Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Had a Question

and that question was: "What was in that part of my heart that (S) now occupies?" I never felt like anything was missing from my life. DW and I were happy and content. We had three grown children who were all out in the world on their own and doing well. While it was a struggle at times, there was never anything missing from our life. But now that (S) has come into our family, I know there would be a huge emptiness in my heart if she were to leave. I don’t feel any less about anyone that was already in my life. (S) takes up just as much space as my three biological children and I feel just as strongly about her as I do them. I want her to grow up and have just as wonderful a life as possible, just like I hope for my biological children.

There were more questions that naturally followed the original...

So how does that work anyway? When do you run out of places in your heart to put people? Do you ever? If there isn’t anything missing, how can something find a place into your heart? If there wasn't a hole to begin with, why is there one when someone is gone?

I think I have come up with the answer. While I am not a philosopher by any stretch of the imagination and my college philosophy grades will prove that, I now believe the following:

There is never a hole in your heart, there are just spaces that are available for tangible(i.e. people) and intangible (i.e. religion) things to occupy. Those spaces are currently occupied with your own love. Things only occupy those areas of your heart if you open it up to them. Someone or something has to be very special for you to open up your heart, and when you do, you give some of your love to them. That creates the space that is then devoted to them forever. No one can ever take their place in that spot. Other spaces will be made available as new people come into your life and you give of your love to them, but ultimately the space given to someone is thiers forever. When they are gone, is when there is that empty feeling that never really goes away. You may get used to it after a while but it never really goes away.

A lost child can not be replaced with a newborn, nor can a lost spouse be replaced with a new spouse. You can just open up another area of your heart and let more of your love out. It is certainly risky business. The more you open up your heart and the more love you let out, the more susceptible you are to having empty spaces. So....back to the beginning. If you have no empty space in your heart, how is there room to add someone into it?

You make the room in your heart by giving of some of your love for that person to put into their heart. It is really quite simple. As the Beatles said:

"And in the end
The love you take
is equal to the love you make"

Thank you for indulging me in my little rambling


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Apparently Rudolph dropped some of his bells when he was leaving our house. All the reindeer really made a mess of the carrots that (S) left for them.


Of course we are hoping this is our last Christmas as (S)s foster parents. Next Christmas there will be more to see in our pictures, but for this year, this will have to do. There were plenty of goodies, and some were a little too heavy, but at the end of the day, she managed to get them all open.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bad News or Good News?


Well (S)'s parents have filed an appeal with the state supreme court. (This is the only court that hears appeals on these matters in this state).

There is no one that thinks an appeal will go through, but as those of you who have been reading this blog know, stranger things have happened. So is it good news or bad?

The bad news is that this will hold up any adoption for a few months longer. It means that we probably will not have everything complete in early spring. We are just hoping it can be complete before school starts next year so (S) doesn't have a name change while in school. The other bad news is that the court could make any decision and we don't know for sure what that will be. While all the experts are saying there is no way this appeal will go through, all the experts have been wrong before in this case.

So where is the good news? you ask.

Well, Bio mom and dad never showed up in court for the initial TPR hearing. We were there for two days and there was never any proof indicating where they were or that they even cared about their children. I may be going out on a limb here but at least this shows SOME degree of caring for their children. I would have expected them to fight harder in the intial case then they did. By fighting now, at least when (S) grows up, we can tell her that her parents did fight to keep her. I don't want her to feel as though she was the cause of anything pertaining to her removal from her birth family or that she was unloved.

The second part of the potentially good part is that once the appeal is over there will be no more possible chance for recourse. They won't be able to come back and say we didn't get the chance to present our side of the case or anything like that. They will have taken it as far as it can go, and the court case will be over.

So is it good news or bad? Well, like most things it is a mixed blessing. We won't know the final outcome for a few months, but we will continue to keep our fingers crossed and hope that ultimately what happens is the best thing for (S).

In the meantime, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Ramblings

On my last entry I mentioned how nice it was when (S) gave me a big hug upon my return home. I mentioned that I didn't remember when that stopped with my bio children and I hoped it wouldn't stop with (S) for a while.

I have given more thought to this and how children see their parents as they grow. When children are first born there is a natural atatchment to the mother and there is an attachment to the father developed relatively early. (this is in normal homes. I am not sure (S) ever had an attachment to her bio father).

Once they learn how to walk, they are encouraged to meet their parents at the door and the usual result is they get picked up by the arriving parent and get a big hug and kiss which is naturally comforting to them.

When they learn to run and jump, thats what they do when the parent comes home and the parent has no choice but to pick them up. (Not that anyone would refuse) This is the stage that (S) is at right now and I love it!

Unfortunately, there comes a time when they are just too big to pick up and the parent has to put a stop to the running and jumping. At that point it may be time for the parent to get down on one knee to give the requisite hug and kiss upon arrival at home.

The next stage is when they no longer care to acknowledge your existance. While they may come to the door and say a quick hello, if they have friends visiting they won't even acknowledge your arrival. Unless of course they are looking for something in particular. (roughly ages 12 to 14)This isn't all bad though because as long as there is no chance of being seen by their friends, they still enjoy spending time with you.

Then the teenage years hit full force. That is when they don't even want to acknowledge your existance. Family outings are for the birds and all that really matters are them and their friends. This is not true 100% of the time, but it is enough of the time to make you wonder if they care about you or is it just the things you can provide?

This is the longest and most difficult time of parenting. Kids are trying to test limits and experiment with different types of behavior. You hope you have taught them well, and that when they do something stupid it won't harm them physically. If you are lucky, they make it through the teenage years. After those years come to an end, you are in really good shape.

The older they get, the smarter you get.

They finally start asking for advice and valuing the advice you give them. They are adults and while at times it is difficult to treat them that way, there is no holding them back. They make their own choices and hopefully they are good ones. Again, hopefully they have a healthy and happy life. If they make mistakes, you can not blame yourself. They have made their own choices. DW and I have been very lucky. While there have certainly been trials and tribulations along the way, right now all of our children are living productive and healthy lives. They also seem to be happy which is most important.

So where does that leave us with (S)? Well, we obviously have a long way to go. While we don't know if she went through those first couple of stages with her bio-parents, we do know that she has been through the stage of meeting at the door, and now jumping up on me when I arrive. I love it. I just hope that she is able to go through the rest of her life being a normal little kid. You never know what happened that may have a long term effect on her life, but we are hoping that we can negate any bad things that may have happened.

On another note, the good news is that there has not been an appeal filed yet. Bio mom and Dad still have about a month to file one though. We are keeping our fingers crossed. In the meantime I am still travelling every week and spending my weekends at home with DW and (S). This week I will be home on Christmas Eve and stay through Sunday so that will be an extra long visit. Last week I was in Atlanta, and this week I am back in New Hampshire. I will be in New Hamshire until the week of January 10th when I will be going to New York for a week. Life goes on.

I will continue to keep up as much as I can, but in case I don't get back to this blog before Christmas, I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas spent with your family and a Happy and Healthy New Year. There is a quote from a columnist by the name of Bill Vaughn. (aka Burton Hillis) that goes like this:

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."

While family has always been important to me, it has never been as important as it has become over the last couple of years. I will be very happy to be spending this Christams with DW and (S).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Home for the Weekend

I have to spend a lot of time away over the next few months. I will be about 4 hours from home and am going to try tog et home on weekends at the least. So last night I drive the 4 hours and get home in time to take DW and (S) to dinner at (S)s favorite restaurant. She refers to it as the "restaurant where you pick out your own food". It is a buffet style place. They have chocolate covered strawberries there which she loves.

Anyway, we went there and it is lcoated inside a hotel. There was a group having a Christmas Party there and they had their very own Grinch. Unfortunately the Grinch scared (S), but she got back at him. She let out such a scream as he tried to approach her that the poor guy jumped. Unfortunately, I was holding her and I am still hearing rining in my ear.

Today was (S)s very first dance recital and this was the main reason I had to be sure to get home for today. It was held in the local High School auditorium and there were a lot of people there. There were 100 girls who danced on the stage this morning and one little girl who didn't. She just stood there looking around, biting her nails and checking everything out, but no dancing. In case you are wondering, it was (S). No, she didn't dance one bit. She did look adorable in the little costume they had her in, and my oldest daughter (A) had the video camera. I told her to make sure she panned all of the dancers so that we could at least see what she was supposed to be doing.

Tomorrow I have to go out of town again, but I will be back again on Friday I hope. It depends on the weather. Anyway, I am going to try to keep up with the blog, but it may be difficult with all the travelling I am going to be doing. I just look forward to the times I come home,. Last night when I walked into the house I got a great big kiss and a hug from (S). That is something you get with small kids that is just wonderful. I don't remember when it stopped with my biological kids, but then I didn't remember how much I missed it either. It must have been when they got to the point where I was unable to pick them up. I hope (S) stays small for a while.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanks to Everyone

Since Thursday, things have been crazy. It seems as though everywhere I go there is someone saying congratulations. Thanks to those of you here who have passed along your congrats. On facebook we have had many well-wishes and around town is fantastic. It is all overwhelming

This morning I took (S) to dance class. When it was over I was putting a pair of pants on over her leotard and getting her shoes on and I feel a tap on my shoulder. I look around and there is the case worker who actually took (S) into custody 2 years ago. She had her thumb up and a big smile on her face. "Congratulations" she said "I heard about it at work. you must be thrilled". I think she may have been as excited as we are.

The reason I was putting pants on (S) is because we weren't coming straight home. We had some errands to run while DW was at work. We went to the craft store and there was another person saying congratulations.

Tomorrow is the day we are getting our Christmas Tree. It will certainly be a special time of year for us this year.

We had a talk with (S) last night. We weren't sure exactly what to say, but we asked her if she remembered last Chirstmas and where she was. She did remember that she was at her other mother and fathers house and they had a room for her, and her father was taken away in an ambulance. She also seemed to remember that there was talk about her leaving our house and going to live with all her brothers and her other mother and father. We told her that she would still be able to see her brothers, but she would not be seeing her "other" mommy and daddy. We also told her that she would be staying with us forever. She is only 4, and I am not sure how much of it she really understands, but I do know that she spent the entire night in her bedroom last night.

We have been trying to get that point across as much as possible because the therapist thought that at least part of the reason she wasn't staying in her room at night was for fear of losing us. Hopefully the more we stress that, the more comfortable she will be.

Now we are really looking forward to Adoption Day so we can have our very own "forever family" party. We are open to ideas, and of course everyone will be invited!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a Wonderful Day

On a wonderful day like today
I defy any cloud to appear in the sky
Dare any raindrop to plop in my eye
On a wonderful day like today
----Anthony Newley

So yesterday I ranted and said I felt better. No Rant today, but I feel fantastic!!!!!
Here is the process:

Step 1. We get approved as an adoptive home

Step 2. The TPR is granted.

Step 3. We wait 45 days to see if an appeal is filed.

Step 4. After 45 days or after the appeal is denied we have our disclosure meeting....Ought to be interesting since we know more about (S) then they do. :)

Step 5. We sign paperwork and bring a portion of it to the court house where we get an adoption package to fill out.

Step 6. We have our fingerprints done'........ yet again.

Step 7. We get a court date.

Step 8. (S) is legally what she has been in spirit. A memeber of our family.

Step 9. We post pictures of the family after the hearing so that all can see.

We finished Step 1 last month. We got past Step 2 today. That's right!!!! The TPR was granted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We found out this morning. I can't begin to tell you how excited we are. This is a wonderful day for our family.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I am waiting

I am waiting for an answer.

I am waiting for the judge to reach her decision.

I am waiting to hear that we can adopt (S).

I am waiting for the end of this leg of our trip to come to an end.

I am waiting to make plans for the future.

If I appear to be frustrated, its because I am.
The waiting is KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!

OK, I am done with my rant. I feel better now.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009



I am not a big bible person, and while I am spiritual, I don't really consider myself to be very religious. In spite of that, this seems to fit where I am at today.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, father.

That's all.