Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Months.

Wow.  It's been a while since I've update you all on how things are progressing!  I apologize - but MAN it's been a really busy month!!

On Friday, March 11, I had to drive to the coast to speak at our Regional Conference.  A good friend of ours offered to take the kids, since I was simply going for the night, and coming back early the next morning.  The kids had no school, so I planned on dropping them early and heading out - I was slated to speak at 2.

That morning, when I woke up and turned on the news, an earthquake had hit Japan (8.9) and had caused a 23ft Tsunami - wiping out large pieces of the island nation, and causing death and devastation.  It was a sad and scary time - and they were afraid that we were going to get Tsunami waves at our coast.  We had to wait it out, but long story short, there were no devastating waves hitting the Coast, and although we started late, the conference went off beautifully.

Sunday the kids and I walked the 5K in the Shamrock Run, while Chris ran it.  It was raining (shocker) but we all had a good time.

Spring Break found us taking a few days off to head to the Great Wolf Lodge in Washington, where we had an absolute BLAST.  I recommend that anyone take their children - it's so completely geared for them and so much fun.

We did some bowling, had family pictures taken, and then had to say good bye to Spring Break.

Back to school - and now the month is almost over.  Things are going well here.  We're all settling in.  W started baseball and seems to have a knack for hitting!  J is going back to gymnastics on the 4th.  Things are settling in.

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day.  Right now I have two bowls of cereal in the freezer - with milk, spoons already in!  When I get the kids up tomorrow, I'll pour a little more milk on top and laugh as they try and get the spoons out to eat!!  I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Camping. And Camp. And Sleeping Away.

I've started to think about camping. 

And started to research sleepaway camps.

Some of my best childhood memories were those that I spent at Three Springs Farm in Pennsylvania.  I had such a great time hanging out with friends, running around on warm summer nights, riding horses, playing 'Murder' in the farmhouse, playing games in the converted barn, and swimming.  Every child should experience at least one week at sleep-away camp.  The memories are so worth it.  Bonus: Mom and Dad get a week to connect, sleep in late, and just BE together.

I found a sleep-away camp that is only an hour away.  I showed the kids, and they are STOKED!  Right?  I was thinking there might be some thoughts of missing us (they assured us they would) and being homesick (they looked at me like I'd lost my marbles) but it seems they're ok with the thought of it - for now.

Turns out that the place where Chris works sponsors a clean-up day at this camp!  So we're most likely going to volunteer to go assist in cleanup.  I want the kids to be involved in some community service anyway, and this will give us a chance to show the kids where they will be.  It will also let them see that we are only an hour away.

We're all very excited about this opportunity for them.  Now all that's left is to pick a week, register them, and count down the days!  I'm so excited for them.  I just know they're going to make memories that last a lifetime!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I enjoy the feedback...

Since I started chronicling our journey on this blog, I've had the sporadic comment or two. Or three. Those are easy to see. What you don't see, however, is the emails I get. I've always said that it is my goal in chronicling our journey to inspire someone to at least consider adoption. It's my ultimate goal to inspire someone to consider adopting from the foster care system.  The emails that I have received have been inspiring, complimentary, admiring, inquisitive, and altogether uplifting.  Mostly they've been curious as to our progress and our feelings as we move on down the road.

There are several pros and cons to adopting from the foster care system, this I will readily admit.  What I tire of hearing is those who have never been through the process that have an opinion about the child that will come from the system.  You know, the ones who have a 'friend/neighbor/dental assistant who swears that it's SO difficult and all of the children are damaged.' {insert GIANT eyeroll here}

{Pause while I find my eyes and roll them BACK into my head}

Yes, older children may tend to have issues or traumas that may need special care or attention.  They may have trouble attaching or bonding.  They may have difficulty trusting adults.  They may have anger issues. They may be in a place where there isn't much you think you could do for them.

I don't profess to be the authority on adoption from the foster care system in every state.  I don't even believe I'm the expert on adoption from Oregon.  This I do know: in this state, the adoptive parents get a choice.  They fill out a 'wish list' of sorts.  On this list are several 'issues' that a child could have, and you check off whether or not you feel you could or would be willing to deal with it.

Now you might want to sit down for this, because here's the big confession:  one of our children has a diagnosis that we both decided when we filled out our questionnaire that we would NOT be equipped to handle.  That's right - until we received the background on our children, we had made the choice that we wouldn't choose a child that had this diagnosis.

And then we saw W&J.  And we read their story.  And our hearts melted.

So what of this change of heart?  Well, we have at our disposal a myriad of assistance through the state.  Resources and help that we are free to take advantage of with amazing results.  We are smack in the middle of some assistance right now and coupled with the safe landing place we are creating for our child, there is remarkable progress being made.

I'm not here to guilt anyone into doing something they don't want to do.  I'm also not here to be lauded as a saint, or hailed as a person who stands above others in her morality.  I'm here as an example of what you can do, when you put your heart and mind into it.  I'm here to be a source of support and information for those who are considering this wonderful, crazy, bi-polar roller coaster of a journey that adoption can be.

Please continue to send me emails (link is in the right sidebar).  I respond to them all, and I love hearing how I've inspired someone, however I've done it.

You can also follow me on twitter - I'm @christinaherren.