Snow Day!!!

January 10th, 2011

winter_funI awoke this morning to a beautiful covering of snow in our neighborhood--it isn't that deep, just enough to cover the bronze and dormant yard, and enough to make the trees look like Ansel Adams photographs.  It's beautiful outside--and peaceful.  Although there is not a lot of snow now, there is more in the forecast.  The weatherman said that we can expect up to eight more inches today.  In this part of the world, that only means one thing....SNOW DAY!! All of the plans I had for today are out the window.  And instead of bustling about right now having to get school clothes ready and lunches packed, I am pausing to write, because I know that once this is posted, I'm going… [more]

How Holidays Can Effect A New Family

April 10th, 2009

I love holidays! I think any reason to celebrate is a great one. I've been know to throw my dog a birthday party just for an excuse for a cookout. This is how I normally am. A year into having Mita and Enu home, I almost dread holidays, special days, 2-hour delay's and snow days. Any break in the normal can cause an issue and make a day go bad. These feelings are not great, but they are real and it can be very wearing for a parent. I made Christmas very simple this year and things went well. Mita's birthday was a bit overwhelming for her, but she pulled through like a champ. Valentines day was confusing… [more]

How to Incorperate Games Into Family Life With Your Older Kids

February 26th, 2009

All kids love games. That is a given. However, it can be challenging and overwhelming for a child who knows little English or is not used to taking turns to look into the game closet at home. I thought having our games in the back of our large closet would keep them out of sight, therefore out of mind. I was wrong! To all parents preparing your homes for older children, please take my advice and hide your games. You will save yourself time, money and pain. It can be painful to step on the Monopoly shoe or the Candy Land markers! It I were granted a “do-over” when it came to games at home I would hide them… [more]

My Daughter Memaw

June 15th, 2007

What makes some children so resilient that they are able to smile after horrendous childhoods? I have several such survivors here within our family. One 12 year old, sunny and happy, described by her caseworker as such a good kid, excuse my cynicism but I’ve heard that before and those same children were later hell-bent on their own destruction, hoping to take down as many bystanders as possible. But my 12 year old really is a good kid. Deprived for years of her siblings, bounced around like Flubber, put through emergency shelters, foster homes and wherever her bio mom left her for days and weeks at a time, not an iota of stability until after her 10th birthday when she… [more]

My Runaway Daughter’s Week

June 1st, 2007

I had a runaway daughter this past week. The middle child, now almost 17, in an original sibling group of 7 tough, strong-willed children, tore out of our house after the beautiful afternoon high school graduation of her older birth sister. I’d pointed out that she seemed to be harboring a raging case of PMS. Often she’s referred to as our favorite Viper Girl due to a particularly strong mean streak. Conversely she’s very attached to me, needs my constant reassurance and she’s affectionate as well, helpful even. Her birth mom had singled her out for physical abuse; she’s often shared some horrific tales of abuse with me. Slow to trust me, she’d been seeing a psychologist… [more]

Cleats For Feets Program

May 29th, 2007

There’s a local high school soccer coach who set up a ‘Cleats for Feets’ program here in our community that has benefited my children in immeasurable ways. There’s a $50.00 registration fee in order to play rec league soccer per child. I have 14 children playing twice a year. This same coach initially bought cleats, shin guards, soccer socks and soccer balls for my children as well. Since then I’ve met many parents on the field who donated their children’s out-grown equipment to us and I shop at yard sales. This is the kind of help that I greatly appreciate. I did not know this coach before this, none of my sons were on his team, and as our county has… [more]

Grief Therapy

April 19th, 2007

Eleven years ago tonight, around midnight, my one sister died. In her thirties, happily married and the mother of a seven years old daughter, she’d battled breast cancer for years. She’d looked into international adoption at one time, but then had to spend all her energy on maintaining her health. She was both my biggest supporter and my biggest critic; I suppose everyone needs one of them in their life. I’ve missed her ever since, but I’ve been blessed by getting to spend time with my niece, several times each year although she lives 600 miles away. One big discussion we’d had involved my sister’s fears that I wouldn’t have time for her as my family grew. Because she… [more]

Growing A Large Family

April 18th, 2007

"Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt. The biggest things are always the easiest to do because there is no competition." (William Van Horne) I’ve received several emails lately from adoptive parents who are frustrated with their social workers, mainly because these young, childless professionals do not understand the desire to have a large family. First off I’d like to say that my large family grew over a very long period of time. I’ve been parenting for almost 34 years. My worker then would not have allowed us to grow quickly. She always made sure that time elapsed between adoptions, she examined my motives, my resources and my family dynamics plus she held me… [more]

Parenting Grown Adopted Children

April 18th, 2007

I’d like to stress something important in the adoption world. Parenting does not end at age 18. I am finding that parenting begins at age 18. For some reason, maybe because they’d all once been in foster care, where kids are put out, unprepared, at age 18 into the cold, cruel world, that they alternately cling and push me away during their early young adult years. Lanette blogged about the issues, the insecurity and the near impossibility of foster care. Age 18 is a phenomenally rocky year in our household, 17 is also very tough as the dread approaches. I’ve tried to avoid this, to reassure my children that I don’t stop being the mama, but words seem useless… [more]

Sports As Therapy

April 14th, 2007

I’ve had the same caseworker for nearly 20 years, although in the last few adoptions she assigned our family to a different caseworker, she owns the adoption agency, and has kept tabs on us for a very long time. She’s become a friend, someone whose opinion I trust more than just about anyone else’s on earth, and now that she is an adoptive mother of challenging children, she really understands. I was telling her today about how we have four soccer teams and two different church league softball teams underway, I am spending all my time bopping between games, fields, and practices. Literally, this is consuming all my time. She indicated that she was impressed that I’d do all this for so… [more]