Thursday, October 18, 2012

The best feeling ever

My kids are growing up in front of my eyes and I love it and hate it at the same time.   When you see your kids every day, you don't notice things like those who don't live with them.  Take my parents for instance, who always comment on how tall my son is getting or some feature that's changing.  Wow it can happen almost over night it seems.   On some hand, I want them to stay small.  On the other hand, I want them to grow up.   

Now the best feeling to me so far as a Dad of a 4 year old and almost 1 is the sleepy time.  My youngest was not feeling well last Sunday so my wife kept him in the service and he slept the whole time.  Holding your kids sleeping is something I like for some reason.  Perhaps its the peace they experience.  Perhaps its because you are holding them still and you know that won't last forever.   My wife was tired of holding my youngest on Sunday so she handed him to me.  I took him and he woke up for a second and looked at me as if to say, "Ok, its Dad" and then he went back to sleep.   That is it. 

Sometimes, I get to do the same with my 4 year old.  He does nap on occasion.  Mostly Sundays.  And most of the time he will wake up when I go get him, but sometimes he will let me hold him.  If you know anything about 4 year olds, they don't slow down much.   When he does it is special.  When life slows down just long enough to take one of the things that you would give your life for if that's what it took for them to live, and hold them the world stops.  Everything else doesn't matter.   Except you and them.   That's the best feeling ever.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I have learned about situations

In Adoption, the children are called situations.  Kind of odd to call it a situation but that is the term.  My wife and I have friends that are adopting.  They are being presented situations now.   One of the situations is twins to be born in February.  If you just put down 10k and the situation doesn't work out, you won't get your money back.   What?   Now this is odd isn't it?   But is it really odd if you are the one who is adopting for the first time and you have always wanted twins?   This is what my wife calls the red flag.  Now not only is the money a red flag but the time is.   Let me back up a second.   They are going through something that I have talked about before, called a referral agency.  Meaning that this agency points them to many other adoption agencies with situations.  

So the danger in an adoption is choosing an agency and giving them money and that particular situation doesn't work out.   Then what happens?  Well normally, they apply any money toward the next situation but you are "stuck" with that agency for your adoption.  It doesn't matter if your referral agency has plenty of situations available with other agencies because your money is tied up with this one.   Does that make sense?  

So how do you avoid the traps?   Well, work with a good referral agency who is looking for your best interests.   Then choose adoption situations that are due sooner rather than later.  For example, if a baby is due next week and the twins are due in February, then choose the baby due next week.   There is a lot of risk by committing to a situation that is that far out.  The birth mom could take you and then 6 weeks from now meet a local couple that looks perfect for her child.  She could decide over Christmas that she wants to keep the child.  She could find relatives that want to adopt.  You see the issue?   Time is really your enemy.  Oh yeah, it helps to have the time to plan because you now have a due date. However, what are the risks?

This is where you and your wife have to make a decision based on facts and not emotions.   Pray about it. If its the right child then God will open doors.   My second child, we said no before he was born. Then after he was born, we said yes.   And guess what.  He is the perfect child for us.  

God Bless


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The son I never had

Last year during our adoption process, we were presented with a situation for a 2 year old. We talked about it and because my other son was 3, it looked like a good opportunity to adopt an instant playmate for him.  Besides that, he and my 3 year old had birthdays 1 day apart and they both had peanut allergies.  It seemed like God was telling us that this is the one.  The situation looked like the father had full custody and the mother was out of the picture.   We said yes.  The father saw our profile and also said yes.  So we were going to be a family.  We made plans to travel to South FL.  We found out his name was Kevin.   If you know anything about 3 year olds, you start to prep your kids for the new addition.  So he knew he was coming.  The weekend before we were to leave, the father decided to back out because he realized that it was going to be his last weekend to see his son.  We found out on Monday morning.  We were going to leave on Thursday.   That's how close we were.   It was devastating to get that close and then wham.  He was taken away.

You get started for the adoption by wanting an infant.  Then you are presented with situations where you have to say to yourself, "Is this the one?  Can we bend the picture in our heads to be this child?"  This race, this age, this situation with drugs in background.  So we said, yes, I can picture another toddler in my family. But you never think about wrapping your heart around that situation.  It happens before you know it.  Especially when you get this close.  I call this the adoption miscarriage because that's the way it happens.

I prayed and I prayed.  I clung to my wife and we leaned on family and our support group at church.   I asked God why.  In situations like this, you read the Bible and it says everything happens for a reason.  Somehow you know its the truth but what is the reason?  The only thing that I could figure out was that God was telling me to be the spiritual father for Kevin.  Perhaps, Kevin needs someone to be his spiritual parents. He was to be my son forever in my heart.

I wonder what happened to Kevin.   The father wanted adoption for a reason. The father was struggling financially.   Is he making it?   What is he doing?   I can barely write about it today and we have already adopted again.   You would think I would get over it but I can't.

 Adoption is a great thing.  There are good times and there are struggles.   Some of you will probably never face this but its a possibility.  My strength comes from my relationship with Jesus.  I honestly don't know how couples without Jesus can do it.  Where do you find strength?  At least I can pray for Kevin. Because God cares about Kevin and me.  He cares about you too.

God Bless

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gatlinburg/Sevierville TN suggestion

I mentioned in yesterdays blog that our Referral Agency had a sort of retreat in Gatlinburg, TN.   We stayed at the perfect place that my wife said several times, that we needed this in FL when we adopted our youngest son at the end of last year.  The place was called, The Resort at Governors Crossing.  It had a full kitchen, washer and Dryer, 2 bedrooms and 2 bath rooms with a living room.  They had a DVD in the living room.  Favorite part is that the resort has a water park.  I would recommend it if you are vacationing or adopting in TN.  Link is below

We also visited the Circle G ranch.  The ranch is sort of safari when you can drive your car or ride on their vehicle.  They have camels, deer, pigs, petting zoo, camel rides, water buffalo, ostrich, emu, sheep, etc.  Link is below


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Boys will be boys

Sorry for not posting in a while.  We were off to Gatlinburg for a meet with some of the families who used Faithful Adoption Consultants.   FAC is a great referral agency.  They are number one if you ask me.   No familiy with FAC has adopted in longer than 9 months.  You should really check them out if you are at this point. 

So on to the point.  There is a bad habit amongst people to compare boys to girls.  Let me tell you there is no comparison.  Girls are made of Sugar and spice and everything nice while boys are made of other things. I think that everyone has comparisons but the danger is expecting boys to act like girls or vice versa.  For example: a little 3-4 year old girl will probably sit and color for you.   However, the boy could care less about coloring.   Typically little girls will walk before boys.  They just tend to be faster developers.  Now I know there are exceptions but as a rule that is what I see.  Society wants everyone to be in the same boat.   Is that right?  No.  Watch out parents or you will find yourself in the same boat.  Comparing your little boy to that little girl the same age.   Think about that before you take your son in for a psychiatric evaluation.  

That brings me on to another point associated with this.  Comparisons.  We want our kids to be the smartest, the first to talk, you get the picture.  Well, that is fine as long as you let them have fun along the way.   Kids need to be able to be kids.  Stop making them act like adults.   Let them get dirty, they don't need to read a book by 18 months.  That's insanity not educational.  I think sometimes we go overboard on educational material for our kids.  Education is fine.  Exposing our kids to music and athletics is great but the most important part about being a parent is exposing our kids to us.  Especially Dads.   Boys between the ages of 18 months to 5 years of age bond with their fathers.   Remember this.  You'll never look back at your life and say, "I spent too much time with my kids."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time Out for infants

This may be a strange post but I thought it was a good reminder to us.  In my life and maybe in yours too, you come to the point where you realize that your kids know right from wrong.  Now that's an easy thing to say but not such an easy thing to recognize when you are there on the front lines trying to take care of things.  In our life, it happened not to long ago.   My youngest crawled over to the oldest child's blanket.  Just for clarity sake, let me tell you that this is the blanket that my 4 year old uses to get to sleep at night.  It is literally hanging on by a thread.  He uses it to rub on his face and that helps him to go to sleep.  Well he brought it downstairs and my youngest went for it.  Now he is not trying to hurt it.  He probably wants to eat it.  Well..maybe just put it in his mouth.   My oldest gets in trouble for a lot of stuff.  All of his toys are supposed to magically become the property of him and his brother.  That is a hard transition for a 4 year old.  He has gotten his fair share of reprimands.  So on this occasion my wife tells Ethan, my youngest, "No No."  Ethan is almost 10 months old but he is so smart.  He knows the difference between right and wrong at this stage.  So then he started back for it.  Again my wife says "No No."  So afer that she pulls him away.  After he starts for it the third time, she puts him in time out.  What does time out look like for a 10 month old.  Well it looks like a crib or pack and play.  Baby jail.  

What did that accomplish?  We have come to the point of realizing that we need to be firm with out kids.  What we say, goes.  In this case, my older son saw that he wasn't the only one getting in trouble.  My younger son saw consequences of being disobedient.   Will it stick?  We shall see.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Clothes and Consignment Sales

My church has a two big consignment sales every year.  This week the Fall and there's another one in the Spring.   If you have ever sold in a sale before, then this is a lot of work.  Our sale is computerized, so you have to enter in the item to the online system and then print out a tag and pin it or tape to each item.  A lot of work.  But that brings us to this topic which is clothes for your kids.  We have saved so much money by clothing our kids from consignment sales.  Lets face it.  Kids don't stay in clothes for long periods of time anyway.  You can find great deals here.  For example: we are selling a swing that we purchased at a consignment store for $65.  We are selling it for $25.   Now we have barely used the thing because my son never really took to it.  Now there are Childrens Consignment stores that are chains that you might have in your area such as  Perhaps you have sales in your church.  We also have groups that have sales.  In our area, we have a group called the Mothers of Multiples.  This is all about Mothers who have twins, triplets, etc.   They have a huge sale every year.  You might want to check in your area for local sales. 

Let me mention one other thing about kids that you might not think of.  Sometimes we inherit clothes from family members, friends, etc.  Anybody that has a boy or girl may know you are adopting and give you some items.  Take them, you never know.  However, you need to realize that seasons do matter.   A child that was born in October vs a child that was born in May may be off in their seasons.  You may have 0 to 3 months in Winter clothes instead of Summer.   Keep this in mind when planning.  Also note that my oldes was born in May and my youngest was born in October.  But both kids were premies so now the youngest is able to use at least some of the oldest clothes.   You may want to wait a year before throwing out everything to see if there is some overlap.  

Best of luck and I hope this helps.