Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a Boy!

The waiting for a match is over and now we move on to the fun (and hard) stuff! We were selected unanimously at committee today for Judea! Of course, as we were the only family, this wasn't too much of a surprise, but it was still an anxious day because, of course, you just never know with committees.

I was on pins and needles all day. The committee started at 1pm and was scheduled to go until 4pm, but Barbara said she expected it would end early, as we were the only family being represented. As 3:00 approached and there was still no phone call, I got quite anxious, as if I wasn't already. At 3:30 and still no call, I'd have been near to panic if I'd been alone. Luckily, I was with friends who did a very nice job of distracting me. Barbara finally called at 3:45ish.

We have a 7 day wait, after which we can start transitioning. Hopefully Anthony and I will go to Eugene to meet him next Wednesday or Thursday and stay for a couple of days. Then, sometime in the next week, his foster parents will bring him up to us. They'll stay for a visit, but then they go and Judea stays! He'll definitely be here for Christmas. I've got lots of gift ideas floating through my head!

Davan and I are starting room decorations for him tomorrow. We know what he'd like - sports theme - so we're going to have it done for him when he moves in so he feel welcome.

We're very, very excited!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Sorry I didn't actually update before we left for the holiday, but I did find out on Wednesday that we will be going to committee for Judea on Tuesday. The day after tomorrow! Wow!

Barbara talked to her supervisor on Wednesday and was excused from the mandatory training so she can go to committee for us on Tuesday. She really seemed like she wasn't overjoyed by the change in plans. I think she felt like we were letting Thorn down. She was definitely mad about Lisa (Judea's worker) contacting us directly. If Lisa hadn't, we'd have never known that we could have gone to committee for him before Thorn nor that we were the only ones scheduled for committee.

I have been feeling some pangs about Thorn. It's hard to be in a position to choose. I sort of which we weren't, but then I also really think that Judea is a good match for us and will be an easier blending. Not that I expect things to be easy, but easier. Keeping in mind the health of our family, it seems the better way to go.

Of course, we're not really able to choose - committee can still go either way for either boy, but it feels like we'd be chosen at either committee. Judea's because we're the only family and Thorn's because we're the local family.

I just hope that Thorn finds a good match, as well. Anthony joked that we should just take them both, but even if we did want to, it's not allowed. You are not allowed to bring more than one child into your family at a time unless they are siblings. Anthony had a solution to this, too, though. He said, "Well, we'll just transition Judea now and Thorn later." But, it can't really be.

Meanwhile we had a nice Thanksgiving weekend at Beverly Beach, where Anthony, Davan and I stayed in a yurt while my parents stayed in their RV right at the yurt with us. It was a nice combination, given the weather (cold and wet most of the time), as we had the space in the yurt, but a place to cook indoors in the RV. Their RV is a very small one, so it's not like we could all stay in it.

We played lots of games, went for walks both on the beach and at the campground, prepared food, ate the food and visited the aquarium. It was a good trip, except that I was tired most of the time. We had raccoons being loud under the yurt at night for the first two nights, after which Anthony blocked the hole they'd been using. Also, each time it rained at night, it was very loud. I could usually go back to sleep after being woken up by the rain, but it was hard to sleep with the raccoons being so loud. Plus, whenever I woke up, I'd start to think about Judea's committee (and a bit about Thorn) and transitioning and, and, and....

It'll be good to sleep in my own bed tonight. I hope I don't find myself mulling things over too much!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Barbara! ARG!

Everything is humming along just fine and smooth. We're excited about Judea, but also remembering that there is uncertainty with everything in the system. Pretty much, though, we're thinking, okay, let's get ourselves ready for Judea.

Bam. This morning, Barbara calls to let me know that she can't represent us at committee on Tuesday. In the meantime, sense she'd told Judea's case worker she was available, something has come up for her and now she's not. She matter of factly says that she's asking for a reschedule to the next week.

Now, normally, a delay of a week wouldn't mean a lot, but, as it is, it means a great deal because Thorn's committee is on the 1st of December, which is next Friday. With a reschedule, that means that we'd be considered for Thorn first. And we're very strong candidates for Thorn. Our first choice, though, is Judea. It's hard to rank kids like that, but it's how we feel.

I'm doing everything I can to try to get Judea's committee to happen before Thorn's, but I have very little control. I even called back Judea's case worker (even though in Oregon there is only supposed to be case worker to case worker contact) to let her know where we stand. She was very glad to hear from me. She also really wants us to go to committee for Judea first, as she really wants us to adopt him. Wheels are turning, but without me at this point. I haven't had contact with anyone in several hours now. There is only one more work day this week. I have my fingers crossed for news soon.

I may be wrong, but it feels like Barbara is being obstructive in this manner. Perhaps it's really just disorganization, but it's our lives that are being messed with here.

I will keep the blog updated as I know more.

Monday, November 20, 2006

What a Day!

So, as I wrote, we have a date for Thorn's committee - the 1st of December. Barbara had told me that the first day, chronologically, that had been tossed around for Thorn's committee was the 28th of November. I didn't think much when she said it was on the 1st instead, as things seem to always be in flux. Today, though, something happened that makes me think that she was confusing children and committee dates.

I got a call from Judea's case worker this morning. She'd tried to call Barbara, but Barbara wasn't in the office today. This is because Mondays are Barbara's day off. Thus, she called me directly to ask if we were still interested in Judea.

She asked, "Has Barbara told you that committee is tentatively scheduled for the 28th of November?" No, she hadn't. Judea's case worker said that she was concerned because after having sent Judea's updated homestudy, she hadn't heard anything back. She and Barbara had emailed back and forth about what days would work and Barbara had said that the 28th would work for presenting us at committee. Okay, well, we're going to committee for another little boy on the 1st of December, but we are interested in Judea and have been for a long time.

Then Judea's case worker dropped the bomb. We're the only family scheduled to go to committee for Judea on the 28th. Wow. How could this happen, you may ask. Well, Judea has been waiting long enough that it's possible to skirt around the 3 family for committee rule. It's not due to any adverse thing about Judea, it's just because they put recruitment on hold while checking out the biological family member that didn't work out. Rather than take the time to put out a fresh bulletin and find more families, his case worker decided to just go to committee with only us. She says she thinks we're a great match for Judea. Wow.

I asked for 15 minutes to regroup before we spoke again. I called Anthony at work and talked with him. The dilemma is that we feel like we're in pretty deep with Thorn and sort of feel like we're leaving him in the lurch. They waited for us to go to committee for him. However, there are no guarantees that we'll be chosen for Thorn. Committee could very well go a different way than expected. It doesn't make sense for us to not try for Judea, whom we've actually been interested in for longer.

Plus, truth be told, Judea does seem to have fewer issues than Thorn. It's a tough thing, but we've decided to go for it with Judea. It should be an interesting conversation I have with Barbara in the morning.

Just to be clear, even though we're the only family going to committee for Judea, that's not a guarantee that we'll get him, either. It's possible that the committee could say, "No, we don't think this family is a good match. Recruit more families and try again." That would be a blow to our self esteem as a family, but it could happen.

I spoke with Judea's foster mom today, after hearing about committee next week, and she spoke as if this is a done deal. We discussed what Judea would be bringing with him, what transition might look like, what he wants for Christmas...

Wow. It's been an intense day and tomorrow might well be, as well. I wonder what Barbara will say.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We Have a Date!

We've got a date for Thorn's committee. It's the 1st of December in the afternoon. Committee starts at 1pm. That's less than two weeks! We just found out yesterday, when I called Barbara, again.

Barbara also said that another little boy we put in for, Zachary, is going to committee soon and his case worker is interested in us. We're supposed to get his adoption child summary early next week. Zachary just turned 6.

So, to sum up: We're going to committee for Thorn, 4, on the 1st of December. We're waiting for a committee date for Judea, 5, whom we were supposed to go to committee for about 6 months ago, but it was cancelled due to the "need" to check out a biological family member for possible adoption. Now we're being considered for Zachary, 6. A plethora of boys.

I really do have a feeling about Thorn, though, so the rest may be academic. If we're not chosen for Thorn, though, it's nice that there are other possibilities developing for us.

I imagine this time the two weeks will go fairly quickly. We have Thanksgiving this week, for which we're going to Beverly Beach with my parents. The three of us are yurting. The two of them are RVing.

On Monday my mom is coming over to do our shopping together and do food prep. It actually won't be too difficult, as we're getting a premade Thanksgiving dinner from Wild Oats and plan on there being leftovers. Davan also has gymnastics, as usual, Monday evening.

Tuesday is an all morning playdate with two friends, followed by book group in the afternoon and dinner out. Yes, we eat out so rarely that it's a scheduled event. I'm really looking forward to it. We also need to pack, as we're leaving sometime on Wednesday after picking up our premade Thanksgiving dinner.

We come home from our adventure on Sunday. Monday is back to the usual with Girl Scouts and Gymnastics. Some time that week, maybe even twice, we'll be going skiing! We're very excited about this, too! Timberline is open and we have our passes and are ready! Unfortunately, the first day we can make it up there will be that week after Thanksgiving. Maybe twice, though.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The News, Such as It Is

I finally spoke with Barbara yesterday, having called her back. She said she was going to call me sometime yesterday, but... There is still no set day for Thorn's committee, but it'll either be on the 29th of November or in early December. So much for a few weeks from 4 weeks ago. Barbara also indicated that they may only be one other family going to committee for Thorn. Hmmm.

She'd gotten updated information from Judea's case worker and said I could come in and pick it up yesterday afternoon, but when I got there, she was out of the office and hadn't left it at the front desk for me. I called her when we got home and left a message, letting her know and asking her to call me to set up a new time to pick it up. I haven't heard back yet.

She also said she'd check our file (yesterday) and let me know any information from other case workers she'd gotten, but, that doesn't seem to have gotten done either.

There are no new bulletins, which seems odd, as it's been a couple of weeks sense I last looked, but they do seem to come in spurts.

I ended up opting not to do the respite care that I wrote about earlier, as I was just feeling like it would be too much. I didn't want to cancel game day again. Thanks, Stephanie, for the offer to help, by the way. And I didn't really want to try to incorporate preschoolers into game day. I'd do it another day, though. Or even on a Thursday when I hadn't just had a recent game day cancellation. And, frankly, although it's not this foster mom's fault, I was feeling angry with DHS for being so slow and frustrating.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Nothing New, Feeling Bummed

I did not hear from Barbara at all this week. I finally broke down and called her Friday afternoon, but only was able to leave a message and never heard back. So, still no committee date for Thorn. Nor any new information on any kids she said she'd check into for us.

Chris left on Monday after a really nice visit. I enjoyed having her and miss her. Davan's continued to recover from her cold this week, while Anthony also succumbed and felt mildly crappy for most of the week. Tonight, the house is hopping because Davan's three cousins are over for the evening while their mom is out. Four kids 9 and under in a house used to only one is a big change!