Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's In a Name?

A whole lot of, "I dunnos". Let me elaborate... We have had three children biologically, which gave us 40 weeks or so to come up with something to call each child. It wasn't terribly hard and to date I cannot think of one major argument fought nor tears shed over the matter. None of our children are still called "baby", so I consider that a huge success.

Baby number 4 came to us pre-named as he was our foster son and they allowed his mother to name him. She must have still been drugged at the time from the epidural, as his name is, well... "unique". There was honestly no nickname we could derive from it that was not as "unique". Later on after jokingly calling him, "Das Baby" (apparently we had been dreaming of German U-boats?), it kind of stuck. We now call him Das quite a bit. It also can be considered a nickname from his given name. Kind of.

Now that it appears we will be able to adopt him, we have had the hardest time with a name for him. We plan to change his name, as it honors his BioDad (in a unique way), who has not honored his child whatsoever.

This child is now 15 months old, and although there was always a chance he could go home, in the back of my brain the wheels have continually been turning on what we would name him if someday he were ours forever. We have yet to completely agree.
At one point I finally got Mr. Clean to have the conversation for more than 1.3 seconds and I thought we had nailed it down. Then it changed. Then it changed again. Let's hope by the time we get to adopt this baby (Lord willing), he will have a name other than, "Das Baby".

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Did Not Know Her But...

She was just like one of us. She was a Mommy, a blogger, a sister, a friend, a wife, a MOMS Club member and a beloved daughter. Now she and her babies are gone and it boggles my mind.

She is a friend of a friend from my home State, from the County where I rocked my babies before moving to PA and from the town where my brothers went to high school. One town over from my parents. I have driven by her house countless times. Yet she is no longer there. It is too sad to contemplate...

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Weight of Change

I was chatting with a friend today about a subject that has been weighing heavily on both of our hearts. Irrevocable change. The simple knowledge that life will never stay as it was, and even though you welcome the changes you still deeply mourn the past. I felt that today, as I wearily ran all day long. From here to there. Dropping off one set of kids here, another set of kids there, exchanging car seats with Mr. Clean, picking up children to drop them off again and take another somewhere else. This is not much different from a lot of other mothers; I am not ignorant to that fact. I just miss the "before".

Before, I had three children whom I adored and overwhelmed me to the core. Probably almost as equally as the five I have now. We had been a little family of five for just four years. C'sa was starting to be a little more independent, needing me less for the simple things, like getting her head unwedged from the armhole of her shirt. Xena was almost 6 and ready to let her love of reading take her on amazing adventures and my eldest child, K.Z. was starting his detachment phase from Momma that all boys experience and was gravitating more toward"Daddy".

Then came Iggy. As you may know Iggy is our delightful 15 month old foster son. We brought him home from the hospital at just a mere two and a half days old and we adore him beyond comprehension. He immediately changed the fabric of our family, which is how we knew that if there was any chance he was unable to be reunited with his biological parents, we wanted him. Lock, stock and barrel.

After Iggy came home I got a case of the baby blues (mild form of post pardum depression). I have had it before, after all three of my biological children, so I knew what was happening, but it seemed odd. I thought the baby blues happened due to all the changes in my hormonal balance after spitting out a baby. For Iggy, it happened because of the knowledge that my cozy little family had changed.
We settled into life as a family of six, even without knowing how long Iggy would stay.

Eleven months later came Eazy, our three year old foster son. And while I did not experience the baby blues again, I did panic a little. My cozy family of five from just a year previous had just now exploded into a family of seven. It made me sad.
I thought I was a little bit crazy.

wanted these boys. We signed up to be their parental units for as long as they needed us, yet I was panicking about losing the little family dynamic that we once had. Selfish vacation plans that had been made were thwarted, the need of changing vehicles due to necessity made me bitter instead of grateful for my expanded family. I felt like I was losing my mind.

(Please do not misunderstand. I firmly believe that children, in whatever form they come, are an amazing blessing. The opportunity to bring them up in Christ, and the fact that you have been assigned that crucial task for this particular creation, is humbling. I had a grasp on this the whole time, ironically.)

You feel alone. It is hard to explain to someone, that you are waiting for this new change to feel normal, all while mourning what was your normal. I could have cried when my sweet friend revealed to me a few weeks ago that she had been struggling with this too after giving birth. It is a strange emotion and as much as I hate that she is experiencing this, it is comforting to know, I am not the only one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life Defined In Lipstick

I am a lipstick kind of girl. I don't worry too much about eye shadow and the like on a daily basis, but I do love me some lipstick. And for any of you who have this obsession you know that when you find THAT color, you stick with it. Even if it means selling your firstborn and throwing your grandmother in front of the bus to race by her and get it.

I found my color about 12 years ago as a free give away from Estee Lauder. I bought a gift for someone and was treated to a free lipstick. I did not get to pick the color, it was more than likely a new color they were introducing. Well, Hello Dolly! It was a perfect fit.

Against my mother's raised eyebrow (she has been a Mary Kay consultant for many moons), I gladly paid Ms. Lauder's staff of make-up maidens for the privilege of wearing, "Alfresco Brick" lipstick. All was right with the world.

Two years ago I went to buy more, as I was running low. I was hit with an alfresco brick to the head. The color was discontinued. Dis. Con. Tinued. It took all the grace I possess to not take the sales lady by the lapel and shake her. Hard. And then hold her hostage until they agreed to re-continue my discontinued addiction. It was not to be.

I scoured every department store within a three state radius (I am not kidding) as well as eBay. My color was gone forever. Life would be irreconcilably less colorful than before the ultimate betrayal.

I searched for a color that would match my previous lipstick's glory. I searched Mary Kay (I think my mother secretly gloated and snickered behind my back), Arbonne, all the department store lipsticks, and even the brands I would literally have to sell my firstborn to simply afford. There was no comparison. My beloved was gone. I had to settle for a different color altogether, but it did not have that "wow" factor.

Fast forward two years (give or take a few months) and I found a stick in a forgotten drawer with a smidgen of lipstick left. I whipped out a lipstick brush as quick as you please to scrape the remnants. That was it, the obsession was back. I decided to search eBay again. I knew it would be fruitless. After all, Estee Lauder The Great Betrayer had discontinued my color over two years ago or better and failed to contact me personally to discuss this. All the other junkies would have certainly torn each other apart by now to get the last stick.

There it was. A small light in the darkness. One "Alfresco Brick" lipstick left on eBay. I prepared myself for battle. It was going to be mine. I checked all our bank accounts, money markets and retirement funds to see just how much I could spend for this last glimmer of hope. There were already bids, but I am proud to say I beat them all and did not have to mortgage the house to do so. The other junkies must have all died from lipstick overdose by now, as I got it fairly easily.

All I can say now is that the mailman better throw it from his truck and keep on going, to prevent attack when I see that bulky envelope. Life is good again.

Until this stick runs out...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not That Anyone Is Counting...

In eleven days. Eleven short days until we will take a major step forward in making Iggy a member of this family forever.

Last month Iggy's biological parents signed a consent to have their parental rights terminated. It came as a shock to everyone as they were in court that day to have a judge hear the county's case for termination. It never made it to the judge.

Out of left field BioMom and all of the BioDads involved in this case (there are several siblings) signed consents. We were floored.

They have 30 days to change their minds and revoke the consent, but on day 31 if that has not happened, my little Iggy will be free and clear for adoption. That isn't to say that "Uncle SoandSo" or "Aunt Wherehaveyoubeen" cannot jump out of the woodwork and try to get custody, but it will be harder for them.

We have already been contacted by the adoption agency charged with this case and the wheels have been set in motion. It just might be time to start pinching myself...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Am Feeling a Little Spoiled...

I have a new love. Her name is Truvy. She is my laptop.

I have been wanting a laptop for a long time. Mr. Clean has always had one supplied to him by his company. I sit and drool while watching him on it as I sit at my desktop. I know; "woe is me".

As a homeschooler I dream of vacations to exotic locales with my trusty laptop by my side to educate my children and pull up curriculum all while sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. That did not sell Mr. Clean on my need.

I started to whine that it was kind of difficult, as our curriculum is web-based, to jump up and down constantly from my desktop computer to the table where the kids are doing their workbook portion of the lesson. Nope, this did not work either.

And then it happened...

The day Mr. Clean was my substitute teacher. And he used my desktop to accomplish this task. He immediately agreed I had a true case. I ordered her on Thursday afternoon and she arrived ready to go on Friday. Just as Spring Break is coming to a close and a new school week is looming ahead.

So she is here. All shiny and new and fast. Oh, so fast! So I decided she should be called Truvy, because she is all lacquered up. I have never seen such a shiny laptop, keys included, but I like it nonetheless. Let me know if you can make the connection to the name! If I wasn't broke from buying a laptop, I would treat you to a coffee or the like if you get it right. But you will have the satisfaction of knowing, you rule.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Apparently Did Not Get the Memo...

Hello blogger world! It has been a while, as I have been swamped scrubbing floors, dusting and beautifying my picture perfect home playing on Facebook and eating copious amounts of Cadbury Cream Eggs while kicking dirty laundry under the beds. But I have decided it was time to check in with the whole 4 people who actually read this thing. Because frankly, I miss you!

Eazy (foster son #2) had a visit today with his BioDad. And because the world tends to be, well worldly, I never thought for a minute that the fact it was Good Friday would alter the plans we had to have Eazy's regular visit at the courthouse. After all, if you will not acknowledge Christ at a governmental level, it seems pretty hypocritical to me to take a vacation day on a day so important to Christianity. But I digress.

I showed up at the courthouse and because I am a "county" foster parent, versus going through an agency, I get the privilege of parking in the garage below, like I am important or something (at which all foster parents will laugh and tell you I am delusional). So the guards waved me in like normal (I am there so much they do not even bother to have me sign in half the time) and I found a killer parking space right by the elevator. First clue something was amiss.

In our courthouse you take two sets of elevators. One from the garage to the lobby and then after going through security, another set to get to your final destination. The garage elevator came astonishingly fast. Another clue.

Up in the lobby, it was a barren wasteland. No security guards stuffed into uncomfortable polyester uniforms ready to check your bags and "wand you" when you set off the metal detector. All I have to say here is, "under wire". Gets me every time. So much so, that I usually get waved on through after a discreet whisper of, "under wire" from the guard on duty. As if I was unaware, since he told me that last week and the week before. I digress again...

At this point is was quite obvious that the courthouse was closed for the day. But I had gotten this far so I figured I would go upstairs and double check. Yep, barren wasteland there too. I got on my cell phone and called the visit supervisor. I was NOT going to have to make this visit up, if she had simply forgotten to tell me about the courthouse being closed today. She hadn't.

She was downstairs with BioDad, locked out of the courthouse (she is not as cool as I am and not allowed to park in the garage). Just then the fire alarms started going off, as they apparently were taking advantage of a closed building to test them for the day. Needless to say, Eazy and Iggy (15 month old foster son) were none too pleased. We got down into the garage and out quickly to rendezvous with BioDad and the visit supervisor outside.

Kind of long story short, Eazy had his visit. A little unconventionally, but we had it anyway. I like BioDad. He may not be great Daddy material, but he is a nice guy. Had it been BioMom...

That's a story for another day.