Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
There were a couple of new bulletins, but none that were a match for us. There were either babies or 8-9 year olds, which is the exact range that we have blacked out.
I did ask finally ask her if she knew what the average length of time was for a family to have a placement after having completed their homestudy. She said that she didn't have any statistics like that, but that, in her experience, it's longer than we've been at it. She said that another family she's working with who were looking for a child in more or less the same age range as ourselves just got a placement after going to 4 committees and waiting (from homestudy completion) for one and a half years. Yikes! That's a long time.
Barbara also said that I was much more active and involved in the process than most families that she works with, so she thinks that we might get a placement sooner. With our second committee coming up, she feels like we're average to faster than most families that she's worked with. So, that's that. While it feels like a long time, it doesn't seem to actually be the case. I do know that it's much faster for some people in other states, but have also communicated with people for whom the process is longer in other states.
Davan and I rode bikes to a program at the library this morning. Davan almost got hit by a truck making a left hand turn! It scared me near to death. Davan was crossing with a green light maybe 20 feet ahead of me. It was an intersection where the left turn doesn't have an arrow. This pick up truck came whizzing through, not looking at all. I yelled out "SHHHIIITTTT!!!!!!" Which did seem to get the truck driver's attention, as he did change course at the last minute. They passed within a few feet of each other. I then yelled after the truck, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING!?!?!?!" There was a guy in the open back of the truck who kind of shrugged apologetically at me and they were off. Obviously, I'm very eloquent when scared.
Davan and I stopped just past the intersection and hugged for a while. She was trembling. Then we agreed that it was good that no one was hurt and both thought about all the many times we've ridden our bikes without any such thing happening to us. We rode on.
The performer at the library was a ventriloquist/illutionist who was somewhat entertaining, but, as Davan said afterward, "All of his puppets told the same sort of jokes and they were a bit mean." So, it wasn't a great hit.
Afterward, we went to Toy Bear, which is a really great toy store in Gresham. Sadly, they are closing. They're having a closing sale, so we stocked up on some gifts. I think I've got Christmas and birthdays covered for the rest of the year for children we buy for other than Davan. We also picked up a couple of Gamewrite games for ourselves because we love them. Davan picked out a set of new doll house people. At some rash time in her past, she decided to pass on the boys from her doll house family and is now regretting that. Her families are now meshing. I think the older doll house mom might be being passed on, though. We'll assume that's not a commentary on what she'd like to see happen with me...
On the way home we stopped at a cherry tree that doesn't seem to belong to anyone, as it's standing in an empty lot, climbed up and procured ourselves some cherries to go with lunch. We didn't get a ton - there were many, many more up higher than we could reach - but we got plenty to have with lunch. At also turned out to be just as well that we couldn't get more, because they were only so-so. Not as sweet as we're used to in a cherry. I don't know why.
We'd talked about maybe going swimming again this afternoon, but we didn't get back from our morning adventures and done with lunch until about 2:30, so we've opted not to swim. I do have a date to jump on the trampoline with Davan shortly, though. We've talked about putting the sprinkler under it for hot days, but I don't think it'll be necessary today. It's not burning hot and there's actually a bit of a nice breeze, as well.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
We did, finally, get the adoption child summary for Colin in the mail today. Unfortunately, we were scared off. I don't think we'll proceed. I hope that the right family for Colin is out there.
I asked Barbara today if there were any new bulletins in. She told me that the person who was organizing the bulletins is no longer employed there. She doesn't know who is looking after the bulletins or if any new ones have come in, but she said she'd try to check that out for me. She did also tell me, though, that she had a very busy afternoon in front of her. In other words, who knows if there are new bulletins or when we'll find out. Or something like that.
Committee for Zach and Kohl is two weeks from today. I'm already feeling somewhat keyed up, which isn't a good sign. I think I'll need to stay busy for the time to pass without undue stress. I'm both very excited about the possibility of these boys being our sons and very nervous about the possibility of two.
In other life, Davan started a gymnastics class yesterday that seems a bit boring for her. She feels like it's below her level, but wants to stick it out for another week or two to see if it gets more interesting.
Davan bridged from Brownie to Junior in Girl Scouts at an event at our local park last night. Even with temperatures above 100 degrees yesterday, the park was shady and relatively cool. We had a nice picnic dinner, joined by my MIL and the girls had a good time playing at the park. I also owe a big thanks to my friend, Carol, for sewing on Davan's insignia and patches at the last minute so that she could change right into her junior vest after crossing the bridge.
This morning was homeschool park day, which wasn't well attended today due to a mixture of events (soccer camp for three families, sickness for one, dentist appointment for another, ect), but was still nice. It was nice and cool in a shady park this morning. I'm glad it's not so hot today!
It was still warm enough for Davan and I to enjoy a couple of hours at the outdoor pool this afternoon, though. We got in some diving and general playing. It even felt cool to be wet out on the deck when there was a bit of a breeze.
After dinner with my FIL out back this evening (lovely evening for eating outside), Davan, dh and I ran off to our first Tae Kwon Do class this evening. It was interesting. We all enjoyed most of it, although each had a bodily complaint afterward due to the different styles of standing and sitting. Davan is feeling motivated to earn a headband. We were told that we could earn headbands for mastering 4 kicks and/or for learning the first 8 steps in the simplest form. Once one earns both headbands, one can move on to intermediate. I'd be interested in continuing, but right now we're driving kind of far and I'd rather find someplace closer. What we like about this, though, is that we can all be in class together.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
One other thought I was having...perhaps you've looked through the waiting children on the web site and you wonder why we haven't gone for others. The reason is usually one of four.
A lot of times, it's age - we are looking for a biologically feasible gap between Davan and "Sam" if "Sam" is younger. If "Sam" is older, we're looking for at least 2 years older, more if "Sam" turns out to be a girl. This is to reduce competition for place in the family.
Another common reason is the issues a child is dealing with. We don't feel like we can handle a child who will be dependent on us for life, for example. Also, though, certain issues seem incompatible with our life style. We don't want to give up leaving the house, for example. One child didn't do well whenever he had to leave home, for example, as we discovered when we read his adoption child summary.
The third reason is a stated interest in a child being the youngest or only child. Only obviously won't work and youngest doesn't work if he/she is older than Davan.
The last major reason is if there are more than 2 siblings or even more than 1 child, if their issues are not minor. Space-wise, we only have room for two more, as Davan's major request throughout this whole process has been to have her own room still and we have small bedrooms. Also, regarding the attention a new child will need, if there is more than one with major attention needs, that would be unfair to Davan (as would even one who's needs were so sever that Davan would be neglected).
A peek into our criteria.
We went through every child that we've expressed interest in but has not been resolved in some way, either through the child's case worker or us saying no at some point. She had an adoption child summary that had not been sent our way yet to give us. She also had three children we were interested in that did not make the list she created last night. One of which is Kamau. Two others are kids we've expressed interest in but she didn't have in her file. One of those two was Megon, who I suspect is placed anyway.
The good news is that we were put in for Savanna, after all. She just hadn't done the follow up with the worker when we expressed our serious interest. The situation with Savanna (gleaned from a voice mail recording specifically regarding Savanna due to the high interest) is that 10 families have been picked out of all who've applied for her. Out of those 10, the case worker will narrow the field down to 3. We do not know if we're one of those 10, but we do know that we were amongst those considered.
Colin's adoption child summary was the one that Barbara had, but hadn't gotten to us yet.
In other Oregon Waiting Children web site news, Robert has shown up and he is one of "ours".
Also, we received new information on Thorn. Thorn is a child who's case worker asked us to take a look at him. At the time, we felt unsure, but a new evaluation was to be done. Today, I picked up the new evaluation information and I'm interested in moving forward with Thorn. I haven't spoken with Anthony yet, though, to get his take, so it's not a for sure thing.
And, drum roll, please.....we got a committee date for Zach and Kohl! It's not as soon as I'd anticipated, given the situation and what we were told about moving forward quickly, but it is sooner than most committees would be scheduled for. It's on July 11th in the morning.
An interesting statistic. Barbara discovered that we've indicated interest in 35 children (or sibling sets) since being paper ready in November of 2005. That's a lot of kids. One wonders why one of them hasn't worked out yet. Perhaps, though, the time is soon.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Also, she told us that there was overwhelming response for Savanna and that Savanna’s case worker would be deciding from the homestudies she already had. Well, okay, then, as we put in for Savanna within days of her bulletin coming out. At least we’ll be considered, right? No. Barbara says that she never sent Savanna’s worker our homestudy. Just missed it, I guess. So, we won’t even be considered for her. She’s the one we’re most excited about and we won’t be considered for her because Barbara never sent in our homestudy.
As of tomorrow, it’ll be 3 weeks since we asked Barbara to let Savanna’s case worker know that we were really, really interested in her and much longer since we indicated our original interest. To add insult to injury, Barbara didn’t even actually talk to Savanna’s case worker, just heard about this through the grape vine.
I’m so mad and frustrated. I’m sad. Who knows how many kids we’ve missed because Barbara hasn’t been on the ball. At first, we missed kids because it took her so freaken long to get our homestudy done. Now we’re missing them because she can’t be bothered to follow up with case workers. I know that’s a little unfair because she is really busy. I know she’s had to go to court more than once and has had several committee meetings (one for us) in the last several weeks. However, why didn’t our homestudy get into Savanna’s worker to begin with? It was sent to the other kids we asked about then – Elijah, for one. We inquired about them on the same day.
Between this and how many people seem to put in for kids, it makes me think that maybe we should give it up. Kids who we’re interested in aren’t lingering in the system. Or, more exactly, they're not moving out any faster because we're around. There's a lot of interest in them. I’m getting tired of all the emotional ups and downs. I feel like we’re getting nowhere. We’re at the mercy of this overburdened, disorganized system. Who’s benefiting from this?
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
When we got home, there was a phone message from Barbara. She'd called pretty late, but I don't know what time for sure, as our time stamp is messed up on the answering machine. She hadn't had time to look at our file for her notes, but said she'd do that in the morning and call back. We shall see.
I'm off to bed where we'll see if a day of roller blading with Davan (read, pulling her around on her roller blades until she gets comfortable) twice, swimming and an evening of fun and games at the park wore me out enough that I'll sleep like a...well, not a baby, as they wake up a lot...hmmm....I guess I'll go with: like a log.
She didn't have her notes about conversations with Elijah's, Ka-Mau's or Savanna's case worker. She had to go to court this afternoon, but said she'd get back to me this afternoon with her notes in hand. Not only am I not holding my breath about this, but I'm also thinking that she probably hasn't spoken with them at all yet, as she's been very busy.
Picnic preparation calls, though, so I'm off to do that and have a fun evening.
Also, there are two other kids that we should be going to committee for; Elijah and Ka-Mau (I went to link for Ka-Mau and his page is gone. Perhaps because his committee has been scheduled?). I want to hear about them, too.
In addition, I asked Barbara to let Savanna's case worker know that we are very interested in her and I'd like to hear how that conversation went.
It was over a week ago that we said we were still interested in Elijah, Ka-Mau and really wanted Savanna's case worker to know of our interest in her. I know that, as of Friday, however, Barbara hadn't moved on any of that because she was asking me some questions to clarify some notes she took during that previous meeting. Sigh. I hate having to depend on someone else for such an important thing.
I haven’t called yet this morning because I want to give her a chance to call me so I’m not being too pushy. If I haven’t heard from her by this afternoon, though, I’ll call again.
Today is the summer solstice and we’re planning a picnic dinner at the park this evening. Some friends will be joining us, with others chiming in as a maybe. We’re looking forward to it. Also today, Davan’s been anxious to go swimming for a while, so I think we’ll hit the pool.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
In other news...I made muffins this morning as a special breakfast for Father's Day. Yes, you might well notice that it is not yet Father's Day, but tomorrow DH is off to the races bright and early with his dad, so we did it today instead.
A couple of weeks ago, some friends handed down a pair of in line skates to Davan. Actually, it was two pair - one that fits now and one to grow into. Anyway, yesterday, Davan put them on and did a little skating in the kitchen. DH got excited and suggested we all skate a bit this morning. We tried, but it didn't go well. Davan was really scared and said she wanted to quit. When I offered (repeatedly) to take her home, she said she didn't want to go home. Sigh. It was a rough outing.
After coming home and recuperating, Davan and I rode bikes over to the library so that she could pick up more books and get her summer reading program game card stamped. The program just started on the 1st. We picked up the gamecard on the 2nd. She finished the bonus path today. All done. She did a half an hour of reading for each space (the recommended length). We talked about reading longer for each space, but she seemed really excited to move through quickly.
After lunch at home, Davan and DH went over to his mom's house so that Davan could get in some playing time with her cousins. They're all very close in age, coming in at 9 months older than Davan, almost exactly a year younger (we had to reschedule her first birthday party...) and 3 years younger (again almost exactly).
While I had the place to myself I messed about on the computer, went for a skate and mowed the lawn. Once we were reunited, Davan and I got in some jumping on the trampoline before I got dinner going.
Dinner was a yummy creation of carrots and broccoli sautied with a little olive oil, whole wheat rotelle pasta and a mix of marinara and homemade pesto sauce. The pesto sauce had been pretty strong when we made it, so the marinara sort of thinned it out a bit, but it still had a nice kick. Yummy. Davan, though, just ate the carrots, broccoli and plain pasta.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Their case worker is hoping to have them placed in their adoptive family by mid July! She's going to try to get a slot for committee which may end up being volunteers so that they can move more quickly. Part of the hold up, though, was that we couldn't be scheduled because our paperwork for our new criminal background check hadn't gone through yet. It did come this morning, though, and has been faxed out to the committee scheduler.
It would really be something to have two boys join the family in a month or less. Kohl, at 2, is still in diapers! What a change that would be. And how different from if Megon were placed with us at 14 years old.
I just went to look for Megon to link her name to her web page, but she's missing from the Oregon Waiting Children site. I haven't heard from our case worker that she's found a home, but that's probably what not being at the site means. I hope that's the case for her and that she's happy.
Both boys birthdays are in June, so they will be 2 and 6 (or already are). Davan's excited about two kids joining our family and is hoping that Kohl will let her read to him and maybe Zach, too. She says that it's best to help as many kids as possible. DH is nervous about two and not looking forward to diapers again, but pleased with the descriptions of the boys and willing.
I'm a little worried about the changes it'll mean logistically and financially (a tandem and a triple eventually? two tandems and a trailer with Davan moving to her own bike by the time Kohl moves to the back of a tandem? a minivan? naptimes? impact on game day?). Just getting used to having a 2 year old around again will mean some changes, much less having two children come home to us! However, I'm really very excited about the possibility of these boys being ours. Some things about a larger family really appeal to me.
So, we shall see....
Saturday, June 10, 2006
As well as Eric comes across here, reading his adoption child summary left us feeling too overwhelmed to proceed for Eric.
We did decide to proceed for Kamau and Elijah, so there's a real possibility we'll go to committee for them.
We also decided to put in for Megon. I'd seen her a while back but we were focusing on younger kids and passed her by. However, she's stayed on my mind, so we looked again and decided that we wanted to inquire.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
As I've been doing this all along, even with the committee in the works, we have 12 children who's case workers have asked for our homestudy to check out after we've expressed interest. Two kids (well, actually, a sibling group and an individual child) have the same case worker. She and Barbara have been talking back and forth about our family, so we'll see if that leads anywhere. Another case worker for a little boy, has asked to set up a phone conference with Barbara to share information before preceding. And yet another has just sent Barbara an adoption child summary for us to look over. This is a definite sign of interest in our family. It indicates that we're a family she's considering for committee.
We go on. My mom said that all the positives the committee came up with about our family that I shared with her made her feel optimistic. It does me, too. It seems we show pretty well, so I have high hopes for future committees. I thought I'd share what I can remember of the list here. It was a long list and, even though I was taking notes, I didn't get them all, but they still sound good.
I'm an at home mom.
We're an active family.
We have some experience with special needs.
We have a strong marriage.
We have realistic expectations.
If anything comes up (special needs-wise), I can be counted on to research it.
I've used counseling in the past, so it's clear that we're open to counseling if necessary in the future.
We're accepting of the unknowns.
We're experienced parents.
We have a strong support system.
We have a comfortable and child-friendly home.
We seem to be at ease in our home. (We submitted a video.)
We have a sense of humor. (This, apparently, came across well in the video. Strange. We just felt dorky!)
We are very welcoming of a new child.
It's a nice list and bodes well for the future. Now we just have to make it to committee again.
I've also been asked how am I doing? Well, actually. I'm tired of the waiting and I'm disappointed, but I really feel okay. I am just plain tired, too, as I was wound so tightly before committee and now I just kind of feel drained without the adrenaline of a coming child to sustain me. But, a couple of good nights' sleep should fix that. I did fall to pieces over a very minor disagreement with dh last night, so that is some indication that I'm not sailing smoothly, but I'm certainly not down for the count, either.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
We were not chosen for Alexis. Barbara tells us that we came off very well at committee and they had a difficult time deciding between the family that was chosen and us. She gave us a long list of strengths and only two wonderings. She said usually they'd say negative, but that they weren't really negative, just possible concerns. One was that Davan and Alexis are close in age - Alexis is just over a year younger than Davan. The other was that having two very physically active kids at home might be a challenge for me. That one seems quite silly to us, as we want a physically active child! We don't want someone who just wants to sit around and prevents us from being out and about. Ah well, though. They had to decide somehow.
I asked Barbara about children in the other family and, while she said she couldn't tell us if there were kids or not, let us know that one of the committee's reasons for going with the other family was that they felt that Alexis might need more one on one attention from adults, so it sounds like there are either no other kids or maybe teenagers.
We are disappointed, but not devastated. Anthony says he's actually a little relieved, as Alexis was very bonded with her biological mother and he felt that might be challenging. I have mixed feelings, but really am trying to believe that the right child is out there.
We were chosen as a "back up family". This means almost nothing, but, should the other family back out at the last minute, Alexis can come right to us without recruiting again and holding another committee meeting. We'd even be offered a direct placement if, for some reason, she moved in and the adoption was disrupted. Usually, it's right in the beginning if it's going to happen, though. The chances of this are quite slim.
So, there it is. We've decided that every committee meeting we go to is a cause for dinner out that night for either consolation or celebration. Mostly just because we know it's a stressful day! We're trying to decide where to go this evening.
The second question was what was it about Alexis that made us feel like she'd do well in our family and made us think we could parent her well. This was a hard one to answer on the spur of the moment, but I ended up saying that I thought she was a good match for Davan, which would make incorporating her into our family easier, and that I found the description of her personality appealing, even the wanting her way part, because I felt like that made for a strong personality. Oh, I also said that I found that her attachment to her biological mom was a very good sign for attaching and that we were certainly willing to facilitate continued contact between Alexis and her mom.
She might call again inbetween the child presentation and the family presentations if more questions come up.
Monday, June 05, 2006
I'm thankful to my friends, Emily, Carol and Benjamin, who've agreed to come over and help pass the time tomorrow morning. Emily and Carol will play games with me and Benjamin will play with Davan.
Barbara called this evening to see if I'd be available in the morning. Apparently, she usually has last minute questions when preparing for committee. I'll be here, so we'll see what questions she comes up with.
So, if it's meant to be, it will be. Otherwise, we're obviously meant to have someone else. We'll see tomorrow afternoon if I'm successful in this thinking.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Three kids caught my eye: an 11 year old girl, a 2 year old girl and a 4 year old boy. However, I couldn't get myself into the spirit of it, thinking about Alexis' committee coming up on Tuesday. Not much would happen regarding these three kids before Tuesday anyway, as Barbara is out of the office on Mondays. So, I opted to wait and see.
I'm feeling very much like I'm just in waiting mode right now. Up until now, I've been able to focus on picking new kids and such, but I seem to be done with that. At least I waited until the committee was close before feeling this way.
Yesterday I got to see an old friend - Trista! She, Connie and the previously mentioned on this blog, Chris and I were all friends in high school. Chris and I are still very close. Trista and Chris still spend time together, as well. Connie is in sporadic contact with all of us - we each get a Christmas letter, pretty much. Trista and I are pretty much only in contact through Chris anymore. However, she had a wedding to come to in the Portland area. Her brother is marrying a young lady who grew up here. Yay for me.
We had a nice lunch with dh and Davan then I went on a drive up the Gorge with her. It was great to see her and talk. It's amazing that even with our different life paths we still have so much in common and to talk about. It was really good to see you, Trista! Thanks for making the time amongst all of your family obligations!
Davan had a birthday party last night for her oldest friend. She and Laurel have been friends sense they were babies. Laurel goes to school, so her friends were all school friends except Davan. Davan was nervous, but ended up having a great time. It was a slumber party, but Davan's not doing sleep overs right now, so we picked her up at 10pm.
For dh and my's evening free? We went to Trader Joe's. Wild and crazy us.