddy wasn't able to spend his 36th birthday with us yesterday because he had to be at his annual "huddle" at work. In fact, he will be there all week. So Friday we will celebrate his birthday in style, but the kids and I celebrated yesterday in his honor.

Happy Birthday to the BEST Daddy and Husband we could ever Dream of. We love you!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have decided that since I truly suck at writing in their baby books anymore, I really need to start writing, typing, videoing, DOING SOMETHING to keep track of the hilarious things that come out of these kids mouths.

Last week Lydia came home from preschool with her usual "daily sheet" explaining briefly about her day. Apparently she declared to her 65 year old (very sweet grandmotherly) teacher and the rest of the 4 and 5 year olds in her class that she was going to be a BARTENDER when she grew up!

Seriously? Oh Good Lord, Just shoot me now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blog Like A Champion Today!

We just got home from South Bend, where we spent the weekend at Notre Dame. Can you tell by my blog title? Haha. This explains it of you're not familiar. Everything you see there displays this slogan and so many more, "Drive like A Champion today" were signs in the parking lots, "Drink like A Champion Today" were slogans on student t-shirts and so on... So, I thought, hell, why not. Haha.

I LOVED the campus and all the tradition. I loved the beautiful Basilica and the Grotto. Purdue lost, so that kind of sucked, but it was an AWESOME weekend. Where else can you befriend two elderly nuns at a bar? TRUE STORY! We even exchanged addresses. It was a weekend to go down in the books! GREAT TIME! And here are a few pictures...

This was taken Friday, when we were touring campus.

ME with Touchdown Jesus!

The Purdue Football Trailer!

A little bit of Tailgating Going On...Seth enjoying a Diet Coke and....

Seth's Best Friend Brad and Me


We're already ready for next weekend! :) Happy Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Excitment, Anticipation, and Wonder

It's THAT time of the year again! It's FOOTBALL SEASON! It's cooler weather, it's FALL! I LOVE the Fall! I love, love, love it! I love getting back into routine and opening the windows. I love to burn pumpkin and evergreen scent candles. I love watching football and wearing sweatshirts, and tailgating with friends. I love the reds and browns and bright orange everywhere. It's time for chili and garlic bread. And we are READY! Yipppeeee! Seth and I have tickets to the Purdue Vs. Notre Dame game in South Bend this weekend. We are so excited. The kids are going to my parents. We fly out Friday morning. I think the kids are excited as we are. :)

I am so glad that monday is a holiday and we get an extra day to hang out at home. We have a lot to do. We are diligently working on the house to get it ready to sell. Next week brings us back to BUSY at full speed ahead. The Bug will start back to weekly dance and swim lessons. Seth and I will start back to foster parent trainings. Weekends will be filled with LOTS of tailgating and football games.

This fall our house will become OPEN for fostering again and also be placed on the market. How that is going to work is yet to be determined. It will be interesting! It's exciting though!

I wonder what in the world the last part of 2010 will bring.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kindergarten Issues

I am totally confused and stressed about Kindergarten and where we will send the kids. Lydia will start next fall. I can't believe it, but she will. We have grown OUT of our house. We need more space and more storage but we are running into obstacles everywhere. And I am just at a loss. Seth wants me to have answers and I just don't have them. I don't like that feeling.

As I see it today, we have several options. Options are good I guess...Hmphhh.

1. The school we are zoned to is WAY overcrowded. We live in the best school zone in TN, but when they built our HUGE subdivision they did not plan for the thousands of children that would be attending school. Brilliant, huh? Anyhow, there is a tentative plan in the works to build a new school but it certainly won't be up and ready by next fall. I am OK with all of that b/c if we are zoned for the new school after Lydia starts, all of our neighbors will be as well, so it's not like Lydia would be starting all over again. She would at least know most of the other kids that would be switching to the new school. This of course is assuming we can't/don't sell our house OR buy another house still within our school zone.

2. We put our house on the market right away (and work our asses off to get it ready, b/c it is NOT ready), cross our fingers and pray that our house sells, we find our dream home and we are all settled by this time next fall. HOWEVER, have you seen the housing market lately? (((((SIGH))))))

3. We put Lydia in the Catholic Elementary school that is 20 minutes away from our home which is problem number ONE. Problem number TWO is having to pay tuition... UGH...Isn't there a reason we moved to the best school district around? Lastly, do we really want to put our kids in the white, Catholic bubble? Life is about diversity and it is VERY important to us that our kids grow up with knowing and accepting those different from us. The upside...Catholic education, UNIFORMS, a wonderful community for our whole family.

4. We send the kids to MY school district that I work for. I work for the city schools (we are zoned for the county schools). I hand pick their schools and teachers. That's a PLUS! The trouble with this is HUGE though...I am a contractor - not an employee. I know they would allow me to put my kids in their schools, BUT, what if my contract ends. What if they can't fund it next year, or in three years...We can't take that chance. I can't bear the thought of uprooting my kids from all of their friends and familiarity. ALSO - and I know this is going to sound crazy BUT, I am the Behavior Specialist for the district. I KNOW the kind of students we have. We definitely have diversity. LOTS of diversity. I just said we wanted our kids exposed to diversity right? So why am I afraid of it? I guess I don't my children to learn the F YOU expression at 5 years old...Ughhh.

I am so confused.

To my surprise, I saw this issue on the horizon last year. I don't know what to do. BUT, my gut is telling me to put my house on the market and see what happens. The response to that may answer a lot of our questions for us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alone Time

I never used to need or want alone time. I am energized by socializing. I dated a guy once that was the complete opposite. At the time I didn't get and didn't even try to understand it. Let's just say, there is a reason we aren't together now~BUT, I am starting to come around. It's not necessarily my personality. I am still outgoing and touchy feely, and like deep conversation, but I DEFINITELY NEED my alone time now.

I need time to just sit quietly and check my email and read some blogs. I need to sit down at night and enjoy a funny T.V. show (like The Modern Family) without thinking of my to do lists or worrying about what tomorrow brings. I don't want to text you, or answer your call. I don't want to change a diaper or fold laundry. I just want to sit and be.

This is new for me. I am trying to figure out how to do it peacefully, without feeling guilty. It's a work in progress.

On another note...Lydia's FIRST day of Pre-K was today! Pre-K...One year from Kindergarten. REALLY? How did THAT happen?

In just a few short weeks it will be 4 years ago that you showed up at our front door smiling ear from ear. You are Dream Come True Lydia! I love you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We are ready to foster. I have called our agency - TWICE. I have emailed them and sent 2 texts. STILL, we have not gotten the information about when we need to update training OR have an appointment to update our homestudy. I am going to call again this afternoon. Ughh. I just love our agency, but I am not going to BEG them to be a foster parent for them. There are a bizzlion kids in foster care waiting and needing homes. Come On!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back on the Foster Care Horse

We decided last week that we were going to put our hand back in the foster care world. I called our agency and told them yesterday. We have a lot of training to catch up on -

b/c you know, I, as an LMSW and Seth as an accidental LMSW by marriage, and a former foster parent KNOW NOTHING!
I mean seriously, if you grew up in a home whose parents fostered - Check, got a BSW in college and then went to work in the foster care system - Check, went back to school and got a MASTERS degree in this work - Check, AND have also fostered several kids and adopted from the system - Check - then REALLY shouldn't you be exempt from these trainings, which I consider an insult of my intelligence. I'm just saying.

While we are wasting our time attending training we will also be getting a new homestudy, physicals, and all of the financial stuff wrapped up! Pretty soon we will be set to go again. We are excited and anxious to see what this go around brings us.

Here we go again!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Kids and their Birth Families

I started a blog a LONG time ago. It was private. It was for friends and family when we decided to abandon anymore infertility treatment and adopt. Our plan...haha. It wasn't God's. We decided that we would adopt from China. We were sure we would welcome a beautiful baby girl orphaned and in need of us.

While we waited we decided to foster. In our minds, there was no better time. We were childless which meant we were open to any and every foster kid that might come our way. We didn't need to worry about kids that were violent, or had been abused or what age they were. We were a young single couple ready and excited to begin the journey while we waited patiently for Madeline - Our to-be adopted child from China.

We were DCS foster parents and 7 months later had only received ONE call in the middle of the night for a placement that we couldn't take - Seth was out of town. We were frustrated and felt out timeline winding down, expecting only an 18 month wait to travel to china for Madeline. As you all know by now, I am a Social Worker and was aware of the other foster care agencies around so I contacted a private agency. They seemed excited and sent some paperwork. We had barely were able to start filling it out when we got this call from them...
"Mrs. Taylor, I know we haven't met yet, but my name is Rachel. I am from the agency. I wanted to talk to you about a possible placement." She told me about a 14 year old girl that had come into custody. Her 4 month old baby had been in custody for a week in another foster home. They wanted to place them together and the current babies foster home would not accept the teenage mother. ( - I later found out this was NOT true and the family would have welcomed C into their home - Just ONE of many F ups that DCS made.)

I said YES without hesitation and called Seth. He was excited. They would be at our house with both girls by 8:00. We had 3 hours to prepare.
Fast Forward-
C and Lydia were with us for 3 weeks when C ran away. C did BEAUTIFULLY when she was here. I loved her and STILL DO! She is a sweet soul that was simply repeating the family cycle as we all humans do.

Background- C's mom - in prison all of C's life, C's father- Last known, in prison - but who knows. C's grandmother who had custody- suspected of selling drugs out of the house. Lydia's BF- 18 and in and out of jail. He is Currently in prison for a long time. C's new "husband" - also now in prison. C's Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc... In and out of jail. They have all been arrested for SERIOUS offenses. Many of them society would consider them dangerous. I know we do. But, of the few we have met, given different circumstances, given different life events I KNOW would have different outcomes.

Just recently, I made contact with C through myspace. - NO, I didn't have a myspace account until I found C - I am 35 for goodness sake! haha. It has been really nice. We even spoke on the phone once. I have been sending letters and pictures. We have exchanged a few emails.

C is the only one that doesn't hate us. She lived with us. She and I bonded. And although it was only 3 weeks, our hearts met. I can't explain it. I don't even know how to put it in words. I know Lydia will someday want to know, but all I will know to say is that...It was a GOD THING! - Totally overused cliche, I know...but C stayed just long enough with us to know that Lydia was safe. She stayed just long enough to know that Lydia was LOVED and would be cared for. While it is all still confusing and we have to be ultra careful, I look back and see God's hand in EVERYTHING. - Ummm, Ok, maybe not everything - NASTY DCS Worker and - RIDICULOUS DCS policies - But mostly everything. :)

I try very hard, as of late (for obvious reasons) to reconnect with Lydia's biological family. NOT FOR ME - FOR HER!!! Never Ever do I want my kids to hurt, or wonder.

Zachary's biological family is very different - Not better, Not worse - just VERY different. As I understand it to be, Zachary was either the youngest of 7 or 8 - There is some sketchy information. They loved him, but simply couldn't afford to care for another baby. Our relationship was mostly with his father Kevan. He is a GREAT MAN! He is kind and honest. He Loves Zachy, as does his BirthMOM. We had A LOT of problems, complications and heartache adopting Zac. BM was brainwashed by attorney and shopping around for AP at a better price -Our attorney got DRUNK - LITTER LY - and somehow, between all of the madness - we came home without him. We were told that BM had decided to parent by the hospital SW'r. We went home, SWEARING we would NEVER go through anything like that again - THIS WAS OUR SECOND FAILED ADOPTION! Then we got the call, two days later on a Friday morning. Ten VERY LONG and complicated days later, Zachary was OURS!!!

Since we brought Zachy home, I have sent about 3 or 4 letters to his birth family. I have also had contact with Kevan. We have text back and forth. Recently, they have asked us to STOP with letters and pictures. It makes me sad for them and it makes me sad for Zachary. Now we will wait. I will always and always respect them in THEIR TIME!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A letter to C

C is Lydia's birthmom. If you don't know, C and her baby Lydia came to us as foster children in 2006. Lydi was 5 months old. C had just turned 15. They were with us for 3 weeks. We had just gotten them settled into daycare and high school when C ran away.

There was one hell of a journey between then and Lydia's adoption. Recently I found C on MySpace and connected with her. Since 2006, she has given birth to another baby. A baby boy. As I understand it, he went straight into care but she recently got him back. That means she worked her plan and is doing well. That makes me SO HAPPY. She is a sweet soul. She is a lost soul. She has no support. No proper family to help. I am PROUD of her and pray this road of success continues on and on for her.

Anyhow. I wrote her a letter today. This will be the second letter I have sent since we connected online. Now that I have commented and emailed with several of you birthmoms... I would like your honest opinion. I don't want to push her away, although I am not as willing to allow her into our lives as I would Zachy's BPs. That is only for the safety of Lydia and our family. I do want to know though...She is 19 and we come from totally different worlds.

Does this sound completely dumb to a 19 year old?

Do I sound like I am stepping off of the set of the Brady Brunch? Too much Suburbia?

Am I asking too many questions or not enough?

I am including a few pics too...I always wonder though...Candid or Posed? Everyday or Special Occasion?

Man, This is HARD! Here is the letter....

August 3, 2010

Hi C.

Happy Birthday!! I can’t believe you are 19! You are growing up quickly! Last we spoke you were about to finish your GED. Hope you accomplished all of your goals. I saw online that you are no longer having to go to court for baby boy. I am very happy for you and very proud of you! I know you love him and how hard you have worked for this! I know you will give him a good life.

Our summer has been very busy. Lydia was on the neighborhood swim team and did AWESOME! She is a great swimmer and LOVES the water. We took a trip to Florida and she loves the beach! She had her first dance recital this summer and she danced her little heart out! She’s a little firecracker you know! She wants to wear a “princess dress” everyday and is already learning to read all on her own. She is too smart for her own good. :)

Her hair is getting really long and she won’t even discuss getting it cut. She knows what she wants and we love her for it! She wanted her ears pierced so badly so we agreed she could get them pierced. She was so excited and so brave, UNTIL she saw the needle and then quickly changed her mind and decided she should wait until she was older. It was so cute and we were so proud of her for trying!
In a month she will start Pre-K at her preschool. It’s crazy to think that she is going to be in Kindergarten next year. If she had it her way she would already be in the 2nd grade. Haha. She talks about school all the time and gets out paper and pencils and tells us she is “doing her homework.” Her favorite movies right now are Annie, and anything Strawberry Shortcake! If we are in the car she wants to listen to Taylor Swift over and over. She LOVES the song “You Belong to Me.” She knows every word! She likes to pretend she is a rock star! She will line up all of the chairs in the house and place a doll or stuffed animal in each one (oh, and of course us humans too), and puts on shows for us. It is hysterical to watch. She truly is a performer.

I don’t know about you, but we are all ready for some cooler weather! We are growing tired of these hot and sticky days. Otherwise we are all hanging in there. I hope you and your family are doing well. Please pass along our hellos. If you get a chance, I know Lydia would love to have some pictures of you and baby boy and know how you are doing. We sure do love seeing the new pics you post on MySpace. Baby boy and Lydia look a lot alike!

Continue to work hard for yourself and baby boy. We are always thinking of you, speaking of you, and praying for you.

All the Best,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy w/ Summer

We have had such a GREAT summer, although we haven't stopped.

-Trip to the beach- CHECK
-Trip to Holiday World- CHECK
-Trips to the pool- CHECK
-Trips to the lake- CHECK

Of course, my BIG plans of deep cleaning my house room by room has fallen by the wayside. But we have spent some GREAT family time together and even got to spend the last 4 days with our ENTIRE extended (except for one SIL) and nuclear family together at the lake house. That hasn't happened in years! It was great FUN! And one of the highlights of the summer was my sister and I reuniting with some cousins we haven't seen in 30 years. Thanks Facebook!

Now work is right around the corner rearing it's ugly head...BUT, if you know me. I am READY to get back into routine. I am ready for cooler weather and FOOTBALL!
My sister and I with our cousins in MN

Lake fun w/ Family in KY

Sweet Cousins

My nephew Sam

My beautiful SIL Sara and Zachy

Fishing with Uncle Matt and Cousin Nathan

Hanging at the lake house

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adoption Struggles from BOTH Ends

It's so hard to know what to say, what to do...from beginning (home study, Dear BM letter) to end - post placement - even years later.

I have always sent Zachary's birth parents letters and pictures. I think I have sent 3 or 4 in the last few years, including several pics via cell phone to Kevan, his Birth Father.

They recently moved and I (being stupid) misplaced their address. So I just sent Kevan a text asking him to please send me their address once more. He responded and told me that Jenny didn't want anymore letters or pictures. She was in too much pain still. :( My heart sank for her. I wish she was here and she could see him and hold him and kiss him. I wish she could see what a wonderful soul he is and how selfless her decision was. and how wonderfully happy he is. I just so badly want to be able to take her pain away. That will never happen. I know that. But it genuinely makes my so sad. I don't want anyone to hurt, let alone the mother of my baby who she lovingly placed in my arms.

I read lots of adoption books and also BM and AP's blogs. I try to see every perspective and try to accept all of the hurt feelings and anguish that occurs along the adoption journey for everyone. I wish I would have seen this coming. It tears me up to know that I have been sending pictures and letters that only made it harder for her. On the flip side, I so BADLY want this communication and relationship for Zachary.

I assured Kevan that we are always here, and in THEIR time we would love to hear from them. I promised the communication line would always be open - as long as it takes. I put the ball back in their court - even though it pains me to do so.

I don't know why I so much wish for an open adoption. Wait... Yes I do. I know how healthy they can be. I know how much Zachy is going to want to know where he is from, who he once belonged to and why he no longer does. I want him to have that piece. I also want so badly to take away Jenny and Kevan's pain, and I guess naively, I thought I was helping to do that by sharing his life with them.

Everyone grieves differently. I get that and I respect that. I guess I just wish I could heal just a tiny piece of there heart by passing along what an amazing little boy they brought into this world.

You are one little LOVED BOY Zachary Colin!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer is...

Boats and Swimming, Barbeque's and Margaritas
HOT and Sticky

Busy and Boooring, Popsicles and Ice Cream

The Library and Catching Fireflies


Picnics and Bubbles

Ice Water, Pink Lemonade, and Strawberries

Long Naps, Good Books

Walks around the Block, Playing in the Sprinkler

Friends and Family

Sunglasses and Flip Flops and Stars in the Sky...

and I can't believe it's almost OVER. I go back to school in just a few weeks and the kids will return to full time daycare. It's been a jam packed few months and I can honestly say I have surprised myself! I have done well staying home with the kids. Granted, I have made sure we are always on the go, but I think I have done OK - NOT great - but OK. This may sound horrible, but I am a MUCH better mom to my kids when I am working. I like to work - especially part-time so that I have quality time with them when I am not. I LOVE my kids to end of the earth but I enjoy feeling productive outside the home. I like having adult conversations, and the social piece that comes along with working. Of course the grass is ALWAYS greener. When I am at work I miss my kids dearly and can't wait for the end of the day - but I know this is healthy for OUR family.

Seth has been gone the last couple of weeks and will be gone a few more. It's been hard. Kudos to single moms! I seriously don't know how you do it. I am so lucky to have my parents so close and nieces to babysit for next to nothing. They save me (and my kids - haha) in times like this - when Seth is gone for long spurts.

Last night I had a major meltdown. This morning I had a small one. Yesterday I locked my keys in the car. Lydia tests me over and over again (as any 4 year old does) until I almost explode. Zachary throws fit after fit after fit, screaming and kicking and throwing his little body around like a rag doll (as all two year olds do) when he doesn't get his way. The TV remote stopped working and the hatchback in my mini van won't stay up by itself anymore - making unloading $150 worth of groceries in 95 degree heat tons of FUN! I attempted mass this morning. I don't know why but I did. It SUCKED! We ended up leaving half way through. The shitty-est part of it all was that we were going to get donuts and smoothies after mass if they were good and they WEREN'T - so we skipped it. I don't know when I will learn to stop threatening consequences when it hurts me more than them! hahahaa. My mom has had Lydia for the day and she called me a few minutes ago laughing. She said, "Boy, have I gotten an earful about your weekend." Hahaha. I guess Lydia informed my mom that "Me and Mommy just need a little bit of time apart." Hmmmm. I wonder where she got that!

Anyhow...Seth will be home tomorrow (at least for a few days) and then on Wed. I am leaving to go on a girls trip with my mom and sister to Minneapolis to see my Aunt Pat. I can't wait!

In closing Lydia was INSISTING on getting her ears pierced yesterday. God love her. She was sooo excited! It was all going great until she saw the piercing gun out of the corner of her eyes. Oh well...She has decided that she wants to wait until she is older now.

I am so PROUD of YOU for trying LYDI BUG!!! Don't worry - Your day will come and it will be SO SPECIAL!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alive and Well

We are.. I promise. It's been nuts around here. The kids are in daycare tomorrow so I may just have some free time to blog. That is after I cleanout the pantry, fridge and so on... haha. I have some cute pics to post. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

WHAT are we going to do TODAY?

Kelly is talking about activities for kids today. It cracks me up b/c I could go on forever. I feel like we haven't slowed down since the day I got off for the summer. truthfully, I sort of dread the summer b/c the last several years have been soooo hard. The kids are a little older now though and this summer has been a lot more enjoyable.

I would lOVE to do some of the FUN activities I have read about on all the other sites but good heavens, we haven't slowed down long enough this summer to breath.

I have been taking Lydia to swim lessons for 2 years now to the best program in Nashville. The problem...It's in Nashville. I'm a big wimp b/c it takes (tops) 25 minutes to get there - we live in a suburb just outside the city. BUT...I got so sick of driving up there. So, I asked her swim lesson coach who i could contact in our area just for the summer. And she suggested we put her on our neighborhood SWIM TEAM! WHAT??? She's 4! She is BARELY 4! The swim team? Can she even swim? She looked at me like I had 4 heads and said "Of course she can swim!" So, hesitantly, I signed her up.


She's a FISH!

Here are some pics of her first meet - where she actually placed 4th in the backstroke with 5 and 6 year olds!
Excited it's HER turn!

Swimmer's Take Your Mark...

Get Set Go!

Taking a break for a breath and a smile!


Here's the kicker... I chose to put her on our neighborhood swim team b/c I was tired of the commitment of driving into Nashville. Oh Good Lord. Swim team is 100x's that wienie drive. She has practice EVERY DAY! And the meets are roughly once a week! So, the jokes on me I suppose. Although, she LOVES it. She is learning so much and building endurance and we have met lots of great new neighbors. It's worth it.

Lately, when we have not been at the pool, we are dance and dress rehearsal for the recital on Saturday. I have one BUSY 4 year old! Her recital is tomorrow - AT LAST and then at least we will slow down a little.

Then we can get back to the things we love to do in the summer. Here are some of the things I have done with the kids that last couple summers to stay busy...

  • The Local Library - Ours has Toddler and Preschool times where they read stories, sing songs and make some sort of craft. It's AWESOME and takes at least an hour! haha.
  • The Mall Playground - It's INDOORS and they love it! - then we usually go to the food court and to eat lunch. This takes the "what am i going to feed them for lunch" and the messy kitchen clean up out of the equation.
  • Bowling - Our bowling alley has 1 free game per kid all summer long. We meet some friends and let the kids have fun. And...if you can get enough people together you can drag a free game out for a Loooong time. hehe.
  • Chuck E Cheese - I love this place for several reasons but mostly b/c they serve BEER! Haha. j/k...(sort of) But also b/c you can get tons of coupons and feed and entertain the kids for hours at this joint. If you can handle the chaos, you can kill more than an hour here!
  • Oh, and I almost forgot...Check out your local movie theatre. Many around us offer free (or next to nothing) children's movies during the day (typically morning hours). We haven't gotten a chance to do that yet this summer, but intend too.

Ok, are you getting the feeling I do not enjoy my LONG summer days at home with my kids - B/C you would be wrong. I DO - BUT only if we can stay VERY busy. I am really good at filling up the mornings up until nap time. What I struggle with is the witch hours of 3 - 5:30ish...Does any one else wish these hours away. Man, I do!

That's my contribution. Thanks Kelly and everyone out there with great ideas!