Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The "Little" Misstep

(from August 7, 2014)
I have two descriptions for what happened a year ago with my kids. First, I call the decision to move them last year a "misstep on the judge's part." We sat in a hearing for much longer than usual discussing the possibility of their move. Everyone was against it. "Policy" forced it.

I call their actual two weeks and one day away from me their "mini-vacation", though I don't believe it was a vacation for any of the four of us involved. We are all quite thankful that the vacation was no longer than it was...that nothing egregious brought them back to me..that my house was still empty for them to return.

Today marks one year since they walked out the door. As it turns out, they won't walk out again. How nice that on the year anniversary of their misstep, I got drafts of their adoptive orders in my mailbox.

You just never know how things are going to turn out...

Monday, August 25, 2014

FGAs (Frequently Given Answers)

I found this in the depths of drafts...from wayback when the Fab Four were around:

"Yes, they are mine."
"No, not four girls.  He just needs a haircut."
"No, they are not twins."
"Yes, it takes a long time to get into the car."

Three full years later, I would add the following:
"Yes, they are all mine."
"Yes, I do their hair myself."
"No, they are not twins." (re: Speed and Sunshine)
"Are we looking at the same two kids?" (re: Chickadee and Junebug's "twinness")
"Yes, it takes a long time to get into the car."

Some things never change....

The Magic "E"

Though we can't officially change his name till adoption, we've informally changed the spelling of Speed's name by changing one letter to an E.

The conversation was something like this:
"Hey, did you notice that dentist called you Spade instead of Speed?"
"Would you like to change how you spell your name so that other people know how to say Speed right all the time?"

So we did.

I'm finding things allllll over the house with "E" on it. Drawing boards, sidewalks, papers. The boy has taken ownership of this one little letter.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Because I Can

and here begins a list of things I can do now that I know the kids are staying:

May 15, 2014: Turned in Speed's registration for pre-k which does not begin for FOUR months. Because I know he'll still be here.

May 16, 2014: Let Speed skip school for the hell of it (well, to go to Sea World). Because I know CPS doesn't really care about things like that at this point.

July 8, 2014: Plan a date with Speed to go buy a lunch box for pre-k. In August. And then turn to Sunshine and say: "Don't worry, I'll take you to do that next year."

August 8, 2014: Bought a pair of 3T pink jammies on clearance. Not for Sunshine because she has a zillion jammies already but for Chickadee, who will probably be big enough to wear them IN A COUPLE YEARS....

August 22, 2014: Saw Speed's (not yet legal) new name (including last name) on his "class list" for school. (In an effort to avoid having to explain changing name spelling and last name to peers, we are starting the year off this way.) I had to read the list twice to find him because I wasn't used to seeing my last name next to his first name and couldn't find him at first glance.

Car(seat) Max

Chickadee and Junebug are about the same size.  They both think it is THE MOST HYSTERICAL THING IN THE WORLD to swap car seats and sit in each other's spot.

Hysterical. They laugh all the way to their next destination.

What Strikes Me Today that Sunshine is the age Speed was when they arrived in May 2013. The exact age. And Chickadee is the exact age Sunshine was when they arrived in May 2013. (Have I mentioned that there is exactly 15 months between each child? To the day?).

This strikes me both in how much the older two were robbed of their childhoods and in how little they once were. I cannot remember Speed ever being as little as Sunshine is now. Hasn't he always been able to reach the sink and countertops?  I cannot imagine Sunshine being as socially carefree and playful as Chickadee is now. Along those lines, the difference in every.single.thing about Speed when he arrived vs. Sunshine now is astonishing.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

FAQ #7

(more from the Adoption Archive):
"Are you changing their names?"

I'm getting this one a LOT lately. A. LOT.

Short answer: First names*, no. Middle and last names, yes. (*with the exception of the spelling of one child's name in hopes it will be more pronounceable at first glance).

Long Answer: This is something I've felt very strongly about since 2007. There have been some WONKY NAMES in my house. Really, really out there type names. A portion of these three amigos may or may not fit into that category. But these are their names. Their identities. How people know them. How they know each other. The children attached to these names are the children I have grown to love. Their names fit them. At the end of the day, they are all each other has so changing even this small part of their identity seems to cross a line. Calling them something else just doesn't make sense to me.

Plenty of people do it. Those people are certainly allowed to make their own decisions. But my belief is that they are who they are and we'll carry those names for as long as they want them. If somewhere down the road, someone decides they don't want to go by the name given to them by their birth mother, that's fine. Move on over to the middle name.

But for now, they are still Speed, Sunshine and Chickadee.

Friday, August 15, 2014

On the Day I Knew We'd Be "We"

(Lest you think I was not blogging regarding adoption in the last few months, here's another from the Adoption Archive (May 15, 2014))

I went to Target. Nighttime pull-ups were on sale, but only if you bought two boxes. That's 120 pull-ups...4 months worth.

I bought 4 months worth of pull-ups because I can. Because I knew I'd use them. Because I can actually, for the first time in seven years, plan that far ahead.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Music To My Ears

Letting the cat out of the bag. This was written on June 17 regarding the Three Amigos. We've dotted enough Is and crossed enough Ts to share:

Phone call the other day:

Person: Hi, Tammy. My name is (x) and I am the adoption worker assigned to your kids' case.
Me: Will you please say that again?
Her: Um.....My name is (x) and I'm the adoption worker assigned to your kids' case.
Me: Thank you. It just sounds so nice that I wanted to hear it again.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Thank You Note

I got a short little hand-written thank you note of sorts today from Junebug's mom. "For taking such good care of Junebug."

I've never in seven years gotten a thank you note from a parent....

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Animal Birthday Cake

posted here for my old roommate who wanted to see what I got this year:

Chocolate dragon innards, chocolate cream cheese icing, orange candy scales, fruit roll up dragon wings, marshmallow toes..not a detail missed. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Sunshine from the back seat of the car yesterday:
"We not have pizza in a long, long time!"
Me: I know. Remember, Junebug can't have cheese!
"Well, we can pick the cheese off for her!"

Good thinking for a three-year-old. So tonight, that is what we did. Sunshine was very happy.

Sticking with a Theme

Have I ever mentioned that Sunshine and Chickadee's names are thematic? Unusual names but in the same "category"?

Coincidentally, Junebug's name is in the SAME category.

When they called to ask if I would take Junebug, we got through the details and I asked: "What's her name?"

And they told me.

"Of COURSE it is!!"

So now we have three girls who are obviously not biologically related but whose names appear to be chosen by the same mama.

Tonight we met some new friends. It's the first time I've had to introduce all three girls at once to someone who doesn't know we are a foster family. It totally sounds like I am the one who chose the names.

Oh how the eyebrows raised!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cheese Nazi

Junebug is dairy free. Sunshine reminds her of this fact often by going up to Junebug, scrunching her nose and in her deepest voice (which is not very deep) saying: