A Poster Child for Older Adopted Children

January 25th, 2008

Putting out a minimum of posts lately is not due to any lack of ideas or material. Living with my children gives me enough to write about for decades to come, and then I’ll write about everything else that I never had time to blog. In sixth grade I clearly remember a teacher threatening my friends and I with, “If y’all don’t stop talking I’ll have you write 500 page essays!” I recall then thinking something along the lines of, “Have at it Miss Turner, I could write 1000 words before you even cross the classroom.” Verbosity is not a problem. Fortunately I didn’t blurt it out as I’m now more likely to do in my fifties. Age has its privileges. What I’m recently struggling with is keeping… [more]

Holiday Traditions

December 26th, 2007
Categories: Family Time

Most of my older adopted children basically came off the streets where they’d been allowed to run unsupervised and certainly undisciplined. Clueless as to proper behavior of any sort, full of anger issues and emotional challenges, I now have just a few years to teach them civilized manners and people skills. In their former families, holidays were all too often drunken revelries, drugs were involved and the children were neglected. When holidays arrived, the children automatically cringed knowing intuitively that trouble was on the way. Now, years later with many calm holidays under their belts, I’m attempting to replace all their once learned negative behaviors with proper ones. I usually have around fifty people here each holiday. My older children bring food and we make it more of… [more]

Stress Relief

November 8th, 2007

It may appear that I am obsessed with parenting and adoption, and while it is my priority, I am nearly as emotionally involved in food production. For some reason, this endeavor has always made me deliriously happy. That’s a good thing as I take my role as food provider for 39 children seriously. I want to teach, model and enable good nutrition and there’s no better way than in growing one’s food organically. Children coming from backgrounds of lack and deprivation such as my kids, all adopted from the foster care system, are always amazed to simply walk outside and be greeted by delicious food, seemingly free for the taking. Trying to raise my children as green as possible, I find the garden and… [more]

Planning a Day With Older Adopted Children

October 5th, 2007

I wish I could say that I follow my Franklin-Covey planning goals correctly each day, but I’ve been guilty at times of forgetting to even check where I need to be that day. My mother had to remind me yesterday of two dental appointments early in the morning of my children’s first day of Fall Break. Oops, sorry kids, if I’d checked my planner before scheduling such follow-ups I’d have chosen a later time at least. And in listening to myself, I find it humorous that at age 53, my mother is still reminding me of what to do. She, at age 77, likes to run errands, something I hate to do, so she or Grandpa tended to the dentist appointments for… [more]

Here Comes Holiday H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

October 2nd, 2007

I hear folks exclaiming mightily over the cooler fall weather. “It’s my favorite time of year,” I hear joyfully proclaimed by many to me. They must be out of their minds I wonder to myself. Fall weather seems to be The Dying Season to me. Leaves shrivel and fall off the trees; frost takes my delicious vegetables, decimating my garden, burning the flowers, leaving a trail of destruction. Baseball season ends this month with the World Series, pools are closed down, and night comes way too early. We shut the windows, drag out the extra clothes that weigh us down, and the kids start to crumble in preparation of Holiday Hell. Schools amp up their celebrations of each holiday, a good thing for regular… [more]

What I Originally Imagined

September 30th, 2007

My 21 year old son is a nut. We have a semi-independent living facility here, a doublewide trailer on our property; I bought it very used and very cheap. We’ve worked on it a lot, it has caved in at times sort of, but we’ve fixed it up. It’s where half-grown kids over 18 can go to live rent free if they so desire. My family rules still apply, but the 50 yard distance really helps our relationship when they’re in the ‘too big for their britches’ phase. Two of my daughters lived there through college with a brother who didn’t last too long in college. Just staying out of jail back then was challenge enough for that hard-headed… [more]

Nothing of Their Former Lives?

September 28th, 2007

A comment yesterday has stayed in my mind regarding “nothing of their former lives.” The exact quote was, “It always surprised me to hear him and his siblings talk about their childhoods, because I knew nothing of their "former" lives...my reality was what I knew.” Now that eight of my grown children have had their own children, what should they say about their early childhood years before they were adopted? When their children are old enough, should they spill the beans? So far, my oldest granddaughter, now 12, knows very little about her mother’s life in El Salvador. This granddaughter can do the math, learn how young her mom actually was when she married and birthed a baby. She was so very young… [more]

Witnessing Childbirth

September 27th, 2007

I had my sixteenth grandchild this evening, a pretty little girl named after two grandmothers, Hazel Bailey. Hazel Bay for short as one great grandmother has always been called Bay. This is my birth daughter’s second child. When she had her first child Ray, it was my ninth grandchild and one of my adopted daughters who’d been with me nearly 20 years actually said to me, “I’ll bet you’re really happy about this one.” She shocked me with that statement. I was happy every time I had a grandchild, a little daunted to find myself with one at age 40 certainly, but I quickly figured out what a blessing it was to me. She’s a seventh grader now, that first granddaughter of mine. Oddly enough, my birth daughter’s… [more]

Our Family Tree…Such As It Is

September 26th, 2007

Like a mama with 39 kids doesn’t have a big enough family, this pictures illustrates the convolutions. My youngest daughter is on the left. The son of my oldest daughter is on the right, with his cousin in the middle. She’s the granddaughter of my first ex-husband, the daughter of his second daughter by his second wife. My birth daughter was his first daughter by his first wife. “Is she my cousin too?” Tabby, my youngest daughter, demanded to know. My first ex-husband and I tried to figure it out. “I suppose so,” I finally answered, getting a headache from the attempt to untangle our family tree that branches so challengingly. This young daughter of mine is an aunt to 15 nieces and… [more]

Growing Our Own Security

September 2nd, 2007

We’re down to only two refrigerators and three freezers now. My kids get nervous if I get down to just two gallons of milk in the house, coming from a deprived background they nervously fear the imminent return of empty cupboards so I over do. We have a walk-in pantry, lined with shelves and I keep it at least 90% full at all times, I try and stay ahead of five nights of dinners for 25 folks. We live too far out from the grocery store and it seems like such a time sucker to me to wander its aisles, I try and go just once a week if possible. I’ve lived nearly 15 years in our present house and we’ve steadily planted fruit trees, bushes… [more]