A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft
We had a visit with two of BB's aunts. They are both so sweet and really care about him, but neither is in a position to take care of him. I have tried to facilitate visits about once a month since BB came to live with me.
This week's visit went great. We met at a children's play area in a mall. One of BB's cousins is just six weeks younger than he is, but BB is much bigger! One of the aunts gave him two musical toys for Christmas. He LOVES them!
These visits have been an awesome experience, because we are all very comfortable with each other. They get to see BB grow and know he is being well taken care of, I get to know more about BB's bio family, and BB will develop a relationship with his aunts and cousins. Both aunts are very supportive of me adopting BB. I have every intention of keeping them in his life.
Well, sort of. I am catching up on badly needed sleep. Even BB has been sleeping in late. I'm going to have to work hard to get back on a school schedule before Monday!
Unfortunately, I'm not getting much else done - so far. I took the week off work to do the multitude of tasks that have been postponed for weeks months around the house. I had such high hopes, but so far, I'm still just catching up from the holiday events. But I've got my list ready and will make progress tomorrow!
On a good note, I finally got my fingerprints for my adoption license today (no, the fingerprints for my foster care license don't transfer - go figure!). The only remaining item is a physician's statement for my two already adopted children. This was a last minute additional requirement that I found out about last week. Hopefully, the pediatrician will fill out the paper during BB's nine month checkup next week without needing a well-check appointment. Otherwise, it make take a month to get the other two in for an appointment. Ugh!
Today was a relatively quiet day. I needed that. We slept in and went to the late service at church. No Sunday School today, so all of us sat in the back row of the contemporary service. After some initial seat juggling, everyone did well and the service ended early.
We came home and had a simple lunch. I tried to get BB to take a nap, but he was definitely not interested, despite being obviously tired. So, we headed to the grocery store instead. I scored the couple of necessities for Christmas next year from the clearance section and purchased the groceries we needed. Once home again, BB eventually did settle down for a nap. I let Buddy play on the computer, May watched her new movie on the portable DVD player in her room, and Sweets played (and played) Kinectimals on the new XBOX 360 KINECT that Santa brought them. I enjoyed a long winter's nap!
I made spaghetti (their favorite) for dinner and they played some more. Tonight they will get some reading in before bed and hopefully get a good night's sleep.
Yesterday, we had a wonderful Christmas with family here. I picked Sweets up just after 9am and returned in time for brunch. Then we all opened gifts. The kids were so excited about so many of them. I really thought we were doing less this year, but they still had more than they knew what to do with! BB liked anything that made noise, especially the crinkly paper! The big kids are having as much fun with BB's toys as he is. The pillow pets and Zhu Zhu pets were the biggest hits after the Kinect, although they are loving everything right now.
I totally understand how divorced parents feel when they have to "divide up time" with kids for the holidays.
Sweets typically stays with me almost every day she is not in school. Well, her dad decided he wanted her to come back to his house last night. No problem; I drove 80 miles round trip to take her home. Today I was to pick her up from a visit he had scheduled with Lil Sis (I think he wanted Sweets there so he didn't have to entertain at the visit). Well, he showed up late and missed the visit. Oh well, at least he was on my side of town, and it was a lot closer for me to pick up Sweets.
Now he wants Sweets to be with him on Christmas morning. I think he actually bought her a Christmas present for the first time in four Christmases since she has lived with him. Fine, but that messes with my family's Christmas schedule. Sweets whispers to me, "I really want to stay with you, but I don't want to hurt my dad's feelings." So sweet, and so sad for an eight year old.
After some negotiating, Sweets will stay with me through an early dinner with my parents on Christmas Eve. Around 5pm I will meet her dad "somewhere in the middle" and she will have to miss going to the Christmas Eve church service. Then I will drive to his house Christmas morning and pick her up about 9am. That should work, because we usually don't start much (except gifts from Santa) until after brunch, which is set for about 10am after extended family gets here. I told Sweets we would wait before we passed out gifts.
I do want Sweets to have a good relationship with her dad, but it is annoying when it interferes with my plans. I have to stay focused on what is really important: yes - their relationship; no - my schedule. Thank you, God, for keeping my heart where it belongs.
This morning was court for BB. It was supposed to be TPR, but there was a glitch. Since they can't locate any parents, they had to publish notice of the hearing. Unfortunately, the publication for one potential father was not correct. So, they severed on mom, one potential dad, and John Doe, but they can't sever on the other potential dad until March. Yep, three month delay. I guess now my conservative estimate of the adoption being final by June becomes an optomistic outlook. Bottom line, BB is here, living as part of our family. We are just waiting for the legal side to catch up.
Tonight Miss M and I took the kids to see the 3.5 million lights at the zoo. It was sprinkling as we were driving, and both of us were wondering if we should really continue. Ended up being a beautiful mild night with only a hint of moisture from the sky.
The kids enjoyed the lights, Sweets pet the stingrays, we wandered throught the gift shop and I covertly bought one more Christmas gift. We finished the evening with a stop at Yogurt*land to calm the hunger pains on the way home. It was a night to remember.
This afternoon was the Christmas Pageant at church. Both Buddy and Sweets (since rehearsals were on the weekends) were in it this year. Sweets was a shepherd who sang a trio; she did an awesome job. Buddy was in the choir.
Sweets' dad had said he was coming. A friend of his (mature lady whom Sweets loves) was also planning to come and could give him a ride. The friend went to pick him up, but he wasn't ready. They arrived about ten minutes after it was over (drive is about 45 minutes). Sweets' first words after the play: "Did my dad come?" All I could do is say he was on his way. Luckily that wasn't the end of the day.
We had a soup and salad dinner at church followed by Christmas caroling on haywagons to shut-in, sick, or elderly members of our church. Many live within the local square mile. I let Buddy and Sweets go with her dad and friend (supervised by a friend of mine from church) while I took BB home to stay with my parents. Sweets' dad had no idea what was going on as he boarded the wagon, but he came back smiling saying he had a great time. He had never been caroling before, and although he didn't sing, he enjoyed it. His friend (whom I respect and trust) told me afterward that everyone was so nice to them (so great to hear about people at church). Unfortunately, she also told me that he spent the entire time texting and not watching or interacting with his daughter at all. So sad.
I met the haywagons when they returned. Everyone came in for cookies and hot chocolate. Then the jolly old man himself came. All three talked to him, even if May would only go with a friend. Luckily, Buddy asked him for EXACTLY what Santa is bringing for Christmas! I so love it when it all works out.
I am at my wits end with Buddy. He is doing fine everywhere but at home. Here, whether with me, or Miss M, his behavior is atrocious. He is talking back, calling names, ignoring directions, and touching, pushing, and laying on his sisters. I have talked with him, warned him, sent him to his room, ordered him to bed, and restricted TV and all electronics. Nothing has worked. I am done.
Tonight I sat him down with a piece of paper. On the front he wrote "I will follow Mom's directions." and on the back he wrote "I will keep my hands to myself." seven times each. He behaved for a few minutes and then started up again. He finally got the wrath of Mom in his room and then when to bed not happy at all.
I'm now in no tolerance mode and made it clear that he will go directly to bed for even the slightest infraction. I will have more time off over the next two weeks, and I'm hoping that he leaves this behavior behind within the first few days!
Tonight was May and Buddy's Christmas program at school. Each grade sang a song during a mini-musical where the story of Christmas was told by stars: Diva Star, North Star, Lucky Star, Rock Star, Falling Star, and Shooting Star. It was very cute!
May sang solo into the microphone to help the kindergarten class with their song. She did an awesome job!
I picked Sweets up after school today. She is out until January 4th. The other two have a half day tomorrow and are then out until the 3rd. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
This morning I walked into Buddy's room to make sure he was getting ready. I was only half ready myself and hadn't fixed my hair yet to strategically pull it back. Buddy exclaimed, "Mom, you really have to dye your hair more, because it's really getting gray!" Thanks, Buddy! I'm glad my appointment is on Friday.
BB loves to play and splash in the water! Tonight I let him have at it. (Just a little lot of water on the floor & counter to cleanup.) He can stay in the bath until he prunes up and still come out smiling! Although lately he cries when you take him out of his wet playground.
The kitchen sink is just about too little to bathe BB. I think we are about to graduate to the deeper sink in the laundry room!
The three older kids had their Children's Chorus concerts the last two nights. Talk about an AWESOME experience. All 275 kids did a fabulous job in two different venues.
The picture above is the Prep Choir, with Sweets and Buddy in the front row. May is in the next choir up (it's her third year with the organization). There are also two older touring choirs, mostly with junior high and high school kids.
The concert was quite a professional show. It is totally amazing what kids can do when expectations are set high. This is Sweets' second semester with the choir and her stage presence is beautiful, not to mention her voice. This was Buddy's first set of concerts. He worked so hard to stand straight, sing, and not fidget or squirm. I am so proud of all of them!
BB is marvelous! He is a big boy at 8 months, over 20 pounds. He is still happy virtually all the time, rarely fusses, and loves to interact with people. He and I share a special bond, and I love the way he looks at me when I first come into a room where he is.
Although he is not yet crawling or scooching, he does roll all over the floor. He sits up well and loves to play in the water in the kitchen sink for his bath. He is now standing with help, which is huge since he didn't like to put any weight on his legs for a long time. He loves to bounce and to be held upside down.
BB is a good eater and sleeps wonderfully for about ten hours each night. He still has no teeth, but I'm sure they have to be coming in soon! All kinds of babbling and cooing come from his mouth, while anything he holds goes into his mouth. He is very alert and no longer falls asleep during church or other events with lots of people. He doesn't want to miss a thing!
May, Sweets, and Buddy all love BB very much. They play well with him, keep him entertained, and help me with his needs. I can't imagine BB not being part of our lives. He is truly a blessing from God whom we have been entrusted to care for.
The current plan is that BB will be legally free for adoption in January. My home study is in process to once again be licensed to adopt. Some time next year.... Thank you, God!