The Ugly Under Belly

Dear Future Kids –
  I wonder if you have a four-legged friend of snuggle with.  You will when you get here.  Sometimes, they seem to give us just what we need – that unconditional love and acceptance.
  I haven’t written for a few months because there has been little to no progress on bringing you home or getting to know you. In fact, we learned that it will probably be yet another year until that happens. I’ve been quietly frustrated about it, but, like so many things in both of our lives, it is beyond my control. I’ve made phone calls to all the right people. I’ve pushed all the buttons I can push, and now we just have to wait for our background checks to come through.
  I thought we had you all decided on. I thought I knew what you looked like.  I almost bought you some cool things I thought you’d like at the store. But it was Odin who knew first that you weren’t the one we thought you were.
  You see, there is a timeline for all of this paperwork stuff. The timeline doesn’t care what you’re going through. (It doesn’t care what we’ve been going through searching for you either.) It only cares about crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’. That means, we’ve had to have background checks in every state that we’ve ever lived in. For me, that’s California and here, Washington. For your Dad, that means Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, and Georgia. He spent less than 6 months in all of those places (except for Michigan, where he was raised), but it doesn’t matter. Since the Navy sent him there, they count as places he’s lived, so we have to wait for all of that paperwork to come through. I spoke with them a month ago, and they said they’d have it done in 30 days. Yesterday marked 30 days, so I followed up twice. I’ve yet to receive an update on the status of things, but as another complication has been thrown in, it seems pointless to continue rushing things and just let beaurocracy take its course.
 You see, we were surprised to learn that they’d ‘ideally’ like your dad home for a full six months following placement. Your dad is going to be home for about 6 months total this year, and one of them has already passed.  When people say something is an ‘ideal’ in business (and this is the ‘business’ end of adoption), they usually mean, ‘it’s not happening without that condition being met.’ With all the other hiccups we’ve been experiencing, I’ve lost all hope of bring you home this before Christmas.
  This wasn’t easy for me to take. When I learned all of this, I took a few moments and cleaned up your room (though there wasn’t much to do). Odin wouldn’t leave it though. He just lay there on the floor in the middle of the room. Usually he isn’t very interested in this room (since there isn’t much in it right now), so it was odd.
So I sat down on the floor to see what was going on with him. That’s when Clydas came up to me, sitting practically in my lap and put his head on my shoulder. Clydas is the best dog for drying tears. I’ve hugged him and sobbed into his fur many times over the years, and he is always ready to be a shoulder to cry on.
The best thing about his shoulder though, is that tears can’t last too long. Once your face is salty, he starts to lick you, which tickles like crazy. Sobs turn into giggles pretty quickly.

Clydas is getting up there in doggie years, and this process is taking much longer than we anticipated. (As of August 2014, we’ll have been trying to meet you for 3 long years.)

But we’ll see what happens. I’m not giving up hope on us becoming a family completely. Just for now, we have to journey on on our own a bit longer it seems.

Stay safe –

Your Mom

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Dear Future Kids,
Today is my 34th birthday.
I wonder if you’ve blown out your candle for the year this year, or if it’s still off in the distance. I hope those who are caring for you take time to make your birthday as special a day as it should be. I wonder if we’ll celebrate it together, or if next year will be our year to throw you a party…
Either way, I got a nice gift today. Your dad got the approval for his finger printing, and a few papers he needs to fill out to finish a background check before we can really dig deep in our search for you.
It’s a great gift and I can’t wait to share the news with him when he gets home.
But I know birthdays aren’t always the easiest, most fun days for kids that are adopted. They bring up a lot of thoughts of our biological families. You might think about a past birthday you celebrated with them or your foster family. You might cherish those memories or wish they were different. You might wonder if they are thinking about you. And ya know what, I get that. I had a lot of those thoughts too. In fact, I wonder if I used to make a really big deal about my birthday to drown out some of those thoughts. They are hard to deal with sometimes. I mean, I know was raised by exactly who I was supposed to call family, but at the same time, the very first time I was abandoned by someone was on my birthday. So I get that birthdays can be tough.

But there is hope, kiddoe.

Even if every adult that ever failed you forgot about your birthday – it’s the day you came into this world.

And because of that day, and the decisions your parents made, both good and bad, you can come into our lives.

That is a day worth celebrating for us.

We can’t erase any pain days like your birthday might cause you, but we can celebrate what we have together, and we can be together through the hard days.

So even though today is my birthday, I can’t help but be excited to celebrate your “Gotcha Day”! The day we get to call each other family – for good.

Your Mom.

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Dear future kids, 
  We’re making the big push to get you here and out of foster care! Every day seems to be a little more progress lately. It feels really nice since the process can sometimes be painfully slow since we know you’re out there waiting on us.  Today, I made the appointment  to get my fingerprinting done to start the FBI required background check. We’re still waiting on your dad’s approval (which seems more than a little strange, since they let him have clearance for the Navy, but we’ll do whatever it takes.

Last weekend, we finished building your beds! (Don’t worry, the stuffed animals there are just the ones I had on hand. There are TONS more to choose from – and most of them are Disney!)

On the top bunk is a very special little bear called Be-With-Me-Bear. Your dad gave him to me when I found out your grandfather (my dad) had cancer and didn’t have much time left. Be-With-Me-Bear tends to travel with me when your dad can’t. The big white bear on the bottom bunk is Gypsy bear. I’ve never quite decided if it’s a ‘he’ or a ‘she’, but Gypsy has been with me since I was about 5 years old. My parents brought him/her back from a trip to Peru. Your grandmother (my mom) has helped patch Gypsy up on lots of occasions. All good memories.

I wonder if you’ll have a Be-With-Me-Bear type pal. I wonder what he/she/it will look like. You get to pick!

We know you haven’t been able to make many choices in your young life so far. I’m sure you would never have choosen a rough start, if you could have had some say in it. We’d like for you to have say in things here. So, while we’re making your room warm and friendly, I’m looking forward to what changes you’ll want to make! If Gypsy and Be-With-Me-Bear ends up back on my bed, well, I won’t fight ya’ on that one. 😉

We can share. Afterall, we’re family, you just don’t know it yet.
Much Love,
 Your mom.

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I’m Sorry, We’re Nerdy.


Dear Future Kids,
I’m sorry. Your future parents are a kind of nerds.
In fact, my latest souvenier from our recent trip to Disneyland (hopefully the last trip without you) is a back pack that matches my I love Nerds wallet. It has Disney characters with glasses on it looking styling. It also says things like “Nerds Rock” and “I love science”. It’s pretty true in our case.
We’re nerds.
I’ve been a Disney nerd since I was 2 years old. That gives me just about 32 years of Disney nerdom under my belt. Your dad has been a Disney fan for most of his life, but he hit nerd status when we started going to Disneyland and Disney World whenever we got a vacation, so he’s officially a Disney nerd too.
Disney isn’t all about princesses and pirates though. They have some pretty cool stuff.

"Can't Wait to Race With You, Champ!"

“Can’t Wait to Race With You, Champ!”

Your dad is also a big Star Wars. He can also tell you the back story of just about any super hero, and he’s getting into photography in a big way. He plays video games as time allows. When he’s not playing, he’s usually up to date on the lastest gaming news (though don’t get any ideas – Grand Theft Auto games will not be showing up on your screens any time soon in our house).

We’re finally to the point were we’re waiting on paperwork now. We’re waiting on getting our finger prints checked out so they can be sure we’re safe for you and don’t have any criminal history. With a little luck, we’ll meet this summer!

Right now, we’re dreaming about our first ‘Gotcha Day’ anniversary vacation. Disneyland and a road trip? Disney World? A Disney Cruise? Maybe an international Disney vacation? We’ve been dying to go to Japan!

We can’t wait to see your first passport picture.
Afterall, we’re family, you just don’t know it yet.
Much love,
Your Mom

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Making It Real

Dear kids,
 We started buying things for your room this weekend. It’s a bit challenging since we don’t know what you like, and your room is a place we want you to see as ‘your space’, but we were able to get a couple books and a couple movies. We’re still on the look out for beds and have some other things to check off the list for the Social Worker’s visits next month. December will certainly be busy for us! During the first week, we’ll finish our CPR/First aid/Blood borne pathogen training. During the next week, we’ll have our first visit from our social worker. 3 days before Christmas, we’ll have the last visit (hopefully) from the Social Worker to get our home study approved.
Finally, after Christmas, your dad will have leave and we’re planning a trip to California to visit my family and to go to Disneyland for what may very well be the last time without you. We can’t wait to make those kinds of memories with you.

If you like Disney or sports, or both, you’ll enjoy a lot of your childhood with us! If you don’t, I’m sure you’ll teach us all about your interests when we get to meet you.

As we slowly work on furnishing your room, things are getting more and more real.

Your dad just started night classes as part of his job. Even though his schedule can be a bit unpredictable at times, I hope you’ll see that his dedication pays off.
 In fact, I’m sure that’s something you’ll see from us. We’re good at being persistent. You won’t have known me before my days at the gym, but I’ve grown leaps and bounds since I started there about a year ago. I wonder if you’d be interested in Kids Crossfit? It’s a fun way to get some energy and stress out, and a great way to make new friends. Some of the friends I’ve made through my trainer have been incredibly encouraging when it comes to bringing you home. They’ve been encouraging, and one is even an mom (through adoption) of 6! She’s been really helpful at getting me to center myself and tackle each hurtle one at a time.
Yesterday, I finished nearly all the paperwork I need to do in this round, and your dad made a good dent in his as well. Some of the questions were really challenging, but I know it’ll all pay off in the end.
After all, we’re family, we just don’t know it yet.
Your Mom.

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The Brick Walls

Dear kids,
  Sometimes it feels like you’re one day closer. Other times it feels like maybe I’m not ment to adopt at all. It’s so easy to get discouraged, since we’re entering year two of this journey and it seems like something new comes up everyday that bars the path to bringing you home. Time lines don’t line up. Different things pop up here and there. Right now, we’re still trying to get the contractor to do some small jobs for us (he’s trying to figure out how to get us funding so you can each have your own room), and we need a form from your Dad’s home state that has a good chance of not getting here in time for his deployment…and if that doesn’t happen, meeting you may be yet another year away…

But when I feel like, “Maybe this is a sign?” I keep remembering something from one of my favorite books. “Brick walls are there to keep people out. They are there to keep OTHER people out.The people who don’t want it badly enough.”

So maybe these ‘brick walls’ aren’t ment to impede my progress to you. Maybe they are here to make me prove how much you’re wanted here.

Who knows, but I cling to the faith that we’re family; you just don’t know it yet.
Love always,
Your Mom

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First Purchase for Your Room

First Purchase for Your Room

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Forms, Forms, and More Forms

Forms, Forms, and More Forms

Dear Future kids,
Well, we finished yet another required training course! Yeah! Now, we need to finish this binder full of paperwork. We’re chipping away at it day by day.
I trust that you’re out there, waiting on us. Every day, every peice of paper, we’re one day closer to being a family.
We’re family, you just don’t know it yet. (And I can’t wait to let you know!)
Your mom

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Your Story

Adoption steps
Dear Kids,
I think I may have heard your story today. We’re still a far cry from finding out if you’re really ment to be with us, but I think I heard your story today. My heart broke of the tragedy that brought you into foster care and may, one day in the not-too-distant future, bring you to your forever-home. Maybe, just maybe, that home is with us.
Because I respect you, even if you end up being a valued part of someone else’s family, I won’t share your story here. If you become part of our family, who you share your story with is up to you. How you want to handle that is up to you. No matter what, we will always be here for you when the past gets too heavy to bare alone. You’ve already amazed me with your strength and coming as far as you have. I hope that someday you’ll call us home, but if not, I know your forever home is out there getting ready for you.
That said, we’re a few steps closer to you than we were last time I updated this! Your dad and I got our certificates for passing our 27 hour training class! We’ve scheduled the CPR/First aid/training/Bloodborn pathogen training in early December. We’re working with a contractor to get the house and room(s) ready for you. Just when we thought you were going to have bunk beds and share a room, our contractor may have found a solution that lets everyone have their own room, plus having extra space for a guest! We’ll see how things go on that front, but we’re getting ready!
It’s exciting and exhausting at the same time. I just can’t wait to be done with these piles and piles of paperwork and be ready to meet you!
After all, we’re family; you just don’t know it yet.
Loves of love,
Your Mom

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A Whole New Fall

A Whole New Fall

Dearest Little Ones,
I’m happy to report that there has actually been some progress in bringing you home! Your dad and I are 2 days away from being down with the training classes required by the State. It’s been a long week, packed full of discussions, work, and listening. I’m still making sure to take care of myself during this process for the most part. I did miss a work out yesterday, but I know that things don’t always go according to plan.
We’ve decided a few things that have helped us narrow down the search for you. We think you’re in the USA, so that gives us a little less of the world to search for now. We’re not sure what you look like yet, or if you’ll come to us as you are or with brothers and sisters, but hopefully we’ll have an even more clear path to you after this weekend, when we decide on an agency and start the Homestudy.
Going through the State required classes have been an interesting journey for me. It’s really been bringing back what it was like to grow up myself. So many things ring true, even though I was adopted as an infant. It’s been very helpful to reassure me that we’re going to be a good fit, even if we have to work at it for a while.
Hopefully I’ll meet you as early as next year.
After all, we’re family; You just don’t know it yet.
Your mom.

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