Sunday, October 23, 2011

From the mouths of babes

I, as you may know, have lots of hair. It's naturally curly and very, very, very thick. Because of this fact it takes forever to dry, especially in the frigid months. It's nearing the time when I can think about straightening my hair since it's not very humid. (FYI: My hair + humidity+ straightened = not a pretty sight) On Friday morning I awoke and dreaded the fact of running to school with a damp head of hair so, low and behold, I decided to straighten it.

I delightfully forgot how fun it is to be around the kids the first time I straighten my hair. At least one or two will make a comment about it and, most of the time, they are humorous comments...mainly because they notice that something is different but apparently don't have the words yet to describe what they see as different. I shall delight you with their comments from Friday:

S: Did you straighten your hair?
Me: Yes, I did.
S: It looks like you got a hair cut!

A: Your hair is beautiful!

This was by far one of the funniest:

I open the door Friday morning and let the first group of families inside. E is walking in with his dad. E looks up at me and I say "Good morning E!" E stops, looks up at his dad and whispers: "That's not my teacher!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's the small things

I've come to realize through recent events that I am the type of person who appreciates the small things in life. Would you like to hear some examples of this? Sure, you say? Alrighty then!

Example #1: Earlier this fall I happened to find myself in Bath and Body Works in pursuit of fall-smelling room fresheners. I hit the jackpot of awesomeness my friends. Not only did I stock up on the fresheners but I also happened upon a raccoon and owl shaped scent portable! (These clip on things and go places like cars) And! Halloween themed handi-bacs on sale! When I got home I found out that some of the bottles of the handi-bacs glowed in the dark. Needless to say I spent more than I intended...but also? These things made me happy for days.

Example #2: Last weekend K and I went grocery shopping and ended up in the seasonal isle. After scouring the shelves for bargains on candy I made my way over to the more decorative side of the isle. Do you know what I found? More awesomeness, thank you very much. This time it came in the shape of muffin liners and Halloween themed bowls. The muffin liners are what got me though. They have little monsters on them and, the best part, one of the monsters is carrying a little bucket because he's going trick-or-treating. It's super cute. I realize this doesn't sound that great...perhaps I should take a picture to show at some point.

Example #3: The thought of any pumpkin spiced drink is making me smile.

So yes, my friends, if you want to make me smile remember - it's the small things!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where do they go?!?

Do you remember when I mentioned that I'm slightly obsessive with checking the photo-listing websites for children who are in need of families? By slightly obsessive I mean that I'm checking these sites every day. And with good reason! Three (count them...1, 2, 3) times now in the past month we have come across children we are interested in and the very next day these children's profiles have been taken off-line. I don't understand. Why are their profiles up there for only one day? Are we to assume that that many people have inquired about them? In a day?

Not sure if I've mentioned this before but we are looking for up to three children. (Hmm, perhaps three is the magic number of this post). Are there really that many people looking to add three children to their family at a time?

The strangest part of this whole thing is that all three times this has happened the children's profiles have appeared on a Friday afternoon and disappeared by Saturday afternoon. I really had no idea that there are social workers out there who are working these hours. So, can you see why I might just be slightly obsessive about this search? ( I say this with a grain of salt because I'm fully aware that I've more than likely jinxed myself...the workers at our agency are searching just as diligently for our children. In the end, it will more than likely be that they are the ones who have found the children who are meant to be ours....not me ;) )

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The things people say

For the most part, people with whom we have shared our plan to adopt have been very supportive and happy for us. However! There have been several comments that, while aren't mean or malicious, stick with me and make me wonder. For example, I've gotten some version of this general idea twice (from older ladies in a position of authority): "Well, what are you going to do about your job?"

To me, this is part of a much larger picture - largely dependant upon the particulars of our specific children. In general, however, are they asking if I'm still going to work? Well, yeah. I'm not going to intentionally abandon the children I'm teaching this year and just up and leave. I may take a short leave of absence when the children first arrive home and we are just getting settled as a family. Or, maybe the children will be school-age and they will need to go back to school quicker than if the children are preschool or under. Or, perhaps if the children are preschool eligible they will come to work with me and go to my school. (See what I mean? There really is no easy answer to this question. But really, it is something I have thought a lot about)

But really...the gist of what we are doing is adding children to our family. Granted it's not the traditional way but, at this time, it is our way. Perhaps I'm finding this particularly bothersome because I'm finding it really hard to believe that pregnant ladies would be asked this question in the same tone of voice. Or, maybe they are. Regardless, I'm not fond of it!

Another jewel is the sentiment: "Oh, I just love it when I hear of people adopting!" At first, this comment makes me feel all warm and snugly inside. Yes! I'm a wonderful, righteous person! But then I start to come back down to earth a cringe a wee bit because I wonder if the people who say this type of comment realize that the motivation behind our adoption is to expand our family. Because really? Isn't the message behind this comment basically that people are adopting for good and noble causes? That they are "rescuing" a child from an otherwise shitty life? For some this is the reasoning behind their adoption decision. For us, it is not.

Like I said, while there are these few things that bother me they are far outweighed by the kind, thoughtful things people say. Such as the mom of one of my former students who got (happily) teary-eyed when we told us of our news. Or the friends who know of the struggle we have had and envelop us with kind thoughts and encouragement. Or K's brother who normally is very blunt and says what's on his mind asking questions that show he has been thinking about our adoption and wants to know more. Or the co-worker who got excited and asked about what is involved with the whole process. These comments, my friends, are what I will choose to remember.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Round 2: check!

So! A lot has happened since I last wrote and I haven't updated y'all. (Can you tell it's the school year? Well, probably not since I hadn't written much this summer anyway :) ) Our home study* is finished and we are now officially 'waiting.' This is quite exciting as it now means that we are actively looking for our children. I will admit I may be a bit obsessive with this. Like checking certain websites each day looking for new children who have been added. But, really, I am okay with being a tad obsessive with this because our children are out there somewhere!

Keep us (all of us!) in your prayers!

* Did you know that more often than not when I type the word 'study' it ends up being 'stufy?' Kinda funny!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Round 1: Check

We had our first part of our home study bright and early on Sunday morning. It went very well and our worker basically asked us questions to get to know us better. Not hard really and it went a lot off of the auto biography we had already written.

(As an aside...remember when I spoke about being very wordy when I write? Yeah, totally the case with this autobiography. Our worker said that typically these first initial visits are lengthy because she has to ask a lot of questions to go further into the family's life. In my case, she said, she wouldn't need to ask a lot of questions because my autobiography was so in depth. I had a good chuckle at that!)

Then she took a tour of the house, including the newly painted upstairs (Yay!), and learned that our basement is "not livable space." Tee hee hee, ya think?!? Really, it's just a cellar. I mean I guess you could stand up in it if you so desired (I typically don't because I abhor getting cobwebs in my hair) but it's pretty small. Like, it has the basic necessities (deep freeze, furnace, hot water heater, wine...) and that's pretty much it.

Overall it went really well and now we have the task of filling out a check sheet that asks about the characteristics we "will consider" and those "we will not consider." Some of these are pretty cut and dry (will we consider a child who is a high achiever? Umm...sure!) while others will require a bit of research. One thing we have learned is that it is easier in this stage to be as open as possible since a lot of these kiddos have certain characteristics marked against them based on a one time occurrence.

From here we will continue to attend the support groups offered by the agency, fill out any remaining paper work, and then welcome our worker back in our home for another series of questions. And then? And then we get to seriously start looking at children's profiles. In other words, we are getting close to the time where we can really start thinking of the children who will be playing upstairs, laughing at Murphy's antics, and eating supper with us around our kitchen table. And that is what we have been praying and waiting for for a really, really long time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grand Rapids

Every once in a while K has extra trainings that he has to go to for work. This week, the training was in Grand Rapids, MI and I got to join him since I'm still on break. Exciting times! Grand Rapids has lots of fun things to do and, my goodness, the shopping! For a girl transplanted to the country after growing up relatively close to shopping plazas it was a dream come true! I spent most of Monday hopping from place to place and feeling guilty because I think I spent too much money. But, hey, I did get some new clothes for the school year.

On Tuesday K and I went to Meijer Gardens and Sculpture park. Wow! What an amazing place. It has acres and acres of walking trails and sculptures as well as an indoor green house filled with tropical plants. It also provided many opportunities for photo taking. Like 75 pictures worth.

(See, I've been on this mission to take lots of photos that will then be put together in our "welcome book" for our future children. Kinda like a book of things and people they will see when the live with us. As I gathered pictures to put in I realized that I didn't really have a lot of photos of certain things so, hence the photo-taking mission.)

And last night we went to Robinette Winery and guess what? They give you wine glasses with your tastings that have little birds on them. I probably haven't said this yet, but friends? I love birds. And? I love wine. Now I have bird wine glasses. Totally cool. (Yes, I do realize that it's the small things in life that make me happy. I'm good with that.)