Archive for April, 2013

April 22, 2013

Saw Bio Mom for the first time in over a year

And it was a successful visit!  First and foremost, Blossom is doing just fine.  Cared for, loved, and showed definite attachment to BM (when it was getting close to nap time, she grabbed her binkie, climbed into mom’s lap, and put her head on her chest).  I’ve never seen mom so nurturing – it was really quite healing to watch.

While Sprout was incredibly excited at the idea of seeing mom, he was a bit shy and standoff-ish with her.  It didn’t seem to bother her in any way…she got on the floor and played race cars in a kind attempt to connect.  Rosebud and Blossom had a more neutral response to seeing her, as expected.  The really good news is that aside from some sensitivity and acting a bit “worn down”, we’ve had no real fall out from Sprout on the news of his sister’s reunification or seeing mom.  Though I’m still watching my back on that one.

Our relationship with BM seemed to pick right back up where we left off and she expressed interest in getting together again soon.  Couldn’t ask for anything more than that.

So then I relayed a quick message to the former foster family to let them know Blossom was doing okay and wrapped it up with

I can imagine that this message comes with a lot of mixed feelings and I’m sorry if it causes you hurt in any way, but I figured I’d pass it along, because I know if it were me, I’d be dying to know how my baby was doing. We are going to do everything in our power to watch over your sweet girl.

Ugh, sobering.  The roller coaster chugs on.

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April 20, 2013

Broke the News to Sprout

About Blossom’s reunification and he took it really well.  I think we delivered it in just the right way, too.   Hate to think that we’ve had so much experience delivering hard news that we’ve gotten good at it, but yeah…

My sweet and empathetic boy was over the moon for his mom and her success (“I bet she’s so happy to have a baby at her house!”) but was immediately struck with sadness for Blossom’s former family – especially the brothers that had become his good friends.  Oh, how I can relate to that mix of feelings…

We spent the morning gathering clothes for baby Blossom and all systems are a go for the visit.  My stomach is pure butterflies – nervousness and excitement.  I pray this goes well and is the start of yet another new beginning for our family (immediate, and extended).

April 16, 2013

 

One year ago, today.

Adoption

April 15, 2013

Date Set

I’ve got a date set to meet up with bio mom and Blossom in the very near future – she responded almost immediately to my ‘offer of support’ email.

I haven’t told the kids yet in case it doesn’t pan out, but I’m cautiously hopeful.  I want nothing more than to be able to tell her dads and brothers that I’ve checked on her and she’s okay.

Crash course 101 in making the best of a tough situation.

April 13, 2013

Email Sent

To bio mom.  Wishing her well and letting her know we are here to support her, should she need any.  And offering her girl clothes – after all, we’ve got just a bit to pass along.

Because as sad as I may be over the latest developments, support can do nothing but help Blossom.  That, and heaven help me if I never see that baby girl again.

April 11, 2013

Surprise

Blossom has been reunified with bio mom.

I don’t even know what to say.

April 11, 2013

“Bad” Kids Have Good Parents, Too – XP

Original here.

My oldest had a bit of trouble at recess this week.  Too rough, not listening, you know the drill.  When his teacher’s number popped up in the caller ID after school hours I knew it wasn’t a call to tell me about stellar behavior.  Not that we get these calls all the time, but it isn’t our first time around this block.

We addressed the issue, had him come up with solutions, and I sent his teacher an email our steps so she could follow up at school.  She opened her response with “You are such a great parent. You did all the right things to help R.”

Aside from it just being a plain old wonderful compliment, it was an important reminder of something my son has taught me from the beginning.  You see, I pride myself in being a good mom.  I’m not perfect, I make lots of mistakes big and small, and half the time I’m winging it, but overall I think I’m pretty good at this gig.  And yet, my kids are lively, sassy, test boundaries, and are definitely not the angelic ones on the playground.  “A handful” is a pretty good way to describe my crew (whoops, did I just scare away all potential babysitters?? they aren’t that bad, I swear!).

The thing is, you get what you get when it comes to kids.  Some people get calm, quiet, and well-behaved children.  Others don’t.  So often we, as mothers, take the blame for our children’s behavior.  When my kid does something at school and I get a call from the teacher, *I* feel like I’m in trouble.  But no, just because my kids act up sometimes doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom.

One quote I often re-played in my head at the beginning was, “When my children misbehave, they give me a chance to use my skills.”  I think that is such an important reminder for all of us.  Our children’s behavior doesn’t speak to our ability as parents; it’s how we react to it that does.

My daughter’s school employs a “caught being a star” program.  I think it’s such a good idea.  Kids just going about their daily business with a surprise pat on the back.  I daydream about walking around with a stack of these to hand out to parents I encounter.

I’d give one to the mom at the grocery store with the kid who’s screaming his head off because she wouldn’t buy the gummy bears.  Nice job keeping calm boundaries mama!

I’d give one to the mom whose kid just hit another kid on the playground and she promptly packs him up to go even though it takes a football hold and octopus wrangling to get him out of there.  Good job!

I’d give one to the parent of the pre-teen who just got a boatload of sass AND and eye roll.  I wanted to give that kid an earful and she wasn’t even talking to me.  Impressive control mom!

Hell, I’d give one to every mom pushing a full cart at the grocery store because, damn, these kids are always wanting to be fed and that is exhausting at times.

I’d give one to you too, with a little reminder on the back…when our kids misbehave, it’s just a chance to show the world what great parents we are.

 

April 4, 2013

 

Original here.
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We’ve heard time and time again about how important it is to the health of our families and relationships to continue to make the marriage a priority after the introduction of children.  I understand all that – I really do.  I want my children to have a model of a healthy and happy marriage.  *I* want to have a healthy and happy marriage.

But on any given Tuesday, when my head is swirling with the grocery list, soccer practices, client meetings, and the dogs’ grooming appointments, romance can feel like one.more.thing to put on my list.  Yet another thing to juggle and feel guilty about. And let’s not forget that babysitters aren’t getting any cheaper, I prefer yoga pants to a LBD, and it’s hard to be away from my home and children after doing so for 40+ hours/week at work.  So what’s a girl to do?

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I’ve got 3 kids, a full-time job, baskets overflowing with laundry AND I still date the crap out of my wife! I do it with a little trick I call the At-Home Date Night.  Okay, yes, the chef’s got an iffy track record and diners have to wash their own plates, but the convenience (and price!) can’t be beat.

A few times a month we get the kids down for bed a bit earlier than usual and  enjoy a meal together without the distraction of phones, TV, or toddler squabbles.  We have an actual conversation.  You know, with adult words and complete sentences. I’m talking RO-MANCE here people!

The kids like to get in on it too…we find some excuse to slip out of the house to “run errands” and they excitedly pick out flowers for mama or make suggestions on what her favorite meal would be (spoiler alert: the next date may include Doritos, hot dogs, and chocolate ice cream).   For our last date, my 6 year old helped me make this pudding pie complete with a berry heart on top.  This kid is honing his skills early!

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The twinkle in their eye let’s me know I’m onto something here.  Yes, they should know that their mama is special and deserves some special treatment.  Yes, they should know that this is how spouses treat each other when it comes time for them to make their choice one day.

Of course it is not all about the kids – it is for us as well.  I married my soulmate.  She was standing by my side long before these little people came and changed my whole world and she will be the one standing by my side when they move on and find partners of their own.  So even in this chaotic swirling world of working-mom-with-young-children, this is one priority I’m keeping.

Photo Credit: Megan Falcone Photography