Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The birth parents were nice enough to give me a copy of his SS card, footprints & handprints, and birth certificate. I also have a couple of pictures of them holding Baby Boy at the first ISP meeting after court. We got him at 2 days old and have had him since, so filling in that part is easy. Trying to construct a birth family tree is tricker. I made up a little form and asked Birth Mom to fill it out, but she didn't understand it so it's not correct. Hopefully the Social Worker will have a more accurate lineage map that we will obtain upon adoption finalization. Of course I'm jumping the gun here since we haven't even TPR'd.
There is a great Life Book for teens called The Real Me: A Teen Life Book for Young Adults in Foster Care or Adoption by Theresa McCoy and Donna Barnes. It is hard to find, but it's an excellent Lifebook.
I've not found a lifebook that I like for the younger kids (though some might like This is Me - Memories to Gather and Keep or My Foster Care Journey: A foster/adoption lifebook). Most baby books are geared towards biological families, open adoption, or overseas adoptions. The book Our Chosen Child: How You Came To Us And The Growing Up Years sounded promising, but upon inspection at a bookstore recently it was disappointing. So we're using a standard 3 ring binder and compiling all the information in there. It's not as aesthetically pleasing, but it's functional none the less.
I've added a birthday scroll and some information from here, here, and here. Some pictures of the hospital, social workers, and pediatrician with APGAR score information will bring it all up to date. Although I wish there was a way to get pictures and contact information for the extended biological family. Sibling info is obtainable because they are also in care.
If you know of a good Life Book or related resources, please share.
These are some books I recommend:
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
BabyBoy's favorite baby foods are: bananas, pears, pumpkin, squash, plum/grape/banana, apricot w/ mixed fruit, and apple/blueberry. Before we know it, he will be eating table food. Just this weekend we bought a booster seat / portable highchair so that he could sit at the table with us during mealtimes. He is babbling too. Mostly he says "MamaMamaMama" but he also says "BabaBabaBaba" and "Buh. Buh. Buh.". TheDaughter thinks he is saying butt. Everyone gets a big kick out of that.
His case worker had all the TPR paperwork done and turned in months ago, but this one lady has to do the actual filing with the court. She is a real PITA and that's all I should say about her. His CW is great though and she comes out once per month to see BabyBoy. She has been helpful and keeps in touch and actually cares about the kids on her caseload. But that one lady that everyone has to send their court paperwork through, she is the reason kids linger in care past when the rules indicate they should.
Soon BabyBoy will be meeting his bio siblings. I'm nervous but also excited. I'm hoping to get more info on the bio sibling's medical history. It may be possible that we can continue contact for years to come, but I don't know if the adoptive family of his bio siblings will be interested in that. Still, this sibling visit will be a great opportunity to take pictures and make connections.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Apparently The Cousin watches a lot of Dragon Ball - The Saga of Goku - Boxed Set because this is the predominate figure that he draws while hanging out at our house. He has tried to explain the whole DragonBall thing to me, the Z and GT, the hybrids or something like that, and yet I still don't get it. We encourage him to keep drawing though because we hope he goes to college and uses his drawing skills to obtain future employment.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
This morning before breakfast, we gave her more of her birthday presents. Clothes!
Don't forget all the loot she got at her party this past weekend.
And this afternoon, she will have this awaiting her. She has been asking about these animals ever since we purchased them months ago (seriously, like 3 months of "When can I have that little deer and those elephants, ya know?")
For dessert we'll have Triple Chocolate Hot Fudge Cake with Fudge & Drizzle Topping, compliments of Ms Betty Crocker of course. Easy Peasy and very delicious. I just hope she has a good first day at Kindergarten.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I can handle his fussiness. I know why he is fussy and can sympathize. The people in the library, walmart, school, book store, and toy store not so much. They look at me like I'm pinching him or just down right being a bad parent. I feel like the looks are saying "Why can't you keep your baby quite?" and "Why are you allowing your baby to cry while we are trying to surf MySpace on the library computer?!!"
I can't console him. He isn't hungry. He doesn't want to be held. He doesn't want to be put down. He doesn't need to be changed. He doesn't want a toy. He doesn't want me to read to him. He doesn't want me to sing to him (although that one might actually be painful for him). Just about the only thing that he tolerates from me is rubbing my finger against his gums - back & forth, back & forth, really fast - do not stop. If I stop, he screams. My finger hurts.
So I was complaining to my husband and he said "Is it worth $14.00 a day?" We both cracked up laughing. Parents don't get paid, they actually pay out way more money than they ever take in for biological parenting, but how many people would actually accept a job where you got paid only $14.00 for 24 hours of work? That's what, like .58 cents per hour? Minus diapers, wipes, buttcream, lotion, swimdiapers, formula, babyfood, toys, clothes, gas for doctor visits, gas and childcare for court dates, orajel, medications, high chair, walker, stroller, etc. and you are quickly in the hole. You have to love kids and love fostering; it obviously doesn't pay well.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Me - 30something, feminist, infertile, SAHM, degrees in Child Development and Social Science, volunteer, agnostic, southern, liberal, etc.
First Baby - 2nd trimester miscarriage due to Triploidy XXY
The Daughter - born in 2003, lover of music and dinosaurs, protector of the environment and animals, artistic and beautiful, strong yet clumsy, soccer champ
SG - 1st foster kid (arrived at age 17 turned 18 while here, now living independently) very artistically talented, took meds for seizures
AM & TM - sisters, 2nd & 3rd foster kids (arrived at ages 2 & 5 now adopted by the family that has their bio brother though they were moved 2 times after us)
PunkGirl - 4th foster kid (arrived at age 17, now living independently) voracious reader, collector of lawn gnomes
BabyBoy - 5th foster kid (arrived at 2 days old, still residing with us) smiles and laughs a lot, curious, determined and dramatic, adorable
Had pyloric stenosis, is lactose intolerant,
CV & FC - sisters, respite
The New Girl also known as Bella - 6th foster kid, 3 years old at time of placement, the biggest brown eyes you've ever seen, likes to play outside, eats a lot, is afraid of the dark
The Cheerleader - 7th foster kid, turned 17 the day after coming into foster care, likes to cheer, dye her hair, shop, and text boys. Has Fibrous Dysplasia.
Shadow - 8th foster kid, 18 years old but not your typical teenager due to FAE / FASD & lower IQ, loves to doodle, great with color combinations
BabyGirl - 9th foster kid - kinda, present at her birth and privately adopted, full bio sister to BabyBoy, great sleeper, cutest frown face ever! Is developmentally delayed.
Chelsea - 10th foster placement, 14 years old but looks 11, very tiny, plays flute in band, quite, anorexic, a cutter (she cuts herself). Was selectively mute for much of the placement. Also refused to bathe. Was sexually abused by family members.
Layla - 11th foster placement, Chelsea's older sister, also anorexic, autistic. Also sexually abused by family members.
Jenny - 12th foster placement, 15 years old and clingy, looks like Jaime Pressly, enjoys singing and gymnastics
The Cousin - born in '95 likes to draw Dragon Ball Z characters and play video games
Monday, August 11, 2008
The kids had fun and by kids I mean the 4 year old and the 37 year old. We had a coupon $10 for 100 tokens and they won almost 400 tickets. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday night.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We had TheDaughter's birthday party yesterday as her actual birth day is also the first day of school this year. She initially wanted a mermaid party then changed to princesses, so we had a mixture with ariel balloons and wrapping paper with tons of
Disney Princess Fairy Tale Friends 8-Guest Deluxe Party Kit
Disney Princess Cakes - Pretty as a Princess - 1 Do-It-Yourself Edible Cake Art Image
Disney Fairy-Tale Princesses Party Hanging Decorations
18" Disney Princess Birthday Balloon
Disney's The Little Mermaid Roll Wrap 2 1/4 ft. x 2 yards
Friday, August 8, 2008
Darwin and I watched Fool's Gold (Full-Screen Edition) the other night for our version of date night (which basically entails watching a movie after the kids go to bed). We’ve recently also watched Michael Clayton (Full Screen Edition), The Brave One (Full-Screen Edition), The Savages, Mad Money, P.S. I Love You, First Snow, and Be Cool (Full Screen Edition). We’ve been dating a lot lately, apparently. Tonight will either be Memoirs of a Geisha or Marie Antoinette unless we make a run to the library before they close and get that
stupid Will Ferrell movie Darwin wants to see. With the kids we have recently watched Alvin and the Chipmunks and Arctic Tale.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So the annual review lady walks around our house to make sure we don't have any violations like old cars up on blocks, rusted appliances, stacked lumber, etc. She also checks the pool fence and the lock on the gate. Then she looks at each window to check for screens. Finally she enters our 1400 sq foot 4 bedroom 2 bath shack and checks it's cleanliness. Afterwards she goes through a safety checklist:
- smoke detectors at least 4 feet from each bedroom and one in the kitchen area, testing each one of course and quizzing each kid on what the sound means and what their escape plan is
- fire extinguishers in the kitchen and bedrooms and not the wimpy ones either
- pool chemicals in a locked area with the key inaccessible to children
- safety latches on cabinets and drawers
- safety covers on all electrical outlets
- hand rails on all stairs/steps
- guns locked in safety cabinet with ammunition in a separate safety cabinet and the keys in an inaccessible location for children
- baby bed slats no more than 2 finger widths apart
- beds no closer than 3 feet apart
- medications stored in a locked box with the key located in an area inaccessible to children
- cats current rabies vaccination
- children current on medical vaccinations
- parents current TB and medical clearance
- current vehicle and house insurance
- updated application and all other paperwork including financial form, references, past history, copies of marriage license and any previous divorce decrees, discipline policy, etc (because so much has changed from 12 months ago when we initially did this mountain of paperwork and hoop jumping)
And, I guess I'm okay with that.
Until the next semi-annual review 6 months from now and I'm freaking out wondering if the house is clean enough, our income high enough, our references sound enough, our cats vaccinated enough, and our family worthy enough. Then I'll probably complain some more. Gotta give ya something to look forward to.