Friday, December 23, 2011

Headed North??

Conventional New England wisdom says that this is the time of year to be headed south. Well, so much for that wisdom. Today we will be headed north from Cape Cod to Maine. We get to visit with our family up there over the next week or so and enjoy time with them

It is raining/snowing this morning, so hopefully it will all be clear by the time we leave this afternoon. At least that is what I am hoping for. I would like to leave early so that I can make the entire trip in daylight, but on the other hand, I would rather not be driving in rain and/or snow.

I know DW and Shy are excited about the trip. Right now they are probably home packing and just sitting around waiting for me to come home and get the trip started, but right now is not a good time to leave. too much rain and it is snowing up north.

Normally the number of school cancellations would be a good indicator of how much snow they are getting up that way, but today, very few schools are in session anyway as they have all started their Christmas break. So I guess we will just wait until hopefully it has passed and then be on our way.

As far as the conventional wisdom goes? We will have to wait until February when we head to Florida for 4 days and then into the Caribbean for an 8 day cruise.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Should I or Shouldn't I? If so, when?

Like that title? Anyway, before I go there......

Tomorrow we will head up to Maine to spend time with Amy and Kari and their families. I know DW is really looking forward to it. She does really miss both of them, but mostly she misses our grandson. I do too, so it will be nice to get up there and spend a few days.

Shy is also looking forward to it. She really loves her sisters. They are so nice to her and they spend time doing things that she likes to do. Shy loves getting up with Amy in the morning and baking muffins or anything else Amy wants to bake. I am told that Amy may have bought her an Easy Bake Oven. I can say that here, as Shy doesn't read this blog. She actually doesn't even know it exists.

Hmmmmmm. I wonder if it would be something that will be good for her to read when she gets older. I bet it would be. I'll have to go back and check it out, but I don't think I ever wrote anything in here that would bother or upset her.

I think she would definitely want to read it when she got older. I wonder what age would be the right age? I guess I'll just play it by ear and see. Maybe 18, or maybe 21. I don't know. What do you think?

Shy, if you are reading this, did I wait too long to tell you about the blog, or did I let you read it too early? Or did your sisters tell you about it before I did? Maybe your mom told you. Anyway.....

I am looking forward to the trip tomorrow afternoon and I know DW and Shy are as well. I don't know if I will have much opportunity to blog while I am there, but if I do, I will fill you in on everything.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This time of year it is common to look back over the last year and take stock. This year it is taking on a different look for me. Today would have been my father's 87th birthday, but unfortunately, he passed away in February.

So the different look is that I am looking at things that my father missed out on. Things that I know he would be really proud of. Things that I wish he was here to see. Things that I really hope he can see from wherever in the cosmos he is.

There is my new job. I think he would have been proud of that. I think he would have been happy that I came back to Massachusetts. Even though he spent 20 years retired in Florida, he always considered Massachusetts his home.

I know for sure he would have been proud of his only grandson making the move from Birmingham, AL to Portland, OR. He really did love my son, and he was always happy when Barry called him to talk about the Red Sox and other sports related issues. He works behind the scenes in television and making the move into a top 25 market in Portland would have certainly impressed his Papa and made him very proud.

I know he would have been so thrilled to hear how well Shy is doing in school, and how she has adjusted to her new school and friends and house so well. He would have been happy to hear how she was reading and writing, and I know he would be looking forward to seeing her in February when we go to Florida.

I can guarantee he would have loved to have been there for his great grandson's 1st birthday. That would have been a thrill for him. I know my mom enjoyed it, and I am sure he would have enjoyed it too. He wanted a great grandchild for many years, and he was so happy when he finally got one. I was so happy he actually got to see Logan and hold him when he came up for Amy's wedding.

He would have been thrilled to hear about Amy's new home that they bought. He always wanted his children and grandchildren to be happy and that home has certainly made Amy very happy. That would have made him happy and proud as well.

Most of all though, I think he would be proud of the fact that we are all doing well and are happy and healthy and enjoying ourselves.....even if we do miss him...... a lot!

So, Dad, if you are able to read this blog, I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday and let you know we are all doing well. Love you and Miss you


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

About, oh, I don't know, maybe 20 years ago DW and I said something along the lines of "Thank goodness that is over. We will never have to deal with Girl Scout Cookie selling again!!"

We were wrong. That's right. Shy has come home from her Daisy troop meeting yesterday with her girl scout cookie selling sheet and instructions. She is certainly looking forward to selling them, but I am not sure she has the whole idea down.

She said to me one box is $4.00, and 2 boxes is $8.00.

So I naturally asked, how much is 3 or 4 boxes. She said she didn't know. So when I asked what she was going to say to someone who wanted to buy 3 or 4 boxes, or maybe even more, she though a while and finally came up with the following answer:

"No, you can only buy 2 boxes"

So, I guess we have to work on her selling technique. We certainly don't want her limiting any prospective clients in their willingness to buy cookies from her, Of course I already put in my order for 10 boxes. So she will sell at least that many. After that, I guess it is a crap shoot. I did bring the requisite "short" form to work to see if anyone here is interested, so as far as I am concerned that lets me off the hook for dealing with people in the neighborhood. I will leave that to DW.

I don't know that she reads this blog any more so I guess I will have to bring that up carefully at home.

Anyway, if you have the opportunity to buy Girl Scout Cookies from one of your local scouts, be sure to support them. They are a real good organization and the cookies are delicious. (I love the Peanut Butter patties and the Caramel Delights myself!!)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Ideas

The Lego Menorah we made won a prize at Sunday School this week!! (OK so everyone won a prize, but still, Shyanne was excited). We won the prize for the best "Israeli Flag Design" We made it totally out of blue and white legos, hence the category.

Shy also had a visit with her play therapist on Saturday. She is doing quite well, and really seems to like this woman. I htink that things are going to go well. She enjoys playing with her, and this woman has a lot of great ideas for her.

Knowing that Shy takes dance lessons she gave her a dance solution to when she gets angry and frustrated. She just jumps between 5th position and 2nd position (ballet moves I am not toally familiar with). This allows her to burn off that energy she has and to calm herself in a much more appropriate manner then she has been.

There was even a time this weekend when she did it on her own. I am not sure what she was upset about at the time, but all of a sudden there she was jumping and she then told us why and more importantly, she said it worked. That is great news. Now, if we can just get her to use it all the time, and have it work all the time that will be wonderful.

The other idea we are putting to use is placing check marks in DWs calendar book when we catch her being good. She likes that, and she also likes counting the check marks. She is even counting the checkmarks by 5s and 10s. I guess it is a great math lesson as well as a behavior lesson. I love things that multi-task like that!!

So things are going well here. We will be going up to Maine on Friday to visit with Amy and Kari and their famies, so that will be fun. We are really looking forward to it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

December 11th Came and Went

I thought December 11th was going to be a memorable day in my life and an anniversary that would always be important to us. Apparently I was wrong, as it came and went without any fanfare. It was just another Sunday.

Even my blog on Monday morning couldn't come up with a title as I didn't know for sure what I was going to write about. So how does a day that seems so important at one point in our life, become so meaningless that we totally forget about its existence on the actual day.

I suppose I should tell you what December 11th is and why I thought it would be important. That is the day in 2007 when Shyanne first came into our life. It is the day we thought she was going to come and stay with us for a couple of months. It is the day we went to the DHHS building in Bagor, Maine and picked up this adorable little red headed girl who would change our life forever. It is also the day that prompted me to start writing this blog a year later.

It was a year later that her family was close to reunification and I thought we were about to have Shyanne leave our life. That is what started this blog. Dealing with her departure and then to talk about other children as they came into our life. Now, 4 years later, the day has become just another day. I guess her birthday is more important now as we don't even have to think about when it is. We know it like we know all of our children's birthdays. Of course Adoption Day is November 15th and we started an Adoption Day tradition this year that we hope will carry on for many many years to come. So that is certainly an important day.

Is it just with the Holidays and all, and now with Adoption Day, that December 11th is so unimportant that it comes and goes almost totally unnoticed by us? Or is it a day that we really don't want to remember because, in a way, it symbolizes what could be considered a sad day in the life of Shyanne's birth family?

I am not sure, but I just find it curious that the day comes and goes without any fanfare now and while it is certainly an important day in our life, I guess it isn't so important that it requires any fanfare. Just another opportunity for a hug and a kiss from the most beautiful girl in the world.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Lego Hanukiah

This Sunday at Sunday School there is a contest for the most original menorah. Shy has decided she wants to make one out of Legos. Now she has not played with Legos a lot, but we have an abundance of them that were both handed down through the family and also bought when our son Barry was a young boy.

Last night we picked out all of the blue and white legos. I thought there would be a lot, but it turns out that Red is the most common lego color. (at least in our collection)

Unfortunately, all the white ones have a bit of gray associated with them and the blue ones are also a bit old and dusty. So, step one after sorting out all the blue and white was to place them all into a couple of serving bowls with hot water and Dawn. Hopefully, this will give us clean legos on which to place out candles. After all, the last thing we need is to start a fire from any dust and lint hanging around our Lego menorah.

In any event, tonight we will start planning the Menorah. We will have to decide how it will look ,and how big it will be. How to arrange the candles and how to make it useable. After all, a Menorah is no good if it isn't useable.

Now, to move on to this whole Menorah thing. Most people thnink that you use a Menorah for Hannukah. Technically, a Menorah is a seven branched candle holder and has been a symbol of the Jewish religion for centuries. The Hannukah "Menorah" actually has 9 branches for lights. As a result, it is actually called a Hanukiah. There is one candle branch for each of the 8 nights of Hannukah, and then a ninth branch which typically stands a little higher then the other eight. That is for the "Shamash". This is the candle that is used to light all the other candles.

I don't know why I mention all of that here, except that it is helpful to know exactly what you are making before you actually make it. So if anyone has any Lego Hanukiah ideas for us, we will start building tonight and hopefully finish it either tomorrow or Saturday so that it is ready to go Sunday.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Play Date

Shy had her first play date at a friends house here on the Cape yesterday. It was really great and when I went to pick her up, she didn't want to come home as she was having a lot of fun.

Normally a play date would not be all that special, but in this case it was.

Shy does not like animals all that much. She has always been afraid of dogs and cats and bigger uncontrolled animals have always frightened her to the point of screeching and cowering in fright holding on to either DW or I until the threat of the animal is removed.

This little girl's family, who lives right around the corner, has quite the menagerie. There are 2 dogs. BIG DOGS!!, two cats, two horses, and a three year old brother.

The little girl had been telling Shy that she wanted her to come to her house, but Shy was never real interested because of the dogs. She always saw them at the bus stop and quite frankly they scared her to death. For some reason though the other little girl told Shy that if she just petted the dog she would see that it was fine and wouldn't bother her. I guess she must have made a good case and I would love to know what it was. Anyway, Monday when they got off the bus, Shy went right over to the dog, all by herself, and petted it.

Everyone made a big deal of it and decided that at some point, maybe a play date would be in order. Well, when they got off the bus yesterday, they wanted to have that play date. I suggested the other little girl come to our house, but she is a little younger then Shy and really didn't want to go alone. I double checked with Shy to make sure she was ok with it and she assured me she was fine with it, and wanted to go over to this little girl's house.

I had two concerns. One, the dogs, cats, horses and little borther. Two, the fact that Shy had very little to no experience at a friends house without Linda or I being there. I knew it was time to let this happen, so I told her to "be a good girl" and off they went.

I was half waiting for the phone to ring to tell me to come get her but it never rang. When I went to pick her up at the appointed time, she just didn't want to leave. She and her friend were having a great time! Apparently the smallest cat bothered her a bit, but no other part of the menagerie seemed to have much of an impact on her, and I am told she behaved wonderfully.

This is just another example of how fast Shy is growing up. She has made so much progress since coming here to the Cape. It seems as though every day, she says or does something that makes us proud. We are so lucky!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

No Title

Most of the time I make a blog entry, I have an idea of a topic and I come up with the title and then make my blog entry. Today, however is one of those days that I can't yet come up with a title and am going to have to write the blog and see what the title should be at the end.

Yesterday we picked up Shy at Sunday School and her teacher cam over to tell us how wonderful Shy had been doing. She said that Shy has really come out of her shell and is doing wonderfully. When we got home, she showed us what she had done, and both DW and I were very impressed with her work.

This pretty much mirrors what has been happening in school. She seems to have taken off. While she still likes us to read to her, she is often asking if she can read to us. She gets better and better every day. Her writing is also progressing wonderfully. Her and I are writing a book together. We take turns writing pages. It is about a day her and I are spending together. I don't expect it to make the best seller list, but we are having fun with it. I am thinking that it won't be long before she has her own blog.

She has already been told she will have to keep a journal when we go on our trip in February as she will be missing 4 days of school. Who knows, maybe it won't be long before she has a blog of her own. I think it would be great for her, but she has to learn to spell a little better first. Her spelling would baffle even the most advanced spellchecker at this point.

Anyway, the bottom line is that something has happened that has just caused her to seem so much more confident in herself. She is almost like a different little girl, but in a good way. I don't know if moving up her reading group in school had anything to do with it, or what, but we are so happy and so proud of what she is accomplishing, that I just had to mention it here.

So, I still don't have a title. It seems I use the "proud" in titles way too often, although I can't say enough how proud we are of her. Maybe just "Progress" should be the title? No, that doesn't seem to tell the story. I wish I could remember what I learned in school about coming up with titles, but I can't.

Well, you all already know what the title is by the time you get to this point in the entry, so I guess you will have to tell me what I came up with. In the meantime, tonight is the Holiday Concert at school and we are looking forward to Shy singing with her class.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Shy Has Talent

Now everyone thinks that their child is talented, and we are no different. What is a little different is in the area that shy's talent lies.

Now you all know that she takes dance classes and this is her third year in dance. So it would stand to reason that she can dance well. She does, and while she may develop a talent in this area, I would not go out of my way to she she is definitely talented in this area.

She also loves to sing, and while the jury is still out on how well she can sing, we always clap when she sings us a song. I do have to tell you though that we did litterally almost roll on the floor laughing when she used words that were different from the original while singing a certain Christmas Carol she had learned in school. (The words she used were "tell the ancients you're a fairy, fa la la la la - la la la la")

So listening and hearing may not be a talent, but you have to admit its funny. Anyway, I move on as those are not the areas of talent I want to tell you about today.

How many of you hula hoop? probably quite a few. Ok, how many of you hula hoop well? Not quite as many, but still a lot. Now, how many of you can hula hoop with the hoop twirling around your neck? Oh, I see we are getting fewer people. Next question. How many of you can hula hoop while walking? Even fewer! How about while twirling around? That's right you can twirl yourself while the hula hoop stays spinning around you? Oh, only a very few.

Well, Shy can do all that. Not only that....She can actually walk to the school bus, while twirling herself, while the hula hoop is spinning around her.

NOW I THINK THAT IS TALENT!! ( just not sure of what use it is)


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Last night was Shy's last swim lesson for this session. She really enjoys going and hsa done well. Now that we live so close to the water, it is more important that she become a good, strong swimmer. The strength is the main thing that she has to develop.

So, now that is done for the next month, as there is nothing going on through the holidays. We also want her to develop as much as a swimmer before we go on vacation in February, so there will be more swim classes starting January 4th.

She had her visit with the therapist yesterday. DW was able to attend with her and she is very impressed with the new therapist. Shy seems to like her too. She gave DW some good advice and some good ways to respond to Shy when she has a melt down about doing or not doing school work.

She doesn't want us to get too invloved. Basically either Shy does the work or she doesn't. If she doesn't want to do it then we will just give her the choice to either do it now, or go into school without it and her teacher will probably make her stay in from recess to do it. Of course this will require some coordination with her teacher, but her teacher is a wonderful woman who we know will cooperate with us fully in matters like this. So, that problem would seem to be solved. We shall see how it works in real life. And I am sure, not in the too distant future.

This morning Shy had an eye doctor appointment. This has been another issue. She had to wear an eye patch after her last appointment and she didn't like that at all. It was a supreme struggle every time we went to put it on. Well, today the doctor told her No eye patch is needed. THAT IS GREAT NEWS FOR US AND SHYANNE!!!

So, all is going well. We are ready for the Holidays except that we haven't decided when or for how long we are going to Maine, but we will figure that out soon. Shy really misses her sisters and nephews, and DW and I miss our children and grandchildren, so we want to spend as long as we can, but I don't want to be home alone either, so we will have to figure that one out.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday Meltdown

Well, yesterday was a day for a meltdown for Shy. She came home from school and she had to do her homework, and there was nothing that was going to get her to do her homework. She kept screaming that she couldn't do it.

We tried everything to get her to do it. The thing was, it was a simple letter to her sister that she had to write. She had written a couple of lines, but was not interested in writing any more. We kept telling her that she could do it, but she kept saying "No I can't!"

It was quite a battel, but in the end, we finally won out and the letter to her big sister was completed. It is certianly something to talk about with the therapist, which by luck happens to be today. DW till be taking her out of school to go, so hopefully there will be some discussion about this.

These meltdowns don't happen every day, but they are not uncommon either. I know that 6 year olds do this, and it is to be expected, but it seems to DW and I that they happen more often then they should. Then again, how often should they happen?

On the bright side, she did aske her sister to get her an Easy Bake Oven for Hannukah, and guess what? That wsa already what her sister had decided to get her. So everyone will win out in the end!

Let's hope there are no meltdowns today!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Love Weekends

I hardly saw Shy at all yesterday. I was off to work before she got up. She had school, then Daisys, then Dance class. When DW brought her home from dance, I had dinner on the table. After dinner I did get Shy into the bathtub to wash up, but soon after her bath it was bedtime.

I really do enjoy our weekends. Can't wait for vacation either.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Pink Lemonade and The Weekend Report

So here is the report from the weekend. I will start with Friday afternoon at the office of the new therapist. DW and I are very impressed with her. and are very happy that she will be taking Shyanne's case. She seems like a wonderful person with a real sense of what it is we are looking for, as well as what Shy needs.

Shy will actually start appointments with her on Wednesday. We are hopeful that the new person will be able to get Shy to settle down and not be quite so frustrated like she often is.

Saturday Shy and I had about 5 hours to ourselves. DW was working a book fair at the school and we had the chance to do some things on our own. First we did a little raking in the yard. then we went to the "community playground" near her school. There were about 5 or 6 other kids playing thtere, and Shy had a great time for about 1/2 hour. Then she decided she wanted to go to the playground at her school, so we went ahead over there. There were a few older kids playing there, but that didn't stop Shy. She had a great time swinging and climbing and doing monkey bars and all those things that kids do on those playgrounds.

You know they didn't have playgrounds like that when I was a kid, but that sounds like a whole other blog post, and maybe for another blog....anyway, I digress....

So we played at that playground for a while and since we were at the school we figured we would go in and say hello to DW. We decided after that we would go to lunch. DW asked us to bring her back a sandwich and we decided to go to Subway. One problem. There is no Subway where we live on the Cape. We didn't know that then, but we know it now.

So we went to a different restaurant. I had a nice salad and got one for DW, and Shy had a hamburg. She also had Pink Lemonade. Then she asked the question no father wants to hear. (no not that one silly, the one that I don't have the answer to!!!)

Shy: "Dad, if there are no pink lemons, where does pink lemonade come from?"

Gee, I really didn't have an answer for that. I thought for a while, and finally said I didn't know. She said that she thought maybe it was just yellow lemonade and they added paint to it. I told her I thought that would taste pretty bad, and we moved on. Apprently she was satisfied with the fact that both of us didn't know where it came from but we both liked it.

Anyway, if you are wondering. Wikipedia has a great article on lemondde and all kinds of lemonade. I learned there is brown lemonade and red lemonade as well. I also learned that there ARE pink lemons (although the juice is not pink), but that is not really important here, so you can go look for that information yourself if you are interested.

After we brought DW her lunch, we went home and played a game of "Mouse Trap". Then it was back to raking some more leaves before DW came home. Actually, what we did, is not all that important. What is important here is that Shy and I spent time together contemplating more great questions of the universe and in the end had a truly wonderful time!

I love that girl.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Have a Nice Weekend

We have been together as a family in our new home and new location for exactly 4 months.

We thought when we first moved here that Shy would not need to go to any therapy as the therapist we went to in Maine seemed to think that she was doing just fine and would be ok.

Well, it hasn't really worked out that way.

Shy has some moments that tell us "maybe she could use a little tune-up". So today we are going to a new therapist down here that will hopefully tell us if the tune-up is necessary, and if so, how much tuning and when is actually needed.

I know you have heard me boast about how beautiful she is, and how smart she is, and how wonderful she is doing, and that is all true, so don't get me wrong. She is an absolutely wonderful child. It may actually turn out that the only thing that needs tuning up is mom and dad. We shall see.

In any event, we are taking her there today so we shall see what happens.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, DW is working at a book fair at the school. That means Shy and I will have about 4 hours to ourselves. We have to find something to do. I am sure we will find something fun and entertaining, but if anyone has any suggestions, then I am all ears! (and eyes), so go for it. I am always looking for fun ways to spend time with Shy.

Actually, any time I spend with Shy is fun, so I guess it won't be difficult. I will report back on everything on Monday.

Have a nice Weekend. I am looking forward to mine!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have I Mentioned


how proud I am of my son Barry. I know this blog started out as mainly about Foster Care and Adoption, but it has turned into something more than that, so please excuse me while I digress.

My son grew up in Maine, and when he went off to college, he probably wasn't quite ready for it. (much like his father at that age). He struggled for a while trying to figure out what to do with his life and he ended up working at a television station in Bangor, Maine. He did well there and became a director of news shows and did some sports stuff as well.

When he got laid off from that job due to new equipment coming in, he very easily could have fallen back into some bad habits, but he went in search of employment and was lucky enough to get a job in Birmingham, AL. It was about 6 months before Shyanne came into our life that we travelled down to Alabama with him. This was to be his first real time away from home, and he was a long way from home. We worried about him constantly, although not quite as much as time as worn on.

He has managed quite well there for the last 4 1/2 years. He has done a lot of news and a considerably larger amount of sports then he did in Bangor and he has decided that it is time to move on to a bigger market. Television is apparently the way he has chosen to go, and I think it is a perfect choice for him.

He has found himself a new job in a bigger market. A top 25 market. Portland, Oregon. So, in a couple of weeks, he will begin his trek to the great Northwest. He won't be travelling along the Oregon Trail as that is a bit too far north for this time of year. The plan is to go I-40 to Bakersfield, CA and then I-5 up to Portland. Now we will worry quite a bit during that trek, and of course when he first gets there, but as we have found out, the worrying never stops. Your children are always your children no matter their age, profession or standing in the community. You have to worry. You just don't have a choice in the matter if you are at all human.

He will be taking this trip on his own. This will take him more than 3,000 miles away from us, and over 3,300 miles away from where he grew up. I don't think I could have done that alone. I don't think I would have done that alone. I don't know. I have always had DW with me. (We were high school sweethearts and married at 20 and 19.)

I know all will go well for him in Oregon, and I am hopeful it leads to bigger and better things "back east" at some point in the future. But only if that is what he wants. He has done well, and I just wanted to take time out from Shyanne, foster care, and adoption for a few minutes to let everyone know how proud I am of him.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Foster Care and Adoption

November is National Adoption Month and you have all probably seen the news stories and heard a lot about that. You may even marvel at some of the people who actually adopt children with disabilities, or get involved in foster care and adopt children out of that program, or the people who spend a lot of money to go to foreign countries to adopt a child

That is all good. I hope that some of that has worn off on a few people and as a result, there are more children adopted out of foster care and into loving homes over the next year. I am certainly here to tell you that it doesn't matter how old you are. We were 55 when we adopted Shyanne out of foster care.

It doesn't matter whether or not you are single, married, divorced, living with someone. I have seen children adopted by all of those types of people. GLBT families are also adopting children, so that is no excuse either.

I have seen both single men and single women adopt children. It doesn't matter. So throw out all the excuses you can think of as to why you can't adopt a child. The only thing you have to be able to provide is a lot of love to a child in need. It isn't a lot to ask, and the rewards are endless.

I could never begin to tell you in one post all of the rewards we have received from having Shyanne in our life. But if you take the time to read all of the entries in this blog, you will certainly see a little piece of how much more enriched our life has become because of her.

Yes, you will see some heartaches along the way. The process wasn't easy, and at times it seemed like it would never happen. At other times we questioned whether it should happen. But in the end.......BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. And it could be a great decision for you as well.

Take a little time to look into it. It doesn't cost anything to look, and the potential rewards are enormous.

That's all


Tuesday, November 22, 2011



I certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. I don't even know where to begin. During the past year, I have started a new job, moved to Cape Cod, sold a house, bought a new house. I have been able to enjoy new pople and new places. My oldest daughter has a new home in Maine. My son will be starting a new job in Portland, Oregon next month, and all is going well for Shy.

What more could a person ask for. Our Thanksgiving was at my daughter's new house. She did it all herself and it was wonderful. The turkey was delicious, as was the stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, and green bean casserole. she did a great job in a house they just moved into last month.

We got to stay there with them as well. It was a house that was bank owned and had been empty for quite a while. When they bought it last month it obviously needed a lot of TLC. Well, they have worked wonders on the house nad it looks great.

One of the best parts is that it lies right in front of some Conservation Land and over the weekend we were able to hike. We actually went over a rive and through the woods. We walked down by the river and strolled by a pond. It was a great hike and at the end Shy was quite tired.

Yesterday was the trip home to the Cape. It was a good trip too. While there were a lot of cars on the road, we didn't get slowed down at all, so it was an easy trip. There was of course a couple of things that came up from Shy that I have to tell you all about. She wanted to play a game where I would tell her what states I saw license plates from and she would write them down. You have probably heard that she is becoming a pretty good writer, and this was almost proven.

She read back her spelling of Massachusetts to me so I could tell her if she was right. She had M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U-S-U-Y. I told that it was excellent except that after last S it should be S-E-T-T-S.

To which she responded: "It's good enough. I know what I mean anyway. And considering the state and that she is in 1st grade. I think it was good enough too!!!

I hope everyone had as happy a Thanksgiving as we had.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Thing We Learned at "Forever Families Weekend"


Shy has 4 full biological brothers. She is the youngest of the five. Shy has seen the two younger brothers a few times each in the last year, but the two oldest ones she has not seen since the beginning of December of last year. We have tried to get them together, but last we knew those two did not have final adoptions by the foster parents, and the foster parents just never seem interested in getting those two together with the three younger kids. We are going up to Maine for Thanksgiving and we are going to give it another try. We are in hopes that we can get all 5 of them together.

But there is a 6th.

We had never heard Shy really talk about him before. He is a half-brother to the other 5. He has the same mother. He was the first one taken from the home and was taken a full year ahead of the other 5. That means that Shy was only one year old when he left the home. When the Termination of Parental Rights occurred with the half-brother, there was one final "good-bye" visit ordered by the judge for all the siblings. Shy attended that visit. She was around 28 months old at that time.

I can't remember hearing anything about this half-brother at all since that time, and she hasn't seen him but that one time in the last 5 years. She is only 6 years old, so we wouldn't expect to hear anything about him.

Yet the other day, when Shy and I were alone in the car she started asking about her Brothers. I talked about her one adopted brother Barry, and her 4 b iological brothers. Then she asked; "Wasn't there another brother?"

I asked her what she meant and she said she thought there was another brother from her old mommy. I simply said that there was, but she hadn't seen him in a long time, and he had a different father. Needless to say, I was quite astonished by her question, but looking back on it, I probably should not have been.

This past June we went to a "Forever Families" camp in Pennsylvania. It was a great time and all three of us, as well as everyone else there enjoyed it immensely. Tehre was plenty of fun to be had, but there was also plenty of learning to be had. One of the things I learned was that you never know what is going to happen next. Sometimes kids are very open about their adoption. Some times kids are very closed about their adoption. Sometimes they want to talk about their biological family, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they will ask about things that take you by surprise, and sometimes they will ask you the same questions over and over just to see if they get the same answer.

It is for reasons like that, that parenting an adopted child is different from parenting a biological child. Not better, not worse. Not more fulfilling, not less. Not more loving, not less. Just different. And the differences never cease to amaze me.

I can't wait for Forever Families weekend in 2012. I look forward to learning more, and seeing the friends we met there last year. I know Shy can't wait to go back either.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Proud Day

This is not to say that I am not proud every day, but today I am feeling particularly proud of Shyanne.

I went to her school last night for the annual fall parent/teacher conference. Shy had swimming so DW took her there, and I went to the conference.

One of our worries has been Shy's age. In Maine, she had just barely made the cut-off age to start Kindergarden last year. We decided to go ahead with the Kindergarden because the Pre-K program was only a half-day and since she had been in day care for a full day already we wanted to go with the full day program. And she made the cut-off so why not.

The cut-off here in Mass is a month and a half earlier. Even though Shy did not make the cut-off to start 1st grade, since she had Kindergarden in Maine, she was eligible to start 1st grade. So, that is where she is, and that is why we worry about her age in school. Added to that was the instability that we had created in her life yet again by moving to Massachusetts and the upheaval of being away from her older sisters and friends in Maine.

I am happy to report that the teacher said that if anyone came in the room and she asked them to pick out the youngest child, they would definitely NOT pick out Shy. She fits right in with all the other chilldren, she is always a part of what is going on and she has made the transition to Massachusetts wonderfully and she is a pleasure to have in her class. (She added in a quieter tone...."She is soooooo cute"). She said she also communicates well with all her classmates.

I asked if that meant she talked to much in class, and her teacher said to me: "They are 6 and 7 years old. They all talk too much"

So she is reading so well that she is going to be moved up in her reading group. Her writing is excellent. Not only is what she writes understandable but it is also very creative. She seems to enjoy writing and always wants to do it. When we go away in February, she will be writing a journal during our trip to share with the class when she returns. It should be interesting to see what she writes. As a side note, the last 1st grader we took on a trip who kept a journal had an entry related to throwing up in a friends car. We are hopeful an entry like that does not make it into this journal. (Sorry Amy, it ws a classic!!)

So anyway, that is the reason for my pride today. I could write about reasons to be proud of Shy every day, but then this blog would get even more boring than it already is, so for now, you just have to believe me that she is a wonderful child who brings us pride on every day, but on this day, I felt the need to mention my pride in her.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Special Day

So I was away on business last week and was unable to write anything. I hate going away for many reasons. I don't sleep well while I am in a hotel room alone. I probably eat more than I should. I get behind on my real work at my office. I hate having to act nicely to all the people at the meeting when I don't particularly care for one or two of them.

But most of all, I hate being away from my family. I really don't enjoy any part of being away and going out to eat and seeing other people and being in a different location. I don't like any of that. I would much rather be at home with DW and Shy and enjoying our life together.

A life together that has special meaning today. It was one year ago today that our adoption of Shyanne was finalized. It was one year ago today that our family was changed forever....for the good....

I can no longer remember life without Shyanne. She has been with us now almost 4 years (that will be another anniversary of December 11th). DW says it was the longest pregnancy she had. almost 3 years from her coming into our home until adoption.

I can tell you that there is no one in our family that would trade her in for anything. She is truly a wonderful child. She brightens up our day each and every day. Yes, she does have a few minor issues that come from her previous life. She is able to offset that with the most wonderful giggle and the most adorable smile in the world. I tell her she is the most beautiful girl and the world, and she totally believes it. (so do I actualy).

In honor of the day we told her we would go out to eat wherever she wanted to go. Her choice....the 99 restaurant in Mashpee. It is a local New England area chain that was born in Boston. They have good steaks and Shy loves steak. That is what she wants, so that is where we will go.

November 15th of 2010 was a special day in the life of our family and it is one we will celebrate every year as it is truly special.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Loving Child

Shy has been very loving the last two days. I am not sure what has gotten into her or why, but she is frequently coming up to DW and myself and wanting a hug or a kiss or just saying "I Love You". She has always been a loving child, but lately it seems a bit more than usual. I don't know if it is a phase or not.

This morning DW thought it might have to do with the time change. I am not sure why a time change would make her more loving than in the past, but it has been quite a lot the last two days.

Don't get me wrong here. I am certianly not complaining. I love when she comes up to me and asks for a hug and says "I love you daddy". I won't ever get too much of that. I am just wondering what has caused it to occur so much in the last couple of days.

On the one hand it may be something that happened or that she saw that is causing it and it will go away all to soon for me. I certainly hope that it is a phase she is going through and that it lasts forever!!! I love when she does it!!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Family Cruise

If you read the comments to the blog, you probably noticed that there was a question asking when I was going to send my three older children on a cruise. If you guessed that the Amy that made that comment is the same Amy that I call my oldest daughter, you would be 100% correct.

I actually have an answer to that question. The answer is not "never" it is not "maybe" with some unknown attached to it. It is actually an answer with a precise month and year attached to it. They only need hope I live long enough to make the dream of DW come true. If it does come true, then the whole family, children, grandchildren and spouses will have a wonderful cruise together to the Caribbean in February.

The year?

Well, I am leaving that to be the surprise, and since I know at least one of them regularly reads this blog, I am not ready to give that out. I can assure you though that both DW and I look forward to that day with great anticipation, and I hope the three older children do as well!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Better

Yesterday DW purchased our airline tickets for our February trip. We are going to Florida for a few days to visit with my mother and DW's father and to have the unveiling for my father's grave (a ceremony that dedicates the grave monument and gives an opportunity to again remember the deceased).

That will be the somewhat sad part of the trip. After the unveilng however, we are planning on boarding a cruise ship and setting sail for 8 days in the Caribbean. Now, I know our three odler children are a bit jealous about this as they have never been on a cruise. Shy on the other hand is quite excited about going on a big ship. She has no idea what to expect, but we have been tlaking it up and she is certainly excited.

When we told her yesterday that DW had purchased the airline tickets her first question was whether or not she was going to miss school. That wasn't the quesiton I expected, although I am not sure what I did expect. When I told her that she would miss 4 days of school for the whole trip, again, I got the unexpected. She was concerned about missing school!

That is good I suppose. She really does like school and she likes being with her friends. She seems to have made the adjustment to living here now. She does still need to see someone, and we are in the process of finding someone locally, although to no avail so far. All in all though, she is doing well and we are all adjusting to life on Cape Cod.

It really is a wonderful place with some really nice people, and in the words of Lennon/McCartney, I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time"

It'll be really good on that cruise ship!!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Successful Quest

Well, the neighborhood in general is Halloween friendly. Whlie there were a few houses without lights on, for the most part, all the houses had lights on and some sort of decorations. There were a lot of kids and parents out and about in the two different neighborhoods we walked through, and everyone seemed to be having fun.

There was one house that had gone overboard with decorations. It reminded me of Maple St. in Bangor, Maine where the whole street is like one big party. Unfortunately, it was just one house.

At one point Shy was evaluating garbage cans. At one house "boy that garbage can is small"

At another house. "that garbage can is nasty"

All the while, she continued on her quest. When we were about 3/4 of the way through my planned route, she advised me she was cold. I asked if she wanted to go home, and she said no. She wanted to finish up our street.

So finish up our street we did. At the end, she had more candy then she can eat, and all in all had a good time. In spite of eating some candy, she still fell asleep rather quickly. I am sure she was dreaming about being the Princess she pretended to be. (Cinderella to be exact).

All in all, a successful quest.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Quest for Candy

Well, today is Halloween. Shy will be dressed as Cinderella and apparently I will be the one that ushers her around thorugh the neighborhood tonight. (DW has decided that she will give out the candy at our house) The area is quite dark so we will be sure to take our flashlights with us. We have no idea what to expect, or how far we will be going.

This is an interesting part of moving that I had never thought of before. The first few times DW and I moved, we did not have kids who went Trick or Treating, so it wasn't an issue. The one time we moved, with children of Trick or Treat age was 28 years ago. I barely remember much about that year or the Halloween (except that some people in the neighborhood took glasses with them when they were trick or treating with their kids, and expected a libation for themselves....does anyone else do that?) Anyway, that was a move into the first home we owned. It was in May, and our oldest was only 5. Halloween was the furthest thing from our minds.

Today, however I am wondering how it will go. The house we lived in the last few years was not in a "halloween friendly" neighborhood. We actually drove to another neighborhood last year to take Shy on her annual quest for candy. It was a great meighborhood. People were really into the Halloween spirit and it was a fun time.

This year....who knows? We live on a street that has about 25 homes and no sidewalks. The street runs between two other streets that also don't have sidewalks and are a bit busier then the one we live on. Will it be "Halloween Friendly"? I guess I am going to find out tonight.

DW doesn't know how much candy to buy. Neighbors are non-commital as to what happens on Halloween. Apprently it difffers greatly from one year to the next. There is just so much to think about when it comes to a first halloween in a new neighborhood. I wonder what Amy and her husband are doing. Their neighborhood I would guess is definitely NOT Halloween Friendly as they live on a major street and there aren't a lot of homes in the are where they live.

Well, I hope it is an eventful evening and I have lots of news to report tomorrow about how the night went. In the meantime, I have to get back to work. I have a lot to do if I am to get done in time today to take Shy on her annual Quest for Candy!!!


Friday, October 28, 2011


So Shy had a half-day at school yesterday. With the kids gone from the school, the PTA took advantage of that time to begin setting up for a "boo-fest" tonight. I am sure I will have something more to say about that on Monday, but for now, back to the half day.

DW is involved with the PTA and so she went to the school to help set up. That left Shy getting out of school early, and of course, I had to take time off of work to get her at the bus. I love the cahnces we have to spend time with just the two of us, so I was more than happy to oblige. When I picked her up, she infomred me that she was hungry and wanted to get something to eat.

I suggested a little deli type mini-mart that is up the street from our house. She had never been there before and asked if they had tuna. I said they did, and it was agreed that we would go there for lunch.

When we got there they had a little sub type tuna sandwich that was about 8 inches long. I showed it to her and asked if she wanted to share it with me. I would cut it and we could each have half. She thought that was a great idea.

Then I said to her "Why don't you get a bag of chips we can share"

She went over to the rack with the chips and picked out a bag of Doritos and agreed that we could share that.

I saw some Twinkies on another rack and since I know she likes them I picked it up and said "Do you want to share the Twinkies for dessert? We can each have one"

She declined that and said "I would rather have cookies"

We went over to the cookie rack and she picked up a 4 pack of Chips Ahoy. That caused the following conversation to ensue:

Me: "Are we going to share the cookies too?"

Shy: "Yes, we can each have 3"

Me (seeing this as a teachable math moment) "There are only 4 cookies in the package"

Shy: "Well then I will have 4 and you can have 2"

Me: (trying to be patient) "Shy, there are only 4 cookies total in the package"

Shy: "well then you can have 4 and I can have 4"

Me: (getting a little frustrated) "No Shy, there are only 4 cookies total in the package"

Shy: "Well then I will have 4 and you........ can get your own"

So, I got Fig Newtons....I like them better anyway.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swimming and Girl Scouts

So last night Shy had her first swimming lesson. Unfortuntately I was unable to attend. (I had to go to Girl Scouts, but I will get to that later). DW said the entire time that she was in the water she had a huge smile on her face. She was thoroughly enjoying it. She didn't know any of the other girls or boys who were there, so yet another opportunity for her to make new friends.

When I got home from Girl Scouts, it was after she was in bed, but as usual she was still awake. I could tell she had a great time at swimming and is ready to go back. Considering we live so close to so much water, it is great that she enjoys swimming and will learn to be a good swimmer. Our son Barry was a swimmer in high school. Who knows, maybe she will be too. She seems to be a lot more athletic then the rest of us.

So....Girl Scouts. While DW and Shy were at the pool, dear old dad was at a Girl scout Troop Formation meeting. Yes, I was the only male in the room. Yes, I was also the oldest person in the room. I actuaally felt like I was in a room of Girl Scouts, not in a room with parents of girl scouts!. They were all so young. They also wanted to be sure I had the opportunity to be a troop leader if I wanted to. Now, I am not sure I would want a male to be a Girl Scout Troop leader, but for some reason they saw no problem....Don't worry, when they mentioned that Daisy's could be up to 10 or even 12 five and six year olds, I knew that put me out of even considering it.

The good news is that they are only going to meet for 1 hour every other week. So it won't be too much for Shy. The other good news is that it includes a lot of girls from her school from other 1st grade classes. More opportunities for her to meet new friends.

By the way, thanks for yesterday's comments on how much she should be doing and about over-involvement. There is definitely a lot to think about. I think it will be much easier for us to get play dates and other type activities set up once we get to know some of the other parents better. Unfortunately, Shy does not come home with last names, and the only phone number she came home from school with was unreadable (I was just as glad. His name was Anthony and he is an older boy on the bus).

I think it is on DW and I. We have to get to know some of the other parents so that we can find these things out. DW is doing a good job of that by being involved in PTA. As a matter of fact she will be at the school this afternoon getting a halloween thing ready for tomorrow night.

Anyway, Shy is doing well. She is looking forward to Girl Scouts. She is LOVING swim, and so far, no real problems. We will certainly keep a close eye on her though.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just Wondering


I am beginning to wonder if there is too much going on for Shyanne. She has been behaving differently, and at first I thought it might be because of the move, but now I am wonderfing if she is "over-involved".

DW is calling a person today to try to set up some aapointments for Shyanne to see someone, but until then, we have to deal with it ourselves, I guess. But how does one know when a child is over-invloved.

Right now she has Sunday School on Sunday, Dance on Monday, Swimming on Wednesday, and Basketball on Friday. We are also preparing for Girl Scouts, but that has not started yet, and we are not sure when/how that will run. I don't know if that is too much or not enough. Maybe part of the problem is she needs more stimulation on the empty days and in between the times of school and the other activities.

It is all kind of new to us. When our older kids were Shy's age, there wasn't as much available for them. the girls never did more than one or two sports/activities at a time. No one did in those days. Of course it was easier to let kids go outside and play without worrying about them at that time too. Now, you have to watch your child constantly. You never know what can happen to them and that is especially true with her.

While her bio parents don't know where we are, they know who we are and in this technological era, it wouldn't be too hard to find us.

So, if anyone has any good ideas on what constitutes too much or not enough for a first grader's activities, we are always willing to get other's viewpoints.



Monday, October 24, 2011


This weekend we went to Maine to visit with family and friends who we left behind when we moved.

Amy and her husband had just passed papers on the house they bought on Friday and we got to see it. Empty, in need of cleaning, in need of some work, in need of love. I know they will provide all of that, and it will be a wonderful home for them to spend the next chapter of their life in. DW and I are so happy for them.

We spent our nights at Kari's house with her husband and our handsome grandson. It was a great time there too. (except that our grandson didn't feel like letting anyone sleep on Friday night). Apparently he preferred screaming to sleeping. We slept downstairs in their "guest room/office". Well, I did end up on the couch both nights as Shy decided she wanted to sleep on the bed instead of in a sleeping bag on the floor. The double bed isn't quite big enough for three of us.

We had a wonderful breakfast with old friends on Saturday morning, and an equally wonderful dinner with other old friends on Saturday night. It was great spending time with them. As yet, we have not found good friends like that down here. I am sure we iwll given time, but right now, all we have are aquaintances.

Shyanne got to visit with two of her biological brothers this weekend as well. The one who is closest to Shyanne in age is, by all appearances, a very happy boy enjoying his new adoptive life with a wonderful man who he calls dad. The next older brother that she got to visit with, does not appear to be as happy a boy. His adoption has been final for a few months now, and the family he is with is truly wonderful, but he just doesn't seem to be very happy. I think he remembers only good things about his past life, and wants that life back. Unfortunately, that is not to be, nor should it be. Their parents were turly unable to provide a safe environment for them.

I am glad Shyanne got to visit with the happy brother last. I think that made the trip a better one for her. I know there was no discussion with him about their past life. Neither of them really have much memory of it. They are both just "only" children at this point, and they truly do love and adore playing with each other. They were running around Chuck e Cheese's playing all the games, on the rides, and in the playground, while we sat around talking. I know Shy had a great time.

Thanksgiving we will be in Maine again, and that will be another opportunity to visit with her biological brothers. It would be nice to get the two older brothers invovled in a visit, but the foster parents they have don't seem very interested. They have been the same foster parents since the beginning, but as far as we know, the adoption is not yet final. It is really too bad. I know the two older brothers have had most of the problems, so maybe it is better this way.

I just want Shyanne to stay connected with her long as it is a healthy connection.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Our son Barry lives in Alabama. He has been there since 2007 and I think he enjoys it there. He has made some good friends, and I think friends that he will maintain for a long time to come. The problem is that we don't get to see him very much because of the distance.

He called yesterday to tell us about jobs he is applying for. Two of the most recent are in Boston and Oregon. You see where I am going with this? Absolutely. While I want him to progress in his career and do the things he wants to do and live his life the way he wants to live it, I can't help but hope that he doesn't get the job in Oregon.

Now I have nothing against Oregon. I am sure it is a beautiful state. There is Mt. Hood, the Oregon Coast I am sure is beautiful as well, and the city of Portland would be nice to visit. It is just that living in New England it has been tough enough to see him when he lived in Alabama. What would it be like if he moved to Oregon? That is our fear.

So, while we are not hoping he doesn't get the Oregon job, we are hoping real hard that if he gets any job, it be the Boston job. It would be so nice to have him back home. I know Shyanne and his biological sisters would love to have him close by. We all really miss him a lot.

So, what does that have to do with Cheese-Its???

Absolutely nothing. But yesterday when we told Shyanne where we were going to go to meet her biological brother on Sunday, she told us that she was excited about seeing him at "Chucky Cheese-Its" :)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Busy , Busy, Busy

Shyanne is certianly busy these days. She has had soccer on Saturday mornings. Dance is held on Monday afternoons. Soon she will start basketball on Friday evenings, and I think swimming starts soon and that will be on Wednesday evenings. Oh, I can't forget Sunday School. (I'll let you figure out when that one is). In any event, she is certainly keeping busy here in our new town. She had dance and Sunday School in Maine, and she had some swimming a couple of years ago when she went to pre-school at the Y, but all the other is new to her.

This weekend will also be a busy weekend!! We are going to Maine for a visit. She will get to visit with her sisters Amy and Kari, whom she misses and adores very much. We have also arranged for visits with two of her biological brothers. They have both been adopted and we are trying to maintain contact with them as much as possible. They are the two younger of her biological brothers. Unfortunately, the two older ones we have not had any contact with or been able to set up visits with. She has not visited with them since last Christmas.

We have every meal planned for the weekend. Friday night dinner with Kari and her family. Saturday morning breakfast with Amy and her family. Saturday lunch with a biological brother. Saturday dinner with friends. Sunday morning breakfast....(I'm not sure on this one. have to check with DW) and Sunday afternoon lunch with the other biological brother.

So, as I said, we are busy, busy, busy.....and I for one, am enjoying it very much!! I think Shyanne is as well.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Painting Shutters

This weekend I painted the shutters on our house. It is not that big a deal to paint shutters, but it is all part of making this house our home and having it reflect a little bit of us. It will take a while to get there, but I am sure over time we will put our stamp on this home and it will be come more and more ours as time goes on.

While I was putting the shutters back on the house on Sunday, Shyanne came up to me and said she didn't like this house. When I asked her why, she couldn't really say why. I mentioned how she had friends that she was playing with right next door, and she didn't have that in Maine. She agreed that was nice.

I mentioned how nice her new swingset was here, and she agreed that she liked it. (although she doens't like the amount of spiders that get on it down here)

I mentioned that we had a fireplace where we could start a fire with real wood whenever we wanted..... I lost on that one. It seems with the gas fireplace at the other house was better because she could start the fire with just a flip of the switch on the wall if she wanted to. She doesn't yet appreciate that glow and smell of a real wood fire, but over time I am confident she will.

I mentioned that our driveway was now flat and she could ride up and down it without any problems, and she agreed that was nicer than the hill we had for a dirveway in Maine.

After our discussion, she agreed that there were things better about this house, but she still said she didn't like it. I know the house in Maine was special, and it will always remain as a special house to all of us, but I am confident that over time, that will change and the house in Maine will be just a distant memory. A nice memory, but just a memory of the past.

So why doesn't she like this house? I don't know for sure as she couldn't answer that for me. I think it is a combination of being new to us.....being far away from her two older sisters whom she adores.....things being different for all of us.....and who knows?

What I do know is that this is a wonderful place to live, and I am confident over time, we will all come to love it here, and enjoy ourselves.

By the way, the fire in the fireplace last night was truly wonderful.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Makes the Day

Yesterday was a great day. first, it was Shyanne's birthday and those celebrations with her are always wonderful.

It was made a little more special by cousins visiting from Martha's Vineyard. My first cousin, her husband and two children came over to the Cape for a nice dinner and conversation. The kids had a great time playing together and I made one of my favorite meals (Chicken Marsala) that we all enjoyed.

I had picked them up from the ferry at 3:15 and brought them back to catch the last ferry to the Vineyard at 8:30pm. But they weren't the only visitors we had. We ended up with a very unexpected last minute visitor who spent the night.....

My sister. She lives in Texas and due to some difficulty in planning a trip to visit some friends she found herself coming to Massachusetts with no place to stay last night. She called me yesterday morning, which was quite unusual, and explained her plight asking if she could spend the night.....Of course she could. she's my sister. I would never turn her away...

So when I left to bring my cousin back to the ferry, DW left to pick up my sister at the bus stop. They arrived at the house shortly after I did, and we stayed up talking until about 11:00pm. It was really nice and made for a fine end to a great day.

Family is truly wonderful. I love them all....and more importantly.....So does Shyanne!!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shyanne's Birthday

Today is Shyanne's 6th birthday. She has been with us almost 4 years now, and next month will be a 1 year Adoption Day celebration. I can no longer remember what life was like without her in our home, and I don't want to because it is absolutely wonderful having her in our family and spending every day with her. She is definitely a special girl. Everyone in our family loves and adores her. More importantly, she loves and adores all of us.

Since we are in a new area and she hasn't had a chance to get to know a lot of the kids yet, we are putting off her actual "kids" birthdya party until the end of the month. These days it is difficult to get informaiton from the schools about people's last names and addresses, and they frown on bringing invitations to school. As a result, it makes it difficult for a new child coming into a community close to their birthday.

In any event, we are planning and will get a good party for her with her new friends in a couple of weeks time.

Today, cousins are coming over to visit from Martha's Vineyard. They wil be here for dinner, so it will be like a mini family celebration tonight. Of course the way DW goes about buying birthday presents, it will be far from "mini" on that end of it. (Yes, I did participate in the buying, but when there are way too many presents, I feel the need to blame DW).

Happy 6th Birthday Shyanne!!! I love you!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Spin on an Old Problem

Since I missed so much time here on the blog, I am going to try and get you caught up. Back at the end of August we went to Shy's new school for an open house. It was the Thursday before Labor Day, and the classroom was all set up and ready to go. Shy would start first grade the day after Labor Day, and she was quite excited about it.

She found a place at a table with her name on it. This was to be her seat. Table 4. There were 5 other children at Table 4. There were 3 boys and 3 girls to be sitting there when school started on Tuesday.

Jump ahead about a week.....

As a lot of families do, we go over our day at the dinner table with each of us taking turns as to what we did during our day. Shy always goes last. We were only a few days into school when Shyanne mentioned a game she was playing on the playground with some of the other children. We asked if they were children that were at Table 4 with her.

That is when she told us she was no longer sitting at Table 4. It hadn't been that long that she was in school and we were wondering why there had already been a table change, so we asked. Her answer was surprising.

It seems that (at least as Shyanne saw it) she just wasn't talking enough with the children over at table 2, so the teacher thought it would be better if she sat with the children over at table 2 so she could talk more with them.

When asked if she was sure it wasn't that she was talking too much to the children at her old table. She went on to the next thing she did that day at school.

Definitely a new spin, and I thought, quite original.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where have I been?

My daughter was tweeting last week and wondered if I would ever update this blog. It seems like a good question. I was trying to get caught up, but then there was the move, and my mother's visit, and getting ready for everything with Shy starting a new school. It has been very hectic.

I am still hectic at work. There is a lot to do at a new place, and this place has been no exception. There are so many good people though, so that is a help. There has been so much happening since we moved and getting settled that I have a lot to write. Unfortunately, I never percieve myself as having the time to do it. I am going to make an honest effort to correct that and try to write something and keep everyone up to date as often as possible.

Expect to see more here



Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Think I Have Made It

Well, today is my last day alone on Cape Cod. Tomorrow, DW and Shy, along with my mother will be arriving ehre and we will officially start our life on Cape Cod.

Although we are still homeless, things are looking very good to pass papers on our new home and to have the movers arrive on Tuesday am. Life should start to get back to normal. I have really missed DW and Shy over these last few days especially and I can't tell you how much I look forward to their arrival.

I do have to tell you one story that A told me about today. Apparently last night DW took A and K and Shy and L to the Ice Cream Stand for Ice Cream. A was sad to see Shy leaving and Shy told her not to worry that she could come visit us anytime she wanted. Then she added that if she couldn't visit, she could just send her a present!

I just want to hear her giggle right now. she has the most addicting laugh/giggle and I have missed that so much that I am going to be sure to pick her up and tickle her as soon as she gets here just so I can hear it!

I know it won't be easy for her. It hasn't been so far, and now starting in a new home in a new place with a new school should be hard for her, but I know we will all get through it together. I already have the school informaiton and she is set up fr a tour fof the school. I have informaiton coming from the dance school in the town we will be living in, and she lvoes the beach, of which there are plenty here.

I am sure we will all get through, but so far it has been very overwhelming and stressful. Hopefully their arrival tomorrow will help relieve some of that stress.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


Well, yesterday papers were passed on our beautiful home in Maine. It was a great place and apparently in the overall scheme of things it served its purpose.

What was its purpose?

Well I think it was probably to bring us Shyanne. I don't think we ever would have been involved in foster care if we hadn't moved into that house. Had we not been involved in foster care, there would be no Shyanne. We would probably still be living in the old house we lived in for 23 years, and contemplating retirement this year or next.

While thoughts of retirement are still with us on a regular basis and we make a lot of decisions with one eye towards retirement, the other eye is always on Shyanne with everything we do. Yes, as we leave our dream home, we leave with new dreams for a little girl who was considered a "failure to thrive" baby. We will make sure she isn't a failure to thrive child. We give her all that we can and we hope that all her dreams can come true.

So our dream home in Maine is gone, but it is our intent to make a home of dreams for us and Shyanne on Cape Cod.

We may be homeless for a few weeks, but on the bright side, DW and I have each other, we both have Shyanne, and Shyanne has the both of us. and ....................................

We are also mortgageless!!!!


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Last Goodbye

Today I said goodbye to our house in Maine for the last time. DW is still there and will be finishing up all the packing so that everything is ready to go when the movers show up on Thursday. She will then be the one who is there to pass papers on Friday.

I will be on the Cape, so when I left today it was the last time I would see that house as mine. What made it a little bittersweet was that Shyanne was in the window waving good-bye to me as I pulled out of the driveway and made my way down the street. My mom was with me in the car, and it was nice to have her with me.

Shyanne didn't want me to go, but she never does. She really enojys the time we spend together as a family. It is so good. She never wants us to be apart. She is not happy when DW leaves or when I leave. She is a happy little girl, and is happiest when we are all together.

In its own way, that is really quite nice, and makes me quite happy, and I really look forward to the time when we are all together on the Cape, settled into our new home and living our life there. When will that happen? Well, as I said, we are scheduled to pass papers on our house in Maine on Friday. We are scheduled to pass papers on the new house on the Cape on Monday August 1. We are hopeful the movers can deliver our goods on August 2, but that is questionable and it may have to wait until August 3rd.

Having said that, the most important date for me right now is July 29th. That is the date that Shy and DW will come down to the Cape and we will be living together as a family in the new location. We won't be in our home, but that is ok.

We will be together as a family and that makes Shyanne happy........I can assure you, it also makes DW and I very happy.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

The House, The Home

Tomorrow I get to go home for a few days. It will be my last time in that house. I will certainly miss that house. It is a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. More importantly,l it is the house that helped to bring us Shyanne.

I have to put that on the house. After all, had we stayed in our other house, it would not have passed all the requirements of DHHS without a lot of work. We probably would not have thought about doing Foster Care to begin with, and I would probably be retired now, or very soon.

But we have Shyanne. What could be better than that. I wouldn't trade that for anything. After all, the house is just a house. A building. An object constructed of wood and metal and other various objects. Nothing more, nothing less.

There are all kinds of quotes about what the difference is between a house and a home. But the one that Ilike the most is:

"A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams"

I don't know who said that, but I like it, and DW, Shy and I will be building our love and dreams at a new wonderful location on Cape Cod. Just a few more weeks and we will all be together in the new house. I can't believe how quick this is all happening. We don't even have time to think, it is just go go go.

It is our hope that we will have plenty of time with A, J, T, H, B, K, A2 and L in our new home and that they will also help us to build this new home.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cape Cod

I am staying in military housing until I get totally settled, and I haven't had access to the internet except when at work and I have been way to busy to get on here when at work. I finally have some access so I figured I would pass along some of the trials and tribulations.

We have found a house that we want to buy and have begun the process. We supposedly have an agreement, but until I see the document signed by the seller, I will not be comfortable. I have called the real estate agent twice tonight and he hasn't called me back. In the meantime, DW and Shy were down here over the long weekend. They arrived Friday at about 11:00am and stayed until this morning.

This is really hard on Shy. She just doesn't understand it. She kept saying she missed home when she was down here, but then she didn't want to leave, and when they left this morning, she kept saying she wanted to go back because she missed me.

She was a real trooper this weekend too. She was well behaved throughout our 6 1/2 hour ordeal looking at houses on Saturday and she really enjoyed spending some time with the people I am working with now when she arrived on Friday. We did reward her with a doll because of her excellent behavior and while I know she appreciated it, she really doesn't understand the whole thing.

I know she will be fine when all is said and done, but it is very painful watching her kind of struggle with this whole concept of moving. I can't wait until it is all over and done with. She did have a great time at a water park on Sunday and at the beach on Monday, so hopefully when she finds out that will be the norm for us in the summer she will really enjoy it. I know she will like the fact that the summers will last longer hear then they do up in Maine, but I also know she will miss her 2 big sisters who live in Maine....and for the record, they will miss her too.

As far as the job goes.....I am working with some really wonderful people here. One of them is a former foster parent who fostered 26 different children and adopted one. The one that was adopted just returned from serving his country in Afghanistan. If there is one thing I have found, it is that people in general all have interesting stories if you are just willing to listen, and the people I am working with now are not only interesting, but very nice.

I already like it here. I know DW will like it here once we are setlled. I just hope it doesn't take too long for Shy to like it here.


Saturday, June 25, 2011


I leave for Cape Cod.

I start working the new job on Monday, and also have to find a new home for DW, Shy and myself. I can't begin to tell you how stressful this is/has been/will be.

Shy seems to be oblivious to the whole thing. She got upset when we started packing some toys, but when we told her we would unpack them again when we got to the Cape, she was ok. I still don't think she has a firm grasp of what is happening with the move, but in time, I am sure whe will get it, and be fine.

One thing about Shy is that she makes friends quickly, wherever we go. We weren't at the Forever Families Weekend for an hour before she had a new best friend. I have to blog about that weekend, but it will be a fairly long entry, and I just haven't had the time to get it done. It was fun though, and I will mention this one instance here while I think about it:

She found a little girl her age. She went up to her and said


and the other girl said


Shy then said:

"I'm adopted" (she knows that makes her special)

The other little girl said "Oh"

She then said: "Are you adopted?"

The little girl said "no"

Then, in her own special way, Shy said "Then what are you doing here?"

It was really quite humerous. As it turns out, the parents and grandparents of the little girl were some of the people who were facilitating at the weekend, but it was great for Shy. She met a friend, and they, along with another girl and a couple of boys spent a lot of time together. Anyway, it makes me smile to think about it, and what I need now is something to smile about.

I am going to miss this house, this place, already miss the old job, but more about that later.

Have a good night, and I will try to have a safe trip to the Cape tomorrow.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Ask Your Mother

is sometimes an appropriate my opinion....

We have been so busy getting things packed up and ready to go. So much work to do, but I had a chance to take a break to go to the lawyer's office today. I took Shy with me as she had asked, and she loves going places, it doesn't matter where. I may not be able to be here for the passing of papers on the house, so I had to go there to sign a limited power of attorney so DW could be the one to sign all the papers next month.

While we were on the way home my lovely little girl said to me:

"Daddy, I want a baby sister"

"Really" I said.

"Yes, and a baby brother too"

Well, I gave it a lot of thought, as I didn't quite know how to respond. For those of you who aren't familiar with our story, we have three biological children aged 33, 29, and 28. We adopted Shy from foster care and she is now age 5. With biological considerations take into account, it will be impossible for us to have any more biological children......

I gave the only answer I could think of, and one that I have used many times over the years....

"Ask you mother"

I did give DW a heads up, but by the time we got home, after a short stop at the market, apparently the urge for a baby brother or sister had gone, and she hasn't asked DW........ yet.


Monday, June 20, 2011



I have taken a new job in Massachusetts. 4 years ago if you asked me, I would have said I would be retiring by now, but things have changed. Shyanne is the biggest reason for those changes. Obviously with a 5 year old, I am not the least bit interested in retiring at an early age. More importantly, I want to make sure I have enough funds to support her in the regal style she is becoming accustomed to now during her teenage years.

There is one other issue I have had. Now, first, I have to tell you that DW does not agree with me on this one, but I still feel this way.

I worry about Shyanne's biological father. I think he is a dangerous man and given the chance and getting in the wrong frame of mind, I believe he would come after her. They know who we are, and I am sure they know where we live. Like I said, DW doesn't think he will try anything as he was more interested in the two older boys, but I still think he would try something, and that scares me.

Thus another reason to seek out a new job. So once the adoption was complete, I started looking. It didn't take long to find something I was interested in, and sure enough I got selected. So I found out last month I was selected and they wanted me to start June 20th (yes today). I talked them into the 27th, so I have one more week.

Two weeks ago we put our house on the market. In this day and age, it could take ages to sell a, not for us. We have a signed purchase and sales agreement already, the buyer has had the home inspected already and they want to close the sale on July 15th. OMG!!! We will be homeless in 3 1/2 weeks.

Needless to say, we have been scrambling to get things packed up, try ot find a place to live, and work out getting a new mortgage for a place to live. and I have to be at my new job on Monday. I know it wouldn't have happened this way if it wasn't meant to be this way, but this is way too stressful for me.

I am committed to keeping up on the blog as well. I am hopeful I can find the time to tell you all about our vacation over the last week and a half as well as Shyanne's reactions to all that is going on. More importantly for purposes of this blog, we went to the Forever Families weekend at Camp Nah Jee Wah in Milford, Pennsylvania and that was wonderful. We learned a lot I want to pass along to you all....but right now I have to get to bed. more packing to do tomorrow.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day


To rephrase a line from a writer who is far superior to me....

It is the happeist of times, it is the saddest of times...............

This is the first Father's Day since we adopted Shyanne...................I love you so much Shyanne!
This is the first Father's Day since my father passed away.......................I miss you so much Dad!

What more can I say.


So Much to Write

So it has been a while and so much has been happening in our lifes.

My father passed in February. I have a new job I start next Monday. We have a contract to sell our house on July 15th, but no place to live in Massachusetts where I will be working. House hunting starts today.

We attended Forever Families weekend run by Debra Schwartz from Jewish Family Services of Greenwich, CT. and I have a lot to say about that wonderful experience, and thanks to pass along to Melissa at Full Circle who was able to connect me to that through her webcast "Adoption Angles"

But I will get to all of that in coming days and weeks. For right now, I have a simple Father's Day post I want to make.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Since my dad passed away there has been a lot of talk about God from Shyanne. We read her some books about death and she was very good at the funeral. She is really very good all the time, but especially at the funeral. When the time came to throw some dirt on the grave of my father she wanted to help as well, and also threw some dirt on the grave with the shovel.

That was pretty amazing, and she knew how sad I was and was very comforting for me as well before, during, and after the services. She asked a lot of questions that one would expect a five year old to ask, and since we have been back, the questions and comments had slowed down.

At least until today...

Today we took Shyanne to see her therapist. She went into the room and I was sitting in the waiting room while DW was downstairs in the parking lot awaiting the arrival of (K) who was meeting us to pick up (L), our grandson.

Two minutes after leaving Shyanne in the room the therapist came right out and asked me to bring Shyanne downstairs to DW as she had something she had to tell me. I immediately broughy her down to DW and headed back upstairs. The therapist met me before I got all the way back and told me that Shyanne had said the following to her:

"My old parents were bad and they won't go to heaven. They are going to stay in the ground, because bad people stay in the ground and don't get to go to be with God."

This was said without provocation. There had been nothing said about my father or the funeral, or anything else. It was just the first thing that Shy blurted out when the door was closed. It is amazing. She also told her that my father was a good person and he had gone to be with God.

Out of the mouths of babes!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Been A While Again

Only this time has been different. As some readers know, I had to make a trip to Florida in January as we were told that my father had had some kind of an event and was very close to death. As it turned out, he was able to pull through and after spending about a week there with my family, my father was back in a rehab and appeared to be progressing along to recovery and hopefully a return home.

Unfortunately, that was not in the cards. They had to bring him back to the hospital on February 17th. I got a call on February 2oth that they were putting him into a hospice at the hospital as there wasn't much more they could do, and he didn't have much time left.

My sister and I both flew to Florida and we were able to spend a couple of days with my dad while he was in hospice and was able to respond and communicate with us. Unfortunately, that was all the time we had, but I do feel as though we made the most of it.

Thursday February 24th, my dad was totally unresponsive, although they told us that he could probably here us. His eye (one was paralyzed shut) remained open the whole day. I don't remember the exact time, but I think my sister and I left there about 10:00pm. A few hours later, while at my mother's house, we got the phone call that my father had passed at 12:45am on Friday February 25th.

I have a number of stories to tell about that week and the time that has passed since then. It has certainly had an affect on Shyanne, but I have to tell you she was a very good girl at the funeral service and at the cemetary.

It was definitely a time to be proud. I was proud of my father's courage. I was proud of Shyanne and the way she acted and responded to the death of her papa. I was proud of my three older children as well. My son even said a few words at the funeral for his papa and he did a great job. More will follow on that with my next post, but in the meantime, I am just going to relax and think about my dad for a few days, and just in case he is following this blog......

I love you dad, and already miss you more than you can ever imagine.

Friday, February 18, 2011


We have been so busy, I haven't had any time at all to blog. I fell like I must be the worst blogger in the world. In any event, I promised a picture from the Father/Daughter Valentine dance, and here it is.
Shy and I had a great day. We started at (A)s house for this photograph and a few others, then we went out for dinner. It was her choice, since it was her night and went to a buffet style restaurant. She refers to it as "The restaurant where you pick out your own food."
After that it was off to the elementary school where the dance was being held. There we signed in, had our picture taken and immediately found our way to the table of food. Tehre were fruits and vegertables along with dip, and also some pastrys. We had just eaten dinner, but Shy was in the mood for more so we filled up a couple of plates and got ourselves a bottle of water.
It has been a long time since I attended one of these dances. After all, (K), my formerly youngest daughter is now 28 years old. I had forgotten how cute all the little girls looked dressed up for the evening out with dad.
In any event, that is all about the dance. I will try to be a better bogger and be more regular. I do need to pass along the story about the "cops" and others that I will as time permits.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Do Some Kids Hit and Kick?

Shyanne told me on Tuesday that she was hoping it snowed enough so that there was no school on Wedenesday. This took me by surprise because in the past she has always liked going to school. So when i asked her why she hoped there was no school and she told me she didn't like school anymore, I had to find out why.

After a few questions she finally informed me that this boy that she has had problems with in the past had been hitting and kicking her again. This little girl has had enough violence in her life, and while boys will be boys, especially at age 5, we were not going to tolerate this.

She said that the teacher had left the room to make some copies of something and she had told the teacher when she returned (good for her) and the teacher gave the boy a time out.

I praised her for telling the teacher and I wrote an email to the teacher. The teacher wrote back saying that she was unaware of this situation (apparently she didn't give him a time out, or it just didn't happen) but she did say that she had been out of the room for just a few seconds to make some copies in the next room and the kids were at their tables. Sicne this boy and Shy are at different tables she didn't think anything had happened then, but she was going to have another talk with Shy and make sure that Shy did come to her when there were issues.

The problem is.....Did Shy make up the fact that the boy hit her......OR.....did she make up the fact that she told the teacher.

We can't be sure which, so it is obviously a delicate topic. I certainly don't want to say anything further, and hopefully the teacher will not leave the kids alone for even a few seconds again in the future....but at least Shy told me.
I might add here that we do like her teacher and think she is wonderful for Shy, but if this should happen again, we may not feel that way. In any event....

She is such a wonderful little girl (I may be biased, but even unbiased people agree) and I want her to have a wonderful time at school. I hope she does for the rest of the year, or we may have to take further action. I am just not sure what.

There is a part of me that wants to tell her if he hits her again to kick him in the you-know-what, but that is not the way I want her to live her life. She could have had a life like that with her bio family, she shouldn't need it with us.

Here's hoping that this is last time I have to deal with this

Monday, January 31, 2011

Children's Questions

As we all know, children ask many questions as they grow up. Some questions are very thoughtful like "Why is the sky blue?".

There are some that can be quite annoying . You know the questions like:

"Are we there yet?" or

"When is dinner?"

Of course children always say the darndest things as those of us who remember Art Linkletter will attest to, and as a result there are those questions that are just really funny. Of course some are only funny in retrospect because at the time they are embarassing. Of course none of them are said in a quiet voice. They are always loud enough so that anyone within 20 feet can hear, Some of those may be:

At the Thanksgiving table........."Why is Grandpas face so wrinkled?"

In line at the supermarket......... "Why does that lady have so much gunk on her face?"

At the restaurant......... "Why does this food make me think I am going to throw up?"

So anyway, as you get through the initial shock of some of the questions or try to get them to stop asking the annoying question, as a parent, you want ot be sure to provide some kind of an answer that will satisfy the curiosity of the young one who has asked it.

Having had three children who are now (fairly) well-adjusted adults, I have heard many questions, and found that in most cases I have been able to provide a meaningful answer. Yesterday however, I was stumped. I kind of stumbled my way through a made up answer that seemed to satisfy Shy, but I am wondering if anyone has a better answer.

I think the question itself shows some great thought, and she was very genuine when she asked the question. It only contained one word that might be considered unusual for a 5 year old, but you never know what they might be studying in what was the question?.....

"Do mermaids hibernate?"

I know what my lame response was, but I am curious from the people who read this blog. What would your answer be?


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pancake Breakfast

This morning Shy and I went to a pancake breakfast that was being held by the PTA in order to raise funds for a new curtain for the stage at the school.

The pancakes were ok, and the sausage was good, but the Syrup wasn't real Maple Syrup and I have been spoiled. Living where we do in Maine, it is almost traitorous to use that stuff in the green bottle. You have to have a jug of the real thing. It is a little more expensive, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Anyway, I digress, that isn't what this post is about. It was just Shy and I because DW had to work today so we got to sit together and eat breakfast with each other across the table. It was really quite nice. I enjoyed it immensely.

A boy named Brian was there who rides Shy's bus with her. Shyanne insisted he was being funny. I just saw a boy sticking food out of his mouth and sucking it back in. Of course every time he did it, Shy would start giggling. It was kind of cute.

Then there was a boy that is in her class that showed up. We have heard about this boy before but have only met and talked with his mother.. She is really quite nice, and there is a younger boy also. Shy apparently really likes this boy. As soon as she saw him, she had to go over to his table. All they did was look at each other and Shy started giggling again then returned to the table.

As we were leaving Shy insisted I meet this little boy so we went over to the table. Shy didn't say anything so I spoke up and introduced myself to the boy. He seemed to be very nice although he was a bit shy himself.

On the way home, Shy told me this cute little boy called her his "momma"..........I was speechless.

He seemed so cute and innocent. I guess those are the ones I need to watch out for!!