Monday, April 30, 2012


This weekend we bought a basketball hoop for Shyanne. It is one that is adjustable from 7'6" to 10'. That way, it should last until she no longer has an interest in basketball. Whenever that is. It could be next week, and it might not be until after college. In any event, I know that at some point in her life, she will no longer be interested in shooting hoops in the driveway with Dad.

That was not the case after the hoop was all put together and ready to go. Shy and I spent some time shooting hoops in the yard yesterday after it was all put together, and she went out with her mother this morning before school and shot some more hoops. If we keep going at this rate, she might actually start making more baskets than she misses.

No one really cares though. It is a fun thing for all of us to do together and shy certainly enjoys it.

Of course you could look at it as another milestone in the growth of a child. There is the new swing set (she has that) there is the scooter and bicycle (she has those) Now there is the basketball hoop. Of course she can't ride her bike yet without training wheels, but I feel that coming this Spring or Summer. We are hopeful that she will learn and we can all get new bikes and bicycle on some of the many bike trails that Cape Cod has to offer.

There are lots of milestones in life and they seem to come rapidly when you are age 6. Of course they still come at older ages, but they aren't as frequent. There is the first boyfriend, the first job, there is graduating high school or college or getting married, or having a baby. There is moving to a new state, or moving to a new state again. There is buying a new house and all the work that goes along with that.

They are all milestones that we all look at differently. What is an important milestone for one, may not be so important for another. I am sure there are not many people who care that Shyanne got a new basketball hoop this weekend, but she sure does.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is my daughter Amy. She never had a basketball hoop, but she did have a bicycle and other all of those other things. She had her first date (I wasn't crazy about that). The graduated high school. A wonderful day. She graduated College. Another wonderful day. She came to her first job out of college and moved back in with us.....mixed reaction there.

She found the man she loved and they recently bought a home together. They have worked hard on it and it really looks beautiful. I am looking forward to staying in it again this weekend. It is certainly a wonderful place to be. While it is on a main road, it is surrounded by conservation land and is quite peaceful there. More important is the reason we are going up there. Another milestone.

Amy will be getting her MBA this weekend. We are all so proud of her. She has worked hard both working and going to school over the last few years to achieve this degree and she has really earned it.

So what does that have to do with adoption or foster care......nothing, but I can't always write just about Shyanne. Especially when one of my children has an achievement like Amy has this weekend. I can't wait to see her get her Masters Degree.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nightly Visits

We are back to nightly visits......And they aren't from the sandman. Shyanne is back to coming into our bedroom every night. Most nights she climbs into bed with us at some point after we are both asleep and makes our sleep miserable. Unfortunately, we don't know why our sleep is miserable until we wake up and see her there.

We are unsure of what has started this again. We thought we had overcome this previously. Last night she came out after we had put her to bed and she said she was scared. She was unable to relate anything scary to us, and eventually, after promising to tuck her into her bed for the third time, she went back to sleep. Then when we woke up this morning, there she was.

We have tried to give her all kinds of ways to keep herself in her own room and to fall back asleep in there after she wakes up, but to no avail. We have kept her light on. We have kept the hall light on. We have placed books by her bed so she can read if she wakes up. It does not matter. She still wants to be with us, in our room, and in our bed.

It isn't working for us. There is only one sure way to keep her out of our bed, and that would be to close and lock our bedroom door. That is not something that we consider to be safe, and therefore would not be an option. Her therapist has talked to her about this, but there still hasn't been a real answer. This leads us to the only possible reason for her coming into our bedroom at night.......

I don't know.

Maybe she just feels more comfortable being with us at night then being alone. That is fine, but I can assure you we don't feel more comfortable with her in our bed.

Maybe she is afraid we won't be there when she wakes up. We tell her there is nothing to worry about there and that we are indeed her "forever" family.

Maybe she is truly afraid of something in the house or about her room that scares her. If she is, she isn't telling us and I wish she would so we could correct it.

Anyone out there have any ideas?


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vacation Week

This week has been vacation week for children in the Massachusetts schools, so Shyanne has been off all week. She is participating in a little cheer leading camp for two days this week, and the culmination is this afternoon when DW and I will go to watch the cheer her group of girls will have been working on. I am looking forward to it.

On Monday and Tuesday Kari, our formerly youngest daughter, was up to visit with our grandson and son-in-law. Shy thoroughly enjoyed that visit and when it was time to go, she wouldn't let go of Kari. She really does love her sisters and hates to be away from them. She will get to see them again in a couple of weeks when we go to Maine. We are also hoping she will get a chance to see her youngest biological brother while we are up for this trip.

Yesterday she played with the boy across the street. They are both in first grade and they play very well together, and love each other's company. I kind of wonder how long that will last. It is certainly convenient for them to enjoy playing together.

I remember having girls that were friends I could play with when I was that age. I remember that lasting up until about 3rd grade. After 3rd grade, I guess it was no longer "cool" to have girls as friends you played with. The girls had to play with the girls and the boys with the boys. Is it still that way? I wonder about that. What is it like for kids in this day and age? I am just happy that she plays outside. We don't allow her much time in the house when the weather is nice. All she does is want to watch TV and while we are not opposed to that, we don't want to over do it either.

So, I have digressed. My main point is that she has had a good vacation so far. There have been a couple of minor upsets through the course of the week, but nothing major. She has kept busy and she is really doing well. I hope this is a sign of moving onto a new stage of maturity. A new stage where she doesn't get too frustrated. A new stage where life becomes a little easier for all of us. It would be so nice.

Another indication....last night I was sitting watching TV after she went to bed. She came out of her room and I was about to say something when she looked at me and said: "I love you daddy". Then she turned around and went back to bed.

I live for those moments!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Does Special Become "Different"

Let me start by saying that shyanne is doing very well. She loves school and is excelling there. She loves all of her activities, including swimming, dance, basketball, soccer, T-ball and Sunday School. I could go on and on, but I have to say a few things about her and other children in general.

Whenever a child is "different" than her friends, we always want to say "that is what makes you special"

We have told Shyanne that because she is adopted, she is special.
We have told shyanne that because she has biological siblings as well as adopted siblings, she is special.
We have told Shyanne that because she celebrates different holidays, being Jewish, she is special.
We have told Shyanne that because she is the only one in her class with red hair, she is special.

At what point does "special" no longer work for her? At what point do we stop using "special" as a reason for all the things that make her different?

At what point do we stop making all her friends seem less special than her because we tell her she is special?

Now, I have to tell you that Shaynne is certainly special to us, but then aren't all children (biological or adopted) special to their parents. Maybe that is the answer. Maybe she should just be told that she is special to us. I don't want her to think she is "better" than her friends" when I am really just trying to make her feel good about herself.

It is just so difficult in this day and age to make a child feel special when they aren't feeling that way themselves. Again, Shyanne I know feels special now, but I don't want to turn that into a bad thing as time goes on.

Anyway, just something I was thinking about today. What are your thoughts?


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Adjusting to Change

is not something that Shyanne does well.

I am not sure if it is because of her background, or it is just the way she is, but it is definitely something she doesn't like. It took her a few months to get used to our move, and that was something we expected. It is hard, especially when you are so close with your siblings that are nearby and then you move away. We still see them as much as possible, but it is not as much as any of us would like.

Still, Shy got through it and has adjusted well to her new house, surroundings, and especially school. She seems to really be excelling in school and doing very well. We will find out for sure today as we have a parent teacher conference in a few hours, but all indications are that she is doing very well.........except....

When they rearrange seats. Her teacher changes seats every couple of months. They have tables set up in the classroom and they change tables and people at tables. I am not sure why the teacher does it. I can imagine there are all sorts of good reasons. I can come up with a few myself, but that is not what is important here.

What is important is that every time seats are changed we get an email from her teacher that she didn't behave in school that day. We all know what the reason is....the change......what we don't know is why she is so sensitive to changes that are so small. The classroom is not that big. Whoever is at the same table she used to be at is no further than 10 or 15 feet from her when they move. The whole class is not that big and there are only 4 tables anyway.

This is not the only thing that she doesn't like, but it is a perfect example of how poorly she adapts to change. I am hoping it is an "age appropriate" type thing, and not something that is the result of her background. I guess as she grows we will find out more about that, but for now, we just have to help her get through any anxiety she has about these small changes and bear with her.

On the good side, we are not planning any major changes for years to come, so all should be good and hopefully her school work will continue to be good. I will try to get here and report out on our parent/teacher conference tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Older Adoptive Parenting

So this past weekend was very busy and Shyanne handled it wonderfully. She is really maturing at a more rapid pace then she had been. I am thinking it is good, but then wondering if her "teen" years will start earlier than we had planned. Actually, the earlier they start, I guess the better.

"Why?" you ask. We will be younger and hopefully better able to deal with it. Here I go again with the age thing. I just can't get it out of my mind. All my thoughts it seems revolve around how old I am and how old Shy is. When she is entering high school, I will be this age. When she is ready to start looking at colleges I will be that age. Who knows when she will get married, or even if she will get married. Will I even be here to walk her down the aisle. If I am not, who will?

What about if/when she starts playing sports in high school? We will be well into our 60's at that point. I am sure everyone will think we are her grandparents, and while I don't care what other people think, how will those bleachers feel on a 60 something year old bottom? Will it matter if I am watching Shyanne have a good time and do well at whatever it is she has chosen to participate in.

Right now I am thinking the theater and dance are a good thing for her. She is already into dancing. She goes every week and takes ballet, jazz, and tap. She seems to really like it. Most importantly, the seats will be much more comfortable on a 60-ish bottom. Won't they?

She still worries about whether or not DW and I are really her "forever" family. She doesn't actually come out and say it, but her actions and testing certainly seem to indicate that is in the back of her mind. I want to make sure I am around to truly be her "forever" father. She deserves that.

I don't know why age is a constant issue with me, but it is. I am frequently thinking about it. It was the final issue we addressed before making the determination to adopt. I want to be there for all the important things in Shy's life. ..............Doesn't every dad?


Friday, April 6, 2012

How Insightful Can A 6 Year Old Be?


Pretty insightful!!

So, what brings this up. Shyanne has been going to "play therapy" for a few years now. Since she was about 3. She started with a wonderful woman in Maine who worked with her, as well as DW and me. Shy enjoyed going there. She got a chance to play with her. She had a lot of dolls and a doll house and some other age appropriate toys that she just loved to play with.

When we moved, one of our first priorities was to find a similar therapist here. We asked around a lot and finally got the name of a woman who had time to see her. She started seeing Shy, as well as DW and me, and we have been happy with her.

Shy has been happy with her too. She is no longer only wanting to play with dolls and doll houses though. She has advanced to some pretty interesting games. Some games of strategy as well that are billed for much older children, but none the less, she plays them. According to her therapist she not only plays them, but understands them, and understands the strategy involved in some pretty advanced games that she has. Usually games that she reserves for much older children.

That is not the insightful part though.

This past Tuesday Shyanne had an epiphany. She now has come to realize that she doesn't go there JUST "to play" as she previous thought. It is no longer a "play date" to her. It is someone she can talk to about all sorts of things. Someone who will understand and help her to understand issues and someone she can talk to.

Now that is pretty insightful for a 6 year old if you ask me!!

Of course I am happy that she is bright and insightful and "gets it" and all of that. It shows she is growing and maturing. All the things we hope for our children. On the other hand, I wish it wouldn't happen quite so fast.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adoption Day

By far one of the most exciting days of my life. Yes it was just as exciting as the day my biological children were born and the day I married my wonderful wife.

Today, an individual I have never met in person, but have come to know over the last few years through this blog and hers is having her day.

Congratulations to Melissa, Little Buddy, and SweetPea. Be sure to drop by and pass along your thoughts at:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Scared Stage....It's All Worthwhile


So last night I put Shy to bed. It was only about 10 minutes later when she came out to the living room and said she was scared. Of course we asked her what she was afraid of and she responded with "I don't know, I am just scared"

We tried to make her feel better saying that we were here and there was nothing to be scared of. She wasn't buying it. She just kept saying she was scared and didn't want to be alone in her bedroom. No matter what we said, it wasn't helping.

She wanted to be with an "adult" as she put it.

We tried for about 10 minutes to get her to go back to bed, but she kept telling us she was scared and didn't know what she was scared of. When she started to cry and it looked like she was going to get hysterical, we said that she could lie down on the couch next to mommy and fall asleep.

She was good with that, and indeed fell asleep. In only about 10 minutes. It was certainly easier to let her fall asleep there then it was to try to get her back into bed. Whether or not we will pay for that with a future desire to fall asleep with us remains to be seen.

As regular readers know, it has always been an issue with Shy to fall asleep in her own bed. She spent a long time where she would not stay in her room at all and would not fall asleep at all. She would stay awake until DW and I went to bed and then come into our room. She would not stay in her room and fall asleep there no matter what. We finally got through that stage and have been "blessed" with her appearance on a random basis. Sometimes going weeks without seeing her in our room to stretches of three days in a row where we would wake up with her asleep in our bed.

Last night, however was the first time she came out while we were still up and was saying she was scared but didn't know of what. When talking to a fellow worker, she has started with the same issue with her little girl who is about the same age as Shy. Fortunately for them, there is an older sister and that is where the younger girl chooses to go.

I guess it is just a stage that we will have to endure. We shall see how often it comes up that she has to fall asleep in the living room with us. On the other side of the coin, when I carried her into her bedroom, she did wake up when I laid her down. She didn't ask to get up and come back with us, and in fact, didn't' get up the rest of the night. She did turn to me as I was leaving the room and say:

"Daddy, um, er, will you, um, um, will you tell mommy, um, please just tell mommy that
I love her."

Somehow that makes it all worthwhile.