Monday, February 27, 2012

The update arrived - cuteness enclosed

Our update arrived in our inboxes like clockwork Saturday night.  As always, Brit's dad gave a beautifully detailed update full of funny Brit stories.  Seriously, his email updates crack me up.  I read them over and over again and I chuckle every time.

It appears she is finally getting some hair, which is about time, considering her 2nd birthday is a month away.  I love the beautiful blonde locks.

In an effort to acknowledge more of the things I am thankful for with my adoption relationship, I must say that in addition to the great monthly email stories, I am grateful that they send great snapshots of Brit.  They are all casual and fun.  The pictures make me smile.  It is great to see Brit in her environment, playing and smiling.  Sometimes she has food on her face, and almost always she is barefoot.  I think those are the greatest pictures because they are real life.

Now, a special request...

For those of you who pray for me, I would ask a specific prayer.

Last year we were granted a visit with Brit around this time of her birthday.  We have reason to believe we will get another one this year too.

My prayer request is that we would be allowed to have our boys involved in the visit this year.  Last year we were specifically asked not to have the boys at the house when they came over so Brit was not overwhelmed.

This year we are hopeful that they do not again share this concern and instead welcome our children meeting their little sister.

Please pray that this will be the case.

Thanks to everyone and your support and encouragement.  I am thankful for every kind word.

And for my absolute favorite, 
which I call "I HATE PIG TAILS!"

Saturday, February 25, 2012

and we're waiting

BF and I have been checking our email from our phones all day long.  Just waiting for the update.  Even sweet Lanman knew that today was the 25th.

Can't wait to see her sweet little face.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Treating birth families like, well, FAMILY

2012 Best of Open Adoption Blogs

I was doing some really quick blog and discussion board catch up this morning.  I was interested to read a couple of comments that were posted on a discussion board I follow.

One question posed by a mother of an adopted child was "What pictures should I send to my daughter's birth mother?" (Wondering if they should only be of the child or should they include their family too.)

There were a few responses at the time I read the board, but the best in my mind was one mother who said, and I paraphrase, "I send any picture that I would send anyone else in our family."

Profound in its simplicity as far as I was concerned.

A second question posted, asked again by a mother of an adopted child, dealt with whether or not their family should tell their child's birth mother that they are not comfortable meeting her boyfriend (of about 6 months) at their next visit.  (The birth mother kindly asked in advance, giving the parents the opportunity to say no.)

Another mother replied (a blogging mom that I actually follow) that they don't tell their daughter's birth mother who she can or cannot bring to a visit.  Just like they do not tell other family members who they can or cannot bring to family get togethers.  Their daughter's birth mother knows that they expect she would only bring someone who is safe to be around their daughter.  But past that, they are open to allowing her bring her current boyfriend, a girl friend or any other member of her family with her.

Again, a wise statement in my book.

The common theme in both of these responses, by two different mommas.

We treat our child's birth family the same way we treat our own family.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Valentine's Day

Just a couple of cute pictures from Valentine's Day.

First is the gift we received from the boys.  Nana (BF's mom) helped all 4 of them make these sugarful delights for us.  

The cookie on the left was for me from my boys, the one on the right for BF from his boys.  

As a side note about Nana, she also made cookies for my ex and BF's ex so the kids could give them a Valentine treat too.  To add even more admiration that I have for her kind spirit, she drove my two boys to the fire station to give their dad his cookie.  Not even kidding.  BF's mother, took MY boys, to THEIR dad's work to give him a gift.  AMAZING!  She has such an inclusive heart.

And now for the typical brotherly interaction.  When stopping by to pick up their video game system that they left at their dad's house, the boys found what little snow we had left in a drift in his front yard.  As you can gauge from their attire (sweatshirts only), the snow was well on its way to melting.  It was only on the ground for about two days.  This could possibly be the only snow picture we will have for the entire winter.  (I LOVE KANSAS WEATHER!)

Disclaimer:  Neither child was harmed during this snow massacre.  This is how they show affection, I'm convinced.


Take this!

A snow facial

Back at you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A few words mean the world

We received a nice and light-hearted email from Brit's dad, thanking us for the Valentine's Day package.

And in his usual form, he included a hilarious story about Brit and a parenting fail that he had with a book he bought her.  I laughed out loud.

It is amazing how much that kind of communication means when I hang on every word that we hear from them.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine package sent

I put together a Valentine package for Brit and mailed it yesterday with the hope that she would get it today, right on Valentine's Day.  Since we are only one town away, generally mail gets to them the day after I send it, so I tried to time it right.

Here is a peek at what we sent.

I hope it makes Brit happy.  Even though she has no idea who we are, I want to bring her joy, even if it is anonymous.

And what little girl wouldn't love a conversation hearts necklace and bracelet?  Or mini jelly beans?  And a new Elmo book?

The boys and I continue to pray that someday we will be giving these small gifts to her in person.  But until then...

We love you Brit.

Yes sons, we talk about everything

I have been quiet on the blog lately.  I think it is because there are no new words to say.

Normal in my adoption world is silence.

I suppose that quiet indicates that everything is status quo.

So for a personal life update instead.

I am happy to report that the relationship between BF and me is everything I hoped and prayed for.  He is attentive to me and inclusive to my children.  We are acting like one big family and we are all very comfortable. I am so very thankful for all of this.  My soul is at peace now.  I feel content, happy and loved.

Our boys run us ragged all week long.  With sports practices, games and meets (3 playing basketball, 2 playing baseball, 1 in competitive indoor soccer, and 1 just finished with wrestling), we find that our every free minute is spent preparing for the next obligation.  And yet, our bleacher time is some of the greatest joy we have.

Which reminds me of something I thought of today as I took D to lunch.  I love my car time with the boys.  (OK, maybe not all the time, as some of their more memorable brotherly fights have happened while I was trying to drive.)  But for the most part, those moments, especially when I am alone with only one of the children, I find that we can have some amazing conversations.

I know all about middle school drama.

I know all about 5th grade drama.

I hear lame jokes.

I know that recess and PE are still every boy's favorite part of their day.

I only half listen as they talk about video games.

I laugh as they sing along with songs on the radio.

We eat dinner together (yes, in the car).

I crack up listening to them tell each other about their days and what they think was important.

They learn about me.  More than they want to know.

The boys were in the car with me the other day and D said, "Our family talks about everything, don't we?"

Yes sons, we talk about everything.  Probably more than we should.  But I love it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Big brother denied

I wish that this adoption situation wasn't so hard on my youngest son.  He is definitely passionate about the fact that he is being denied a relationship with HIS sister.

Last night he was talking to a friend I had over from church (someone who does not know us well), and he proceeded to tell her that he has a little sister who he is not allowed to see because her adoptive mom is not nice to us.

Now mind you, this woman from church didn't even know I had a child that I had placed.  She was witness to what she thought was a simple conversation about how many brothers and sisters are part of our family.  But instead of a simple answer, she was trying to put together all the tidbits of information that D was offering.

I was doing what I could to try to redirect the conversation, but it was obvious that I was trying to hush a child who wanted to tell about his family.  I wished I could run across the room and cover his mouth, but I think it is important that he is allowed to speak of his sister as if she is part of our family, because she is.  And let's be real here, he was speaking the truth.  He has a sister.  He is not allowed to know her.  He had no choice in the matter.  And it's not fair.

I quickly corrected D and said that he has no idea if Brit's mom is nice or not nice, because he doesn't even know her.  And I mentioned that Brit probably thinks her mom is very nice and I am sure she loves her very much.  I also told him (and the poor visitor who was watching it all go down) that just because we haven't been allowed to have a family visit with Brit, doesn't mean her mom is not nice.

But D wanted to be very clear that he is being denied a relationship with his REAL sister.  He continued by saying "I can prove it, if we had a DNA test they would KNOW she is MY sister!"

I am so sorry that I did this to my children.  All of them.

I just wish we could fix it.  I wish that we were allowed a relationship with this little girl. For the sake of all the children involved.

It seems like it could be such a simple solution that could be beneficial for all involved.

I wish we were all on the same page.