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,